A Morning Prayer

sunrise over a mountainCreator Spirit, who broodest everlastingly over the lands and waters of the earth, enduing them with forms and colours which no human skill can copy, give me today, I beseech Thee, the mind and heart to rejoice in Thy creation.

Forbid that I should walk through Thy beautiful world with unseeing eyes.

Forbid that the lure of the market-place should ever entirely steal my heart away from the love of the open acres and the green trees.

Forbid that under the low roof of workshop or office or study I should ever forget Thy great overarching sky.

Forbid that when all Thy creatures are greeting the morning with songs and shouts of joy, I alone should wear a dull and sullen face.

Let they energy and vigour which in Thy wisdom Thou hast infused into every living thing stir today within my being, that I may not be among Thy creatures as a sluggard and a drone.

And above all give me grace to use these beauties of earth without me and this eager stirring of life within me as a means whereby my soul may rise from creature to Creator, and from nature to nature’s God.

From John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer (1949)

Taken from Reflections on the Word by Ken Gire

How Sweet the Sound – Citizen Way

Yea though I walk through the valley
I know that You are always right beside me
And I will fear no evil
You’re my rock and my strength
You comfort me
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
I hear You singing over me
I once was lost but now I’m found
And it’s beautiful
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
It covers every part of me
My soul is silent, I am found
And it’s a beautiful sound
It’s a beautiful, beautiful sound
Carry me through the waters
Where Your peace clears away all my sorrow
And nothing can separate us from Your love
Oh Your love it will always be
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
I hear You singing over me
I once was lost but now I’m found
And it’s beautiful
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
It covers every part of me
My soul is silent, I am found
And it’s a beautiful sound

Rightful Worship

a bird

“Without Him was not anything made that was made

In Him was life…” (John 1:3-4).

“No one has ever truly created anything.

No one, that is, except God. . . .

When we attach our worship to something less than God, we end up consuming and casting off the person of thing we worship in His place. And in the consuming and casting off, we reveal that the true object of our worship is self. . . .

Not only do we worship the creation in place of the Uncreated One, we convince ourselves that we are like Him in His ability to create something from nothing. We confuse stewardship with ownership, viewing ourselves as givers of life.

We take the gifts that God has given us to steward – gifts like leadership, administration, and mercy – and we use them to fuel our “creator complex,” employing them to build our own kingdoms instead of His. We look at the little kingdom we have brought into being and assert ownership over it. . . .

Al worship is owed to God, not because He demands it (although He rightly does), but because He made us. He is our origin. And anything good that we build or accomplish or “create” originates not in us but in Him.” – Jen Wilkin, None Like Him

More of You – Colton Dixon

 

Lyrics to Colton Dixon’s “More of You”

I made my castle tall
I built up every wall
This is my kingdom and it needs to fall
I want You and no one else
Empty me of myself
Until the only thing that’s left is
More of You
Less of me
Make me who I’m meant to be
You’re all I want all I need
You’re everything
Take it all I surrender
Be my king
God I choose
More of You
Less of me
More of You
This life I hold so close
Oh, God I let it go
I refuse to gain the world and lose my soul
So take it all I abandon everything I am You can have it
The only thing I need is
More of You

New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions:

This year …
I’ll take more time to laugh and smile,
To feel the wind upon my face,
To learn true wisdom from a child,
Give my soul the needed space,
To live life pure and clear …
… this year.

This year …
I’ll learn to turn off my computer,
Interact with human beings,
Spend less time in online stupor,
More time learning, breathing, seeing
All that life holds dear …
… this year.

This year …
I will resolve to write that letter
That I have too long neglected,
Make an aching heart feel better,
Cheer a friend who feels dejected,
Bring someone some cheer …
… this year.

This year …
I’ll not be hijacked by my deadlines,
Or imprisoned by ambitions.
Or let dismal, gloomy headlines
Dictate my heart’s disposition.
I’ll choose faith, not fear …
… this year.

This year …
I’ll see the struggling flower beneath
The hard, frosty exterior
Of one who lets frustration seethe
Because they feel inferior.
I’ll try to draw them near …
… this year.

This year …
No high and mighty resolutions
Fit for presidents and kings.
I’ll start a quiet revolution,
Seek these simple loving things
Above wealth or career …
… this year.—Ian Bach

Furnishing Faith

“In an age in which infidelity abounds, do we observe [parents] carefully instructing their children in the principles of faith which they profess? Or do they furnish their children with arguments for the defense of that faith? … When religion is handed down among us by heredity succession, it is not surprising to find youth of sense and spirit beginning to question the truth of the system in which they were brought up. And it is not surprising to see them abandon a position which they are unable to defend.”

William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace

Hallowed

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes

Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,

The bird of dawning singeth all night long;

And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,

The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,

No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,

So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

(I, ii, 157)

SO HALLOWED AND so gracious is the time — these lines from the first scene of Hamlet in a sense say it all. We tend to think of time as progression, as moment following moment, day following day, in relentless flow, the kind of time a clock or calendar can measure. But we experience time also as depth, as having quality as well as quantity — a good time, a dangerous time, an auspicious time, a time we mark not by its duration but by its content. . . .

At Christmas time it is hard even for the unbeliever not to believe in something if not in everything. Peace on earth, good will to men; a dream of innocence that is good to hold on to even if it is only a dream; the mystery of being a child; the possibility of hope-not even the canned carols piped out over the shopping center parking plaza from Thanksgiving on can drown it out entirely.

For a moment or two, the darkness of disenchantment, cynicism, doubt, draw back at least a little, and all the usual worldly witcheries lose something of their power to charm. Maybe we cannot manage to believe with all our hearts. But as long as the moments last, we can believe that this is of all things the thing most worth believing. And that may not be as far as it sounds from what belief is. For as long as the moment lasts, that hallowed, gracious time.

-Frederick Buechner, The Faces of Jesus

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