Hymns – The Songs of My Heart

Hymns – The Songs of My Heart

I love hymns.

I love them most when I can open my hymnal and sing from there.

Standing next to my parents in church or hearing my mother’s voice as she sang coming down the hall are memories I truly love, but hymns are more than memories. Considered old-fashioned these days, those hymns have spoken truth to my heart many times. They have brought comfort to my spirit, reminded me of who God is, reminded me of others who have walked through difficult moments too, and gave me words to the joy of my soul.

I do love them…because:

“There is sunshine in my soul today,
  More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky,
  For Jesus is my light.”

He is truly God. May we worship Him:

“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the *worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the *rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!”

And yet:

“I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.”

Oh what He has done for me:

“Years I spent in vanity and pride,

Caring not my Lord was crucified,

Knowing not it was for me He died

On Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;

Pardon there was multiplied to me;

There my burden soul found liberty,

At Calvary.”

So now:

“I’ve found a Friend, who is all to me,
His love is ever true;
I love to tell how He lifted me
And what His grace can do for you.

Saved by His pow’r divine,
Saved to new life sublime!
Life now is sweet and my joy is complete,
For I’m saved, saved, saved!”

Because:

“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

The emblem of suffering and shame,

And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best

For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,

Till my trophies at last I lay down;

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it someday for a crown.”

So that some day:

“When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there

When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.”

So while I am on earth:

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

I could go on. Hymns have spoken to my heart and soul for a long time, bringing memories and stories of others who have been faithful to the Calling. I plan to teach them to my children, because they remind me so much of the amazing and holy God we serve.

What are your favorite hymns? Do you still sing them?

I’ll close with this:

“Holy, holy, holy
Lord, God Almighty
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee

Holy, holy, holy
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons blessed Trinity

Holy, holy, holy
Though the darkness hide Thee
Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see

Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.”

 

 

 

I Pledge Allegiance

I Pledge Allegiance

There’s more that rises in the morning
Than the sun
More that shines in the night
Than just the moon
There’s more than just this fire here
That keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger
Than this room
There’s a loyalty that’s deeper
Than mere sentiment
A music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the giver
Of all good things

(Rich Mullins – If I Stand)

I Pledge Allegiance

The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the give of all good things.

Yes. This.

Distracted, concerned, overwhelmed, or frustrated – I have seen my friends and family experience just these things in recent days. Truth be told, I have been there too.

I look at the world where I live and am appalled by the atrocities of what people can do to each other through word and deed. I hurt for victims that cannot defend themselves. I struggle in the world where I live wondering if I even fit here and what my purpose might be.

It’s the stuff of earth.

Tempted to see only what is in front of me, my allegiance starts to settle on my own abilities, the powers that seem “more right,” ideas like “good always wins,” or a myriad of other crutches I use to hobble along.

Crippled, broken, unqualified – all words I could use to describe myself . . . but for the grace of God.

It’s where we all are without our Savior. My allegiance should be to Him and Him alone.

I pledge allegiance, I make an oath, to pursue Him above all else, to follow Him regardless of where it takes me, to trust Him even when I can’t see the next step, to stand on the hope and the promises He gives. The day I accepted Him as my Savior I promised to do just this. He becomes Lord . . . and so much more.

So today, when I am tempted to get caught up in what I see and falter in my allegiance to the One, I will remember that there’s more that rises in the morning than the sun and shines in the night than the moon. I will choose to stand not on what I see or feel but on the promises of His Word.

I will pledge allegiance to Him alone.

 

Join me:

1. Pursue Him:

“But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

These words from Paul to Timothy are just as challenging to us. Pursue Him above all else. How do we do that daily? Moment by moment? We must build a relationship with Him. Spend time with Him. Are we doing that today?

2. Follow Him:

“Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”” (John 8:12)

HE is the light. Follow Him wherever He leads. He has certainly taken me places I could have never dreamed, some more challenging than others. We must learn to follow Him regardless of where He leads.

3. Trust Him:

“Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, Yahweh.”(Psalm 9:10)

We must trust in Him alone. I love this promise that He has not abandoned those who seek Him. How thankful I am that regardless of my circumstance or situation, He is faithful. Trust is an “all in” kind of thing. It is not a half-hearted attempt, but a desire to give ourselves completely to His care.

4. Stand with Him:

“Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received.”(Ephesians 4:1)

Walk worthy, my friends. We serve an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God, may we live like we do.

Regardless of what is going on around me or the feelings I have in my heart. HE is life. HE is truth. I challenge us all today to go back to Him, to pursue, follow, trust, and stand with Him today.

Faithful

Faithful

The one thing I want the Lord to see in me. The one thing I am so grateful for today.

HE is faithful. Always.

It’s been a year of testing and questions and new adventures and finishing deployments and…well, let’s just say it’s been a year. A beautiful, challenging, stretching, learning, growing year. Through it all, there has been one constant thread – HE has been faithful. Every. Single. Day.

I pray the Lord sees the same thing in me. Every moment, every day is there a thread that is constant in my life as well? I long for the words from Jesus, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). I want to live a life of faithfulness to the Lord.

But looking at my life as a whole can be somewhat overwhelming – I mean, it is a WHOLE life. That’s a lot on my plate.

The Lord has reminded me lately though that I am not responsible for my whole life today. I am simply responsible for today.

Obedience – it’s what He has called me to today. Obedience in the little things from words with a neighbor to time with the Lord are what I should be focused on. Knowing that stringing together days of obedience leads to a legacy of faith and a trail of Jesus. If I keep taking steps in the right direction, I end up exactly where I am supposed to be.

So today I am determined to follow Him, one step at a time, one act of obedience at a time. Trusting that if I do that every day I end up leaving the legacy I desire. Knowing I will mess up along the way, I am also thankful for His grace.

For it is His grace that looks through my mistakes and sees a heart that truly does long to serve Him.

He is faithful, my friends. Praying that we are as well.

What has He called you to do today?

 

Do We Believe?

Do We Believe?

I call myself a believer, but do I really believe?

When my friend calls from across the ocean and says her mom has cancer, I tell her I’ll pray. When my sister messages me to let me know that this season of life has been hard and today harder still, I tell her I will pray. When someone I love is hurting physically and some Advil doesn’t fix it, I tell them I’ll pray. I tell lots of people I will pray.

Then I follow it up with, “If there is anything more I can do, please let me know.”

I end the conversation feeling like I should do something more, maybe if I was just there in person I could actually help. Is that what believers do?

A “Believer” is “a person who believes.” Now that’s profound, right?

So what does “believe” mean? Believe means to “to have confidence or faith in the truth.”

Truth. Now that is a Word.

Jesus talked about Truth in Scripture. In John 17:17 in a prayer for the disciples, He said, Your word is truth.” Not long before in a conversation with Thomas in John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus said the word was truth and that He was the truth – so which is it? This question is answered in John 1:1-3, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”

Jesus is the Living Word, so both the written Word of God and the Living Word of God are truth.

Do I believe? Do I have confidence in the Truth? If I ,in fact, believe, then I know and trust that when I pray, when I truly lay these burdens at the foot of my Savior that this is the greatest work. Being there, physically doing something, is nice, but if I think that is the “real help” then I am missing the point.

he-hears

To believe is to have trust and in confidence in the truth. Truth says, “As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. 17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice” (Psalm 55:16-17) This and in many other instances, Scripture reminds us that the Lord hears.

If He hears us, the next question arises. Will He actually do anything about it?

The Bible reminds us many times how much God loves us, not just that one moment He sacrificed His Son to save us. But in so many other instances and actions, His love is repeated over and over again. In Romans 8:38-39, Paul testifies to just this fact when he says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If He really loves us and it is within His power (because He is, after all, all-powerful) to help us, why wouldn’t He? He does.

So today, as we sit distant from people we love and care for, as we long to be there and actually “do something,” be reminded that we have been given a greater task.

Our job, our privilege, is to take those requests, needs, burdens to the foot of the cross to a God who loves, hears and answers.

greater-work

It is truly the greatest work.

We must believe in who He is and the promises He’s made then trust Him with the outcome.

Believe that prayer is the greater work.

 

What are you praying for today? How can I pray for you?

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**This post is part of the #MondayminutewithGod linkup at Planting Roots!

Feet on the Ground

Feet on the Ground

I love to dream. When I dream, I love to dream big.

It never crosses my mind to have a few ladies over for coffee. Instead, I think, “We should just have a conference and invite the world!” I used to play basketball quite a bit. I loved it. Playing all through high school, I dreamed of bigger things. My height (and my speed…and probably some other things) prevented me from playing in college. So, when I couldn’t play in college, I decided it would be even more fun to play in Africa. Makes perfect sense, right?

This is how my life goes all the time. I have an idea or someone suggests something, and I can start to dream about “big things” that little idea could become.

When we first got married, my husband would call me the “Good Idea Fairy.” The perfect name, I think. Mainly because I always have a “good” idea–good being highly relative, of course.

I do love to dream.

We do serve a God who can do ALL things. These dreams that I have could actually come true, should God decide to make them so, but He doesn’t always. Sometimes the dreams in my heart never come to fruition–how thankful I am. As great as I think my ideas are, they are not always what is best.

feet on the ground

I could dream dreams all day long, hoping and wishing for them to come true, but God.

Today’s blog is reminder to me of two things…God and the husband He gave me. I am overwhelmed by both.

God has used many people in my life, but none like He has used my hubby. The wonderful, godly man I married dreams too, maybe just not quite the crazy dreams I have at times. God has given me such a precious gift in this man, though.

To describe him in a sentence: Kyle keeps my feet on the ground and my eyes to the sky.
Kyle doesn’t crush my dreams or tell me they are nonsense, but he doesn’t jump head first into all of them either. The gift of my husband is that he looks for God at work in me and challenges me to continually look toward my Savior.

When grand ideas come, he brings me back to Jesus. “Kori, have you prayed about this? How has God led you to this or is it God who is leading?” He asks and he watches to see what God is doing in me.

Some of those dreams we have stepped into, both of us, because he has seen what God is doing in me and God has led his heart to follow too. We step in together.

When we first married, I did not appreciate his input quite as much. He held my hand down far too many times when I was so ready to jump straight in–or so I thought. That man I thought was holding me back was actually holding me in. He has kept my feet on the ground, active and involved and doing what God has asked in the place where I am, while pointing my eyes to the sky, continually seeking my Savior.

kyle 1

You have them too, those people in your life that you aren’t certain are really helpful. Those friends and family that seem to just hold you back or crush your dreams. They are more of a blessing that we realize at times, a gift God has given to us.

My prayer is that our hearts will continue to dream and to seek, and that our feet will stay obedient in the place where we are. I pray God sends people who challenge us to do just that – keep our feet on the ground and our eyes to the sky.

Do you have someone who does that for you? I would love to hear what God has taught you through them!

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