Hope Rising

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A favorite.

Makes me think of fall every time I read it...

 

At Blackwater Pond

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold
into my body, waking the bones. I hear them
deep inside me, whispering
oh what is this beautiful thing 
that just happened?
Mary Oliver
 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe.  Help my unbelief!  Strengthen my weak and flickering faith.  

I know that You are my wisdom, my righteousness, my sanctification, and my redemption.  Lord, strengthen this faith in me, that I may never fear nor faint in any trial or temptation.  You alone are the Author and Finisher of my faith.  Though my faith be tried by fire, may I ever be found strong and unmovable to the glory of Your holy name.  

Let me firmly trust in Your blood, which cleanses me from all sin, that though my sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.  When I am enticed by sin and the world beckons and my own passions want to yield, help my unbelief, and give me the strength and will to resist.  
When trials, sorrow, and affliction want to rob me of this trust, O Lord, help me to remain steadfast and true.  

Strengthen my faith in Your promises that all things work together for good to them that love God, to those who are called according to Your purpose to be Your own in time and in eternity. 

You alone, O almighty Lord, can help;  You, O gracious Lord, will help my unbelief;  You, O merciful God, will strengthen my faith.   

Lord, I believe!  Amen. 

From the Lutheran prayer book
Found Here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It is good to wait quietly.

The true test of a person's spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening.  A person's worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight. 
Oswald Chambers

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD .
 
31 For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.

Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-32

Monday, October 10, 2011

Even so, come Lord Jesus...

There is something about hymns--something about singing words sung by generations of Christians before us--often overlooked in the modern church today--that cannot be reproduced in the newest and best worship song.  There is depth and richness to songs sung by those who have gone before us...and something amazing about finding that the longings of their hearts were the same as our hearts.  This hymn in particular has been a blessing to me recently...

 

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Words: Charles Wesley, 1744
Music: Rowland H. Prichard, 1830; harm., from The English Hymnal, 1906


Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

You can listen to Chris Tomlin's beautiful rendition with Christy Nockels HERE.