Sunday, February 10, 2013
I have a great collection of church hymnals. I find them at flea markets, buy them from churches, bookstores and have received a few as gifts. They are new, old, various denominations, country, high church, contemporary and chants.
This week I've been challenged to use them for a new purpose.
It's a perfect match, my favorite hymns and my favorite little people.
Every once in a while we get an encouraging letter from a committee of grandparents who like us have family members attending Providence Christian School in Dallas. This is one committed group of people. But, then again, aren't ALL grandparents! We who have been in the "silly goose club" for a while now realize that there is NO recovery from the idolatry, the patience and the longing-for-the-best we have for our grands!
Back to the letter! The writer encouraged us to PRAY the church's great hymns for our little people. And this month I'm doing it. WOW! What depth! What a great idea! (When I feel really confidant I SING them, alone in the shower, of course!) I love the words and phrases of these ancient artists!
Here's how it works. I choose a hymn, match it up with a grandchild and put his or her name in the stanzas. The WORDS of these great hymns are theologically sound prayers! I'm SO thankful for these great songs of the church that have survived the ages. These hymns teach us of the character of God! And what greater gift could we ask for our grandchildren, that that they come to KNOW Him. (I'm writing just the first verses here, there's SO much more found in the words of these songs.)
Hays - "This is My Father's World" Father, Creator, show to HAYS that this is his Father's world. Give him listening ears to hear that all nature sings and round him rings the music of the spheres. Guide Hays thoughts to Your world of rocks and trees of skies and seas, Let him experience that it is Your hands that wrought the wonders. (Creator, owner)
Maggie - "Praise the Lord! Ye Heavens Adore Him" Oh, Lord, who spoke the worlds into being, who made laws for their guidance, please guide MAGGIE every moment of every day. Help her recognize Your hand in her life that she may adore You in the heavens, praise You with the angels in the height, rejoice before You with the sun and moon, and praise You with the stars of light. (Personal involvement)
Gracie - "All Creatures of Our God and King." My God and King, I ask You to place in the heart of GRACIE a strong desire to lift up her voice in praise and worship to glorify You. May she find a voice to rejoice with the rushing wind, the clouds, the rising moon and the lights of evening. (Praise Worthy)
Dax - "How Great Thou Art" O Lord my God, please place within DAX an awesome wonder as he considers all the worlds thy hands have made. When he sees the stars and hears the rolling thunder, and sees Thy power throughout the universe displayed, when he wanders through woods and forest glades, when he hears the birds sing sweetly in the trees, when he looks down from lofty mountain grandeur and hears the brook and feels the gentle breeze, fill Dax's soul with wonder.
(Power and Wonder)
Mollie - "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" Immortal, Glorious God of wisdom, please teach MOLLIE that although You are hid from her eyes, You dwell in light and are almighty and victorious over all. Teach her to think magnificently of Your great name. May she always bear You in her mind, acknowledging Your justice like mountains, high soaring above and Your clouds which are fountains of goodness and love. (Invisible and Victorious)
Tiki - "Love Divine All Loves Excelling" Gracious Loving Father, I humble ask that You would help TIKI understand in his soul Your divine love that excels all other loves. Fix in him Your humble dwelling and let him trust in the compassion and pure, unbounded love of Jesus. (Sovereign and Tender.)
Thompson - "O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus" Loving Jesus, please cause THOMPSON to know Your deep, deep love, vast, unmeasured, boundless and free. I pray that he would feel it rolling over him like a might ocean in its fullness. Cause Thompson to know that of all loves, Your love is the best - an ocean vast of blessings, a haven sweet of rest. (Greatest love.)
Gabby - "Love Lifted Me" Savior and Master of the Sea, if GABBY is ever sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, when she calls to You, hear her despairing cry; from deep waters lift her up, so safe she will be. Cause her to give You all of her heart and ever to You cling. Help her to always in Your blessed presence live and ever Your praises sing. (Protection and Safety.)
Betsy - "Jesus Loves Me" Holy Lord and Mighty Savior, dear Jesus, cause BETSY to know every moment of her life that You love her and she can know it because the Bible tells her so. Betsy can depend on the fact that little ones to You belong, even though she is weak, You are strong. (Security and Truth)
Now, I think I'm moving on to their parents and choosing hymns for them, too!
The music of the church and my loved ones, it's a match made in heaven!
Saturday, February 9, 2013
These beauties are confused! It's still winter!!!
In fact, the Northeast portion of the US is COVERED with a ton of snow this morning!
So, what's this guy thinking????
Our warm OK days have tricked this daffodil into thinking it's HIS/HER time to shine!
Every yellow bloom a sign of hope! It happens every spring. Just when you think summer will never come one of these babies pops it head out of the dirt. Maybe sunny days are NOT immediate, BUT they WILL arrive eventually.
Maybe our friends buried by snow today will remember and be encouraged, "the sun WILL come up, tomorrow."
That snow will melt and flowers will bloom for them again as well. (Meanwhile I'm praying their power is restored, they are safe and warm and sipping hot chocolate.)
One of my favorite phrases (and I have many!) is "this too shall pass."
How many times have I whined and moaned about a situation only to finally realize that one day the "crisis" will be just a dim memory! Now, if I could remember that BEFORE the whining starts, everybody would be happier!
It's the daffodil theory! Maybe I'll try to practice it for a few hours. After all, WE'RE not scooping ANYTHING today, our house has not been washed away by a hurricane, everybody is healthy at the moment, jobs are intact, we have family and friends to love and be loved by, and the pantry is stocked.
Yes, daffodils remind me to be grateful.
Honeybuns will be delighted!
Sunday, February 3, 2013
What a great surprise! (Thanks for letting her come, Jamie.) She insisted she skip school and come along because she needed a "day off!!!" from kindergarten! I think she was sufficiently spoiled and loved on. She can go back to school tomorrow re- energized and refreshed!
I'm not sure Andy is refreshed, it was a "working" trip for him. He spent most of his time in front of groups talking about the main issue teens face today and inviting them to PARADISE. Parents and teens alike are now longing to spend a couple of weeks at Camp KIVU this summer, located outside of Durango, Colorado. (Get online and sign up NOW people! Spaces are being reserved as I write this!)
As parents of the speaker and grandparents of one of the cutest little girls in the world, we got to tag along as he rushed from one event to another. (In a couple of places I tried to be cashier as people clamored for his books, most recent one ALONE.)
As a "totally unbiased" bystander in the audience, I can truly report: This young man is brilliant! In fact, I heard that from some other folks in one audience as well!
He has done extensive research on the State of the Teen-age Union, the struggles teens and parents face today, interfaith issues around the globe, and the condition of the human heart that resides within us all. I watched as folks of all ages responded to his heartfelt, passionate, fun, entertaining and loving explanations. People were "tweeting" after the meetings, quoting him.
There is no doubt that lives were changed as several hundred pondered their loneliness, confusion and faith issues. Next week he will lead the Youth Initiative at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C.
I am so proud of the work he is doing, and thanking GOD for HIS hand on his life.
He's fighting a virus and a longing to be home with Jamie and the other 4 kiddos. He misses them so much when he is traveling. Tonight he and Gabby are flying to that spot where they belong. HOME!
I tried to convince Gabby to stay with us until she was 14 or so, but even though she had a super duper time here, she didn't want to be away from her family. She told me that when she is "grown up and a mommy," I could live with her! Well, I'm looking forward to that! That day will be here before I turn around twice!
That's what happened with ANDY! I turned around twice and he grew up, and became a terrific, godly young man.