Archive for the 'Personal' Category

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

What a Friend We Have in Jesus, the Song and the Story

Composer Joseph M. Scriven Writes What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Irish born Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1896) was 25 years old, in love and to be married. The day before his wedding his fiance died in a tragic drowning accident. Heartbroken, Joseph sailed from his homeland to start a new life in Canada. While in Canada working as a teacher, he fell in love again and became engaged to Eliza Roche, a relative of one of his students. Once again, Joseph’s hopes and dreams were shattered when Eliza became ill and died before the wedding could take place.

Although one can only imagine the turmoil within this young man, history tells us that his faith in God sustained him. Soon after Eliza’s death Joseph joined the Plymouth Brethren and began preaching for a Baptist church. He never married, but spent the remainder of his life giving all his time, money and even the clothes off his own back to help the less fortunate and to spread the love and compassion of Jesus wherever he went.

Around the same time that Eliza died, Joseph received word from Ireland that his mother was ill. He could not go to be with her, so he wrote a letter of comfort and enclosed one of his poems entitled What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

Many years later a friend was sitting with Joseph, as he was very ill. During this visit, the friend was very impressed when he ran across his poems, including What a Friend We Have in Jesus. As a result of this visit, almost 30 years after his letter of comfort to his mother, Joseph’s poems were published in a book called Hymns and Other Verses. Soon thereafter, noted musician Charles C. Converse (1834-1918) put music to one of those poems: What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
Well-known musician and revivalist Ira D. Sankey (1840-1908) was a great admirer of Joseph Scriven. In 1875, Sankey came upon the music and words for What a Friend We Have in Jesus. He included it as the last entry into his well-known publication Sankey’s Gospel Hymns Number 1.

After Joseph Scriven’s death, the citizens of Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, where he gave so much of himself, erected a monument to his life. The seemingly sad and obscure life of one man resulted in so many lives being uplifted, both in his own time, and for many years after whenever the beautiful and comforting words of What a Friend We Have in Jesus are sung.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” ( John 15:13)

October 03 2013 | Bible Study and Personal and Uncategorized | No Comments »

A Soldier’s Christmas

I hope you will remember our troops serving in far away lands this Christmas.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this little house lived.

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No Stockings by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
A sobering thought came through my mind.

For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
The home of a soldier, I could now see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
Not how I picture a United States Soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wondering how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to one knee and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, for this life is my choice”.

I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my corps.”

The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,
as we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.

I didn’t want to leave, on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor, so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, “Carry on Santa…., It’s Christmas Day…., All is secure.

One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend…. and to all a Good Night.

~ Author Unknown *~

December 25 2010 | Personal and Uncategorized | No Comments »

What happens when you fall down the stairs ?

About 8 weeks ago now, I fell down some stairs in our house. I can now tell you for sure that getting airborne at my age without an airplane underneath me never ends up well. I simply over stepped one stair and BOOM, in a fraction of a second, I was on my backside and immediately, the pain was so intense that I could not breath. Turns out I cracked the Fibula which is the long skinny bone on the outside of the leg. I also cracked the tarsals in my ankle.

These cracks were both hairline but never the less, it put me in my butt, in my La-Z boy recliner for the next 8 weeks. The orthopedic doctor fitted me with a boot cast and I had crutches with strict instructions to NOT put any weight on my right leg. What a bummer!  Thank God for my wife. She waited on me hand and foot.  What a blessing she was to me.  Another blessing of a loving God.  By the way, I never really got the hang of using those crutches.

Well, this last week, I saw my doctor and Praise God, he said that I can start to bear weight on the leg, although I’m supposed to continue to wear my boot cast for at least the next 4 weeks.

When all this first happened, I wondered why me ? I had tons of work to do and I simply could NOT afford to be laid up for 8 weeks ! Why, Why, Why ?

Well sometimes, God has to get our attention. He doesn’t do anything TO us, he can simply withhold his protection of our physical body for a fraction of a second and BOOM, we fall apart!  Like a cheap suit.   Look at the book of Job sometime to see how that  works.  How fragile we are !  Now I do not believe that God causes bad things to happen.  We live in the “age of grace” and God is presently withholding his judgment on a wicked, corrupt world.  The truth is that this world we live in a VERY BAD and BAD things would happen constantly if God didn’t provide his influence upon our physical world. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the “GLUE” that holds the universe together.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:15-16

What if this were NOT true ?  Every molecule in your body would simply separate and fall to the ground. You would be DEAD, DEAD, DEAD if that happened.

Have you ever driven down the street at say 40 miles per hour ? Sure you have and you probably have not considered that your very life is on the line. You are often no more than 20 feet from sure death. The cars on the other side of the road is coming at you at 40 miles per hour and if EITHER of you loose control, you impact each other at 90 miles per hour !

There are dozens of other examples that we take for granted every day.  GOD IS REALLY BIG and WONDROUS.    How great is his attention toward us !

Lamin CrossDid you ever hear of  laminin. Here is how wikipedia describes them …  “Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue.” You see, laminins are what hold us together….LITERALLY. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart.

Here is what the structure of laminin looks like…AND THIS IS NOT a “Christian portrayal” of it….if you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see…  TOTALLY AMAZING !!  The “GLUE” that holds our bodies together is in the shape of the Cross !

So what is keeping the world from total chaos and permitting the evil that surely exists right now from destroying this world ?  The answer is the Holy Spirit.  The  bible says that he “restrains” the evil by his presence in the world.

Here is what Paul said to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7)

3Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the [a]apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition), (Anti Christ)

4Who opposes and exalts himself  so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God.(B)

5Do you not recollect that when I was still with you, I told you these things?

6And now you know what is restraining him [from being revealed at this time];  (Holy Spirit) it is so that he may be manifested (revealed) in his own [appointed] time.

7For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains (Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way.

So Paul is telling us that the Holy Spirit restrains the evil from completing its purposes.  One day soon,and very soon, the Holy Spirit is leaving this world and guess what ?  You ( if you have accepted your free ticket)  and I are going with him !   Hallelujah !!

If you have NOT received the FREE gift provided by Jesus at Calvary, then do it today.   Doing that will reserve you a seat on the Hallelujah train.  You never know when The Holy Spirit will remove himself and the age of Grace will end. You DO NOT want to be left behind when that happens.  I can imagine lots of broken legs then, along with other broken things.

May 20 2010 | Personal and Uncategorized | 5 Comments »