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The Gift of Song

This past week I’ve been reading a description of the 1904-1905 Welsh revival by G. Campbell Morgan. One of the things that caught my attention is that the author repeatedly describes the role of song in this revival.

Morgan notes his personal observation that “The Revival is borne along upon billowing waves of sacred song…It is the singing, not the preaching, that is the instrument which is most efficacious in striking the hearts of men.”

On another page, Morgan adds, “You can watch what they call the influence of the power of the Spirit playing over the crowded congregation as an eddying wind plays over the surface of a pond. If anyone carried away by his feelings prays too long, or if anyone when speaking fails to touch the right note, someone — it may be anybody — begins to sing. For a moment there is a hesitation as if the meeting were in doubt as to its decision, whether to hear the speaker, or to continue to join in the prayer, or whether to sing. If it decides to hear and to pray, the singing dies away. If, on the other hand, as it usually happens, the people decide to sing chorus swells in volume until it drowns all other sound.”  (From a Kindle version of “The Works of G. Campbell”.)

Since we’ve entered another season of song, I’d been wanting to post here some observation about the role and spirituality of music in renewing and lifting our own hearts above the normal personal and relational tensions of life.

Then a number of you commented this past week about what you have seen in the gift of song—in your own lives and here on this blog.

What Paul said about speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs—as an expression of living under the influence of the Spirit must be much more than just a casual aside.

Maybe this is a not so subtle hint that in ways within and beyond our own control— one of the wonders and life-changing mysteries of Advent rises on the wings of song.

And once again, one of the songs I’m singing along with is “Mary Did You Know”. If you’re inclined, you may have to endure a “disruptive” Ad this time.


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102 Responses to “The Gift of Song”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Mart, I just let it play on auto play for a while.

    It is said that music sooths the savage beast, maybe that is why I enjoy it and need its calming touch to help start my day, every day.

    Thanks again Mart.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart and Friends —

    So grateful for the beautiful Christmas message of “Mary Did You Know”? — sung as it was originally written.

    Tender moments this a.m. pondering the imponderable: God in flesh — born to a woman — sent to reconcile us all to Him.

    Joy at Christmas,

    -1C/30F this morning with freezing rain and fog. Snow level at 1000’elevation

  3. poohpity says:

    It seems music has been an integral part for God’s people since what we know of or in recorded history. It has told God’s story.

    For my mom, even with people who were her age, all Christian music she loved even the new stuff while a lot of people in her age group did nothing but complain about it and just liked the old traditional hymns but I bet when they first came out people complained then too.

    Music to me plays a very important role in keeping my mind focused on God and does emote a heart of worship. I have often wondered what the music sounded like that went along with the many songs David wrote. Even before David that was part of the Temple worship and the time spent in the wilderness they devoted to singing as a means to tell their stories.

    Today many also tell their stories through song as a witness about how God has touched and changed their lives. The music just seems to dig down deep inside to the song we feel in our hearts about our wondrous God. God brings music to my soul.

  4. poohpity says:

    Here in Arizona we have gone from the 80’s to the lower 30’s over night and in the morning for the last couple of days. From shorts to coats. The high today will be 57 with 54% humidity(very unusual for us). That is cold to me but I know that is nothing to those in the north.

    Maru, Is that normal for Oregon? I lived in The Dalles and by now it was snowing but if I remember right you are closer to the coast.

  5. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon All,
    Pray all is well, and happy to have some chat time…
    Mart said,
    “What Paul said about speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs—as an expression of living under the influence of the Spirit must be much more than just a casual aside.”
    Was wondering what that means… “speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs?” How do I do that? So, I looked up that verse in context (Eph. 5:19) and chose some different versions to compare and contrast the meaning…
    Eph. 5:18-20, TLB
    18 Don’t drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path; be filled instead with the Holy Spirit and controlled by him.

    19 Talk with each other much about the Lord, quoting psalms and hymns and singing sacred songs, making music in your hearts to the Lord. 20 Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    The entire passage is so meaningful/beautiful, but verse 19 helped me to understand that I’m supposed to talk to my brothers/sisters about the Lord, *quote* psalms, hymns and sing sacred songs with them while making music in our hearts to the Lord! Wow! That’s what Paul and Silas did when they were beaten and thrown in jail…
    Ephesians 5:18-20, CEV
    18 Don’t destroy yourself by getting drunk, but let the Spirit fill your life. 19 When you meet together, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, as you praise the Lord with all your heart. 20 Always use the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to thank God the Father for everything.
    Again, I focused on verse 19, and it reminded me of what we do when we go to church… we study the Word together, we sing hymns and spiritual songs, and we praise the Lord with our whole heart! Now, I have a deeper understanding of what that verse means…

    40 degrees with rain (real feel 29 degrees) in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  6. Regina says:

    “Since we’ve entered another season of song, I’d been wanting to post here some observation about the role and spirituality of music in renewing and lifting our own hearts above the normal personal and relational tensions of life.”

    This is a *true* and spot-on observation, Mart, and worthy of sharing…
    Music/song has definitely been the the vehicle that the Holy Spirit used to blow “wind beneath my wings”… In good times and bad, music/song has been my “safe place” my “refuge” in ways that I can scarce articulate! During my childhood, my parents didn’t expose my siblings and I to it nearly as much as they should have, but, sadly, I think that’s the case with many families now (in the 21st century).
    I was looking at the picture with the dog staring into the megaphone?? Not sure what that hearing device is called, but we can tell that that dog is as mesmerized and captivated by the sound of music as we are when we hear good music/song… So many thoughts come to mind… How the Lord used it in scripture… King David and his harp… How so many people pay $$$ to purchase CD’s, Albums, tickets to concerts, online downloads to bring it into their world…

  7. narrowpathseeker says:

    Beautiful song!! Thank you Mart and Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you, your family, and your BTA flock.

  8. jeff1 says:

    When words are not enough songs are because they connect me to God’s presence in a way that nothing else can. If I am fearful of His absence then it is songs that reassure me and not people because for me music penetrates my very being and it is in those moments when I no longer doubt God because I am overwhelmed with the majesty that God is in all things beautiful and it is when I forget the ugliness of the world and remember that Christ has overcome evil so that heaven and earth will be free forever from its hold on humanity and my hope is renewed that circumstances are temporary but God’s love and mercy are forever and songs that depict this stay in our hearts when all else fails.

  9. poohpity says:

    Another song that just bring tears of joy to me is “O Holy Night”.

    O Holy Night!
    The stars are brightly shining
    It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
    Long lay the world in sin and error pining
    Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
    A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
    For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

    Fall on your knees
    Oh hear the angel voices
    Oh night divine
    Oh night when Christ was born
    Oh night divine
    Oh night divine

    Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
    With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
    So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
    Here come the wise men from Orient land
    The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
    In all our trials born to be our friend

    Truly He taught us to love one another
    His law is love and His gospel is peace
    Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
    And in His name all oppression shall cease
    Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
    Let all within us praise His holy name

  10. street says:

    one way to praise God with all of are being, done in Spirit and Truth. make a joyful noise.

    i think of the time when Jesus will rejoice over us with singing.

  11. Beloved says:

    1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
    and ransom captive Israel
    that mourns in lonely exile here
    until the Son of God appear.
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
    shall come to you, O Israel.

  12. Regina says:

    Was looking at a magazine article online, and O Holy Night was voted best Christmas song out of 15…

    1.O Holy Night
    2.O Come All Ye Faithful
    3.What Child Is This?
    4.O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
    5.We Three Kings of Orient Are
    6.Silent Night
    7.Angels We Have Heard On High
    8.God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
    9.Good King Wenceslas (Never heard this one)
    10.Joy to the World
    11.The First Noel
    12.Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
    13.Little Drummer Boy
    14.I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In) Never heard this one
    15.O Little Town of Bethlehem

  13. SFDBWV says:

    I have always enjoyed the story told in song about the time during WWI when a German soldier began singing a familiar Christmas carol during the Christmas truce.

    A story of men who tried to kill each other only hours before came together in song and in a common moment to remember Jesus the baby, the hope of mankind.

    Only to return the next morning to the scourge of war.

    Music it seems has the power to open a doorway deep inside us and there for a time we dance in harmony at peace.

    It is one of those things that should make us “homesick” when we think that the music we have here is only a reflection of what music must be in heaven. In truth music does often make me feel homesick for something just out of sight and just beyond my reach.

    Have you ever noticed that a calm silent snow fall has its own “music” as does a sunrise and sunset?

    A little snow this morning on the ground from overnight snows, a gift from living in the mountains.


  14. foreverblessed says:

    Ah ha, the music of snow!
    The silence!

    I didn’t know that O holy night was on top of the list.
    Two years ago it was sung at the Christmas service of my church, for the first time in a few years, and I had to cry!
    It is not only the words, but the music that goes with, the change of cords, the swelling of the sound
    ….Oh, fall on your knees…

  15. jeff1 says:

    I love to see a rainbow because it stretches so that I can not see its beginning or its end and it makes me think of the mysteries and wonder of God and of how big God is and how little I know of Him because of His vastness that covers the heaven and earth. To think that He sees me as part of His creation though I so often fail to see Him as my creator and that is not because of disbelief but because of my weakness to try and fly without my wings.

    As many singers sing the same song I listen to whom I like singing the song.

    Charlie Landsborough has soft tender voice and why I like him singing this song best.

    The Wind Beneath My Wings

    Ohhh, oh, oh, oh, ohhh.
    It must have been cold there in my shadow,
    To never have sunlight on your face.
    You were content to let me shine, that’s you way.
    You always walked a step behind.

    So I was the one with all the glory,
    While you were the one with all the strength.
    A beautiful face without a name for so long.
    A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

    Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
    And everything I would like to be?
    I can fly higher than an eagle,
    For you are the wind beneath my wings.

    It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
    But I’ve got it all here in my heart.
    I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
    I would be nothing without you.

    Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
    You’re everything I wish I could be.
    I could fly higher than an eagle,
    For you are the wind beneath my wings.

    Did I ever tell me that you’re my hero?
    You’re everything, everything I wish I could be.
    Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
    For you are the wind beneath my wings,
    ’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

    Oh, the wind beneath my wings.
    You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings.
    Fly, fly, fly away. You let me fly so high.
    Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
    Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.

    Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
    So high I almost touch the sky.
    Thank you, thank you,
    Thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.

  16. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning and Merry Christmas Eve to you both Foreverblessed and Viv.

    Bette Midler is one of my favorite singers and along with “Wind Beneath my Wings” is “The Rose” two songs I listen to nearly every morning.

    Strange, the very first time I ever heard “Wind Beneath My Wings” it was sung by the United States Air Force Band, with a nameless lead singer.

    I only had a moment, but wanted to take the time to say hello to you both and wish you both a very blessed day and pray all of your prayers are answered this Christmas season.


  17. poohpity says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have a friend who supported us like the friend mentioned in the song “Wind Beneath my Wings”? One who wanted us to succeed in whatever endeavor we attempted rather than clipping our wings from jealousy and envy.

    That song reminded me that often we put wings on angels where we really have no information supporting the fact that they do which is even more miraculous. They just appear just as Jesus did not need wings to ascend into heaven. In Luke it says “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!”

    A great multitude as explained in Revelation is more than any man could number. As the shepherds the lowest of low in those days saw that right before their eyes. I can not even imagine what fear struck their hearts only to be told “do not fear” they brought good news about their Savior’s birth. Now that was some kind of song praising God.

    How much better my life would be if I sang often, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, you heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”

    “Ever Be”

    Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold
    Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old
    Your love is enduring through the winter rain
    And beyond the horizon with mercy for today

    Faithful You have been and faithful you will be
    You pledge yourself to me and it’s why I sing

    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

    You Father the orphan
    Your kindness makes us whole
    And you shoulder our weakness
    And your strength becomes our own
    Now you’re making me like you
    Clothing me in white
    Bringing beauty from ashes
    For You will have Your bride

    Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame
    And known by her true name and it’s why I sing

    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

    You will be praised You will be praised
    With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord
    You will be praised You will be praised
    With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

    And it’s why I sing
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
    Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

  18. Beloved says:

    I love the verse street alluded to earlier.
    ◄ Zephaniah 3:17 ►
    New International Version
    The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

  19. Beloved says:

    Luke 15:23-25

    Luke 15:23-25
    23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.

  20. Regina says:

    Merry Christmas Eve, All!
    Oh how I love this time of year! There’s something so sweetly special about Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it’s our sincere reflection and gratitude for the precious, sacrificial gift (of eternal life) given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… John 3:16-17 comes to mind…

    Mart, I, too, am grateful for the reminder to reflect on the timeless beauty of the song, “Mary Did You Know?” You helped me to appreciate that song on a higher level, and I have never heard a better rendition of it than the one sang by “Pentatonix”… That version is so SUPERBLY beautiful!

    Today’s ODB devotional is very interesting because it’s about a man named Reginald Fessenden who claims that on December 24, 1906, he became the first person to ever play music over the radio.
    According to Fessenden, on Christmas Eve in 1906, he told the wireless operators on board about a dozen ships to pay attention. At 9 o’clock they heard his voice.
    He reportedly played a record of an operatic aria, and then he pulled out his violin, playing “O Holy Night” and singing the words to the last verse as he played. Finally, he offered Christmas greetings and read from Luke 2 the story of angels announcing the birth of a Savior to shepherds in Bethlehem.

    I read a passage from Luke 2 (v. 1-20) in several different versions to refresh my memory or to find out if music was mentioned in that chapter…
    I discovered that, in the Message version of the Bible, Luke 13-15 mentions an angelic choir…
    Luke 13-15, MSG
    13-14) At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

    Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
    Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

    15) As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.”
    Hopefully, I’ll have more chat time today…

    42 degrees and cloudy (real feel 32 degrees) in my neck of the woods..

    Love to all,

  21. jeff1 says:

    Steve, It was Westlife an Irish band that I first heard singing ‘The Rose’ and like you I think it is a beautiful song.

    Thank you for your prayers and may you also have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

    It is difficult to get a quiet time this time of the year but I will get that tonight at Holy Communion and will be glad to worship God and renew my hope for a New Year where I know His presence more and more so that nothing can disturb my peace because it was you who said Steve that I should not allow others to disturb my peace and it is a weakness of mine to become distracted and when I take my focus of Him I am like Peter in the boat sinking fast.

    The words of ‘The Rose’ for you Steve and also I think of my mum whose love of roses I remember so well and when she was happiest in her garden pruning those roses.

    The Rose

    Some say love, it is a river, that drowns the tender reed
    Some say love, it is a razor, that leaves your soul to bleed
    Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need
    I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed

    Its the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance
    Its the dream afraid of waking, that never takes the chance
    Its the one who won’t be taking, who cannot seem to give
    And the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live

    When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
    And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
    Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows
    Lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose

  22. foreverblessed says:

    Have a blessed Christmas Eve! I already have had the service in church!
    It was wonderful!
    We are like those that dream! Psalm 126:1-2
    But it is true, our King was born on earth, and is now King in heaven.
    Yes, it is true, we are not dreaming, it is real!

    We can sing many alleluia’s to that!

  23. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, thanks sir for your prayer! I really thought that over, for what did I pray? It was for Russia, Good God, what a different thing to pray about, but I had read on the BBC website, shaft did the revolution of 1917 bring?
    And the stories were heartbroken, and I started to pray, Lord have mercy on that people!
    So my prayers were confirmed even more by your prayer.
    Pray big things! Our King is in heaven, and He waits for our prayers!
    Yes, we are like those whonard dreaming, big dreams, and connected with faith, and in accord with God’s Word, great things are done by God!

  24. Beloved says:

    Someone mentioned the picture, I think it was an advertisement for the Victrola phonograph player. The sound came out of the funnel and I think you had to wind it up to make the music play. Ha ha my first phonograph, very old in the 60s even was a wind up player, had records from the 40s with it. Would be fun to still have them.

  25. poohpity says:

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday my sweet Jesus, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. Praise your Holy Name.

    3 Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him, and he will respond to us as surely as the coming of dawn or the rain of early spring.’”

    What can you give to someone who has everything? God said, “I don’t want your sacrifices—I want your love; I don’t want your offerings—I want you to know me.” Hosea 6:6 TLB

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Merry Christmas to all.

    I would have been here earlier, except for the snow.

    5 inches and still snowing, at 14 degrees (Fahrenheit)

    I hope all who wanted a white Christmas are happy.

    Wherever any of you are today I hope you are blessed, content and at peace.


  27. John says:

    Thank you Mart.
    Yes let there be Hallelujah’s for the King born to this world.
    Merry Christmas ,

  28. narrowpathseeker says:

    Merry Christmas Mart and the BTA flock.. I hope you all have an exceptionally Blessed day. May ALL Christians EVERYWHERE be empowered to glorify His Name.

  29. Beloved says:

    I heard the bells on Christmas day the old familiar carols play and mild and sweet the words repeat are peace on earth good will to men. Luke 2:13-14

    Peace to all on BTA this joyous Christmas day, may your day be bright though common troubles loom.

  30. Regina says:

    MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS, BTA Friends! :-) I pray that this will be one of the BEST Christmases you’ve ever had, and I wish you all a PROSPEROUS New Year!

    HARK! the herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the newborn King!”
    Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
    God and sinners reconciled
    Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
    Join the triumph of the skies;
    With angelic host proclaim,
    “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
    HARK! The herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the newborn King!”

    42 degrees (real feel 38) in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  31. Beloved says:

    Merry Christmas to you and all, Regina. Beautiful sunny blue sky today, currently -13F real feel -36F. No I’m not sticking my nose out the door today. Keeping company with Annabelle, some Girardelli chocolates and Monk on TV. I love that Jesus is the real reason for celebrating!

  32. saled says:

    The G. Campbell Morgan quotes that Mart shared are fascinating. Imagine being part of the congregation when singing overtakes a speaker, or when the words of a speaker are given the opportunity to be heard as the singing dies away.

    There is a story about me and music that my daughters like to tell. When they were young teens, my husband made several CDs of his favorite music. My younger daughter grabbed an empty CD one day and said, “here. this is Mom’s favorite music.” It’s really not true that I don’t like music. It’s just that I prefer peace and quiet because it has always be so hard to come by for me! I loved the southern gospel group The Cathedrals, and George Younce used to say after certain songs, “Boy, if that doesn’t light your fire, your wood’s wet!” And the Cathedrals often did light my fire, so I really do like music.

    Fascinating too is the comments about the snow and the sunrise and the sunset having their own music. I can’t say that I have heard them, but I have felt called by them. All of our senses, it seems, have that ability to stir our spirit. I wonder, is it only through speech and song that we express that stirring of our spirit.

    We have a white Christmas here in far eastern Maine. I spent a couple hours with my husband in the big plow truck in the thick of the storm this afternoon. The storm was so powerful, snowing so hard the wipers couldn’t clear the windshield, and made worse by the blowing down across the blueberry barrens here in town. But now it is over, and like Steve, I hope all are happy who asked for a white Christmas.

  33. poohpity says:

    As I look in the mirror I grow more thankful for just exactly why there was a need to lay His Glory down to come to our rescue. May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Lord through the faith given to us through the Holy Spirit.

    Hope everyone’s day went well and full of joy.

    Merry Christmas in love,

  34. SFDBWV says:

    The subject being the gift of song reminds me once again of the tiny little sparrow and what a large voice it has as it sings its many melodies.

    Outside of my living room window in my “miracle” bush the little birds amass and all day long I hear their communal songs as they “speak” to each other in song.

    Sometimes they are so excited that even though the windows are closed tight and with the noise in the house I can hear them as their voices reach a crescendo above all else.

    There are times early in the dark morning when the cold winter air is as still as death, there is one unknown bird I can hear out of sight far above the yard up in the timber as it makes its morning song/prayer for any listening to hear.

    It is all alone in its aria; it is not until the sky begins to get lighter in the east that the timber comes alive with the multiple singing of birds of all feathers as they too awaken and give prayer and praise to their Creator.

    In the fall the little cricket sings a very large song as it seeks a place to get in from the coming winter, and if you listen the wind in the trees sings a very calming song in the lazy days of summer.

    All of nature sings, music is as much a part of life as is everything else.

    In today’s world imagine trying to watch a movie without music to feed or set a mood/tone.

    And yes my dear friend Saled even quiet solitude has its own “sound” to sooth the soul.

    12 degrees and clear, with a promise of colder weather all week.


  35. jeff1 says:

    In the noise of this world it is solitude that I often seek.

    I enjoy Christmas dinner with my family but prior to the day my sons consume too much alcohol and I worry for them as any mother does.

    I lash out at them in my anxiety but when I was there age I did the same except I was oblivious to the dangers while the warnings of smoking and alcohol are now well known but that does not stop people over indulging.

    I don’t see a world today that is lacking in knowledge of God but it is lacking in understanding God.

    My ex husband who is an agnostic used to tell me of two religious men from different denominations at his work who would get into a debate on the bible and it always ended up in them arguing and the rest of them walked away as they got tired of listening.

    It takes a heart for God to read the bible otherwise men do God an injustice.

    It is my thinking that my dad had a heart for God and took stories from the bible to encourage and comfort him rather than to prove a point to another.

    He understood God better than most because he believed in aligning himself with God’s will rather than expecting God to align with his and in doing so his choices were God given and not man driven.

    Consequently, he had insight that meant he could be wise during an event instead of after it. His minister pastored me through the darkest days of my life and why I am able to cope while many with mental illness have spent their days drugged and locked up in mental hospitals.

    In this world we will have tribulations but God overcome this world and there is a better world to come and it is focusing on this promise that gives me hope and comfort in a world needing it.

    He’s got the whole world in his hands he’s got the whole world in his hands
    He’s got the little bitty baby in his hands he’s got the little bitty baby in his hands
    He’s got the whole world in his hands

    He’s got me and you brother in his hands he’s got me and you sister in his hands
    He’s got me and you brother in his hands he’s got the whole world in his hands
    He’s got he whole world in his hands

    He’s got everybody here in his hands he’s got everybody here in his hands
    He’s got everybody here in his hands he’s got the whole world in his hands
    He’s got the whole world in his hands

  36. poohpity says:

    One year the woman of our church went to a retreat in the mountains and since we do not have snow here, it was a beautiful experience in the morning to awake up to the freshly fallen snow that covered the camp. As I sat with a cup of coffee looking out the big wall of windows I thought of the peace, calm and stillness that the Lord brings when we fully trust in Him.

    I wonder if that was not the experience of the sons of Korah as they wrote their song with the verse, ““Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The verses that preceded that one were about all the turmoil in the world at that time with all the chaos not only caused by nature but also by wars and destruction but they came to a place of trust and dependence in/on God. Psalm 46

  37. poohpity says:

    Psalm 46

    God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
    though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

    There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
    God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
    The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
    The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

    Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
    He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
    “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
    The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

  38. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning Friends. I am so happy to come here and feel the Joy lingering here from some of the beautiful Christmas messages enveloped with Wisdom posted in the past few days. That Wisdom expressed in amazing analogies of God’s creation singing Him praises and the reports of those enjoying His beauty all around them, touches my heart and gives me hope for us.

    Steve, I would very much like to share your message of December 21, 2017 at 6:01 am and your follow up message on the last subject, with friends and family and also to print it out for an important reminder to myself. I think you will say ok but I wanted to ask first.. Have a Blessed day.


  39. Beloved says:

    The gift of song, yes! Steve you mentioned the song of the sparrow and suddenly I hear George Beverly Shea singing: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free! Oh His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. It’s so good to be free, free to laugh, sing, and pray no matter the circumstances. What an amazing gift of song we’ve been given. Christ makes us free to sing to high heavens just like the little birds, I am so blessed by His goodness toward me.

    Just think, while we were sinners Christ died for us! Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretched like me, I once was lost but now am found, was blind….Blind but now I’m free, free to sing His praises and enjoy life abundant!

  40. Beloved says:

    Pearl I think it is awesome that you are sharing God’s goodness with your friends! You are a kingdom builder.

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Several years ago our friend Bob, from Cornwall England sent me a picture of a dory that had wrecked and washed up on the beach.

    I shared it with Mart and the whole of BTA, whereupon Bob got real upset with me for doing so.

    Having said that, Pearl it is very courteous and wise of you to make certain before assuming anything. And as you already guessed yes you may share that and anything you want from me with whomever you see fit.

    Just on a side note the daily devotional written by Charles Spurgeon you sent Matt is his favorite Christmas gift and it sets beside him on his table beside his chair.

    He ask me to thank you, and I thank you as well.


  42. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce, Pat’s mother used to play piano for George Beverly Shea.

    Indeed he had a passion for Christ and a talent to show it in song. As did Pat’s mother.

    A beautiful day in the mountains at a warm 18 degrees.


  43. phpatato says:

    Good boxing day to All

    May “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:35

    I pray that everyone had a very Blessed Christmas.

    I felt I should clarify….yes Steve, my Mom did accompany George Beverly Shea but it was only a couple of times…to my knowledge. Back in the 1940s, Youth for Christ held rallies across the US and Canada. Mom was involved with a weekly radio broadcast, based out of Belleville Ontario, playing the piano for that broadcast. Because of her involvement with that and with Youth For Christ in her area, she was invited to play the piano/organ whenever there was a Youth for Christ rally held in the Kingston, Belleville, Trenton areas of Ontario. That is when she met George Beverly Shea. She was a gifted pianist/organist who dedicated her entire life playing for His glory. She started at the age of 2 playing Jesus Loves Me with two fingers in church. It is Christmas that I find that I miss her so much. From as far back as I can remember, we used to huddle around the piano to sing Christmas carols and hymns. Music was a huge part of my life because of her. I guess that is the reason why my ears prefer the soft, reverend sound that an organ gives over the new age guitars and drums rock sound that is popular today when.

    After receiving several inches of snow overnight Christmas Eve, our weather is sunny and about to get very cold. Wind chills are forecast to be in the minus 27/28 celsius range this week.


  44. phpatato says:

    Sorry that Bible reference should have been Romans 15:13

  45. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    I pray that all is well in your lives today…

    Steve, you brought back a good memory when you mentioned Bob (Cornwall, England)… I often wonder how he’s doing, and I pray that all is well in his life… Have enjoyed reading the comments on this blog topic… Yesterday, I spent part of the day (Christmas 2017) at a Nursing/Rehab Center with some brothers/sisters from church… We went there (and some of my friends brought gifts) to encourage the elderly who have to spend most (if not all) of their holidays alone. We sang Christmas carols with them, held a raffle for them, made sure that everyone receive a gift (and two of the visitors–one a friend of mine and the other a friend of my friend–sang a special song to encourage their hearts and to let them know that God cares about how they feel during the holiday season.

    Well, I share something similar to what I shared in this comment every year, and I was wondering if any country included song (like we do) in their holiday festivities. Here’s my list of Christmas celebration in 13 countries…

    Czech Republic
    On Christmas Eve, it’s tradition for Czech women to put their backs to the house door and throw a shoe over their shoulders. If the heel lands toward the door, the women will remain single (at least for another year), but if the front of the shoe lands towards the door, the women can start planning their wedding!

    On Christmas Eve, Norwegians hide their brooms and similar cleaning items, and men fire their guns into the night.

    Christmas in Aussie land falls in the summer time. So, it makes sense that they have BBQs and kangaroos in their Christmas tradition (six kangaroos instead of reindeer).

    Some Armenians choose to fast the week before Christmas. Then, they break their fast with a light Christmas Eve meal called “khetum,” which includes rice, fish, chickpeas, yogurt soup, dried nuts and grape jelly desserts.

    South Africa
    South Africans celebrate Christmas by eating plump, fuzzy caterpillars, aka Emperor Moths. Don’t worry, they’re fried in oil, so you know it’s good… right?

    The Ukrainians use fake spider webs to cover their trees.
    Why? According to legend, a poor widower had no money to decorate the family’s tree. Some friendly spiders were grief-stricken when they saw the widow and her crying children, so at night, when everyone was asleep, they decorated the tree with silver and gold.

    On Christmas Eve, Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, closes down its streets so everyone and anyone can make their way to church… in roller blades.

    In the Spanish region of Catalonia, the Spaniards celebrate Christmas in a humorous way in the form of a character called Caga Tio, which means pooping log. Basically, Spanish children will feed the log in hopes that it’ll grow bigger.
    Meanwhile, parents will swap the log for bigger logs, and on Christmas Day, the family gathers round to sing it songs to help it defecate … presents!

    Due to lack of fir and pine trees in the region, Indians use banana or mango trees as a substitute for their Christmas celebration.

    On Christmas Eve (?), kids will polish their shoes and leave them by the window sills, so when the Three Kings walk by at night, they’ll leave presents.

    The Irish celebrate Christmas with a pudding dessert made with Guinness or Irish Whiskey. This tradition also carries over to the UK.
    Thanks to the high alcohol content, it can lasts for months on end, even to next Christmas.

    Japanese people go to the one and only Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) to get their grub on.

    There is an actual postal code used in Canada to send letters to the North Pole: H0H 0H0. Unfortunately, since there is no centralized address, thousand of volunteers help out the Canada Post to respond to the letters received, even in Braille. #FaithInHumanityRestored

    p.s. Well, the Spaniards sing (Lol), but I was hoping for something a little (ok, a lot more) Christmas-y/spiritual…

    39 degrees (real feel 35 degrees) in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  46. Regina says:

    p.s.s. Thank you for the Holiday wishes, Beloved and all who’ve shared special blessings for the holiday season on this blog…

  47. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina, that was very interesting…thank you and Bless you.

  48. phpatato says:

    I must again clarify something. I apologize because it seems to be a “culture” difference.

    In Canada, the day after Christmas is a Government mandated holiday and it is recognized as Boxing Day. I didn’t realize until just now, when our dear friend Pearl, asked me in a private message what Boxing Day was. This is the definition according to Wikipedia:

    Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on the day after Christmas Day. It originated in the United Kingdom, and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire.

    I’m sorry if I caused any confusion by my salutation this morning. I learned something today. :-)


  49. phpatato says:


    Your information on Canada is correct.

    As a side note, in case you didn’t know, Santa can be tracked every Christmas Eve through NORAD the “official” Santa Tracker. He can be followed as he makes his journey around the world.

    From your comment, I KNOW you had a very Blessed Christmas.


  50. narrowpathseeker says:

    Hi Pat…thanks for clarifying that…maybe I am the only one who was clueless..it will be interesting to see if anyone else was in the dark..lol

    Steve…it was a Blessing to learn that Matthew really liked the devotional…Please tell MATTHEW thank you for making my day. <3

    Blessings to the BTA flock. May all those in cold areas stay safe, warm, and Blessed.

  51. Beloved says:

    Regina very interesting about traditions around the world. Pat also interesting about you growing up singing hymns with your mother. How blessed you were to grow up in a Christian home! Music is such a powerful way to transmit the faith. God bless the musicians and troubadours of God! Speaking to one another with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs indeed! There is really something special there!

  52. SFDBWV says:

    In Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluiah” at one point he says he had heard there was a secret cord that David played to please the Lord.

    “To please the Lord”

    It is written that Jesus gave us life that we might live it and live it abundantly.

    I can think of no greater abundant living than sharing good things with others and music is meant to be shared.

    Enjoyed together, and sang together. Together being the key word here.

    Together in worship, together in fellowship, together with each other lost for the moment apart from the ills and woes of the day.

    BTA is a better place when we are lost for that moment together in friendship, fellowship and at peace with each other.

    I think that may be the cord that pleases the Lord.

    15 degrees with flurries. Plowed again this morning.


  53. SFDBWV says:

    Regina I am sure that the posting of Christmas traditions took a great deal of your time to put together and post. Thank you for the effort and the information.

    I have always found that good things take extra effort.

    It is just marvelous that Jesus is worshiped all around the world and that every culture has fun joining their traditions with the birth of Messiah.

    The last I heard from Bob he was ok. I sent him a Christmas card so I hope to hear from him again soon.


  54. poohpity says:

    Regina, that was very interesting about how different countries do the holiday in a secular way. I think Tio means uncle in Spanish so that is pooping uncle, lol. I looked up log and it is “Iniciar sesión” that is proper but they may have another slang word. But anyway it cracked me up the “pooping uncle” “caca Tio” represented by a log. I am still cracking up. gross, lol. But I bet they also celebrate the birth of Jesus in a spiritual way in those countries since His message is all around the world in every country and that would be something we all have in common no matter where we live or what language we speak or what culture we have.

  55. poohpity says:

    It seems that many do anything to push Jesus out or so they do not have to acknowledge Him in anyway. Sounds like the “prince of this world” wins again but we know He does not because Jesus has a warm place in our hearts if maybe not in some of the traditions.

  56. jeff1 says:

    This beautiful song which talks of new beginnings and with a new year in sight may I cherish the promise of a new beginning in Christ.

    The child is a king, the carolers sing,
    The old has past, there’s a new beginning.
    Dreams of Santa, dreams of snow,
    Fingers numb, faces aglow

    Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
    Children singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time for rejoicing in all that we see

    A time for living, a time for believing
    A time for trusting, not deceiving,
    Love and laughter and joy ever after,
    Ours for the taking, just follow the master

    Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
    Christian singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time for rejoicing in all that we see

    A time for giving, a time for getting,
    A time for forgiving and for forgetting
    Christmas is love, Christmas is peace,
    A time for hating and fighting to cease

    Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
    Children singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time for rejoicing in all that we see

    Silent night
    Holy night

  57. poohpity says:

    Connie Scott- “Jesus In Your Heart”

    If I could have one wish, I know just what I’d like to find
    If I could have one dream, come true before my eyes
    More than a pot of gold, more than a pathway to the stars
    More than anything I know, I want Jesus in your heart

    If I could paint a picture in my mind of what I’d like to see
    If I could take you once inside my deepest dreams
    More than a treasure’s glow, more than a comet trav’ling far
    More than anything I know, I want Jesus in your heart

    He’s more than all the world can give, when he truly comes to live in your heart
    Why do you try to search for more,
    When He’s what you’re looking for in your heart?

    So if I could have one wish, I know just what I’d like to find
    If I could have one dream, come true before my eyes
    More than a pot of gold, more than a pathway to the stars
    More than anything I know, I want Jesus
    I pray you’ll find Jesus, I want Jesus in your heart

  58. Beloved says:

    “What Paul said about speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs—as an expression of living under the influence of the Spirit must be much more than just a casual aside.”

    I was once involved in a home fellowship group where this practice was the norm. I’ve never since felt such love, joy, peace and HOPE as I did there. Every word spoken every song sung was for the edification of the saints and the Glory of God. I was living with a God hater who took his hate out on me, and the stronger my faith and trust in God grew the harsher the punishments. Yet during these 3 long and lonely years it was those Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that sustained me. And I can still say now that I am still alone, done with work and career, child raising, etc, and looking to the end of life here it’s still those heavenly songs, those songs in the night that sustain and nothing else. Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will to all.

  59. poohpity says:

    On earth peace and goodwill to those who please the Lord. Luke 2:14 I think for those who take pleasure in their God find goodwill and peace no matter the circumstances we face.

    My Help and My Deliverer
    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

    40 I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
    He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
    and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
    He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
    Many will see and fear(being in awe),
    and put their trust in the Lord.

    Blessed is the man who makes
    the Lord his trust,
    who does not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after a lie!
    You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
    I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.

    In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
    but you have given me an open ear.
    Burnt offering and sin offering
    you have not required.
    Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
    I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

    I have told the glad news of deliverance
    in the great congregation;
    behold, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O Lord.
    I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
    I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.

    As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
    your mercy from me;
    your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
    ever preserve me!
    For evils have encompassed me
    beyond number;
    my iniquities have overtaken me,
    and I cannot see;
    they are more than the hairs of my head;
    my heart fails me.

    Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
    O Lord, make haste to help me!
    Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
    who seek to snatch away my life;
    let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who delight in my hurt!
    Let those be appalled because of their shame
    who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

    But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
    may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
    As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
    You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God!

  60. poohpity says:

    I just love knowing the truth about David and the many failures he had yet God said,‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’(Acts 13:22) A man who sought after God which seems to be what pleases God. Not merit based but God focused.

  61. jeff1 says:

    It is God who changes our hearts when we allow Him to and David allowed God to, so there is my part in agreeing I need a change of heart and because of struggles of the mind the heart can be deceitful above all else.

    It is God who knows His child whatever His weaknesses and it is God who forgives His child because of who God is and not because His child is deserving.

    Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
    As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

    Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

    Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

    Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

    Pardon for sin and peace that endureth
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

    Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness,
    Great is Thy faithfulness,
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

  62. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    narrow… and Beloved, SO glad you thought my comment was interesting and you both enjoyed it!
    Thank you, Pat, for verifying the information on one of the ways Canadians celebrate Christmas! I was wondering if any, most or all of the information I found was true, and I did, indeed, have a very blessed Christmas!
    Steve, you’re right about the time that it took to post the Christmas traditions in other countries, but it was worth the effort! I love to learn about how people celebrate and how they live in other countries. I’ve only been to one other country outside the U.S., and I didn’t travel very far because the country of Mexico shares a border with Texas, the state where I live… I went to Mexico for a few hours, years ago, when I was serving in the Army Reserve. It was a reward for some work that we had done… a kind of a “let your hair down” trip, but I got a little sick after eating a popsicle (some friends ate one too but I don’t think they got sick)… Luckily, youth was on my side! No telling what would happen if I ate one now! Lol!
    Your comment, Steve, that Jesus is worshiped all around the world made me wonder how many countries actually worship and honor the Lord Jesus on Christmas? Also made me wonder if He’s worshiped throughout the year or years?
    It’s so good to know that Bob is ok, and let me (us) know if he responds to your Christmas card.
    Lol, pooh! Tio does mean uncle in Spanish! :-) And the info. that you shared (the definition of some of the words) is interesting… It would truly be amazing if the birth of Jesus was celebrated (in a spiritual way) in every country in the world…

    37 degrees and cloudy (real feel 31) in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  63. Regina says:

    Just listened to the Kenny Rogers & Wynonna Judd version of Mary Did You Know? that Mart shared in this blog… That song is so beautiful that you could say the words as a poem, and it would still be “soul stirring” and would provoke deep reflection and meditation…

  64. Regina says:

    Beloved, thank you for the name of that instrument in the 1st picture that Mart posted… Hmmm, the Victrola phonograph player? It looks very interesting… wish someone in my family owned one (saved in storage), so I could see how it works…

    Again, I enjoyed reading all of the comments on this blog topic!

  65. foreverblessed says:

    “The Revival is borne along upon billowing waves of sacred song…It is the singing, not the preaching, that is the instrument which is most efficacious in striking the hearts of men.”

    Citing Mart, the singing during Christmas has a big role.

    thanks Regina for your stories of differnet countries. I didn’t know that the American people did not have boxing day! We in the Netherlands have 1e Christmas day, and 2nd Christmas day, both are national holidays. So everybody is free.
    (We also have 1st and 2nd Eastern Day, 1st and 2nd Pentecost, I believe almost all European countries have that)

    What I like abbout the Christmas singing, is that these songs are known to many in the western world. Choirs go outside in the shopping areas, the time before christmas, and sing. We had a family dinner on 1st Christmas day, many nephews and nieces. The friend of one of them said: we as a family LOVE to sing christmas songs, we go outside, join the singing somehwere in the city, that is Amsterdam, and we sing with all our heart. These people hardly have God in their lives, but at this time they sing. And these songs have a whole lot of Gospel in them
    So I start praying for this family, that the words of the songs will sometime get fertile in their hearts. And then I am glad about God who is going to work on my prayer!

    That is why I like the Christmas songs!
    And another friend of my family came to me, she said, “I want to show you this(knowing that I am a believer)” with a little film on the phone, her parents were singing Christmas songs at her aunts house, real time, while she was with us.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    It is one of those very noticeable things about very cold nights outside. There is not a sound to be heard. The very air is as still as death.

    Minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit and partly cloudy this morning.

    Even the birds will stay huddled on their perches as long as they can before hunger forces them to look for food.

    The first sounds this morning will be the little peeps of the chickadee and the junco as they are the first to come and feed.

    Followed by the dove’s the cardinal’s blue jays, tit mouse, finch’s and then the grey squirrels. Soon the back yard will be alive with the red wing black bird, starling, and grackle and yes the sparrow. If I let them so will the turkey and deer, though they tend to stay over in my neighbors back yard with the corn.

    All bringing the song of life to a cold silent night.

    Hope that wherever you are today your day is filled with blessings.


  67. poohpity says:

    “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” by Frances J Crosby

    Tell me the story of Jesus,
    Write on my heart every word;
    Tell me the story most precious,
    Sweetest that ever was heard.
    Tell how the angels in chorus,
    Sang as they welcomed His birth,
    “Glory to God in the highest!
    Peace and good tidings to earth.”

    Tell me the story of Jesus,
    Write on my heart every word;
    Tell me the story most precious,
    Sweetest that ever was heard.

    Fasting alone in the desert,
    Tell of the days that are past,
    How for our sins He was tempted,
    Yet was triumphant at last.
    Tell of the years of His labor,
    Tell of the sorrow He bore;
    He was despised and afflicted,
    Homeless, rejected and poor.

    Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
    Writhing in anguish and pain;
    Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
    Tell how He liveth again.
    Love in that story so tender,
    Clearer than ever I see;
    Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
    “Love paid the ransom for me.”

    Tell how He’s gone back to heaven,
    Up to the right hand of God:
    How He is there interceding
    While on this earth we must trod.
    Tell of the sweet Holy Spirit
    He has poured out from above;
    Tell how He’s coming in glory
    For all the saints of His love.

    The very Gospel in song. 1880

  68. phpatato says:

    Good BRRRRRR morning. It is -30C but with a slight wind, it feels more like -38C (-36F). If you want to hear music all you have to do is start your car and you will hear all kinds of different songs coming out from under the hood. I can’t guarantee that those songs will be sung in harmony. lol

    Regina, all of your information is correct. To add to that…This national program has been around for more than 35 years, and in that time replies back to more than 26 million letters – in more than 30 languages, including Braille – have been mailed. Santa’s letters are answered by a group of people who volunteer their time to reply to every child’s letter to Santa as long as there is a return address for them to send the reply letter back. No postage is necessary for a Santa letter. On Canada Post’s website posted Dec 25, there is a final message from Santa to children. The first paragraph in his message is “Well bless my buttons, I think last night’s journey was our best yet! We had a wonderful flight. The weather was very co-operative and we set a new record for completing our route in record time. Rudolph and his team were perfect. I am so lucky to have them.”

    To read the rest of the message you can find it at canadapost dot ca slash santa. It’s quite cute.

    Forever, I would love to walk the streets of Amsterdam, at Christmas, to listen to all the carollers. I might even be tempted to join in.

    Beloved, I am indeed so very blessed to have been raised in a Christian environment, although in my late teens and for several decades after, I didn’t think that was so much of a blessing. It felt like a curse in ways.

    Two verses come to mind. James 5:16 and Proverbs 22:6

    The prayer of a righteous Mother IS powerful and effective….don’t ever underestimate the power a Mom’s prayer has. I truly believe that I could feel when my Mom prayed for me because I could actually feel them surrounding me. It’s hard to explain.

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow.


  69. Beloved says:

    Pat I went through the same thing with my daughter. She strayed from the fold and got into some troubles but I believe my prayers kept her from worse situations, along with my son. My daughter could never figure out how I knew when she was behaving badly and I told her I was praying for her and God wanted her for His own. Now she is a prayng mom of teens and although one is beginning to stray we both know the power of prayer. At one point when I had 3 teenagers I decided to teach myself piano (I’d played violin all through school and loved music) as I was writing songs for my church also. I got an old upright and would pound and sing to my teens as they were going to bed at night. This was before internet of course. Such precious times to me, feeling the presence of God all around my house as I sang! And knowing and trusting God that He loved and cared about my teens way more than I did was such a blessing, then and now that they are in their 40s with children of their own. Song is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

  70. Beloved says:

    Yes my car made music also starting at -20F, though more like groans of protest. :-)

  71. Beloved says:

    But I’m thanking God through the groans for transportation, ability to still drive myself, and independence! It is still so important to me to be independent but I am ready for the day went I have to release it to God, when He asks for it.

  72. jeff1 says:

    phpatato, your last post made me think of a song Elvis recorded and the mystery is why Elvis, raised in the evangelical Christian denomination Assemblies of God, recorded a song devoted to arguably the greatest Catholic sacramental, the rosary. No other songs about the rosary, have been recorded by a major artist and released on a major record label.

    The writers name was Lee Denson, Denson’s father, Rev. James Denson, ran the Poplar Street Mission, a Pentecostal church that Elvis and his mother and father attended in Memphis after moving there in 1948.

    In 1960 Denson penned an English version of “Ave Maria”.
    With lack of interest from his publishers because it was of a religious nature, Denson living in LA at the time took it to Elvis, knowing his love of Gospel music.
    Then over a decade later, Denson got a call that Elvis had recorded a version of it. (Don’t forget, Lee Denson grew up evangelical as well, and there is no record of him being a catholic. Maybe somewhere there is another story why Lee Denson wrote this song in the first place.

    What moved Elvis to record this song so many years later? That we must leave to providence and the mystery of God’s plan for salvation.

    The Rosary

    Oh Blessed Mother we pray to Thee
    Thanks for the miracle of Your Rosary
    Only You can hold back
    Your Holy Son’s hand
    Long enough for the whole world to understand
    Hail Mary full of grace
    The Lord is with Thee
    Blessed are thou among women
    And blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus
    Oh Holy Mary dear Mother of God
    Please pray for us sinners
    Now and at the hour of our death
    And give thanks once again
    For the miracle of Your Rosary

  73. SFDBWV says:

    Viv and anyone else interested, if you go to your music venue on the internet and look up Donna Cori Gibson and listen to her music.

    If you have already a prejudice against Catholicism, her music just might change your mind.

    A high of 10 degrees Fahrenheit for today…


  74. bubbles says:

    What temp was it when you woke this morning? It was 4F before sunrise here, and -3 to the south east of you in the highlands. brrr

  75. Beloved says:

    My friends please pray for our local Christian Colleges professor Jeff and wife Chris who’s 27 year old son just took his own life. He was a gifted musician studying at a prestigious conservatory. Thanks we’re all in shock.

  76. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce…that is very sad..I have prayed for the parents and will do so again in the morning.

    Joyce, Steve, and Pat….After hearing of your temperatures and of my family in New England…our 30-40 degrees here in NC seems very comfortably warm!! Sorry for you guys…If I remember correctly Regina, you are in Fl…was are the temps down there?

  77. cbrown says:


    (Off topic} Tonight was a interesting night the inmates caught a rat.After slinging it in my direction several times
    they watched it as they let it try to escape through the ceiling. Then they let it loose.Are we really as righteous as we think we are?


  78. jeff1 says:

    Steve, what others see as prejudice against Catholicism I see as truth. You have to be raised in a country were two religions and cultures are so opposed that hatred and prejudice are what you know, to understand where I am coming from.

    How much of my beliefs are truth and how much of them have been fed to me since my childhood is difficult to say but it was my mum who said that the Roman Catholic religion was false and I see no reason to doubt her thinking.

    Many here have turned away (mainly younger generation) from the catholic faith because of revelations of abuse by priests and nuns and their victims here are waiting to be heard in the courts but they are up against the power and wealth of possibly the most powerful church in the world.

    I watched a programme about the Vatican and their connections with the mafia and it was my mother who said that the Roman Catholic church was never far from the dark side.

    We were raised on a street where we were the only protestants living there and we got on well with our catholic neighbours but my mother made no bones about telling them what she though of their religion because she was outspoken when it came to her beliefs.

    My mum was born protestant but was not baptised into the faith because at the time no church here would baptise an illegitimate child.

    I visited a catholic who told me it was better to keep on the right side of the priest and they were paying the church to keep them out of purgatory and this women was poor and that just doesn’t seem right to me.

    I wish listening to songs could take away my prejudice Steve, but I have to trust God with them because they are in my head and I cannot escape them.

    Music comforts my soul but only God can save it.

  79. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv. I couldn’t possibly begin to convince nor heal the generational turmoil in Northern Ireland by my offering to listen to Donna Cori Gibson’s music.

    What I am saying is that if Protestants listen to the music they will find no differences in faith at all.

    However if a person has a prejudice already in their heart they won’t hear the music at all only that it is sung by a Catholic.

    My mother’s ancestral family came to America because they were “Scotch Irish”, Protestant’s from a Catholic dominated culture.

    Here in America they could worship Christ in freedom.

    Just because we don’t blow each other up over our religious differences doesn’t exclude us from religious bigotry.

    Sad to say errant preacher’s here spew the same hate from the pulpit as anywhere they can politically influence people.

    Jesus was crucified by religious political bigotry and it is sad that he continues to be crucified by the same misguided power barons of today.

    However there is a day coming when there will be only one government with Jesus as King. And He will not be manipulated by power hungry men nor labeled by mankind. God has already labeled Him to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords and His government will have no competition and will last forever.

    The key for today is to look for a common belief. Jesus of Nazareth born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit is the Son of God, the promised Messiah and in fact is God in the flesh. Jesus is Lord.

    Anything added to that is what mankind wants to add in an attempt to align Him with their politics, prejudices, and errant use of His name.

    I am sad for you that you have had to live under the influence of such a horrible culture of hate, but you have done well in enduring it and staying true to your Lord in spirit and deed.

    Praying that you have a wonderful blessed day.


  80. narrowpathseeker says:

    Cbrown…that experience must have been horrifying…at least it would have been for me…there is something about a rat that almost paralyzes me with fear…the sight of a snake or spider doesn’t bother me much at all but the sight of a rat…EEEEEKE and YUUUUCK! I do not quite understand how the question of our degree of righteousness fits into that experience, but I can answer for me …NO I am not…as righteous as I “sometimes ” think I am, but I talk to the Lord everyday about it and get it washed off in the blood of Christ Jesus.. I think that the old cliche that “recognition is half the battle” applies here ..the confession…then the Lord steps in to fight for us…well that is the way I see it anyway.. I hope you can wash this experience from your mind today.

  81. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I think that the negative views of Catholicism stem from the conditions that Martin Luther discovered and from the horrors of what followed his protests. The Babylon Mystery Religion doesn’t help any prejudices that remain today. I have been to, followed, or joined more Christian denominations than I can remember off the top of my head…and Catholic was one of them…I can only say that there are some beautiful loving and seemingly genuine Christians in each of them and of course their counter parts. I think what bothers me most in Catholicism is the excessive worship of Mary. However…I know very loving Catholics that are very dedicated to Christ….I think it is the same as every other group of humans…regardless of the rank of prestige or rank of lowliness…we have the good and the bad in EVERYTHING….race, creed, gender, nationality, politics, etc..which can influence our views depending on what side of the stick we find ourselves. But, you are right ..when worship songs are sung with heartfelt praise of creator God it has a beautiful effect on us regardless of creed.

    Thank God we have Jesus!

  82. SFDBWV says:

    Chris aren’t there guards present with you when you are with the prisoners?

    Pearl, rats and spiders are two of those creatures that when you see them they have already been watching you…Creepy.

    I have rat traps and use them and rat poison and use it and when any show up around my feeders I shoot them. Problem solved.

    Spiders and I have a deal, stay out of the house and stay alive.

    No Chris I am not as righteous as I would like to be. In many cases concerning criminals I would be in favor of execution, swift and without remorse.

    A warm 11 degrees this morning.


  83. poohpity says:

    Psalm 143
    Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    give ear to my pleas for mercy!
    In your faithfulness answer me, ‘in your righteousness’!
    Enter not into judgment with your servant,
    ‘for no one living’ is righteous before you.
    For the enemy has pursued my soul;
    he has crushed my life to the ground;
    he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
    Therefore my spirit faints within me;
    my heart within me is appalled.
    I remember the days of old;
    I meditate on all that you have done;
    I ponder the work of your hands.
    I stretch out my hands to you;
    my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
    Answer me quickly, O Lord!
    My spirit fails!
    Hide not your face from me,
    lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
    Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
    for in you I trust.
    Make me know the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.
    Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
    I have fled to you for refuge.
    Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God!
    Let your good Spirit lead me
    on level ground!
    For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
    In ‘your righteousness’ bring my soul out of trouble!
    And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
    and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
    for I am your servant.

  84. poohpity says:

    No person alive is righteous to God in any form or fashion not even a little as some may think of themselves but we are covered in the righteousness of Christ. No person alive not even the clergy are without sin therefore their own righteousness is but filthy rags because it is only through Christ we are given right standing with God, made righteous, nothing we can do in and of ourselves. Thinking we are even a little righteous on our own just shows unrighteousness to the Nth degree because there was only One without sin so that would be classifying oneself with God in the flesh. There is only One God and people are not Him, no matter if they may lead others to believe they are.

  85. poohpity says:

    Anyone who breaks the law deserves death not just those who got caught and put in jail but in God’s eyes ALL have broken His laws and deserves death BUT Jesus gave His life for those who have broken the law so now although they may have fallen asleep for now, their spirit lives to reach it’s eternal home. They are given a get out of death card and have the greatest attorney, that took their punishment for them yet while on this earth they may have to suffer consequences for their behavior while others seem to get by with things scott free but not with God.

  86. poohpity says:

    How very AMAZING is His grace!

    Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.

    ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.
    Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;

    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
    The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.

    Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.
    The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.

    When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.

  87. cbrown says:

    I apologize for my previous post.I was upset when I got home but not at the inmates or guards but at the conditions in the prison. Sorry for being off topic.

  88. cbrown says:

    The righteous comment was directed at the image we have of prison from media versus what it is really like.

  89. poohpity says:

    Chris, sounds like righteous indignation to me.

  90. narrowpathseeker says:

    cbrown…I certainly don’t blame you for being upset….I am not sure of the country but I think it may be Denmark where they have an Island that is a prison of sorts…no bars…each “prisoner” has their own quarters and can come and go as they please….they have to work…I think it is a farm…anyway…the only consequence is you are totally separated from family…no visitors….

    While we watched this on TV I remember saying that I may even enjoy being in prison there!! ALSO few ever come back!!

  91. narrowpathseeker says:

    I’m sorry that Island prison is in Norway.. just google Island prison in Norway and you will see why we should buy some small islands here in the US.

  92. jeff1 says:

    While no person is righteous we are to do our best so God can do the rest while often I find I have done my worst in not recognising God in this world. My dad stayed close to God and instinctively did God’s will while I wandered from His safe keeping.

    It is for me to stay close to God so that I make good judgements lest I fail to see the dangers lurking.

    There are consequences when I fail to see God’s hand as I distance myself from God and that is not God’s will for me but my lack of understanding His intention of His will.

    Without Him I could do nothing
    Without Him I?d surely fail
    Without Him I would be drifting
    Like a ship without a sail

    Without Him I would be dying
    Without Him I?d be enslaved
    Without Him life would be worthless
    But with Jesus thank God I’m saved

    Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
    Do you know Him today
    Please don’t run Him away
    Oh Jesus, my Jesus
    Without Him how lost I would be
    Without Him how lost I would be

  93. poohpity says:

    Viv, if you have time look on You Tube for the song “Rest in Me” sung by Derri Daughterty and Ellie Bannister

  94. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Pooh, the words of this song are soothing to a troubled soul and I am listening to other songs as find I am drawn to the softness of the voices of the singers as well as the words of their songs.

    Steve, I am not being anti Catholic in not listening to Donna Cori Gibson’s music but I am not drawn to it as I find it to be more highbrow and that says to me that we are drawn to different types of music and while it is very possible that my beliefs influence my choice of music I am not conscious of choosing it for that reason.

    Whatever prejudices I have I have given to God because I don’t know what to do with them anymore as while I know it is not healthy to have them I cannot remove them from my memory while He can.

    I had an imbalanced view of life as I had a mum who was not religious in any way and a dad who was.

    Consequently, I struggle with seeing God at all sometimes as I am much more like my mum who seen the ugliness of a world without God while my dad had the wisdom in knowing that God was always there whether we seen Him or not.

    Faith came easy to my dad but he had a stable family Christian upbringing while my mum was what I would call dragged up by a unmarried mother who struggled to make ends meet but for the grace of God who sustained her whether she was aware of it or not.

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good all the time

    If you’re walking through the valley
    And there are shadows all around
    Do not fear, He will guide you
    He will keep you safe and sound
    ‘Cause He’s promised to never leave you
    Nor forsake you and His word is true

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good all the time

    We were sinners-so unworthy
    Still for us He chose to die
    Filled us with His Holy Spirit
    Now we can stand and testify
    That His love is everlasting
    And His mercies – they will never end

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night – His light will shine
    God is good – God is good all the time

    Lord I may not understand
    All the plans He left for me
    My life is in Your hands
    And through the eyes of faith, I can clearly see

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good all the time

  95. poohpity says:

    Viv, you are welcome the words sounded like much of what you have shared here that goes on inside of you. You are not alone and you are much loved.

  96. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for those words, Pooh, ‘you are much loved’ because they are not words that I have heard said much in my lifetime as it was taken for granted rather than spoken that your actions spoke louder.

    Words do matter much more than I have understood and perhaps that is because I am so much better at doing than saying, so much better at listening than talking.

    Smile, an everlasting smile
    A smile can bring you near to me
    Don’t let me find you gone
    Cause that would bring a tear to me
    This world has lost it’s glory
    Let’s start a brand new story
    Now my love
    You think that I don’t even mean
    A single word I say…
    It’s only words
    And words are all I have
    To take your heart away

    Talk, in everlasting words
    And dedicate, them all to me
    And I will give you all my life
    I’m here if you should call to me
    You think that I don’t even mean
    a single word I say….

    Da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da

    This world has lost its glory
    Let’s start a brand new story
    Now, my love
    You think that I don’t even mean
    a single word I say….

    Da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da

    Da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da
    Da da da da da da da da

  97. Beloved says:

    Good day all. It’s a not so balmy -36F this morning. But there’s always something to sing about, isn’t there. Blue skies and warm sun are especially appealing here today as I sit with my warm sweater and hot coffee looking out the windows, thankful I don’t have to go outside as some do.

    I was remembering Miriam’s song of deliverance from Exodus 15:1-21, and though I don’t know the melody the words are full of gratitude and honor for our great God and thinking about how to this day His deliverance from the wrath of God in Christ Jesus is still something to sing about. Advent season is over and as we look toward Pentecost oh what Joy and hope we’ve been given, as we remember the past and glory in the Future.
    Happy New Year all!

  98. jeff1 says:

    “From Glory unto Glory!” Be this our joyous song,
    As on the King’s own highway we bravely march along!
    “From Glory unto Glory!” O word of stirring cheer,
    As dawns the solemn brightness of one more glad new year.

    Our own beloved Master “hath many things to say.”
    Look forward to His teaching, unfolding day by day;
    To whispers of His Spirit, to insight clear and sweet,
    To blessed consolation, while resting at His feet.

    “From Glory unto Glory!” Our faith hath seen the King.
    We own His matchless beauty, adoringly we sing;
    But He hath more to show us! O thought of untold bliss!
    And on we press rejoicing in blessed hope to this

    To marvellous outpourings of ‘treasures new and old,’
    To largess of His bounty, paid in the King’s own gold,
    To glorious expansion of mysteries of grace,
    To radiant unveilings of brightness from His face.

    “From Glory unto Glory!” What great things He hath done,
    What wonders He hath shown us, what triumphs He hath won!
    We marvel at the record of blessings of the year!
    But sweeter still than Christmas rings out His promise clear

    That “greater things,” far greater, our longing eyes shall see!
    We can but wait and wonder what “greater things” shall be!
    But glorious fulfilments rejoicingly we claim,
    While pleading in the power of His prevailing Name.

    “From Glory unto Glory”! What mighty blessings crown
    The lives for which our Lord hath laid His own so freely down!
    Omnipotence to keep us, omniscience, too, to guide,
    Jehovah’s blessed presence within us to abide!

    The fullness of His blessing encompasseth our way;
    The fullness of His promise crowns every brightening day;
    The fullness of His Glory is beaming from above,
    While more and more we realize the fullness of His love.

    “From Glory unto Glory!” Without a shade of care,
    Because the Lord Who loves us will every burden bear;
    Because we trust Him fully, and know that He will guide,
    And know that He will keep us at His beloved side.

    “From Glory unto Glory!” Though tribulation fall,
    It cannot touch our treasure, when Chris is All in All!
    Whatever lies before us, there can be naught to fear,
    For what are pain and sorrow when Jesus Christ is near?

    “From Glory to Glory!” O marvels of the Word!
    “With open face beholding the glory of the Lord,”
    We, even we(O wonder!) “are changed into the same,”
    The image of our Saviour, to glorify His Name.

    Abiding in His presence, and walking in the light,
    And seeking to do always what is “pleasing in His sight”;
    We look to Him to keep us “all glorious within,”
    Because the blood of Jesus is cleansing from all sin.

    The things behind forgetting, we only gaze before
    “From Glory unto Glory!” that shineth more and more,”
    Because our Lord hath said it, that such shall be our way
    (O splendour of the promise!) “unto the perfect day.”

    “From Glory unto Glory!” Our fellow travellers still
    Are gathering on the journey! The bright electric thrill
    Of quick, instinctive union, more frequent and more sweet,
    Shall swiftly pass from heart to heart in true and tender beat.

    And closer yet, and closer, the golden bonds shall be,
    Enlinking all who love our Lord in pure sincerity;
    And wider yet, and wider, shall circling glory glow,
    As more and more are taught our God’s mighty love to know.

    O ye who seek the Savior, look up in faith and love;
    Come up into the sunshine, so bright and warm above!
    No longer tread the valley, but clinging to His hand,
    Ascend the shining submits and view the glorious land.

    Our harp notes shall be sweeter, our trumpet tones more clear,
    Our anthems ring so grandly that all the world must hear!
    O royal be our music, for who hath cause to sing
    Like choruses of saved ones, the children of the King?

    O, let our adoration for all that He hath done
    Peal out beyond the heavens, while voice and life are one;
    And let our consecration be real, and deep, and true.
    O even now our hearts bow, and joyful vows renew!

    In full and glad surrender we give ourselves to Thee,
    Thine utterly, and only, and evermore to be!
    O Son of God, Who lov’st us, we will be Thine alone,
    Our being and possessions, shall henceforth be Thine own!”

    Now onward, ever onward, “from strength to strength” we go,
    While “grace for grace” abundant shall from His fullness flow,
    To glory’s full fruition, from glory’s foretaste here,
    Until His very presence crown happiest new year.

  99. poohpity says:

    “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
    they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
    “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”

    The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3

  100. poohpity says:

    Worship God only! Not man or creation but the One through whom all things come, who brings a new song to our hearts, His song.

    Revelation 5:9
    Psalm 28:7
    Psalm 32:7
    Psalm 33:3
    Psalm 40:3
    Psalm 96:1
    Psalm 144:9
    Isaiah 42:10

  101. street says:

    Psalm 32: Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!

  102. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Street!
    That verse greatly encouraged me to this morning!
    It gave direction to the way I should go!
    Praising God, is the first thing to start with in the morning!

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