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31 Days of Giving Thanks (With the help of Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy?)

This week we are going to allow God’s gift of music

to stir our hearts toward thankfulness, for music has power.

I see it in prison all the time.

They begin to sing with their hearts and minds,

and He comes to them.

We must do the same, from the rising of the sun,

to the going down of the same.

Discipleship Unlimited Faith Dorm in Texas. Photo courtesy of Nan Dickson.

 

William Cowper wrote:

Sometimes a light surprises,

the Christian when he sings.

It is the Lord who rises,

with healing in His wings.

Sunday: (Day 15 of giving thanks)

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason?

3. Was there a time in your life when you sang more (or less) than you do now? (Or listened more to sacred music…) If there has been a change, why, do you think?

4. What can you give thanks for this Sabbath day?

Monday Action Assignment (Day 16)

5. Choose a hymn or praise chorus to memorize this week — maybe just one verse, maybe more. What will it be and why did you choose it? How does it help you be thankful?

6. Practice the above and write out as much as you can without looking at it here.

Tuesday: Introducing “Is He Worthy?” (Days 17)

 

7. Keep learning and practicing your song and share any way it is impacting you and helping you to give thanks.

 

Andrew Peterson’s song, “Is He Worthy?” which one of you (one of you may remember who it was!)  has moved me to the core. It is saturated with scriptural truths and will help us to give thanks these next three days. Peterson is part of a liturgical church that responds to the worship leader, so that was what inspired him to write “Is He Worthy?” Prepare your heart by watching this and then share your thoughts, comments, and feelings.

8. What truths from the above resonate with you and why?

Here is an article from The Gospel Coalition on the background of this song:

Andrew Peterson’s New Song for the People

9. Comments on the above?

 

Wed.-Thurs.: Reflecting on the truths from the first half of “Is He Worthy?” (Days 18-19)

10. Though we live in a fallen world, still we have “echoes of Eden.” The third line of “Is He Worthy?” asks “But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through?” This is the truth of John 1:5: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

A. What sweetness in family or friendships do you see right now in this fallen world? Give thanks for them.

 

 

 

Annie Brestin Lano and her daughter Lily Grace

B. Though we live in a fallen world, what beauty in nature do you see? Give thanks.

 

My daughter-in-law Dianne sent me this and called it “streets of gold.” I loved that, for this is the kind of streets of gold I hope to see in heaven, but glimpse right now.

 

 

11. I’m going to list a few of the ways our world is broken and see if you can find the promise for it being made new, and then give thanks. 

A. Death has come into the world, and it is hard to see the bodies of our loved ones and our own bodies fall apart. Our bodies, indeed, as Paul says, will die, will be sown in dishonor. How is your body falling apart?

1) What promise do we have in 1 Corin. 15:43?

2) Give thanks for what this means to you for yourself and for loved one.

B. Our bodies have weaknesses, for we were borne of the image of the man of dust.

1) What promise do we have in 1 Corin. 15:49?

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

C. Romans tells us that all creation is under the curse, and is groaning for its redemption. How do you see this brokenness in creation?

 

1) What promise do we have in Isaiah 65:17 and echoed In Revelation 21:1?

 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

 

D. When sin came into the world, our relationships began to break, even between brothers and sisters in Christ. In what relationships are you praying for healing?

1) What promise can you find for the healing of relationships in heaven in Hosea 2:17 and Isaiah 65:19? 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

Friday: Reflecting on the Truths from the 2nd Half of “Is He Worthy?”

12. Write down as much as you have learned of your song without looking at it. How is it impacting you?

13. “Is He Worthy” asks, “Is it good that we remind ourselves of this?” How is practicing a thankful heart impacting you?

14. Read Revelation 5:1-7.

Contained in the scroll are the mysteries of God, including the end times, that have been hidden from us until this time. Those who hunger and thirst for God long to understand more, so John weeps that no one is worthy to open that scroll.

     A. Is any person worthy to open the scroll? Why not?

     B. Who is worthy?

     C. Why do you think that God hides things from us?

D. How is Jesus described in Revelation 5:5-6. How is He both a Lion and a Lamb? Can you give thanks here for this?

 

 

“Does the Father truly love us?” Many of you know my daughter Sally’s story of her painting of “Aslan” and how a mysterious slain lamb appeared in it without her realizing she had painted it. That painting now hangs in the Marion Wade Museum’s foyer at Wheaton College which houses artifacts of C. S. Lewis and other British authors. This painting was such a comfort to us, finished days before my husband and Sally’s father was diagnosed with cancer. This is just one of the many evidences in our lives that “the Father truly loves us.”

The Marion Wade Museum is at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Il.

 

18. Share an evidence in your life that the Father truly loves you.

 

19. “Is He Worthy” asks “Does the Spirit move among us?” Share an evidence in your life that He does.

 

Saturday:

20. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

 

 

 

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154 comments

  1. Sunday (Day 15 of giving thanks)

    1.  What stands out to me from above is “allowing the gift of music to stir our hearts toward thankfulness, for music has power.”  I love music and am going to be intentional in listening and singing Christian songs so my  heart will be stirred toward thankfulness…much needed in my life!

    2.  I think the Lord comes to us when we’re  singing His praises because it turns our focus on Him and what He’s done for us.  As the below verse says…”sorrow and mourning” is replaced with “joy and gladness.”

    Isaiah 52:11  “Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return.  They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy.  Sorrow and mourning will disappear and they will be filled with joy and gladness.”

    3.  When I was a young mother with two kids I sang more than I do now.  I was involved with music in our church too, worship team and playing guitar for kids church.  It was important to me that my kids heard Christian music, especially hymns and kids songs as there’s so much heritage.

    4.  This Sabbath day I give thanks that I can enter into fellowship with other believers and sing praises.  Hearing God say “you are my people” and responding “You are my God!!!”

  2. Sunday: (Day 15 of giving thanks)
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Your title, Dee caught my attention as I have listened to Andrew Peterson’s song, He is worthy, many times. The song brings such a deep appreciation of the Triune God and often times a longing for that day when we can sing this song in His presence. The picture of the ladies singing stood out to me as well. Surely the presence of the Lord was in that place.
    2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason?
    The psalmist encourages us to sing. ” Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
    Psalm 96: 1 sing to the Lord, all the earth!
    2  Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
    tell of his salvation from day to day.
    One of my favorite verses:

    Zephaniah 3:17 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.”

    I found an article from Bob Kauflin (https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/words-of-wonder-what-happens-when-we-sing) with the following quote:

    “We worshiped a triune God who sings and He wants us to be like Him.” Bob Kauflin
    3. Was there a time in your life when you sang more (or less) than you do now? (Or listened more to sacred music…) If there has been a change, why, do you think?
    I sing more now than I used too. I remember times of sorrow where words to songs were hard to sing. Kind of like Psalm 137 feeling “By the rivers of Babylon where we sat down and remembered Zion…” Then I was looking at my circumstances, my woes and my unhappiness and sorrow. Now, I try to focus on who God is amidst my circumstances and my songs are richer . There is an ease to singing because the object of the song shifted from myself to our God.

     
    4. What can you give thanks for this Sabbath day?
    The gift of music. I will be helping lead our praise times singing “He is good” and “Still.” Happy Sabbath Day, everyone!

    1. Bing,

      Thank you for posting this link!   Encouraging, heartening and interesting!    Bob Kauflin explains so beautifully how the Lord has created and designed music to help us remember.    This quote :

      We store hundreds, literally thousands, of songs in our memory vaults, ready to be accessed at a moment’s notice. Music has a powerful mnemonic ability that scientists are just beginning to understand. They’re discovering that our minds are hardwired to recognize, categorize, and remember patterns in music better than we remember patterns in words alone.

    2. Bing–this is beautiful “Now, I try to focus on who God is amidst my circumstances and my songs are richer”

  3. 1.   What stands out?

    The photograph of the women in prison.    A picture truly paints a thousand words.

    2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason?   

    Psalm 22:3 says that God inhabits the praise of His people.    I think of David and King Saul and how King Saul would request that David bring his stringed instrument and play for him and how that would somehow offer comfort to Saul in his anguish and unrest of spirit.      When both my mama and my dad were dying I picked up my guitar and played before the Lord, inviting his comfort.   Music  (worship including the lament)  can provide an invitation and a conduit for the presence of the Lord.   Sometimes just the instrumental invokes His presence.   Sometimes the words of a hymn or other song give words to my emotions that fit the situation.

    I was listening to Tim Keller yesterday and he was encouraging listening to and singing Isaac Watt’s beautiful hymns which contain many of the truths in the Psalms that give voice to every human emotion.

    Here is a link with an interview by Keith Getty with Tim Keller entitled Singing the Psalms:

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/podcasts/tgc-podcast/sing-the-psalms/

    Dee, Thank you for introducing me to Tim Keller when I first found this blog four and a half years ago!

    3. Was there a time in your life when you sang more (or less) than you do now? (Or listened more to sacred music…) If there has been a change, why, do you think?
    I have been singing for as far back as I can remember, thanks to my mama.     She had many hymns memorized.  I remember when she took me to my freshman year in college over a thousand miles from home, she sang hymns all the way across the state of South Dakota.

    4. What can you give thanks for this Sabbath day?
    That I get to be with seven of my eight grandchildren for the afternoon to celebrate a five year old’s birthday. All of our grandchildren live a distance so this kind of time is rare,  making it all the more precious.   Lots of laughing is promised and that is always good for my soul.   Grateful.

    1. Nila, I’m working my way backwards through the posts and stopped to listen to the interview you posted.  Thanks for sharing the link —  EXCELLENT.  It’s so rich — may have to listen again and take notes!

    2. Nila, thanks for posting the link to the interview….it was really good. I am going to check out Keller’s devotional that was mentioned.

  4. What rich posts already this morning! What stood out to me what the photo of the women lost in worship & wonder. Yes I believe that music goes straight to the heart, turns our focus on the Lord & invites His presence. I have been blessed to have been a singer since I was a very little girl. My twin & I would harmonize together & were in a children’s choir in Aussie. When we started walking with the Lord we would sing at churches & Women’s conferences,  beach missions & even once at our high school! What a blessing. When I moved to USA at age 22 I fell away from the Lord for 5 years,but He gently & persistently drew me back to Himself. After I recommitted to Him He brought so many scripture songs back to my memory & I would sing again. Then in 2000 when I joined my current church God arranged circumstances so that I was invited to be on the worship team. I still sing with our team & every time I do, I feel the Holy Spirit singing thro me & lifting up my soul. Many others have also said they have been ministered to thro my singing, so I must be faithful & keep it up. I also strongly believe it is a weapon against the enemy of our souls. Satan hates God to be worshiped, but truly” God inhabits the praises of His people”!(as Nila said). I also play worship music in my car as I drive between my Home Health patients 🙂

    I’m home today recovering from a virus, but happy that I can be on this blog & in His Word while I rest. May we never stop singing His praises!  🙂

      1. Dee & Jenny, Praying that both of you will feel better soon.  I know that cold season has started here, too.

  5. Thanks Dee…You rest up too! Love to u too xxx   Loved Bing’s resource…what a wonderful message! Will listen to Nila’s later  🙂

  6. 1.  What stood out…Wm Cowper saying the Christian can be surprised when singing, when the Lord rises up within. I’ve had the same thing happen when telling someone of God’s goodness to me. The emotion rises and I will tear up. There is something about opening our mouths to declare Him.

     

    2.  Others have had such good responses… God commands it but gives us a richness in it.

     

    3.  When I was a stay at home mom with small children, I listened all day long to Christian music and speakers. It was one of my safety lines. But now that I work in a noisy environment, the quiet at home is such a blessing. My husband has gone through the same transition. When I’m alone with a big quiet project I pull out music or messages.  Once we retire, it may change again.

     

    4.  Lord, I thank You for this afternoon I can spend on this blog and on knitting and on the Bible.

  7. Thank you to Bing and Nila for the extra links. They were great additions, rounding out what we’ve started talking about. They make me think about my reaction to praise worship in church and how my attitude toward it has changed over the years. I need to spend more time praying over it.

  8. Dee & Jenny–praying for you both to rest well tonight & wake feeling much better!

    What stands out to me–“for music has power”. And I love the picture from Linda’s ministry. What strikes me most is the unity–praising His name together unifies these women of all different race and background–here, they sing to Him as one body.

    I also love Andrew Peterson, and I will share that the entire album (2 CD set) that “He is Worthy” is from , is excellent. I think my favorite from the album is “Last Words (Tenebrae)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx3vDBtf78E

     

    1. Lizzy, thanks for sharing the link — hadn’t heard this one before.  Will check out the CD set.

  9. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    the power of music — because I experienced it so strongly in church this morning
    2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason?
    Hmm… I wanted to say something about “God inhabits the praises of his people” but when I was looking for the verse, I learned that probably isn’t the best translation of Ps. 22:3.  SO, how about Zechariah 2:10  (NASB)

    Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,’ declares the Lord.

    Confession:  I didn’t spend enough time thinking about “why” and searched the internet instead.  Anyhow, here’s a good summary about the power of praise from https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/debbie-mcdaniel/what-the-power-of-praise-can-do.html (more detail/Scripture references at the site)

     1.  Praise gets our focus off ourselves and back on God.  2.  Praise brings us to a place of humility.  3.  Praise makes the enemy flee.  4.  Praise leaves no room for complaining and negativity. 5.  Praise makes room for God’s blessings over our lives. 6.  Praise invites His presence. 7.  Our spirits are refreshed and renewed in His presence. 8.  It paves the way for God’s power to be displayed, miracles ​happen.  

    3. Was there a time in your life when you sang more (or less) than you do now? (Or listened more to sacred music…) If there has been a change, why, do you think?    I think I’m somewhere in the average range!  I can think of a couple times when I was more immersed in sacred music or contemporary worship music:  1) when I have been too sick or too troubled to read and my primary intake of Scripture/God’s promises was through music; 2) some of the times we’ve looked at hymns on this blog and I’ve listened to MANY different versions of the same hymn on YouTube or CDs.
    4. What can you give thanks for this Sabbath day?
    fellowship of believers, hymn writers, that God is in control and keeps his promises, Jesus’ death and resurrection, a solid, faithful congregation, that it’s a little lighter when I get up in the morning 🙂 .  I could go on for quite awhile.

    Sorry I disappeared the last half of last week — was out of town.

    1. Renee, love the article “what praise can do”. Will copy and paste and print and paste onto my thanksgiving journal.

  10. I love the quote from Cowper, a man who suffered much from depression.  How often have I found the surprise healing from the Lord while singing a hymn or spiritual song.  My father died a few months ago.  His six children sang countless old hymns (all 4 verses usually from memory) to him for hours as we witnessed him enter the presence of his Lord.  He taught us those old hymns (all the verses!) from early childhood as part of our daily family devotions.  We have never forgotten them all these years later.  The old hymns are so rich with deep meaning and impart such theology to help us turn our eyes from ourselves and fix them upon our great and merciful and loving God.

    1. Miriam, I am so sorry for your loss of your dad, and it’s still very fresh-only a few months ago. I am sure you and your siblings created a “sacred space” while you were singing those hymns to him, that is beautiful.

    2. Miriam, I did this with my mom too, while she was still alert a few months before she died. I didn’t know all of the verses, but we sang what we could. So nice!

    3. Miriam I’m so sorry for your loss. What a great memory you have to carry with you.

  11. 5. Choose a hymn or praise chorus to memorize this week — maybe just one verse, maybe more. What will it be and why did you choose it? How does it help you be thankful?

     

    I decided to go old school because I am missing the old hymns these days. I chose “To God be the Glory” by Fanny Crosby. I sung it as a child often in our home church and know some of it (the chorus), but don’t remember it all. I love it’s rhyme and the tune is so 19th century.

     
    To God be the glory, great things he has done;so loved he the world that he gave us his Son,who yielded his life an atonement for sin,and opened the life-gate that all may go in.
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord; let the earth hear his voice!Praise the Lord, praise the Lord; let the people rejoice!O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,and give him the glory; great things he has done.
    O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,to every believer the promise of God;the vilest offender who truly believes,that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
    Great things he has taught us, great things he has done,and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;but purer and higher and greater will beour wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.
     

    https://youtu.be/2CeBoSQsBR0

     

    The NBA Bigsing Middlesbrough Baptist Church, 2007

    Produced by http://www.ianbritton.co.uk

      1. 👍

    1. Laura, when I ponder the words of that old hymn, it brings tears of joy to my heart!  “So loved He the world, that He gave us His Son Who yielded His life an atonement for sin and opened the life gate that all may go in!”  Praise the Lord!

      1. ♥️

    2. One of my most favorite hymns too!

  12. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

     

    The difference between mindlessly singing words and singing with your heart and mind. When we began with the “You are My people…..You are my God” theme, we talked about how we could incorporate that when we were at church, and I tried to do that when singing, as in really thinking about the words that I was singing. Maybe that’s what Jesus meant (a bit) when He said to love the Lord with all your mind. Some denominations have formal, liturgical services in which you repeat creeds out loud, the same ones week after week. It can be easy to mentally check-out because you know the words by heart, but this is a good reminder to keep using the mind.

     

    2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a Scriptural reason?

     

    https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/words-of-wonder-what-happens-when-we-sing

    I just googled, “Why should we sing to God?” and found this article. It’s a bit long, but it was interesting to note the differing opinions of Luther and Augustine on singing. Luther was pretty blunt, saying that a person who doesn’t regard music as a wonderful creation of God is a clodhopper (and worse), while Augustine felt that when he was more moved by the singing than what had been sung, he had sinned wickedly. I believe that if we are truly engaging in worship while singing, that singing the words and the music will help us be moved emotionally and help us to lift our hearts to God. This article notes that there is a verse in Zephaniah that says “God rejoices over us with singing”, and if He sings, so should we. The verse that I thought of is in Colossians 3:16, which tells us to “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” There must be a connection between thanksgiving and singing….singing can be a way to express our gratitude to God, and when we give thanks, then we get joy. That’s what Ann Voskamp says in her book: grace(gift), thanks, joy. That’s what Cowper perhaps meant when he said that sometimes a “light surprises”. We are surprised by the joy.

     

    3. Was there a time in your life when you sang more (or less) than you do now? (Or listened more to sacred music….) If there has been a change, why, do you think?

     

    Well, I grew up singing, but not hymns. I wasn’t brought up going to church, so I really didn’t know any Christian songs or hymns, except maybe “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, which I think I learned in a church preschool. I began to learn hymns when in my mid-twenties and first began attending church regularly, and it was a Catholic church so we used a hymnal and sang the psalms. It was here, in the study of The God of All Comfort, that I really explored the hymns for the first time. I confess I don’t like to listen to Christian radio and the rock-type praise songs, especially early in the morning as they jangle my nerves, and I am more likely to listen to sermons on podcasts than songs.

     

    4. What can you give thanks for this Sabbath day?

     

    Yesterday (Sunday) I picked up my dad along with my daughter and took him to his church, which is a United Church of Christ (formerly a Reformed church, I believe….it’s the church that my grandma went to and would take me with her if I had spent the night Saturdays, and the church where my parents were married. It is almost 80 years old, I think. It brings back memories for me) It was funny because my daughter said she felt like she had stepped back in time because all she’s ever known is the nondenominational, larger church that looks like an auditorium.  I’m not sure if there were 75 people there. My dad has contributed to the altar flowers for the month of November because my mom died last November 15th. He wanted me to go with him. It was a beautiful service and we took communion with real bread! Not oyster crackers, and I appreciated that. We sang from the hymnal and there was a piano and the organ. Later in the day my daughter and I went on a hike at a nearby Metropark and it was so beautiful with all the leaves and the mild weather. I had made a good soup for our supper and it was warming. To top it all off, my daughter wanted to “snuggle” and watch a movie because she didn’t have any homework to do.

    Lord, thank You for the blessings of this particular day, for my family, being with my dad, time with my daughter enjoying the beauty of Fall, the smells and scents of the leaves, good food, and companionship.

    1. Susan, like you, I am also not a fan of Christian rock….”jangles my nerves” too, good expression!  Sometimes, it’s really hard to sit through the music @ church on Sunday mornings, but I come back to life when a ‘soft’ tune or (rarely) a hymn is sung…

      Your #4 has given me this almost idyllic image, like something out of a movie….wow, truly can’t get much better than that.  I also made soup–something I do on a regular basis on Sunday afternoons during fall & winter.

    2. Susan, what a wonderful day with your Dad & daughter! Such a blessing 🙂

  13. 2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason? 

     

    We are recognizing Him for giving us life and the things we need on earth to live. It’s how I would feel (I think) if my kids would recognize my contributions to their lives.

     

    “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!”

    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭47:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    http://bible.com/59/psa.47.6.esv

  14.  
    What stands out to you from the above and why?
    The picture of our sisters in prison worshipping-desiring His presence. That their song is arising out of a redeemed heart that has been stripped of everything and not just personal conveniences but also relational and dignity stripping most likely starting from childhood. Just to see their free hearts in this picture-so puts me in wonder of Him.
    2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason?
    I think it is because singing moves our affections toward Him and He responds. It isn’t merely emotional. Here is something i found in Psalm 63:

    On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

  15. 5.  Memorize a song….My Hope is Built.  It is my affirmation of faith, and my souls wells up everytime I sing or hear it, though it needs to be the right melody. (It has been put to several different ones.) When I try to sing it without the words, I usually mix up the verses and that frustrates me. I give thanks through it because Jesus is my Solid Rock.

     

    6.  My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

    no merit of my own I claim, but wholly cling to Jesus’ name

    chorus:  on Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand

    when darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace

    in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.         Chorus

    His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the o’rwhelming flood

    when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.         Chorus

    when He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found

    dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.      Chorus

    1. Beautiful, Mary!  The Solid Rock – when all else around us is failing.  And dressed in His righteous alone, faultless before the throne!  Oh, I’m so thankful I don’t have to stand in my filthy rags!

  16. Monday (Day 16)

    5.  The song I chose is, Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 has been a favorite of mine for many years and so it seems fitting to chose this great hymn.  William Runyan wrote the melody and Thomas Chisholm wrote the words.  “Chisholm explained toward the end of his life, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now.  Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”  

  17. I listened to and watched the funeral for Eugene Peterson this past weekend.      Such a beautiful tribute.  Old hymns were woven in to the service.   Here is a link to the service for those interested (you can actually skip the first 45 min or so as it is instumental piano prelude to the service):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPl78KZmrYU&feature=youtu.be

     

    Link to funeral bulletin with words to hymns, including one new hymn with lyrics by Eugene:

    https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/b18605_a8bc0d2275b941a98798d26eecfb564e.pdf

     

    I also found this 18 minute interview with Eugene Peterson recently produced by Navigator Ministry:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaMgIvbXqSk

     

     

     

     

     

     

      1. Dee,  If you fast forward to one hour and 39 minutes, that is where the service actually begins.    I just double checked and the link works for me…… just need to go forward quite a ways before the service starts.       This link also works but you will need to click on the symbol for facebook- f  –  and go in that way.   

        https://www.fpckalispell.org/

          I did not watch it live.   I watched it the next day and they plan to keep it available here for a while.      Both of Eugene Peterson’s son spoke at the funeral.   His six grandchildren carried the casket.       This little community is so familiar to me as I mentioned last week.   My husband grew up in this beautiful  little lake town and I often walk along the lake right there.      I hope you are able to listen to the funeral as it was so encouraging and beautiful, although with much sadness.

  18. Dee wants us to memorize a song or hymn.  I thought of “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” as we sang it in church today.  The words are phenomenal and rich in theology and comfort and praise.

    “Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God, He whose Word cannot be broken formed thee for His own abode. On the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose?  With salvation’s walls surrounded thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

    See, the streams of living waters, springing from eternal love, well supply thy sons and daughters, and all fear of want remove.  Who can faint, when such a river ever flows their thirst to assuage?  Grace, which like the Lord, the giver, never fails from age to age.

    Blest inhabitants of Zion, washed in the Redeemer’s blood; Jesus, whom their souls rely on, makes them kings and priests to God.  ‘Tis His love His people raises over self to reign as kings, and as priests His solemn praises each for a thank offering brings.

    Savior, if of Zion’s city I, through grace, a member am, let the world deride or pity – I will glory in Thy name.  Fading is the worldling’s pleasure, all his boasted pomp and show.  Solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion’s children know.

    by John Newton

    I was also so blessed by meditating on the words of “Like A River Glorious,” another old hymn so rich with meaning and comfort and peace.

    Thank you, Dee, for this assignment!

     

    1. Oh, I LOVE “Like A River Glorious” 🙂

  19. The photo of Annie & Lily just makes my heart sing!  Sweet!!

    3) Interesting question re was there a time when you sang more or less…  I would have to say, yes, I used to be singing all the time, or humming tunes, all the time.  I don’t do that so much anymore, unless I have a favorite CD on, or a tune that comes to me from Sunday church service, etc.  What I’m remembering right now is something that strikes me as rather funny.

    Many years ago my husband & I were at a Valentines Day party with 5 or 6 other couples.  We played several games during the evening, & one was where you had to answer a few questions about your partner, & then we had to share them.  One question was, “What is something that your spouse does that bugs you?”  And my husband shared with everyone that I was always singing!  First, I was relieved that it was something so ‘good’–I mean, my first thought was, “and how is that bad!  I have a good voice!”  (at least I think so ha ha)  But I guess what bugged him was that I was constantly doing it!

    4) On a much more solemn note, what I am thankful for today is that my granddaughter is alive & well.  Our community is mourning the loss of 3 little girls, 4th graders, Girl Scouts, who were killed along with a parent, as they were walking along the road in ditches, cleaning up trash.  A 21-yr-old kid mowed them down when his truck left the road & he went down in the ditch they were cleaning.  I can’t help but think, these beautiful little souls were the same age as my granddaughter.  I cannot begin to imagine the depth of pain these families are experiencing right now.

    1. Wendy, I am sad to hear of the Girl Scouts and will pray for the families 😔. Unexplainable and sad.

  20. Sunday: (Day 15 of giving thanks)
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why? – I think it is very true and when you really listen to a song you can feel convicted and feel the presence of the Lord in and around you. When you really listen to what a song is saying the way you feel and how you sing it can change in an instant.
    2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason? – For me I know that I can remember words to a song faster than I can anything else so maybe that’s why I feel his presence more. There are so many scriptures throughout the bible that reference singing praises to the Lord but the one that jumps out to me is Psalm 96.1 “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
    3. Was there a time in your life when you sang more (or less) than you do now? (Or listened more to sacred music…) If there has been a change, why, do you think? – I used to listen to country music and sometimes I still do but I am mostly listening to Christian music now and I just feel that when I do I can feel the Lord with me and it helps to have his promises continually be restored in my heart and mind.
    4. What can you give thanks for this Sabbath day? – I give thanks to the Sabbath because I can join other believers and freely worship together without harm to ourselves.

  21. 5)  It is really, really hard to choose only one!  There are far too many gloriously beautiful hymns to choose from…the words just have such depth & meaning, unlike some of the choruses we sing today.  I guess the one that just keeps coming back to me that I would have to pick is The Old Rugged Cross.  When I sit down to play the piano (not so much these days!), I love to play it & harmonize it at the top of my lungs!

    On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering & shame;

    And I love that old cross, where the dearest & best, for a world of lost sinners was slain.

    So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down,

    I will cling to the old rugged cross,  and exchange it someday for a crown!

     

    also love Blessed Assurance—Jesus is Mine, Oh what a foretaste of Glory Devine!

  22. 2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason?

    The first thing Scripture that popped into my mind as I read this was Jeremiah 33:3-“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” I know God love us to use His Word to speak back to Him. He IS worthy of all praise and longs to hear it from the works of His hands.

    3. Was there a time in your life when you sang more (or less) than you do now? (Or listened more to sacred music…) If there has been a change, why, do you think?

    I have always loved music. It stirs my soul in a way nothing else can. I especially draw to music in my darkest times, when even reading the Word or prayer feels hard, I love to have the truth come to me through song. It’s been 6 years now, but in one of my darkest hours of physical and emotional pain, my husband really didn’t know the words to pray for me anymore. Honestly, I was just in such a dark place that nothing anyone could say seemed to bring me comfort. So one night in bed as he tried to find words to pray for me–I asked him to sing me a hymn instead. With rare exception, he has continued this every night as we lay in the dark just before sleep. It’s the last thing I hear before morning, and it quiets my soul like nothing else.

    4. What can you give thanks for this Sabbath day?

    We actually visited the church I work for instead of our church, and we were richly blessed with a special family worship time. We’ve also started our Thanksgiving devotions at night and Sunday’s was an especially sweet time.

    5. I’ve been trying since yesterday morning to narrow down my favorite hymn to just one! That’s almost as hard for me as picking a favorite verse of Scripture! I just love so many of the old hymns. I even had one I was starting to post and in the last minute changed my mind again! So, for now, settling on “Abide With Me”Henry Lyte, 1793–and there is a sweet story to how the Lord specifically gave me this hymn years ago, but I’ve gone too long already!

    1. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;

    The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.

    When other helpers, fail and comforts flee,

    Help of the helpless, abide with me.

    2. Thou on my head, in early youth didst smile;

    And, though rebellious, and perverse meanwhile,

    Thou hast not left me, though I oft left Thee,

    On to the close Lord, abide with me.

    3. I need Thy presence, every passing hour.

    What but Thy grace, can foil the tempter’s power?

    Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?

    Through cloud and sunshine, abide with me.

    4. I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless

    Ills have no weight, tears lose their bitterness

    Where is thy sting death? Where grave thy victory?

    I triumph still, abide with me.

    5. Hold Thou Thy cross, before my closing eyes;

    Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.

    Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;

    In life, in death, Lord, abide with me.

  23. Today I definitely was above my average in immersing myself in hymns — because I had a hard time deciding what to memorize.  After listening to Getty’s interview of Keller, I sorta wanted to memorize a hymn based on a Psalm.  Soooo…. back to the search engine.  On one site, I saw a bunch of hymns I had never heard — or heard of.  The second site seemed to be from a group that only sings the Psalms (never heard of those either).  FINALLY,  I found some familiar hymns on this list:    https://www.crownandcovenant.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/FamiliarHymnTunes.pdf

    My other criteria were -primary focus on God vs me or my; -I didn’t already know them (almost) completely

    After reading or listening to a bunch of songs, I picked “Fairest Lord Jesus” because I hadn’t heard it for a long time.  But after listening once or twice and reading through a couple of times, I already knew it.   Next choice was Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise — I was familiar enough that it would have been easy to memorize all of it, but it was getting to be a little too King-Jamesy for me.

    Listened to a whole bunch more.  The verdict is Crown Him with Many Crowns.  Then I went back to see if it was on the Psalms list, after I had decided 🙂      And if that gets too easy, Praise My Soul the King of Heaven.  I definitely don’t know that one and because of recent news, I am more intrigued by the idea of Kings and kingdoms — and how they are not exactly democracies. My third choice is May the Mind of Christ my Savior.  I probably would have stopped looking with this one, but it didn’t fit my criteria 😉

  24. I don’t have to worry about “Crown Him with Many Crowns” being too easy.  The YouTube videos contain different combinations of the following verses (and don’t include some at all — I’ve never even heard/read some before).

    Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but it’s own.Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.Crown Him the virgin’s Son, the God incarnate born,Whose arm those crimson trophies won which now His brow adorn;Fruit of the mystic rose, as of that rose the stem;The root whence mercy ever flows, the Babe of Bethlehem.Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,And ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;Who every grief hath known that wrings the human breast,And takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.His glories now we sing, Who died, and rose on high,Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.Crown Him the Lord of peace, Whose power a scepter swaysFrom pole to pole, that wars may cease, and all be prayer and praise.His reign shall know no end, and round His piercиd feetFair flowers of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.Crown Him the Lord of Heaven, enthroned in worlds above,Crown Him the King to Whom is given the wondrous name of Love.Crown Him with many crowns, as thrones before Him fall;Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns, for He is King of all.Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,Now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels singTheir songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

    1. oops! I’m sorry.  I didn’t check the formatting — aaaagggghhhhh. Here’s the link with formatting: https://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/religious_music/crown_him_with_many_crowns.html

      I found ANOTHER one.  Now I really can’t decide 🙂   I’ll just have to saturate myself with all of them!!!

      My Savior’s Love

      I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus, the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me, A sinner, condemned, unclean.

      Chorus: How marvelous, How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: How marvelous, How wonderful! Is my Saviour’s love for me!

      For me it was in the garden, He prayed, “Not my will, but Thine.” He had no tears for His own griefs, But sweat drops of blood for mine.

      In pity angels beheld Him, and came from the world of light to comfort Him in the sorrows He bore for my soul that night.

      He took my sins and my sorrows; He made them His very own. He bore the burden to Calvary, and suffered, and died alone.

      When with the ransomed in glory His face I at last shall see, ‘Twill be my joy through the ages to sing of His love for me.

       

       

      1. Looove that one too, Renee!

      2. You are too funny, Renee!

      3. Renee,

        How I love your interaction here on the blog.   It is so good to “see” you  🙂

    2. Wow Renee…love this Hymn , “Crown Him “& so many more verses than I knew!  🙂

  25. 1.   Choose a hymn or praise chorus to memorize this week — maybe just one verse, maybe more. What will it be and why did you choose it? How does it help you be thankful?
    Despite my depravity, Jesus has redeemed me. All my past failures and regrets have been wiped away. I have been chosen-gift unsurpassed-I am grateful beyond words.
    Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave
     Seems like all I could see was the struggle
    Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
    Bound up in shackles of all my failures
    Wondering how long is this gonna last
    Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
    Stop fighting a fight that’s already been won”

    I am redeemed, You set me free
    So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
    Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
    I am redeemed, I’m redeemed.
     All my life I have been called unworthy
    Named by the voice of my shame and regret
    But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
    I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet…

  26. Renee, I love the crown him with many crowns as well. What a vision to imagine!

  27. I What a lively hymn! I like the echoing of the choir “behind” his voice, and I love the line, “Does God really love us (He does)…” made me tear up.

     

    8. What truths from the above resonate with you and why?

     

    I listened more carefully a second time and wound up really crying this time! You are right Dee! This song is packed with scripture references; who will open the scroll? Will He dwell among us? It is a beautiful hymn. Is he Eugene’s son?

  28. 9. Comments on the above?

     

    I wish he hadn’t bowed to the societal pressure of apologizing that his video wasn’t “diverse.” I’m sure there was absolutely no intention of leaving people out. It was probably more like these were the people who were available for that session of recording, or something as innocent as that. People need to grow up and realize not all of us are trying to offend others. It’s ridiculous and made up for scary news stories.

  29. 5. Choose a hymn or praise chorus to memorize this week — maybe just one verse, maybe more. What will it be and why did you choose it? How does it help you be thankful?
    When Eugene Peterson said he is horrible at memorizing hymns, he melted and relieved my heart for so am I. 🙂
    So this seems simple but there are some worship songs and hymns that make my heart and soul soar and this is one of them. Here is Kari Jobe singing it:  “Revelation”

    Lyrics

    Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
    Holy, holy is Thee
    Sing a new song to Him who sits on
    Heaven’s mercy seat
    Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
    Who was and is and is to come
    With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
    You are my everything and I will adore You
    Clothed in rainbows of living color
    Flashes of lighting rolls of thunder
    Blessing and honor strength and glory and power be
    To You the only one who’s King
    Filled with wonder awestruck wonder
    At the mention of Your name
    Jesus Your name is power, breath and living water
    Such a marvelous mystery
    Oh, You’re worthy, mystery
    You are worthy

    6. Practice the above and write out as much as you can without looking at it here.

    Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, Holy Holy is He. Sing a new song for Him who sits on heavens Mercy Seat. Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God almighty who was and is and is to come. With all creation I sing, praise to the King of Kings you are my everything and I will adore you.  Not sure how I did but I didn’t look..lol. 😉

    1. I forgot to say why: Because I NEED to have my sin nature-idol bent nature bent to Him and this is a way He designed us to do that for He sings to us too. I love to worship Him with songs that adore Him. It is like He embraces me and I embrace hard back- Only way I can explain it- totally takes my mind off of my momentary troubles and puts them on Him-which puts them in their place, and He in His rightful place.

      1. Amen Rebecca!

  30. 5. Choose a hymn or praise chorus to memorize this week – maybe just one verse, maybe more. What will it be and why did you choose it? How does it help you be thankful?

     

    I chose For the Beauty of the Earth (F. Pierpoint – I had to google who wrote this because I didn’t know). I have Amy Shreve’s CD that came with The God of All Comfort, and I like how she sings it. Because right now we are at the peak of Fall color with trees blazing oranges, reds, crimsons, and yellows….Fall skies with brooding, heavy, dark clouds often amidst sunshine….I love nature and so I chose this song because it sings about not only the beauty of the earth, but other things that are beautiful, like human love and friends. Singing these words will help me express my thankfulness for these gifts to the Lord.

    1. Susan, so sweet to pick this song..I am going to try and find it on you tube and listen….ooh..I found this. 🙂

        1. So glad Susan picked it. I listened on the way to work several times yesterday morning. I am going to listen to Revelation this morning as well. I usually listen to sermons on the way to work but I think this is just as sweet.

  31. I’m jumping in to share I’ve chosen Take Me To The King to focus on this week. I’ll post the words later. Here is the link to the video https://youtu.be/wU3qgPn3bGA

  32. Hah, I just realized I shared more of a testimony song than a praise song or hymn. I love this song-the special arrangement by Audrey Assad and Fernando Ortega is beautiful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vUhwyjdk8A

    “Oh, the deep , deep love of Jesus , Vast unmeasured, boundless, free, Rolling  as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me

    Underneath me, all around me is the current of His love, Leaning onward, leaning homeward to the glorious rest above.

    Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus Tis heaven of, heaven to me And it lifts me up to glory For  it lifts me  up to Thee

    Oh the deep deep love of Jesus Spread His praise from shore to shore How He loveth, ever loveth changeth never, never more.

     

    1. ooh, Bing..Love this song.. and arrangement!

  33. 8.  The song “He is Worthy “, anything resonate and why?

    the way that groups keep adding in. While I may think I am alone, my praise echoes in heaven, where it is picked up by numberless voices there. Also, while at times we may question if He is worthy, by the time we start considering the question, we know beyond a doubt that He is.

     

    9.  Comments on the article about the song.

    I grew up with liturgy, and it was by the vast majority, gone through hurriedly and without thought. When I moved into a different style church, I never looked back. I know that it is rich in Scripture, but my own experience leaves a bad taste for me. The article, however, makes it sound beautiful.

  34. 6.  I’m beginning to think it’s not meant for me to type the words of Great Is Thy Faithfulness…had the first two verses typed from memory and “poof” they disappeared 🤷‍♀️   So the second time was just going to paste and copy and again…so hopefully the 3rd times the charm.  I’m pasting and copying the whole song but still working on the third verse.

    Great Is Thy FaithfulnessThomas Chisholm – 1925

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

    Refrain:
    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.

    Refrain

    Pardon for Sin and a 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!Refrain

  35. Tuesday (Day 17)

    7.  I was walking through our house which we have recently gone in and torn down most of the walls, parts of the ceiling and removed carpet and flooring  singing, Great Is Thy Faithfulness.  Being empty there was an echo and I could just feel God’s presence with me…HE is giving me “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow “  and “there is no shadow of turning with Him.”  He is the same yesterday, today and forever and that fills my heart with thanksgiving!!

     

    1. Wow Sharon! This is wonderful!       “singing, Great Is Thy Faithfulness.  Being empty there was an echo and I could just feel God’s presence with me…HE is giving me “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow “  and “there is no shadow of turning with Him.”  He is the same yesterday, today and forever and that fills my heart with thanksgiving!!”

      1. 😊.  Jenny…so glad you’re feeling better!!

  36. 5. Earlier this morning I shared a link to Take Me To The King. I chose to do that because the song is about expression of grief. A woman I met at a church I attended when living in Georgia passed away last week 25 days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and this song was sung at her funeral. Also I have a personal circumstance which has given me a lot of grief. So I wanted to share it in hopes it will bring comfort to others dealing with difficult situations.

    My all time favorite praise song is The Doxology. It was sung almost every Sunday at church when I was a child.

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

    Praise Him all creatures here below.

    Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.

    Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

    I can’t express with words why I love The Doxology so much. Maybe it’s because the words were planted in my heart and mind at a very young age so I can better appreciate and understand now that I am approaching old age. Life beat me up but God rescued me and that right there is just the tip of the iceberg as to the reasons I have to praise God.

    1. Tammy, when my daughter and I went to church with my dad last Sunday, at a mainline Protestant church, we sang the doxology. It was familiar to me, too, but not to my daughter. Sigh. Looking back, I have some regrets about her being raised in a large, nondenominational church. There is no tradition there, like singing the doxology, or spiritual formation culminating in a child being confirmed in the faith when they are older. The kids are always separated in Sunday school, then junior high and senior high. Interesting that I feel the way I do as I wasn’t raised in church myself.

  37. 8. What truths from the above resonate with you and why?

    Do you feel the world is broken?

    Do you feel the shadows deepen?

    Last week I substitute taught in high school Earth Science and Biology for five days.    As I grow older I am understanding better my own deep brokenness.   Last week I had a window into the brokenness and darkness among some of our high school students.   One student grabbed my heart.   I heard him make such disparaging statements:  I am dead.   I am a satanist.   I hate this school.   I hate everyone in this school……..       Then,  I was listening to my six year old granddaughter tell me about her school yesterday and she said,  “Grandma, there is a boy in my class (kindergarten)  who told me he wants to die.”    Six years old.

    The world is broken.   The darkness deepens.

    Does the Father truly love us?

    Does the Spirit move among us?

    It is good that we remind ourselves of this.   

    Thank you, Dee, for encouraging us to remind our soul of the truth through memorizing and singing songs that remind.    This reminding is a vital and necessary adjustment to my soul  – often.

  38. Monday Action Assignment (Day 16)
     
    5. Choose a hymn or praise chorus to memorize this week — maybe just one verse, maybe more. What will it be and why did you choose it? How does it help you be thankful? – I love old hymns and miss singing them as our church is more contemporary music which is nice too. The song I choose is ‘I Will’ by Citizen Way. The chorus goes like this…‘I will hold you when you’re breaking Like a father and a friend And I will carry you through darkness ’til we see the sun again. So rest your head and cry your tears, know that I am with you here. When you can’t lift that weight Believe me when I say…I will.’ This helps me be thankful because when I sing this or read it, I know that the Lord is with all the time and will carry me through my troubles.
     
    6. Practice the above and write out as much as you can without looking at it here. – I will have to come back to this, but I continue to memorize this.
     

  39. Impact, so far, of hymn memorizing

    Even more than I expected.  I was driving today — and that is a good time to assess my progress.  I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.  I remembered one verse completely but was getting the beginning and the end of other verses mixed up.  Eventually I switched to some of the others mentioned here that I already knew and made it through a couple verses of each (no idea how many verses they had).

    I think I’ve been more content/happier.

    Then, when driving:  I missed my exit & didn’t realize it until a couple exits later (common for me when I’ve been thinking about something other than driving), then ALMOST drove through a red light (not so common, but my brakes work well!), and finally took a wrong turn because hymns were going through my head — which was okay because I had plenty of time and like to explore 🙂

    Then, I saw someone who I hadn’t talked to for a couple weeks and was told that I seemed more at peace; this is especially notable to me because I experienced some major un-peaceful stuff last week when I was gone.   I’m also concerned now about a family health situation — and my focus is on the Lord and I know He is in control.    Encouraging to have my assessment confirmed by someone else.  I think that my reactions last week also were related to gratitude.

  40. Thanks for your prayers…I am better & back at work in full swing!  Hope u are better too Dee?

    All these hymns & songs are so powerful & many of them are my faves too! So hard to pick one, but I’m going with:

    “In Christ Alone my hope is found, He is my Light, my Strength, my Song. This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought & storm. What heights of Love, what depths of Peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease. My Comforter, my All in all, here in the Love of Christ I stand” !!

    I was very moved & touched by Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy”. I’ve seen that once before & love it!  Powerful, authentic worship 🙂 I think singing Scripture & Truths helps me to get my focus off my own problems & onto the majesty & Greatness of God. I need to do this all thro the day to keep things in perspective & remember how big my God is!

  41. 10. A. What sweetness in family or friendships do you see right now in this fallen world? Give thanks for them.

     

    The babies are very sweet together. They play, hug, laugh, and sing with each other. Thank you Lord Jesus, for my grandchildren.

     

    B. Though we live in a fallen world, what beauty in nature do you see? Give thanks.

     

    Oh my my gosh I have thanked the Lord over the past few weeks for the BEAUTY of fall! We have had so much rain this year and the other day although our peak leaf season is gone the brown/yellow/purple leaves all had a light pink hue! I couldn’t get over the beauty (I think it was last Sunday too!).

  42. 6. Practice the above and write out as much as you can without looking here.

     

    I’m afraid I have a ways to go to memorize this! I know it begins “For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies, for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies, Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.”

     

    7. Keep learning and practicing your song and share any way it is impacting you and helping you to give thanks.

     

    I printed off the lyrics to my song and found my Amy Shreve CD and as I drove to work yesterday morning, I played the song. It’s the first one on her CD. As I listened, I don’t know why, but I started to cry. I was thinking of my mom and how much I miss her, but I thanked the Lord out loud for the gift of my mom and that I had her here for over half of my life.

    1. Oh Susan, so sad about your mom & how much u must miss her. Mine is going downhill with Dementia & she is in Aussie, & I wont see her till Feb. Hard to let them go but such comfort in the Lord. I love that hymn too xx

  43. 8. What truths resonate with you from the above and why?

     

    You were right, Dee….this song is chock-full of Scriptural truths! I’d have to take notes to remember them all! One in particular, “Does He intend to dwell with us again?” A theme I heard is that He is worthy, and He will make all things new. That’s a theme of the study I’m doing at church right now, called Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler. One thing Matt talked about in this study is that yes, all people can be thankful for common graces, but for the unbeliever, it stops there. They don’t have anyone to give thanks to, their thanks is not directed towards God.

  44. 9. Comments on the above?

     

    I liked the article very much….liturgy means, “the work of the people”. How different than coming to church and sitting there mostly listening to the band and singers, and the pastor….yes, we participate when we stand up and sing the worship songs, but to be actively engaged, like it’s a “conversation”, as Peterson said, between himself and his audience. I read Mary’s post above and know that liturgy and reciting the same thing, week after week, can be done thoughtlessly – it is possible to really not be engaging with all of your mind, but Peterson’s article suggests that he is fully engaged in liturgy and enjoys it when he sings and his listeners respond.

  45. 10.A.  With apologies to all my sisters here of whom this is not true, but the unity I share with my husband. Knowing that it is but a shadow of what He intended, and what He will give us with Himself. The other relationships He has sprinkled throughout my life are like stars, brightening the dark of this world. My kids, extended family on my husband’s side, friends, co workers, the list goes on.

    B.  Nature, the red-orange fruit of the flowering crab outside my window and it’s call to birds and squirrels to come and eat. And that’s just a little one.

    1. 🙂  🙂  Mary B love your thankfulness. Yes Fall & the colors & all of nature are so inspiring & I’m so thankful for it all.

    2. Mary, don’t apologize for what the Lord has blessed you with! Your description is beautiful… and the other relationships are like stars, brightening the dark of this world….lovely.

  46. Wednesday (Day 18)

    10.

    A.  The sweetness I see in family or relationships in this fallen world …Family,my wonderful husband. His sense of humor keeps me going.   Through all the stress of work and home he remains selfless.  My children and their spouses who have opened up theirs homes in giving us a place to stay and delicious meals.

    Relationships, friends who have reached out to us during this time in so many ways.  All of you sweet ladies on this blog…your comments of encouragement and prayers.

    Thank you Lord for placing all these people in my life…You are good, good Father!!

    B.  The beauty in nature that I see and am thankful for are colorful  sunrises and sunsets, the glistening of the sun dancing off the water and the sound of waves pounding on the shore.  An Egret taking flight out of the marsh and the companionship of my Boxer, Bronson.

  47. 10. A. Sweetness in family relationship….receiving an invitation to my great-nephew’s 1sr birthday party next month. I am thrilled to be a great-aunt. My stepmom calling me at work telling me she and Daddy were picking up something for supper after they finish with doctor appt. and what would I like? Hearing my mom’s voice when we speak by phone.

    Sweetness in relationships….the friendships I have formed with the women on the blog. Renee gets my sense of humor and always laughs at some of my facebook posts. The times we pray and encourage one another. Bing surprised me one morning with a pm telling me how my honest sharing about my battle with depression encouraged her. She in turn encouraged me with her words shared here on the blog. (I can’t remember exactly what she said)

    B.One of my favorite flowers is the Morning Glory. It grows wild by the road and on gloomy days its beauty shines the brightest. Rain is currently falling replenishing the earth.

    Thank you Lord for the love of family and friends. Creator God you spoke everything into existence and creation sings of your glory every second of every day. All praise belongs to you. Amen.