Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

I'm writing this a few hours before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London, England. Usually the only royal family events I read about are ones that happened centuries ago, but for some reason I googled the royal wedding and read some of what was written.

I clicked on the "Music Selections" and was interested to see all the music the couple chose for their big event. What fascinated me the most was their hymn selection. The article said that the three hymns are the couple's favorites. They are "Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer", "Jerusalem", and my own favorite "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling." I am impressed.

"Guide Me" is a plea for guidance and includes the words, "Bread of heaven, feed me til' I want no more." And "Jerusalem" is based on a poem by William Blake which has always fascinated me. There is a legend that Joseph of Arimathea was a relative of Jesus' who took Him on a trip to England during those years between 12 and 30 about which scripture is silent.
"And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?"
I like to think it was true because I have a love for England and a passion for that nation to be, like our own, an example of God's Love and Wisdom.

Anyone who has the hymn "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" as one of their favorites, especially anyone who would choose this song for a ceremony celebrating their own love, immediately commands my interest.

The words of the hymn were written by Charles Wesley in the eighteenth century. They are timeless words of adoration and supplication. Read them aloud. Read them as a prayer to our God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

1. Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.

2. Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into every troubled breast!
Let us all in thee inherit; let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.

3. Come, Almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never, never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.

4. Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.

I love this hymn for many reasons - but one reason is that it is inclusive. The first verse defines our salvation. In the other verses our sanctification process is described and desired. Commitment is made. Expectation is expressed. And did you notice the last line? This young couple actually have crowns here and now. I pray they truly are able to cast those crowns before Him here and now and that He can use them to further His Kingdom in these days where there is so much war against His Kingdom.

I surprised myself by clicking on the "Leave a message for the Bride and Groom" button. I told them I pray for God to bless them and their calling to leadership. I ask you to pray for them also. And pray for their nation, like our own, to be turned back to the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier and Deliverer.

Pray that God uses them and ourselves to prepare His people for the eternal Royal Wedding with Jesus Christ and His Bride.

Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready. Revelation 19:7

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Spring is a beautiful time of the year - new life "spring"ing up all over the place. I love perennials, the flowers that you plant once and they spring up again year after year. You know they are going to be there and it's exciting to see the first green signs of them pushing through the ground. They are dependable.
I was embarrassed today when I prepared for my dear friend and website updater, Tracy Ruckman, needed changes to the site. I read there that I have a weekly blog. Hmmm, since my last blog was posted on October 14, it has been six months and one week since I wrote a blog. And it was over two months before that the previous one was written. I have done, according to my FBI agent Daddy, the worst sin of all. I lied. I have not kept my word and written a weekly blog. Unlike the perennial flowers, I have not been dependable.
Now I have confessed my sin and been forgiven and hopefully will allow myself to be cleansed of the unrighteousness that caused it. I John 1:9 is my favorite scripture, probably from familiarity of usage! Hopefully you will see my blogs springing forth on a weekly basis from now on.
In a few days we will celebrate the springing forth of Jesus Christ from the grave. Halleluia! He IS alive! And because He is alive, those of us who believe and accept His life are also alive with eternal life.
Yes, there are times when we don't see Him, and times we don't see evidence of our own new life. But He's there and so is the New Creation nature that is the true us. And how exciting when we see Eternal Life pushing through the ground of earthly situations!
One of my favorite scenes in scripture is that of Mary Magdalene at the tomb on that third day after Jesus entered into His Passion. She was weeping because even Jesus' dead body was not in evidence. Nothing was there in that empty tomb on which to pour out her grief. Where was the One she loved so much? I find it interesting, when I read that passage in John 20: 1-18 that two angels were seated where Jesus' body had laid, and they spoke to her, yet she didn't answer them or even show surprise that angels were speaking to her. Then Jesus asked, as they had, why she was crying. He also asked who she was looking for.
She didn't recognize the One she was looking for but thought he was the gardener, and she begged him to tell her where the body was so she could get it back. Then Jesus said something else. He said her name. Just that, "Mary."
And then she knew Him. Recognition sprang forth into her heart. And joy sprang forth into every part of her being. Jesus made her the first post resurrection evangelist by sending her to tell others that He is alive and going to the Father God.
It's like that with us too. We can search among the tombs of doctrines and speculations. We can even believe the historical facts of an empty tomb. But it is when we are able to hear His voice calling our name that true recognition, true faith in the risen Christ, fills us with joy. And when we are able to hear His voice, we can truly be sent by Him with the good news of Eternal Life to all who will hear and receive.
Christianity was born the day Jesus rose from the dead, the day He sprang forth from the ground and manifested Life in all it's Glory. And true Christianity is not a religion but is always a relationship with the living Christ, Jesus the Savior and the Redeemer.
May His Life spring forth in you and in all your circumstances! And may you plant truth in the hearts of those around you and watch His Life spring forth in and for them.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:3,4