and the winner is……

So…..I was supposed to make this announcement yesterday…..but life got in the way and I ran out of daytime to make the announcement. Please forgive me!

BUT — I am here today to announce the winner of this lovely printable my sister drew especially for the first hymn study =)

And the winner is…….
ilovereading2
Congratulations!!! If you would email hymnhistorystudies@gmail.com I (or my sister :P) will send you the information for retrieving it =)

To everyone who participated in the study — thank you! I do pray that you enjoyed it! As you’ve figured out by now, we are going on in the study of another hymn — just this time there’s not as much being posted on the blog. If you would like to participate in the study with us, here’s what you need to do:

If you are a reader who is not subscribed to the blog and you want to participate, enter your email address in the sidebar on the right.

Once you are subscribed, send an email to hymnhistorystudies@gmail.com and let me know that you want to participate. If you are already a subscriber, just send an email =)

Once you have emailed me, you will be sent an email three times a week, filled with ideas and inspiration for studying each hymn. You can easily learn about each hymn by simply reading what I post on this blog, but the email will contain more information, more lessons not posted here, and some (hopefully) fun hands-on activities. If the study has already started — no problem! I will happily send you all the emails that have been sent to date, and you can look over them and play catch up.

Periodically during a study I may have fun more fun giveaways…..you just never know what I have up my sleeve ;-)

If you know others who would enjoy participating in this study, feel free to invite them along for the ride too. The more the merrier, right?

afraid — of that?

He was laying in the small village church, grateful for the rest for his wearied body. He had walked thirty miles that day, and his body was screaming for repose. He smiled as he thought back to his reception at  Yan-Chia-Chi, how the people who had chosen to forsake all and follow Christ had embraced him, greeting him as a brother. They had been overjoyed to see him — up and walking, nonetheless — after his bout with appendicitis. Last they heard, he was recovering from the necessary operation in a small village near the coast.

He shivered as he remembered the journey to the country, the long walk, for endless miles. All because he heard that bandits had descended upon the village. His village. The village where the Lord had graciously brought many people to Himself, the village he had baptized so many of the inhabitants. He knew he had to go check on them. Had to go and provide comfort, had to go and provide support. It didn’t matter that he was weak and recovering — the Lord had called him to serve these people, and no surgical procedure was going to hinder that call of the Lord upon his life. And to find them well, to see them and know that they were fine, to hear them call him “Uncle Jack”….it was more than a relief. He was overjoyed when they suggested he lead the services the following morning, for it was always a blessing to his soul to worship with these people.

He settled back against his pillows, nestling under the warm covers; listening to the evening silence that was composed of more noise than quiet. The night time noises, the cool night time breeze rustling the leaves, the babies crying…it was all so peaceful.

Until that dreadful moment. The moment when the peaceful evenings silence was shattered. The yelling; the noises; the wailing of terrified human beings. The sounds of houses being torn apart, the shattering of glass, the ripping of paper, the crackling of flames, the loud report of guns, the sound of knives being used…..the sound of utter chaos. Pandemonium. Everyone struggling for their very lives.

Six hundred bandits burned, pillaged, killed and wounded in that tiny village. When they left the village, they left behind destruction. And took with them one hundred and fifty souls. One hundred and fifty people who were tied together with rope; men, women, and children. One hundred and fifty people who were ordered to start walking. And in their midst was their greatest prize: an American missionary. The one they called “Uncle Jack” — Jack Vinson.

He winced in pain as he was ordered to walk along. He stumbled as he tried to keep up with everyone else. He kept his thoughts stayed upon Christ, perhaps he talked of Him with those around him, urging them to keep up their strength. To hope in the ever living God for rescue.

Government troops overtook them at Lianyungang, and began to besiege the city. The bandits took refuge behind the village walls, and the head bandit called for the missionary. “Do you want to go free?” he asked. “Write a letter to the commanding officer of these soldiers to withdraw his troops and we will let you go.”

Perhaps Jack Vinson’s heart leapt within him. Go free. To liberty. To a nice soft bed instead of the hard ground. To rest his weary legs, to rest his weary body that was aching with every step. To allow himself to attend to the aching incision that was not yet completely healed. Of course, he wanted to go free. And then he remembered — his village. His people, that were still very much in danger.

“Will you also free all these Chinese prisoners?” the missionary asked.
“Certainly not,” replied the bandit chief.

The people the Lord had called him to forsake everything for, even his life, if need be, to minister the truth of the Gospel to them. To preach it, live it out, and be an example worthy of emulation. Perhaps he knew they needed someone to keep up their courage, someone to turn to when doubts assailed them as to why this was happening to them. Could he accept his freedom and leave the very people he was supposed to be ministering to in a state of bondage?

“Then I, too, refuse to go free,” he said.

The bandits threatened him. They argued with him, and finally, in desperation, a plan was formed to sneak by the government troops that evening, when the darkness should cover their movements. Jack Vinson looked on as the plan the bandits had formulated failed. Perhaps he reminded those around him that man may make plans, but God directs their footsteps. He saw many of the bandits killed, and he saw “his people” break free, rejoicing over the fact that one hundred and twenty five people were able to escape into the night during all the confusion. Escape away form the bandits, away from the danger, back to begin rebuilding their village.

Suddenly the bandits were surrounding the remaining people in their grasp, urging them to get up, urging them to run. demanding that they run fast enough to get away from the government officials who would bring them to justice for the crimes they had committed. The missionary tried his hardest to keep up; his legs were aching; his incision pounded with each throbbing of his heart. He was trying. He was running. As fast as he could. But it wasn’t enough. he was falling behind, stumbling over each impediment in his way, over his own feet. He heard a bandit come up behind him, felt the cold metal of a pistol being pressed against his head.

“I’m going to kill you.” he spat out. Enraged by the way the missionary looked at him, so calmly and quietly with such assurance, he pushed the tip of the gun deeper into the missionaries flesh. “Aren’t you afraid?”

The missionary looked at the bandit pressing the gun into his head. Was he afraid? Afraid to die there, in the wilderness? He had consecrated his life to Christ, he had lived for Him, forsaking all that he had. Would he withhold his life from his Creator if it was asked of him, even in this brutal fashion? What was there to be afraid of really? All he had was Christ’s, for Him to do with as He pleased. If he could serve his Lord now, by dying, then so be it.

“No, I am not afraid,” he replied, with a breath. “If you kill me I will go right to God.”

A gun shot rang out, and a limp body fell to the ground. A soul was brought before the Lord, ushered into the heavenly gates.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A man walked to a railroad station, on his way to the place he called home in the heart of China. He heard the news on the train, and was deep in thought during the walk to house from the station.

When he arrived home, he read the full account of his fellow missionary’s marvelous testimony, of his death, and of his ultimate homecoming. Perhaps he wondered if he would be such a witness to others, if called upon to give his life for the cause of Christ. Those words wouldn’t leave his head, “No, I am not afraid.”

Could he be so strong?
Could he be so brave?
Would he leave such an indelible testimony behind him?

He went to his study and sat for a few minutes, gathering his thoughts. Those words “I am not afraid.” Over and over they ran through his mind, becoming a sort of chant.

He picked up his pen, and began to write. He wrote for fifteen minutes, and emerged having written a beautiful eulogy of those last minutes of his friend’s life. The words came easily and quickly flowed onto the paper:

Afraid — of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace?
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid — of that?

Afraid — of what?
Afraid to see the Savior’s face?
To hear His welcome and to trace
the glory, gleams
from wounds of grace?
Afraid — of that?

Afraid — of what?
A flash — a crash — a pierced heart;
Brief darkness — light — O heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid — of that?

Afraid — of what?
To enter into heaven’s rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid — of that?

Afraid — of what?
To do by death what life could not —
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid — of that?

Perhaps as he wrote he prayed that the Lord would bring forth fruit from the life of his friend. And he was blessed to see the prayer answered. To hear the Gospel given to others at his funeral, to hear of his friend’s Master spoken of as a man who also gave His life for sinners, far less deserving. He saw the churches his friend had ministered in go from being cold to gaining a zeal for Christ.

And E. H. Hamilton continued in His labours for Christ, remembering the sacrifice his friend had made for the Chinese Christians.

“Sing above the battle strife:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
By His death and endless life
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing it softly through the gloom,
When the heart for mercy craves;
Sing in triumph o’er the tomb:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”

“The bandit told the missionary, ‘I’m going to kill you. Aren’t you afraid?’
Jack Vinson replied simply, ‘Kill me, if you wish. I will go straight to God.'”
Kiangsu Province, Mainland China 1931
~”Jesus Freaks” by D.C. Talk and Voice of the Martyrs~

For more information:
Afraid?
Real Manhood the Life and Martyrdom of Uncle Jack

spanish lessons, anybody?

I have a sweet friend at my church that is interested in teaching a private Spanish class for home schooled children in Alabama. She picked up the language EXTREMELY fast, and is very gifted in using it. I know if you had this young lady for a teacher you would find it easy to learn this mysterious (to me!) language =)

Here is all the details and information:

Private Spanish Lessons

  • A little about me and the class I am offering:

My name is Christiana Liddle and I am excited to be offering private Spanish lessons this fall for 6th—12th grade students! I am in my senior year of college at Pensacola Christian College. I have taken 6 semesters of college Spanish; I tutored one college student in Spanish and another in Phonics. I have taken education classes in which I had the opportunity to teach lessons. I love being able to help others learn and would love to teach your child! Details are below:

  • Course Level:
    This is a beginning Spanish course. This course assumes that the student has no experience in Spanish. This course of 24 lessons may be considered ½ high school credit.
  • Objectives:
    By the end of this class your child(ren) will:
  • Know approximately 500 Spanish words
  • Be able to read in Spanish at a beginning level
  • Be able to put together basic sentences in Spanish using nouns, subject pronouns, articles, conjunctions, verbs, adjectives, and possessive adjectives.
  • Books:
  • Title: Por todo el mundo Spanish 1, Book 1A
    Author: Steven A. Guémann
    Publisher: Abeka
  • Title: Vocabulary Manual for Por todo el mundo
    Author: Steven A. Guémann
    Publisher: Abeka
  • Title: Vox Spanish and English Student Dictionary
  •  Where to buy books:
  • Buy Abeka books new abeka.com
  • Buy Vox Dictionary new at walmart.com or elsewhere
  • Or buy books and dictionary used online on Amazon or Ebay
  • *Note: Siblings taking the class, may share one set of books if preferred. They will never be required to write in the book for an assignment; however, because the book will be used in class, no more than 2 should share one set of books. *The Spanish dictionary may be shared by any number of siblings.
  • Scheduling Classes:
    Your child(ren) will receive…
  • Two lessons per week (1 hour per lesson) Mondays – Saturdays (scheduling flexible)
  • Total of 24 lessons
  • May be completed in 12 weeks; however, in order to give you flexibility for vacations and other activities, you will have 16 weeks to complete all 24 lessons. Lesson dates are available from October 2 – January 18
  • Location of Lessons:
    Optional for your convenience
  • Cost:
  • Lessons for one student: $10 per lesson, $240 total
  • *Note: If the lessons are held in your home, an extra charge of $5 will be added to each lesson ($120 extra for the whole semester) for gas expenses.
  • Payments may be made by check or cash.
  • Payments are due: by the last day of each month in which classes are taken. The amount due is according to the number of classes taken each month. If the whole semester is paid for in advance, the due date is the last day of the first month.

Feel free to call, text, or email me if you would like to reserve a spot for your child(ren) or if you have further questions. I would be happy to meet you if you would like to discuss the class in person.

scripture journaling

I have been wanting to do a post on Scripture journaling for awhile now — but it never seemed like a “good” time. But, with the hymn study I am doing with my younger siblings, I figured it would be a right time to post about it now.

Several years ago — we’re talking back in 2010 — Mom woke us up with a strangely interesting statement: “I think  we’re Mormons.” It was one of those years when we older girls were getting older (of course), and the younger children were starting lessons, and it was getting harder and harder to incorporate the unit study type lessons we had always done into the school day with so many various ages.

So, having just recently gotten the convenience of the internet into our home — and by recently I mean within the past year. Yes, we survived ’til then without the internet :D — my mother ran a search, looking for fun school lessons for us to do. And apparently the Mormon’s do a lot of crafty-type things with their children. Things my mother would do. They create fun lunches with their children, do a lot of scrap-booking type things, and they put a lot of emphasis on family, which has always been important to my parents. Hence the statement of “We’re Mormons” — though a joke, it did render us all wide awake to hear that statement made in our house =)

One thing we were all amazed by was the dedication of the Mormons to study their Bibles and the Book of Mormon. And it was truly studying — not simply reading a portion in the morning and the evening and calling it done. The studies we looked at posed deep and interesting questions. The amount of time that was dedicated was immense, much more than most Christians dedicate. And they would do fun things to help them remember what they learned — things like scripture journaling.

So we adopted it in the following years. It became a part of our lessons each day, and something many of us continue as we have graduated. I’ll admit, while I like the idea, and while it will be an amazing heritage to pass onto my children one day, it isn’t my very favourite thing to do. I prefer to write about what I have learned. But my sisters who have been blessed with extremely creative minds — meaning everyone younger than me — do enjoy it. And I like doing it…..I just wish my mind worked like the other girls :D

So what is Scripture journaling? Or, as my Mom phrases it “Scripture-Scraps”? It is simply a way to journal what you have learned throughout Scripture. Whether word studies, topical studies, parables, verses, even catechism…..it is a way to creatively express what you are learning without writing a report on it. We have used scrap booking supplies — papers, stamps, stickers, embellishments — pictures, quotes from books, word art printables, and a myriad of other things.

I asked the girls if I could take pictures of their journals and share some of them with you all, so you could have a visual of what I am talking about. I must say, I have never sat down to look through them. Though not as personal as a writing journal, they are personal. I was awed to see what the Lord had been teaching each of the girls as I flipped through and snapped pictures.

Some of us decorated the outside of our journals to make them unique and special — they are only plain sketch books which we bought at Hobby Lobby years ago.

As you look through the pictures remember that we were all much younger in the beginning of the books — Respectively I was 14, and the next three were 12, 11, and 8. These weren’t something Mom went through to correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. She would check to see that we had done it, and left it at that.

Prayerfully this gives you some ideas of your own, to start such a precious work of art….and trust me, if I can do this, anyone can. Especially since my whole family inherited the all the creative genes between them and I was left out of that one. Cooking for a party — have that one handled. Decorating…..well, best to leave that to someone else’s doing =)

AND — since this is the last installment of the hymn study for this go-round, we are celebrating with a giveaway.

My sister, Bethaney, is a wonderful artist, and she offered her talent to me — a beautiful printable for someone to win. If you have time, hop on over to Chocolate Ink Designs and see what all she has created :P

Entering the giveaway is easy — simply leave a comment on this post of what the Lord has taught you through this study of consecration. The giveaway will close Wednesday, September 13 — next week. I will announce the winner next Friday =)

consecration

For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about consecration — do we fully understand what the word means? The Student Bible Dictionary defines “consecration” as “Devote, separate, set aside for worship or service to God. A person or a thing can be consecrated.” 1 In both the Old Testament and the New Testament this concept of consecration is often translated as sanctify, or to make holy. 2

Charles Spurgeon says in his sermon, Consecration to God: “For a man to be thoroughly sanctified to the Master’s service, he must first realize the almightiness and all-sufficiency and glory of God. True holiness is a walking before God. The saint feels that he must not, dare not, transgress, because he is before the very face of God.”3

Andrew Murray described consecration in this way: “If God gives all and I receive all, then…..I must give all back again, What a privilege that for the sake of having me in loving, grateful intercourse with Him, and giving me the happiness of pleasing and serving Him, the Everlasting God should say, “Come now, and bring Me back all that I give.””4

As the hymn that Frances Havergal called her Consecration Hymn lays out, consecration is merely and in it’s most basic form a giving back to God of what He already gave to us. He blessed us with feet — we determine to use them for His glory. He gave us a voice; let’s sing only for Him. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:20 that “ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  As Christians we should do this with our whole life, always seeking out ways to honour God. Consecration isn’t just a mere attempt to not sin, or to make our sin appear to be less than others. We can’t just sit around and applaud ourselves for being less sinful than our neighbors — or more holy than them. We must strive to make everything we do an act of consecration to God.

As I once read somewhere, anyone can wipe a dish dry. Anyone can iron a shirt. Anyone can take out the trash for the umpteenth time. But someone who is living a life consecrated to Christ will be able to do this with joy in their hearts, a smile in their voice, and gentle, tender hands. If we are just doing it  “just because,” or “because Mom told me to,” than we are apt to do it with impatience, with words of complaint, with a heart of hatred towards the task at hand.

“The consecration of earthly vessels, then, is a picture of the complete consecration of the heart now; for we are to be fully the Lord’s for all time, not giving a portion of our time and affection to the world and sin, and to the following of selfish purposes. Every act of life, every thought of the heart, every affection of the soul, all for God and done in the glory of God.”5 This author understood well that even our hearts, minds, time, and thoughts must be consecrated for Christ’s use. Does this mean that we can never do anything recreational? Never do anything entertaining? Never sing anything but hymns, or read anything but theology? Absolutely not, by any stretch of the imagination! Rather, that all we do is to be done to the glory of God. I agree with the author who wrote: “…our religion is too often rendered useless by being dissevered from our week-day business and our recreations.”6

To me, this means I need to be able to have a good attitude if a younger sibling comes in for help and interrupts me while I am reading. Putting down handwork when a meal needs cooking or a baby needs changing. Each of us should strive to bring Christ into every area of our lives — whether we are taking out the trash, or talking with friends at church. At the movie theater, or have our noses buried in a book. It’s not enough for us to simply know about the doctrine of Christ — we must apply it to our lives and our hearts.

John Flavel writes: “O that all who profess faith in Christ, could subscribe cordially to that profession, Rom. 14:8. “None of us liveth to himself, and no man dies to himself; but whether we live, we live to the Lord; and whether we die, we die to the Lord; so then whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” This is to be a Christian indeed. What is a Christian, but an holy dedicated thing to the Lord? And what greater evidence can there be, that Christ set himself apart for you, than your setting yourselves apart for him?”7

So the question is, how can we be “an holy dedicated thing to the Lord” today? I there anything I need to give up? Is there anything I need to change in my habits? Are there any attitudes I need to change?

Speaking from personal knowledge, this isn’t easy. I am still learning and struggling with many of these concepts. Still learning to have a good attitude when I am elbows-deep in a sink of dirty dishes and there are more piled up, and a little brother needs help with his math. When I am trying to fold a massive load of laundry and the baby needs a clean diaper. Speaking as a young adult, I think it is a process of a lifetime to continually consecrate your days to Christ. But I also think it becomes a habit, something you do because you would never dream of not doing it.

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”  Shouldn’t this be the whole goal of our lives? To be, in a world filled with darkness, a vessel of light to others? To live a life so that others see your consecration to the Most High God?

O Lord of Heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all thing on earth or in heaven.8

– AW Tozer –

 

Footnotes:
1 The Student Bible Dictionary by Karen Dockery, Johnny Godwin, and Phyllis Godwin
2 The Student Bible Dictionary by Karen Dockery, Johnny Godwin, and Phyllis Godwin
3 Charles Spurgeon’s sermon Consecration to God —  http://biblehub.com/sermons/auth/spurgeon/consecration_to_god.htm
4 The Deeper Christian Life by Andrew Murray
5 Beautiful Girlhood by M. Hale; revised by Karen Andreola
6 In My Father’s House by Tamara and Naomi Valine
7 The Fountain of Life Opened Up by John Flavel
8 http://deeperchristianquotes.com/consecrate-remaining-days-w-tozer/

take my life — hymn study part lll

Many of the hymns we sing were written after certain things happened in the lives of the authors, and many of the authors documented it, so we can learn about it. Today, we are going to learn about a story of consecration and dedication. We learned about Frances Ridley Havergal’s  life earlier this week — now let’s learn about this hymn she wrote, and how it affected her life.

Frances Havergal wrote to a friend:
“Perhaps you will be interested to know the origin of the Consecration hymn ‘Take my life.’ I went for a little visit of five days [to Areley House]. There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long prayed for, some converted, but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer ‘Lord, give me all in this house!’ And He just did! Before I left the house everyone had got a blessing. The last night of my visit after I had retired, the governess asked me to go to the two daughters. They were crying, and then and there both of them trusted and rejoiced; it was nearly midnight. I was too happy to sleep, and passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration; and these little couplets formed themselves, and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with ‘Ever, ONLY, ALL for Thee!'”

She made this song her life’s anthem, constantly finding new ways to dedicate herself and all she was to Christ. She called this song her “Consecration Hymn”, and had copies made of it, which she would hand out to others. She always asked that if someone truly meant it, they would sign their name at the bottom of the hymn when alone on their knees before God.

In August, 1878, she wrote to a friend: “The Lord has shown me another little step, and of course I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold,’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House (including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess), where all will be accepted and disposed of for me. I retain a brooch or two for daily wear, which are memorials of my dear parents, also a locket containing a portrait of my dear niece in Heaven, my Evelyn, and her two rings; but these I redeem, so that the whole value goes to the Church Missionary Society. Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”

She had been trained as a concert soloist, but one day the Lord convicted her using the line in the hymn, “Take my voice and let me sing, only always for my King.” She had an unusually pleasant voice, and her talent could have brought her much fame. However, she determined to only sing for her Lord, wherever she sang, and to spread the gospel through her singing.

How can you consecrate your life to the King today?


I will be posting some of each study on this blog…..if you are interested in joining this study with me, here’s what you need to do:

If you are a reader who is not subscribed to the blog and you want to participate, enter your email address in the sidebar on the right.

Once you are subscribed, send an email to hymnhistorystudies@gmail.com and let me know that you want to participate.(If you are a current subscriber just send me an email stating you’d like to join in)

Once you have emailed me, you will be sent an email three times a week, filled with ideas and inspiration for studying each hymn. You can easily learn about each hymn by simply reading what I post on this blog, but the email will contain more information, more lessons not posted here, and some (hopefully) fun hands-on activities. If the study has already started — no problem! I will happily send you all the emails that have been sent to date, and you can look over them and play catch up.

And, to celebrate the first such study, there will be a fun give-away at the end of these first three weeks…..which I will have more details about later =)

If you know others who would enjoy participating in this study, feel free to invite them along for the ride too. The more the merrier, right?

take my life — hymn history part ll

Reverend William Henry Havergal and his wife, Jane, welcomed their sixth into their homes and their lives mere weeks before Christmas. Born December 14, in 1836, in Astley, Worcestershire, Frances Ridley Havergal was the last child the Lord sent to bless the Havergal home.

Her sister recalls her as a bright, happy child, who brightened the family home. Her father called her his “Little Quicksilver”. She was a reportedly a beautiful child with a sunny disposition, and her whole family doted on her. Frances had a delicate constitution, and from childhood endured frail health, which endeared her even more to those surrounding her.

Her home-life was a blessed one indeed — it was abundant in all holy influences, her father read the Scriptures to the family every morning, and there was a delightful musical atmosphere. Frances was passionately fond of music from her babyhood; her grandmother noticed one day and said she would die singing, she was that fond of it. Her parents encouraged her to develop her musical talent, and everything money and education, could provide belonged to her to further her musical interests. Her father, himself, had published almost one hundred different hymns, and was a distinguished composer and a musician.

At the age of three, little Frances learned to read, and became extremely fond of it. She started writing poetry when she was seven, and continued throughout her life to write. She had a strong desire to learn the greek and hebrew languages fluently enough to read through the Scriptures in the original language, with the hope that this ability would open the Word of God to her as it had not been.

Growing up in a home influenced by Christ, she had times in her childhood where she writes of knowing she should love Jesus, and just not having the ability to do so. She would outwardly pretend to be a Christian, while inside she was constantly searching and longing for Him.

The first sorrow of Frances young life was the death of her mother when she was eleven years old. Throughout her life, she remembered what her mother had said to her on her deathbed, and it became her lifelong prayer: “Ask God to prepare you for all He is preparing for you.”

Frances was just shy of her fourteenth birthday, when, in August of 1850, her father enrolled her in Mrs. Tweed’s school for young ladies. He felt she needed to be taught more of the feminine ways and accomplishments than he could possibly do, and Frances was excited about the chance of furthering her education, and her goal of learning to read hebrew and greek. She still struggled with wanting to call Jesus her Lord and Saviour, and not having the strength in herself to act like a Christian, but this school was an answer to her earnest prayers.

In 1851, Frances wrote in a letter, “I committed my soul to the Saviour, and earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment.” At last, her soul had found rest and comfort in her Saviour. She told a friend of Christ finding her:  “I was sitting on the sofa alone with Miss Cooke, and I told her how I longed to know that I was forgiven. She said: ‘Do you desire it above everything else?’ I said ‘I do.’ She paused and then said slowly: ‘Then, Fanny, I think — I am sure, it will not be long before your wish is granted.’ After a few more words she said: ‘Why cannot you trust yourself to your Saviour now? If you saw Jesus coming in the clouds of Heaven, and heard Him call you, could not you trust Him then?’ ‘I could, surely,’ was my reply; and running to my room, I fell on my knees and committed my soul to Jesus. I could and I did trust myself to the Saviour for all eternity, and peace and joy flowed in.”

From this time forward Frances Havergal became a wonderful example to emulate of what a Christian can and ought to do. She kept her Bible constantly with her, but she never carried it for a mere ornament, or to decorate her coffee table or her nightstand. She studied it. She learned it. She knew it by heart, and she searched it for new things the lord would teach her. She had large portions of the texts written upon her heart — she had memorized all four of the gospels, all the epistles, Revelation, and most of the book of Psalms. She was constantly encouraging others — especially the younger children — to write the Words of God upon their hearts. She wrote and passed out many tracts to the people she came in contact with, and she thoroughly devoted her whole self to the Master’s use, working gladly and strenuously for Him even though she still experienced delicate health.

Her poetry became distinct and individual, and she quickly found the niche that only she could fill by writing simply and sweetly of God’s love. She spread the message of salvation with her pen, writing of God’s grace, of His mercy, and of His ways, consecrating her whole life to Him. From her poetry and hymns, you can easily discern that this woman was remarkable in her passionate love of her Saviour. When she was twenty seven years old, she was asked to begin to contribute her poetry to a monthly publication, which she gladly did, rejoicing in her chance to share Christ with all who read it.

Frances Havergal prayed earnestly three times a day, as did Daniel of old. After her death, her sister found a scrap of paper on which she had written her requests, and just by reading these you can tell what kind of character Christ had developed in her: CaptureBecause of her frail health, Frances faced many different illnesses in her life. One day in spring, of 1879, she caught a cold, which led to inflammation of her lungs. When her doctor visited her, she asked him if he thought she had a chance of dying, and he told her he did not think her seriously ill. Later, he realized the inflammation was increasing, and told her he was worried. She rejoiced over his words, for she said she was excited to soon meet her Saviour. On June 3 of that year, her grandmother’s prediction of her dying while she was singing came true. She was visibly failing, and in pain, yet she was still able to sing the first verse of Jesus I will trust Thee before she had to succumb to the pain. It soon passed, and she tried to sing again. She was only able to get out the first word, “He”, and her voice failed. It was the last time she spoke on this earth, for later that day she passed peacefully into the arms of her Saviour.

Frances Havergal died at the age of 42 — and she left behind a rich legacy of faith. She was known in this life for her studying, her writing, her prayers, and her devotion to the Saviour who bled for her sins. She became known as the greatest female hymn writer of her century in England.


I will be posting some of each study on this blog…..if you are interested in joining this study with me, here’s what you need to do:

If you are a reader who is not subscribed to the blog and you want to participate, enter your email address in the sidebar on the right.

Once you are subscribed, send an email to hymnhistorystudies@gmail.com and let me know that you want to participate.(If you are a current subscriber just send me an email stating you’d like to join in)

Once you have emailed me, you will be sent an email three times a week, filled with ideas and inspiration for studying each hymn. You can easily learn about each hymn by simply reading what I post on this blog, but the email will contain more information, more lessons not posted here, and some (hopefully) fun hands-on activities. If the study has already started — no problem! I will happily send you all the emails that have been sent to date, and you can look over them and play catch up.

And, to celebrate the first such study, there will be a fun give-away at the end of these first three weeks…..which I will have more details about later =)

If you know others who would enjoy participating in this study, feel free to invite them along for the ride too. The more the merrier, right?

take my life — hymn history part l

For the first hymn of our study, we will be learning about Frances Ridley Havergal’s hymn that she called her ‘Hymn of Consecration’.

You will notice that this version is slightly different than what you find in most hymnals, with a chorus added to it….that is because I found this gem tucked in an old hymnal copyrighted 1899, that I found in a local thrift store. Yes, my book-crazy self will scour the shelves of books for the old, musty smelling ones =)  Actually, the store I found this in is extremely organized — even down to genre and authors last name. I think a librarian is organizing their books. Or at least a fellow book lover. Anyways…..

This is a beautiful tune that I had not heard before, and I haven’t been able to find a recording of it. The tune name is Evangel — but apparently there are a lot of tunes called that, I discovered. If you can find it, or if I can upload a piano recording of it (anyone know how to manage that one? ;-P) you will hear how pretty it is. I *think* I like it much better than that tune our church sings it to.

::::Take My Life::::

Take my life and let it be (let it be)
Consecrated Lord to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move,
At the impulse of Thy love.
All for Jesus I resign,
I am His and He is mine;
O, the rapture of His grace!
I shall see Him face to face.

Take my feet and let them move (let them move)
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
All for Jesus I resign,
I am His and He is mine;
O, the rapture of His grace!
I shall see Him face to face.

Take my lips and let them be (let them be)
Filled with messages from Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
All for Jesus I resign,
I am His and He is mine;
O, the rapture of His grace!
I shall see Him face to face.

Take my will and make it Thine (make it Thine)
It will be no longer mine;
Take my heart – it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
All for Jesus I resign,
I am His and He is mine;
O, the rapture of His grace!
I shall see Him face to face.

         Take my love – my Lord I pour (Lord I pour)
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be,
Ever only all for Thee.
All for Jesus I resign,
I am His and He is mine;
O, the rapture of His grace!
I shall see Him face to face.

Be looking for part 2 of this hymn study coming sometime this week……see below if you would like a more in-depth study than I will be posting on this blog in your inbox three times a week =)


I will be posting some of each study on this blog…..if you are interested in joining this study with me, here’s what you need to do:

If you are a reader who is not subscribed to the blog and you want to participate, enter your email address in the sidebar on the right.

Once you are subscribed, send an email to hymnhistorystudies@gmail.com and let me know that you want to participate.(If you are a current subscriber just send me an email stating you’d like to join in)

Once you have emailed me, you will be sent an email three times a week, filled with ideas and inspiration for studying each hymn. You can easily learn about each hymn by simply reading what I post on this blog, but the email will contain more information, more lessons not posted here, and some (hopefully) fun hands-on activities. If the study has already started — no problem! I will happily send you all the emails that have been sent to date, and you can look over them and play catch up.

And, to celebrate the first such study, there will be a fun give-away at the end of these first three weeks…..which I will have more details about later =)

If you know others who would enjoy participating in this study, feel free to invite them along for the ride too. The more the merrier, right?

hymn history take 2 + a give-away

I have a series posted on this blog that I called “Hymn History”, sharing with all of you the amazing stories behind the hymns we sing. It is the series I have enjoyed writing the most.

See, I have this passion for music, and an undying devotion to the old hymns of our faith. For years I have filled notebooks with the history of the hymns we sing, and worked on memorizing them. This is one way God has used to teach me of Him, through melody and poetry set to music. He has brought snippets of hymns to mind when I have need them most — “When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie / My grace, all sufficient shall be thy supply / The flame will not hurt thee, I only design / Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine”   was a constant companion when my mother had brain surgery and my baby sister was in the hospital for so many months. “This is my Father’s world / O let me ne’er forget / That though the wrong seems oft so strong / God is the ruler yet” was an immense comfort as we mourned the loss of a dear family’s father. When the tornadoes ripped through the valley in 2011, the song of many families hearts was a newer one that we often had sung together: “Jesus guide me through the tempest / Keep my spirit stayed and sure / and when the midnight meets the morning / let me love You even more / May this journey bring a blessing / May I rise on wings of faith / and at the end of my hearts testing / With Your likeness let me wake.”  My desire is that we can all experience this blessing of memorizing hymns, experience the comfort of them during hard times, and come to a deeper understanding of our Lord through them.

So I am going to start something new: I am going to be studying each hymn in-depth for three weeks, and teaching it to my siblings and the children at our church. And I would like to invite you to come along side of me. These lessons can easily be incorporated into family worship or lesson time. Prayerfully, everyone will learn through these short lessons what surrounded the creation of each hymn, giving everyone a deeper understanding of the preciousness of the sacred poetry. So often I have heard that the old hymns are outdated, or too hard to understand or memorize, and I want to change that.  They are precious, and often they are the result of some trial that the writer was taught through. These lessons will be suitable for children and young adults of all ages — I will be sharing them with my family which ranges from age 19 to 1.5 years. They are easily taught by parents, or older siblings…..or simply can be used as a Bible study of sorts.

By the end of the three weeks, everyone should have the hymn memorized, and should be able to sing it to bless all who hear and glorify our Father which is in Heaven. The goal is to ignite a passion in all of you that will burn with a fervor.

I am wanting my family to sing the old hymns because they KNOW that what they are singing is true. I want them to sing with understanding and feeling, to use the hymns as a catalyst for learning about different doctrines of the faith. I don’t want them parroting the words, or singing because their friends do — I want them to sing because they enjoy it and love it and want to share the gospel found in the hymns with others. I am praying that the studies will create a zeal in the children and excite them to share the hymns with others.

I will be posting some of each study on this blog…..but I know that many of my blogging friends also enjoy the old hymns, as evidenced by their blogs. So if you are interested in joining this study with me, here’s what you need to do:

If you are a reader who is not subscribed to the blog and you want to participate, enter your email address in the sidebar on the right.

Once you are subscribed, send an email to hymnhistorystudies@gmail.com and let me know that you want to participate.

Once you have emailed me, you will be sent an email three times a week, filled with ideas and inspiration for studying each hymn. You can easily learn about each hymn by simply reading what I post on this blog, but the email will contain more information, more lessons not posted here, and some (hopefully) fun hands-on activities.

And, to celebrate the first such study, there will be a fun give-away at the end of these first three weeks…..which I will have more details about later =)

If you know others who would enjoy participating in this study, feel free to invite them along for the ride too. The more the merrier, right?

I am excited to see what the Lord teaches us throughout this study! The first such email should be in your inbox by Saturday evening, Lord willing.

*If you are reading this after Saturday, feel free to jump on in anyways…..I will happily send you all the emails so you can play “catch up” and join us for the fun!*

 

a special man

We were blessed to be able to attend a conference about fatherhood a couple weekends ago. A really, really good conference — a well spent Saturday, I must say. They packed several sessions into one day, and there were several speakers that I didn’t know and had never heard of. But they all spoke of one thing — the importance of having a father in the home.DSC_0544

And as I was listening, while I was gleaning much from the speakers, I became immensely grateful for my father. And I realized, the more I thought about it,that fatherhood is just as sacrificial as motherhood is. Because it does require sacrifice for a father to be active in the home. Just as much as a mother.

As I have grown older, I have seen families torn apart because there is no father in the home. I have seen young men who struggle to find their way because there is no dad, but I have also seen how important it is for young ladies to have a father in the home. I have seen countless girls struggle with who they are in Christ, who meet guys online, or at work, or wherever, and they value their opinion more than their father’s. I have seen families falling apart, children going wherever, and the father helpless to do anything because he is never there.

When I was young, I barely knew my father. He was gone all the time on business trips. I can remember wearing his t-shirts to bed, waiting on Daddy to get home — one time even attacking the door when we saw him on the porch, causing the glass insert to fall on him =)

When we started homeschooling, I remember him bringing us all with him as a family. We went to many, many places, Dad working and “the girls” hanging out in the hotel. I can remember the fun lessons we learned — one time walking in and out of the bathroom as we practiced walking into a room with a smile and a kind word, ready to meet people. The games of charades, the math challenges, the card games.

And I remember when we stopped traveling so much and Dad would make it a point to come home every night. Even when he had a four or five hour drive, he would get up at three in the morning  and get home late in the evening, showing his family we were his priority, not his job.

I also remember when his boss fussed at him for not traveling so much. Right before Christmas, in 2007 or 2008, and he gave my father an ultimatum: either you travel by yourself, or you’re fired.
Dad quit his job.
I remember him calling to tell Mom.
And even in the midst of the economic recession, he was quickly offered a job in the same field of business.

He could be making a six or seven digit paycheck, and our life could financially be better. He has had multiple job offers — for more money a week than I can imagine — but he won’t sacrifice his family for money.

My Daddy is special. He won’t let our family fall apart. He has such a job that he can come home if there is a snake that needs to be taken care of, or a mouse in the house, or a discipline issue. He has sacrificed friendships with other men when he has seen that the children have a detrimental effect on our family.

One of the speakers at the conference asked the fathers if their children have heard them pray. I can say yes. I have. And more than just praying over food. But he goes farther than that — he makes sure he is home every night to go over catechism with us and to lead us in family worship.

I can’t even imagine a life where my father is gone four or five days of the week, and I never see him. My heart goes out to those who do live that way, for whom this is the norm.DSC_0001

And if you have a father as special as mine is, go give him a big hug, knowing he loves you enough to make this happen =P