Monday, 25 February 2008

A Prayer Is Answered - and Fanny Crosby Writes Another Hymn

Among many characteristics of the blond poetess Fanny Crosby, three stand out. She always carried a little American flag. She either held it in her hand or kept it in her bag, and it was buried with her when she died in 1915 at the age of 95. Though blinded in infancy, the petite "Aunt Fanny" (she was Mrs. Alexander Van Alstyne in private life) greeted friends and strangers alike with a cheerful "God bless you dear soul." And, according to her own statement, she never attempted to write a hymn without first kneeling in prayer. If this be true, Fanny Crosby spent considerable time on her knees. She wrote no less than 8,000 songs. So many that critics have said the chief fault with her work lies in that she was too prolific. But none can deny that many "pearls are found among the oyster shells."

Under contract for three hymns a week, Miss Crosby was often under pressure to meet deadlines. It was under such circumstances in 1869 that she tried to write words for a tune Composer W.H. Doane had sent her. But she couldn't write. Then she remembered she had forgotten her prayer. Rising from her knees, she dictated - as fast as her assistant could write - the words for the famous hymn, "Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross."

But one day in 1874, Fanny Crosby prayed for more material things. She had run short of money and needed $5.00 - even change. There was no time to draw on her publishers, so she simply prayed for the money. Her prayer ended, she was walking to and fro in her room trying to "get in the mood" for another hymn when an admirer called. Greeting the stranger with "God bless you dear soul," the two chatted briefly. In the parting handshake the admirer left something in the hymn-writer's hand. It was five dollars--even change. Rising from a prayer of thanks the blind poetess wrote:

By Fanny Crosby 1820-1915

All the way my Saviour leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate'er befalls me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Saviour leads me;
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! a spring of joy I see.

All the way my Saviour leads me;
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest for to me is promised
In my Father's house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song thro' endless ages;
Jesus led me all the way.

God bless,
Country Mama

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Good O Meter

How good are you? and how good is GOOD ENOUGH? Do you think bad and good sort cancel each other out?

Think about this. Take an example of a country where you lived in, for example in UK a person who commit raping will be jailed for at least 10 years, in Singapore stealing from the elderly can bring a person up to 3 times canning and a period in jail, in Indonesia is a crime to smugle drug and you can end up with a death sentence.

The idea is clear, if you commit a crime you must be punished! However human mind are inconsistent. In many religion, let's admit it, how many of them that require a person to do this and that? doing good works? helping the needy? fasting? meditation? even up to torturing their own body to repay the sin.

But when you think about it, does it work? If you tell your government that you will go on a year of fasting after raping a girl? or that you will torture yourself after murdering someone? Do you think the government will agree with you? Most likely they will think that you are completely insane. And this is human standard, how about God's standard?

That's right, you are insane if you think you can buy God's forgiveness with goodworks, being a samaritan, tithing, going to church, baptism, meditating, because the weight of your CRIME is DEATH according to the bible, and nothing you can do than to be executed!

Someone ask me, how can Jesus die in our place then? SIMPLE, all of us had commit a crime in the God's standard. And therefore, we have a date reserved for our execution. I can't be executed on your behalf nor can you took my place to be punished, because we ourselves had commit crime, you and I have our own plate of punishment to come. Therefore Jesus is the only substitution, because he had never commit any crime, and he is NOT suppose to be punished, but with all of His love, he decided to take our place.

It is may not sound fair, therefore it called GRACE!
Christian doing good works, being faithful to church, helping the needy, loving one another is NOT (I repeat is not!) to bribe God of His forgiveness. Rather it's to testify and to be thankful to God of how good He is, for He had die in our place!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

What Are My Rights?

A few years ago my husband preached on this subject (not necesarrily the title). It really caught my attention.

Do you notice in the society that we live in today how often you hear people talking about their rights? Do you notice how often you hear the phrase "It's against my human rights?" I hear this so much that it nearly makes me ill. It is very misused and abused.

We as Christians can many times get caught up in this problem also, as my husband so lovingly pointed out. The Bible says in I Corinthians 6:19-20, "What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

To make things short and sweet, as my husband said, "WE HAVE NO RIGHTS!!!" The only rights that we have are to spend an eternity in Hell. If we are the Lord's, then we know that we cannot do that. It says in I Cor. 6:20 that we are bought with a price. If we go into a store and buy something then we gain the right to have whatever we bought to work properly and able to be used for its purpose, correct? Well, since Jesus paid the price for our salvation He gained the rights to us. He has the right to expect us to do as we should not as we wish. NO RIGHTS!

Our rights are listed in Romans 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." These are all things that we cannot do on our own. The same One who bought us is also the same One that equips us to do and be what He wills.

I'm not sure about you, but I'd rather live without MY rights. When I am having my way and I'm in control of things they tend to get messy and all warped out of joint, then I'm miserable. When I live as He would have me to, which means surrendered to HIS will (with MY rights dead and buried beneath the cross); life may not be a bed of roses, but there is a peace that passeth all understanding.

Whose rights would you rather be under?
1. Your own, which is mostly for selfish gain and self gratification or
2. The Lord's, who's ways are perfect, just, holy, etc., etc.

Until the Shout,
Country Mama