Monthly Archives: January 2013

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus…

let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2

It is amazing to me how much more depth something has when you know the back story, the meaning behind it or the reason it came to be. I used to think that most hymns were just stuffy old songs that repeated the same tune over and over again. I really didn’t enjoy singing them and I let the repetitive melody get in the way of the truth of the words. I didn’t really grow up with hymns and didn’t sing them very often. When Aaron and I got married we started going to a Presbyterian church, DPC in Denton. Most of the hymns we sang we had rewritten melodies. I began to look at the words and see some meaning behind them and understand the depth to which the hymns went. I am also married to a man that LOVES hymns… He owns several (like in the teens) hymnals and he still wants more of them. He is wonderful at rewriting the music to them which brings to them a fresh sound. Most hymn texts are so full of truth and meat… You could sing the same one over and over and still get new things from it.

Just recently Aaron got a book on amazon that is called “Then Sings My Soul” it is full of many different hymns and it tells their back story and who they were written by. I can honestly say that I am truly amazed by hymns and will never look at them in the same way. I also will not judge them by the music that goes with them. God’s truth is being spoken through these hymn authors and most hymns have more depth in the first line then hundreds of “new” Christian songs being written today.

I think a lot of us get caught up in how a song sounds or how it flows or if the congregation will like the bridge or not. We enjoy singing the same line over and over again until we get that “feeling” we want. We are looking for songs that promise something or that talk about “us” what we need,and want… The point of worship is glorifying God. We are telling God how much we love him, how beautiful he is and giving him that glory. We don’t do this because of what he does for us but because of who he is. He is our God, the magnificent and glorious God.

The woman that wrote this specific hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, paints a beautiful picture of worship and what it means. Helen Howarth Lemmel was born in England. She studied vocal music and married a rich European. Helen’s husband left her because she went blind. She was alone and unable to write down her music. God continued to use her even through her pain and loneliness. She wrote 500 hymns in her lifetime. She had a dear friend that would go and help her every time she had words or music in her head and write them down for her. She kept a small keyboard by her bed so that she could compose whenever she needed to. At age 55, Helen heard a statement that deeply impressed her: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face and you will find that the things of this earth will acquire a strange new dimness.”
I am inspired by her ability to push on and turn her eyes upon Jesus and grateful for her willingness to share the gift of words and song that God gave her. Here is the first verse and chorus of her hymn… Look up the rest of it…. Absolutely beautiful!

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the savior
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace.

– Helen Lemmel

This day we must turn our eyes to Jesus and let everything else grow dim so that we can see God in all of his fullness, so that we can glorify him for who he is. Enjoy this day that he has made and be thankful for all that he has given you.

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Some questions don’t have answers

Questions, there are big questions and small questions, questions with answers and questions that linger for a life time. Sometimes I just wonder why questions don’t get answered or don’t even seem to have an answer. Last night/ early morning (5am), Aaron and I woke up to a loud knock on the door. I thought the knock was coming from my dreams but then the door bell rang as well. Aaron stumbled out of the bedroom to answer the door and all I kept thinking was, please don’t wake up my sleeping baby… And then I had a thought of panic, something must be wrong. Aaron opened the door to find a police officer on the other said and he told us that it looked like Aaron’s car had been broken into. Fortunately Aaron forgot to lock his car last night and so they didn’t break any windows or anything and fortunately we don’t keep ANYTHING valuable in our cars. The police officer said that there apparently had been several cars in the neighborhood that had been “rummaged through”. The police officer got some information from Aaron and then said they would be out looking for the person who was doing this and hopefully find him or her. We went back inside and got back in bed.
As I laid back down trying to go back to sleep, the thoughts began, most of them not having answers. Why didn’t this person try to break into our house, why do people steal at all, should I be worried that someone might try to break into my house? Then I starting thinking, what would I do if someone broke into our house… I do know that if someone did break in, they wouldn’t get very far before I would wake up because I hear EVERYTHING.
We recently had some friends from our church dealing with some strange noises in their house, coming from their heater. They repeatedly told the land lord about them but he did nothing. One night they decided to go stay elsewhere because the noises were worrying them… Listen to the still small voice inside, we have the Holy Spirit for a reason. The next day their house burned down and most of their stuff was gone. Again the questions come up… Why did this happen to them? They are good godly people they love The Lord… Why would this happen? Why were their lives spared? How will they function without all of their stuff? What if that happened to us, what would we do… Would we be able to function and rest in God’s peace even though all of our worldly possessions were gone?
Even though I have all of these questions, most of them not having an answer… I do know that God sees the big picture, that he loves us deeper than we could even imagine and despite what we see in front of our faces, despite how hard our days are or how lonely our nights are or despite the things we can’t control and the questions we can’t answer… God is right with us, he knows EVERY feeling we have felt… He knows right where we are and can comfort us and bring us peace through anything we might encounter. Take courage in whatever questions you might have, big or small, God is in the midst of them and sees the big picture!
On a brighter note… And if you didn’t read my post from yesterday… My little girl did not want any oatmeal or yogurt or really anything I offered her, today she ate oatmeal, yogurt and an egg! Go girl! Well I think this is the end of my thoughts for right now, thanks for listening. And take heart!

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Finding patience

Today 1/9/2013

Ever have one of those mornings where you haven’t even finished your first cup of coffee and you already want another one? This is one of those mornings. I kind of feel bad complaining at all because I know that overall my life is very easy and blessed but everyone one has buttons and buttons get pushed no matter who you are. Can I just say that I love my little girl, she is sweet and cute and becoming more interactive with each day. She is walking everywhere and trying to say a million things (that we can’t quite make out yet). She loves exploring and never stops playing. She also has become very picky about breakfast.
Yesterday I was so excited because I went to the store and bought a lot of new things for Evelyn to try. She has been on an oatmeal kick lately but two mornings ago she decided she no longer wanted it. So I googled toddler food ideas and set to work on finding something she did want for breakfast. At the store I bought plain yogurt and fruit, I also bought these yummy looking organic honey nut oats. So this morning I sat down and attempted to give her yogurt and she wouldn’t even let it touch her lips, she turns her head in a dramatic fashion to the side and makes a displeased grunt. Finally I got her to taste some, still no luck, until mommy ate some then she wanted some. BUT when offered again, she refused. So I pulled out the honey nut Cheerios, thinking for sure this would be a hit… Folks, she ate one and threw the rest on the floor. I then listened to her cry and moan while I looked for something else to feed her.
I know what you are all thinking at this point, why would I let her control me like this, just make her eat what I give her and don’t give her so many choices but for a mother trying to cut down on nursing and about to put her baby down for a nap, I would do anything to fill her belly. And for the most part she isn’t a picky eater, just breakfast. So I pull out the skillet and make an egg (which she likes sometimes) as soon as I give her the egg she double fists it into her mouth as fast as she can until it is gone… Eggs, the new breakfast food, for now. With toddlers you never know, I don’t think they know half the time. Currently she is having a ball getting into the cabinet…

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God is always teaching me something, either through marriage (showing me how selfish I am) or through motherhood (showing me how selfish I am) or through other relationships (showing me how selfish I am) …. Hmmm I just know that I have a lot to learn and am humbled by life everyday. Sometimes I think the desire is to get down hearted and feel overwhelmed but then I remember God’s wonderful promises in his word… He promises to not give us more than we can handle and always be here for us. No matter how “good” we are, we can’t earn his love and that is a comforting thought. So I go through each moment trying to remember God’s sacrifices for me and being thankful that I have the opportunity to be a wife to my wonderful husband and I get the chance to be a mother to my adorable, beautiful (sometimes picky) little daughter… All of which I would never trade nor give up. Cherish your loved ones, your life and remember that God is behind you all the way.