Sunday, October 26, 2014

HYMN: Make Me A Blessing / Be A Blessing Today

Let's go back to October 2009, five years ago. It was towards the beginning of cold and flu season, and I wrote a post that gave several suggestions on how to be a blessing to those who are not feeling well. Check out that blog post here:

Along with that blog post, I also included a hymn that was written by Ira B. Wilson in 1905. The original title of the hymn was "Out in the Highways and Byways of Life" but it has since been changed to "Make Me A Blessing." This hymn will be our hymn of focus for this Sunday.

I wasn't able to find any information about this hymn, other than the author being a composer who was taught music at home by his sister, and later became a student at The Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

I like the hymn because it reminds me to let my light shine so that others will see Jesus in me.

Matthew 5:16 -  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (ESV)

(click on the title above to hear the tune)

Words by Ira B. Wilson
Music by George S. Schuler

Out in the highways and byways of life,
many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife
making the sorrowing glad.
Make me a blessing,
Make me a blessing,
Out of my life
May Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.
Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love;
Tell of His pow'r to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove
true ev'ry moment you live.
Give as 'twas given to you in your need;
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed;
Unto your mission be true.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Picnic Snack - An Introduction to My New Book Project

Here's a sneak peak at the new book project I've been working on.  I'm excited to say its almost ready for publication, but still needs a couple finishing touches. I am hoping to have it available to the public by the 1st of November (maybe sooner!) In the meantime, you are probably wondering what this book is about.

The new book is geared towards the younger crowd - children in the 3-8 developmental age range, but older children may enjoy it also. It is called, "A Picnic Snack," and is based on a fun experience I had when I was a little girl living in the small town of Manito, IL. My neighborhood friends and I often played outside together, and I can remember more than one occasion when we all brought snacks from home to share with everyone else.

The two main ideas of the book are "sharing with friends" and "thanking God for our food." My niece, Carolyn, drew the illustrations, and she did a great job for her debut in the publishing world. I enjoyed working with her on this.

I am using the same company I used for my first book, and will be sure to let you know when it is available to the public.

Stay tuned!  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

HYMN: Day By Day / Does God Give Us More Than We Can Handle?

I'm going to use two of my old posts to talk about today's hymn. First, click over to this post I wrote three years ago: 

Then, come back here to read more about the hymn below...

2 Corinthians 12:9 -  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

By: Karolina Sandell
Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Ev'ry day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in ev'ry tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting;
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

To read about the author's meaning behind this hymn, click here to another post I wrote four years ago:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

HYMN: There's A Race For Us To Run - Hallelujah

I had never heard of this hymn before now, and I couldn't find any information about its background, but I found it as I was looking up some other hymns. It was under the category of  "encouragement for running the race," and is based on Hebrews 12:1-2.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Click on the title below and enjoy listening to it. It has an upbeat and catchy tune. Maybe it will help give you the pep you need to keep running the race for the Lord...

Words:  J.I.
Music:  William A. Ogden

 There’s a race for us to run—Hallelujah,
  And a way for us the race to win.
To all those who have begun—Hallelujah,
  God has spoken, “Look away to Him!”
Look away! O look away!
Look to Jesus now today!
Look away from everything unto Jesus,
Look away from everything to Him!
Look away from all around—Hallelujah,
  Look away from all the strife and din;
Look away where peace is found—Hallelujah,
  Look away from everything to Him.
Look away from fickle soul—Hallelujah,
  Look away from failing self within;
Look away toward the goal—Hallelujah,
  Look away from everything to Him.

Look away from all the past—Hallelujah,
  Look away from both the good and sin;
To the living One hold fast—Hallelujah,
  Look away from everything to Him.

Look away into His face—Hallelujah,
  He who’ll finish what He did begin.
O what grace to run the race—Hallelujah—
  We obtain by looking off to Him!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

HYMN: Because He Lives

My grandma's birthday is tomorrow, and she would have been 95 years old. So, in honor of her, I am sharing her favorite hymn today...

This is a newer hymn, written in 1971 by Bill and Gloria Gaither. The words came after the birth of their 3rd son. The couple had been going through a difficult time with health issues, family issues, and world happenings. Gloria was distraught over bringing their baby into this crazy, messed up world. But, the Lord gave her reassurance and these words were written to share with others. These words give us encouragement and remind us of the hope we have in Christ despite the difficulties and uncertain days we face...

By:  William and Gloria Gaither, 1971
(The 1974 Dove Awards song of the year)
God sent His Son - they called Him Jesus.
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He hold the future
And life is worth the living - just because He lives.
How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance;
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.


And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and - I'll know He lives.


John 14:19 "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. (NKJV)
Matthew 28:6 - "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."