Great is thy faithfulness - 25 July 2014

Xanthe Hancox

 

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Thomas Obediah Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Kentucky, USA, in 1866. He received his education in a little country schoolhouse, and at age 16 began teaching there. He became a Christian at 27, and with no college or seminary training was ordained to the Methodist ministry at 36.  He served as a Methodist minister for a year, but poor health made it impossible for him to continue. He moved to New Jersey where he opened an insurance office.

Always interested in poetry, Chisholm wrote hundreds of poems during his lifetime. He was inspired by Lamentations 3:22-23 to write the text for "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." The refrain in the hymn says:

 Great is Thy faithfulness!

Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me

Chisholm experienced that faithfulness. He suffered ill health most of his adult life, and never made much money, but he said, "God has given me many wonderful displays of his providing care which have filled me with astonishing gratefulness." He also said that although he learnt the truth of God’s care through his own experience, he realised that reading the Bible played an even more important role. Interesting, isn’t it? One of life’s greatest tools sits somewhere in our homes and we refuse to use it every day to remind us that God is with us – through it all.

If you’re feeling alone and helpless this morning, remember that God is still faithful. His word reveals this truth again and again. Open his book today and allow him to speak to you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, through every season of my life, you do not change and your love does not fail. Thank you for your great faithfulness to me. Amen

You can listen to Great is Thy Faithfulness here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTKIqmdfHSk

The Lord is my shepherd - 24 July 2014

Xanthe Hancox

 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23:1-3

"The Lord's my Shepherd" is one of the best-loved hymns based on one of the best-loved psalms.  People love it for good reason.  It speaks of green pastures and still waters and restored souls.  But more than that, it speaks of an all-knowing, all-powerful shepherd who devotes full attention to our care.

The Lord's My Shepherd hymn is another old one with its roots in the Reformation, when Luther and Calvin emphasised singing psalms.  I mentioned the Marian exiles a couple of days ago, the large numbers of Protestants who fled to Europe to escape persecution during the reign of Queen Mary I (1553-1558).  There, under the influence of Luther and Calvin, they began singing psalms.  When Mary died and Elizabeth I ascended to the throne, they returned to England, bringing their psalm tunes with them.

In the late 1640s, a group of scholars gathered together for the purpose of developing a faithful, metrical translation of the Psalms.  When The Scottish Psalter of 1650 was published, it became the gold standard for metrical translations of the Psalms.  The text derived from The Scottish Psalter is the one most frequently used today for The Lord's My Shepherd.

The hymn version of Psalm 23 remains faithful to David's psalm. It gives us a reassuring and challenging image of God. He is our shepherd, the one who provides for all our needs. But the image of God as shepherd also confronts us with this question: If God is our shepherd, are we sheep who follow and trust? Or do we wander our own way?

The shepherd promises to fill our every need. Yet how often have we looked elsewhere for what we need? We wander from the shepherd because we don’t really trust God. We start worrying about tomorrow and devising our own plans to fill our needs.

When you struggle with those doubts, sing the words of this well-known psalm and hymn. You don't need to worry about tomorrow's needs. Your shepherd has provided enough for today. And he'll do the same for tomorrow and every day beyond.

Prayer: Lord, help me to take these well-known words to heart this morning and to put my trust in you, whatever today or tomorrow may bring. Amen.

Listen to a choir singing The Lord is My Shepherd:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HndQZlmJPpc

Groot is u trou - 25 Julie 2014

Xanthe Hancox

 

deur die liefde van die Here het ons nie vergaan nie; daar is geen einde aan sy ontferming nie, dit is elke môre nuut. U trou is groot.  Klaagliedere 3:22-23

Thomas Obediah Chisholm is in 1866 in 'n houthuisie in Kentucky in die VSA gebore. Hy het in 'n klein plattelandse skooltjie skoolgegaan, en op die ouderdom van 16 het hy begin om daar onderwys te gee. Op die ouderdom 27 word hy 'n Christen en alhoewel hy geen kollege of seminarium bygewoon het nie, is hy op 36-jarige ouderdom as 'n Metodiste predikant georden. Hy het, as gevolg van swak gesondheid, net vir 'n jaar as predikant gedien voordat hy na New Jersey verhuis het waar hy 'n versekeringskantoor geopen het.

Chisholm het altyd in die digkuns belanggestel en hy het honderde gedigte gedurende sy leeftyd geskryf.  Ons teksvers uit Klaagliedere het hom geïnspireer om "Groot is u trou, o Heer" te skryf. Die koorgedeelte lui:

Groot is u trou, o Heer, groot is u trou, o Heer!

Daagliks sien ek u genade ontvou.

U hand versorg my in nood en in lyding.

Ek staan verstom voor u liefde en trou.

Chisholm het daardie trou self beleef. Vir die grootste deel van sy volwasse lewe was sy gesondheid baie swak en het hy nooit baie geld verdien nie, maar tog het hy gesê:  "Die Here het vir my baie bewyse van sy troue sorg gegee wat my met groot dankbaarheid vul." Hy het ook gesê dat hy deur sy eie ondervindings baie van God se troue sorg geleer het, maar dat die lees van die Bybel hom selfs meer geleer het. Interessant of hoe?  In die meeste van ons se huise is daar êrens een van die belangrikste lewensgidse denkbaar en dikwels word dit nie gereeld gebruik nie. Die Bybel leer ons dat deur alles wat die lewe ons kant toe laat kom, God by ons is.

Indien jy vanoggend alleen en hulpeloos voel, onthou die Here is getrou. Sy Woord beklemtoon dit oor en oor. Maak sy Woord vandag oop en laat Hom toe om met jou te praat.

Gebed:  Hemelse Vader, deur elke seisoen van my lewe bly U dieselfde en u liefde bly getrou. Dankie vir u liefde en trou. Amen

Luister gerus hier na 'n Nederlandse weeergawe van hierdie lied: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHuI16x2Wx4

Die HERE is my herder - 24 Julie 2014

Xanthe Hancox

'n PSALM van Dawid. Die HERE is my herder; niks sal my ontbreek nie.

Hy laat my neerlê in groen weivelde;

na waters waar rus is, lei Hy my heen.

Hy verkwik my siel;

Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.

Psalm 23:1-3 (1933/53-vertaling)

" Die Here is my herder" is een van die mees geliefde liedere gebasseer op een van die mees geliefde psalms. Mense hou vir 'n goeie rede van hierdie psalm. Dit verwys na die kalmte van groen weivelde en na waters waar daar rus is. Bo-alles verwys dit na 'n Herder wat ons lei en versorg.

Die Here is my Herder is nog een van die ou liedere wat sy wortels in die Hervorming het. Ek het 'n paar dae gelede vertel van die Protestante wat uit Engeland na Europa gevlug het toe hulle tydens die bewind van die Katolieke koninging Maria I (1553-1558) vervolg is. In Europa, onder die invloed van Luther en Calvyn is hulle aangemoedig om diePsalms te sing. Na die dood van Maria I en toe Elizabeth I die troon bestyg het, het hulle na Engeland teruggekeer en hulle metriese Psalms saamgebring.

In die laat 1640's het 'n groep kundiges saamgekom met die doel om 'n getroue, metriese vertaling van die Psalms daar te stel. Die Skotse 'Psalter' is in 1650 gepubliseer en dit het gou die standaard vir die sing van die Psalms geword. Psalm 23 soos opgeneem in hierdie Skotse Psalmboek is die wysie van "Die Here is my Herder" wat vandag nog die meeste gesing word.

Die berymde weergawe van Psalm 23 is baie getrou aan die Psalm van Dawid. God is onsHerder, die Een wat in al ons behoeftes voorsien. Die beeld van die Here ons Herder konfronteer ons egter ook met 'n vraag: Indien die Here ons Herder is, is ons skape wat Hom volg en Hom vertrou? Of volg ons ons eie pad?

Die Herder sê dat Hy in al ons behoeftes sal voorsien. En tog, hoe dikwels soek ons nie op ander plekke na dit wat ons nodig het nie. Ons dwaal weg van die Herder want ons vertrou God nie volkome nie. Ons bekommer ons oor wat môre gaan bring, en ons maak ons eie planne om ons behoeftes aan te spreek.

Wanneer jy twyfel, is my raad dat jy die woorde van hierdie Psalm moet sing. Jy moet jou nie bekommer oor môre se behoeftes nie. Jou Herder het vir vandag voorsien en Hy sal ook vir môre en elke dag daarna voorsien.

Gebed: Here, help my om hierdie bekende woorde vanoggend ter harte te neem. Help my om, ten spyte van my omstandighede, op U te vertrou. Amen

Luister hier na 'n pragtige opname van die bekende lied: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HndQZlmJPpc

Everything has its time - 11 November 2013

Riélle Heine

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens … He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:1,11a

The concept of time always crops up somewhere in our daily conversations. What is shocking is that it is mostly mentioned in a negative context.  Something along the line of "I'm so busy, I did not have time" or "Everything is so rushed " or "Look how the time has flown!"

Time, which was intended as a gift from God, has become our boss. Instead of being in control of our time, it feels as if time is a skateboard under our feet that we’re desperately clinging to, trying to stay on top! Many things we plan down to the last detail, but when it comes to time, we carry on indifferently.

Too often we think like this about time:

Everything can wait until later,

Everything in this world can be postponed

- until I feel like doing it

- until I feel better

- until my children are older, or out of the house

- until I’ve worried myself sick about it

... until it's too late.

Maybe there’s a letter, an email, a phone call or a visit you’ve been putting off for weeks - maybe now is the time to do it. Maybe today is the time to encourage, to forgive, to speak or to remain silent. Perhaps the time has now come to go back and make amends.

The other day I found this English poem tucked away between some cards I had stashed away (I wish I knew who the author was):

When I have time

there is a poem to be written,

a song to be sung

When I have time

there is a child to be led

a prayer to be said.

When I have time

I’ll tell you a story,

I’ll visit a friend.

Alas, time is gone –

The poem’s unwritten,

The song unsung

The child is a man

grown up unled

The prayer, ah! the prayer,

it went unsaid.

The story is ended.

Prayer: Lord, let me realise anew each day that time is a great gift from you. Help me not to postpone things. Help me to plan my time, to grab hold of the hours and use them. Amen

148x459

Go to top