Thursday, November 24, 2011

just a man and a pen.

One of the things I am extremely thankful for is my church.  Some of my best friends in the whole wide world are there. You know the ones that you just know will be shacked up next to you in Gloryland, but even if they aren't you would walk the span of heaven just to spend time with them. It touches my heart deeply when I think of all the tears shed and growing up in the Lord we have done side by side. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for them. They are often my lifeline to reality. Setting my thinking straight and blessing me with wisdom well beyond this earth. Its sharing life together honestly that we moved beyond the shadows cast on us by the evil one.. past all the pride and selfish ambitions.. to safety. That's what I feel. Safe. A safe place to worship my Savior as He made me. Golly it takes work, with a capital "W" to be in a safe place where freedom is celebrated, but the benefits far outweigh the squirming and flip flops your soul does in an effort to see the Truth as a community. It's a beautiful thing. Trust me. 

Thomas Obediah Chisholm

  •  Born: Ju­ly 29, 1866, Frank­lin, Ken­tucky.
  • Chisholm was ed­u­cat­ed in a small count­ry school, and be­came its teach­er at age 16. 
  • At age 21, he be­came as­so­ci­ate ed­it­or of the week­ly news­pa­per, The Frank­lin Fav­or­ite
  • In 1893, he be­came a Christ­ian un­der the min­is­try of Dr. Hen­ry Clay Mor­rison
  • Chis­holm moved to Lou­is­ville at the per­sua­sion of Mor­ris­on and be­came ed­it­or of the Pen­te­cos­tal Her­ald.
  •  He was or­dained a Meth­od­ist min­is­ter in 1903 and served a brief pas­tor­ate at Scotts­ville, Ken­tucky. 
  • In poor health, he moved his fam­i­ly to a farm near Wi­nona Lake, In­di­a­na. 
  • He be­came an in­sur­ance sales­man, moving to Vine­land, New Jer­sey, in 1916. 
  • He re­tired in 1953 to the Meth­od­ist Home for the Aged in Ocean Grove, New Jer­sey. 
  • Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 29, 1960, Ocean Grove, New Jer­sey.
He wasn't all that successful.  He never held a high office. By the look of this list his ministry was brief even. You might not know him, but you know one of his famous poems that was put to music. It is the song that you often hum to yourself when you are so thankful for Him that words just don't seem like enough. Words that are wrote by a man who wasn't anything special in the eyes of the world. Words that  give my soul a voice. 

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; 
there is no shadow of turning with thee.
thou changest not, thy compassions, 
they fail not;as thou hast been thou forever will be.

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!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! 

It's this hymn. The words of a man who was just a man who loved God and liked to write that remind me that God is faithful to the core. He can't be anything but.  It's this faithfulness that has allowed me to be a part of something way bigger than me. A church that searches out and clings to His faithfulness. A community of faithful believers who believe that being faithful to God is the most important thing in the world. When we meet, we remind each other there is strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. I  need that reminder often. 

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