"I loved not having a TV for many reasons, including feeling countercultural, despite living in the suburbs, wearing comfortable shoes, and driving a station wagon."
" Listening to BBC had other advantages. Americans have a simplistic love affair with British accents, claiming that they make everything sound better. I am here to confirm that, this is, in fact, entirely true. No matter how bleak the news may be, when reported with the crisp, erudite British accent of a good-looking, intelligent journalist wearing a Burberry trench coat, it gives one hope. Of course, with radio, one cannot be sure that the reporters are indeed attractive, but they sure do sound like it." 
Laughing Without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas - reading this now. a hilarious and thought-provoking collection of the “Adventures of an Iranian American, at Home and Abroad”. 

oh. yes.

Father, whate’er of earthly bliss
Thy sovereign will denies
Accepted at thy throne of grace
Let this petition rise

Let the sweet hope that thou art mine
My life and death attend
Thy presence through my journey shine
And crown my journey’s end

Give me a calm, a thankful heart
From every murmur free
The blessings of thy grace impart
And make me live to thee

You raise your hand to still the storms
that rage inside my head
revive my heart with gratitude
Love, quell my doubt and dread

Give me a sure and rested soul
From every fear relieved
Thy spirit’s pow’r and presence mine
To ever comfort me

words by Anne Steele 

arranged by Sandra McCracken

www.newoldhynms.com 

Gratitude is a shield against fear and self absorption.

— Sandra McCracken 

(Source: http)

Sometimes I cannot forgive
And these days, mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep
While I lay, I dream we’re better,
Scales were gone and faces light
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other
Sometimes I can close my eyes,
And all the fear that keeps me silent falls below my heavy breathing,
What makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder
We all feel the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the thunder

Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children - this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers - this is our greatest offense

- Jars of Clay, Oh My God

When the fields are dry, and the winter is long

Blessed are the meek, the hungry, the poor

When my soul is downcast, and my voice has no song

For mercy, for comfort, I wait on the Lord

 

In the harvest feast or the fallow ground,

My certain hope is in Jesus found

My lot, my cup, my portion sure

Whatever comes, we shall endure

 

 On a cross of wood, His blood was outpoured

He Rose from the ground, like a bird to the sky

Bringing peace to our violence, and crushing death’s door

Our Maker incarnate, our God who provides.

 

In the harvest feast or the fallow ground,

My certain hope is in Jesus found

My lot, my cup, my portion sure

Whatever comes, we shall endure

 

When the earth beneath me crumbles and quakes

Not a sparrow falls, nor a hair from my head

Without His hand to guide me, my shield and my strength

In joy or in sorrow, in life or in death

 In the harvest feast or the fallow ground,

My certain hope is in Jesus found

My lot, my cup, my portion sure

Whatever comes, we shall endure

- Sandra McCracken, In Feast or Fallow

Two songs that have been on my mind for the past few days. I don’t understand how such pain and such hope can exist in the same world or even in the same soul, but I think that it’s ok. In fact, I tend to believe that hope without pain or doubt is not fully realized.

And with Hope on our side joy steadily shines . 

Psalm 104 - Read it. He has everything under control.  

May my meditation be pleasing to Him

I will rejoice in the LORD. 

- Psalm 104:34 

aileenkwun:

Peripheral Visions: André Thijssen

“If there is such a thing in photography as a “decisive moment”, the term coined by Henri Cartier-Bresson, then there must also be the opposite––the casual, corner-of-the-eye event … a photographer who concentrates on the periphery of the frame, he sees beauty in things that most people aren’t interested in. Thijssen’s work provides access to parallel worlds, of which we are occasionally also aware, however we prefer to ignore these unfathomable moments in time.

Thy mercy my God is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue.
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affection and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy, I could not live here.
Sin would reduce me to utter despair,
But through Thy free goodness, my spirit’s revived
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart.
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground
And weep for the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own
In the covenant love of Thy crucified Son.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

words by JOHN STOCKER music by SANDRA MCCRACKEN

http://www.newoldhymns.com/the-builder-and-the-architect/

You who seek the Lord

Let your hearts revive

He will hear your words

He will heed your cry

I came to Moody knowing that I would not be able to pay for it, but believed that God wanted me here and therefore would pay for it. For a year and a half He has faithfully come through EVERY time. Each time it is spectacular, but the most recent time was especially wonderful. As of October 1st I needed $400 or I was not going to be able to register for the spring semester.

Save me oh my God

My soul is sinking deep

I am tired and cannot see

But I will wait for Thee

As I wrote in my journal last night

I shared my need for $400 in class yesterday [Monday] then gave my testimony and today [Tuesday] after missions conference a man asked me if I was the one who needed mone and I gave him my number and he’s gonna call me tomorrow. What is going on?

And then this morning

God I lay this before You. I don’t know what’s gonna happen. Your will be done. 

And then this afternoon

Lord. You provided $400!!!!! 

Four. Hundred. Dollars.

Blessed be God who daily bears

Our burdens now His praise delcare

We who slaved in sin so long

Freely dance to heavens song

The steps of a man are established by the LORD; and He delights in his way. When He falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. - Psalm 37:23-24

Come and see the works of God, who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men. - Psalm 66:5 

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm so good. 

Did Jesus live? And did he really say

The burning words that banish mortal fear? 

And are they true? Just this is central, here

The Church must stand or fall. It’s Christ we weigh.

All else is off the point: the Flood, the Day

of Eden, or the Virgin Birth - Have done! 

The Question is, did God send us the Son

Incarnate crying love! Love is the Way!

Between the probable and proved there yawns

A gap. Afraid to jump, we stand absurd,

Then see behind us sink the ground and, worse,

Our very standpoint crumbling. Desperate dawns

Our only hope: to leap into the Word

That opens up the shuttered universe. 

- Sheldon Vanauken