Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Great Christian Music - I'll Fly Away

The son of tenant farmers in the Indian Territory that is now Oklahoma, Albert Brumley quit school after tenth grade and didn’t have much of a future to look forward too-except pick cotton for the rest of his life. Then, when he was sixteen years old, he attended a singing school in his farm community of Rock Island and discovered he could sing better than most adults and he could harmonize, too.
So at nineteen he went to a music school in the Ozark Mountains to learn how to write music. He dropped out after a year and went back to picking cotton. One day while picking cotton, he started singing a popular song called “The Prisoner’s Song.” I was like that prisoner, he thought. When he saw a bird flying to a better place, young Albert got an idea for a new song. He returned to music school and continued to struggle with his idea for a song. Seven years later, he felt the song was ready to be published. Immediately, it became a favourite.
In time, Brumley became known as the world’s most recorded songwriter, but none of his songs rivaled the popularity of “I’ll Fly Away.”

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Themes: Heaven, Hope, Death

Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away;
To a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away.

I’ll fly away, O glory, I’ll fly away;
When I die , hallelujah, by and by, I’ll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have gone, I’ll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown, I’ll fly away.

Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away;
To a land where joys shall never end, I’ll fly away.

Here is a great version by Jars of Clay off their 2005 album Redemption Songs where they recorded some great old hymns.

Albert E. Brumley (1905 – 1977)

Information taken from; The Complete Book of Hymns by William J Petersen and Ardythe Petersen

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quote for the day (5)

When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Have you heard......the news today?

So have you heard the news today?
Screaming out at you today
From every possible source
Your television, the internet, your mobile
The newspapers, magazines and word of mouth
Gotta stay apace with what’s happening
In the world today
Gotta get organized to be informed
So I know what’s really going on
Even though most of it’s bad
Just war, murder, and disasters
And a million ways to make a million
Screaming at me everyday
Until I’m totally overwhelmed
And retreat into a state
Of being comfortably numb
And what I’m really looking for……
Is hope to hang onto
A love to hold close
To see me through
But it all seems to fade away
In the screams of the everyday
But the real news
Is the good news
And it’s over three and a half thousand years old
But it’s up to date everyday
About a man who came to die
For you and me
To give us all a hope to hang onto
And a love to hold close
So have you heard His good news today?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bible Reading by Third Day - Psalm 36:5-10

5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. 9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. 10 Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Quote for the day (4)

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.

Jim Elliot (1927 - 1956)

Jim and four other missionaries where speared to death while evangelizing to the Aucus Indian tribe in Ecuador in 1956. I recommend the book written by Jim Elliot's wife Elisabeth; Through Gates of Splendor, it is compelling reading.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Angels in the slips

Often when I arrive home from work I get greeted at the door by our dog, Pixie and my son, Matthew (now 11). They really do a number on me, a kinda one, two combo. First of all as I unlock and open our front door Pixie will come running up to me. She doesn’t just wag her tail she wags her whole body. I’m always so overwhelmed by her greeting and then Matthew who is hiding behind the door will jump out and shout as loud as he can at me. Talk about a defib machine, my heart (ab) normally jumps up into my throat and stays there pulsating at a supersonic rate for at least five minutes. I fall for this trick as regular as clockwork.

Of course Matthew wants me to play ‘something’ with him. It might be cricket, soccer, rugby, chess, a board game or any other game that we have cooked up amongst the two of us. So after I have been ‘woken up’ from the rigors of my work day and then have slipped into something more comfortable we go out and put in some playtime with each other.

One evening while playing cricket in the parking lot of the restaurant opposite our house I happened to notice the statues behind the fence in the nursery. The restaurant is on the premises of the nursery. They were statues of large angels and it was almost as though they were set out as slip fielders behind Matthew while he batted. Oh how my heart longed to see the real angels that I know are all around us. I looked up at the palm trees whose branches were swaying in the wind and I drifted off for a while in my imagination trying to think what heaven is like and what it would be like to meet and see Jesus for the first time…….oh I can only imagine.

Of course then Matthew shouted to me, “When are you gonna throw the ball?” I came out of my reverie. I often feel like leaving all this pain and suffering behind and just be with Jesus but then I see all those around me whom I love and I wanna be there for them as much as I possibly can and most of all I want to do God’s will.

The apostle Paul put it so well in his letter to the Philippians;
21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. 25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26 And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me. (Philippians 1:21-26)

That night while saying goodnight to Matt I asked him if he really enjoys playing cricket with his klutzy dad. I seriously lack talent in the bat and ball department of sport. He kinda gave me this funny look as if to say, “Now what kinda question is that?” When he replied he just said, “Of course I do dad!” He just then asked me to pray for him and there oftentimes wells up within me so many emotions and such a feeling of gratitude that God has given me this opportunity of getting to know and love Matthew as a father. God teaches me so many times through the relationship I have with my son as to how He feels about me as His son. For now I can only imagine what it will be like when one day in His time all His promises will be fulfilled.

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

I can only imagine


I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

I can only imagine


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