Tag Archives: King

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Words by Dallan Forgaill, 8th Century (though some date it to the 6th Century)
Music by Irish Folk Melody

 


“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
Proverbs 3:5 – 7

We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.
1 Thessalonians 2:6


 

What does it take to become good at something?  Well there’s repetition.  We’ve all heard the old saying, “practice makes perfect.”  That is actually half-true, my high school band teacher used to correct it to be “perfect practice makes perfect.”  After all, if you practice the wrong thing, then you your simply going to get better at doing it wrong. In either case, what we see is that repetition allows us to make thing more automatic.

So maybe the key to getting better at something is to understand the theory behind what you are doing?  If you want to become better at basketball, simply randomly throwing the ball toward the basket may allow you to make it part of the time, but when you start to understand the arch of the ball and the angles off the back board, then you can begin to see how every movement impacts the shot. Armed with this knowledge, you will begin to modify your movements to improve your shots.

So repetition plays a role in getting better at something and understanding the theory behind the activity can help improve your performance.  I can think of a third means of getting better and that is necessity.  Think about learning a new language.  You can study the theory behind a language.  How does it work? What are the rules? And you can memorize the words through repetition.  But it you want to learn to speak a language naturally, then immersion is the way to go.  When you are dropped in a situation that the only way to communicate is to learn the language, then you are driven out of necessity to learn it.

Repetition, theory and necessity, these three things are key to becoming better at something.  To simplify it, I am left with one word, focus.  You see when I have a singular focus, then everything I do begins to be centered around what I want to improve in.  Singular focus begins to give us purpose and direction in all that we do.  This is the clear message behind the ancient prayer we know as “Be Thou My Vision.”

Forgaill writes, “Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best Thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”  Look at that again, “By day or by night, waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.”  As we hear these words we are reminded of the Shema, a central prayer of Judaism found in Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9.  Verse 6 – 9 read, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Our focus is to be on God at all times, in all that we do.

When we can place our focus on God we begin to realize that others things are not important.  Forgaill writes, “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise, Thou mine Inheritance, now and always: Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.”  A truth that the Apostle Paul understood.  In 1 Thessalonians 2:6 he writes, “We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else.”  If our focus is on God, then we are not distracted by the opinions of others.  Our actions are not determined by a concern of what others will think, but what God has called us to.

When we have a singular focus on God and his will for our lives, then we will grow in our relationship with Him.  We will become more Christ like each day.  As we grow, we join in the conclusion of this hymn, “High King of Heaven, my victory won, May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.”

 

 

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I’d Rather Have Jesus

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

Words by Rhea Miller, 1922
Music by George Beverly Shea, 1932

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
Psalm 19:9 – 10

The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Psalm 119:72

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ
Philippians 3:8

We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.
1 Thessalonians 2:6

 

One of the memories from growing up was watching Christmas specials every year.  One of the favorites in our house was “Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  From Burle Ives as the snowman to the Bumble there are lots of memorable characters.  The is also a great collection of songs that come from this special. One of those songs went like this.

Fame and fortune, fame and fortune
We’re off to seek them now
Anyone can have them both
It just takes the right know-how
We put on our traveling shoes today
We won’t stop until we find the way
To fame and fortune, fame and fortune
They will be ours someday
Fame and fortune, fame and fortune
They will be ours someday!

 

Fame and fortune. As a kid it was just a fun song, but as an adult, I have come to realize it is in reality the heartbeat of our society.  We are told that there are two things in this world to strive for, “Fame and Fortune.”

“Get a job where you can make lots of money.”  “I am going to be a famous actor someday.” These are the sound bites of the world today. Now, this is not just something of today’s culture.  These have been driving forces of the world for time in memorial.  We want fame and fortune, but Rhea Miller flies in the face of this thinking when she write, “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.

You see Miller understood that in reality it is not fame and fortune that we seek, but to be loved and to know our needs will be met.  As much as we think that fame and fortune will give us this, they will not.  We can find these things in Christ alone.  And so Miller writes, “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold;” and goes on to write, “I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause; . . . I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;”

This is what the Bible tells us in Psalm 19:9 – 10 that “The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.”  Another words, think of the thing that you desire more than anything else.  Now realize that it pales in comparison with Jesus himself.

Fortune is not the answer, so what about fame? Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 2:6 that they “were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ (they) could have asserted (their) authority.” And why did they not seek this.  Paul answers this question in Philippians 3:8 “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”

Jesus is the only true source for meeting our needs.  It is, oh, so easy to become confused and begin to put other things ahead of God.  But Miller seeks to remind us that it is better to have Jesus than anything else.  So, I join with others in singing the words, “I’d rather have Jesus than anything This world affords today.”

 

 

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All Creatures Of Our God And King

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voices, let us sing:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beams,
u silver moon that gently gleams,
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
ye lights of evening, find a voice,
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

And all ye men of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care:
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Words by St. Francis of Assisi, ca. 1225
Music by Peter von Brachel, 1623

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
“Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
Psalm 19:1 – 4

“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:37 – 40

There is nothing like singing in worship with other. Whether it is Sunday morning or sitting around a campfire. I had the opportunity a few years back to attend a Christian event at Soldier Field.  That was quite an experience to sing in worship with more that 50,000 other people.  But that is why we are here, to glorify God.   We read in 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  And Colossians 1:6 tells us “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”  And additionally in Isaiah 43:6-7 God says, “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”  We were created to glorify God.

But we are not the only ones created to glorify God.  This is what all of creation does.  Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” And Psalm 19:1 declares, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  Nature glorifies God through its very being, and we are no different.

He concludes his writing by declaring that our worship is to the whole Godhead, that is the Trinity (Matthew 28:19) when he writes, “Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One.”  It is worship of God is His entirety.

So St. Francis calls us to truly glorify God, when he write “All creatures of our God and King, Lift up your voices, let us sing.”  So let us join with all creation, declaring the Glory of God.

 

 

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Bonus video version by Fernando Ortega