Tag Archives: service

Draw Me Nearer Blessed Lord

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Words by Fanny Crosby, 1875
Music by W. Howard Doane, 1875

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.
James 4:7 – 8

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1 – 2

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:19 – 20

let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings Hebrews 10:22


From the time we are young children, even before we can remember, our biggest comfort is found in being near to our parents. We’ve all seen it. A child is put to sleep but the minute they wake up and realize that they are alone they begin to cry. It is when a parent comes and picks them up that they begin to stop crying. It is the comfort they find from not being alone, from being drawn near to one who cares about them.

As we grow older we become more comfortable with separation, but we still have the tie that binds us to others. We still find comfort in knowing that those who care are near, even if we strain to keep a certain distance.

Even when we are grown and on our own things still remain the same. We may have lived on our own for years. We may be married and have our own children. But when something goes wrong, it is often to that same comfort to which we once again return. We draw near to those who love us.

In her hymn, “I Am Thine, O Lord” Fanny Crosby focuses on this basic desire within all of us, this desire to be drawn near to the one who cares for us.

She writes, “I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, And it told Thy love to me; But I long to rise in the arms of faith And be closer drawn to Thee.” God has called to us and those who have responded to the call have become part of His family. They are His. This is, however, only a beginning because knowing something and living something are two different things. That is, we know that we belong to God, but our greatest desire is to be held in His arms.

This is the place of comfort and safety that we all desire. James writes in chapter 4 verses 7 – 8 that if you, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” When we begin to feel alone and distanced we can find the peace that comes only in God’s arms by drawing near to Him.

Our response to this peace we are drawn to is to serve Him. Crosby calls to God to “Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, By the power of grace divine; Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, And my will be lost in Thine.”

You see, if it is the nearness of God that we truly seek, then how much more near can we be than to live in His will. Paul writes in Romans 12:1 – 2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

When we draw near to God, we will be anchored in the steadfast hope that comes from Him. We are able to submit to Him. We are able to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice” so that we are able to “test and approve what God’s will is.” In Hebrews 6:19 we read, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.”

So, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.” (Hebrews 10:22) It is only then that we will truly understand the blessing of drawing near to God. It is then that we can sing the words, “O the pure delight of a single hour That before Thy throne I spend, When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!”

Read more about “I Am Thine, O Lord.”

A Memorial Day thought for 2012

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Arlington Cemetery, July 2015

I am not going to take too much time here.  I simply want to remind you that Memorial Day is here once again.  A day when many celebrate the start of the summer.  A time of picnics and barbeques.  And there is nothing wrong with this, so enjoy your celebration.

But somewhere in the midst, stop and take time to think of those who paid the ultimate price to allow us to enjoy these blessings.  Those who gave their lives for people they never knew.

So let us take a moment of silence to remember those we can never thank.  And let us honor their sacrifice by remembering to thank those we still can, for their service.

Thank You For Your Service!

The words often seem empty and hollow to me. I don’t want them to be. We have all seen it and many of us have done it. You see someone in a military uniform, you walk up to them and say, “I just wanted to say thank you for your service.” . . . Thank you. . . It can so easily slip out it almost becomes simple reflex. But can these two little words truly communicate the level of gratitude I feel toward those to whom I owe so great a debt.

Last year my family took a spring vacation to Springfield, Illinois. We saw the Lincoln Museum and the capitol building. We even ate at the Cozy Dog. We ended the time in Springfield by visiting Lincoln’s tomb. We finished the tour and were ready to go when I took a small detour in the cemetery. We went to the Veterans Memorials.



We walked around these monuments and I explained to my children what they meant. That these were here to remind us of what had happened and to ensure that we never forget. As I read and talked to them about the many men and women who had given their lives in service, I wondered if they could truly understand. I am sure the answer is no. I am pretty sure I don’t understand.

I should also mention that we had the privilege to visit the Illinois Fire Fighters Memorial and Police Memorial while visiting the capitol building.  A reminder as well of the sacrifices made by these men and women in uniform.


Tonight, as we were watching the National Memorial Day Concert my seven year old daughter asked, “Why did the people have to die?” How do you answer that. I explained that there are evil people in the world. And because of the evil, it is necessary for good people to stand up and fight back against the evil. I told her that sometime when fighting against evil, good people die. They give up their lives to do what is right. This seemed to answer the question for her, but I was left asking myself, “Why did the people have to die?” The answer worked for a seven year old, why not for me.

Tomorrow I will take my children to the Memorial Day ceremonies in town both at the city park and the cemetery. I know for them it often seems long and boring. But can I do any less. Not only to remember and honor those who have given so much, but to demonstrate for and teach my children the importance of doing so.

Perhaps, Thank You isn’t so hollow. Perhaps it is simply the best that can be said when words are not enough.

So to those who have served, to those who were injured, to those who gave their life. To all these and their families, I simply say . . .

THANK YOU.