Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Songs Of Grateful Praise - I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

Through these past days - in this time when normal isn't normal anymore - this song has been on my mind. If you could stop by my house (and I wish you could!) you might hear me singing these words. They were written when I was a little girl but they are true - so true - today. I'm not living in fear because I know Who holds tomorrow - and I know He holds my hand. No matter what may come. My prayer is that these words will bless and comfort your heart.

I don't know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don't borrow from it's sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey
I don't worry o'er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I'll walk beside Him
For He knows what lies ahead

I don't know about tomorrow
It may bring me poverty
But the one who feeds the sparrow
Is the one who stands by me
And the path that be my portion
May be through the flame or flood
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic . . . for the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

You can listen to this song here.

With A Grateful Heart,
Adrienne

Song: I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
Words and music by Ira F. Stanphill

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Catching Up And Looking Back

Good intentions are always at the top of my list but the reality is that the best of intentions don't usually take priority when life requires a change of plan. That's what has happened here. I have great intentions and then the unexpected - not always bad - comes along and switches my plans. And so, my best laid blog plans have taken a back seat.

My sweetheart and I will be leading a group of volunteers to Paradise, California next month. Fifteen months ago the town of Paradise was almost completely destroyed by the worst wildfires in California's history. Rebuilding and recovery has begun and we are going to help wherever we can.  Recruiting for the team and the initial planning is over. Now we are in the middle of the paperwork part - reams of paperwork, or so it seems. There are a lot of forms for every one of the twenty-two team members to complete and return to us in time to meet the deadlines needed by the volunteer center in Paradise. Finances are being raised by team members and from donors, plus there are the unending logistics for getting us there and back again. And there are the details to consider for our 'down' time when we're not working on projects on location. I will share more about our plans, our destination, what we will be doing and give you some background about this soon.
We spent a week at a favorite RV park on the Oregon Coast to celebrate our forty-eighth anniversary last month. This seems to have become an annual tradition for us. When we check out at the end of the week my sweetheart reserves our favorite spot for the next year. Our anniversary trip was great this year, even though we had very strong winds that made we wonder at times if we would set sail for parts unknown. The tides were very high and we were all warned to stay off of the beaches for most of the time we were there. Not a problem! We were snug, safe and warm in our cabin-on-wheels and we were happy. 

A few days after we returned home from the coast we got a call we knew would be coming soon. Our oldest granddaughter, Abigail, was in the hospital in labor. Her precious baby girl arrived three weeks early. Safe and sound and absolutely wonderful! We headed to the hospital a couple of hours later to meet our first great-grandchild, Miss Riley Suzanne! This picture was taken when she made her debut in the world outside the hospital the next day on her way home.
So many more things are happening as they do in all of our lives. Things routine and unplanned and things that surprise and bring joy to our days. There is so much more I want to share with you. Places we've been, things we've seen and experiences we've had. I truly hope I can get back into a regular pattern of sharing here because I have millions of thoughts - and perhaps even more photos - to share. I truly hope it can happen. Honestly, I do.

With A Grateful Heart,

Adrienne

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday Songs Of Grateful Praise - Thank You, Lord


During this month of Thanksgiving my heart turns to songs of thanksgiving and praise. Through the last year I have come to realize in new, deeper ways how many blessings God has given me - things I took for granted. How can I not say thank you? I've been singing this song as I count the blessings of His grace and goodness to me.
 I come before You today
And there's just one thing that I want to say
Thank You Lord
Thank You Lord
For all You've given to me
For all the blessings I cannot see
Thank You Lord
Thank You Lord
With a grateful heart
With a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I will bless Your name
Thank You Lord
I just want to thank You Lord
Thank You Lord
I just want to thank You Lord
Thank You Lord
For all You've done in my life
You took my darkness and gave me Your light
Thank You Lord
Thank You Lord
You took my sin and my shame
You took my sickness and healed all my pain
Thank You Lord
Thank You Lord
With a grateful heart
With a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I will bless Your name
Thank You Lord
I just want to thank You Lord
Thank You Lord
I just want to thank You Lord
Thank You Lord

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! 
 His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 118:1


Song: 'Thank You, Lord'
Written by Don Moen

You can hear this song here.

With A Grateful Heart, Adrienne

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday Songs of Grateful Praise - Great Is Thy Faithfulness


 
cross carved from burned tree at Paradise, California church
mobile home park destroyed by fire in background 

I have always loved this song. It speaks to my heart and calls me to remember the abundant blessings God has showered on me. Three weeks ago today my sweetheart and I stood and sang this song with a small congregation in a church building surrounded by devastation in Paradise, California. Nearly a year ago most of the town was destroyed by the largest, most destructive wildfire in the history of California. This was our second trip to Paradise since the fire but our first chance to join in worship with dear folks who survived.  Nearly all of the people in that congregation lost everything they owned - their homes and all of their belongings. Their stories of escaping while raging flames and thick, blinding smoke nearly engulfed them is almost too much to comprehend. Yet, that day as we stood together they sang from their hearts, 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness...all I have needed Thy hand hath provided'. It was hard to hold back my tears. How could I ever complain? How could I not praise God for His blessings to me?  The words of this old hymn took on new meaning. Every Sunday morning since I remember and I wish I could be there with them again.

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 wilt be.

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,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

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!


Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion', says my soul, 'Therefore I hope in Him!'  Lamentations 3:22-24

Song written by Thomas Chisholm, 1925
You can here the song here.


With A Grateful Heart,
Adrienne

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday Songs of Grateful Praise - Whiter Than Snow

Last week my sweetheart and I traveled to the mountains of Eastern Oregon to go deer hunting. The views were gorgeous from the mountain roads. The weather was cold and brought some snow. It was obvious that winter was on its way.  As we drove high mountain roads the beauty around us was incredible. I couldn't be still! Songs came to mind and overflowed from my heart and voice. Seeing the snow reminded me of God's promise to us.

'Come now, let's settle this,'
says the Lord.
'Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.

Isaiah 1:18
(NLT)

And the prayer of King David came to mind.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Psalm 51:7
(NLT)

Early one morning as we drove high on the mountain the words of a song I learned as a young girl became my prayer.

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to ransom my soul.
Break down ev'ry idol, cast out ev'ry foe:
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus for this I most humbly entreat;
I wait blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing I see Thy blood flow:
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, Thou knowest I patiently wait;
Come now, and within me a new heart create.
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never said "No:"
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 

Chorus:
Whiter than snow, yes whiter than snow;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Song: 'Whiter Than Snow'
Written by James Nicholson (1872)

You can listen to this song here.


With A Grateful Heart,
Adrienne

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday Songs of Grateful Praise - It Is Well With My Soul

I love this old hymn. Although the story behind it is heart-breaking, the truth of the words has stood the test of time. I've sung this song many times at church, at memorial services and when I needed the reminder that it really is well with my soul.

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family - a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in eighteen-seventy-one, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.

In November of eighteen seventy-three, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with three hundred thirteen passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.

About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately twelve minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it two hundred twenty six of the passengers including the four Spafford children.

A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office.

Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, 'God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.'

Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down.

According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” while on this journey.


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trumpet shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

 
Anna gave birth to three more children, one of which died at age four with dreaded pneumonia. In August eighteen-eighty-one, the Spaffords moved to Jerusalem. Mr. Spafford died and is buried in that city.

And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding,
shall keep your hearts, your minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7.

Song: 'It Is Well With My Soul'
Written by Horatio G. Spafford

You can hear a beautiful rendition of this song here.

When the world seems upside-down, what a comfort to know that it is well with my soul!
 
With A Grateful Heart,
Adrienne

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Songs of Grateful Praise - Good, Good Father


That's me with my dad! I had an incredibly wonderful, loving, kind, gentle and Godly father. He was a preacher and anyone who knew him knew he always lived what he preached. And that's true - what you saw in public was the man he was at home. He was a good father - and I was blessed!

Quite a few years ago a new song appeared in worship music in churches around the world. It had special meaning to me and I immediately identified with it. You see, the way we visualize God is often influenced by our relationship with our earthly fathers. That was true of me. The Heavenly Father described in this song touched my heart deeply because my earthly father taught me by his example that I can trust my Heavenly Father.  He taught me that God means what He says. He taught me that God loves me more than anyone on earth will ever love me and His love will never fail. He taught me that God is good, even when it seems things are wrong or unfair - because God is a good, good Father.

I've sung this song many times as I've walked through tough times. It's always a reminder and a comfort and it brings reassurance and peace to my troubled heart. As my father was about to leave this world I sat beside his bed in the middle of the night and sang this song. I sang it repeatedly through the last days of my dear mother's life and I sang it again recently as I faced a serious health crisis. The words are true - God is a good, good Father. No matter what things look like. When life is good and all is well. In those in-between times when you don't know what's going to happen. In the hard times that seem as if they will tear you apart. God is good all the time! I know it's true because He has proved it to me over and over again. He's a good, good Father - that's who He is. And I'm loved by Him - that's who I am!

Oh, I've heard a thousand stories of what they think you're like
But I've heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you're pleased
And that I'm never alone

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

Oh, and I've seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we're all searching
For answers only you provide
'Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

'Cause you are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

Oh, it's love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think

As you call me deeper still
As you call me deeper still
As you call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

You're a Good, Good Father
(You are perfect in all of your ways)
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
(You are perfect in all of your ways)
It's who I am, it's who I am it's who I am 
  
So if you sinful people know

how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father
give good gifts to those who ask him.

Matthew 7:11
(New Living Translation)
Song: 'Good, Good Father'
Sung by Chris Tomlin
Written by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown

(you can hear the song here)

With A Grateful Heart,
Adrienne