God's Own Child….

This sweet little hymn was a part of my weekend. There is so much here to ponder over — each stanza can be savored in a daily reflection this week! So sing it, write it, listen to it, read it, look up the author, or handle it however you like!

There are so many amazing ones to ponder that I had a difficult time picking one but I am going to focus on this snippet below:

He, because I could not pay it,
Gave my full redemption price.

How humbling that God was willing to pay TOP DOLLAR for me! It’s settled. The debt has been paid. I could not pay it. It isn’t something I can pay because there is nothing I can do to earn His love! This allows me to rest from scurrying around trying to be “good enough” or “worthy” because Jesus settled that. I have been released from that pressure and fear. I can sleep secure.

Salvation is a sweet, sweet gift. Thank you, Lord, for providing a way for me! Amen!

I don’t want to say too much here because it might spoil your thoughts and distract you from what you are reading and thinking about. So, go on. Enjoy this hymn!

God’s own child, I gladly say it:
I am baptized into Christ!
He, because I could not pay it,
Gave my full redemption price.

Do I need earth’s treasures many?
I have one worth more than any
That brought me salvation free
Lasting to eternity!

Sin, disturb my soul no longer:
I am baptized into Christ!
I have comfort even stronger:
Jesus’ cleansing sacrifice.
Should a guilty conscience seize me
Since my Baptism did release me
In a dear forgiving flood,
Sprinkling me with Jesus’ blood!

Satan, hear this proclamation:
I am baptized into Christ!
Drop your ugly accusation,
I am not so soon enticed.
Now that to the font I’ve traveled,
All your might has come unraveled,
And, against your tyranny,
God, my Lord, unites with me!

Death, you cannot end my gladness:
I am baptized into Christ!
When I die, I leave all sadness
To inherit paradise!
Though I lie in dust and ashes
Faith’s assurance brightly flashes:
Baptism has the strength divine
To make life immortal mine. 

There is nothing worth comparing
To this lifelong comfort sure!
Open-eyed my grave is staring:
Even there I’ll sleep secure.
Though my flesh awaits its raising,
Still my soul continues praising:
I am baptized into Christ;
I’m a child of paradise! *


*Neumeister, Erdmann, 1671-1756 Translated by: Robert E. Voelker

As with Gladness Men of Old

by William C. Dix, 1837-1898

1 As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So, most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led by Thee.

2 As with joyful steps they sped,
Savior, to Thy lowly bed,
There to bend the knee before
Thee, whom heav’n and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.

3 As they offered gifts most rare
At Thy cradle, rude and bare,
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,

Christ, to Thee, our heav’nly King.

4 Holy Jesus, ev’ry day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

5 In the heav’nly country bright
Need they no created light;
Thou its light, its joy, its crown,
Thou its sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King.

Scripture references: Matthew 2:1-11; Isaiah 60:19; Revelation 21:23

We are in the season of Epiphany!

Who is leading your way into this New Year?

So, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led by Thee.

I know that God is leading — that isn’t a problem for me. My challenge is in the following — am I truly willing to be led?

Sometimes I am waiting for the perfect moment. When life is comfortable. The time when it works for me and feels right and good. Sometimes I have to run out of my own ideas and finally be desperate enough to challenge my own thoughts and ways in order to surrender myself to His service. I hate to admit that, but it is true.

Being led is so hard — especially when you have your own ideas on how things should go.

Following God isn’t always easy and it isn’t always fun. It may take me places that I am not quite sure that I want to be. Who wants to be in the middle of hard? Who wants to be in the midst of pain?

But being led by a gracious Lord means that there is grace along the way. It is important for me to remember that and re-remember that!

Lord, thank you for graciously and lovingly leading me. Give me a heart that is willing to be led by You. Amen.

For your consideration: Write out or print out these verses for contemplation this week. You might find that each day there is something different that resonates with you. If you play piano and you have a hymnal, play the song. Do you love to draw? Sketch out one of the images described. You can also check out the Scripture references. Or even dig into the details on the author. There are a lot of ways to make connections with the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs I will be posting in a way that deepens your understanding and connection with God’s love and provision for you. I love that God created us each with different interests, skills, and abilities — enjoy exploring yours!

PrayerPoints 2020

Hello! Hello!

Happy New Year! I love the freshness a new year brings, don’t you?

Each time there is a new season in the calendar year it signals new sounds, smells, tastes, and experiences. I enjoy the refreshment of the “new” when I am expecting them, but there are other seasons that catch me by surprise! Sometimes I am in a “new season” for a while before I even realize it! You may have felt similarly as you have traveled through the various seasons of:

  • Life
  • Employment
  • Parenting
  • Education
  • Marriage
  • Health
  • Family Life

We are all traveling through seasons, though not necessarily the same ones or in the same order, and certainly not in the same way. Sometimes I think I would love to have 2020 vision in what God is doing in my life or when I am in a difficult season but, really, I don’t. He asks me to trust in Him, no matter the season. He never promised that I will see, know, or understand it all!

The seasons of the church year are relatively consistent, if you pay attention to them. They can be a way of being united together in the course of a year with people all over the world, particularly if you are from the same church body. Of course, the church year “seasons” are a manmade sort of thing, but they are based on significant happenings in Scripture, organized in a way that helps us remember better while also providing a little structure.

Instead of just taking a deep dive during the Lenten season, I plan to post a new PrayerPoint each Monday. If you have been following PrayerPoints for a while now, you may have noticed that I shared a lot more this year than I have in previous years. This year I am aiming for a steady rhythm. While I seem to learn better with more intentional focus, I need to grow in my consistency. For 2020, each weekly PrayerPoint will include a psalm, hymn, or spiritual song that will correspond to the church season and highlight something that caught my heart. The rhythm of the church year will help me be a little more grounded and give me a little focus. I encourage you to contemplate the posted words each week and see what stands out for you and write it down. I love that God’s Word is so relevant to our lives and that God uses the Holy Spirit to personalize what we hear! We can each “bump into” the same piece of Scripture and take away a different application, depending on what God is working on in our hearts.

Feel free to join me on this journey. If you sign up to receive my posts in your inbox you won’t miss a week. Otherwise, Facebook algorithms (and whether I remember to post the link) will determine whether or not you see the weekly PrayerPoint.

I am looking forward to the growth God has in store for me this year. I hope you are looking forward to your growth too! If you have a favorite hymn you would like me to see in a post, send me a message at vospower6@hotmail.com and I will consider it.

Blessings and Peace!
Liz

Joy to the world!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing.
*

Thank you, Jesus,

… for coming

… for dying

… for rising from the grave

… for making blessings flow

… for the glories of your righteousness

… for wonders of your love

… for the wonders of your love

… for the wonders, wonders of your love!

Merry Christmas!

Boldog Karácsonyt! (that’s in Hungarian!)

May the Prince of Peace flood you with His peace!

Jesus is here!
Liz

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ,
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love.

* by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

Redeeming grace

Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth. *

In a world (and sometimes my heart) where resentment, discontent, anger, frustration, and ugly attitudes can abound, redeeming grace is an amazing gift that soothes my soul.

He redeems, renews, and refreshes …. God does it and then does it again.

and again and again.

God’s well does not run dry. He sent Jesus to restore, renew, redeem, remove, reveal, renovate, refresh, repair, reclaim, and replenish.

Some days I feel like I am a full time job for God! Of course, He is bigger than me and my flailings. He holds onto me while I argue and complain. He restores my soul. His redeeming grace is steadfast and true.

Redeeming grace.

Redeeming grace.

Redeeming grace.

Come, Lord Jesus!
Liz

*by Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848

All is calm…

Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing, Alleluia.
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
*

For some of us, everything is ready and the house is relatively calm. But for others, there is a lot of last minute hustle on tap for today.

It all depends on what is happening in life at the moment. And yet, it is important to press the pause button and choose calm. I prefer less hustle, but that probably has to do with how busy things have been for the last six weeks helping everyone else get their Christmas gifts in order due to our business. It is a wonderful change in pace to go from long working days to just shipping out a package or two a day and spending more time with the kids and grandkids.

Nearly all is calm here in my neck of the woods. We don’t host a huge dinner because we don’t have the space. That’s okay with me because these limitations contribute to my calm. They also limit my distraction from the true celebration here. The gifts and family time are fun and precious. But…

Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!

When I ponder these words, the what is and what isn’t in my life takes a back seat. Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the gift for the whole world, is here. His salvation is a gift for me. And this so very personal gift from God is an incredible treasure to me.

Christ, my Savior, is born.

Come, Lord Jesus!
Liz

*by Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848

The Prince was born to bring your peace…

All you, beneath your heavy load,
By care and guilt bent low,
Who toil along a dreary way
With painful steps and slow:
Look up, for golden is the hour,
Come swiftly on the wing,
The Prince was born to bring your peace;
Of him the angels sing. *

Wow. The imagery of this verse is so strong. I see this person trudging along, weighed down by the situations and circumstances of life. All burdens are not created equal. And a heavy burden on the backs of two different people can look very different because everyone’s ability to carry burdens is different and how people “wear their burdens” is just as various. And, we don’t always know the whole story. We only see a small portion of the whole story.

But … the Prince was born to bring your peace!

Alleluia!

The sizes of our burdens vary greatly but they are burdens nonetheless. Even a small burden can appear to loom large depending on what else is going on. Today, I thank Jesus for being the Prince of my peace. He is the one who can calm the raging sea and calm the storm in me.

This life is always full of challenges and burdens. But I look to the one who came to give me His peace.

Come, Lord Jesus!
Liz

*By: Edmund H. Sears