Seize the Moment – Day 676

Today’s hymn focus will be

He Set Me Free

John 8:36(ESV)
 
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.“
 
Born in 1905 in Spiro, OK to a family of sharecroppers, Albert E. Brumley spent most of his early years chopping and picking cotton. At the age of 19, he enrolled into the Hartford Musical Institute in Hartford, AR. In 1931, his wife convinced him to publish some of his songs with the publishing company at his former alma mater. His collection included “I’ll Fly Away”, “I Will Meet You in the Morning” and “He Set Me Free”. He went on to write over 800 songs that have been sung by gospel groups and country western music artists. He was inducted into the Country Song Writers Hall of Fame in 1970.

 

He set me free, yes, He set me free. He broke the bonds of prison for me;

I’m glory bound my Jesus to see, for, glory to God, He set me free!

 

 

I challenge you to find the words to this hymn and read them today. As you do, examine whether or not you have experienced the freedom that can only be found in Christ. Then sing your praises to the glory of God, for He has set you free!

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 

He Set Me Free

 
Once like a bird in prison I dwelt
No freedom from my sorrow I felt

But Jesus came and listened to me

 
And glory to God He set me free
He set me free yes  
He set me free
And He broke the bonds of prison for me
 
I’m glory bound my  
Jesus to see
For glory to God He set me free

Now I am climbing higher each day

 
Darkness of mine has drifted away

My feet are planted on higher ground

And glory to God I’m homeward bound
 
 

Goodbye to sin and things that confound

Not all the world can turn me around

Daily I’m working I’m praying too

And glory to God I’m going through
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 669

Today’s hymn focus will be

“Be Still, My Soul”

 
““Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”

 

Throughout history, spiritual revivals have been accompanied by an outburst of new songs. Similar to the Puritan and Wesleyan movements in England, the Pietistic Revival in Germany gave birth to many rich German hymns.

 

Katharina von Schlegel, a canoness of an evangelical women’s seminary in Germany, wrote the lyrics of this song and was published in 1752. One hundred years later, it was translated into English by Jane Borthwick and the hymn’s tune was an arrangement of one movement from Jean Sibelius’ “Findlandia”. God used these three people from three different lands to bring forth this hymn of biblical truth.

 

Be still my soul, the hour is hastening on.

When we shall be forever with the Lord

When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still my soul! When change and tears are past.

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

 

Hold on to the promise of this song as we are encouraged to know that the promise of heaven is ours to hold on to, but to also share with others so that they, too, can have that blessed hope!

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 
 

Be Still My Soul

 
1
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
 
2
Be still, my soul; your God will undertake
to guide the future as he has the past;
your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
his voice who ruled them while he lived below.
 
3
Be still, my soul; when dearest friends depart
and all is darkened in the vale of tears,
then you will better know his love, his heart,
who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.
Be still, my soul; your Jesus can repay
from his own fullness all he takes away.
 
4
Be still, my soul; the hour is hast’ning on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still my soul; when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 662

Today’s hymn focus will be

“At Calvary”

Luke 1:50 (ESV)

 

“And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.”

 

William R Newell was born on May 22, 1868 to a pastor in Savannah, Ohio. Those who knew him considered him to be a ‘humble man”, but that was not the always the case. He had been a rebellious teen and his father wrote several letters requesting that Dr. Torrey, President of Moody Bible Institute, allow his son to enroll. It was only with the stipulation that William would meet each day with him and agree to uphold the rules and requirements of the Institute that he was allowed to attend.

 

The boy faithfully visited his office each day and would answer the questions asked of him with wisdom from God’s word. Finally, after months of counseling, Torrey led him to Christ. He later returned to Moody Bible Institute as a teacher, writing the words to this hymn and having his friend, Daniel Towner, compose the tune in about an hour in 1895.

 

  Mercy there was great, and grace was free. Pardon there was multiplied to me

  There my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary!

 

 

This hymn is very special to me, as it was one of my dad’s favorites. Much like Newell, my dad found his way to Calvary because of a pastor who looked past the rough exterior and saw him for who he could be in Jesus.

We need to share the message of mercy and grace with those around us each and every day!

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 

At Calvary

 
1
Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.
 
Refrain:
Mercy there was great and grace was free,
Pardon there was multiplied to me,
There my burdened soul found liberty–
At Calvary.
 
2
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned–
Then I trembled at the Law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary. [Refrain]
 
3
Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus ev’rything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary. [Refrain]
 
4
O the love that drew salvation’s plan!
O the grace that brought it down to man!
O the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary. [Refrain]
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 648

Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here.

Merry Christmas, if even just one

May the joy of the season surround you.

Merry Christmas, with love!

 

Today’s hymn focus will be

“The First Noel”

Luke 2:17 (ESV)
 
“And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.”

 

This traditional English carol dates back as far as the 13th century, taken from the “Miracle Plays”, the earliest form of theater which portrayed famous Bible stories.  While the original author is unknown, it is accredited to William Sandy for publishing it in his book Christmas Carols in 1833, helping to revitalize the practice of singing carols during the holidays. The word ‘Noel’ is taken from the French word for ‘Christmas’.

 

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel!  Born is the King of Israel

 

The song serves as a testament to the fact that no matter what the earth looks like, no matter how much time passes, the encouraging story of Jesus will always connect with the hearts that are desperate for Him.
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 

The First Noel

 
1
The first Noel the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
 
Refrain:
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
born is the King of Israel.
 
2
They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east, beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night. [Refrain]
 
3
And by the light of that same star
three Wise Men came from country far;
to seek for a king was their intent,
and to follow the star wherever it went. [Refrain]
 
4
This star drew nigh to the northwest,
o’er Bethlehem it took its rest;
and there it did both stop and stay,
right over the place where Jesus lay. [Refrain]
 
5
Then entered in those Wise Men three,
full reverently upon the knee,
and offered there, in his presence,
their gold and myrrh and frankincense. [Refrain]
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 641

Today’s Advent hymn focus will be

“Away in a Manger”

Luke 2:12 (ESV)
 
“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

 

While it is unclear about the origin of this Christmas carol, it has appeared in many children’s books in poem form as a lullaby prayer. It is usually one of the first Christmas carols taught to children with a pleasing melody and a gentle message of the gift that God gave us.

 

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.

The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.

The stars in the sky look down where He lay.

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

 

Did you know that the shepherds used the practice of protecting the male lamb that was born without spot or blemish by wrapping them in cloths and placing them in a manger? These lambs were used for the sacrifice of sin offerings. Jesus is the Lamb of God, and He was wrapped in the same manner, foretelling the fact that He would be the final sin offering for all mankind.

 

It is important that we enjoy a time of family worship, especially during this season. I encourage you to use the reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 

Away in a Manger

 
Away in a manger
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head
The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay
 
The cattle are lowing
The Baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes
I love You, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side
Until morning is nigh
 
Be near me, Lord Jesus
I ask You to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray
Bless all the dear children
In Your tender care
And fit us for heaven
To live with You there
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 634

Today’s Advent hymn focus will be

Go, Tell It on the Mountain

 
“Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands.”
 

John W. Work II is accredited for helping to make this traditional spiritual become a Christmas favorite. He was leading the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a college vocal ensemble that was sent out to raise funds for the struggling Fisk University. At first, the college students were reluctant to sing this and many other spirituals because they represented slavery and the dark past that they wanted to forget. But they soon recognized them for their sacredness and the religious worship that was a part of their parents’ lives. Through the encouragement of the University’s treasurer, they began to sing the spirituals in their concerts.

 

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere

Go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.

 

We need to wake up and realize that we need to recognize that our history is not what determines our future. When we accept Jesus into our lives and make Him Lord of all, we are new creations that are called to proclaim His message to a world in need of hope, love, joy and peace.

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 

Go, Tell it on the Mountain

 
Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born
 
While shepherds kept their watching
O’er silent flocks by night
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a Holy light
 
Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born
 
The shepherds feared and trembled
When, lo! Above the Earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Savior’s birth
 
Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born
 
Down in a lowly manger
Our humble Christ was born
And brought us all salvation
 
That blessed Christmas morn
Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
 
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born
That Jesus Christ is born
 
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 627

Today’s Advent hymn focus will be

“What Child is This?”

Luke 2:17 (NLT)
 
“After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.”

 

This beloved Christmas hymn was written by William Chatterton Dix. He was the son of a surgeon, born in Bristol England and spent most of his life working in Glasgow, Scotland, as an insurance company manager. In 1865, while recovering from a near fatal battle with sickness and depression, he experienced a spiritual awakening as he read through the scriptures. He loved the folk song “Greensleeves” and subsequently wrote the lyrics to this hymn.

 

His poetic writings combined with this soulful melody gives the feeling that God demonstrated His love for us in the fact that He sent His son in the form of a human baby to rescue humanity. And mankind went on to declare with awe and wonder, that this act of love was a clear sign, evoking wonder and amazement…What child is this?

 

This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing

Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

 

 
As we continue to worship Him during this Advent season, may we wake up and realize that we, too, need to spread the news that Jesus is the Son of God, and the true source of hope, love, joy and peace.
 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 
 

What Child is This?

 
1
What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
 
Chorus:
This, this is Christ, the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!
 
2
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
 
3
So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 620

Today’s Advent hymn focus will be

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

 
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel .”

 

Anglican Priest and hymn writer John Mason Neale enjoyed finding early and medieval Greek and Latin hymns to help people focus on the feasts and fasts of the Christian year. He is credited for translating this late 8th or 9th century Benedictine Gregorian chant into English in the mid 19th century. History tells us that in the weeks prior to Christmas, the monks would sing a verse a day to prepare their hearts and minds.

 

O Come, o come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear

 

If you look at each of these verses, they have a double purpose. Not only what His coming as a babe in a manger means, but also preparing our hearts and growing excitement for Jesus’ return to take us home.

 

Friends, Jesus is God with us. He has not only come in history, but He is coming again…and this gives us a huge reason to rejoice this season!

 

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel has come to thee, O Israel!
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 
 

O come, O come, Immanuel

 
1
O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
 
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
 
2
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain
 
3
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain
 
4
O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave. Refrain
 
5
O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode. Refrain
 
6
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light. Refrain
 
7
O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 613

Today’s hymn focus will be

“There Shall Be Showers of Blessings”

 

“ I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper

season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing.”

 

Major Daniel Webster Whittle (his rank from his service in the Civil War) had moved to Chicago in 1857 and began attending a bible study at Congregational church where he met Abbie Hanson, and they married in 1862

 

When I did the hymn “I Know Whom I Have Believed”, I told his story of his conversion while he was recovering from losing his arm just above the elbow. But this was not the only tragedy he encountered. He was traveling as an evangelist with Philip Bliss and his wife when the train on which they were riding crashed into a ravine. Whittle survived. James McGranahan lived nearby and came to help.  He and Whittle actually met beside the wreck and formed a friendship that was to be very fruitful in evangelistic ministry and the creation of gospel music.

 

            “Showers of blessing, showers of blessings we need.

            Mercy drops ‘round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.”

 

We need to wake up and realize that God is always with us, promising to supply all our needs. Even in the storms, with the rain falling and the winds howling, God is with us every moment. Though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes in the morning.

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 

There Shall Be Showers of Blessing

 
1
There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.
 
Chorus:
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.
 
2
There shall be showers of blessing—
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.
 
3
There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord!
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come, and now honor Thy Word.
 
4
There shall be showers of blessing;
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!
 
5
There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 606

Today’s hymn focus will be

“Count Your Blessings”

 

“O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list.  You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,  I would never come to the end of them.”

 

Johnson Oatman, Jr. grew up singing hymns with his father who loved to sing praises to God with his children, leaving behind a rich legacy. Johnson grew up to become a Methodist minister who wrote over 5000 hymns, with Count Your Blessings being the most loved, usually being sung around Thanksgiving. During the revival in Wales in the early 1900’s, it was one of the hymns sung at every service.

 

It is not a song to say, “Everything is fine, so just cheer up!” Rather, it is one to openly acknowledge life’s storms and burdens and bring them all to God in prayer.

 

            “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings,

            See what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one.

            Count your many blessings, see what God has done.”

 

Wake up and remember that this is a hymn of gratitude, to rise above doubt, discouragement, self-pity and anxiety and remember that you can take everything to God in prayer, and He will handle it!
 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 

Count Your Blessings

by Johnson Oatman, Jr
 
1
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
 
Chorus:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
 
2
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
 
3
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journeys end.
 

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