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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Sunday"

Keeping the Faith: Be Still

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Author’s Note: I first wrote this four years ago but it’s been on my mind of late and seems as fitting as ever, so I thought I’d share it here. Hope you enjoy.

I went to church yesterday for the first time in several weeks. Summer’s been busy and weekends fly by, and it’s all too easy to place church down low on the priority list.  But I felt it tugging at me a bit. Truth be told, I’ve been feeling a little bit low of late. No one thing, no enormous thing, just the paper cuts of life leaving their sting.
So I went with the hope that an hour in church would renew my spirit a bit, as it so often does.  I went with a prayer on my heart that God would speak to me there as He’s done before.  It’s the reason I’ve come to love my church so — rare is the time I attend and don’t take something meaningful away.
And as the service went on, I felt…well, not really what I’d been hoping for.  The music was good, the message was fine, but it wasn’t really connecting with me in the way I’d thought it might. Even when the pastor mentioned “those times when God speaks to us and we know it’s Him.”  Yes – I’ve experienced those times, and they’re a large part of what informs my faith. But He wasn’t really speaking to me yesterday.

Then, at the end of the service, the lights dimmed, and the pastor engaged in a sort of “question and answer” prayer session with God.  He voiced a concern or doubt, speaking directly to God, and then, in turn, a verse would appear on the screen — one which spoke to the question. I don’t recall the pastor’s first query, but the responsive verse was:  “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.“And for some reason, that prompted me to think of the times I’ve called out to God in sadness or doubt, and “heard” (in my head – not in a big out loud GOD voice): “Be still, and know that I am God.”  So I thought, “Okay, maybe that’s what I’m supposed to take away from today.”  I thought on it a bit as the question-and-answer-prayer continued for a few minutes.

 

And then the pastor was quiet and the lights dimmed completely. And then, a blue spotlight illuminated a lone pianist on stage.  And this is what he played:

 

I heard you, God.  Thank you.

 


Follow me on Twitter @SmoosieQ

Find my RedState archive here.

And if you’re interested in my non-political stuff, you can find that over at (what I refer to as) my “fluffy bunny blog,” — Somewhere Over the Septic Tank. 

 

The post Keeping the Faith: Be Still appeared first on RedState.

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Keeping the Faith: It Is Well With My Soul

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I grew up in church. Ours was a United Church of Christ church which I often described as “laid back Methodist.” It’s certainly one of the more liberal denominations and I would never have characterized our pastors or congregation as “bible-thumpers.” Nevertheless, my folks attended every Sunday (and still do), as did I through high school. I was baptized as a baby, confirmed as a teenager.

I’ve many memories of church retreats at a nearby campground (which seemed to me as a child to be a world away), of church picnics, of candlelit Christmas Eve services, of Lily-adorned Easters, of Sunday School, of “Bible Baseball” (the genesis — no pun intended — of my competitive approach toward trivia.)  We had hymnals — two, actually, an older, more traditional one and a newer one that definitely had the 60’s vibe going on — and sang a variety of them each Sunday.

But I don’t recall singing “It Is Well With My Soul” as I was growing up. It’s possible that we did but if so, I certainly was not familiar with the story behind it. That is something I learned much more recently. For those not familiar with it:

This hymn was written after traumatic events in [Horatio] Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his son at the age of two and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.[2] Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.[3]

I’ve had my share of low moments in my life. Some that had me literally collapsed in a heap on the floor. Yet I can’t fathom the grief Horatio Spafford (and his wife) must have endured. Which is, of course, what renders this hymn all the more powerful. To suffer as he suffered and still be able to dig down deep and tap into that wellspring of faith is an amazing testament.

Last week, on Easter, I shared what I view as Love Notes from God. I included a link to the Easter service from the church I attend now. It was a wonderful service and reminded me why I need to get back to regularly attending. One of the highlights was the sharing of this video:

As the beginning of the video indicates, “Recently, people from various churches across the St. Louis area gathered to record our version of a song that has inspired us.” And inspire it does. It’s a beautiful rendition and a beautiful collaboration.

As someone who devours news and politics (have lost track of the number of sources whose alerts I receive on my phone), it’s so easy to become jaded. To look around at all of the pain people endure and often inflict on one another, even if I’m not in a particularly low spot personally, and despair. What have we done? What’s to become of us?

But then I hear these beautiful words and am reminded why we mustn’t despair:

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

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

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath 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!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

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

 

 


Follow Susie on Twitter @SmoosieQ

 

The post Keeping the Faith: It Is Well With My Soul appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Easter-Sky-cropped-300x228 Keeping the Faith: It Is Well With My Soul Sunday religion It is well with my soul Horatio Spafford God Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Faith Notes Faith Culture & Faith Christianity Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Sunday morning talking heads

Westlake Legal Group sunday-morning-talking-heads Sunday morning talking heads Trump The Blog talk shows Sunday sekulow schiff russiagate nadler Mitt Romney Larry Kudlow Herman Cain Fed buttigieg Andrew Yang

Westlake Legal Group m-3 Sunday morning talking heads Trump The Blog talk shows Sunday sekulow schiff russiagate nadler Mitt Romney Larry Kudlow Herman Cain Fed buttigieg Andrew Yang

This fine Sunday brings a rare Mitt Romney appearance to the morning chat shows, conveniently at a new moment of contention between him and the president. Trump wants to nominate two cronies, Stephen Moore and Herman Cain, to the board of the Federal Reserve, an institution that’s supposed to be quasi-independent from the White House. The Republican Senate will probably rubber-stamp one or both when asked to confirm them, but don’t bet too heavily on it. Romney sounded iffy a few days ago about putting partisans on the Fed board:

In an interview, the Utah Republican senator brushed off the prospect of Trump following through and officially nominating Cain: “I doubt that will be a nomination. But if it were a nomination, you can bet [what] the interest rates he would be pushing for.”…

Romney said he was still “evaluating” Moore’s likely nomination, but made a broader critique of the direction Trump may be trying to take the Fed, which sets interests rates and has broad sway over the economy.

“I would like to see nominees that are economists first and not partisans. I think it’s important that the Fed be a nonpartisan entity,” Romney said. “The key is that someone is outside of the political world and is an economic leader not a partisan leader.”

Is there a revolt brewing in the Senate against Moore and/or Cain? All it would take is four Republicans to switch sides to defeat their nominations. Romney will sit down with “Meet the Press” to discuss that, his vote a few weeks ago to block Trump’s emergency declaration at the border, and the Democratic effort to get Trump’s tax returns. Mitt once had some … interesting thoughts about what might be in those returns. He’s likely to be asked to elaborate on them this morning.

He’ll be followed on MTP by Democratic 2020 flavor of the month Pete Buttigieg, who’ll apologize again for the thoughtcrime he committed several years ago in daring to utter “all lives matter.” Elsewhere, Sunday show mainstays Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff will be on “Face the Nation” and “State of the Union,” respectively, to chat about endgame for the Mueller investigation and the whispers that the actual report is more damning than Bill Barr’s summary made it out to be. And Trump lawyers Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani will appear on “This Week” and “Face the Nation,” respectively, to offer the opposing view that the witch hunt is still alive and well and now taking the form of rumormongering to the New York Times and WaPo. The full line-up is at the AP.

The post Sunday morning talking heads appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group m-3-300x153 Sunday morning talking heads Trump The Blog talk shows Sunday sekulow schiff russiagate nadler Mitt Romney Larry Kudlow Herman Cain Fed buttigieg Andrew Yang   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com