Getting Settled in Oxford

 

We arrived to Heathrow airport on Monday September 12th in the early afternoon. We were amazed at the customs procedure. There were several entry stations where you enter singly and put your open passport in a scanner while a camera takes your photo. After the scan, if no red flags pop up, you proceed to the baggage claim area. No human interaction at this point. We were flabbergasted but happy with the streamlined procedure. Next we followed the signs to baggage claim and waited for our bags to appear on the moving belt. Again we were happy to see them both appear and then we looked for signs for the central bus station located at Heathrow Terminal 3 . It was a long walk and when we found the bus station we looked for the The Airline Bus, Oxford. The first bus we spotted was with a cranky bus driver who felt his bus was full but a few stalls down there was another bus with a happy bus driver ready to take our bags and let us know a return ticket would save us money. On board and ready to go. The journey would take at least 80 minutes with the stops involved along the way. When we got to Oxford it was a prime traffic time so the journey took longer. We got off the bus and got our luggage and proceeded to find our apartment. Our Airbnb hostess gave us great directions and instructions. It was only 0.2 miles to our apartment from the bus station.

To get into the apartment complex we had to enter a security code for the door to open.

We found our apartment and entered another code to get the key from a lock box. In and ready to dump our bags and settle in before we headed out to find a pub for a meal.

We found our way to New Inn Hall Street heading for St. Michael Street to find The Plough Pub on Cornmarket and St. Michael Street.

The Plough was closed so we headed back a few businesses on St. Michael to the Three Goats Head Pub. We found a table and placed our order.

We both enjoyed a Steak and Ale Pie and we had a conversation with a couple from Finland. Maybe half a conversation as we both tried to get beyond a language barrier.

On the way back we discovered a connection to the Wesley family on New Inn Hall Street.

Walking back on St. Michael you can see the Wesley Memorial Methodist Church on New Inn Hall Road.

Oxford is full of connections to the Wesley family. John and Charles Wesley followed their elder brother Samuel to Christ Church; their father, also Samuel, was a student at Exeter College; and their grandfather John studied at New Inn Hall (from which New Inn Hall Street takes its name).

If you follow this link you will find some interesting history of the Wesley family in Oxford and beyond.

On the same road we passed St. Peter’s College.

This was the apartment building where our airbnb apartment was located on the Oxford Castle and Prison location (part ruined Norman Castle).  The Swan and Castle is a pub in the Wetherspoon Pub chain. A cheaper pub that is open from 9am until 1pm. We weren’t aware of this fact before we booked our apartment. This wasn’t the type of pub we would choose.

The second balcony up is our apartment. Outside tables were situated below our balcony and windows. The drinking age in the UK is 18 and because this pub was one of the cheaper pubs many young people congregated to drink and smoke and enjoy themselves loudly each night. OYE. Such a nice apartment in a wonderful location with this downside. Thankfully we packed earplugs and there was a fan in our bedroom that we utilized for white noise. It was quiet from 2am until 8am so that was a plus. We decided to go with the flow and enjoy the upside to this apartment and not get in a snit about the downside.

Looking out our apartment window we said goodnight to our first day in the United Kingdom.

Back to the present we are getting more acclimated and feeling less tired. Hopefully we’ll be able to sleep longer into the morning, too.

Jesus, Lover of My Soul ~ Hymn

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.

Wilt Thou not regard my call?
Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—
Lo! on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand!
While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,
Dying, and behold, I live.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy name,
I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am;
Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.

Words: Charles Wesley, 1740

Depth of Mercy ~ Hymn

Depth of Mercy

Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.

I my master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
And profaned His hallowed name,
Put Him to an open shame.

I have spilt His precious blood,
Trampled on the Son of God,
Filled with pangs unspeakable,
I, who yet am not in hell!

Lo! I still walk on the ground:
Lo! an advocate is found:
Hasten not to cut him down,
Let this barren soul alone.

Jesus speaks, and pleads His blood!
He disarms the wrath of God;
Now my Father’s mercies move,
Justice lingers into love.

Kindled His relentings are,
Me He now delights to spare,
Cries, How shall I give thee up?
Lets the lifted thunder drop.

Whence to me this waste of love?
Ask my advocate above!
See the cause in Jesus’ face,
Now before the throne of grace.

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.

Jesus, answer from above,
Is not all Thy nature love?
Wilt Thou not the wrong forget,
Permit me to kiss Thy feet?

If I rightly read Thy heart,
If Thou all compassion art,
Bow Thine ear, in mercy bow,
Pardon and accept me now.

Pity from Thine eye let fall,
By a look my soul recall;
Now the stone to flesh convert,
Cast a look, and break my heart.

Now incline me to repent,
Let me now my sins lament,
Now my foul revolt deplore,
Weep, believe, and sin no more.

Words: Charles Wesley, 1740.

Soldiers of Christ, Arise

I was going to narrow down the 16 stanzas of this hymn/poem that Charles Wesley wrote but on second thought decided to post it all. I’m putting the definitions of some of the ‘old’ words at the end for my benefit and maybe yours.

Soldiers of Christ, Arise

Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies
Through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts,
And in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

Stand then in His great might,
With all His strength endued,
And take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God;
That, having all things done,
And all your conflicts past,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone
And stand entire at last.

Stand then against your foes,
In close and firm array;
Legions of wily fiends oppose
Throughout the evil day;
But meet the sons of night,
And mock their vain design,
Armed in the arms of heavenly light,
Of righteousness divine.

Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace,
And fortify the whole;
Indissolubly joined,
To battle all proceed;
But arm yourselves with all the mind
That was in Christ, your head.

Let truth the girdle be,
That binds your armor on,
In faithful, firm sincerity
To Jesus cleave alone.
Let faith and love combine
To guard your valiant breast:
The plate be righteousness divine,
Imputed, and impressed.

Still let your feet be shod,
Ready His will to do,
Ready in all the ways of God
His glory to pursue:
Ruin is spread beneath,
The Gospel greaves put on,
And safe through all the snares of death
To life eternal run.

But, above all, lay hold
On faith’s victorious shield;
Armed with that adamant and gold,
Be sure to win the field:
If faith surround your heart,
Satan shall be subdued,
Repelled his every fiery dart,
And quenched with Jesus’ blood.

Jesus hath died for you!
What can His love withstand?
Believe, hold fast your shield, and who
Shall pluck you from His hand?
Believe that Jesus reigns,
All power to Him is given:
Believe, till freed from sin’s remains;
Believe yourselves to Heaven.

Your Rock can never shake:
Hither, He saith, come up!
The helmet of salvation take,
The confidence of hope:
Hope for His perfect love,
Hope for His people’s rest,
Hope to sit down with Christ above,
And share the marriage feast.

Brandish in faith till then
The Spirit’s two-edged sword,
Hew all the snares of fiends and men
In pieces with the Word;
’Tis written; This applied
Baffles their strength and art;
Spirit and soul with this divide,
And joints and marrow part.

To keep your armor bright,
Attend with constant care,
Still walking in your captain’s sight,
And watching unto prayer.
Ready for all alarms,
Steadfastly set your face,
And always exercise your arms,
And use your every grace.

Pray without ceasing, pray,
Your captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey
And call upon the Lord;
To God your every want
In instant prayer display,
Pray always; pray and never faint,
Pray, without ceasing, pray!

In fellowship; alone,
To God with faith draw near;
Approach His courts, besiege His throne
With all the powers of prayer:
Go to His temple, go,
Nor from His altar move;
Let every house His worship know,
And every heart His love.

To God your spirits dart,
Your souls in words declare,
Or groan, to Him who reads the heart,
The unutterable prayer.
His mercy now implore,
And now show forth His praise,
In shouts, or silent awe, adore
His miracles of grace.

Pour out your souls to God,
And bow them with your knees,
And spread your hearts and hands abroad,
And pray for Sion’s peace;
Your guides, and brethren, bear
For ever on your mind;
Extend the arms of mighty prayer,
In grasping all mankind.

From strength to strength go on,
Wrestle, and fight, and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day;
Still let the Spirit cry
In all His soldiers, Come!
Till Christ the Lord descends from high
And takes the conquerors home.

Words: Charles Wesley, 1741.

endued: endow or provide with a quality or ability (past tense)

Panoply: a complete set of arms or suit of armor.

Indissolubly: in a way that is impossible to take apart or bring to an end, or exists for a very long time.

Imputed: Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.

greaves: a piece of armor used to protect the shin

Ye Ransomed Sinners, Hear ~ Hymn

Today is Sunday the 30th of August and it’s time for a Sunday Hymn. Here’s one by Charles Wesley that covers our Word for today, Sin/Sins/Sinners. If you have a verse/verses share them in the comments and I’ll add them here. Thank you very much!

From Maristella:

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8 | NIV

From my sister Vera:

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭NASB‬‬

From Patsystitch:

1 John 3:4-6 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness, sin is lawlessness. You know the he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning, no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or know him.

From Happy One:

Romans 3:23 KJV

For all have SINned and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23 KJV

For the wages of SIN is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Ye Ransomed Sinners, Hear

Ye ransomed sinners, hear,
The prisoners of the Lord;
And wait till Christ appear
According to His Word.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me.
We shall from all our sins be free.

In God we put our trust:
If we our sins confess,
Faithful He is, and just,
From all unrighteousness
To cleanse us all, both you and me;
To cleanse us all, both you and me;
We shall from all our sins be free.

Surely in us the hope
Of glory shall appear;
Sinners, your heads lift up
And see redemption near.
Again I say: rejoice with me.
Again I say: rejoice with me.
We shall from all our sins be free.

The Word of God is sure,
And never can remove;
We shall in heart be pure
And perfected in love.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me.
We shall from all our sins be free.

Then let us gladly bring
Our sacrifice of praise;
Let us give thanks and sing
And glory in His grace.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me.
We shall from all our sins be free

Words: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788.

Preparing for Winter…

This covey of quail were in our backyard before our latest snow.

Looks like this one is ready for winter for sure.

It is always a treat to see a covey of quail in our back yard. Right now our yard is covered with a few inches of snow so finding treats will be a little tougher.

Winter is upon us with it’s official arrival on Saturday. We had about four inches of snow on Thursday. We have warmer days coming, into the forties predicted with rain, so our snow will soon be a slushy mess. It is snowing while I type so we’ll probably have over five inches by Friday morning.

Addy came for a short visit this morning so her mommy could finish up some shopping. She helped me wrap some gifts and played. All my wrapping is done except for a few gifts still ordered and on their way. Living in the country we end up doing more shopping online with deliveries to our door. On our road we have a rural mail carrier. They deliver the mail in their own vehicles. We do not see U.S. Postal vehicles on our road.

Hope you all have a peaceful joyful last weekend before Christmas.

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Charles Wesley

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a king,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Words: Charles Wesley

Let Him to Whom We Now Belong ~ Hymn

Let Him to Whom We Now Belong

Let Him to whom we now belong
His sovereign right assert,
And take up every thankful song,
And every loving heart.

He justly claims us for His own,
Who bought us with a price:
The Christian lives to Christ alone,
To Christ alone he dies.

Jesus, Thine own at last receive,
Fulfill our hearts’ desire;
And let us to Thy glory live,
And in Thy cause expire.

Our souls and bodies we resign;
With joy we render Thee
Our all, no longer ours, but Thine,
To all eternity.

Words: Charles Wesley, 1745.

Away With Our Fears, Our Troubles and Tears ~ Hymn

Away With Our Fears, Our Troubles and Tears

Away with our fears,
Our troubles and tears.
The Spirit is come,
The witness of Jesus returned to His home;
The pledge of our Lord
To His Heaven restored
Is sent from the sky,
And tells us our Head is exalted on high.

Our Advocate there
By His blood and His prayer
The gift hath obtained,
For us He hath prayed, and the Comforter gained;
Our glorified Head
His Spirit hath shed
With His people to stay
And never again will He take Him away.

Our heavenly Guide
With us shall abide,
His comforts impart,
And set up His kingdom of love in the heart.
The heart that believes
His kingdom receives
His power and His peace,
His life, and His joy’s everlasting increase.

The presence divine
Doth inwardly shine,
The Shechinah shall rest
On all our assemblies, and glow in our breast;
By day, and by night
The pillar of light
Our steps shall attend,
And convoy us safe to our prosperous end.

Then let us rejoice
In heart and in voice
Our Leader pursue,
And shout as we travel the wilderness through;
With the Spirit remove
To Zion above,
Triumphant arise,
And walk with our God, till we fly to the skies.

Words: Charles Wesley

This is a Whitsunday Hymn and I missed posting it last week.

And Can It Be That I Should Gain ~ Hymn

And Can It Be That I Should Gain

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Words: Charles Wesley, 1738.