A Safe Stronghold Our God is Still ~ Hymn

 

A Safe Stronghold Our God Is Still

A safe stronghold our God is still,
A trusty shield and weapon;
He’ll help us clear from all the ill
That hath us now o’ertaken.
The ancient prince of hell
Hath risen with purpose fell;
Strong mail of craft and power
He weareth in this hour;
On earth is not his fellow.

With force of arms we nothing can,
Full soon were we down-ridden;
But for us fights the proper Man,
Whom God Himself hath bidden.
Ask ye, who is this same?
Christ Jesus is His name,
The Lord Sabaoth’s Son;
He, and no other one,
Shall conquer in the battle.

And were this world all devils o’er,
And watching to devour us,
We lay it not to heart so sore;
Not they can overpower us.
And let the prince of ill
Look grim as e’er he will,
He harms us not a whit;
For why? his doom is writ;
A word shall quickly slay him.

God’s Word, for all their craft and force,
One moment will not linger,
But, spite of hell, shall have its course;
’Tis written by His finger.
And though they take our life,
Goods, honor, children, wife,
Yet is their profit small;
These things shall vanish all:
The City of God remaineth!

Words: Martin Luther, 1529.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8

Wednesday Hodgepodge

If you are visiting from the A to Z Challenge please scroll down below Wednesday Hodgepodge. Cheers!
From this Side of the Pond

1. Has spring sprung in your part of the world? How can you tell? Did March come in like a lion where you live? Going out like a lamb or something more ferocious?

March is definitely going out like a lion. I was in Southern California for the beginning of March and it was calm enough except for the escalating worries over COVID-19. Panic shopping and hoarding had begun. In our part of Northeastern Washington Spring comes slowly. We see some green poking up and there are buds forming on some bushes. Our best sign of Spring is our granddaughter who was born on the first day of Spring in 2017.

She’s busy with Spring clean-up!

2. The last thing that caused you to spring to your feet?

Springing to my feet might be a thing of the past but something that made me get up as fast as I could to my feet was our grandson. We have a room at our country bungalow that has been designated as the playroom. It is one of our guest rooms so it has a queen size bed and two nightstands and a dresser and bookshelf besides some toys. I was reading to our granddaughter (sitting properly on the floor as per her instruction) when I saw grandson had walked around the bed to the flimsy lightweight nightstand and the lamp was tottering. I shifted Addy off my lap and got up as fast as I could which is hard from a sitting on the floor position. I got to him in time and moved him away. I then put a sturdy chair in front of the nightstand to block his access to it. Tragedy averted. Next time we are playing in there I will be prepared by moving the chair to block that nightstand forthwith.

For those of you Hodgepodgers who don’t regularly follow my blog, this is our grandson who was born in April of 2019 which is one of the best things that happened during the Hodgepodge hiatus since September of 2018. His older sister just turned 3 and he will turn 1 on April 16th with no huge 1st birthday party because of the virus. He won’t care but it’s tough on the adults in his life.

3. Do you have a spring clean to-do list? What’s one chore on the list you’ve already managed to accomplish? What spring clean chore do you most dread?

I do not have a Spring clean to-do list. We go with the flow.

We managed a good head start on cleaning up our fall brush pile and getting the yard ready for Spring growth. Using my hedge trimmer to clean up leftover dead growth around the former pond and throwing everything on the burn pile was very satisfying.

This winter we had a huge amount of branches and pine cones fall from all of our trees in the front yard. We finished picking up those branches along with some of the cones and they went on the burn pile, too.

I’m not dreading any Spring cleaning chore because I don’t have a big list of things I only do in the Spring. Should I make a list? Maybe I should clean out my closets and drawers??

4. Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or the wider world as a result of social distancing/the virus crisis.

I’ve learned that concentrating is harder these days. Even though I don’t feel like I’m anxious the uncertainty of where this is all going is unsettling. I’m a person who can get a lot accomplished if I have an incentive like a dinner party, or a trip coming up, or company coming to stay. There’s none of that kind of planning right now so one day just flows into another and my concentration has gone out the window. Hodgpodge helps and blogging helps and having my music on helps, and listening to sermons online helps, too. By the way y’all today is Wednesday just in case you were wondering. Anyone else having to ask, “what day is today?”

5. Something you love that’s the color pink?

My Lenten Rose (Hellebore) that I had to leave behind at our former home in Kenmore. It brought me such joy year after year when it would bloom during the season of Lent. Speaking of leaving things behind, here are my pink rhoddys that I hope are still thriving in Kenmore.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Some good quotes from trusted authors/pastors/Bible that I’ve read this week:

“Faith is not a power which you possess to create your own future. Faith is a God-given ability to trust the future that God has promised you.”~ John MacArthur

“Because of Christ, death is not final. It is a passage from one world to the next.” ~ R.C. Sproul

“Judas heard all Christ’s sermons.” ~ Thomas Goodwin

“Bene orasse est bene studuisse” To have prayed well is to have studied well. ~ Luther

Proverbs 3:25, 26(ESV) ~ Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. I’ll add the direct link on Wednesday.

Happy Reformation Day!

Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation. An important day in history.

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone” ~Martin Luther

Halloween happens to be on October 31st, also. For us Halloween is all about handing out candy to any little trick or treater who comes to our door.

Now that we live in the country the only little ones who come to our door are driven here by their parents. Addy and JJ will come by tonight to get a treat. They carved pumpkins last night and I borrowed this collage from Addy and JJ’s parents. Thank you!

It’s going to be a cold night to be out. Our Trick or Treeters better dress warmly.

I’ve got my red cape to keep me warm.

In other news we are very excited that on November 10th the MLS Cup final is going to be played on our home field for the first time! Our kids have traveled to Toronto in the past for other finals. Our kids get 4 tickets for the game and they have offered their soccer loving mother one of those tickets. Now I just have to figure out whether to drive (dependent on pass conditions) or fly to Seattle. Thanks for indulging me in my excitement and enjoyment of the game of soccer. Hmm, indulgences were a big part of the conversation in the talks that led to the Reformation so maybe my post is more cohesive than I thought.

Ice on my windshield on Wednesday morning. It will be nice when Dear’s shop has a roof on it so we can get my car back in the garage. The materials for building the shop are being stored in the garage where my car usually rests. We are still waiting on the company on some materials so that Dear can move ahead and raise the trusses and clear enough stuff out of the garage for my car to fit.

I’ll leave this random hodgepodge of a post with good true words from Martin Luther:

“Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God–
Naught else is worth believing.

Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.

I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,
HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER!”
― Martin Luther

O Lord, Look Down from Heaven ~ Hymn

“O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold”
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546

O Lord, look down from heaven, behold
And let Thy pity waken:
How few are we within Thy Fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken!
True faith seems quenched on every hand,
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;
Dark times have us o’ertaken.

With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error’s maze astounded.

May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: “Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master.”

Therefore saith God, “I must arise,
The poor My help are needing;
To Me ascend My people’s cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending.”

As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So through God’s Word shall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter through the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.

Thy truth defend, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of their way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our Salvation.

 

O Lord, Look Down From Heaven ~ Hymn

The Thames 106O Lord, Look Down from Heaven

O Lord, look down from Heaven, behold
And let Thy pity waken:
How few are we within Thy fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken!
True faith seems quenched on every hand,
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;
Dark times have us o’ertaken.

With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error’s maze astounded.

May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master.

Therefore saith God, I must arise,
The poor My help are needing;
To Me ascend My people’s cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending.

As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So through God’s Word shall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter through the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.

Thy truth defend, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of their way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our salvation.

Words: Martin Luther, 1524.

O Lord, Look Down from Heaven

The Thames 106O Lord, Look Down from Heaven

O Lord, look down from Heaven, behold
And let Thy pity waken:
How few are we within Thy fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken!
True faith seems quenched on every hand,
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;
Dark times have us o’ertaken.

With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error’s maze astounded.

May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master.

Therefore saith God, I must arise,
The poor My help are needing;
To Me ascend My people’s cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending.

As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So through God’s Word shall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter through the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.

Thy truth defend, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of their way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our salvation.

Words: Martin Luther, 1524.

Got Thorns?

“They gave our Master a crown of thorns. Why do we hope for a crown of roses?”
~ Martin Luther ~

 

The New Testament does not paint a rosy picture for the Christian life on this Earth. Instead it assures us that if we follow Christ we will face trials and persecutions. Because we are identified with Christ we will receive much of the same bad treatment and rejection He received.

II Timothy 3:12 ~  Indeed, all who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

I Peter 4:12 ~ Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

In our Women’s Bible Study today we talked about suffering, trials, persecution. We’re studying Philippians and Joy in everything seems to be the  theme so Joy in suffering was discussed.

James 1:2-4 ~ Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The trials are inevitable. How will I react?  How should I behave in the midst of these trials? Will I choose joy trusting in Almighty God and His plans and purposes? I hope so. I want to experience steadfastness. I want to rejoice and be glad when Christ’s glory is revealed. I choose to trust that God will teach me in and during my trials to react and behave in a way that let’s steadfastness have its full effect bringing me homeward towards perfection and completeness, lacking nothing. I don’t want a crown of roses now, I want a crown of life so when I get to heaven I can cast it at Jesus’ feet…

Happy New Year!

Hello 2011!

Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New
~Alfred Tennyson 1850

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife,
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweet manners, purer laws.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

~

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
~Martin Luther

С новым годом!

Ah, Dearest Jesus ~ Hymn

Ah, Dearest Jesus

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle song.

Glory to God in highest Heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.

Words: Mar­tin Lu­ther, 1535; trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Ca­ther­ine Wink­worth, 1855. These lyr­ics are from the long­er hymn, From Heav­en Above to Earth I Come.