Poems/Songs

The Singing Soul

 

Sometimes I fall prey to feeling a little sorry for myself and what I perceive are my small problems.

  • I always determine to not let myself stay there.
  • People who have overcome great obstacles to lead an inspiring, effective life bless and encourage me during those times.

One of those individuals is Myra Brooks Welch, a poet who lived from 1878 until 1950.

  • During her lifetime she was called “The Singing Soul.”
  • Something someone said a couple of weeks ago has caused me to remember and to meditate on her most well known poem “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”

In 1921 she heard a speaker address a group of students and was inspired by what he stated.

  • She said this poem wrote itself in 30 minutes.
  • She felt it was a gift from God and sent it anonymously to her church news bulletin.
  • She believed it didn’t need her name on it and the poem quickly became popular.

Several years later the poem was read at an international religious meeting “author unknown.”

  • A young man stood up and said….”I know the author, and it’s time the world did too.
  • It was written by my mother, Myra Welch.”

What the world did not see, was Myra in her wheelchair, battered and scared from severe arthritis.

  • One of her greatest loves had been to play the organ.
  • Her ravaged body had taken away her ability to make music.
  • But instead, her musical soul spoke through her poetry.

She took one pencil in each of her disabled hands.

  • Using the eraser end, she would slowly type the words.
  • The joy of these words out weighed the pain of her efforts. *

 

THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile;

“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,

Who’ll start “ the bidding for me?”

“A dollar, a dollar”; then two! 

“Only Two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

Three dollars, once; three dollars twice; going for three”…But no, 

From the room, far back, a gray-headed man came forward and picked  up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said; “What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?

Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,

And going and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand what changed its worth.”

Swift came the reply:

“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,

and battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin,

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine;

A game – and he travels on. 

“He is going” once, and “going twice,

He’s going and almost gone.”

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by 

The Touch of the Master’s Hand.

 

Poem composed by Myra Brooks Welch

*From Book – One Hand Typing and Keyboarding by Lily Walters

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Life's Journey

Opportunities

 

This post may sound strange to some of you.

  • The circumstances of my life’s journey has found me to be alone quite a bit of the time.
  • There have been many highs and some lows.
  • People have come into and departed from my life.
  • Through it all I became an observer and a thinker.
  • Everything that happens to us in this life is a teaching experience; both for ourselves and others.

I have the habit of highlighting or saving some things that I read.

  • I also jot down notes and dates of anything that speaks to me.
  • Thus, you have the quotes that I use at the end of each post.
  • In this area, organization is not my greatest attribute.
  • There are too many notes and ideas of various sizes in several places.
  • But when I am attracted to a subject, I usually find what I need.

That brings us to “OPPORTUNITIES.”

  • The thoughts of this post were easy to find. I wrote them in the front of my Bible.
  • I was sitting in the choir (on a Sunday) listening to our pastor’s message.
  • Have no idea what he said, but whatever it was my mind was led down a specific path.
  • Before I lost my train of thought I quickly wrote them down.

PROBLEMS ARE NOT PROBLEMS, THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES.

They are opportunities to learn

They are opportunities to grow

They are opportunities to listen

They are opportunities for faith

They are opportunities to minister

WOW. Just now in typing these five lines, I have made a personal discovery.

  • It is time to divert from where this post was originally going.
  • I am once again confronted with my water shed experience on this road which we call life.

In the mountains of Colorado there is a specific altitude area which is called the Continental Divide.

  • In past years my husband, myself and our children have crossed over that Divide many times.
  • It is the point in the United States that determines whether ALL rain water will flow east to the Atlantic Ocean or west to the Pacific Ocean.
  • Everything rises to and flows down from that peak.
  • In short, it determines the water shed of the United States.
  • Most of my life I applied myself to grow toward what was my destiny.
  • Unexpectedly that peak was reached and everything has flowed downward from that time forward.

Without giving it much thought, I have just discovered these short phrases written down years ago “OPPORTUNITIES” are both the challenge and in many ways the basis of my life.

  • These quickly recorded ideas were written on February 22, 1987.
  • The next day February 23rd would be my husband’s and oldest daughter’s birthday.
  • Sixteen months later on June 23,1989 we buried our precious eldest child. WOW….when lest expected we are confronted with the thoughts and ideals of our lives.
  • WOW, WOW, WOW. Now, it was the appointed time for me to live out the words that I believed and shared with others.

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN.

  • I learned God was real and His Word was true.
  • For myself He became a “Wonderful Counsellor” *(Isaiah 9:6).
  • He revealed Himself to me in an unusual and personal way.
  • I learned morning always comes after the darkest night.
  • I learned to stand more strongly on His promises.
  • l learned that the principles that were the foundation of my life must be lived out for others.
  • In short, “practice what you preach.”

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW.

  • I had to become a big girl now. It was necessary for me to become the family rock.
  • In three weeks time our immediate family absorbed three blows.
  • My husband had just had major surgery and was still in a weakened condition.
  • Our middle child had just gotten out of a long stay in the hospital (trying to give birth to a seven months baby); was confined to home on an IV.
  • Our oldest had an automobile accident which took her life.
  • We quickly had to fly out of state to join our son-in-law and make funeral arrangements.

A week later when my family flew home, I stayed behind with our loved “son” to take care of a precious six months old baby boy; until this young husband and father, which we loved, could finish his job and move back into town where his parents would be able to help him with the baby.

Yesterday was gone and there was a new family dynamic that needed to be created. Had to let go of so many things in life that are unimportant. The things that we cling to both emotionally and physically. I now knew for sure that life is to be lived “one day at a time.” We never know what tomorrow will bring, so we must look for the best in each day. There was no choice but to go forward one step and one day at a time. That was imperative for me….for others were watching and following.

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO LISTEN.

  • Once back at home it was time to really start my journey through grief.
  • It seemed that I just couldn’t settle down and read anything; even my Bible, so…..I listen a lot; mostly to music.
  • Sometimes just the majestic music of the old masters.
  • At times the music of our day.
  • Music with beautiful instrumentals or maybe with words that were encouraging.
  • It might be secular or gospel music.
  • I listened to good teachers on the radio.
  • I heard men and women speak who had to travel difficult roads.
  • Most of the time I just listen to God. He was always there, especially in the silent times.
  • I love the scripture in the Old Testament where King David says: “I just came to sit before you Lord.”

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAITH.

  • This was a unknown path. Above all else on this new journey, God must be honored.
  • My faith grew immensely. You see “I had walked through the valley of the shadow of death” and “His rod and staff had comforted me.”  *(Psalm 23:4).
  • There were many alone days when my heart would ache almost more that I could stand.
  • God was my refuge and help. I would go “boldly to the throne of grace to find help in my time of need.” *(Hebrews 4:16).
  • Many times I told God “I’m not going to look into the future and the experiences with my child that will never be, but with You I can do this TODAY.”
  • I’m so thankful that what they say are the many stages of grief, I skipped.
  • Acceptance was there at the beginning…..because of faith.

These next few words are for the skeptics and non-believers. Read them clearly and understand what they say: FAITH IS NOT A CRUTCH, IT IS STRENGTH. The way to be strong is to let go of yourself and choose to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” *(Titus 2:11)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but, have everlasting life…For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved…He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” *(John 3:16-18)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift…not from works, so that no one can boast.” **(Ephesians 2:8-9)

I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” **(John 8:12)

“But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.” **(John 20:31)

“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” **(Acts 4:12)

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.” **(Romans 10:9-10)

“The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” **(2 Peter 3:9)

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” *(John 10:10)

To those of you who do not believe this, I only ask one thing. Take time to think about what has been said and the Scriptures given. Basically, we are strangers, but you are in my thoughts and I am someone who cares about you and your life choices. Feel free to comment or ask questions. I don’t have all the answers, but have learned many things about what and Who is true.

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO MINISTER.

  • Once you have traveled a difficult path you have been given the gift of guiding others who are at the beginning of the same road.
  • You go along side of them and whisper in their ear: “I made it through and you will too. Others have walked this same road and called back….the walk will get easier, the night will be gone, the tears will diminish, the sun will shine again, you will remember once more how to sing and laugh.”
  • But you must listen to this warning. You cannot comfort someone going through a painful experience with the words: “I know how you feel and what you are going through.” This statement can only be uttered by those who have truly had the experience.

Again, I say WOW. This post certainly and quickly led me in an unplanned direction. Absorb these words for they are life and truth. I leave you with the words from a book that comes to my thoughts frequently. They simply say:

“In acceptance lieth peace.”

(Hannah Hurnard)

 

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.”  **(Nahum 1:7)

 

*King James Version

**Holman Christian Standard Version

 

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Life's Journey, Seasonal

The Song The Angels Sang

 

…..December 20, 2014

 

What is this that I hear?  

A sound like never heard before.  

Yet, if I am still and listen, 

Something begins to take form in the emptiness of my life.

And I can begin to hear the music.

 

  • It’s a new song, never heard before.
  • It’s the song planned ever since the world was formed.
  • It’s a song that came to earth because of the garden.
  • It’s the song of the season.
  • It’s a song of a gift given.
  • It’s a song of celebration.
  • It’s a song for you and me.
  • It’s a song of peace.
  • It’s a song of joy.
  • It’s a song of forgiveness.
  • It’s the song of eternity.
  • It’s the song the angels sang to the shepherds
  • It’s a song of goodwill to all men.
  • It’s a song of prophecy.
  • It’s a song all can hear if they listen.
  • It’s a song of restoration.
  • It’s the song of redemption.

 

Isaiah 9:2 & 6        “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined…… For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”    **

Luke 2:8-15

2:8…………The message was first given to the common people

2:9-10…….Fear not, it’s good tidings of great joy

2:11………..It’s a message of good news to all mankind

 

Romans 5:1  “There is no other name by which we may be saved”    

Matthew 28:5-6    ”And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified……He is not her for He is risen, as He said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”   

 

This is the Song the Angels sang.  The song of hope and of a destiny for those who hear the music and accept it’s message.

IT CAN BE YOUR SONG.

 

“Faith consists in believing

when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

(Voltaire)

** kjv

 
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Encouragement, Life's Journey

Music

 

……November 8, 2014

 

Have you ever stopped to think about music and how important it is to our lives? 

  • Where would we all be in our personal journeys, if it wasn’t for music?
  • Music is one of the consistent companions in our lives.
  • Music demands nothing from us, except to listen to what it has to say or how it makes us feel.

 

We have had music on earth since the beginning of time. 

  • It is present for all the great events of this world and our lives: wars, coronations, weddings, births, deaths, graduations, holidays, etc.
  • There are melodies and words for all of these occasions.

 

Soldiers would march into the unknown accompanied by music. 

  • We associate the fife and drum with the American Revolutionary War.
  • During the Civil War the trumpet was used to communicate the commands of battle.
  • How, can any one of us forget the haunting melodies of “Taps” or the bag pipes playing “Amazing Grace?”

 

Music is a mood creator.

  • Remember the great movies you have seen and the sound track that sets the tone for those movies: Gone with the Wind, Star Wars, The Way We Were, Gettysburg, Sleepless in Seattle.
  • When we hear the theme songs our minds go back to when we first saw that specific movie, maybe a favorite scene or the grandeur of the story that was told.

 

Music makes the work go faster and seem easier.

  • This past May we painted the eaves and soffits of our home. It was a hot, exhausting, difficult job for my husband and myself.
  • We had a young college student help us for a couple of days. One morning while he was working hard with us I suddenly remembered my ipod and dock.
  • I have a wide range of taste in music all the way from pop, 50’s, country, gospel, instrumental, opera, classical just to name a few.
  • We put the ipod on shuffle and it accompanied us as we worked for the next few days.

 

Music gets us moving, soothes us, leads us into worship, brings tears or laughter, puts us to sleep, creates memories.

  • There’s a great song by Trisha Yearwood that I love….”The Song Remembers When.”
  • Each of us in our own lives have songs that remember when, and we revisit a place in time when we hear a particular song.

 

When I was a child and became afraid or upset, my Dad would sing “You Are My Sunshine” to me.

  • My parents enjoyed music. I remember all the music we would listen to on the radio or record player.
  • My mother loved to play classical music loud to get the full impact, and I must admit than when I am alone I do the same thing.
  • By the way, when you have music in your life, you are really never alone.

 

Our family is a musical family.

  • My husband and our children were and are singers.
  • I love to sing, but I’m not as gifted as they are, so I keep my singing in the background.
  • We have a grandson who performed in his hometown’s children’s choir.
  • Our son-in-law has played the piano since he was a young child; his son also enjoys the piano.
  • Ever since I can remember music has been a vital part of my personal life and family life.
  • Be prepared, music will be a part of what I have to say from time to time.

 

Music is a universal language.

  • A few years ago I heard an Italian opera singer, Andrea Bocelli, for the first time.
  • His voice was so distinctive to me that I bought one of his CD’s,”Romanza.”
  • One day, I had a long drive to make, so I opened the wrapper and proceded to listen to the CD.
  • I didn’t understand a word, but he made each song his own. You could feel the power of the music, his emotions and could grasp the message of each song.
  • I was so moved that it bought me to tears.
  • That experience really made me realize the impact of music on our lives in a different way.

 

I found this poster that says: “Never underestimate the therapeutic power of driving and listening to very loud music.” 

  • I thought, “O boy,” That’s me, I love to do this.
  • Music brought a soothing to my soul, after the death of our daughter.
  • Somehow, I just couldn’t read my treasured Bible, but I could listen to good music to calm my grieving spirit.

 

On your journey, make music a traveling partner.

  • Listen to the music of nature. The sounds of the wind, the birds, the ocean, the running streams, the rustling leaves; in addition to the music created by man.
  • Let your spirit soar to the heavens, and you will discover that in some ways it makes your trip easier.
  • It will make your soul sing during the good times and make you able to better endure the hard times.
  • Music has been with us from the beginning and will be with us in eternity.

 

Be open to discovering the music in your life…..and pass it on so someone else may hear it.

 

The woods would be silent…

If only the best bird sang!

(unknown)

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