Here are some quotes from my journals that relate to giving to others in need:
James 1:17 tells us our Father is the giver of all good gifts. Throughout all of eternity, we will be lavished in the limitless wealth of the CEO of the universe. Until then, we show ourselves to be sons and daughters of the one true God when we give, give, and give. Let’s keep shoving that abundance out the door to help others in need, and God will lay up treasures for us in His own divine storage lot. — Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 237
Don’t be afraid, you tiny flock! Your Father plans to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions and give the money away. Get yourselves purses that never grow old, inexhaustible treasure in Heaven, where no thief can ever reach it, or moth ruin it. For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too! Luke 12:33-34 (PHI)
I decided not to run away from the massive effect that my mother had on my life. At that point, the lyrics and ideas began to flow more easily. With all my records, I’m just regurgitating what she put in me. For example, “Don’t Lose Your Steam” was a message I got from my mother…I was thinking about how she always helped the homeless, the hungry, the handicapped, anybody who needed some elevation. Thought about it for years. But how do I get that out in a song? “Oh, they build their houses in preparation for the King/ and they line the sidewalks with every sort of shiny thing/ They will be surprised when they hear Him say/ Take me to the alley/ Take me to the afflicted ones.” That is how my mother operated–she would go to the alleys, to Skid Row, and try to help people. –Gregory Porter regarding his tunes, “Don’t Lose Your Steam” and “Take Me to the Alley”
If the bottom falls out, if the bridges fall down/Don’t lose your head of steam, don’t lose your dreams. — Gregory Porter
Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. — Isaiah 58:7-8a (NLT)
One of the churches in Amsterdam–“Westerkerk“– was important for me to see because of its proximity to the Anne Frank House. It was built between 1619-1631 as a Reformed church.
One of my favorite things about this church is the fact that is has a carillon (a musical instrument of bells) such as the one that I played at the University of Kansas. Anne Frank spoke often in her diary about the comfort of the bells from that tower, while her family was hiding there during World War II.
Anne also spoke of seeing the tower and clock from the attic of the annex they hid in. I can see why this tower and its music and keeping of time would be such a comfort for them. It’s extremely painful to me, to think that Anne was not able to walk out onto these streets, ride her bike, or have the freedom and happy life she should’ve had, which was taken from her by the Nazi occupation and Holocaust. Next week I’ll share about our tour of the Anne Frank hiding home.
We were able to take a quick peek inside the church, and it’s beautiful! But oh, how much I would love to play its carillon! You can see an example in the video below — wait for it — you will see a live performance just like I was able to do when I lived near our World War II Carillon in Lawrence, Kansas. Really special!
Although I love hymns and choruses focused on God Himself, rather than on us as worshippers, there are some great lyrics that refer to the actual worship of the believer. These too have a place in our hymnals and in our worship.
Standing on the promises of Christ my King, thro’ the eternal ages let His praises ring. Glory in the highest I will shout and sing; standing on the promises of God. — R. Kelso Carter
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is they health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; join me in glad adoration! — Joachim Neander
What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. — Elisha A. Hoffman
This week I’ m focusing on hymn lyrics. I’ve been seeing these in my devotions this year and some of the lyrics have made their way into my journal. I’m not one to say that we need only hymns in our worship services, but I do think they have a way of worshipping God that is truly special. But chorus or hymn, I love the ones that are more focused on God (His character, His works, His heart) than on us (our worship, our service, our hearts).
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater; He sendeth more strength as our labors increase. To added afflictions He added His mercy; to multiplied trials He multiplies peace. –Annie J. Flint
I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise.; that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies. I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day. The moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey. — Isaac Watts
Wonderful grace of Jesus, reaching to all the lost. By it I have been pardoned, saved to the uttermost. Chains have been torn asunder, giving me liberty; for the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me. — Holder Lillenas
He framed the globe, He built the sky. He made the shining worlds on high and reigns in glory there. His beams are majesty and light; His beauties, how divinely bright! His dwelling place how fair! — Isaac Watts