Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Ancient Words of Life
January 27, 2013

Front Cover: Genesis 1: 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Call to Worship: We praise you because we are fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, we know that full well.

Announcements
Opening Hymn:
Praise Song:
Reading: Psalm 139 1-18
Praise Song:
Scripture Reading/Prayer/Lord's Prayer/Offertory Prayer: Ecclesiates 11:1-5
Offertory Hymn: #131 My Jesus, I Love Thee
Sermon Text: John 1:1-4; Genesis 1:26-31; Jeremiah 1:1-10; Luke 1:39-44
Sermon Title: The Sanctity of Life
Benediction
Closing Hymn: #180 Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated, Lord to Thee



During the WW2 era, a noted theologian stated that a preacher should preach with the Bible in one hand the newspaper in the other hand, thereby stressing the importance of connecting the timeless truths of the Scriptures with events of the current day. Following His advice, we will do just that in this writing, for this week included three major events of historical significance: A national holiday marking the life and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr in bringing civil rights to the Negro race, the inauguration of President Obama and the 40th anniversary of legalizing of the abortion/murder of children in the womb. Wow, what a week of confiction....

How does one approach a week so full of conflicting emotions and thoughts? Well, I am at a loss as to how to do it, but for sure it causes one to fall down before the Lord in prayer, asking Him for help as to how to proceed.

As our sermon texts we listed various passages which give an overview of the sacredness/sanctity of life and which when read will ground us in who God is, what He has done, is doing and will do.. Let us not forget that He is God. So, here we go, asking for wisdom from Him, who gives wisdom very liberally to all who ask for it.

This weekend it was our privilege to attend a retreat for men at which Pastor Gary Kangas shared with us concerning the biblical teachings that govern the three stages of man's life: son to parent, husband to wife and Father to son. During that time there was a lot of information shared by Pastor Gary from the Scriptures and which was illustrated through his own experiences as well as through other people's experiences. It was a time of quietness before the Lord, with the focus being on our relationship with the Lord first of all, which then carried into the relationships that are described above. Pastor Gary brought along a song had touched him and which he felt(he was right on) would be a good tool to keep us centered on the Word as we discussed our "secondary" relationships of life.We sang this song together and each time we did, the words sunk deeper into our hearts. It would be fitting to put these words here before us in this writing:

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God's own heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart.

Words of Life, words of Hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world, where e'er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home

Chorus
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart

Holy words of our Faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh heed the faithful words of Christ

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God's own heart
Oh let the ancient words impart

Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart

MICHAEL W. SMITH

Pastor Gary emphasized the importance of being grounded in the "ancient words" of Jesus Christ so that we will be able to "see" and so that we will not be seduced into falling for that which is offered up to us from the world, our flesh and the devil as to the meaning of life as well as for the formula for life's relationships. The words of this song are well thought out, speak of the importance of being connected to the ageless Scriptures and can serve as a prayer for us as we listen, sing, pray and rejoice in the "Ancient One, Jesus the Christ." I encourage you to listen to this song over and over again (you can find it on youtube) and as you do, bask in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the ancient words do impart......grace and truth in Him....

Michael W. Smith saw of the importance of not straying from the "ancient words" and therefore composed this song which teacesh us, reminds us, encourages us and inspires us as we move through this world which is decaying and dying, but does not know it.

Pastor Gary shared a poignant illustration which once heard is not easily forgotten, which should give us cause to think on these things, as an individual, as church, and as a nation......

There was a painter who was hired to paint the white lines on the highway. He went to work and painted five miles the first day, three miles the second day and one mile the third day. Of course, his boss asked him why this was happening: "The paint bucked kept getting further away.".........................

At times one can be overwhelmed with the immensity of the sin in the world, as well as in one's own heart. At those times it is important to get back to the "paint bucket" We are instructed to pray for one another, for our leaders and so forth, but at times it is overwhelming, is it not? But we need to remember that it is not our responsibility to oversee the world, for that is God's task and He is doing it quite well. We have been given life by God so that we would live our lives in consecration to Him through serving people. In light of that, let us consider the life of the author of our closing Hymn today...

'Take My Life and Let It Be."


Frances Ridley Havergal was a Christian devotional writer, a poet, hymn writer and musician. She was born on
December 14, 1836, to a religious family at Astley, Worcestershire, England. She was the youngest child of
William Henry Havergal, a Church of England minister and noted poet and church musician who authored over
100 hymns.

At the age of 3, Miss Havergal could read; at the age of 4, she began reading and memorizing the Bible; at 7
she began writing poetry.

She was eleven when her mother died after suffering a long and hard illness.

Miss Havergal was converted and committed her life to Christ in 1851, at the age of 14. She said, "I committed
my soul to the Saviour ... earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment; I did trust the Lord Jesus."

Educated at home and in private schools in Worcester, England, and in Dusseldorf, Germany (1852-53), her
scholastic achievements included several modern languages, in addition to Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.

Miss Havergal had a thorough training in linguistics and music and was a pianist and singer.

She was also a devoted Bible student, memorizing the New Testament as well as the Psalms, Isaiah, and the
Minor Prophets.

Although highly cultured and educated she maintained a simple faith and confidence in her Lord. She lived a
disciplined prayer life and it is said that she never wrote a line without first praying over it.


Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee



"I believe my King suggests a thought, and whispers me a musical line or two, and then I look up and thank
Him delightedly and go on with it. That is how my hymns come."

"Writing is praying with me. You know a child would look up at every sentence and say, 'And what shall I
say next?' That is just what I do; I ask Him that at every line He would give me not merely thoughts and
power, but also every word, even the very rhymes."


Quite early in life, her poems were published in "Good Words" and other religious periodicals. Her poems are
permeated with the fragrance of her passionate love for Jesus.

In 1870, her father died suddenly.

After 1873, she literally carried out her now famous couplet,


"Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King."

and she sang nothing but sacred music of the love of God and His way of salvation. Her life's mission was to
sing and work for Jesus. She had both a great taste for music and a good knowledge of harmony, a natural and
inherited turn for melody, a ringing touch on the piano, a beautiful and well-trained voice. These gifts she now
entirely devoted to Christ; whether at home or in mixed society she always "sang for Jesus."

Her hymn of consecration, "Take My Life and Let It Be" was written by Miss Havergal in 1874. She gives the
following account:

"Perhaps you will be interested to know the origin of the Consecration hymn 'Take my life.' I went for a little
visit of five days [to Areley House]. There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long
prayed for, some converted, but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer 'Lord, give me all in this
house!' And He just did! Before I left the house every one had got a blessing. The last night of my visit after
I had retired, the governess asked me to go to the two daughters. They were crying, & then and there both
of them trusted and rejoiced; it was nearly midnight. I was too happy to sleep, and passed most of the night
in praise and renewal of my own consecration; and these little couplets formed themselves, and chimed in
my heart one after another till they finished with 'ever only, ALL FOR THEE!'"


Her prayer, "Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold," in the same hymn was not lightly stated.

In August, 1878, Miss Havergal wrote to a friend,

"The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. 'Take my
silver and my gold' now means shipping off all my ornaments to the church Missionary House, including a
jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me ... Nearly fifty
articles are being packed up. I don't think I ever packed a box with such pleasure."


Miss Havergal also wrote many small devotional tracts and narratives in prose and numerous little books of
poems and hymn texts, all marked by the same earnest and practical piety.

Themes for her writings were faith, consecration, and service.

Frail in health all of her life, Miss Havergal one day caught a severe cold which caused inflammation of the
lungs. When told that her life was in danger, she exclaimed, "If I am really going, it is too good to be true!" At
another time she responded, "Splendid! To be so near the gates of heaven." At the very end, it is reported that
she sang clearly, but faintly, another of her hymns, "Jesus, I Will Trust Thee, Trust Thee with My Soul." Then,
according to reports by her sister,


She looked up steadfastly, as if she saw the Lord; and surely nothing less heavenly could have reflected
such a glorious radiance upon her face. For ten minutes we watched that almost visible meeting with her
King, and her countenance was so glad, as if she were already talking to Him! Then she tried to sing; but
after one sweet, high note her voice failed, and as her brother commended her soul into the Redeemer's
hand she passed away.


Frances Ridley Havergal died at Caswall Bay, Swansea, Wales, June 3, 1879, at the age of forty-two. She never married.

On her tombstone at Astley, Worcestershire, is engraved her favorite text,

"The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7


Last Sunday a young member of our congregation came up to me and asked me if I could get him a picture Bible for him. I assured him that I could and at this time my wife and I would like to present him with his request. My heart has been encouraged by the love for Jesus, for his eagerness and commitment to "read the ancient words."


Nicolai, as you read this love letter from God with an open heart, may the holy words of faith, handed down to this age which are in this Bible, which came to us through sacrifice of Christ, change you and me both, imparting, (giving) us life through Christ and in Christ..........Lord, bless Nicolai, but not only him, all the young in this congregation with life and not only life, but an abundant life in the forgiveness of sins through Christ Jesus. May their open hearts be filled with your grace, your love, your truth, and your peace. Oh, Lord, we pray this on our knees, with eyes looking up to you and with hears filled with faith and hope.....

Now as we receive the Lord's benediction, may we be reminded that it is placing on us that which God has done for us in His Son Jesus Christ. May we hear the power that is in these words today...

May the Lord bless us and keep us,
May the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious unto us,
May the Lord lift his countanance upon us and give us peace.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always, Amen.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 27 Jan 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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