welcome to the hike!

Working out the call!

I currently living in Millersburg or as God whispered in me ear four years ago in PA, "the land of my Fathers!" MILLERS - burg! OK! The best way to describe my life of late, is simply "Pastor-at-Large" I live "outside the box" of our usual expectation of life, family, employment and even culture. I live, breathe, and weave around a four county area as a local missionary and have learned of so many supportive faith communities. I meet people who contact me where they are in their 'hike 'o life."

The hats I wear are that of Life Coach, Writer, Speaker, Retreat Facilitator, Pastoral Supply, Prayer Counselor and well, whatever God calls on me to do (I actually get paid to do all of these things, which is awesome, unless you are helping me with my books!) I also work to "tent-make my mission work" as a church secretary for a sweet fellowship pastored by one of my favorite seminary prof's.

So what do I want to be when I grow up? Stay tuned! The goals are big and staying solvent month by month is a huge victory, but as I see my own heart and others hearts change and grow in my daily walk, I realize, I am not working for treasures on earth....I have direct deposit above. Guess that's a pretty sweet ride! Lacing up my hiking boots...on the hike o' life!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Songs of the Season - BE THOU MY VISION

This is what the LORD says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD
Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV

Just wanted you all to know that many who practice lenten disciplines do not have their fasts on Sundays. The reason for this is that every Sunday when Christians worship is considered a celebration of the resurrection and therefore a feast day and no fasting or sorrow is allowed!

That leads me to kinda silly ancedote, that I feel the need to confess. I had felt led to give up coffee and coffee drinks my last lent while I was in seminary, and so I did. What made that a very difficult discipline was that I volunteered weekly at New Grounds Cafe, a Christian coffeehouse in our community.

It really was a hardship. One week when I thought I would have to give in, my one friend reminded me that I could have coffee on Sundays. Well to make a long story short, I didn't volunteer Sundays at that time, but did on Saturdays until midnight. So one midnight as we closed, I settled on a cup of decaf! This really was not a joyous cup of joe, I mean really, who wants to really drink coffee and then go to bed!

AWE - legalism and loopholes. Pray through your journey and practice whatever it is and GOD WILL DIRECT YOU.

On Sunday's I am going to look at some music that might be sung during lent. If you didn't already I would encourage you to look at the great YouTube rendition above.

While this song wasn't on the list offered to me by my organist friends, I think it still feels like the season and I wanted to give you a little background on hymn that is usually the OLDEST in every hymnal.(The two hymnals I own cite it at 8th Century A.D.)


With its heartfelt poetry and moving melody, "Be Thou My Vision" beautifully expresses the desires of the Christian heart. Though its popularity rose only in the past fifty years or so, the hymn actually has a rich history dating back to the eighth century.

This classic hymn is attributed to an Irish folk song, Slane, which is about Slane Hill where in A.D. 433 St. Patrick defied the pagan High King Lóegaire of Tara by lighting candles on Easter Eve.

Between the years of 400 and 700 AD the Irish people lived out a passionate faith in Christ. Ireland took up the missionary endeavor with excitement, and the country became known for its all-absorbing efforts to share Christianity throughout the world. Irish missionaries were found from Scotland to Switzerland, spreading the Good News wherever they went.

Some scholars believe that the words to the hymn are the product of a man known simply as St. Patrick. Patrick was born in A.D. 373 along the banks of the River Clyde in what is now called Scotland. When he was 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland. There he gave his life to Jesus Christ.

He eventually escaped, but he never forgot this experience and when he was about 30 he returned to his former captors with only one possession: the Latin Bible. History tells us that St. Patrick was the man most responsible for the Good News of Christ coming to Ireland. As a result of his preaching, over 200 churches were established and 100,000 converts were baptized.

"Be Thou My Vision" undoubtedly comes from this spiritually rich period. Its prominent theme encourages single-hearted focus and devotion to Christ. In the hymn lyrics, the poet expresses his adoration of God through the many titles he gives him: Vision, Wisdom, Word, Great Father, Power, Inheritance, High King of heaven, Treasure, bright heaven's Sun, Ruler of all.

Today, we continue to sing the words of this hymn, echoing the poet's response to God's many titles. "Thou my best thought, Thy presence my light."

The eighth-century prayer was composed in Old Irish:

Rob tu mo bhoile,
a Comdi cride.
Ni ni nech aile,
acht ri secht nime …

Only in this century did this text find its English translation. Mary Byrne rendered it into literal English prose in 1905:

(The YouTube only uses verses 1,2 & 5. Please take a look at the lyrics of verses 3 & 4 as well.)

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word,
I ever with thee and thou with me Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight;
Thou my soul's shelter, thou my high tower:
Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
Thou mine inheritance now and always;
Thou and thou only first in my heart;
High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O Bright Heaven's sun!;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

This hymn reminds me that I am not on this journey alone. In fact it makes it clear to me that I am being guided by HIS LIGHT AND HIS LOVE. Day or night, rich or poor, in battle or at peace HE IS MY TREASURE and how joy comes down.

I also like this hymn becauce of St. Patrick's Day (sic)coming up this week and if you are in IRELAND you will hear this song. Those who know the truth of St. Patrick do not drink green beer and have crazy parades and shenanigans!

They praise GOD for His FAITHFULNESS in even the hardest circumstances as was seen in the life of a converted slave named Patrick who returned to the land that enslaved him to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ! AND AMEN!

Enjoy your day all! I am back on the hike O' life to resurrection day....

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