was successfully added to your cart.
Category

Uncategorized

Beauty, Song, and St. Patrick’s Day (Leighton Ford)

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

I have been reading the book Beauty by the Irish poet-philosopher John O’Donohue.

He writes about the beauty that is in music this way: “Often in the human voice things long lost in the valleys of the mind can unexpectedly surface.”

This made me think about my dear brother-in-law Billy. At 98 years old he is profoundly deaf. He can’t hear me speak because my voice is deep and he can’t hear Jeanie because her voice is soft but I have found that if I sing he can hear.

Some months ago we were with him and as usual he couldn’t hear what was being said so the four of us who were with him decided to sing some of his old crusade songs: “To God Be The Glory”; “My Jesus, I Love Thee”; “Blessed Assurance”.

When we stopped he said, simply, “Sing more”.

So we sang “How Great Thou Art” and when we finished he quietly breathed “Amen”.

I believe that the beauty of music touched the deep beauty of Christ
in his soul.

It led me to think we ought to be more like the Psalmist, singing his great songs of praise and sometimes desolation, and like Paul who encouraged us to sing to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs the beauty of the Spirit through our voices.

And perhaps on this St. Patrick’s Day we should consider being more like the Celts, whose soulful and haunting music has touched and touches so many souls. In classic Celtic music the melodic line moves up and down the primary chords. Students of music tell us that this is because such a melodic progression makes it easier to sing in harmony – so that the gifts of each can bring richness and beauty to the whole.

Leighton Ford

Can The Church Be Revived? (Leighton Ford)

By | Reflections/Essays, Uncategorized | No Comments

Can the church be revived? One gazes at the apathy, the division, the jealousy, the materialism and feels like an Ezekiel set in the midst of a valley full of bones. Surely many a pastor has echoed Ezekiel’s sigh “Lord they were very dry”.

“Can these bones live?” asked the Lord. And Ezekiel answered in effect “Only God knows”.

But the Lord God commanded and the prophet spoke his word and the bones came together and the flesh upon the bones. Then the breath of God blew”,,,and they lived and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (Ezekiel 37:10).

Is this not how revival will come? With an agonizing awareness of our deadening lack of spiritual power. With an honest confession of our total inability to do anything about it, of the failure of our absurd attempts at artificial respiration…

God’s visitations come at a time of hungering, a time of breaking up, a  time of sowing, a time of resting, and then a time of reaping (Mark 4:26-29).

Adapted from The Christian Persuader

Two Prayers For Fear-Filled Times

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

For our fear-saturated society this prayer of George McDonald is salutary:

Keep me from wrath, let it seem every so right:
My wrath will never work thy righteousness.
Up, up the hill, to the whiter than snow-shine,
Help me to climb, and dwell in pardon’s light.
I must be pure as thou, or ever less
Than thy design of me – therefore incline
My heart to take men’s wrongs as thou tak’st mine.

Another prayer I like of his

Be thou the well by which I lie and rest;
Be thou my tree of life, my garden ground;
Be thou my home, my fire, my chamber blest,
My book of wisdom, loved of all the best;
Oh, by my friend, each day still newer found,
As the eternal days and nights go round!
Nay, nay – thou art my God, in whom all loves are bound!

Leighton Ford