Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part 5 – Roses and Harps

“As roses are ready to shed their perfume, so may we be eager to praise God—“

Before the pandemic arrived, one of my favorite wintertime activities was visiting the conservatory at Longwood Gardens. I haven’t been there since all this craziness consumed the world. The gardens have procedures in place to allow visitors once again. If I make a reservation, I will be able to leave winter behind when I walk through the doors into garden bliss. The fragrance, and a sweet humid heaviness in the air, are what I crave most at this time of year.

As is the case in most of Spurgeon’s sermon on John’s Doxology, his descriptive words, likening roses shedding their perfume to our praise for our Creator, fill me with renewed purpose to praise my Father in Heaven even more.

” I long that our hearts may be like Eolian harps through which each wind as it sweeps on its way makes charming music.”

Johns Doxology – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
This spontaneous outburst of John’s love is what I am going to preach upon this morning. First of all I shall ask you to consider the condition of heart out of which such outbursts come, and then we will look more closely at the outburst itself; for my great desire is that you and I may often be thus transported into praise, carried off into ecstatic worship. I long that our hearts may be like Eolian harps through which each wind as it sweeps on its way makes charming music. As roses are ready to shed their perfume, so may we be eager to praise God; so much delighting in the blessed exercise of adoration that we shall plunge into it when colder hearts do not expect us to do so. I have read of Mr. Welch, a minister in Suffolk, that he was often seen to be weeping, and when asked why, he replied that he wept because he did not love Christ more. May not many of us weep that we do not praise him more? Oh that our meditation may be used or the Holy Spirit to help us in that direction!

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part 4 – No Darkness

Our hearts should be like beacons made ready to be fired ~C.H. Spurgeon

Did you know a flame casts no shadow? I didn’t want you to be in the dark, as I was, over this strange but true fact.  I enlightened my husband, and we experimented with a candle flame. Sure enough—no shadow, just a dancing reflection of light where the shadow would have been.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” I John 1:5

Our Father in Heaven is light, there is no darkness or shadow in Him. He lights our pathway to eternal life in heaven through His Son Jesus Christ. His invitation is for you—and for me—“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. ”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6


The Words of Charles H. Spurgeon in John’s Doxology:
“Our hearts should be like beacons made ready to be fired.
When invasion was expected in the days of Queen Elizabeth, piles of wood and combustible material were laid ready on the tops of certain hills, and watchmen stood prepared to kindle the piles should there be notice given that the ships of the enemy were in the offing. Everything was in waiting. The heap was not made of damp wood, neither had they to go and seek kindling; but the fuel waited for the match. The watch-fire was not always blazing, but it was always ready to shoot forth its flame. Have ye never read, “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion”? So let our hearts be prepared to be fired with adoring praise by one glimpse of the Redeemer’s eyes; to be all on a blaze with delightful worship with one touch from that dear, pierced hand. Anywhere, wherever we may be, may we be clad in the robes of reverence, and be ready at once to enter upon the angelic work of magnifying the Lord our Saviour. We cannot be always singing, but we may be always full of gratitude, and this is the fabric of which true psalms are made.”
Read the full sermon here: John’s Doxology

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part 3 – Pray Without Ceasing

I don’t know when I have prayed more than in 2020, and now I have carried the prayer over into 2021. This is a good thing, although the good has been prompted by a lot of bad. I combine my prayer with praise, with singing, sometimes with deep sighing for want of Jesus to meet us in the air. I pray as I go about my daily tasks. I pray when I wake up in the night. I pray when I walk around the block. I pray because the condition of the world concerns me—sometimes even frightens me, and I go to Jesus first for I know there is no other way. As Spurgeon says in this third paragraph of ‘John’s Doxology,’ “we may ‘pray without ceasing,’ if our hearts are always in such a state that at every opportunity we are ready for prayer and praise; better still, if we are prepared to make opportunities, if we are instant in season and out of season, and ready in a moment to adore and supplicate.”

Have you ever startled a bird at rest? They startle us right back with their instant uplift of wings and flight. I love Spurgeon’s analogy that tells us this is how our prayers should take wing. At the slightest nudge, good or bad, in this time of worldwide sickness, unrest, and rapid changes, we must see ourselves as Christ’s First Responders here on earth. When a flock of birds takes to wing the sky is filled with them. If we all pray together, if our prayers take wing heavenward, we will be in one accord.

Here’s a sweet oldie for your Sunday.

Paragraph 3 of John’s Doxology:

“This explains to me, I think, those texts which bid us “rejoice evermore,” “bless the Lord at all times,” and “pray without ceasing”: these do not mean that we are always to be engaged in devotional exercises, for that would cause a neglect of other duties. The very apostle who bids us “pray without ceasing,” did a great many other things beside praying; and we should certainly be very faulty if we shut ourselves up in our private chambers, and there continued perpetually upon our knees. Life has other duties, and necessary ones; and in attending to these we may render to our God the truest worship: to cease to work in our callings in order to spend all our time in prayer would be to offer to God one duty stained with the blood of many others. Yet we may “pray without ceasing,” if our hearts are always in such a state that at every opportunity we are ready for prayer and praise; better still, if we are prepared to make opportunities, if we are instant in season and out of season, and ready in a moment to adore and supplicate. If not always soaring, we may be as birds ready for instant flight: always with wings, if not always on the wing.

    Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the ‘Prince of Preachers.’ A terrific biography of him can be found on the Spurgeon Center’s Blog: Who is Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

This photo is part of Skywatch Friday.

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part 2 – Magnify the Savior’s Name

“Now, in the matter of this bursting out of devotion at unexpected times, John is one among the rest of the apostles. Their love to their divine Master was so intense that they had only to hear his footfall and their pulse began to quicken, and if they heard his voice, then were they carried clean away: whether in the body or out of the body, they could not tell, but they were under constraint to MAGNIFY THE SAVIOUR’S NAME; whatever they were doing they felt compelled to pause at once, to render direct and distinct homage unto the Lord Jesus by adoration and doxology. Observe how Paul breaks forth into doxologies: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Again: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” The like is true of Jude, who cries: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” The apostles overflowed with praise.” ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon (John’s Doxology)

Bible Portal lists over 200 names of Jesus. I enjoyed reading this list of the names of Jesus. I thought of a few that were missing, but all in all it is a pretty comprehensive list. I also felt uplifted as I created my own visual poster for this post using a few of the names most meaningful to me, and also those I consider most important.

Spurgeon’s sermon, combined with scripture, brings a burst of joy and faithfulness out of me. I hope to magnify the name of Jesus through all my life. I hold each of his beautiful names dear to my heart.

    Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the ‘Prince of Preachers.’ A terrific biography of him can be found on the Spurgeon Center’s Blog: Who is Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

  • Savior and Saviour are both acceptable spellings of one of Jesus’ names.

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part I

    Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the ‘Prince of Preachers.’ A terrific biography of him can be found on the Spurgeon Center’s Blog: Who is Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

I love to read the beautiful words of praise Charles Spurgeon preached. One of my favorite sermons is titled, John’s First Doxology.

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1

JOHN’S FIRST DOXOLOGY

SEPTEMBER 2, 1883,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT EXETER HALL.


“Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” ~Revelation 1:5, 6


JOHN had hardly begun to deliver his message to the seven churches. He had hardly given in his name and stated from whom the message came, when he felt that he must lift up his heart in a joyful doxology. The very mention of the name of the Lord Jesus, “the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth,” fired his heart. He could not sit down coolly to write even what the Spirit of God dictated, he must rise, he must fall upon his knees, and he must bless, and magnify and adore the Lord Jesus. This text is just the upward burst of a great geyser of devotion. John’s spirit had been quiet for a while, but all of a sudden the stream of his love to Jesus leaps forth like a fountain, rising so high that it would seem to bedew heaven itself with its sparkling column of crystal love. Look at the ascending flood as you read the words, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Truth is timeless. Beautiful praise for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is timeless. I like to read this sermon out loud, but I must confess, in the midst of the praise of these paragraphs, I become so touched and blessed by the Holy Spirit, I rarely reach the end of even one paragraph without breaking down into tears of joy.

I don’t know when the idea to share this sermon, over the course of a year of Sundays, came to me, but it did, and so through 2021 I hope to share a portion, and perhaps a short comment, on what the words mean to me.

‘—Fired his heart—‘ I hope my own heart is fired this year of 2021. In the midst of what seems to be so much encroaching evil I want to turn my eyes toward the Lord Jesus Christ even more. When I feel the power of the Lord Jesus rest upon me, I must do as John and Spurgeon did, I must adore Him. I must share the Good News. I must let my joy in him ‘leap forth like a fountain.’

I ask you to read the words of John and Spurgeon out loud. We can all add some praise into the cacophony of so much contemptible negativity and attempted mind-control. The best defense against evil is praising the Lord and calling upon His Holy Name. Amen.

Plants & Praise – Job’s Tears

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. Job 19:25 (NIV)

This nondescript plant, resembling miniature corn, yields an interesting grain that makes perfect beads. Job’s Tears are a novelty item in my garden this year. I have grown it in 2.5 gallon containers in a spot that gets afternoon sun. The plant has grown well for me and I am now harvesting the colorful seeds.

Although the seeds, purchased through Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seeds, were mostly tan in color when I opened the packet, they have produced seeds/beads of many colors. I’ve harvested them when they easily pop off the plant.

Dave’s Garden has a great article on the plant and how to use the seeds to make a rosary or necklace. I’m hoping to save enough seeds for projects and also plenty to plant next year.

Quote & Praise – It is Glory

Naturalized morning glories on the sand dunes of Fortescue, NJ, the Delaware Bay.

The morning glories made me think of the song, “It is Glory Just to Walk with Him.” I love this old hymn. I can remember singing it, as a child, in my grandparents church in Hampton, Virginia. The church was small, but the singing was big, and the church was filled with Glory!

It is glory just to walk with Him whose blood has ransomed me;
It is rapture for my soul each day.
It is joy divine to feel Him near where’er my path may be.
Bless the Lord, it’s glory all the way!
It is glory just to walk with Him.
It is glory just to walk with Him.
He will guide my steps aright,
Thro’ the vale and o’er the height.
It is glory just to walk with Him.

~Avis Marguerite Burgeson Christiansen

Praise – Who???

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~Joshua 24:15

Here’s a great worship song, sung by one person, Ben Everson, in many parts. Beautiful and interesting.

Who is on the Lord’s Side

Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Not for weight of glory, nor for crown and palm,
Enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth lives for whom He died:
He whom Jesus saveth marches on His side.
By Thy love constraining, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Jesus, Thou hast bought us, not with gold or gem,
But with Thine own lifeblood, for Thy diadem;
With Thy blessing filling each who comes to Thee,
Thou hast made us willing, Thou hast made us free.
By Thy grand redemption, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe,
But the King’s own army none can overthrow;
’Round His standard ranging, vict’ry is secure,
For His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure.
Joyfully enlisting, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

~Frances Havergal

Praise – I Stand Amazed…

Writing this post brought me to this beautiful A Cappella version of ‘I stand Amazed.’  As I listened to the YouTube version below, I began to sing along, and was so blessed by the truth of the words. Although meeting together for church is not something we can do in the midst of a quarantine, we can still worship and lift our voices in praise. If you know this song, sing along, the words are beneath the video. If you don’t know it…it’s a good time to learn it…the words are full of the truth of God’s Good News and his gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ. May his Holy Spirit bless you this day.

I Stand Amazed in the Presence

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner condemned, unclean.
How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden,
He prayed: “Not my will, but Thine.”
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat-drops of blood for mine.

In pity angels beheld Him,
And came from the world of light
To comfort Him in the sorrows
He bore for my soul that night.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calv’ry,
And suffered, and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.

~Charles Hutchinson Gabriel

 

Praise – The Beauty of the Earth

Block Island Vail Beach (2)

My computer is glitchy, the power cords/battery not powering up at all. I think they need replacing. In the meantime I’m using my husband’s computer to repost some of my favorite photos of Block Island, Rhode Island for today’s post. If you ever have a chance to visit this beautiful place you won’t be disappointed.

Block Island Vail Beach 2 (2)

On Sundays I love to include a bit of praise and gratitude toward the Lord God for all His love and care for us. Today I’m going to dwell on these words of Jesus and try to live them every day. God bless you!

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30-31

Blog Block Island Heart of Stone

Perspective and Praise – Casting Cares

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

~ Psalm 55:22 (KJVA)

The acacia passage is one of my favorite areas in the Longwood Garden Conservatory. This beautiful vignette is just one of the many plant displays that will pique your interest during the Orchid Extravaganza.

If I was the gardener in charge of the area, the care, placement and upkeep of all the plants would be daunting. To cope, and do the best job possible, I would remind myself of wise counsel a good friend once gave me, “Concentrate on one problem at a time.” This sage advice works for so many aspects of life. We get into trouble when we overextend ourselves and try to take care of too many problems at one time.

Aha, you say, all my problems must be taken care of now, I have no choice. Yes, sometimes choosing just one doesn’t work, but in that case, I remind myself of the verse I began the post with, and I cast the burden on the Lord. What a promise to cling to in the midst of our busy, problem-filled lives. He will sustain me, He will sustain thee. God bless you on this Sabbath Day.

The orchids are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Praise – Gratitude

“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”     ~ A. W. Tozer


In the winter, I’m grateful for the barrenness of the tree branches, for they give me wonderful views of the neighborhood birds. Even a humble grackle is a glorious representative of feathered beauty as he suns himself in the sunshine of a January morning.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault


A nuthatch having breakfast on a pine cone thrills me, and my heart is filled with gratitude as I witness God’s providence for the birds of the air. God bless you on this Sabbath Day

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault

This post is part of this week’s Skywatch.

Praise – Looking Up

“To bear witness to God the Father, to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and to be guided by the Holy Spirit.”
~ Parish of St. Michael the Archangel

I love the mission statement, quoted above, of the Parish of St Michael the Archangel. What an amazing goal and purpose for a church in this modern age.

We were on a drive and spotted this beautiful bird on the steeple of St. Catherine of Sienna. (Merged in 2010 with Parish of St. Michael the Archangel.)

““As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.”
~Henry Ward Beecher

The modern world chooses not to honor God’s truths or hear his voice. In many churches world views contrary to God’s word are condoned in the name of love. I plan to keep looking up, my eyes and spirit focused on God’s truths, instead of being in agreement with what the world considers politically correct.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday.

Praise – Praise Him! Praise Him!

Praise Him! Praise Him!
Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth-His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him!
Highest archangels in glory,
Strength and honor give to His holy name.
Like a shepherd
Jesus will guard His children-
In His arms
He carries them all day long.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Tell of His excellent greatness;
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Ever in joyful song! ~ Fanny J. Crosby

Praise – God Leads His Dear Children

img_5197-2

Daffodils trumpet out Spring, these two pointing in the direction of the sun are a ‘Good Match,” and perfect for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.

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The patch of daffodils is blooming in the gardens of The Church of the Good Shepherd, a local Episcopal church in my community. I appreciate the bench they have included in their garden for contemplation and prayer.

Today the lyrics of the hymn, ‘God Leads His Dear Children Along,’ came to my mind when I sat down to write a blog post. The hymn is based on two Bible verses…

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” ~ John 10:3

“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” ~ Psalm 23:3

I’m including a small portion of the lyrics of this hymn, written by George A. Young in 1903, and a beautiful rendition of a Mennonite Church congregation singing the song. I chose this video out of several because it made me feel I was part of the congregational singing.

“God Leads his Dear Children Along,
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.”