Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Digging into the Archives...Fanny Crosby

Today I dug into the archives of Pilgrim Scribblings and found the following post about Fanny Crosby.  What an amazing woman! - David

Here's that post...from December 2004:

The old hymns hold a special place in my heart! I’ve always enjoyed reading the biographies of the great hymn writers from a bygone day, writers like Isaac Watts, William Cowper and Fanny Crosby

I marvel at the lyrics penned by Fanny Crosby who lost her sight when she was only six (6) weeks old. When she was only eight (8) she wrote the following poem: 

"Oh what a happy soul am I! 
Although I cannot see, 
I am resolved that in this world 
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
 
That other people don't. 
To weep and sigh because I'm blind, 
I cannot and I won't." 

What a positive attitude! She has written meaningful words to close to 9,000 hymns. Many of them have references to seeing, sight, etc. 

Here are just a few examples that reveal Fanny Crosby’s deep-seated faith that one day she would see Jesus face to face: 

“My Savior First of All”: 

“When my life work is ended and I cross the swelling tide, 
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see.” 

“Oh the soul thrilling rapture when I see His blessed face 
And the luster of His kindly beaming eye.” 

“To God Be the Glory”:
 

“But purer and higher and greater will be 
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.” 

“Tell Me the Story of Jesus”: 

“Love in that story so tender, clearer than ever I see. 
Stay, let me weep while your whisper, Love paid the ransom for me.” 

“Near the Cross”: 

“Near the cross! O Lamb of God, bring its scenes before me; 
Help me walk from day to day, with its shadows o’er me.” 

“Redeemed”: 
“I know I shall see in His beauty, the King in whose law I delight; 
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps and giveth me songs in the night.” 

“Give Me Jesus”: 

“Take the world but give me Jesus; let me view His constant smile. 
Then thro’-out my pilgrim journey, light will cheer me all the while.” 

“Blessed Assurance”: 

“Perfect submission, perfect delight! Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; 
Angels descending bring from above, Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.” 

“He Hideth My Soul”: 

“A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, a wonderful Savior to me; 
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, where rivers of pleasure I see.” 

“All the Way My Savior Leads Me”:
 

“Tho my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be, 
Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! A spring of joy I see.” 

What a glorious faith Fanny Crosby possessed! One day we will see Jesus face to face. Until then, let’s revel in His love and rejoice in His provision. - David W. Fisher 

Hard Edges and Dark Valleys


I'm so glad that He restores my soul in the valleys.
God is so good!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tim Challies on Blogging


Tim Challies is one of the most prolific Christian bloggers I know and I read his contributions every day.  You must check him out at www.challies.com

I'm reposting an article on blogging that Tim wrote and posted on his blog today.  It's entitled "Why You Shouldn't Stop Blogging (or Why You Should Consider Starting)."  His post struck a chord with me as I haven't blogged regularly for some time.
Tim writes:

"I have said a few times and in a few ways that I’m concerned about what seems to be a growing trend: Bloggers are shuttering their blogs and instead submitting articles to the major ministry sites. If they aren’t shuttering their blogs altogether, they are writing on them less or using them primarily as a kind of resume to link to the material they’ve written elsewhere. Please hear me: I appreciate those major ministries, I enjoy reading their sites, and I am grateful for the great content they share. What concerns me is that their ascension may be directly related to the decline of Christian blogging. Yet I am convinced the church will be healthier and those ministry sites will ultimately have better material to share if we continue to have a thriving Christian blogosphere.
Today I want to list a few reasons it may be better for bloggers to continue blogging on their own sites, and why we need a new generation of bloggers to take up the craft. Here are some of the benefits you may experience if you maintain your own blog (instead of only ever submitting material to the major ministry blogs). If you have your own blog…
…you serve readers by building a relationship with them. A significant part of the power of a blog is that it combines writing with personality to form a relationship between the writer and the reader. This makes it a deeply personal rather than merely abstract form of communication. Just like the personality of a pastor is a crucial component of his preaching, the personality of the writer is a crucial component of her writing. The relationship between writer and reader is developed over time so that readers are eventually compelled not just by what the writer says, but by who she is. This kind of relationship can be developed far more and far better on a blog than a ministry site. That’s because the identity of the blogger is the key factor in a blog, while the identity of the ministry is the key factor at a ministry site. The primary relationship at a blog is of the writer to the reader; the primarily relationship at a ministry blog is of the ministry to the reader, with the writer tending to fade into the background.
…you have freedom to cover any topic. When big news breaks or important ideas merit consideration, it is unlikely that you will be able to play a role in commenting or analyzing. That’s because these sites have access to scholars, experts, and in-house writers who can take on that role, and once they’ve covered it, you can’t cover it. Even if you have something to say that helpfully complements or humbly contradicts what has already been said, you won’t have the ability to say it without your own blog. In that way giving away your blog gives away your voice. It gives away your ability to contribute on what may be key issues.
…you don’t have to play it safe. The articles you submit to these ministry sites are likely to be “safe,” which is to say they will avoid controversial matters. You’ll write about topics both you and they are comfortable with. You won’t have the opportunity to push yourself in your thinking and writing. You won’t have the opportunity to express dissenting viewpoints. Instead, you’ll be forced to stick with safe explorations of common issues related to Christian living or doctrine.
…you don’t have to swing for the fences. If you only ever submit articles for consideration at the ministry blogs, you’ll become obsessed with the quality of each article. To borrow a baseball analogy, you’ll only ever swing for the fences. So much of life, and ministry, and writing is hitting singles, and learning to be okay with hitting singles, and learning to appreciate how God so often uses those singles to incrementally advance his causes. (Imagine if your pastor would only preach sermons that he believed were a home run!)
…you won’t ever release some of your most important articles. There’s also this: we vastly overestimate our ability to predict which of our articles will resonate with people and make a difference in their day or in their life. What we’re convinced is a home run is often a single and what we’re convinced is a single is often a home rum. What I’ve learned over many years of doing this is that some of the articles I thought the weakest were the ones God used in the biggest ways. But I would never have submitted them to a ministry blog, which means readers never would have had the benefit of reading them. How many helpful and biblical articles are sitting unpublished because the writer thought they weren’t good enough?
…you miss the benefit of plodding. One of the great benefits of submitting articles for consideration at one of the ministry blogs is that they are passed through an editorial process. This process can strengthen the article while also providing valuable feedback to improve the quality of future submissions. However, I’m convinced the greater means of growing in skill is the practice of regular writing. Editorial feedback can supplement but never replace this. Additionally, the editorial process is not designed to help you find your voice as much as to help you find theirvoice. When you submit an article to these sites you may gain valuable feedback, but it’s not analogous to entering into a writing mentorship. What you may consider a key to growth as a writer will displace the even greater key. You need to plod!
…you fail to serve the wider church. Living in the bubble of Reformed writers, you may think that “everyone” reads these big ministry blogs. They don’t. Just ask around at church and you’ll see that the majority of good and godly people don’t. They haven’t formed the habit and perhaps don’t have the interest. There’s an important implication: Just because something has been said on one of these sites, doesn’t mean that it won’t be beneficial to say it elsewhere. If you can speak to a crucial topic and reach fifty or a hundred people who otherwise wouldn’t consider it, you’ve done good work. You may find the most effective way to serve others isn’t to get the message out to the widest audience, but to youraudience—the one you’ve built a relationship with over time, the one who likes you, not just what you say.

Keep on Plodding

I encourage you to keep on plodding with that blogging. By all means, submit some of your best material to the ministry blogs! That is of benefit to you and them and all of us. But keep writing on your own blog as well. That’s the best of both worlds."  -  Tim Challies

Unfathomable Mercy


The depths of God's mercy are unfathomable!
THANK YOU, Lord!  "Mercy there was great and
grace was free.  Pardon, there, was multiplied
to me.  There my burdened soul found liberty...
at Calvary!"   

Friday, January 04, 2019

A New Year...A New Commitment

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the pilgrim!  I must admit...with the advent of Facebook I haven't been posting my scribblings as frequently as I should.  Now that we're into 2019 I'm going to do my best to post more often.

A friend of mine posted the following on her Facebook page and she captured exactly how I feel about the new year.

She writes:

"This year has been different than any other. And as I reflect, I've come to the common recognition that every year is different! After chatting with a friend this morning on the phone, I know that my expectations change and grow every year. I'm thankful for the few people in my life that bring a trusted perspective backed with logic and inspiration to dream. It really is the perfect combination to offer in friendship and I hope I can do the same for my friends.
What I expect for 2019 is simple. I expect that God will be faithful. I expect that He has a plan. I expect that He will provide. And I expect that He will give grace, strength and mercy to face everything that comes our way in 2019. My expectations are based on His Character and as my favourite verse in the Bible says, "If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."
In the deep shadows of that verse in 2 Timothy 4:13, there are sweet promises that my expectations are based on the firmest of foundations, His Character which cannot be denied - that will not fail or give way to my own short lived resolutions!
I hope and pray the same for all of you. Set expectations based on a truth that you believe in - for the worst of times and the best of times!"