Saturday, September 17, 2011

Devotion to God


          What is devotion to the Lord? I mean true devotion. I used to think that it meant being good and kind to others and serving at my church but I was recently reminded that it is so much more than that. God has laid this on my heart so I have been on a search for what it means to be truly devoted to the Lord. So first I looked it up in the dictionary and this is what I found; 1.Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle. 2. Religious ardor or zeal; piety. 3. a.An act of religious observance or prayer, especially when private. Often used in the plural. b.devotions Prayers or religious texts: a book of devotions. 4. The act of devoting or the state of being devoted. OK, so now I understand what the word means but it still did not show me what true devotion to the Lord is. The definitions seemed to be missing something to me. So I looked to my bible, to find examples but before I got into the scriptures I came across something I had taped in the cover of my bible.

"My definition of devotion
is taking time to
sit at the feet of Jesus and to listen to His word
because I love Him.
Living with a heart of devotion is about
giving Him the best of my
time and thoughts
so that as I go about my day,
my heart is centered on and
to Christ"

          This definition is what I felt in my heart to be what I was looking for, God wants the best of our time and thoughts not our sloppy seconds. He wants to be the first thing we think of, the first that we go to in time of need, and not just an after thought.
          So after I found this I continued my search through the bible and the Lord lead me to the book of Ruth. In this book we meet a woman who is devoted to a God who was not originally her God but through her devotion to Christ she is devoted and completely loyal to her mother-in-law Naomi who taught Ruth about the living God. Isn't that awesome, the way God works!  In this book we see what true devotion is, Ruth shows what a blessing true devotion can be.
          So I leave you with this question in mind, are you giving God your true devotion or are you giving Him your sloppy seconds?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

America and What Our Country was Founded On

Overlaid pictures representing America
Today I was doing a Social Studies lesson with my son which has been a wonderful time in itself but I we had to take a look and sing America The Beautiful and I am embarrassed to say that I never heard all the verses to the song just the first verse. But, the point is it reminded me what this country was built on. Not all this politically correctness we have today but on God. I bold and italic the phrases that really touched me below. It also has reminded me that I should (we should) be praying for our government all of it and the nation as whole for uprising for the church and God's kingdom agenda.To be disciples for the church.I hope you all are as touched as I was by this song and get a refreshing view of what our country was built on and not what it is today. God Bless you all. Also, at the bottom is a little history of the song itself.
(lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates;
music composed by Samuel A. Ward --
more history on the poem and music)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

A Little Bit of History....

The lyrics to this beautiful song were written by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), a professor of English literature at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, after an inspiring trip to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado in 1893. Her poem, America the Beautiful first appeared in print in The Congregationalist, a weekly journal, on July 4, 1895. Ms. Bates revised the lyrics in 1904 and again in 1913. In addition to those changes in the words, it is notable that the poem was not always sung to the tune presented on this website ("Materna," composed by Samuel A. Ward in 1882, nearly a decade before the poem was written). In fact, for two years after it was written it was sung to just about any popular or folk tune that would fit with the lyrics, with "Auld Lang Syne" being the most notable of those. The words were not published together with "Materna" until 1910, and even after that time, the tune to be used was challenged to some degree. For example, in 1926 the National Federation of Music Clubs held a contest to put the poem to new, reportedly "less somber," music, but no other entry was determined to be more acceptable. Before her death in 1929, Ms. Bates never indicated publicly which music she liked best, but it now appears likely that America the Beautiful will forever be associated with "Materna."

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