"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Death, death, where is your sting?

There are many CHOICES and STYLES available at YOU TUBE videos of the song "IT IS WELL" (and new ones maybe even better since this was posted) such as:

traditional hymn style
2) Sandi Patti
of course, no one sings like this star
3) Big Small Village
historical (below)
8) 4HIM

I felt that yesterday I didn't really finish with the two songs I chose that bring PEACE to me as I sing them. I researched much of the day to try and find out as much as I could about songs with PEACE, but in particular these two: (1) "I've Got PEACE like a River" and (2) "It is Well with My Soul" (but since it's first line says... "When PEACE like a River ... " some know it with that title).

I'm going to focus on this inspiring hymn! Here are the lyrics:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, 
When sorrows like sea billows roll; 
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

Though Satan should buffet, 
though trials should come, 
Let this blessed assurance control, 
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, 
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. 

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! 
My sin, not in part but the whole, 
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, 
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! 

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. 

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

When I look at a song, I like to know WHO wrote it, WHO sings it, READ the words and HEAR it. If it's one I want to sing along with, I, for sure, need the lyrics and it wouldn't hurt to have the music ... but there's enough variety here to suit your style, or just go to YOU Tube 

Many of you, probably know the history of the this song: "It is well with My Soul", written by Horatio Spafford and composer, Philip P.Bliss (who also died in a tragic train accident). I had heard it before but did not recall their names, just his circumstances! Good ole' Google!

There were many places that gave me the information on this one, but the best came from: Christian Music and this site which gives a very good Biblical account of an old Shumanite woman, who also claimed "it is well... " in a great loss in 2 Kings 4:26.

They summed up the story of Horatio like this: 

"Horatio Gates Spafford (1828-1888), a long-time Christian, had been a wealthy businessman, but lost his entire fortune in the great Chicago fire of 1871. Shortly after, Spafford's wife, Anna, survived a shipwreck while crossing the ocean, then sent him the telegram, "Saved alone." Spafford's only four daughters had been killed in a ship accident. While crossing the Atlantic in 1873, near the location where his daughters were said to have drowned, he stared out at the waves and wrote the lyrics to the hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul". 

I can't even imagine how one could write a song, in the midst of such despair and with such heaviness, much less like they say in their article, "and say it is well with my soul". I can remember the overwhelming grief of having lost a loved one! 

Throughout my childhood, many aunts, uncles, and other relatives died, many from cancer, so I saw "death" around me and the pain of loosing loved ones. The most difficult deaths, were more recent: my father, my brother and my mother! The utter despair was greatest when I had to say goodbye to my youngest brother. I was devastated because he was not just my baby brother, but my friend! The day of his burial, I completely lost it. I started out to meet everyone at the Resurrection Cemetery, but never made it! As I was making the interstate loop, I fell apart. I looped again, as if I was going to return home, but then looped again, and went in the opposite direction, as if I was running away from the reality. I just couldn't make myself go there. When I realized what I was doing, I moved off the Interstate, at a gas station, to make a phone call and I dialed his (my deceased brother's) phone number and got his answering machine ... but at least I heard his voice. 

How I longed to talk with him and share my sadness of him not being there for me to chat with about this! It was so bad, I had the "flight" response because I couldn't cope and clearly there was no one there to support me or help me. I went to an old, inexpensive but familiar motel, where I could be alone. One night became one week, which became one month. I cried and I cried out to God, much like Mary and Martha with Lazarus (John 11). But I got a"peace" down in my soul. From that grief, and spiral of a clinical depression, I went in for counseling. 

First, I was counseled and then I went to Love Lines Counseling classes, to learn and volunteer on crisis prayer phone line counseling, because each class was going to teach me how to heal and be the "healing balm of Gilead" to others. After completion of the course, I had returned ... I was back to being me, but a lot stronger and ready to give back. So I volunteered to 2 phone shifts, where I would pray with others needing someone to lift them up. 

From this experience, I learned "it is much better to give" than receive. As I gave of myself and my time, I saw MIRACLES from my MESS and learned that God uses a broken vessel. As you pour out, He'll fill you back up over flowing. And it is all for the Glory of God! So, from the depths of despair, I cried out along with Horatio, "IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!"  Another break through ... 

Each step, along my life journey, which I call MAZE...in my title of my blog ... has led me to that aMAZING GRACE (another GREAT hymn with a great story). However, I never felt compelled to write a song ... Sing a song (yes) and I did and I do and I will sing unto the Lord for HE IS GOOD and His mercy endures forever! It is written in Proverbs and said often that "laughter is good medicine". I believe that MUSIC has been my good medicine! I have songs for everything! Songs that just bubble up from within me, like a brook. Maybe that's how they came up with the river analogy. I have enjoyed different kinds of music throughout my life but there is nothing like good Christian, worship music, adoration music, praise music by GREAT Christian writers, composers and musicians. I wasn't sure where God was leading me, in this MAZE, in my MESSage for today...it went a totally different direction than I had set out, when I was researching. I guess the Bible verses from the two sites above ... started me reflecting and God just flowed in this direction through me. There must be a reason, because God has a plan for everything! I have embraced the significance of this aMAZING hymn! 

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7 

If you are dealing with grief, right now, whether it be through death, divorce, or loss of your health-or any health issue, that causes you to wonder and wander as I did, THE POWER of the LOVE of Jesus Christ is INCREDIBLE! 

You are in a battle, for peace of mind, but it's already been won! Set your mind on Jesus: mind over matter. Take your mind off the worry, off the pain, off the problem, off the fears, off the frustration...and place it at the foot of the cross. It was nailed there and taken care of for you! Focus not on the problem but the Problem SOLVER! He knows all of your FEELINGS, He FELT it then and HE feels it along with you. 

The great hymn writer, Horatio Spafford, reminds us that these life storms and feelings, come from the author of discord and disagreement, anything negative comes from him...Satan. He's in this battle, to steal you from the One who brings PEACE and DELIVERANCE, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ! Don't let Satan's negativism win! Do not let your feelings rule! FAITH must go before your feelings! Allow God to take control and rescue you from this pit! He did it for me and HE WILL DO IT for YOU because HE LOVES YOU so much that HE stretched out HIS arms, as far as He could to show you, on the cross at Calvary, when HE proclaimed "IT IS FINISHED". 

So, SING it LOUD and SING it CLEAR ... IT is WELL WITH MY SOUL! Declare it! Grab hold of this peace!

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Bless you for your visit and encouraging words! I thank you and I am humbly blessed by YOU and the time you spend with me... Peace, "Mazmagi" Peggy


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