Blue Spider's Coffee House

Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous


February 2013

Verse from Another Time, Mind, and Place

The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandments of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes,
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever;
The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether….

–The Law Within (Psalm 19:7-9)—Moulton, the Modern Reader’s Bible, 1895

In Thee we trust, what’er befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small…

–Voyagers, Henry Van Dyke

Though long the weary way we tread,
And sorrow crowns each lingering year,
No path we shun, no darkness dread,
Our hearts still whispering, Thou are near!

When dropping pleasure turns to grief,
And trembling faith is changed to fear,
The murmuring wind, the quivering leaf,
Shall softly tell us, Thou art near!

–Hymn of Trust, Oliver Wendell Holmes

He has traveled further for me than any one;
He has done more;
Yet there is no price upon Love…

–A One Hundered Fifty-First Psalm, Henry Robins

Upon the threshold on another year
We stand again.
We know not what of gladness and good cheer,
Of grief or pain,
May visit us while journeying to its close,
In this we rest,
God dealeth out in wisdom what He knows
For us is best.

–New Year, Thomas Wearing

God of the past, our times in Thy Hand;
With us abide.
Lead us by faith to hope’s true Promised Land;
Be Thou our guide.
With Thee to bless, the darkness shines as light,
A faith’s fair vision changes into sight.

God of the coming years, through paths unknown
We follow Thee;
When we are strong, Lord, leave us not along;
Our refuge be.
Be Thou for us in life our Daily Bread,
Our heart’s true Home when all our years have sped.

–God of our Life, Hugh Thomson Kerr

Leave it all quietly to God, my soul…

–Leave It All Quietly to God (Psalms 62:1), The Old Testament, A New Translation by James Moffat, 1925

I am old and blind!
Men point at me as smitten by God’s frown:
Afflicted and deserted of my kind,
Yet am I not cast down…

I am weak, yet strong:
I murmur not that I no longer see;
Poor, old, and helpless, I the more belong,
Father Supreme, to thee!

All merciful One!
When men are furthest, then art thou most
When friends pass by, my weaknesses to shun,
Thy chariot I hear.

The glorious face
Is leaning toward me; and it holy light
Shines in upon my lonely dwelling place
And there is no more night.

I have naught to fear;
This darkness is the shadow of thy wing;
Beneath is I am almost sacred; here
Can come no evil thing…

Visions come and go;
Shapes of resplendent beauty around me throng;
From angel lips I seem to hear the flow
Of soft and holy song…
–Milton’s Prayer, Elizabeth Lloyd Howell

We cannot read thy will or know thy mind,
Baffled by one small world thou hast designed.
Awed by the grandeur of infinity.
He who can trace
The marching stars through space,
Measure the oceans, lift the mountains up,
Scatter the perfume in the lily’s cup,
Planning for aeons, measuring each year,
Will this God hear?…

–Prayer, Edward Bliss Reed

I hoped that with the brave and strong,
My portioned task might lie:
To toil amid the busy throng,
With purpose pure and high;
But God has fixed another part,
And he has fixed it well,
I said so with my breaking heart,
When first this trouble fell.

These weary hours will not be lost,
These days of misery,
These nights of darkness, anguish-tossed,
Can I but turn to Thee;
With secret labour to sustain
In patience every blow
To gather fortitude from pain,
And holiness from woe.

If Thou shouldst bring me back to life,
More humble I should be,
More wise, more strengthened for the strife,
More apt to lean on Thee;
Should death be standing at the gate,
Thus should I keep my vow;
But, Lord, whatever by my fate,
O let me serve Thee now!

–He Doeth All Things Well, Anne Bronte

…O Poet-heart of Space and Time,
O Maker and immortal Soul,
Within whose glowing rings are bond,
Out of whose sleepless heart had birth
The cloudy blue, the starry round,
And this small miracle of earth;

Who liv’st in every living thing,
And all things are thy script and chart,
Who rid’st upon the eagle’s wing,
And yearnest in the human heart;
O Riddle with a single clue,
Love, deathless, protean, secure,
The ever old, the ever new,
O Energy, serene and pure.

Thou, who are also part of me,
Whose glory I have sometime seen,
O Vision of the Ought-to-be,
O Memory of the Might-have-been,
I have had glimpses of thy way,
And move with winds and walked with stars,
But, weary, I have fallen astray,
And, wounded, who shall count my scars?…

–Peccavi, Domine, Archibald Lampman

The embers of the day are red
Beyond the murky hill.
The kitchen smokes; the bed
In the darkling house is spread;
The great sky darkens overhead,
And the great wood are shrill.
So far have I been led,
Lord by Thy Will;
So far I have followed, Lord, and wondered
The breeze from the embalmed land
Blows sudden towards the shore,
And claps my cottage door.
I hear the signal Lord—I understand.
The night at Thy command
Comes, I will eat and sleep and will not
Question more.

–Evensong, Robert Louis Stevenson

A mighty Fortess is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing;
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle

And through this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That world above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth:
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also:
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdon is forever.

–A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Martin Luther

There is More Than Meets the Eye

“What can our senses tell us about justice or mercy or the future? Noting. Indeed it works the other way…None of the more important questions we ask can be solved or answered by depending solely on sensation. Is there a God? Is man immortal? Is it good to be honest? What should I do next in my life? The answers to each and all of these more important questions come by faith. Every person answers these questions and make the great decision of their life on the basis of their belief in and acceptance of someone or something he cannot see…”—Chauncey C. Ridde.


God bless the godless…mother Part I: Freedom of Conscience A Christian Tenet

About a month ago or so, a young mother posted a blog titled Why I Raise My Children Without God, and this was report was posted on CNN’s iReport. Since then, this article has received a lot commentary both pro and con. As many did, I too found the article disheartening because I saw a parent outright reject God and deny His influence in her life as well as the lives of her children; and, I equally found it sad to read claims made that I find to be false and outright hostile about God and about how God operates, claims that I find contrary to my personal and public experience with and without God in my life.

Despite this I had to remind myself that it is important to remember how important freedom of thought, or conscience, is to God’s plan, Christianity, and the well-being of this nation. We should not despair but celebrate a country that still values a free market of ideas whether or not we agree with them or how threatening they are to our values. Nevertheless, we should always be on guard and patiently and courageously stand up to systems or systems of ideas that threaten the free market of ideas in the public square.

It is also important to not overact to the present. It is not unusual in the human experience, Christian or not, to doubt God and God’s power or even in a moment or a period in our life to outright reject God. It is more human than we think. It could be that many of us were in a state of casually rejecting God until this article woke us up. Someone’s clearly articulated cynical atheism today could become what leads them to eventually embrace a vigorous Christianity tomorrow. It would not be the first time this has happened and it is important to remember some of the greatest advocates of Christianity both in word and action are those who actively rejected it in their past. This life is a journey and we are all at different points in our earthly pilgrimage.

More Fragmented Verse About Heaven and Earth

I loved the garish day, and spite of fears
Pride ruled my will…
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.

-The Pillar of the Cloud, John Henry Newman

Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
Sometimes ‘mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By water calm, o’er troubled sea
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

–He Leadeth Me, Joseph H. Gilmore

My fainting soul doth yearn
For thy green hills afar;
So let they mercy burn–
My greater, guiding star!

–A Hymn, Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Not so in haste, my heart!
Have faith in God and wait;
Although he linger long,
He never comes too late.

He never cometh late;
He knoweth what is best;
Vex not thyself in vain;
Until He cometh, rest.

Until He cometh, rest,
Nor grudge the hours that roll
The feet that wait for God
Are soonest at the goal;

Are soonest at the goal
That is not gained by speed;
Then hold Thee still, my heart,
For I shall wait His lead.

–Not so in Haste, My Heart, Bradford Torrey

I do not ask that flowers should always spring
Beneath my feet;
I know too well the poison and the sting
Of things too Sweet…

–Per Pacem Ad Lucem, Adelaide A. Proctor

If I can do some good today,
If I can serve along live’s way,
If I can something helpful say,
Lord, show me how.

If I can right a human wrong,
If I can help to make one strong,
If I can cheer with smile or song,
Lord, show me how.

If I can aid one in distress,
If I can make one burden less,
If I can spread more happiness,
Lord, show me how.

–My Daily Prayer, Grenville Klieser

Times without number have I pray’d,
“This only once forgive”,
Relapsing, when Thy hand was stay’d
And suffer’d me to live:–

Yet know the kingdom of Thy peace,
Lord, to my heart restore:
Forgive my vain repentances,
And bid me sin no more.

–Times Without Number Have I Pray’d, Charles Wesley

Hear me, O God!
A broken heart
Is my best part…

–A Hymn of God the Father, Ben Johnson

The World is too much with us, late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers…
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gather’d now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for every thing, we are out of tune;
It moves us not…

–The World is too Much With Us, William Wordsworth

Night comes again, to bring us rest,
So give us, Lord, thy peace,
To wearied bodies boon of sleep,
To troubl’d hearts release.

Forgive us, Lord, for hasty word
For spirits vex’d and toss’d
For anxious care, for heedless haste
And precious moments lost.

Forgive our want of faith in men,
Our mean ingratitude
Our selfishness and careless ease,
Our falseness to the good.

Lord, give us rest, and be to all
Who work or watch tonight
Companion of the darkened hours
And herald of the light.

–Prayer at Eventide, R.B.Y. Scott

O Thou, who lovest not alone
The swift success, the instant goal,
But, hast a lenient eye to mark
The failures of the the inconstant soul,

Consider not my little worth–
The mean achievement, scamped act–
The high resolve and low result,
The dream that durst not face the fact.

But count the reach of my desire–
Let this be something in thy sight:
I have not, in the slothful dark
Forgot the vision and the height.

Neither my body nor my soul
To earth’s low ease will yield consent.
I praise thee for the will to strive:
I bless the goad and discontent.

–The Aim, Charles G.D. Roberts

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