Abba, Father

Translation from the Dutch lyrics.

Abba, Father, You alone,
I belong to You.
You only have searched my heart,
You belong to it.
Let my heart be still fervent,
You never leave alone.
Abba, Father, You alone,
I belong to You.

Abba, Father, let me be
Yours alone.
That my will forever be
Your own.
Never let my heart grow cold.
Never let me go.
Abba, Father, let me be
Yours alone.

Abba, Father, let me be
Yours and Yours alone.
May my will forever be evermore Your own.
Never let my heart grow cold.
Never let me go.
Abba, Father, let me be Yours
and Yours alone.

Death for Valentine’s Day? Answering Cecile Richards

cecilThe mentality of our death-embracing culture is best summed up by a photo released by the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards. I am grateful to Pro-Life Wisconsin for publishing my short response to Ms. Richards and her statement that what women need for Valentine’s Day is safe and legal abortion. My response:

Apparently overcome by a sense of romance, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, released a Valentine’s Day message for social media. According to Richards, what women really need on Valentine’s Day is not a pretty card, a gift of chocolate or a nice dinner out with the one they love. In the twisted world of the abortion industry, what women need is the freedom to kill their own babies. Read the rest here.

Paul Gerhardt’s Counsel to His Son

Paul Gerhardt is remembered for his beautiful hymns. He was a German pastor in the 17th century who suffered much loss. But he is remembered today as the “Sweet Singer of Lutheranism” for both his unwavering faith in Christ, his beautiful hymn texts and his personal integrity.  He wrote this “testament” on his 70th birthday to his young son, the only surviving child of his five.

Now that I have reached the 70th year of my life and also have the joyful hope that my dear, holy God will soon rescue me out of this world and lead me into a better life than I have had until now on earth, I thank Him especially for all His kindness and faithfulness which, from my mother’s womb until the present hour, He has shown me in body and soul and in all that He has given me. Besides this, I ask Him from the bottom of my heart that when my hour comes He would grant me a happy departure, take my soul into His fatherly hands, and give my body a peaceful rest in the ground until the dear Last Day, when I, with all of my [family] who have been before me and also may remain after me, will reawake and behold my dear Lord Jesus Christ face to face, in whom I have believed but have not yet seen. To my only son whom I am leaving behind I leave few earthly goods, but with them I leave him an honorable name of which he will not have to be ashamed.

My son knows that from his tender childhood I have given him to the Lord my God as His possession, that he is to become a servant and preacher of His holy Word. He is to remain now in this and not turn away from it, even if he has only few good days in it. For the good Lord knows how to handle it and how sufficiently to replace external troubles with internal happiness of the heart and joy of the spirit.

Study holy theology in pure schools and at unfalsified universities and beware of the syncretists [those who mix religions or confessions], for they seek what is temporal and are faithful to neither God nor men. In your common life do not follow evil company but rather the will and command of your God. Especially: (1) Do nothing evil in the hope that it will remain secret, for nothing is spun so small that it is not seen in the light of day. (2) Outside of your office and vocation do not become angry. If you notice that anger has heated you up, remain still and speak not so much as a word until you have first prayed the Ten Commandments and the Christian Creed silently. (3) Be ashamed of the lusts of the flesh, and when you one day come to the years in which you can marry, then marry with God and with the good advice of pious, faithful, and sensible people. (4) Do good to people even if they have nothing with which to repay you, for the Creator of heaven and earth has long since repaid what humans cannot repay: when He created you, when He gave you His beloved Son, and when He accepted you in Holy Baptism as His child and heir. (5) Flee from greed as from hell. Be satisfied with what you have earned with honor and a good conscience, even if it is not all too much. But if the good Lord gives you something more, ask Him to preserve you from the burdensome misuse of temporal goods.

In summary: Pray diligently, study something honorable, live peacefully, serve honestly, and remain unmoved in your faith and confessing. If you do this, you too will one day die and depart from this world willingly, joyfully, and blessedly. Amen.

Source: Christian Bunners, Paul Gerhardt: Weg Werk Wirkung (Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006), 301-302. Translated by Benjamin T. G. Mayes, 5/4/2007

Here is one of his hymns. Find the full text of the hymn below the video, as there are more verses than what is sung in this clip.

 

 

Why should cross and trial grieve me?
Christ is near with His cheer,
Never will He leave me.
Who can rob me of the Heaven
That God’s Son for my own
To my faith hath given?

Though a heavy cross I’m bearing
And my heart feels the smart,
Shall I be despairing?
God, my Helper, who doth send it,
Well doth know all my woe
And how best to end it.

Hopeful, cheerful, and undaunted
Everywhere they appear
Who in Christ are planted.
Death itself cannot appall them,
They rejoice when the voice
Of their Lord doth call them.

Death cannot destroy forever;
From our fears, cares and tears
It will us deliver.
It will close life’s mournful story,
Make a way that we may
Enter heavenly glory.

What is all this life possesses?
But a hand full of sand
That the heart distresses.
Noble gifts that pall me never
Christ, our Lord, will accord
To His saints forever.

Lord, my Shepherd, take me to Thee.
Thou art mine; I was Thine
Even ere I knew Thee.
I am Thine, for Thou hast bought me;
Lost I stood, but Thy blood
Free salvation bought me.

Thou art mine; I love and own Thee.
Light of Joy, ne’er shall I
From my heart dethrone Thee.
Savior, let me soon behold Thee
Face to face—may Thy grace
Evermore enfold me!

~ Paul Gerhardt

Where Have the Little Ballerinas Gone?

ballerinaSomeone sent me this article linked here which is about as sad an indictment of our culture as I’ve read.

The author is Dr. Gerard Nadal who is Science and Health Education Policy Advisor for the Bioethics Defense Fund. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from Saint John’s University, New York City. After his post-baccalaureate sciences at Columbia University, New York City, Dr. Nadal returned to Saint John’s University where he received his Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Master of Philosophy in Biology, and Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology.

He has an amazing educational pedigree, but writes this piece as a father. Here is just one excerpt.

This all comes to mind after attending my children’s dance recital last weekend. Their school has begun to drift from its wholesome moorings, as evidenced by 5-6 year olds in hula skirts turning their backs to the audience, placing one hand on a hip, and shaking their bottoms for a good 15 seconds to the hoots, hollers, whistles and cheers of the audience. It was the loudest and most raucus applause of the show. My three who collectively dance Irish step, tap, modern, and ballet were repulsed.

I was nauseated. Why the cheers for that, and why so demonstrative? It is not disconnected from the societal implosion in the Western World. Little girls don’t aspire to be “hot,” or sexually sophisticated. Left to their own natural development they like pink things and dolls, girly and feminine stuff. They want to be admired and courted, not lusted after and groped.

Most of us have seen this downward spiral everywhere. As the author points out, the downward spiral is being facilitated by parents themselves. His closing paragraphs show just where this has taken the daughters in America, and it is a horrendous tragedy.

P.S. I attended a misnamed ‘Talent Show’ at the premier Christian high school in town that my sons attended back in 2005. Imagine sitting in a darkened audience while 6 nubile young girls in tight t-shirts and jeans wriggled all over the stage in the gym to a song that was purportedly about the Holy Spirit. It was called “When the Spirit Moves.” The fathers and male students in the gym were whistling and cheering these young girls on who were writhing around in a very sexual way. I got up and just walked out. Evangelical Christians are participating in this sexualization of females as much as the rest of America.

A Different Lullaby

Last night I posted a Welsh folk song and lullaby familiar to many. Tonight I am posting a more contemporary lullaby I have loved from the time I first heard it many years ago. The songwriter wrote it for his little girl he would tuck into bed each night. Many lullabies are written from a mother’s perspective. This one is different and very beautiful.