Mom, cousin Midge, my sister SuSu, and Ken
We all have a heritage, seeds sown through the generations. I am blessed to have a heritage of faith. Last weekend my cousins were here from Maine and we spent an evening looking at old photographs and reading through genealogies of my family. My mom identified pictures of relatives, great grandparents - preachers, doctors, store keepers and I thought about the lives they led and the influence they made on my life and now the lives of my children.
Our lives are like a tapestry - woven together by the Lord with threads of life and faith.
My husband,Ken even found in reading some old obituaries that members of my family in the 1800’s were buried in the same church cemetery as his mom and dad in South Carolina! I find it fascinating to learn about the journey’s our ancestors took. This fall Ken and I will travel to England and Ireland for a wedding and then visit the county in Ireland where my ancestors came from. It is not far from one of the earliest sites of Christianity.
Believers carried the name of Jesus across the ocean as they emigrated to the distant land of America and with them came God’s melodies of faith passed down through the centuries to you and me.
My great grandfather loved to sing. Mom said he had a beautiful voice. I would have loved to hear this Methodist preacher sing the great hymns of the faith. Years later my “Meemaw”, his daughter, directed the church choir. She used to bring me down to the little Methodist church on Saturdays to get the choir folders ready. I remember singing the hymns in that little church and around the piano in the big old house in that small north Louisiana town. God had a plan that he was weaving in my life and so I was the grandchild she chose to bring down to the church with her to prepare the music for Sunday services during my summer and weekend visits.
She was planting seeds of faith....
The songs continued in the home where I grew up as my mom and sister would play the piano for gatherings of family and friends. We would encourage one another as we sang the beautiful hymns of the faith. They were a source of strength and hope. The Lord used the hymns to imprint Scripture and truth on my heart. Some of my favorite hymns as a child were Blessed Assurance and Amazing Grace.
And God’s melody continued to weave the tapestry of truth for my faith journey.
It was only natural that when I rocked and nursed my babies I sang to them. I always sang “Amazing Grace” in the wee hours of the morning, praying and believing that God’s grace would cover them and draw them to Jesus as their Savior. His melody and words of truth soothed them and me. We rested together in the promises of the faith.
We rocked. I prayed and sang and seeds of faith were planted through the message of God’s melodies.
When we visited their dad's family in South Carolina, their grandmother "Smock" sat at the organ each Sunday and beautifully played the hymns of faith handed down through the generations of Ken's family. At family gatherings his dad often asked me to sing his favorite, Amazing Grace.
Seeds of faith...
Through my years as choir director, I have taught many children, youth, and adults songs of faith. Last night I had the privilege of seeing some of my students play characters in a wonderful musical play - Hymnological Adventure through Time. It was one of the first children’s musicals I ever taught years ago and explores the history of these beautiful, powerful hymns. What a joy to see little children sing their hearts out for the Lord. I found it interesting that two of my older students played the composers of the two hymns that have had such a strong affect on my life. John Newton, the sea captain of a slave ship who when saved wrote one of the most beloved hymns of all time, Amazing Grace and Fanny Crosby, who although blind wrote over 6000 hymns including Blessed Assurance.
Tapestry of faith......
Maggie and Daddy
The process of digging up old photographs has continued as my sister and I clean out my mom’s apartment and pack up boxes for her to move where we can have more help with her care. Photographs show up in the bottom of drawers like the one here of my daddy kissing my oldest daughter Maggie as a baby. He’s been with the Lord since 1989, but the picture stirred up memories of her childhood and how God’s grace did pour over her. Now she is married and establishing her own home. My dad grew up singing hymns in the Baptist church and loved to listen and sometimes join in as we sang around the piano at Meemaw's house and at home. I’m certain that music and songs of the faith will fill Maggie and Spencer's home and the lives of their children as well.
My youngest picked up the picture from the counter and said how sad she is that she never knew him. He died before she was born. “But,” she says, “I’ll get to meet him one day in heaven!”
Jesus is mine,
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood - Fanny Crosby
The seeds sown through generations will continue because God is weaving
a tapestry of faith in the hearts of His beloved.
When I get home from packing up boxes at mom’s it’s time to pack boxes for my youngest to move back to Oklahoma! I found out last weekend that my great grandfather pastored in Oklahoma before eventually moving to Louisiana. I’m struck again at the weaving of threads in the tapestry of our lives.
I pack my 84 year old mom as her life gets smaller and her memory ebbs away.
I pack my 20 year old youngest daughter as her adventure in life is starting to flourish.
A tapestry of memories floods my mind.
God's melody through the generations is part of it all.
This morning, very early, I awoke to Ken playing the piano as he prepared his heart to lead worship at church. It's a beautiful way to wake up! That has been the pattern for our Sundays throughout the 34 years of our marriage and my girls have often awakened early on Sunday mornings to the tunes as their father played the hymns - new and old.
As I write, the song I directed the choir to sing this morning is still ringing in my heart.
It’s a new hymn entitled By Faith by Keith and Kristen Getty of Ireland.
We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.
The day moves on and the music of the morning worship continues to stir my heart. God is weaving his plan for me in every detail. My husband and daughter led worship together this morning. Amazing Grace and Blessed Assurance were part of the songs chosen. The congregation sang out so beautifully! I promise I had nothing to do with the choices! But I was richly blessed! As the morning Worship Service closed tears came to my eyes as I listened to Mary Elizabeth lead out in a beautiful new hymn of worship.
Each generation must pour out their hearts in new songs of faith to the Lord. Some of the words are found below:
Carry Your Name by Christy and Nathan Nockels, Chris Tomlin.
How merciful the cross
How powerful the blood.
How beautiful Your arms
Open for us, Open for us.
No greater love,
God’s only Son,
No other name
Mighty to save
I will carry Your name,
Carry Your name
Jesus, Your name forever
For all of my days
In all of my ways
Jesus, Your name forever
Heavenly Father, I pray that the stories and songs of faith will continue as our children raise families of their own, that God’s melodies of truth and grace will ring out through the generations and that our family will always play our part to Carry the Name of Jesus wherever He leads us.
My rooms are lined with boxes, freshly painted furniture (my childhood bedroom set that became my daughters), our first dining room chairs, newly covered.....all ready to be loaded up in the moving van that this week will carry my youngest to Oklahoma to her first little rent house. I’m grateful that she will also carry with her seeds of faith planted through God’s melody of hymns. My oldest daughter has carried them with her to Georgia and now sings them with her husband in a church in Atlanta. They joined in the chorus this Sunday morning with family scattered across the country in South Carolina, Louisiana, Maine, Tennessee, Texas and beyond. We joined together with the saints through the ages and the heavenly realm as we all gathered to praise and worship our Lord and Savior. His songs began long ago in the hearts of our ancestors that came from Ireland and England. They have been a source of comfort and strength throughout our children’s lives and continue as they walk out their own journeys of faith.
I’m forever grateful for the One to whom we sing, for the truths of Scripture found in these hymns that have sustained us through times of joy and sorrow and help to carry us as God weaves the tapestry of faith into our lives.
So I’ve told you part of my story.
I wonder what seeds of faith the Lord is weaving into the story of your life.
Perhaps you too have a heritage of faith.
Take some moments to reflect and be thankful. Sing one of God's melodies!
Perhaps you will be the first in your family to sow seeds into the generations to come....
Start the legacy.......
and Carry His Name......
What is He calling you to as He weaves the threads of faith into the tapestry of your life?
Whom has He brought into your life that needs to know the melody of His Amazing Grace
and the Blessed Assurance of His salvation?
For your faith journey this week I thought you might enjoy listening on youtube to some of God's melodies that I've referenced. Just click the links below.
I pray you will be encouraged as you watch and listen.
Carry your Name - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66N6PZvjhA4
Amazing Grace - Chris Tomlin version - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbe7OruLk8I
By Faith - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNIx__JGLGs
Blessed Assurance - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE7AGB5nXTs&feature=player_detailpage
Grateful for God's melodies in the tapestry of my life,
If you would like to receive the "Monday Musings" RESTORE blog each week via email, please sign up and enter your email address in the upper right hand corner.
Sign Up to Receive our Blog via email.
Click to set custom HTML