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St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Patrick
(Fifth Century a.d.)
English rendered by
Cecil Frances Alexander
(1818-1895)

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.… take unto you the whole armour of god…

Ephesians 6:11,13

But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God… by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left…

2 Corinthians 6:4-7

…let us put on the armour of light.… put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Romans 13:12,14


I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
By pow’r of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from [continue reading…]

Thou Shepherd of Israel, and Mine

Charles Wesley
(1707-1788)

Psalm 23

Thou Shepherd of Israel, and mine,
The joy and desire of my heart,
For closer communion I pine,
I long to reside where Thou art.

The pasture I languish to find,
Where all, who their Shepherd obey,
Are fed, on Thy bosom reclined,
And screened from the heat of the day.

Ah! show me that happiest place, [continue reading…]

The Love of God

Frederick Lehman
(1868-1953)
adapted from the work of
Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai
(11th Century a.d.)

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, [continue reading…]

O Sweet Will of God!

George D. Watson
(1845-1923)

O! sweet will of God, thou hast girded me round,
Like the deep moving currents that girdle the sea;
With omnipotent love is my poor nature bound,
And this bondage of love sets me perfectly free.

For years my will wrestled with vague discontent
That like a sad angel o’ershadowed my way;
God’s light in my soul oft with darkness was blent,
And my heart ever longed for an unclouded day.

My wild will was captured, [continue reading…]

A New Year Prayer

John Wright Follette
(1884-1966)

O Lord, I pray that through this coming year
Our fellowship may deep and richer be;
That I may recognize Thy presence near,
And turn as to a friend, my Lord, to Thee.

Walk with me, then, and guide me with Thy eye –
I dare not trust myself to move one pace.
I know not what ahead of me may lie [continue reading…]

God’s Hour

John Wright Follette
(1884-1966)

O Holy night, borne to us on the wings of time,
From out the dark recesses of eternity,
God’s hour, the promise of eternal life and light,
A gleaming jewel rests within thy dark embrace.
O holy hour, the miracle of God is thine,
He clothes Himself with [continue reading…]

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Charles Wesley
(1707-1788)

“…the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 3:1

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Revelation 22:20

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people [continue reading…]

The Original Aromas of Christmas

Copyright © 2018

by
Jim Kerwin

Burning frankincense, image used under license from https://www.123rf.com/profile_fotomemAll our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King!
1

Your dieting resolve may be challenged as I enumerate the following list: pumpkin pie, gingerbread, Christmas cookies, roasted turkey and stuffing, eggnog, hot apple cider with cinnamon. Those are all holiday edibles, but I mention them not so much for their waistline-destroying properties as for their aromas. I can quickly add to the list of Christmas aromas from non-edible sources: the fragrance of a fresh pine tree, wreaths of pine branches, and seasoned oak burning in the fireplace. I would even add the tantalizing scent of “chestnuts roasting on a open fire,” but then we’d probably be back to derailing ongoing diets.

Those of you outside North America no doubt have your own aromatic reminiscences of Christmas. In any case, if you’re like me, you have a sort of mental database of aromas, of scents, of fragrances that you associate with Christmas. In fact, if one of those aromas registers on your nostrils, it may trigger events from your childhood, or certain Christmases that were special, or maybe certain Christmases that were difficult. I can’t think of another holiday that has such fragrant associations.

Decades ago, over the Christmas holiday I was on a short-term missions trip to India. On Christmas morning I arose before dawn to [continue reading…]

We Wise Men of Orient Are

(usually know as)1

We Three Kings of Orient Are

John Henry Hopkins, Jr.
(1820-1891)

We wise men of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star. [continue reading…]

As with Gladness Men of Old

W. Chatterton Dix
(1837-1898)

As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright,
So, most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led by Thee! [continue reading…]

How Great Our Joy!

Anonymous
(Traditional German Carol)
translated by
Theodore Baker
(1851-1934)

While by the sheep we watched at night,
Glad tidings brought an angel bright.

Chorus:
How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!

“There shall be [continue reading…]

For the Beauty of the Earth

Folliott Pierpoint
(1835-1917)

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies:
Christ, our God, to Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

For the beauty of each [continue reading…]

He Giveth More Grace

Annie J. Flint
(1866-1932)

…He giveth more grace…

James 4:6

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of [continue reading…]

Count Your Blessings

Johnson Oatman, Jr.
(1856-1922)

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Chorus:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
[continue reading…]