Do you like to sing old hymns? With all of the contemporary worship out there, hymns seem to be few and far between in church services today.
Thankfully, there are some contemporary worship leaders who have woven them into their music sets. Others, like David Crowder and Chris Tomlin, have even recorded a few, such Amazing Grace and O Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
There are some song lyrics people have to think about to grasp their meaning. Like in one of my favorite songs, O How He Loves, there are people who have inquired about the line,
if grace is an ocean we’re all sinking.”
It basically means that grace abundant like the ocean waters. It’s important to know and understand what you’re singing. In fact, if you don’t know what a lyric means, you have no business singing it.
In the hymn, O Thou Fount of Every Blessing there’s a line people have often asked about.
Here I raise my Ebenezer, Hither by Thy help I’ve come….
What is an Ebenezer and why am I singing about raising it? It is based on 1 Samuel 7:12,
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.”
The name Ebenezer is what Samuel assigned to a stone he raised up as a memorial to God for delivering them from battle against the Philistines. It was a symbol for the Israelites to remind them of the faithfulness of God.
Today, we have our own symbols, or Ebenezers, we set out to remind us of God’s faithfulness. Some of mine are pictured above. They are reminders of important seasons in my life when God showed up in a big way for me.
Many of my Ebenezers are from the mission field when I served on teams in Ghana and India. Another is a gift from Jerusalem brought to me by a friend, which is a reminder of all Jesus did for us there and our need to pray for Jerusalem. Yet another is my book, Rescuing Hope. It serves as a reminder of how God provided over and over as He wrote the story for me to share. It also reminds me of the thousands of Hopes caught in the horrors of sex trafficking out there who need our prayers and need rescuing.
There are other Ebenezers posted all over my home and office… pictures of loved ones. Pictures of my children are reminders of the miracle of life and the blessing of being a parent. There are pictures of other family members and friends God has placed in my life to encourage, love and/or mentor me for a season or a lifetime. They are reminders of His provision for me.
Now it’s your turn to step into the conversation. What are some of your Ebenezers you have around your home or office?
I hope you know that I had hymns stuck in my head all day because of you….I loved it!
The simplest of all hymns also happens to be my absolute favorite. It’s called Give Me Jesus. You’ve probably heard of it at some point, but regardless I encourage you to listen to it now.
This song speaks to and uplifts my soul because the message is so clear. In the morning, when I’m alone, when I die….anytime, anywhere, any circumstance, who I want and all I need is Jesus. The lyrics say, “you can have all this world, but give me Jesus.” Just Jesus, give me Jesus. Jesus Jesus Jesus. His name holds infinite precedence over fancy song words or beats.
Ebenezers…gosh I have so many. It might be odd but I realized today that many of mine have come in the form of books.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. The book I cried over, laughed over, threw, picked back up, and adored. This book changed my life in that it softened my heart for the Lord when I was too angry and stubborn to see Him through a “normal” or straightforward method. I began to desire pursuit…and before I knew it, He had me.
My blue Bible, for the beginning of my relationship with God. For the days I stayed up all night with my flashlight fervently consuming the Word, and all the days after as I fell (and continuously fall) head over heels in love with this God who somehow loved me first.
My Passion bracelets and lanyard, for the affirmation and the Kingdom value I felt. There is a recording of me somewhere saying that Passion was the closest to heaven I have ever felt, and that nothing feels more beautiful than worshiping Him with thousands of other people who love Him too.
My clothing card, which I keep in my study Bible AT ALL TIMES. It instructed me how to contribute to the Passion 2012 artwork, in memory, love, and hope of the 27 million+ slaves in the world. I literally covered an entire baby’s shirt in prayers top to bottom, front to back, and wrestled with the enormous emotions of knowing that this symbolized a victim of child sex trafficking.
I have things from you, Susan, that represent one of my deepest prayers answered [like the Hope cloth and painting], from Ross, from Amy Syck……there are literally so many things that I would love to write about, but no one would read a 100 page description of all of my spiritual markers. But written or not, they are forever burned into my soul.
Kristin, your passion for Jesus and the anit-trafficking movement is both exciting and contagious. Your comments always make me smile.