Friday, 30 March 2012

On a new-found love for Britain

We Brits are a self-deprecating lot, really. I can’t even bring myself to say I’m better at this than most.

Having dear friends from across the pond to visit our country over the next couple of weeks has brought this out in stark relief as we have been planning where to take them. What we apologetically refer to as a “pile of old rocks” is viewed with awe because these stones at Stonehenge were erected between 4 and 5,000 years ago. Castles and royal palaces are looked at with wide-eyed wonder by those whose country has a history dating back only a few hundred years, with presidents instead of kings and queens. Museums, memorials and gravestones of those who fought so valiantly for the truth of the Word of God in this country are a must-see – and I am starting to wonder why I haven’t made the effort to visit many of these places before.

I am so thankful to be entertaining these friends from America. I have found a new love for my own country through their excitement about visiting, that I believe lay deep inside me, but had been squashed by the prevailing cultural mind-set. I have even discovered that my own home-town is referred to as the “stopping place of Kings and Queens”, for example the Roman Emperor of the West, Magnus Maximus, stopped in Finchampstead on his way to London to claim his throne in 383 AD, according to legend.

I am delighted to be welcoming these friends, Elizabeth and her family, and Teresa, to my home-country. And not just because I want to show them the best our country has to offer. These friends are deeply precious to me, for our friendship was bought by the blood of Christ, it is founded on Him and the work He has done in each of our lives, and whilst writing online messages and even talking over the phone brings us close together, every once in a while to be able to look someone deep in the eyes and share a hug can convey more than a thousand words.

May God bless them on their travels here. And may God open the way for meeting face to face with other dear friends in His good timing. 

And dear Lord, I pray for this country of mine, this beautiful country with such a rich history, a history full of You and Your work here. Lord, it breaks my heart that a country which once looked to You for her guidance has now hardened her heart against You, and the laws of the land increasingly turn against You and Your ways. Lord, I pray You will raise up godly men in this country who will bring a prophetic voice to this nation, who will hold up Your Word in Spirit and in Truth, that as a nation we may humble ourselves before You and call upon Your Name. I pray for all Your people in this land, Lord, that we would let our light shine before men that they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. Lord, You will be glorified through our nation, whether it be through our disobedience or through our obedience. I pray in Your mercy it would be through our repentance and turning to You. Amen.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I lift my hands

I lift my hands to you, O Lord, a child in need of grace,
For I have sinned against You, and I’ve lost Your warm embrace;
A broken, contrite heart, my God, is all that I can bring -
Oh! Overwhelming mercy! To Christ I’ll ever cling!

I lift my hands to you, O Lord, a child in need of help,
This pit is dark and caked in mud, I’m not sure how I fell;
I cry out for a touch from You, please come and rescue me!
Oh! Overwhelming Deliverer! You came and set me free!

I lift my hands to you, O Lord, a child in wondrous awe,
I’ve seen You and beheld Your power, I’ll praise You evermore!
May my prayers and lifting of my hands be worthy in Your eyes,
Oh! Overwhelming Love! You accept my sacrifice!

based on Lamentations 3:40-42; Psalm 28:1-2; Psalm 63:1-5; Psalm 141:1-2