I met God in the morning, When my Day was at its best, And His presence came like sunrise, Like a glory in my breast. All day long the Presence lingered, All day long He stayed with me, And we sailed in perfect calmness O’er a very troubled sea. Other ships were blown and battered. Other ships were sore distressed; But the winds that seemed to drive them Brought to us a peace and rest. Then I thought other mornings With a keen remorse of mind, When I, too, had loosed the moorings With the Presence left behind. So I think I know the secret, Learned from many a troubled way; You must seek Him in the morning If you want Him through the day.
If I could like an angel preach And with all wisdom others teach; Yet, if God’s love were not in me, All this as sounding brass would be. The love of God, naught takes its place -- No gifts, nor works; not even faith. The love of God is patient, kind; It envies not, no fault doth find. This love divine, seeks not its own, Will bear all things when self is gone And love divine behave aright -- No evil thinks, and shows no pride; Cannot rejoice in what is wrong; But in the truth -- even though alone. Yea! love divine will all endure; Hopes and believes what’s best and pure. And love divine shall yet increase When prophecy and tongues shall cease. We know and speak in part while here -- It will be so till He appear. Like thro’ a glass we see things here Then face to face -- there He is near -- And now abides Faith, Hope, and Love -- But greatest of them all is Love.
Here is where stars are falling softly, continually, and the snow is white, white as the white of doves’ wings; here where snow crystals sparkle in the blue moonlight, and here where things are pure and sweet, there is peace.
--Here is God, and here moreover is Christ, that beautiful Christ who was born on this night, and to whom all choirs are singing, and for whom all chimes are pealing, and because of whom there is tonight joy o’er all the countryside.
-- forgotten for a time individual destinies, for we are one, we frail human beings, this night, as we rejoice and feel once more this great beauty which God has given us; and it is far too much beauty to hold at once.
-- God was so kind, O Christ-Child to give us Thee, so infinitely kind -- to be our loving Saviour, to teach us to walk in love and to know that some day this great peace we feel tonight may be ours forever and for all time.
The glory-song of the ages lifts and rings Where an organ rolls its thunder to the sky, And a great cathedral choir stands and sings: “Gloria in Excelsis.” Like a cry Of victory it sounds across the earth To herald out the little Christ Child’s birth. The carolers down many a darkened street Raise glad triumphant voices to the stars. Climbing the windless air the song is sweet And heaven itself has lowered its jeweled bars That words once showered on a field’s white sod May take their straight way to the throne of God. “Gloria in Excelsis,” far and clear From upflung throats of bells there comes the shout, And through the night for listening hearts to hear, The silver singing of great chimes ring out. O sing it, shout it, and may nothing dim The Christmas music mankind lifts for Him.
As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sand, Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God; I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh-hen flies, In the freedom that fills all the space ‘twixt the marsh and the skies; By so many roots as the marsh-grass send in the sand, I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of God.
I found a spot of beauty rare, Both God and nature lingered there; And in the quiet of the hill I hear God whisper, “Peace, be still.” In the deep arch of blue above I read of His unbounded love While in the murmur of the breeze, The gentle rustling of the trees, I heard His voice speak low and sweet: “Fear not, my child, go forth and meet Life squarely, for it is My will, Receive My blessing: Peace, be still.”
Peace I have found in the soft-wind’s singing And a glad new rest for my heart; Gladness and joy in the gay bird’s winging Into the west, peace impart; Into my heart comes a silent lifting Of a prayer to the skies above -- Here, in the quiet of the dew-wet evening, I shall throw all my cares away; Sorting them over, I shall go singing, Leaving them here by the way.
In the beginning of my day, with its care and its problems, Jesus shall be my Counselor and my Help. In the beginning of my temptation, Jesus shall be my Defense. In the beginning of discouragement, Jesus shall be my Strength. In the beginning of every joy, Jesus shall receive my praise. In the beginning of all my plans and hopes, Jesus shall be my supreme Guide.
The Lord is my teacher. I shall not lose the way to wisdom. He leadeth me in the lovely paths of learning, He prepareth a lesson for me every day; He findeth the clear fountains of instruction, Little by little He showeth me the beauty of truth. The world is a great book that He hath written, He turneth the leaves for me slowly; They are inscribed with images and letters, His face poureth light on the pictures and the words. Then am I glad when I perceive His meaning. He taketh me by the hand to the hilltop of vision; In the valley also He walketh beside me, And in the dark places He whispereth to my heart. Yes, though my lesson be hard it is not hopeless, For the Lord is very patient with his slow scholar; He will wait awhile for my weakness, He will help me to read the truth through my tears. Surely Thou wilt enlighten me daily by joy and sorrow; And lead me at last, O God, to the perfect knowledge of Thee. ~ Henry Van Dyke
Lord, when I am weary with toiling,
And burdensome seem Thy commands,
If my load should lead to complaining,
Lord, show me Thy hands,
Thy nail-pierced hands, Thy cross-torn hands,
My Savior, show me Thy hands.
Christ, if ever my footsteps should falter,
And if I be prepared for retreat,
If desert or thorn cause lamenting,
Lord, show me Thy feet,
Thy bleeding feet, Thy nail-scarred feet,
My Jesus show me Thy feet.
O God, dare I show Thee --
My hands and my feet!
Breathe ore me, Breath of God, Fill me with life anew, That I may love what Thou dost love, And do what Thou wouldst do.
~ Edwin Hatch
Draw Thou my soul, O Christ, closer to Thine; Breathe into every wish Thy will divine! Raise my low self above, won by Thy deathless love; Ever, O Christ, through mine let Thy life shine. Not for myself alone may my prayer be; List Thou Thy world, O Crist, closer to Thee! Cleanse it from guilt and wrong; teach is salvation’s song, Till earth, as heaven, fulfill God’s holy will.
“Like unto ships far off at sea, Outward or homeward bound are we. Before, behind, and all around, Floats and swings the horizon’s hound, Seems at its distant rim to rise And climb the crystal wall of skies, And then again to turn and sink, As if we could slide from its outer brink. Ah! it is not the sea; It is not the sea that sinks and shelves, But ourselves That rock and rise With endless and uneasy motion, Now touching the very skies, Now sinking into the depths of the ocean. Ah! if our souls but poise and swing Like the compass in its brazen ring, Ever level and ever true To the toil and task we have to do, We shall sail securely, and safely reach The Fortune Isles, on whose shining beach The sights we see and the sounds we hear, Will be those of joy and not of fear!”
I remember Mom loved Longfellow’s poetry. Especially his “The Song of Hiawatha.”
But it also reminded me of another poet’s exploration/interpretation of a similar theme. William Ernest Henley wrote “Invictus” which uses similar imagery but really gives a message rather opposite to Oxenham’s. Text and background info can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invic...
I remember one of Mom’s brother’s reciting both these poems. I wonder if she shared with him or him with her, or if Grandma or Grandpa Troyer enjoyed poetry and this was a family favorite? I think it’s most likely Mom shared with Uncle Omar.
Look out how you use proud words. When you let proud words go, it’s not easy to call them back. They wear long boots, hard boots, they walk off proud; They can’t hear you calling -- Look out how you use proud words.
“The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.” ~ Phillips Brooks
She added beneath the quote: Stand and look at Jesus.
What does Easter mean to you? Stately church with cushioned pew, Where, Lenten season gone at last And days of self-denial past, Richly-clad, devoted throngs Of worshipers unite in songs Of praise in lily-scented air? Is this what makes your Easter fair?
Does it mean the end of winter’s reign, Bright skies and welcome warmth again, Singing of birds, budding of trees, Sweet spring odors on the breeze From daffodil and crocus bed And balsam branches overhead? Sad is the world and cold and gray If this is all of Easter Day.
But if this blessed season brings, A firmer faith in holy things; Assurance of a living Lord; A strengthening of the tender cord Of love that binds us to the life to come Where loved ones ‘wait us in the heavenly home, No pain or loss can e’er afface the bliss, Dear friend of Easter, when it means all this.
Untitled poem with no author credit, hand-typed on the back of an old bulletin from Pleasant View Mennonite Church, (Pastor Lester Mann, my uncle, Aunt Elsie’s husband); no date.