Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shout out! My Comfort Zone

Large Buckwheat Hull Pillow
I know I have many friends who are chronic pain sufferers.  This trial is something only another sufferer can truly understand.  It involves loneliness, because it's practically invisible, but has the power to take over one's days and nights.  I do not suffer from chronic pain, but my mother has for many years, and she has been an inspiration to me, as I've watched her struggle through questions, find God's grace, and grow in it under the burden of daily, continual, debilitating pain.  My mom has worked hard on her health, trying to find the right treatments.  Now she is starting a new business selling products that comfort. While these do not treat pain, everyone with daily pain understands the importance of comforting yourself in the midst of it.   I hope you will check out her website and consider some of these products!

While again, I do not suffer chronic pain, as her daughter I have enjoyed some of these items, and would love to tell you how they comforted me!  The flexible microwavable hot pack filled with rice was used during the birth of a couple of my children to help me through labor.  I've also used it many times for muscle pain and a few "out of adjustment" backs.  The pack forms to you so you can absorb the soothing heat, and it is wonderful and relaxing.  I would not want to be without it in my house.

I also have two of the buckwheat pillows, and they went with me all over the Western United States, and some areas of Canada on deputation.  (The pillows pictured are these.)  I took them into every hotel I went to, and they kept my neck from straining after many long hours in the van.  For traveling, it was invaluable, and I honestly can't sleep well with a different pillow.  It's so much better than a fluff-filled pillow that squishes down  gets out of place.  They also form to the body and provide support without applying pressure.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!  I'm excited about my mom's new business venture.  She's makes wonderful products, and her heart is for others.  The site is still under construction, but here it is!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Where is your joy? Why the 1963 version is way better than the 1954 original

So Send I You, written in 1954, has been referred to as the greatest mission's song of the 20th century.  I can't argue with history, but the words of the first verse always stick in my throat a little when it's sung in a mission's conference. "So send I you -- to labor unrewarded, To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown..."
Unrewarded?  Mark 9:41  "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."
Unpaid? 1Pe 5:4 "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
Unloved? Jeremiah 31:3a  "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:..."
Unsought?   Jeremiah 31:3b "therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
Unknown? Mat 10:30  "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

Jesus said that, if a servant of God is not willing to lay aside all his ambitions and desires, his very life even, and take up his cross to follow Christ, that servant is unworthy of Christ.  I get that.  But it only seems to be that one is unrewarded, unpaid, unloved, etc, if we forget our primary relationship with God.  Well then, yes, we are of all men, most miserable!  That is because in order to serve God in a way that would please Him, (at home or abroad) one must relinquish one's claim to earthly benefits and blessings.  That is not to say we don't receive them, but that they are not ours to claim, but to manage for Christ.  He can remove blessings and bestow them as He sees fit.  Then, we are completely dependent on that relationship with Christ for our joy and peace, not on our earthly circumstances.  If our focus is earthly,  we will be depressed pretty quick, but if our focus is on Heaven, we see that we never made a sacrifice at all.  This is what God desires for everyone.

There is a great truth in this old song.  "So send I you to lose your life in mine."  this thought is an excellent meditation for the servant of God.  Jesus put it this way,   " If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Matthew 16:24b Paul put it this way,  " I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."1Corinthians 15:31

So while I acknowledge the truth of emptying yourself, I hesitate to sing this song.  It sounds a lot like my heart sounds when I'm having a pity party.

The author of So Send I You, Margaret Clarkson, recognized this, since she wrote it in a time in her life when she was feeling isolated and sad, and later learned more about what missions is all about.  She rewrote it, and hoped that the churches would take up the new words in place of the old, saying, "Above all I wish to be a biblical writer, and the second hymn is the more biblical one."  I think so too!  Here are the words:

Margaret Clarkson, 1963
So send I you -- by grace made strong to triumph O’er hosts of hell, o’er darkness, death and sin,
My name to bear and in that name to conquer -- So send I you, My victory to win.
So send I you - to take to souls in bondage The Word of Truth that sets the captive free
To break the bonds of sin, to loose death’s fetters -- So send I you, to bring the lost to Me.
So send I you -- My strength to know in weakness, My joy in grief, My perfect peace in pain,
To prove My pow’r, My grace, My promised presence -- So send I you, eternal fruit to gain.
So send I you -- to bear My cross with patience, And then one day with joy to lay it down,
To hear My voice, “Well done, My faithful servant -- Come share My throne, My kingdom and My crown!”
“As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you.”

Read more about this neat Christian lady here.