Sunday, February 10, 2013

{HSCRC13} Hymn #3, My Faith Looks Up to Thee

Hymn Challenge #3: My Faith Looks Up to Thee
Words Written by: Ray Palmer
b. Nov. 12, 1808; d. March 29, 1887

Ray Palmer was the son of Judge Thomas Palmer, and he was born in Rhode Island. He graduated Yale College in 1820. He then studied theology privately in New York City and entered ministry in 1834. He then became pastor of the Congregational Church at Bath, Maryland, from 1835 to 1850 and the First Congregational Church of Albany, New York, from 1850 to 1865. After that, he was a Corresponding Secretary and retired in 1878 in Newark, New Jersey. Mr. Palmer wrote 38 hymns and was considered one of the greatest American hymn writers. Dr. Duffield said "He has written more and better hymns than any other American." He died in 1887.

I wasn't sure which hymn we would study this week until we sang this particular hymn at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). When we came to Verse 3, I knew this is what the hymn choice would be. Let's look at it:

Verse 3
While life's dark maze I tread, 
And griefs around me spread, 
Be Thou my Guide; 
Bid darkness turn to day; 
Wipe sorrow's tears away; 
Nor let me ever stray From Thee aside.

This verse is very applicable to me and to what is going on in our family right now as my daughter has been diagnosed with a brain disease--Chiari Malformation (CM). The more we learn, the more complicated it becomes. Our prayer has been that we truly need God's guidance and His wisdom. Doctor's do not even agree on how to best handle CM. Some of the awareness phrases I have come across this week are:

**Misdiagnosed. Misunderstood. Chiari Malformation.
**No cure. Chiari Malformation.
**Your really bad day is a good day for me. Chiari.

These were just a few of the phrases, and they only became worse and more despressing as I read through them. But our God is a great big God. We are walking a dark maze but He is our guide. He can wipe our tears away, and He is forever by our side. See how Verse 3 fits so beautifully?

If you are walking through a difficulty in your life right now, this is for you to! Or maybe you know someone that is suffering. I just learned of an online friend who's mother is dying of bone cancer. She is walking a very difficult road right now too. I ache for her. How are you allowing God to guide you as you minister to someone, or how are you allowing Him to guide you as you walk your own difficult road? God clearly guides those who trust Him. Are you meditating on His word and praying specifically and expectantly? God may also use others or outside circumstances to speak to you but it will always line up with His word, and you will certainly have an inward peace. That very thing happened to me this week. Here is what happened:

This Monday night in BSF, we were studying Genesis 24 where Abraham tells his servant to go back to his country to find a wife for his son Isaac. Well, as we left discussion group, one of my ladies asked me if there was anyone back in Texas that could help my daughter. She was suggesting we go back just as Abraham suggested the servant go back. Funny how God always uses the lesson of the week for me to live out. Anyway, I think I told the woman in my group that there wasn’t anyone back in Texas. Then Tuesday morning, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and I woke up at 5 a.m. with the name of the neurologist our girls used to see in Austin several years ago. He is a great neurologist but I didn’t really know if he would talk to me since we haven’t seen him in a few years. God had already used the woman from BSF to speak to me, and then He woke me up with that whisper the next morning—I certainly could not ignore His prompting. I had to find out what He might have for us!

Well, after leaving a message, the doctor called me back that afternoon. He told me when his nurse told him it was me and what was going on, he said “Let me talk to Mom.” So he called me! Oh, he gave me such great info. He said my daughter's symptoms were very concerning to him, and that he would like her to have additional testing. He also said he can get us in with the top pediatric neurosurgeon and CM expert right there in Texas. He will get us taken care of if we want to go back. I was in awe! God moved mightily and I was in awe watching Him work. Had I not prayed specifically for His guidance and been looking for His response, I would have missed it! I am not sure where this is all going to lead us but God does, and you can be certain I will be watching and listening.

So, pray specifically, and watch for His response. Then give Him all the glory because it certainly is nothing we do—all of the glory belongs to Him!

Psalm 25:5 "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Psalm 31:3 "Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me."

Psalm 48:14 "For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end."

Isaiah 42:16 "Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."

Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Now I know I really focused on Verse 3 this week; however, if you want to see the other verses, please click here (just scroll to the bottom). Also, below is the sheet music for "My Faith Looks Up to Thee."
Click here to listen to the Dallas Christian Adult Concert Choir sing this beautiful hymn.

For my 6x6 page today, well, I had a lot of trouble. I just could not get this page to work. There are layers of gesso, paint, splattered paint, washi tape, strips of paper, you name it. The entire kitchen sink is on the page, and nothing worked. Before throwing it away and starting again, I just decided to crumple up a piece of vellum and place over it to tone it all down and hide a few things. I guess I decided that I am "okay" with the final result. :) The last piece I added to this page was the zipper. Since I was "throwing in the kitchen sink," I may as well throw on a zipper. LOL! I also thought it went well thinking about keeping myself joined with Christ just as the teeth of a zipper join together.

I will also point out the Blue Fern Studios Ornate Medallion. I painted it with Adirondack cranberry and shell pink paint dabbers, Jenni Bowlin chili powder dabber, Heidi Swapp tinsel mist, and then added Glossy Accents on top. I just kept playing with it until I got the desired look. The scripture I used was 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.  I felt it really encompassed this hymn and what our family should be doing right now. God has a purpose for what we are going through, and He has a purpose for you too!
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Papers: Carta Bella Beautiful Moments, misc. vellum
Embellishments: Blue Fern Studios ornate medallion (painted with Adirondack cranberry and shell pink dabber, Jenni Bowlin chili powder dabber, Heidi Swapp tinsel mist, and Glossy Accents); Zva Creative pearl flourishes; Golden gesso; The Crafter's Workshop mini window screen template; Mister Huey clover mist; misc. washi tape; Prima Corine flowers and Junk Yard Findings Rusty Typo Zippers; burgundy flowers and leaves from Wild Orchid Crafts; sewing machine

Remember to use Keyword HSCRC13 when posting your creations in any online galleries. Also, please leave a link to your creation here using Inlinkz! To see all of the information regarding this challenge and the previous studies, please see this post here. Thanks for joining me today, and have a blessed Sunday!


Debbie Olson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Olson said...

I'm encouraged to hear about the Lord's leading you back to that doctor in Texas, Patter! I am praying for your daughter right now.

Kathy said...

I will be praying for you and your family Patter! Our God is a big and wonderful God and yet will take the time to speak to us in that still small whisper.

Tameko said...

I am so glad that I read your post this morning! What an encouraging word. It is so wonderful to see God working things out. My word for this year is Faith, as I wanted to develop a deeper Faith in the things of God. My thoughts and prayers are with your daughter and family.

Patter Cross said...

Thank you all for your sweet words. And God has already moved mightily since late yesterday (after this post was written). If you are interested, you can see today's Caring Bridge post here:

Thank you all for your prayers. They mean the world to us, and I certainly pray that those of you suffering right now are encouraged in some way today! Many blessings to each of you!

KathyFuller said...

Patter...I wanted you to know I am keeping your daughter and the rest of you in my prayers. I pray you will have good news from your neurologist in that they'll be able to form a treatment plan especially for her.

Oh God...thank You so much for Your direction to Your servants who have, in some way, ministered to Patter and her family. Thank You for the lady who spoke with her about returning to Texas. Thank You for being with Patter as she has been praying for Your will and for directing her to call the neurologist in Texas and for his prompt response. Thank You for the doctor’s willingness to see Patter’s daughter and to get them in to see the country’s leading experts in this disease management. Thank You for Your inspiration to the song writer to pen those words and then for the person who chose to sing that particular hymn at a time when Patter needed the comfort of those words. Thank You for giving the words of the scriptures to their authors thousands of years ago which are applicable to life’s circumstances today. Lord, please continue to be with Patter’s daughter, with Patter and her husband, along with their other girls and to all the rest of their family and friends. This journey is long and hard, but I know YOU are there to comfort and protect. Please give them peace as they rest on You. In the precious and holy name of Jesus I ask these things and thank You for them in advance....Amen.

Patter Cross said...

Thank you Kathy for that beautiful prayer. Off for the tissues now. :) Blesings,

Crafting With Jack said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Patter. And a heartfelt Amen! To the wonderful prayer in the previous comment.

Susan M said...

Thank you for this post Patter it has helped me very much with a situation concerning my husbands health too. Praying for your daughter and for His peace in this situation.

Unknown said...

Keeping you and your family in prayer Patter! Thanks so much for this wonderful post and the reminder it provided me :)

Susan Lankford said...

Patter...I want to add my prayers for your family...I am a BSF sister and I'm learning a lot from the servant's search for Rebekah, also. Thank you for your sharing blog, your creative ventures, your sweet and gentle faith....Susan

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your entire family as you walk through this chapter in your lives. The hymn helps me, too, and the vellum has symbolic significance---the Holy Spirit giving us perspective on what seems too hard to bear? Toning down the noises of the world to hear God's still, small voice? I shall continue to pray---thank you for sharing your heart and your creations. Love, Jennifer in Ohio

Danielle said...

Wonderful page!! I'm so glad you didn't throw it away when you thought that it wouldn't work out! Adding a piece of vellum worked out really well and I love that zipper :-)

thefrashers said...

wow. i understand what you are going thru and will keep you all in my prayers. twenty years ago our daughter was experiencing headaches and nausea and then having problems with her balance. the drs. where we live at was having difficulties diagnosing what was wrong. the pediatrician even went so far as to say our daughter (she was 8 at that time) was being manipulative and suggested we get counseling. in the meantime her symptoms were getting progressively worse. we had only been living in our town for about a year and a half and i was very frustrated with the local drs. so i called our old pediatrician in san diego, who had known our children since birth, and was 400 miles away. she did the same exam on our daughter that the other ped. dr. had done two weeks earlier and immediately diagnosed the problem - a brain tumor. within three days we had an appt. with one of the top pediatric neurosurgeons on the west coast from scripps clinic and research foundation. they scheduled her for surgery the next day at the childrens' hospital in san diego. we didn't even consider bringing her back to fresno; we had no confidence in the drs. here. after two surgeries and 6 wks of radiation therapy to the head and spine and two years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy we still have our daughter. she has some challenges she lives with but the Lord has been good.

anyway, it comes down to going with the drs. that you have confidence in. and if you don't like what one says seek another opinion. it was a long ordeal but i would not change anything. we were so blessed by so many people and we literally felt the prayers from sooo many lift us up as if we were in God's arms. and we experienced God's miracles. i will pray God's blessings for you and your family through this journethaty He has chosen for you all.

Susan said...

Oh, Patter, words often times fail and then I know that the Spirit will carry my heart words to the Father. Thank you for the transparency of the trials your family is growing through. We all need to be as glass for even one who would see Jesus in us. I say Amen to the prayers others have lifted up for your daughter and family. May the Lord give you all the strength you need for today.

PEA said...

God bless you and yours while you walk this journey. I will pray for your daughter and family.
I have to tell you that since our first encounter on SCS I have looked at this blog many times. I have called sue of Stampin things and she made a impact on my life as well. You dear lady have changed a course in my life and didn't even know it. You have blessed me. All through your faith and organization. Thank you:) God bless.

Lizzyc said...

HI.. I have just come by and read this post.. I am so sure God has lead you 'back' and I don't believe in co-incidence.. I do pray you really see and know God's Hand upon your daughter and find amazing healing for her.. all things are possible with God...xs LIzzy

Unknown said...

It is wonderful to hear that the best treatment for your precious daughter is at hand.
Father In Heaven, children are a blessing from You. Thank You for making a straight path for the healing and recovery of this precious child. I pray that Your wisdom will be present with all those involved in her recovery. Strengthen Patter and her family as they go forth, may Your peace take over and fill each of them; the peace that passes all understanding.
I ask this in the Name above all names, Jesus. Amen

Karen Nuce said...

Thank you for this hymn challenge. I am enjoying participating so very much and, even though I am very busy, I find myself anxious for you to post the next challenge. Last week, after an emotional Bible study, I could not get the hymn "I Surrender All"out of my mind so I got up in the middle of the night, researched it a bit and scrapped it. It was very therapuetic, I a blessed by participating I your challenge. Also, please know that I am praying for yor daughter and her doctors. May God grant you strength in this storm.

Anne-Marie said...

Dear Patter
May you know God's wonderful peace and His guidance in the days ahead.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us and a lovely choice of hymn for us to use. Your page is beautiful.

Pauline said...

Thank you for the wonderful study on this hymn. Beautifully inspired! Visiting your blog and participating in your challenge study is a blessing. You and your family are in my prayers.
hugs and blessings,

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