Steal, Kill, and Destroy Part 2

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10 KJV).

The first time I heard Annie Johnson Flint’s story was during a Gaither Homecoming program. Gloria Gaither told the story of a courageous woman who supported herself through writing, even though she was stricken with debilitating arthritis that eventually left her an invalid.

In the end, when she couldn’t hold a pencil, she held a piece of chalk and wrote on a board suspended above her bed.

When you read Annie Johnson Flint’s poems, you do not hear “Woe is me” in her verses. What you hear, is a steady peace, an active joy, and a quiet trust. Annie learned faith as a child, as a woman she learned to trust.

The difference?

Faith believes God can, while trust rests in knowing He will. Many have learned faith, but struggle with trust. “I believe God can do it. I just don’t know if He will.”

And there’s the problem.

When my peace is disturbed, my joy dwindles. My focus turns inward. I no longer offer sacrifices of praise, but worship at the altar of self. My trust waivers. I question God. How long? Why? When? Will You?

Jesus never lied to His listeners. He promised troubles and tribulations. But the object is to overcome them, not be overtaken by them.

Annie knew that joy, like peace, is a fruit. It isn’t found in happy circumstances.

It’s found in Christ Jesus. It is proof of His Spirit working in our lives. It is us decreasing, Christ increasing.

Annie understood.

When the winds of adversity blew, rocking her to and fro, Annie, like a tree used it to her advantaged and sent her roots deeper into the softened soil. She raised her limbs heavenward and soaked in the Son. She drank the water of the Word and ate of the Bread of Life. She did not bend to self-pity but was strengthened by God’s Spirit. Her fruit remains with us today, a testimony to His faithfulness. And what a testimony it is!

What God Hath Promised~ Annie Johnson Flint~ Public Domain

God hath not promised skies always blue;

Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;

God hath not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labor, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing kindness, undying love. Read more here

You can read more about Annie Johnson Flint by searching her name or her poems and songs, What God Hath Promised and He Giveth More Grace.

XOXO

Gail

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Stand by Me

As a singer, it’s never enough just to sing a song. I want to know who wrote it and what moved them to put pen to paper and tell the world their inner thoughts. The more I know about the song, the more the words resonate with me as I realize this person understands my present struggles.

Charles Tindley

Charles Tindley/Wikimedia

As a budding author, my eyes often wandered to the upper right-hand corner of the page in search of the author.

I  noticed the songs Nothing Between, Stand By Me, We’ll Understand It Better By and By, and Leave It There had something in common. They were all written by Charles A. Tindley.

I thought I would share what I found about this brave and humble man.

Robert J. Morgan in his book, Then Sings My Soul, Volume 2 tells the following:

 

  • Born into slavery.
  • He used bits of newspaper found along the roadside to teach himself the ABC’s
  • Took correspondence courses. “Thus while I was unable to go through the schools, I was able to let the schools go through me.”
  • Called an unlettered ignoramus
  • Became a pastor
  • Established soup kitchens
  • Opened his church to the homeless in cold weather
  • Knew criticism, abuse, hard and many opposition

Did he understand the depth of what he was writing? I believe so.

Do I?

When I sing those familiar songs, do I sing them with the same passion as he felt when putting pen to paper? I wonder.

I admit, it’s easy to open my mouth and let the words fly out without ever thinking about the message. But when I think of all this man went through, something inside me begins to stir.

For the same God that he wrote about is the same God I serve today. And no matter what may come my way He will never fail me.

I believe Charles A. Tindley knew, understood, and wrote about that truth.

Stand By Me~Charles Albert Tindley ~Public Domain

When the storms of life are raging, Stand by me; When the storms of life are raging, Stand by me. When the world is tossing me, Like a ship upon the sea, Thou Who rulest wind and water, Stand by me.

Read more here

Stand by Me is a prayer from a determined heart who understands his relationship with his God. It is about casting all cares on God because He cares for us, and then standing on His promises knowing He will deliver.

If you’re interested in more on this subject I recommend buying the books by Robert J. Morgan. It is definitely worth the read!