Find God in the Life of Frances Ridley Havergal

By  Karen O’Connor:

Frances Ridley Havergal

It’s easy to find God in the life of Frances Ridley Havergal, writer of many beloved hymns.

“Frances was a bright but short lived can­dle in Eng­lish hym­no­dy. She was bap­tized by hym­nist John Ca­wood. She was read­ing by age four, and be­gan writ­ing verse at age se­ven. She learned La­tin, Greek and He­brew, and mem­o­rized the Psalms, the book of Isai­ah, and most of the New Test­a­ment.” (From cyberhymnal.org)

Frances’ words and breath were about the love of God and the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. She lived a simple, quiet life, selling all of her jewelry to devote herself to ministry and writing, and taking no apparent interest in anything that was going on in the world except saving souls for Christ.

Her best loved hymns include: “Take My Life and Let it Be,” “Lord, Speak to Me,” and “Who is On the Lord’s Side.”

She is buried next to her father at Astley Church in Astley, England. The inscription on her tomb says it all. “By her writings in prose and verse she being dead yet speaketh.” She also wrote religious tracts and works for children.

Be inspired by this YouTube video of “Take My Life and Let It Be” and you too will surely find God in the life and hymns of Frances Ridley Havergal.

Familiar with a different version? Here’s that one too:

 ©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor  

 

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Find God in Soul Food

By  Karen O’Connor:

 

Image by digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is there a soothing, comfort food you turn to when you’re feeling lonely, sad, uncertain, or even happy and satisfied? Perhaps it triggers warm memories of the family table and good times with friends and relatives. Such food not only nourishes the body but does the soul a whole lot of good too,

In the United States today, the term “soul food” refers to African-American cuisine, including such mouth-watering delectables such as yams, sorghum, watermelon, pumpkin, okra, and leafy greens, wild lemons, oranges, dates and figs. When the aroma of soul food wafts through a neighborhood, everyone knows there’s a big pot on the stove somewhere and they gather ’round.

Image byJennifer Woodard Maderazo

Image byJennifer Woodard Maderazo

In my family of origin there were many delicacies particular to my Irish heritage, beginning with Mom’s apple slices drizzled with a light frosting made from a mixture of water and powdered sugar, corned beef and cabbage, especially on St. Patrick’s Day, and plenty of hot stews with more vegetables than I liked at the time I was growing up.

In my home now, soul food is potato-carrot soup, pumpkin custard, and toasted English muffins spread with fresh hummus and topped with thin slices of onion, tomato, and avocado.

Musing about the kind of soul food one can eat, got me thinking about another kind––soul food without calories––the kind that nourishes the human spirit. The food that matters for eternity.

Find God in soul food: feasting not just on family fare but also on the word of God.

I believe it’s important to enjoy earthly foods that keep us healthy, functioning, and alert. But such foods should never take the place of a daily helping of true soul food: conversation with God, rest in Him, Scripture reading, journal-writing, listening prayer, and repentance when we overstep his authority and will for our lives. This rich buffet of nourishing choices provides the balance we all need.

Bible image

This week as you linger over a cup of tea and your favorite cookie or sit down to a lovely meal, enjoy every bite and sip, keeping in mind that these will one day pass––but the food you feed your soul, will––like the words of Jesus–– never pass away. Find God in soul food and you’ll never be hungry again.

Be inspired by this YouTube video from Quiet Hour Ministries on food for your soul.

©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor  

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Find God in a Prayer Garden

By Karen O’Connor:

I have my husband to thank for helping me to find God in a prayer garden.

 

prayer garden

Image by Karen O’Connor — of her very own prayer garden.

 

My spouse knew that I had wanted a prayer garden for many years. So when we moved to our new home with enough yard to create such a place, he set to work—planning, preparing, and creating one just for me.

It has everything I wanted—a birdbath, a climbing white rose bush, purple and white alyssum, rhododendrons and azaleas and a gorgeous princess plant. We also found a lovely plaque that reads: “The Best Place to Find God is in a Garden.” I agree!

When we feel stressed out, are overwhelmed with deadlines, and irritated with people who don’t seem to understand us, we may want to flee our circumstances but wonder what to do—besides indulging ourselves in some worldly outlet that doesn’t do the job for long.

Try something new. Go to a garden setting—whether your own creation or one in your community, and make that a sacred space for you—for a few moments or a whole day, depending on how much time you have.  To create your own, see the article How to Make a Prayer Garden, by Jack Burton, eHow Contributor.

You may be surprised at how refreshing it is to simply be, as God directs us.

Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10 the Bible).

Even a few moments of quiet and peace in the presence of the Lord and his creation can help you find God in a prayer garden.

Take a look at this inspiring YouTube video focusing on a beautiful garden of prayer in illustration, song, and scripture verses.

©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor  

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