Saturday, March 12, 2011

The season of Lent asks us to reflect and take time to pray and meditate.  But seriously, who has the time to do that?  Life is happening at full speed and the demands placed on us continue to pile up whether we address them or not. Sometimes we want to just scream but lack the energy and the time to do so.  In fact, the hour we give to our church once a week is sufficient to last all week long, right?

We work so hard to get where we need to be in life.  Meanwhile the very life we seek passes us by ever so quickly. And we all know that one hour a week is hardly sufficient to spend in prayer and reflection when God is there for us and with us 24 hours a day.
So how do we do it? How do we find balance between the demands put on our days, getting all that we need to get done, and making sure that our time with God remains at the top of our to-do list?

The answer is right there – keep Him on the TOP of the to-do list.  There is a marvelous hymn by William Longstaff entitled, Take Time To Be Holy.  William D. Longstaff was born on November 26, 1822 in Sunderland, Durham, England. Not much information can be found about his childhood. There is no record of his schooling but from what is known about him, he received a great education.

William's father was a wealthy ship owner in England. William inherited his father's fortune, so money was never a problem for him. He was reared with the elite people in his hometown and had access to everything that money could buy. He had rich friends and associates, but he had an empty feeling in his heart.

It seems as if God had singled out Longstaff to receive His message and His commission for his life. He attended church one day, and the sermon was preached by a missionary who was on furlough from China. The missionary chose, as his sermon text: 1 Peter 1:16 "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (KJV)" Although Longstaff was a businessman and very wealthy, this sermon struck a chord in his heart. He could not get the sermon out of his head or his heart, and he was convicted of his sin and accepted Christ as his Savior. He dedicated himself that day to do the will of God. 

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;

Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;

And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,

Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

Submitted by Kurt Danskin, Virtual Assistant for Pastor Vicki Gladding

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