When you are singing a worship chorus or hymn in church, or in a group, or just by yourself, do you ever think to yourself, “We won’t be singing THAT in heaven!” No? Is that just me that does that?
I try not to be “so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good”, but I do think about my final home. People who adopt pets talk about bringing them to their “forever home”. My husband and I just adopted two cats, so I have recent experience with that phrase. This earth is not my home. I do my best while I am here, but I am looking forward to my forever home – to be with God in heaven, to see Jesus face to face, to see my mansion, to watch and listen to the angels and heavenly creatures worshiping God. So many things to look forward to!
I am sure there will be singing in heaven. That’s not in the Bible – that is just me talking. So whenever I sing a worship chorus or hear a hymn, I can’t help thinking, “Yup – that will be one we can sing in heaven”. Or, “I love this song, but I’m looking forward to the day when we won’t be singing it anymore”.
I started to make a list of hymns we would sing in heaven, but actually the list of hymns we won’t sing is easier to compile. How many can you guess without looking? How many do you think are on my list – the hymns we won’t sing once we get to heaven? 10? 20? 30? I chose from a list I found, and I didn’t pick every one – just the most popular and/or ones I have sung or heard. So how many do you think? Go ahead – Google it and take a guess. I’ll wait.
[Humming and tapping my foot]
Back? Ready? Scroll down and take a look at my list. Did you get the same ones?
Abide With Me
Are You Washed In The Blood?
Be Thou My Vision
Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
Count Your Blessings
Day By Day
Faith Of Our Fathers
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
He Hideth My Soul
He Is Coming Again
His Eye Is On The Sparrow
I Love To Tell The Story
I Need thee Every Hour
I’ll Fly Away
In The Garden
In The Sweet By And By
It Is Well
Jesus, Lover Of My Soul
Jesus Paid It All
Just As I Am
Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
Lord I’m Coming Home
Nearer My God, To Thee
Now We Thank All Our God
Old Time Religion
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
Peace, Perfect Peace
Precious Lord Take My Hand
Rock Of Ages
Safe In The Arms Of Jesus
Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling
Standing On The Promises
Take My Life And Let It Be
The Old Rugged Cross
There Is A Fountain
There Is Power In The Blood
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Trust And Obey
Victory In Jesus
What A Day That Will Be
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
When We All Get To Heaven
This list (which, as I said, is not exhaustive) has 47 hymns on it that, while marvelous and truly wonderful to sing, we will never sing again once we are in heaven!
And just for fun – here is a list of hymns I think we will sing in heaven. Just according to me – there is no Biblical backing for this list or my thinking we will sing in heaven.
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Alas And Did My Savior Bleed
Before The Throne Of God Above
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Fairest Lord Jesus
Holy, Holy, Holy
How Great Thou Art
Love Lifted Me
O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing
O Worship The King
For many years I’ve told people I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Through my 30’s and into my 40’s and 50’s I would say this. And it was true.
I had plans when I was a teenager. Dreams. My very first dream was to be a philanthropist. Yup – I wanted to give money away. I still think that would be the best, the coolest, the most awesome job in the whole entire world. Sadly, God did not bless me with lots of money to give away. So instead of many very large scale give-aways, I’ve been doing very small scale give-aways as I am able.
Other dreams included being a cameraman (woman), a helicopter pilot, a writer, an artist, and training therapy dogs. And yet – I’ve never done any of those things. Dabbled, yes. A little here and there, yes. But I have made my living in much different ways since I was 17 years old.
You hear and/or read all the time (well, I do) about people who chucked everything to follow their dream at (fill in the blank of an age, usually over 50). Or they retired, and finally fulfilled their dream to (fill in the blank, usually a college education). And I say – good for them! Kudos! Well done!
But I feel no need to do that for myself. I don’t feel loss that I am not a great photographer or writer or artist. I don’t regret that I’ve never owned a dog or have only ridden once in a helicopter. No, I am content and satisfied with how God has lead me in my journey. He has always known best, and I have been happy to let Him guide me and lead me along the path of His will.
What dreams do you have?
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately praying about 1) my future, 2) how I can bring people to Christ, and 3) how God wants to use the gifts and talents He gave me for his Glory.
I’ve been asking God if I should go back to teaching Sunday School or assisting in Children’s Ministries. The church I attend now has a strong leader and seems to have enough teachers. I have not gotten the impression that they need children’s workers, even though I know from past experience any children’s ministry always needs people.
What I keep getting back from God, it seems to me, is that I am to wait. Right now, I believe God is telling me, my job for Him is to concentrate on being a wife to my husband. Since that is something I love to do, I am happy to continue doing it.
I don’t remember where it is but somewhere in the Old Testament (Leviticus?) it talks about some guidelines for when men were to be part of the army. One of the exceptions listed is if a man is newly married. The guideline is for him to take that first year off and be a husband – enjoy that time together, build the relationship, and no doubt make a baby. Then he can go off to war.
I feel like that is me at this point. I am to take this first year off. Concentrate on being a wife and build our relationship. (There will be no babies, no. We are both too old for that and neither of us wants a baby. )
I don’t know what will happen after next January. I don’t know if God wants me back in Children’s Ministries. Or, if there is something else for me. In the meantime, I am continuing to pray, and to listen for God’s direction.
My only son was killed 15 years ago. It was devastating for me, and I plunged into two years of deep emotional shock. It was only by the grace and love of God that I was able to get through it and come out of my shock slowly.
Every year, around his birthday and the anniversary of the day of his death, I have had problems. I get so sad. I get very emotional. I feel myself slipping into shock and grief again. It has been overwhelming at time, and feels never ending. I just don’t want to feel this way. I want to remember my son and his life without all the sadness and loss and grief.
But it seems I am destined to feel this way. I get through it every year, twice a year, but it is never pleasant. It has gotten a bit better every year (I used to have to take days off to be by myself), but all the feelings come back year after year. I have not thought of anything to “do” with the feelings and loss. Perhaps that is why they keep coming back.
My husband has never wanted children, and has none of his own. I told him about my son being killed early in our relationship, and he is one of the few people I can talk to about it, and even if I cry and even if he doesn’t understand from the perspective of a parent — he has always been supportive and he feels comfortable talking about it with me, and can even bring my son into casual conversation.
This year, perhaps because it is the 15th anniversary, and 15 is kind of a milestone, I had more problems than usual. My husband sent me an email, part of which is quoted below. I love my husband so much, and thank God for him.
“I know that you know how much I love you, and that I am here for you. But I also want you to know that I will be thinking of John as well as you, because he helped make you into the woman I love so much.”
Several months ago the pastor of the church I attend encouraged everyone to invite the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit into their day. Every day.
Since then I have tried to do that. My prayer goes something like this:
“Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, please lead me and guide me today according to your will and plan for me. Bless the words of my mouth and the works of my hands. Help me to shine for you today, to everyone I will meet or talk to.”
Now I can’t report that I won the lottery or got a big raise or anything like that. I can tell you I am more calm and relaxed at work and at home. I can tell you that people are reacting to me in a different (most positive, respectful) way. I can tell you that I’ve been able to get a lot of work done.
I need God. I need Him every day. I cannot do this on my own. I am too flawed, too prone to outbursts and frustration and loose lips and so many things on my own. I need God every day.
I invite and encourage you to do your own invitation to the trinity. Ask them to lead and guide your life every day for two months. Give God a chance to move in your heart, in your life, in your work, in your home. Invite Him to be your God every day.
I remarried at 55, and from age 25 until 55 I was single. I had dated and had boyfriends, but I hadn’t lived with a man all that time. So one of the things I considered before getting married is if I would adjust to living with a husband again. I was a different person in many ways from when I first married at 20. And the two men I’ve married were very different people. Would it be enough? Would all those factors make a difference? I enjoyed my solitude. Reveled in it, sometimes, truth be told.
It has been seven months now, and I can report that I am very happy living with my husband. Oh, sometimes I feel the need for solitude, but with a 3 bedroom apartment it is possible to be by myself without leaving or being to far away from my love. And yes, we are both flawed people so sometimes we are angry at each other or frustrated or irritated, and I want to get away by myself. Those times don’t last long, and there are things I can do to have my own space.
One of our favorite TV shows is “Big Bang Theory”. There was an episode where Penny, who lives across the hall from Sheldon and Leonard and is dating Leonard, has a sudden series of circumstances happen and Leonard moves in with her. A bit later, Sheldon asks how things are going. Leonard talks about how perfect it is and it is like a party all the time. Penny, through clenched teeth and trying to smile, says, “Yeah. Its like the party will never leave the apartment!”
I’m happy to say that does not apply to me. I love being with my husband, and I am daily thankful that we found each other and are married.
I read in the “Our Daily Bread” devotional just recently the following:
Praise is the song of a soul set free
I don’t know what it is like in your church/denomination, but in the one I attend there has been a trend the past at least 10-15 years to stop singing hymns on Sunday morning. I don’t know why that is, but I have had a chance to know several young people who have attended Christian colleges, and some of them have had a worship emphasis. And they say they are taught not to sing hymns anymore. Why? I don’t know!
I had a friend a long time ago tell me that their pastor told them he didn’t want hymns sung in the church because, and I quote, “They are old and slow”. I was dumbfounded. My jaw dropped. A pastor said that??!! “Old”???? The Bible is old – do we stop reading it and teaching it because it is old? “Slow”??? Have you ever sung “I’ll fly away”? What about “There is Power in the Blood”? Slow? I don’t think so!
I miss singing hymns. Don’t get me wrong – the worship at the churches I’ve attended the past 10-15 years have had good worship. Great singing, great leadership, great instruments, great songs and choruses. I’ve been lifted almost to heaven with some of the worship I’ve heard in church. It isn’t that the worship is bad. It is just lacking. Missing something. It has been missing hymns.
I wish we sang hymns more in church. Here are some of my favorites. What hymns do you like?
It is Well with my Soul
Day by Day
How Great Thou Art
Rock of Ages
Nearer my God to Thee
Softly and Tenderly
I’ll Fly Away
Christ the Solid Rock
Holy, Holy, Holy
O the deep, deep love of Jesus
A Mighty Fortress is our God
O Worship the King
To God be the Glory
Crown Him with Many Crowns
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Be Thou my Vision
Come Thou Font of Every Blessing
Fairest Lord Jesus
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
The Old Rugged Cross
There is Power in the Blood
Victory in Jesus
What a Day That will be
When we all get to Heaven
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross