My soul, there is a country
Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
All skilful in the wars:
There, above noise and danger,
Sweet Peace sits crown’d with smiles,
And One born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.
He is thy gracious Friend,
And—O my soul awake!—
Did in pure love descend
To die here for thy sake.
If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flower of Peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress, and thy ease.
Leave then thy foolish ranges;
For none can thee secure
But One who never changes—
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.
By Henry Vaughan (1621 – 1695)
The memories of September 11 will linger in the minds of all Americans as long as we shall live. Another anniversary of that dreadful day passes once more, and the vast multitude of survivors still remembers. Visions of loved ones, scenes of the past, are revived as we are reminded anew of the terrible loss of lives on that day.
People have different ways of coping with grief. Some try to bury it deep in the subconscious mind, but even years later it can manifest itself through physical problems and mental breakdowns. Others take refuge in alcohol or drugs, which merely compounds the anguish.
Through the many storms of life that we have gone through, I have found the only real comfort and solace to be found is in Jesus Christ. Did He not say, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest?”
There is a line in a song which goes, “The only real peace that I find dear Lord is in You.” And another song says, “He will calm the troubled waters of your soul, Take your broken heart and make it whole. . . ”
Only God can comfort and strengthen when death comes. Friends and loved ones help us greatly, but God is the ultimate Comforter. Heartbreak comes with difficult family situations; our children can disappoint and grieve us. God is the One who speaks peace to our hearts.
The Bible is full of words of comfort. Many times I have picked up this blessed old book and found something that spoke directly to my heart. Here is another version of the song that was requested a few weeks ago:
MY MOTHER’S BIBLE
There’s a dear and precious book,
Though it’s worn and faded now,
Which recalls those happy days of long ago,
When I stood at Mother’s knee,
With her hand upon my brow,
And I heard her voice in gentle tones and low.
Blessed Book, precious Book,
On thy dear old tear-stained leaves I love to look:
Thou art sweeter day by day, as I walk the narrow way
That leads at last to that bright home above.
As she read the stories o’er
Of those mighty men of old,
Of Joseph and of Daniel and their trials,
Of little David bold,
Who became a king at last,
Of Satan and his many wicked wiles.
Then she read of Jesus’ love,
As He blessed the children dear,
How He suffered, bled and died upon the tree;
Of His heavy load of care,
Then she dried my flowing tears
With her kisses she said it was for me.
Well, those days are past and gone,
But their memory lingers still
And the dear old Book each day has been my guide;
And I seek to do His will,
As my mother taught me then,
And ever in my heard His Words abide.
By M. B. Williams
Jackie Winberg sent a hint for the corn pudding recipe. She says that several years ago she began adding a four ounce can of chopped or diced green chilies, undrained, to the mixture. Use mild, medium or hot, according to your taste.
Kathryn Tolley of Elkview sends her recipe, and adds that fresh corn can be substituted for the can of whole corn. Edna Fisher writes from Eleanor, and we received several recipes from Anna Lee Bane of So. Charleston. There is one I want to try, and also to share with you.
CORN FOR FREEZER
Clean, silk, and wash corn. Cut off enough corn to make one gallon. Add salt to taste. Put in large pan; add 10 teaspoons white sugar, one cup water, one regular can evaporated milk, and two sticks butter or oleo.
Cook for five to ten minutes, cool, pack in freezer containers. It is then ready to freeze. Just heat to serve.
We received a song tape from Eugene and Brenda Thomas of Chesapeake made by the Capitol Singing Doorkeepers, containing the song “Blessed Old Book.” We have enjoyed it, as well as the other songs on it.
Gordon Parker sends along a request from Bob Wilmoth, who would like the words to “The Man that Rode the Mule around the World.” I’ve heard my father sing this, but can’t recall any of the words except that line.
I am sure it is an old song, but someone may know it.
Also, Fred Cunningham is looking for the words to “There’s a Rainbow at the End of Every Storm.” He heard it recently on a gospel program, but didn’t catch all the words. Can anyone help?
Summer keeps a grip on the hills, but her hold is beginning to weaken. Autumn is waiting patiently, but she is sending signals along the way that she will be here soon. There is a definite yellowing of the leaves in the woods, while the days grow mellow and slower. Crickets are beginning to chirp a plaintive tune, as if knowing their days here are numbered.
Nights are cooler now, and misty fog covers the hilltops at morning. The sun rises and burns away the fog, to reveal another bright and beautiful day. The burning heat of summer has abated, and these days are comfortable and serene.
The garden takes on a tired, end-of-the-garden look with brown cornstalks and dying cucumber vines. It is almost finished, packed away, pickled, frozen and canned. Another season passes. Soon the summer will be ended, and the harvest will be over.
The earth will lie dormant, at rest until spring brings back the planting time. It is time for us to slow down, to rest in autumn’s mild days and gather strength for the days ahead.
It has always been my favorite time of the year. I revel in the leaves coming down, the crisp crunch of them underfoot, the nutty, earthy smell of the woods—it fills me with gratitude that God has placed me right here in the hills of West Virginia.
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