Who was Isaac Watts? An English writer and theologian, beloved for his talent for writing poetry and songs, he became famous during the early 19th century. Even at an early age, he was know to use his ability to rhyme quite readily:
Watts was once asked why he had his eyes open during prayers, to which he responded:
A little mouse for want of stairs
ran up a rope to say its prayers.
He received punishment for this, to which he cried:
O father, father, pity take
And I will no more verses make
In later years, Watts wrote some of our most loved hymns:
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,
Joy to the World
Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
He also wrote a book on logic. At his death, Isaac Watts’ papers were given to Yale University in the Colony of Connecticut, which nonconformists (Puritans/Congregationalists) had established. (Wikipedia)
Mixed with Holy Scripture, these are the words that Isaac Watts wrote in one of the most loved Christian hymn.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
by Isaac Watts
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
Acts 5:30 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.”
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Luke 9:24-25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?”
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
Luke 21:3-4 And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Matthew 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
About Jesus in Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
About Jesus in Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
John 19:2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him;
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Revelation 5:12-13 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
Love so amazing, so divine,
Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Taken from “Scripture and…” blog)
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Beautiful music for your pleasure…with the first hymn by Isaac Watts.
Turn up sound and move the red line completely back to the beginning.
Occasionally, I will be going toward the altar at church and will see an elderly person waiting quietly in the pew for the minister to bring to them the Holy Communion. They are usually frail and do not feel that they can walk on their own very well. I am reminded of what my husband, who is also a priest in the Episcopal Church, often says about the elderly…“If they have lost the love of their life or have no family close by, they rarely have the human touch…the hug…the warmth of another human.” Knowing this, I might reach down and pat her (or him) on the shoulder and take their hand, without saying a word just so they know there is a touch in their life.
On researching this need for human touch, I found out the following:
“Upon birth, some babies require a little more attention at hospitals before they can leave with their parents to begin their life. Babies who receive stimulation in the form of touch have shown to grow and gain weight at rates faster than those who lack touch. They also experience fewer health issues in their first year. The simple act of a touch can lower stress levels (specifically the stress hormone cortisol) and regulate a proper body temperature in a baby’s body through the release of hormones.
The connection was realized upon finding out that children who grew up in environments such as orphanages, with less contact and engagement, had higher hormone levels compared to children raised with parents. In turn, this difference in environment can lead to many issues later in life – from a struggle to bond and behavioral issues.
However, some of the damage caused by touch deprivation can be reversed due to a change in environment – a study done in Romania in the 1980’s supports this, showing that in children aged six to twelve, those who lived in an orphanage for eight months or more possessed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to those who lived in an orphanage for four months or less.” (taken from Youngzine..Renee)
When my youngest son was born, he had to stay in the hospital for several days because he was under-weight. As I went to visit him daily, I would often walk in and find him being rocked by a nurse or nurse’s helper. They called him their “Little Cowboy” because his hair had little sideburns. Seeing that he was being loved meant so much.
I also learned the truth about the need for touch and human development when I was teaching at a University in Ukraine. I visited two orphanages. One was State run and the other was a Christian run home for children. The children in the State-run orphanage did not smile. When we put them on our laps to try to talk with them and hug them, they did not seem to know how to respond. Nothing brought a smile to their faces. On arriving at the Christian orphanage, the atmosphere was completely different. The children were laughing, hanging onto their adult workers and seemed well adjusted in so many ways.
Recently my husband posted a video about a man who has made it his mission to give the tiny, often sick or premature babies the human touch they need. I’m going to share this video with my readers today because it is the life story of a senior person giving of himself to a new life on earth. He is making a difference.
Let this video touch your heart and think of reaching out yourself to someone who may need a “touch” of love.
Turn up sound
The couple you are going to meet has decided to meet life head-on. They have faith that could have been shattered, but they didn’t allow it to happen. Serving his country, the unthinkable happened. He would be blind for the rest of his life. Hear his story and the words of his beautiful wife. Be inspired and realize that at times the joy we receive in life has to be worked for. This is how they are finding their joy.
(Detroit Free Press)
Take this day and look for beauty wherever you can see it. Determine yourself that you will not be distracted by those things that would shadow your life. It is our choice to decide on the things that enter into our minds.
As you walk from here to there, take a moment to see the tiniest thing that God has made…the flower that has perfect symmetry…the bee that buzzes around it…or the butterfly that hovers around it. Each, in its own way, is a perfect example of the beauty of creation. Enjoy today…this minute...for it is yours.
VIDEO “For the Beauty of the Earth”