How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fairest Lord Jesus

Hello, my friends!!!!!

This past weekend we sang the Christy Nockles version of the sweet hymn, Fairest Lord Jesus, and I could not get my hands high enough in the air.  This is the very first song I remember singing in the Presbyterian Sunday School I attended on Lancaster Boulevard some 50 or so years ago.  "Back in the day" there certainly were no words flashed onto a screen...there wasn't even an overhead projector for cryin' out loud. I love this song so much, I can still see this picture:   My Sunday School teacher standing at the side of the song easel flipping the pages as we sang each verse...and I'm not sure I could even read at the time!  After all these years and at my age, rolling through the 50s at a pretty rapid pace, I can still remember each verse...each word.

You know He orchestrates things so we are blessed more fully.  I know you know this because it has happened to all of us who call Him Savior.  It does't happen all the time; but, every once in awhile, the picture suddenly comes into focus and we are awestruck.  Last week I drove to drop off my Anna with her sister Kirsti.  Anna lives with her sister and her family in Riverside while she is going to college and also watches my grandson, Nate, when Kirsti and her husband, Ryan, are working.  Our "Anna drop-off point" is the McDonalds that is right where the 15 freeway and Highway 138 meet.  We always have breakfast together, and I get to hold my completely wonderful grandson while we chat and eat.  I really do love these moments and have some regret as I we drive off in opposite directions.  So it was this past week as I pulled my little red Subaru onto the highway for the trip home.  I usually have my worship music blaring as I travel, but I have a sunroof in my car and it was a beautiful morning, so opened that baby up and drove the Cajon Pass with the fresh air in my car and nothing else.  Anyone who has driven the Cajon Pass knows the moment I am about to describe, just as you pass the turn-off to Mountain High Ski Resort and come down the grade, there is a view of the valley that is pretty darn expansive.  But that day, it was stunning.  Storms had passed through the day before and the last of the big, fat, white clouds were hanging seemingly motionless all across the valley and the sky was a pristine blue.  I even said out loud, "Anyone who thinks this valley is ugly has not seen this!"  You could see the contrast of the buttes on the east side of the valley to the snow-capped Tehachapi mountains on the north, to the green covered La Liebre and San Bernardino mountains to the west and south and all that lie in between.  Near me as I drove were wildflowers of yellow, purple and red in amongst the green of the native grasses...even the Russian Thistles, our familiar tumbleweeds, were a green!  Everything reflected the morning sun as it shined through newly washed literally crystal-clear air.  In that moment of taking in the beauty that was all around me, I forgot my feelings of sadness because the focus on what God had put before me was so enormously over-powering to my senses, nothing else could even squirm its way in...not sorrow, not worry, not doubt, not regret, not anything but "Wow, thank You, Lord!  This incredible!  This is REALLY good work!!!!" (As if He needs my encouragement:)

So Saturday night I was singing with all my might when these words passed through my lips;  "Fair are the meadows
 Fairer still the woodlands
 Robed in the blooming garb of spring  
 Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
 Who makes the woeful heart to sing"

Guess where my mind went?  Yep, you guessed it, smart girls!  Right back to that moment coming down out of the hills into the valley!  I realized that in that moment of silence during my ride down the hill, my God illustrated that verse to me, "Remember, Cherri, My Son is more beautiful than this, more pure than this water-washed morning and He can change anything, even your blue moods.  He is the Redeemer!"  And as if that weren't enough, Christy Nockles added these simple words: 
           "You are fairer still today!  
            You are fairer still today!  
            Precious Jesus, Lord, 
            You are adored, 
            As we worship, as we worship."

Sometimes hymns and worship songs take us to a place where we forget everyone and everything around us.  It is just you and Him and you lift your hands and face to Him and sing in your heart, "Lord, please hear this!  This is exactly how I feel about You!"  I had that moment with an old hymn this past week...and I smile to think of it now.  I went right home that night and downloaded Christy Nockels version of Fairest Lord Jesus onto my iPod.  The next time I drive over Cajon Pass, it won't be a silent drive; I will be singing out Fairest Lord Jesus along with Christy with all five windows open.  (I sound so much better when I sing along with a professional especially at the "blaring" decibel:)

I told you my story of my favorite hymn...What's yours?  Which hymn or contemporary worship song means the most to you and why?  I can hardly wait to hear your stories!!!

I wrote out the words to Fairest Lord Jesus at the bottom of this post.

Love you girls with all my heart!!!



Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature
O Thou of God and man the Son
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor
Thou, my soul's glory, joy and crown

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands
Robed in the blooming garb of spring
Jesus is Fairer, Jesus is purer
Who makes the woeful heart to sing

Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight
And all the Twinkling starry host
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast

Beautiful Savior, Lord of all nations
Son of God and Son of Man
Glory and honor, praise, adoration
Now and forever more be Thine

You are fairer still, today
You are fairer still, today
Precious Jesus, Lord, You are adored
As we worship, as we worship

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