John Keble, priest and poet

February 12, 2013

John Keble (1792 – 1866) was an English churchman and poet, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, who gave his name to Keble College, Oxford. In 1827, while serving as an Oxford tutor and an Anglican curate, he penned The Christian Year, a series of poems for all the Sundays and some other feasts of the liturgical year of the Church of England. The book is the source for several hymns, and the work was extremely popular in the 19th century. As a result of this work, Keble was appointed to the Chair of Poetry at Oxford.
In 1833 his famous Assize Sermon on “national apostasy” gave the first impulse to the Oxford Movement, also known as the Tractarian movement. Along with his colleagues, including John Henry Newman and Edward Pusey, he became a leading light in the movement.
In 1835 he was appointed Vicar of Hursley, Hampshire, where he settled down to family life and remained for the rest of his life as a parish priest at All Saints Church. He was a profound influence on a near neighbour, the author Charlotte Mary Yonge.

Sun of My Soul

Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear,
It is not night if Thou be near;
O may no earthborn cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes.

When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
Forever on my Savior’s breast.

Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.

If some poor wandering child of Thine
Has spurned today the voice divine,
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin;
Let him no more lie down in sin.

Watch by the sick, enrich the poor
With blessings from Thy boundless store;
Be every mourner’s sleep tonight,
Like infants’ slumbers, pure and right.

Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take,
Till in the ocean of Thy love
We lose ourselves in Heaven above.

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the life and ministry of John Keble. We humbly beseech You to raise up other poets within the Church of England, for the glory of Your name and the establishment of Your kingdom on earth. Amen.

Reference: Wkipedia

A Great Essay by Mark Galli for Lent – Lent is Not Just Another Self-Improvement Routine

February 12, 2013

Mark Galli wrote an excellent essay on Lent for Christianity Today in 2012 called “Giving up Self-Discipline.” Somehow I missed it last year.

I was particularly struck by his remarks suggesting that often our Lenten Disciplines, instead of being God-focused, are merely just disguised “self-improvement” routines:

Lent is supposed to have more spiritual overtones than the mere self-improvement mantras of New Year’s. But I suspect that for many of us, Lenten disciplines are more about us than about God. More about getting our act together in some area that continually discourages us and repeatedly sabotages our self-respect. The advantage of Lent over New Year’s resolutions is that we can bring God to our side, and the whole church is there to cheer us on. But for many of us, I suspect, it’s one big self-improvement regimen, with God as mere personal coach.

I think that’s often very true!    Read the whole essay.

May Lent 2013 be an opportunity to fall in love with our Savior afresh and to rejoice in His daily grace, even as we become more aware of our own weaknesses and pettiness.

Hebrews 2:5-8

February 12, 2013

For he has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. (Hebrews 2:5-8 )

      Jesus, thank you for being our Savior. We also ask you to daily be Lord of our lives. Bring us to true obedience to you by the guidance of your Holy Spirit. Help us come daily to the kingdom and will of your Father. Thank you.

Tuesday: 26, 28; *; 36, 39; Deut. 6:16-25; Heb. 2:1-10; John 1:19-28
Ash Wednesday; 95 & 32, 143; *; 102, 130; Jonah 3:1-4:11; Heb. 12:1-14; Luke 18:9-14
HC: 103 or 103:8-14; Joel 2:1-2,12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6,16-21

      Notes from the Front Line

***** From: Deacon Alan Hart
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013
Subject: PRAYER TABLE REPORT ST. ANN’S OF AMSTERDAM (Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, 10-11 a.m. in front of our church on Division Street. It was drizzly and chilly, but not as cold as recent weeks so there was more foot traffic today. Many people availed themselves of our offer for free warm winter clothing, and some stayed for prayer as well. Becky Hadley and Deacon Alan Hart presiding at His table today.)

t–denotes received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina.
a–denotes anointed with Holy Oil.

ORIS — This older man obviously is dealing with some mental issues, and to be honest he was a bit belligerent and uncouth at times. But he stayed with us and allowed us to pray for his needs. We prayed for protection, health and preservation for him. He was delighted to get winter gloves!

a,t — DONNA — Most poignant story today on a day filled with visitors with poignant stories. She is a cancer survivor and is very, very scared that it might be returning. She is having tests done this week. We prayed for God’s safe protection and preservation for her.

DAVID — Blessed us with a “Thank you for being out here” visit. He is the Navy veteran who last week told us the story of how he gave the gloves we gave HIM to another man last week … because the other man needed them more.

CHRIS — Very mixed-up man with a lot of mental problems. We prayed for him at length. God knows the details.

a–FRANCESCA — We prayed for her friend MARIA who has moved back to Puerto Rico, and for safety and discernment in her current living situation (which currently is very unsafe.) Again, God knows the details.

t–GENE — This man was flabbergasted that the church would give free clothing — and prayer — to him. He was very grateful and took several pairs of socks, a couple of hats and a pair of gloves. (He came to the table with only a T-shirt, light coat and pants and shoes that are falling apart.) We prayed for safety and good health for Gene. He kissed the cross before he put it on.

Albany Intercessor

A roundup of Ash Wednesday posts

February 12, 2013

Here are some links to various Ash Wednesday resources and devotionals we’ve posted in previous years:

Ash Wednesday category (ALL ENTRIES)

Ash Wednesday Index [2010]

Ash Wednesday Links and Resources – updated [2009]

Bishop Mark Lawrence: Ash Wednesday Meditations at TSM, Feb 2012 (UPDATED)

Lent Quotes: Pope Benedict XVI on “Dust You Are…”

A Lenten Prayer of Confession Based on the Decalogue

Lent Prayers – Scotty Smith: A Prayer for a Gospel-saturated Grace-inundated Lent

What does God do with dust and ash?

Lent Quotes: David Mills – Ash Wednesday’s Double Meaning

Lent Quotes: Louis Tarsitano – Repentance, a miraculous invitation from God

TitusOneNine – Ash Wednesday links

Ruth Haley Barton: Inviting God to help shape our Lenten disciplines

Lent and Ash Wednesday Activity Ideas for Families

The Readings & Collect for Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Prayers: Turn to us O Lord, and we shall be turned

Ash Wednesday: A Communal Prayer of Confession

Two Ash Wednesday Prayers

Lent around the blogosphere (mostly Ash Wednesday)

One blogger’s Daily Prayer for Lent

Seek the Lord and Live, an Ash Wednesday Devotional


Ash Wednesday thought from the Northern Plains

Lent Quotes: the real question of Lent

Recommended Blogs and Links for Lent 2013

February 12, 2013

Over the years, we have a posted a lot of entries with favorite links for Lenten resources and devotional reading. I’ll link to some of those previous compilations at the end of this post.  However, such compilations quickly go out of date.  So, here is a list of some of the blogs and websites that I expect to be reading pretty regularly during Lent 2013.  Note my emphasis in the links below is to focus on sites that I expect will provide frequent and edifying devotional or prayer entries throughout Lent, as opposed to specific Lenten resources or individual articles or blog posts

(With the exception of the links in the entries under the “prior compilations” section, all of the links below have been verified to be working as of Feb. 11, 2013.)

Please share comments regarding any of your own favorite sites for Lent devotionals and resources!


Begin With Scripture!

A quick and easy way to read the daily office according to the schedule of the Book of Common Prayer each day during Lent – here is the link to the English Standard Version’s daily BCP Lectionary readings.


Favorite Devotional Blog

If I had to pick just one devotional blog to read during Lent, it would probably be Emily Polis Gibson’s Barnstorming blog.  Emily is a family physician and farmer in rural Washington State.  I discovered her blog last year during Lent and fell in love with it.  The combination of astounding beautiful photographs, quotes from Christian classics and poems, original poetry, and deep soul-stirring reflections has made this a blog I turn to again and again for encouragement and deep soul-refreshment.  Here is Emily’s Lent Category.


Various Recommended Anglican Devotional blogs and Websites:

  • Prydain is a good blog for frequent posts of readings from the Saints and Fathers during Lent, as well as posts of sermons from current Anglican clergy.  Here is the Lent Category.
  • The King’s English:  Not specifically Lenten-focused, but a wonderful source of daily devotionals based on phrases and verses from the King James Version of the Bible.  Reading this daily was a great Lenten discipline for me in 2012 as I found it continually stirred up my hunger to dig more deeply into Scripture and helped me better understand the story of Scripture and how it all points to Christ.
  • In past years I’ve frequently recommended the devotional blogs by Anglican blogger James Gibson (Anglican Daily Prayer and This Day in the Word).  James is now blogging at the site Locusts and Wild Honey.  Here is his Lent Category.
  • All Saints Church in the Chapel Hill – Durham area of North Carolina has a nice blog which frequently features devotional entries tied to the current liturgical season.  Here’s the Lent category.
  • Angliverse is a wonderul blog with original poems by Teresa Roberts Johnson.  Posts are infrequent, but well worth reading.  Here is the Lent category.
  • Splendor in the Ordinary used to be one of my “go-to” sites for wonderful blog entries and creative ideas about celebrating the Liturgical Year in the home.  It’s been quite a long time since Amy has posted anything new, but I think it still worth linking her archive of Lent & Easter entries.
  • Give us This Day is the daily devotional site of Fr. Charles Erlandson at Good Shepherd Reformed Episcopal Church in Tyler, TX, with daily posts on one of the Lectionary readings.


Other recommended prayer & devotional blogs:

  • Christine Sine’s Godspace blog is often a source of helpful Lenten devotionals and resources.  Here’s her Lent 2013 category, and her general Lent category where you’ll find many of her Lent posts from prior years.
  • Glory to God for All Thingsthe blog of Orthodox priest Father Stephen Freeman, is a wonderful and deep devotional blog, one I wish I had time to read more regularly than I do.
  • Pastor Scotty Smith’s Heavenward, a daily prayer blog.  Here is the link for prayers which are tagged specifically as Lenten prayers.
  • Trevin Wax’s Kingdom People is a blog I enjoy reading throughout the year.  During Lent he often posts some great prayers.


Several prior compilations of favorite Lenten sites and resources 

(I’ve not updated any of these entries, so there may be broken / dead links.  My apologies.)

A Compilation of Good Friday Quotes, Poems, Hymns & Prayers [2012]

Holy Week Devotional & Family Resources [2012]

A Compilation of Lent & Holy Week Worship Music (with devotional links) [2012]

More Pontifications Lent, Holy Week & Easter Devotionals (from 2005) [2012]

A collection of fantastic Holy Week Devotions from the Pontifications blog from 2004 [2012]

A Collection of Palm Sunday Prayers and Devotionals [2012]

Lent Resources: A compilation of Online ANGLICAN Daily Devotional Links (Update 5)   [2012]

More on Lent for families / Lent in the home [2010]

Ash Wednesday Index [2010]

Lent 2010 Around the Blogosphere (updated) [2010]

Lent for children & families: A Lenten version of a “Jesse Tree” [2009]

Ash Wednesday Links and Resources – updated [2009]

Some Lenten resources to recommend [2009]

Our Top Ten Favorite Lent Resources [2009]

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