HymnServe.com – Moving from Texas to Alaska

-by Elaine@hymnserve.com

We were moving from Texas to Alaska and our house had to sell.  An exciting time but also scary.  Other people we knew had houses in their former cities of employment that they were having to maintain because they hadn’t sold.  So we got the house beautifully clean and delightful to look at. After all, that was not difficult, because this was such a fantastic house that I made calls to find the builder and already had a copy of the house plans in case we would want to build it someplace else.  So as the weeks went by we kept our hopes up and waited.

The time came when there indeed was a buyer.  We were ready for the inspection phase.  What follows is like a nightmare.  He came and placed red dots on almost all of the small panes of the lovely windows declaring that they were leaking. They were not cloudy like one would expect leaking windows to be.   He immediately shut down the furnace because of possible danger!  There were pages of problems around the house that he listed.  We were incredulous.  Now it was up to us to disprove these things or take the consequences, drastic reduction in price, if we were to keep the sale viable.  How would we ever be able to do this?

A Hymn to Help

There were sleepless nights for me.  One night I got up quietly so as not to disturb my husband and went out to sleep on the couch so my tossing and turning wouldn’t wake him.  As I lay there, I realized that a song was playing in the background of my mind and I didn’t pay much attention…the tune just going over and over.  Maybe I should bring the words of this song into focus, was my thought.  Could there be something there to help me feel better?  It was that old hymn “I’m a Child of the King.”  I remembered it well.  My heart leaped a bit when in my thoughts I say the first phrase.

My Father is rich in  houses  and  lands,   He holdeth the wealth of the  world  in  His  hands!       Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold, His coffers are full, He has riches untold!

I’m a child of the King, a child of the King.  With Jesus, my Savior, I’m a child of the King.

I could feel the tension in my body relax as I was reminded that I’m not in this alone.  My own Father above is more than adequate to handle where I will live and the finances connected with it.  I was so excited by this direct encouragement that I bounded off the couch and ran to my hymnal collection to look up the words of the other hymn verses to see if there is even more encouragement there.  Sure enough.  Excitedly I read,

A  tent  or  a  cottage,  why  should  I  care?    He’s  building   a   palace   for   me   over   there.  An exile from home, but still I can sing, Oh Glory to God, I’m a child of the King.

My relief was palpable.  Yes, Jesus was telling me now that I must not worry, that I will be okay.  A more humble abode than this one would be fine as the phrase a tent or a cottage explains.  We have health, we have family, and so many other blessings.  Yes, I will be an exile from home in that I am going to a place where I am a stranger, but the promise is that still I can sing and things will work out for us.  Blessed sleep follows.

Summers are hot in Texas and I needed to solve the furnace problem so we could use the air conditioner.  So I went to our file drawer and began to hunt for the furnace maintenance receipts.  After a tedious search,  I found a fairly recent receipt that showed a furnace maintenance.  Before my unbelieving eyes, our furnace man had uncharacteristically left a handwritten not on the receipt, Furnace is fine!

We slugged our way through all the other “problems” with our house through the weeks ahead.  The new buyers finally spoke to us with some kind of conciliatory statement to the effect that it was  somewhat embarrassing for them the way that inspector behaved.  We came out the other side of this trial breathing easier and with a clear vision for our next assignment in Alaska, thanks to our Lord, who is ever faithful in the crisis times.

– Elaine@hymnserve.com

Elaine is the founder of hymnserve.com. Her website provides downloadable hymn accompaniment for congregations, small groups and individuals.


4 thoughts on “HymnServe.com – Moving from Texas to Alaska

  1. Bette Blair

    Elaine, I, too, have been comforted by words of the beautiful old hymns. Thank you for including me and sending your blog. Love and Blessings from Bette in Addison, Texas

  2. Paul Humber

    Dear Judy,

    Wow! Imagine having a college named after you! There is a Humber College in Canada, but it’s not named after me. Anyway, here is a response Elaine may want to put up on her website. She is welcome to do so.
    A hymn that means a lot to me is “JEHOVAH our righteousness” by William Cowper. I especially like the last four lines:

    My God! how perfect are thy ways!
    But mine polluted are;
    Sin twines itself about my praise,
    And slides into my prayer.

    When I would speak what thou hast done
    To save me from my sin;
    I cannot make thy mercies known
    But self-applause creeps in.

    This heart, a fountain of vile thoughts,
    How does it overflow?
    While self upon the surface floats
    Still bubbling from below.

    Let others in the gaudy dress
    Of fancied merit shine;
    The LORD shall be my righteousness
    The LORD for ever mine.

    Have you ever been grimy and sweaty on a hot day and you took a cool refreshing shower? Salvation is something like that. The Apostle wrote: “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”

    When in a shower, it’s great to have the cleansing waters lavishing all over, but that’s only part of the picture. It’s a very important part, but it’s not all. This next part of the picture is extremely important, too!

    You see, when you step out of the shower, you also want to put on clean clothes. It’s not enough for us sinners to have our sins washed away in the precious blood of the Lord. We need something else from Him.

    1. Let’s take a trip back to the Garden. The Lord wanted our first parents to prove themselves obedient. They failed miserably. Not only did they fail the test, but they became filthy and grimy in the sweat of sin.

    Yes, an animal had to be killed – a type of Christ on the cross, but they needed more. They needed a covering. They knew they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

    2. Let’s take a look at the rich young ruler:

    Luke 18:18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He was contemplating making some fig-leaves to cover over his spiritual nakedness.

    19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” Jesus was not denying His deity, but He was challenging the man’s idea that it is possible for people to be good. He didn’t know Jesus was God in human flesh, but nevertheless he addressed him as being good.

    We do that, too, don’t we? à “Oh, he was such a good man!” // I’m not all that bad.” Jesus knew otherwise. John 2:23 says, “Now while He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for He knew what was in each person.”

    Jesus continued: “20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”

    Jesus was not saying we can get to heaven by obeying God’s Law. Then, what was He doing? He was holding up the mirror of God’s Law to remind the young man that he was a failure.

    21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. Ugh! The man was saying that his fig-leaves were in pretty good shape.

    22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Jesus was not going to let this man get away with his idolatry of wealth and self.

    23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. He wanted to keep his idol and still be saved.

    24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    Jesus is saying that all of our fig-leaves won’t work. We all fail God’s test – His Law.

    But what about “The Garment of Salvation” and Cowper’s hymn?

    What did God do in the garden? He gave our first parents what they needed. We read in Gen. 3:21: “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” And He’s done something even more precious for us!

    Jesus told us about it in the parable of the prodigal son! Luke 15 – “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ // “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.’”

    Do you know what that “best robe” is? It’s the robe of Christ’s perfect righteousness! Look at Jeremiah 23:6. Hundreds of years before Jesus came, He proclaimed His own name. He said, “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which He will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.”

    But what does that mean? It means that we must be “in” Christ! We must have His robe of righteousness surrounding you! Never heard this before? Jesus said, “unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and doctors of the law, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    This is like saying you have to be better than Billy Graham – or even the best person you ever met. You have to be perfect, and Jesus is the only One who was and is perfect! In Romans 3:19-20 we read: “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world accountable to God. Therefore, no one will be justified in his sight by observing the law, but by law we become conscious of sin.”

    But listen to the Good News! The rich young rule was an idolater, and his fig-leaves couldn’t work. Our so-called righteousness won’t work! But listen: Isaiah 61:10f says: “ I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of His righteousness.”

    Is that in the NT, too? Sure is! Let’s continue with Romans 3 (verses 21-22): But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

    Look at Romans 5:17: “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Again, we must be “in” Jesus! 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. Yes, we must indeed repent of our sins and get cleansed by His blood, but we also need the perfect robe of righteousness. We get it by faith.

    Philippians 3:8-9 says: What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

    Why not talk in your heart to Creator Christ right now? Ask Him to clean you up with His blood, and by faith, receive His perfect robe of righteousness, the Garment of Salvation!

    Paul G. Humber, Director — please consder clicking CR Ministries


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