With Hearts and Hands and Voices

image001Insight for your “Journey across the Sky”

A View from the Nest www.eagleviews.org

A Random rambling from the resident raptor.

Now thank we all our God

With hearts and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things hath done,

In whom the world rejoices;

Who from our mother’s arms

Hath blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love,

And still is ours today.

From “Now Thank We All Our God” by Martin Rinkhart (1586-1649)

Although Martin Rinkhart witnessed first hand severe suffering and death during the “Thirty Year War” yet he was able to find a place in his heart to praise and thank God. It is real easy to give praise and thanks to God when things are going well, but it really takes hard to go the extra mile and reach out in praise to God even though surrounded by such dire circumstances. It truly takes heart.

Brotherly Love Powers Lawn Mower Trek

image002Alvin Straight couldn’t be stopped once he came on an idea.

“Whenever he set his mind to doing something, he was about like a train on a track,” said Straight’s son, William, the middle of seven children.

Much has been written about the 73-year-old man who rode a 1966 John Deere mower 240 miles to see Hank, his older brother, four years ago. But questions remain as to who the man really was behind the white beard, thick glasses and cowboy hat.

“He was a real straight forward person, real good at setting goals,” William said.

Asked to illustrate what he meant with a story about his father, William added, “It’s kind of hard to condense a person into one story.”

There was much more to Straight, now known as the “lawn-mower man,” than his road trip.

“If I was to have Dad sit down and write a resume, it would be a long one,” including these titles: bounty hunter, farmer, rancher, carpenter and coal miner, William said. “Dad never let grass grow under his feet.”

Straight raised his seven children with high moral standards, William said. So even though they moved around a lot, to Oregon at one point, William and his siblings always knew what was what at home.

As with many families, not everyone got along all the time. This was probably a part of Alvin Straight’s motivation to ride his mower to his brother’s house. When Hank had a stroke, Alvin knew his time, too would eventually run out. So as quick as he could, Alvin went to his brother to mend some previous hurts. Source: Waterloo- Cedar Falls Courier Pulse October 15, 1998 Susan Bosch

On good days he averaged about five miles an hour along U.S. 18. But about four days into the trip, the engine failed on his mower in West Bend, 21 miles from where he had started in Laurens, Iowa.

Mr. Straight spent $250 replacing points, the condenser, plugs, the generator and the starter.

He made it to Charles City, 90 miles from West Bend, when he ran out of money in mid-July, and had to camp out until his next Social Security check arrived.

By Aug. 15, he had made it to within two miles of his brother’s house near Blue River, but then his mower broke down again. A farmer helped him push it the rest of the way . Source: New York Times Aug 25, 1994

Alvin was a man on a mission. He had a purpose and nothing was going to deter him from making his journey to be with his brother. No cost was prohibited, no obstacle was too large, nothing short of his own death was going to stop him from reaching his brother in need. Alvin had heart. He had passion.

An inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City reads:


Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these

couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Inscribed in the words of scripture we find:


Everyone has passion. Some for wealth and security, some for social status and prestige, some have a passion for a sport, or artistic expression. Like Alvin they give all they have to pursue that passion. They are willing to invest the time and energy to reach their goal.

As a church we need to be consumed with the passion of God like a dear panting for water. Where are we spending our resources? What are we passionate about?

God as Psalm 42:1 states? A passion for the lost? John 4:34 & 35 A passion for the world? Matthew 28:19

Does our worship of God cost us all or cost us nothing at all?

For where our heart is there will be our treasure.

Then the king (David) said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel.2 Sam 24:24-25 (NKJV)

David had a heart after God and he refused to offer a sacrifice that cost him nothing.

David, had been trained in ritual worship. From his earliest years he had never worshiped with that which cost him nothing. He had brought his offering, and he had paid for it, and he had denied himself something so that he might pay for it. The God whom he had found when he was shepherding was not a God to be worshiped on the cheap.

And then there came his fall, and the terrible havoc of his kingly character, and David found that all the blood of goats could not make him a true worshiper again.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart.” Psalm 51:17

Let him give his kingdom for an offering, and he would not be an acceptable worshiper. He must give himself, he must deny his lusts; he must lay aside his pride and be penitent, or all his worship would be mockery, and the sanctuary a barren place for him. He knew from the first that worship meant denial. It was his thought of denial that was deepened. He found there was no blessing in the sanctuary unless his heart was penitent and humble. And that was a mighty truth for him to grasp, and it has enriched the worship of the ages, and has passed into the newer covenant, and into all the gatherings of its saints. A Treasury of Great Preaching

Worship has got to be more than a nice hour on Sunday morning. Worship has got to mean more than pretty music and a stirring message. True worship of God has to cost us something. There has to be an investment on our part to make it meaningful and life changing. If we come with empty hands we shall leave with empty hearts. But if we bring all we have to the altar of God and lay it all down than God can fill us with His fullness.

Worship requires giving of ourselves. Worship requires self-denial. Worship requires heart.

Unlike Alvin we can not get to God on a John Deere but like a deer we can pant for God and find Him in worship. If we worship Him with our whole heart.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

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