It is well with my soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll;                               Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain — It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.                                                                               

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control,                   That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole,                                    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll.                                          No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal;                           Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord! Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;             The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.

Low Sun Cross Waters

This hymn was written by Horatio G. Spafford after two major events in Spafford’s life. The first was the great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially.  Later in his life, Spafford’s wife and four daughters were crossing the Atlantic on a ship namedVille du Havre, headed for vacation (Spafford was held up due to some business).  All of a sudden their ship collided with an iron sailing vessel and 226 people died including all four of Spafford’s daughters.  However, his wife survived and she sent him a telegram from England that read, “Saved alone…now what shall I do?” Several weeks later, Spaffordleft to meet his wife and his own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, the Holy Spirit inspired the words to the song It is well with my Soul. Spafford once said that “They speak to the eternal hope that all believers have, no matter what pain and grief they experience here on earth.”

I have been thinking alot about souls lately.  I have talked with other clergy about the importance of walking with people as they search deep within their souls.

Bart_Sells_His_SoulMy first reaction when talking about souls is the episode of the Simpsons when Bart sells his soul to Milhouse for $5.  Lisa warns Bart that something bad will happen, but he doesn’t believe her until he can’t pass through automatic doors, and animals are afraid of him. Bart tries to buy his soul back but finds that Milhouse sold it to the Comic Book Guy, who sold it to an unnamed person. Turns out, Lisa bought Bart’s soul and returned it to him.

How many of us do not realize the importance of our souls?  How many of us have a soul that is not well?  How do I as a religious professional help people become well with their soul once again?  These are the questions that I have been pondering, and these are the questions that I do not have answers.  When I talk with people, it seems that everyone has something that they are dealing with, some more intensely than others and I want to be there for people, I want to empower them to take care of themselves which includes their soul.  So how do you build a network inside of the church to help people with their souls?  This is a question that I will be pondering, working with, talking about for the next year or so, hoping that one day it can be well with all of our souls.

5 Steps to Teenage Confidence

Confidence might be a scary word for many people. One definition used for the word confidence is “belief in your abilities.” Too many times you may put yourself down because of how you look or what you might think people are saying about you. But you do not have to live that way.

You are an unique individual, you have special gifts and talents that have given to you and you have opportunities to use them. Unfortunately the gifts and talents that you have been given might not always be noticeable right away, they may take months or years to develop. Most of the time you want to know what those gifts are now!

You see the school nerd who might not be popular but seems to be happy reading a book and getting straight A’s, or the three sport athletes who seem to have it all and you want to be like them. But most of the time you may find yourself unable to get straight A’s, or run without falling. Then where to you turn?

There are many people are in the same situation as you are. Where do you to turn when you feel like you have been rejected? What group will you fit into when you feel like you do not have anything in common with anyone? There are things that you can do to feel like you fit in with a group no matter who they are.

1.  Believe in yourself.  This might sound simple but it is probably the hardest thing to do. You are special and you are put on the earth for a reason. If you believe in yourself you will show the confidence that is deep inside of you wanting to come out. Then there will be more and more people that will want to be around you more. There will be more and more people looking to you for advice because you will have something that they will want to have

2.  Body Language.  Ninety percent of how someone judges you is based on your body language. For example, if you are sitting slouched in your seat with your arms crossed and a frown on your face someone might think that you do not want to talk with them, that you have an “attitude,” and you are likely to get a negative response. However if you sit up straight, have a smile on your face and look in someone in the eyes when they talk with you then you are more likely to get a happy, positive response

3.  Take risks.  It might be hard but throughout your life you will have to take risks. So you might as well start taking risks now while you are young. If you see that girl or guy you like, ask them out. If there is a sport that you want to try out for but were scared to do so – try out. Sure you will fail every now and again but the more you take risks now, the easier it will be for you as you get older. Then when you are going for that big job interview where you will be making lots of money, the interview will not be so scary.

4.  Do what you love to do.  Sometimes you might feel more pressure from your parents and teachers than from your peers. All parents (weather they admit it or not) have an idea of what they want their child to be. Parents want you to be happy, but they also want you to be the best at anything you put your mind too. If you like to play sports, play sports, if you like to draw and paint, then draw and paint, if you like too hang with your friends and play video games, then do that. But whatever you do, love it – you do not have to be the best to feel like the best.

5.  Surround yourself with good people.  One of the greatest things that you can do to become more self-confident is to surround yourself with good people. By good people I mean people who love you and care for you. These can be friends or family members. These are the people who will look out for you to make sure that you are believing in yourself, showing off good body language, taking risks and doing what you love to do.

All of this is going to take time to accomplish. Don’t try too much too fast. There is no magic pill for you to be confident in yourself. All you can do is have an image of the person that you want to be and try everyday in becoming that person. The only way that you will eventually become that person is to know yourself, be yourself and love yourself.