Marilyn Friesen

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Showing posts with label singing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label singing. Show all posts

Monday, October 17, 2016

One Down, Three Left

Logan, I saw you last night. Did you see me? I think you did. I saw you just once, maybe twice, glancing my way. You know I have a mother-heart for you, don’t you

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Don't Turn Around and Look Behind

Isn’t it easy to assume that children go through life without care in the world and in their innocence aren’t much affected by what’s going  on around them? Come to think of it, what I am really saying isn’t it easy to not pay too much attention to a child other than to care for their obvious physical needs? 

The only little girl I knew well, myself, wasn’t unaware of the stress in the atmosphere, and even in times when she may have appeared totally carefree there was a deeper meaning to her actions. 

Mom was a lover of flowers, just like I am now, and it seems to me that the summer I turned eleven the  flowers along our garden path were doing especially well. I recall some Sweet William growing near the strawberry patch, but after that lots of zinnias paraded across the garden. This was the ideal place for a little girl to prance up and down singing the upbeat songs learned so recently. 

“Keep in the middle of the King’s Highway, Keep in the middle of the road, Don’t turn to the left, don’t turn to the right, just keep in the middle of the road, Don’t turn around and look behind for the devil will change your mind, Just keep right on, marching along, keep in the middle of the road. “

I also sang “I’m gonna run, run, run to meet my Jesus…” Do you know that one, too? 

There were other choruses, also, that I enjoyed singing, and years later sang to my own children and grandchildren. 

Being a follower of Jesus has little or nothing to do with our intellectual maturity but so much to do with the condition of our heart and our relationship with Jesus. Our Saviour gives everyone who decides to follow Him a lovely connection with Him. 

I’m thinking sadly of the ones that ‘turn around and look behind’ and eventually the sweet and tender voice of their loving Guide and Friend can’t be heard anymore. If that’s you, why not go back to that experience that was dear to you from long ago and renew your walk with God that was once so precious to you. 

Yah, why not?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Oasis in a Camp

Okay, backtrack with me, if you will, because I forgot some important stuff that I
 want to tuck in right here so you get the drift of the plot better.

Have you ever tried to put a puzzle together without having a picture to follow? 
It's pretty hard, isn't it? Well, I guess we all, as we get older, try to do that with 
our past in one way or another, don't we?

As I journeyed through my desert-like existence, I came across oasis's that were bright
 spots which nourished my soul for years to come. One of them happened shortly before I turned eleven.

Here we can pick up a puzzle piece that I only found recently. The reason I was at this 
particular place at this time, a Summer Vacation Bible Camp, was because my father
 was an electrician there, and I imagine they gave him a cut so us kids could join in all the fun. 
No matter what the reason, it was a blessed respite from the discord at home, and I, as a 
normally shy young girl, really blossomed for some reason. Not only that, but I got to know 
Jesus as my personal Saviour and through the following years, my dearest Friend.

Although many memories in the annals of time have faded away these details are pretty much
 picture perfect to this day.

There is one hitch, though. I knew what kind of home I was going back to, and even as
 a small child, I worried about being able to hang on to that glorious peace I had found by
 surrendering my heart to God.

We had a...what would you call it? It wasn't a station wagon, exactly because there were 
no seats in the back, just benches for us children to sit on, and I suppose Dad's tools when
 we weren't along. I was back there as we drove homeward and wiled the time away singing 
those catchy tunes learned earlier that week.

My Dad, who was driving, and my siblings may have thought I was just happy, but that was
 not the case, I was praying, praying earnestly that I could be a 'light' to my family
 Do you know what that means?

Well, it must have been only a couple days later when I ended up squabbling 
with my sister and someone said: "I didn't think anything happened to you, you haven't changed."

Oh, did that ever hurt! I went silent and walked outside. What was a little girl to do? I found 
my way to the front of the house where my mother had planted some hollyhocks; they were 
tall and blooming by then.

I think I was standing there, not really seeing them when the sweetest voice seemed to
 float in the air: "Lo I am with you always." Suddenly I realised how pretty the flowers were, 
how green the grass, and the sky was a bright, clear blue. Do you wonder why I have
 cherished that memory and even as I write tears moisten my eyes?

This is part of my memoirs from my childhood. Comments and questions are welcome.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The First Christmas Has Arrived!!!

Festival of lights
25th  Kislev
December 9th

He’s come! Yehoshua has come! I cannot begin to express my
gratitude, and adoration! What a privilege it is to be the first one to
hold the treasured Son of God. Oh dear, tears are running down my
face again! He is so precious. I just can’t say it enough. It tugs at my
heart strings when I see how incredibly tiny and helpless He, the Son
of El’Shaddai, is.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Doomed Soldiers Went Singing to Heaven

(A true story)

One of the strangest experiences in my life is connected with war, says Nordenberg, an eminent engineer in Finland.

“I offered my services to the government and was appointed as an officer in General Mannerheim’s army. It was a terrible time. We besieged the town. It had been taken by the Red Army and we retook it. A number of the Red soldiers were under my guard. Seven of them were to be shot at dawn on Monday. I shall never forget the preceeding Sunday. The seven doomed men were kept in the basement of the town hall. In the passageway my men stood at attention with their rifles.

“The atmosphere was filled with hatred. My soldiers were drunk with victory and taunted their prisoners. Some swore as much as they could and beat the walls with their bleeding fists. Others called for their wives and children who were far away. At dawn they were all to die.

“We had the victory, that was true enough; but the value of this seemed to diminish as the night advanced. I began to wonder if there did not rest a curse on arms whichever side used them.

“Then something happened. One of the men doomed to death began to sing. “He is mad” was everybody’s first thought. But I had noticed this man, Koskinen, had not raved and curved like the others. Quietly he had sat on the bench, a picture of utter despair.  Nobody said anything to him—each was carrying his burden in his own way and Koskinen sang, rather waveringly at first, but then his voice grew stronger, and filled out, and became natural and free. All the prisoners turned to look at the singer who now seemed to be in his element.

Safe in the arms of Jesus

Safe on His gentle breast

There by His love o’er shadowed

Sweetly my soul shall rest

Hark tis the voice of angels

Born in a song to me

Over the fields of glory,

Over the jasper sea.

“Over and over again Koskinen sang that verse and when he was finished everyone was quiet for a few minutes until a wild-looking individual broke out with “Where did you get that, you fool? Are you trying to make us religious?”  Koskinen looked at his comrades and his eyes filled with tears. Then he asked quietly, “Comrades, will you listen to me for a few minutes? You asked me where I got that song. It was from the Salvation Army.  I heard it there three weeks ago. At first I also laughed but it got to me. It is cowardly to hide your beliefs; the God my mother believed in has now become my God also. I cannot tell how it happened, but I know it has happened.  I lay awake last night and suddenly felt I had to find the Savior and hide in Him. Then I prayed-like the thief on the cross-that Christ would forgive me and cleanse my sinful soul, and make me ready to stand before Him whom I should meet soon.”

“It was a strange night, “continued Koskinen. “There were times when everything seemed to shine around me. Verses from the Bible and from the Song Book came to mind. They brought a message of the crucified Savior and the blood that cleanses from sin and of the Home He has prepared for us. I thanked Him, accepted it, and since then this verse has been sounding inside me. It was God’s answer to my prayer. I could no longer keep it to myself. Within a few hours I shall be with the Lord, saved by His grace.

“Koskinen’s face shone as by an inward light. His comrades sat there quietly. He himself stood there transfixed. My soldiers were listening to what this Red revolutionary had to say.

““You are right, Koskinen,” one of  of his comrades said at last. “If only I knew there was mercy for me too! But these hands of mine have shed blood and I have reviled God and trampled on all that is holy.  Now I realize that there is a Hell and that it is the proper place for me.”

“He sank to the ground with despair depicted on his face.  “Pray for me Koskinen,” he groaned, “Tomorrow I will die and my soul will be in the hands of the devil!”

“And there these two Red soldiers went down on their knees and prayed for each other. It was no long prayer, but it opened Heaven for both, and we who listened to it forgot our hatred. It melted in the light from Heaven, for here two men who were soon to die, sought reconciliation with God. A door leading into the invisible stood ajar and we were entranced by the sight.

“Let me tell you shortly that by the time it was four o’clock all Koskinen’s comrades had followed his example and began to pray. The change in the atmosphere was indescribable. Some of them sat on the floor, others talked of spiritual things.

“The night had almost gone and day was dawning. No one had a moments sleep. “Sing the song once more for us, Koskinen,” said one of them. And you should of head them sing! Not only that song, but verses and choruses long forgotten came forth from their memories as buds (opening) in the sunshine. The soldiers on guard united their voices with them.

“The town clock struck six. How I wished I could have begged grace for these men, but knew this was impossible.

“Between two rows of soldiers they marched out to execution. One of them asked to be allowed once more to sing Koskinen’s song. Permission was granted. Then they asked to die with uncovered faces and hands raised to Heaven. They sang with might and main.

‘Safe in the arms of Jesus

Safe on His gentle breast…’

“When the last lines had died out the lieutenant gave the word “Fire!” and the seven Red soldiers had fought their last fight.  We inclined our heads in silent prayer.

“What happened to the hearts of the others, I do not know, but as far as I was concerned, I was a new man from that hour. I had met Christ in one of His lowliest and youngest disciples and I had seen enough to realize that I too, could be His.  “The Lord looketh from Heaven: He beholdeth all the sons of men.” Psalms 33:13

“Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life:  he that believeth in me, though he were to die, yet shall he live. John 11:25 RV)

Translated for “All the World” by Major Clara Becker. The War Cry

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Poor, Sweet Little Claudine

I suppose some of you might be wondering what happened to Claudine and her baby. I guess I shouldn't have put off finishing this story for so long, but it has been a bit hard to cope with. Claudine was faithful until the end. Amazingly, joyously faithful, something we can't comprehend because we have never been asked to suffer in that way. I believe her heart was broken that she was never able to see her infant again, but even I, with my limited understanding of agony know and have the assurance, that Jesus was there for her. I suppose she often wondered how little Jans was doing but perhaps he died at an early age which was so common in those days. I'm sure yearnings and prayers for her husband and children lingered in her heart at all times, but there was something more. God was giving her strength, she loved Jesus so much, and sensed her Saviour's love in return that she would have gone singing to her death if they wouldn't have gagged her. Well, she's gone to her reward now, and that is no idle platitude and perhaps I will someday get to know her on the Other Side.