Thursday, November 25, 2021

Be My Thou Thanksgiving Vision: A Prayer for All

BE THOU MY THANKSGIVING VISION

The Bible says, “In everything give thanks,”
but this seems difficult if we are frank.
In our lives, there is so much tension,
for it to happen, “Lord, Be Thou My Vision.”

Luther cried “this world with devils filled,”
a truth that seems to take away our will
of accepting this “giving thanks” mission.
So we ask, “Lord, Be Thou My Vision.”

When darkness hides Your smiling face.
Pressing on requires "Amazing Grace."
We cannot see good with any precision,
So we pray, “Lord, Be Thou My Vision.”

Your power and love to us please show,
and grant that we'll be able to know,
if we make this “giving thanks” decision
we'll experience “Lord, Be Thou My Vision.”

So we choose to give You thanks today,
and join with family and friends to say,
“We all trust Your grace and provision.
You, O LORD, are our Thanksgiving vision.”

- Wade Burleson


6 comments:

  1. Wade,

    Yes,

    “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT)

    But:

    “Stay away from every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22 NLT)

    I believe this means fire ants. :)

    Today, many gathered at our house for Thanksgiving dinner. The great great granddaughter of my Uncle Rex Ray came from Dallas. It was the first time any of us had seen this very pretty young girl of about 20. Two of my unmarried Grandsons talked to her more than the rest of us put together. :)

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  2. from a meditation on God's gifts to us from W. Brueggemann

    'mercy upon mercy, blessing upon blessing' - Deo Gratias!



    "” . . . in the midst of our perceived deficit
    YOU COME
    You come giving bread in the wilderness
    You come giving children at the 11th hour
    You come giving homes to exiles
    You come giving futures to the shut down
    You come giving easter joy to the dead
    You come – fleshed in Jesus.

    and we watch while
    the blind receive their sight
    the lame walk
    the lepers are cleansed
    the deaf hear
    the dead are raised
    the poor dance and sing

    we watch
    and we take food we did not grow and
    life we did not invent and
    future that is gift and gift and gift and
    families and neighbours who sustain us
    when we did not deserve it.

    It dawns on us – late rather than soon-
    that You “give food in due season
    You open Your Hand
    and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

    By Your giving, break our cycles of imagined scarcity
    override our presumed deficits
    quiet our anxieties of lack
    transform our perceptual field to see
    the abundance………mercy upon mercy
    blessing upon blessing. . . . "


    (an excerpt from Walter Brueggemann's 'On Generosity' )

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  3. Wade,

    Uncle Rex’s daughter, Mrs. Lois Ray McKenzie wrote a small 5 x 7 inch 123-page book:

    “Rex Ray Cowboy Missionary in Kwangsi.” 1964 Broadman Press

    On the back cover:

    “Captured by pirates! Running the Japanese blockade! Escape from China through Communist lines…30 years’ mission work in China; from days of warlords until communism shut the door; 6 years in Korea; building Wallace Memorial Hospital…”

    Page 67-68: “Jap bombing destroyed 1/3 of Wuchow, thousands of people were left homeless and hungry. We gave soup and rice in the Baptist church. Also, our hospital served food to long lines of hungry people who’d lost all their earthy possessions.
    After Pearl Harber, the need for sulfa drugs became critical. Dr. Wallace asked me to go to Kweilin, a ten-day round-trip to look for sulfa. I found one bottle with 1,000 tablets that cost $3,250, but lives were depending on it.
    My teeth were going bad and my tongue began to swell. Dr. Wallace said, “Parson, hit the road for the U.S.A., you need good food because you’re beginning to starve to death.” I hated to leave him alone. It’d been 8 years since I’d left America, and 5 since I’d seen my family. I got ready to depart from my beloved Wuchow and her people. This had been home for nearly a quarter of a century.”

    Wade, at one time the Women’s Missionary Union, used this book for a study guide.

    I’m in the process of summarizing Rex Ray’s 138-page original manuscript. It's written on normal size paper.

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  4. “Captured by pirates! Running the Japanese blockade! Escape from China through Communist lines…30 years’ mission work in China; from days of warlords until communism shut the door; 6 years in Korea; building Wallace Memorial Hospital…”

    "Page 67-68: “Jap bombing destroyed 1/3 of Wuchow, thousands of people were left homeless and hungry. We gave soup and rice in the Baptist church. Also, our hospital served food to long lines of hungry people who’d lost all their earthy possessions.
    After Pearl Harber, the need for sulfa drugs became critical. Dr. Wallace asked me to go to Kweilin, a ten-day round-trip to look for sulfa. I found one bottle with 1,000 tablets that cost $3,250, but lives were depending on it.
    My teeth were going bad and my tongue began to swell. Dr. Wallace said, “Parson, hit the road for the U.S.A., you need good food because you’re beginning to starve to death.” I hated to leave him alone. It’d been 8 years since I’d left America, and 5 since I’d seen my family. I got ready to depart from my beloved Wuchow and her people. This had been home for nearly a quarter of a century.” "


    REX RAY, how much better for Christian witness if the Church used THIS wonderful account of service to Christ the Lord, than to have all the current 'culture war' mess raging with its sad political undertones we have these days. How much better indeed!

    'The Story' gets through to people it accounts like your good Uncle Rex has written and his daughter has preserved for the Church. OF COURSE the Women’s Missionary Union made much use of this account! The words 'come alive' even here on this blog and echo the ages and ages of missionaries who answered the call to serve in far lands among those who needed Christ, even at their own peril.

    'The Story' has many chapters. I hope the good Baptist people 'return' to 'The Story' in the way your uncle wrote about it, as a time of service and self-sacrifice for those Our Lord came to seek. . . .

    The culture wars? satanically-inspired divisions, political power-grabs, and arguments between Christian brothers and sisters . . . this never was a part of 'The Story' was it?

    Yes, bring your uncle's writing forward . . . give some hope back to the Church and tell of a time when things 'were' focused on the 'simplicity that is in Christ'. This would be a good work for you to do, REX RAY. Go for it. :)

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  5. CHISTIANE,

    Thanks! I’m working on it.

    Before Pearl Harbor, Japanese airplanes sunk the river boat he was on. He lost everything he had including a motorcycle. He presented a thousand-dollar bill to a Japanese high official, and acted like America would declare war if he wasn’t paid. The guy paid and Rex kept the receipt.

    Rex ran the Japanese blockade many times to get medical supplies from Japan for their hospital. One time he was caught and faced prison until they found the receipt in his billfold. They wanted to know about it, but he told them that was personal business, and they let him go.

    When our uncle was in China, my brother and I lived with his family in Bonham, Texas after we returned from Germany. We were seniors in high school.

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