Wednesday, August 6, 2008

One of the highlights of going to church, as a little girl, was 5th Sunday Night Singings. Various members of the congregation would share in song and their personal testimonies. We had quite a few talented singers and musicians in our midst, and I looked forward to each one. You were sure to leave the service with the warm glow of having truly worshipped God.

Our next door neighbors, Mr. Bob and Mrs. Inez, attended the same church. They were such a sweet couple! They were "good~folks" in every sense of the word! :) They had a large garden, and during the summer months, you were certain to find Mrs. Inez in her kitchen, over a huge steaming pot of blanched vegetables, destined for the jars that covered the kitchen table. Or the two of them, hunched over a galvanized tub, shelling beans or shucking corn. They had an outside room that stayed cool, even in the hot southern temps, that held the jars of their bounty, .....pickles, beans, jams..... And if you were special, you shared in their harvest, too! :) They seemed so filled with joy during those days!

However, they experienced many heartaches, trials, and sufferings, in their time on earth. Their youngest daughter was killed in car accident, coming home from college one night, in the late 60's. They raised their two grandchildren, by another daughter, full-time. One of their two sons, was also killed in a car wreck, while living on the West Coast, in the 80's. And the two of them suffered ill health. Mrs. Inez suffered from the severe effects of diabetes, which included her failing eye sight. Yet, they remained steadfast, encouraging and a light of hope for all that knew them!

For years, during Sunday Night Singings, Mrs. Inez participated in the service. She had the most beautiful soprano voice, and I thought certainly it sounded like the sweet melody of angels when they sang! I never knew her to sing in the choir, only during SNS, and she always sang one particular song. But Oh, how I looked forward to it! I remember exactly which pew she sat in, 'cause if you know anything about old baptist, we have OUR pew we prefer, Sunday after Sunday, year after year! "smiles" I can still recall her shuffling up to the podium, with her hymnal in hand, which she couldn't see, nor did she need....and she sang with effortless beauty, "His Eye Is On the Sparrow."

~ His Eye is On the Sparrow ~
V) Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come.
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for Heaven and home.
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He.
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Chorus) I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free.
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
V) Let not your heart be troubled, When all but hope is gone.
When Jesus is my fortress, My constant friend is He.
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

In 1905, Civilla Martin and her husband were spending time in Elmira, NY. They befriended a sweet couple, Mr. and Mrs. DooLittle, who faced many afflictions. Mrs. DooLittle had been bedridden for 20 years. Mr. DooLittle was an incurable cripple, who propelled himself to his business each day in a wheelchair. Despite their bleak conditions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing comfort and inspiration to those who knew them. One day, Dr. Martin asked Mr. DooLittle, how the couple maintained their joy. He replied simply with this, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." From the beauty of this phrase, emerged the song, "His Eye is on the Sparrow."

I hope you are encouraged by the words of this song, and the testimonies of two couples who despite their seemingly difficult lives, were an example of Christ to those around them. I often think about the words of this song, as I watch the birds feed in the mornings outside my kitchen window. No, they really do not appear to have any concerns or cares. The Father is watching over them, as He watches over you and I, as well! ~Rhonda
(Note: You can listen to this song and some of the other past songs of EWW on my playlist!)

"Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Matthew 6:26


Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Thanks for posting this Rhonda and for the sweet and gentle reminder of how much He loves us!

ceekay said...

I have sung that song many times as a solo in church. It is one of my favorites. I almost didn't recognize your blog! Very pretty!

Kathi said...

Rhonda, I love this post! Oh how I can just imagine seeing and hearing her sing that beautiful song. I will hear her sing it someday soon; yay. I love all your descriptions of growing up in church. It is so true about having your own pew. This is just darling and so are you. Hugs, Kathi

Kellie said...

Your Wednesdays are so uplifting to me. It seems each one I had read I have needed... and today is no different.

I love this song, too. We used the verse from Matthew last year with our special people of the week award. If God loves the sparrows and knows when they fall to the ground, how much more does He love us who are made in His image!!

Thank you for sharing this today... it blessed me.

belladella said...

What a wonderful uplifting post. Thank you. I grew up in a Baptist church and I am laughing at the pew thing. Yes, we all had our own spots!

I love that song too. I will certainly carry the message with me as I go about my Wednesday...and everyday.


Nancy said...

Good Morning Rhoda, Love the new background! Enjoyed the post, thanks for reminding us about how He watches over US! Life gets so hard at times, just then you learn that someone else has or had it harder then you, but God his there!! Blessings, Nancy

ellen b said...

Wonderful encouragement. What great testimonies to having the joy of the Lord.

blessedwith5 said...

Hi Rhonda . . . Nice to meet you!
Thanks for taking a minute to stop in at my blog and leave a comment!

I will be checking back in with your blog tomorrow!

onlymehere said...

I'm not familiar with this song and I often wish I could hear the tunes to those you list. I really look forward to your Wednesday posts. It's my day off and I used to never get on the computer but now I do. Your words help remind me of a higher power during the middle of my hectic week and I appreciate them. Come see me later today as my new post has a surprise!

chelle's winks said...

What an inspiring, encouraging post...

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Thank you Rhonda for such inspiration today. I love that so much, His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me. One of my favorites!
Hugs, Sherry

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

What a beautiful uplifting post! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories with us.

Penless Thoughts said...

I always enjoy your Wednesday posts, Rhonda. I think everyone loves His Eye Is On The Sparrow. Such a truth and such a comfort in that truth.

Donna Lynn said...

Lovely post, thank you! I love that song too...

Your husbands race car is just yummy, will have to have my DH look at it too! Your little David is so cute in that picture...

Hope your having a blessed Wed. Glad I stopped by to visit you!

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Rhonda, I just loved this post!!! Sometimes we all have moments where we are feeling sorry for ourselves or our situations... & then you hear of couples like these that are happy & content & trust God, no matter what they are going through personally! Such great examples for us all!...And by the way, when we lived in upstate New York, we lived about 45 minutes away from Elmira!...totally in the "boonies"...which I liked!...Thanks again for sharing!...and great news about a couple weeks neither of our boys will be "cast-ridden" anymore!!!...Bye for now!...Heidi XO P.S. All your gifts to heather were just wonderful...could you even believe her lovely post!??...I told her, you & I are the fortunate ones to have the pleasure of knowing such an appreciative couple!...

Beverly said...

I love this hymn. I remember the first time I ever heard it, and it has been a favorite ever since.

onlymehere said...

Rhonda, no begging for forgiveness needed! This is a busy and budget breaking time of year for people with kids in school and believe me I understand. At least this year I only have one to get in school but I need to get the new college student (Travis) some help as his savings this summer won't cover very much! I didn't think about all this until after I told Deb I'd do it, but that's okay it'll be fun!

Jan and Tom's Place said... your NEW blog!!! And the post! It's great!

I look forward to your post tomorrow!! LOL!!

Thanks for the visit and comments you left.


Monogram Queen said...

Beautiful post! I finally made it over, hope you don't mind but I had an extra spot on my blogroll and filled you with it. I try not to visit any new blogs because I want to keep up with what i've got but sometimes things just work out!

Shelia said...

Rhonda! What a blessing your post is today! As an old Baptist myself, I understand about 5th Sunday Singings and your little story about little Inez touches my heart. Oh, that song is so beautiful. I just love it. I think I can hear Mahalia Jackson, the black lady, singing it in her big ole voice. I'm sure she's singing it in heaven with Mrs. Inez!
Bless your heart and be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Pearl said...

Hi Rhonda... Once again, you've touched my heart with your Encouraging Words... this post is simply beautiful... the way you share and tell the stories of those you knew and know just totally take me right to the moment... I wanted to be shucking corn with them! The graphic with the birds in His hands was perfect... such a pretty song and such a positive message it carries... Thank you for sharing, Sweetie... God bless...

~hugs 'n love~

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Rhonda, Thanks for the wonderful tour. You have very beautiful treasures. And the most valuable treasure you shared with us is god's promises. What a great way to start my day!! Hugs, Terrie

Heather said...

I needed this today. I have been having "concerns" lately and have been praying about them. This is the 5th time in three days I have read this specific verse and today my eyes were filled with tears- as I heard birds singing outside while reading this- knowing that He is speaking to me, reassuring me.
Thank you for the wonderful post and the reminder.
God Bless you sweetie!
-Heather :)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I have always loved that song. It has carried me many times.
Thanks for the reminder!