Blessed Assurance

This month I’ve written about the many uncertainties in life;  but as Christians we have the “blessed assurance” of Christ’s atoning sacrifice and love. Composer Phoebe Palmer Knapp (1839-1908) played a melody to Fanny Crosby and asked, “What does this say to you?” Crosby replied that the tune said, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” and proceeded to recite the entire first stanza of the now-famous hymn. Knapp was one of several tune writers that worked with Fanny Crosby (1820-1915), a blind hymnist who began composing at the age of six.  She authored more than 8000 hymns and this is one of her most popular.

For another hymn by Fanny Crosby, see this post:

To God Be the Glory



To God Be the Glory

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. ”  Matthew 6:1

This verse was part of the sermon text last Sunday.  Is the point that we should always hide our good deeds, doing them only in secret?  Well, that can’t be the case because it contradicts another verse in Matthew 5:16:

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

The point, as always goes to what is in your heart, your motivation.  When we do good deeds, if our heart is in the right place, we do not want to be recognized as a “good person,”  we want God to be recognized as our good and gracious Father.  This lively hymn by Fanny Crosby expresses it well.

Empowered by Catherine Parks–Book Review

This book of short biographical sketches would be ideal for teaching youngsters about some of the heroines of the faith.  The author begins by telling us:

“Not one woman in this book planned to become famous or change the world.”

Parker has chosen women of different eras, with different talents and passions, to illustrate how God can work through each of us to glorify Him and do His work in the world.  These women had one big thing in common — they truly knew God and had a desire to follow His will for their lives.  Some of them will be familiar to most Christians (Elisabeth Elliot, Fanny Crosby) while others were less well known (Pandita Ramabai, Phillis Wheatley).  They faced obstacles of different sorts, and overcame them with the help of Christ.

Each sketch emphasizes a different quality such as strength, obedience, kindness or faithfulness, demonstrating how it was lived out by a particular woman.  At the end of the sketch there an explanation of the quality, discussion questions and a Bible verse. This would be an excellent Christian book club choice for older elementary school or middle school students.

VERDICT:  5 stars.  If you work with tweens, especially girls, you’ll want a copy.

For ordering information, follow this link:


The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255