A Romantic Puritan

anne

It was so pleasing to find out that New England’s first published writer in the colonies was a woman named Anne Bradstreet.  Anne was born in March of 1612 in England, but later immigrated to Massachusetts. Anne was a Puritan, was well educated, knew several languages and wrote poetry. She published several books containing her poems.

The book I read by her is called “To My Husband and Other Poems”, and I loved it! The way she describes the love she has for her husband in several different poems is just magical. She misses him, she longs for him, she aches for him! Oh what beauty in her words! She is a woman who loves being married. She is a woman very well settled in her role as wife. She is satisfied in her husband and in her life and in her faith and the words and rhyme she uses embrace her station. There are also poems to her God, and His attributes. And sadly there are poems she wrote expressing the pain of losing children and then grandchildren. She does so well in representing her feelings perfectly, not forcing or clashing words in her rhyme. The flow of her words are pure and fluid and I could feel her sadness, love or joy in her poems.

Unfortunately due to Hollywood and other forms of entertainment, Puritans are painted in a very stoic and gray light. This is so not so with Mrs. Bradstreet. On the contrary, she is explosive in her adjectives and full of heart and raw emotions in her writings. She is passionate and intimate in her relationships. She is boisterous in her praise of God. She is free in her worship, free in her love for her husband, children and family and free to express herself in her losses and gains. Nothing in her poetry gave me the feeling of a timid woman oppressed by her circumstances. Nothing in her writings was suppressed or muted.

I recommend this book to any one who loves poetry or wants to see into the life of a Puritan woman. Mrs. Bradstreet mainly writes about her life. This book is like a journal in poetry form.

I leave you with this sigh-inducing poem by her:

To My Loving Husband
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
That when we live no more we may live ever.

Remember – Poem

worship

I wrote this poem a couple of days ago. It has been a long time since I have taken the time to express myself this way.  These are sins I struggle with it, and may it be understood that these are not the only ones, but the biggest ones at the moment. There are many of our past brothers and sisters who have insisted that the Christian ought to be preaching the Gospel to themselves. And this is what this poem is about. The salvation of a believer is a mysterious and beautiful thing that we should never tire of. It should shake our very core that God chose to save us and lead us into a gladness unheard of. I hope this poem encourages you and reminds you that when in any doubt regarding your faith, always go back to Gospel and the miracle of  our salvation. Blessings.

 

Remember

There are days when I am too busy to open up and read Your word.

When I don’t want to hear from you because it all seems absurd.

I become haughty, full of myself and full of pride;

Forgetting of my Savior of who for me He died.

When I lose my way like this, Oh Lord, let there be no hesitation;

May I remember, always remember Your meritless salvation.

 

There are moments when my familiar sin has lead me into darkness.

The temporary pleasure I seemed to have wanted keeps me in a harness.

I then hate myself for my weakness and for my lack of volition.

I want to hide and let no one see my disgraceful condition.

When I am hidden because of the shame of my instant gratification;

May I remember, always remember, the grace of Your salvation.

 

Some days I am tired and the sadness overtakes my mind.

I think of better days, of how things used to be, of what I’ve left behind.

I seem to have forgotten how to laugh and the tears never stop to flow.

I feel so all alone, and it seems that no one cares or even knows.

When everywhere is better except for where I am in my habitation;

May I remember, always remember the joy of Your salvation.

 

There are times when I feel so lost and it feels I have lost my way.

Am I even saved, how could You want me, have I been lead astray?

The desire to pray, the desire to serve, and even the desire to worship is distant.

I worry about Your anger, am full of despair and the fear of Your fury is constant.

When I am afraid of Your wrath and all I seem to see is my own contamination,

May I remember, always remember the peace of Your salvation.

 

For You ask me to remember, always remember the things that You have done;

For only those things are worthy and were fulfilled in Your Son.

May I never forget that You saved a wretch like me.

That I did nothing for my salvation and was for a long time Your enemy.

I do not know why You redeemed me, I may never comprehend

That You sought me and have promised to preserve me until the very end.

May I remember, always remember the miracle of Your salvation

Even when the enemy bombards me with his manipulation.

For he is the father of lies and You are the Truth and the Light;

Give me strength to remember those things and continue the fight.

 

I will be crushed and bruised, but I will never be broken.

This is all true, for Your word of this has spoken.

That You will sustain me and nothing can snatch me from the palm of Your hand,

And not one will You lose to hell, this I have to understand.

“I am saved, I am saved, I am saved” may this be my anthem and song!

May I remember this when I have done so much wrong.

So, when I am prone to wander, or in any other ugly situation

May remember, always remember the beauty of Your salvation.

 

 

 

Written by Anna Tobey

To Him Be All The Glory

To Him Be All The Glory
By Anna Tobey

A reflection in the mirror forces me to see the destruction
Of what I have done with my life and all the repercussions
The mirror is a tablet of stone, carved by the great I AM
Given to a Levite, son of Jacob, son of Abraham
I look at the Holy and Righteous Judge and I cower and whimper
Knowing that of all the wretches in this world, I am the greatest sinner.
What can I say, what can I do, maybe there is somehow I can serve?
Because I know the punishment, I know what’s coming, I know what I deserve.

SO . . .

I cling to my culture, I cling to my tradition,
I cling to church on Sunday, and to my ambition.
I hold on to good intentions, and to time spent helping the poor.
How I cooked for the starving, and how I swept the church floor.
I sang the songs of redemption, I sang of amazing Grace
I felt the Holy Spirit, and thought I saw Your face..
I gave all that I could, I gave more than I could even afford
I even healed the sick, I even called out LORD LORD!!

Surely, this is good enough, surely this all counts for something.
Surely, what I did in Your name is something worth trusting.
Surely, I can confide in these things that brought me joy.
Surely, they’re not dirty rags or heaps of dung for You to destroy

BUT THEY ARE . . . . . .

Your word says it plainly and it speaks rightly,
That all deserve death, even the least likely.
That we have been working and toiling and our paycheck is death
And You will come to collect when we take our last breath

Have Mercy on me oh Holy, Almighty and Righteous One.
Give me Grace paid on the cross by Your Only Son
Help me believe and put my trust on the blood of the Lamb
There is nothing, no one, nada that can save me from what I am.

WHICH IS

A sinner, a wretch, a worm not worthy to crawl in the mire
Lead by my feelings, my wants and heinous desire.
Save me from myself, don’t let me be the same.
I trust Jesus, for salvation comes from no other name!

So covered by the blood of the Lamb that made a way
No longer do I cry for mercy when I’ll see Him on my Judgement day.
For when I stand facing the most Holy One, Christ exclaims:
“Justice for this one. Justice in my name!!”

“Justice, for she is not guilty, her debt has been paid
Justice, for my life for her has been laid!!”
So I stand, thinking mercy is what I needed
But my Advocate proclaimed that it’s Justice that proceeded.
For I am not guilty, I am without shame
Because He became guilty, He took on my blame
And the Judge poured out His wrath and made Him pay
The debt, I could never pay, no how, no way!

So how can I not love you, how can I not sing?
Of how Amazing Grace is, and how death has no sting!?
How can I not serve you, how can I not love the least of these??
How can you not be the only One I see and want to please?!?

There is no other like you, no not one!
I love you Holy Spirit, Father and Son!
Not because I’m good, but because You loved me first!
Because, no one else would for me become such a curse!

Behold the Lamb of God, come to take away my sin!!
It was never about me, but it was always about Him!!
He will bring glory to Himself, I’m just a small part of the story!
To Him be all blessing and to Him be all the glory!!

Amen

Collision

In the womb of a virgin girl, the spirit and the flesh collide

Never before has this kind of contact opened so wide

The understanding that God is now also man and abides

With His creation that can now see Him and not hide

Now He is born and the mystery is revealed

That God has shown himself and has sealed

The eternal promise to save and to heal

His betrothed from the grasp of the one who kills and steals.

And when He died and rose for his bride to save her from her sin

We experience something that has never been.

The sinner is sinless and the wrongdoer does right

The deaf can hear Him and the blind have sight;

But not the sight of physical things, but of the spiritual

We worship, learn and love without monotonous ritual

For now, it is ingrained, it is part of our nature within

To seek out the holy, and purge out our sin.

This cannot be, this could not have existed

Without God who sought out and persisted

To live a life completely obedient to every single law

Even unto  death without blemish and without flaw

So now my eyes see, but they see so much more

Because they look to a Creator who never before

Had taken on flesh to give me his Spirit

That now even my ears can hear it.

Can hear, the Spirit, the Spirit of God

As I worship with the angels and my brothers here and abroad.

As I hear His Words spoken from words written long ago,

I cannot help but to kneel and just be smitten now that I know.

Now that I know who He is and what He did and continues to do

There is no lie in Him, He is forever true.

And I cannot wait to join Him or see Him return

To go home and no longer yearn,

For something better, something more than this life I live

Something this world can never provide and never give

It sometimes makes me sick at the things I seek for pleasure

Knowing full well I am His and He is my treasure

So though there is beauty and joy for me here

I want to be with You and no longer fear

Of what may come or may not come my way

In, you and you only I want to stay.

So help me remember the reason why you left your home

Help me remember you left it, to make one for me and I’m not alone

So, as I use my heart, soul and mind to get closer and closer to you

Knowing that no matter my circumstance you will see me through

Yes, I am never alone, you are with me always

Let me share this knowledge through all the highways and byways

Enjoying what you have provided and not getting lost in the mundane

Not worried if all those around me think I’ve lost it or insane.

And when the world disappoints me, like it always tends to do,

Let me remember it was I, it was I, who forgot You

Let the things of this world grow more and more dim

As I focus on what is eternal, as I focus on Him.

Collision – Poem