Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Woman to Woman
"Share an important quote and what it means to you."
Morning Glory at Seeds in My Garden says, "That should be a fairly easy topic for just about anyone, so if you've been lurking through our Woman to Woman weeks and haven't participated, this is a good time to jump in on it."

Morning Glory is enjoying a little blogging break while vacationing this week. Therefore, all Woman to Woman posts can be linked with Lei at My Many Colored Days. You know you have a favorite quote. Tell us about it and go see Lei to add your site to the Mr. Linky.

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

This is an old Irish hymn that I don't remember hearing before 2002. The text is attributed to Dallan Forgaill in the 8th century. It was translated into English by Mary Byrne in 1905 and organized into verses by Eleanor Hull in 1912. There are other variations, but this one is probably most common. The hymn has, in recent years, gained some popularity and is being sung and recorded by modern Christian singers.

So how did this rather archaic sounding hymn become important to me?

My husband was on a work trip to Greece and Turkey in the spring of 2002. I was privileged to get to travel with him as he produced Beth Moore's Bible study, The Beloved Disciple. Travis Cottrell was a part of that production and taught all of us included in the tour this song. It was used as a music video in the completed study.

It was a great joy to watch that video being produced in the city of Ephesus. I sat near the ruins of the old library, totally fascinated as I watched the crew and Travis work on capturing the essence of the study in this old song. Even today, when I look at pictures of that trip, the sight of that ancient library and a nearby weather worn pillar on which Travis stood, can transport me back to the joy and awe I felt as I watched and listened on that beautiful day.

Another flashback to that day involves a portion of the video taped in the amphitheater in Ephesus where Paul preached. There were about 600 people on the tour and in the study group Beth led in Athens. At this point all of those people were sitting in the seats of this amphitheater and Travis led them in this song. Well, he led some of them in this song. Even though we had sung it in the Bible study in the days before we had not all learned it--because of the language, it is not easy to learn! So--if you ever see that video you can just know some people are cheating--they are just moving their mouths :-). But just imagine, sitting in the ancient amphitheater in Ephesus, singing with Travis Cottrell under a bright blue sky! I was not sitting in the middle of the crowd. I was over to the side taking it all in. (I always try to stay off camera!) It was a little piece of heaven on earth!

Fast forward to 2004-2005. My drive to school each day took about 25-30 minutes. One day early in the year I pushed the Beloved Disciple CD in to enjoy a little Travis C on the way to work. There was that song. I had not heard in a while and I really enjoyed it that morning. I enjoyed it so much that I developed a little ritual of playing it near the end of my drive each morning. I was in the habit of praying--or spending part of my drive each day praying--for my school and specific situations there. That song became my prayer song as I drove the last couple of miles. Some days I would finish my prayer time and the song sitting in the parking lot. It gave me such a sense of peace as I walked into school to face each day with these words echoing in my mind and heart:

"Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one."

2 Corinthians 3:5 (NIV)
5Not that we are competent in ourselves
to claim anything for ourselves,
but our competence comes from God.

  posted at 7:57 AM  

At June 26, 2007 at 10:32 AM, Anonymous ellen b said...

Beautiful words, I'm glad you posted this beautiful song...
blessings on your prayer drives :)

At June 26, 2007 at 11:03 AM, Anonymous Lana G! said...

I love this hymn and know exactly what you mean about Ephesus! My husband and I went on a Bible tour through Turkey and Israel. A trip that I will never forget! Brought the Bible to life.

At June 26, 2007 at 12:38 PM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

Thanks Myrna for sharing such a special time in your life with us. I know it had to just be awesome.

At June 26, 2007 at 1:05 PM, Blogger Momma Roar said...

I love this hymn! GLAD's version is the one I love. I just read a Bible story to my children last week that had this as the hymn - the first part. So, I pulled out the GLAD cd to sign with it for the kids - they weren't as excited as I was! :)

At June 26, 2007 at 2:45 PM, Blogger Lei said...

What BEAUTIFUL lyrics! I have not heard this hymn yet!

At June 26, 2007 at 3:37 PM, Blogger Montserrat said...

I haven't heard this hymn either. The lyrics are beautiful Thanks for sharing it!

At June 26, 2007 at 4:59 PM, Blogger Tigersue said...

Beautiful lyrics. What tune is it usually sung to, do you know?

At June 26, 2007 at 5:54 PM, Blogger Myrna said...

Tigersue--I'm sorry--I am not at all musical. I just love that hymn.

Me giving information about a tune will likely result in something you don't want to hear or know! :-)

Seriously--Just click on the link to the Beloved Disciple CD link in my post and you can hear the song--You just have to click on "Be Thou My Vision" in the list--I think it is #1. You will not be buying anything--It's a play list.

At June 26, 2007 at 7:27 PM, Blogger Linda said...

I feel as though I've run out of proper adjectives to describe how wonderful these posts are. I just loved this one Myrna. It is truly an inspired song.
I can't imagine how amazing that was being on the Beth Moore tour. What an experience!!

At June 26, 2007 at 7:48 PM, Blogger Barb said...

I haven't heard this one either, Myrna. But the lyrics are beautiful.

Thank you for your sweet comment and rest assured your name is in the hat for my little wedding favor giveaway.

At June 26, 2007 at 11:09 PM, Anonymous randi said...

Fernando Ortego sings this song perfectly! Thank you for sharing!

At June 27, 2007 at 5:47 AM, Blogger Trella said...

What a beautiful post.

How wonderful to have experienced that wonderful trip, and to have the same song become your prayer song on the way to school. I love ended my prayer time in worship.

Blessings to you,

At June 27, 2007 at 10:52 AM, Blogger diana said...

what a neat story. very cool. when i saw the lyrics to the hymn, i started singing it. i remembered the melody from my childhood.

and i'm currently re-reading ephesians. i'll remember some of your descriptions as i'm reading.

thanks for sharing.

At June 29, 2007 at 11:15 PM, Blogger Morning Glory said...

That's one of my favorite songs and the words are pure inspiration! I love it when someone besides me has an appreciation for the old hymns.

It's significance to you is really special.


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