by DIANE -
Have you ever had to do something that was super hard to do, yet at the same time you knew it was the right thing to do, plus you knew it was the right timing? I am in that position.
My faithful loyal readers, I have been sensing God leading me to step down, discontinue writing “Encouragement Today”. This will be my last devotional. At the bottom, after my devotional, I will make some closing comments.
Psalm 67:3, “Let the people praise You, O God. Let all the people praise You.”
I am excited to share with you about a wonderful lady, Fanny Crosby. She is a saint from the past and an amazing role model even for today.
We have a great Christian heritage. Many of our brothers and sisters in the Lord, who have gone on before us, left behind their shining examples of what it means to live deeply for the Lord Jesus. Although they no longer walk on this earth, their inspirational lives are a legacy that continues from generation to generation. Fanny Crosby’s legacy lives on through her “Songs for the Lord”.
Frances Jane Crosby “Fanny” lived from 1820 – 1915 (95 years) and was an American hymn writer.
She was born March 24, 1820 in Putnam County, New York. When only six weeks old, she developed a minor eye inflammation. A doctor’s careless treatment left Fanny blind. Fanny never met that doctor and held no resentment, but she would say, “Thank you, thank you, over and over again.”
Fanny felt that being blind was God’s gift to her. She thought that if she could see, perhaps, she would have been distracted by the beautiful things around her, instead of singing praises to God. Fanny Crosby was reported as saying that “had it not been for her affliction she might not have so good an education, or have so great an influence, and certainly not so fine a memory”.
Fanny’s first poem was written when she was eight years old;
Oh what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see;
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy,
That other people don’t;
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot, and I won’t.”
Fanny was greatly influenced by her mother, grandmother, and Mrs. Hawley, a neighbor and their landlord. Her grandmother and Mrs. Hawley read the Bible to Fanny and taught her Bible stories. They encouraged here to memorize scriptures. Unbelievable and awesome! At the very young age of 12, Fanny had memorized Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers in the Old Testament and Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament.
In 1835, Fanny’s mother took her to the famous Institution for the Blind in New York City. She was an outstanding student (except for math). She became the school’s Resident Poet, writing three volumes of poems which were published in 1858.
On November 20, 1850, Fanny attended a revival meeting. She gave her heart to the Lord with assurance of salvation. Now she would live for Jesus!
Fanny wrote over 8,000 hymns, songs, and poems for God’s glory! She wrote hymns like
“To God be the Glory”
“Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross”
The Hope Publishing Company has hundreds of Fanny Crosby’s poems in their files waiting to be set to music.
Fanny Crosby was married in 1858 to Alexander Van Alstuyne. He, too, was a student at the school, and like Fanny, became a teacher there as well. He was a gifted musician. He died in 1902.
From 1864, and for the next 41 years, Fanny Crosby wrote over 8,000 hymns. Although Fanny was physically blind, she could “see” within her heart and wrote songs for the glory of God. The next time you see Fanny Crosby’s songs/hymns…notice how many times she uses the word “see”.
In the song, “Saved By Grace” she wrote, “…and I shall see Him face to face and tell the story, ‘saved by grace.’” She so longed to “see” Jesus in Heaven. She once said, “When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.”
A few weeks before her 95th birthday Fanny went home to her Lord and Savior.
Something for you and me to think about: Do we long to see our Savior face to face?
SONG: “To God Be the Glory” by Fanny Crospy, song written 1872*
To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.
* D.L. Moody used this song in his crusades in Britain. Yet, it was only in a few American hymnals until in 1952 Billy Graham began using it in his crusades. Now it is known worldwide.
It has been documented that thousands of people have received Jesus as their Savior after listening the first time to a song written by Fanny Crosby.
Dear Father in Heaven. WOW! Awesome lady that You used. We thank You for her life, her rich example to us and the songs written for us to sing. May we “see” from our hearts too…just like Fanny did. To God be the glory in Jesus Name. Amen.
As I shared above, this is my last Encouragement Today. I want to give a BIG THANKS to Rhonda Barrett for her countless long, hard work. She edited the devotionals and put them on the website. It has been a precious experience as Rhonda and I worked together as a real team. BIG THANKS, RHONDA, LOVE YA!!
I also would like to say a BIG THANKS to Gary Barrett, President of Deaf Ministries Worldwide, for allowing me the opportunity to write these devotionals for, going on four years now–encouragements only made possible by God’s grace. It has been my great honor and delight to share these devotionals each month.
I would not have been able to do any of this without the Holy Spirit. I recognize that all things come from our Lord Jesus Christ in the fullness of His leading and His timing.
My dear friends, in closing I leave you with these words from Psalm 119:32-38 (NCV),
I will quickly obey your commands,
because you have made me happy.
Lord, teach me your demands,
and I will keep them until the end.
Help me understand, so I can keep your teachings,
obeying them with all my heart.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
because that makes me happy.
Make me want to keep your rules
instead of wishing for riches.
Keep me from looking at worthless things.
Let me live by your word.
Keep your promise to me, your servant,
so you will be respected.
God’s blessings be upon you and may you keep encouraged in the Lord always.
Diane Musil, Author
Diane, thank you for your kind words to Rhonda and me. You will always be a special to us and to this ministry. We thank God for your love, support, and prayers. You are indeed a faithful friend. Diane, as always, you are in our prayers as well.
Friends, As you can imagine, Rhonda and I are sad that Diane will no longer be writing Encouragement Today, yet at the same time, we sense in our spirit agreement with what Diane has shared.
We will not be replacing Diane. Lord willing, we will be able to have all four years of her devotionals archived for people to read for years to come.
Just like Fanny Crosby’s songs/hymns are impacting people’s lives still today, I believe that Diane’s archived devotionals will continue to impact people’s lives for years to come. Diane’s devotionals are born out of her own life’s struggles and written from her deep love and abiding relationship with her Lord Jesus. I believe that is why they are such a blessing to people.
Rhonda and I join Diane in her prayers for you…
May God’s blessings be upon you and may you keep encouraged in the Lord always,