Morning Star: Meditations of a Hopeful Christian Pilgrim

by Susan Powell

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about

The Christian's life on earth resembles an unfinished love story: It is characterized, above all, by love and by longing. To live the Christian life well we must meet an endless barrage of trials, temptations, discouragements, and weariness with love for Christ and hope for the coming of his promised rest and joy. Every Christian would like to claim mastery of this, but even the best of us must cry sometimes "My hope burns low." Then only Christ's love for us and our love for Christ can instill in our hearts enough courage to keep up our pilgrimage.

This album is a sort of Pilgrim's Progress penned by poets and musicians. Their words and music do more than I ever could to trace the Christian's journey through life. They have strengthened my faith in God's promises, my hope for heaven, and my love for Christ. I consider the artwork of Morning Star merely the collection and setting of art more profound than my own in a way that tells a story of hope for road-weary pilgrims.

--Susan Powell, June 2010

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released July 26, 2010

Artwork: Vanessa Murillo (www.vanevane.com)

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about

Parnassum Music Bloomington, Indiana

Susan (Beisner) Powell is a church musician at heart and a stay-at-home-mom by trade. She studied organ/sacred music at St. Olaf College. Presbyterian by conviction, she loves all things Lutheran and Anglican when it comes to worship. Her recordings are one attempt she's made to serve Christ's kingdom with music. She's married to a fantastic guy named Mike, and they work in church music together. ... more

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Track Name: I Joy to Call Thee Mine
O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded with thorns, thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call thee mine.
Track Name: Out of the Deep
Out of the deep of fear and dread of coming shame,
all night, till morning watch is near I plead the precious name.

What though I wait the livelong night, and till the dawn appeareth,
my heart still trusteth in his might; it doubteth not nor feareth.
Track Name: I Will Arise
I will arise, though faint and weary, home to my father I will go;
Woe is me that e'er I wandered, Ah! that I such need should know!
Track Name: Jesus Hath Died
No, not despairingly come I to thee;
no, not distrustingly bend I the knee;
sin hath gone over me, yet this is still my plea:
Jesus hath died.
Track Name: Here's My Heart
O to grace, how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wand'ring heart to thee.
Prone to wander - Lord, I feel it! - prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.
Track Name: Here I Rest
Here I rest, in wonder viewing all my sins on Jesus laid,
here I see redemption flowing from the sacrifice he made.
Here I find the dawn of heaven, while upon the cross I gaze,
see my trespasses forgiven, and my songs of triumph raise.
Track Name: Not Ashamed
I'm not ashamed to own my Lord, or to defend his cause,
maintain the honor of his Word, the glory of his cross.

Jesus loves me, he will stay close beside me all the way.
If I love him when I die, he will take me home on high.
Track Name: My Abiding Place
I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss;
my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.
Track Name: Our Only Joy
Jesus, our only joy be thou,
as thou our prize wilt be;
Jesus, be thou our glory now,
and through eternity.
Track Name: My Heaven, My All
Thy mighty name salvation is,
and keeps my happy soul above;
comfort it brings, and pow'r, and peace,
and joy and everlasting love,
to me, with thy dear name are giv'n
pardon and holiness and heav'n.
Jesus, my all in all thou art:
my rest in toil, my ease in pain,
the medicine of my broken heart,
in war my peace, in loss my gain.
My help and stay whene'er I call,
my life in death, my heav'n, my all.
Track Name: None Other Hope
None other Lamb, none other name,
none other hope in heav'n or earth or sea,
none other hiding place from guilt and shame,
none beside thee!

My faith burns low, my hope burns low,
only my heart's desire cries out in me
by the deep thunder of its want and woe,
cries out to thee.

Lord, thou art life, though I be dead;
love's fire thou art, however cold I be.
Nor heav'n have I, nor place to lay my head,
Nor home but thee.
Track Name: Day by Day
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
strength I find to meet my trials here.
Trusting in my father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
gives unto each day what he deems best--
lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord himself is near me
with a special mercy for each hour;
all my cares he fain would bear, and cheer me,
he whose name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of his child and treasure
is a charge that on himself he laid:
"As your days, your strength shall be in measure,
this the pledge to me he made."

Help me then in every tribulation
so to trust your promises, O Lord,
that I lose not faith's sweet consolation
offered me within your holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
e'er to take, as from a father's hand,
one by one, the days, the moments fleeting
till I reach the promised land.
Track Name: The Darkness Deepens
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes,
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Track Name: I Am Tired
Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

Oh precious Lord, you know the cross I bear, for it was your strong frame which held it first.
You knew its weight, yet gave it to my care, in wisdom knowing it had done its worst.

Lord, I believe your faithful, loving Word, you say your yoke is easy, burden light.
Oh, come and carry me along this road; teach me my burden's lightened by your might.
Track Name: With Unwearied Feet
Have you not known, have you not heard that firm remains on high
the everlasting throne of him who formed the earth and sky?
Are you afraid his pow'r shall fail when comes your evil day?
And can an all-creating God grow weary or decay?
Mere human pow'r shall fast decay and youthful vigor cease;
but they who wait upon the Lord in strength shall still increase.
They with unwearied feet shall tread the path of life divine;
with growing ardor onward move, with growing brightness shine.
On eagles' wings they mount, they soar--their wings are faith and love--
till, past the cloudy regions here, they rise to heav'n above.
Track Name: I Rest My Weary Soul
O love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flick'ring torch to thee;
my heart restores its borrowed ray,
that in thy sunshine's blaze its day
may brighter, fairer be.
Track Name: Temporary Death
How long, Lord, must your perfect love delay
so as to move my love to greater longing?
how long will my poor love await the day
when yours shall free mine from its loveless sinning?
How long till, Lazar-like, I find the grave
and rest in earth to wait your love's returning?
How long till temporary death shall save me
finally from this long earthly mourning?
It is enough! Your love has fixed my trust
that nothing shall delay your loving wisdom.
As sure as Jesus died my soul shall rest
when in your time you call me to your kingdom.

--copyright 2007 Kilby Austin
Track Name: Marching to Zion
Come, we that love the Lord, and let our joys be known,
join in a song with sweet accord and thus surround the throne.
We're marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion!
We're marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God.

Jesus, still lead on, till our rest be won;
and although the way be cheerless,
we will follow, calm and fearless.
Guide us by your hand to the promised land.

Awake, my sou, stretch ev'ry nerve, and press with vigor on;
a heav'nly race demands your zeal, and an immortal crown.

Blest Savior, introduced by you, have I my race begun:
and, crowned with vict'ry, at your feet I'll lay my honors down.
Track Name: Bid Darkness Turn to Day
While life's dark maze I tread,
and griefs around me spread, be thou my guide;
bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow's tears away,
nor let me ever stray from thee aside.
When ends life's transient dream,
when death's cold sullen stream shall o'er me roll,
blest Savior, then, in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul.

Jesus, by faith we see thee here below;
send us, we pray thee, what we thirst for so:
someday to gaze upon thy face in light,
blest evermore with thy full glory's sight. Amen.
Track Name: Morning Star
How lovely shines the Morning Star!
The nations see and hail afar the light in Judah shining.
Thou David's son of Jacob's race,
my bridegroom and my King of grace: for thee my heart is pining;
Lowly, holy, great and glorious, thou victorious Prince of graces,
filling all the heav'nly places.

What joy to know, when life is past,
the Lord we love is first and last, the end and the beginning.
He will one day--O glorious grace!--
transport us to that happy place beyond all tears and sinning.
Amen! Amen! Come, Lord Jesus, crown of gladness,
We are yearning for the day of your returning!
Track Name: The River
There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign,
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.

There everlasting spring abides,
And never withering flowers:
Death, like a narrow sea, divides
This heav’nly land from ours.

Soon we'll reach the shining river, soon our pilgrimage will cease;
soon our happy hearts will quiver with the melody of peace.
Yes, we'll gather at the river, the beautiful, the beautiful river;
gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God.
Track Name: Not Till Then
When I stand before the throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart,
Then Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.