Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love of God - Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Love Of God

Verse 1
Love of God revealed in wonder
By the works of a maker's hand
Seas that roar with thunderous splendour
Fields that whisper at His command
All the joys of life we cherish
Are God's gracious sign
We are children of His promise
Heirs of mercy and grace divine

Chorus 1
Unfailing love from heaven's throne
That sought me out and brought me home
My song of praise shall ever be
The Father's love for me

Verse 2
Love of God revealed in frailty
Through the gift of a servant King
Joy of heaven robed in humility
Prince of Peace crowned with suffering
Oh what love that calls humanity
To kneel at the cross
And exchange our sin's futility
For the joy of a father's love

Verse 3
Love of God what priceless treasure
Over all this world affords
To be His and His forever
This my glory and my reward
May this love beyond all knowing
So capture my soul
That I'm filled to overflowing
With a passion for Him alone

Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Passion the Gospel of Jesus Christ - Johnathan Edwards

“Our external delights, our earthly pleasures, our ambition and our reputation, our human relationships, for all of these things, our desires are eager, our appetites strong, our love, warm and affectionate. When it comes to these things our hearts are tender and sensitive, deeply impressed, easily moved, much concern and greatly engaged. We are depressed at our losses and we are excited and joyful about any worldly success or prosperity. But when it comes to spiritual matters, how dull we feel. How heavy and hard our hearts. We can sit and hear of the infinite length and height and breadth and love of God in Christ Jesus, of His giving of His infinitely dear Son, and yet sit there cold and unmoved. If we are going to be excited about anything, shouldn’t it be our spiritual lives? Is there anything more inspiring, more exciting, more lovable and desirable in heaven or on earth than the Gospel of Jesus Christ? We should be utterly humbled that we are not more emotionally affected than we are in the church.” Jonathan Edwards

Friday, September 24, 2010

O Great God - The Valley of Vision

O Fountain of all good,
Destroy in me every lofty thought,
Break pride to pieces and scatter it
to the winds,
Annihilate each clinging shred of
self-righteousness,
Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,
Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,
Open in me a fount of penitential tears,
Break me, then bind me up;
Thus will my heart be a prepared dwelling
for my God;
Then can the Father take up his abode in me,
Then can the blessed Jesus come with healing
in his touch,
Then can the Holy Spirit descend in
sanctifying grace;
O Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God,
inhabit me, a temple consecrated to thy glory.
When thou art present, evil cannot abide;
In thy fellowship is fullness of joy,
Beneath thy smile is peace of conscience,
By thy side no fears disturb,
no apprehensions banish rest of mind,
With thee my heart shall bloom with fragrance;
Make me meet, through repentance,
for thine indwelling.
Nothing exceeds thy power,
Nothing is too great for thee to do,
Nothing too good for thee to give.
Infinite is thy might, boundless thy love,
limitless thy grace, glorious thy saving name.
Let angels sing for
sinners repenting,
prodigals restored,
backsliders reclaimed,
Satan’s captives released,
blind eyes opened,
broken hearts bound up,
the despondent cheered,
the self-righteous stripped,
the formalist driven from a refuge of lies,
the ignorant enlightened,
and saints built up in their holy faith.
I ask great things of a great God.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Really?

What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone is this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points and my God have mercy on your soul.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Glenn Beck aka Wolf in sheep clothing

Glenn Beck, wolf in sheep clothing, has done a lot damage to biblical Christianity. Sadly, the majority of the 500,000 people in attendance Saturday would claim Christianity and not understand that the god of Glenn Beck, a Mormon, is not the God of the bible, his Jesus is not the Jesus of the bible and his way to salvation is not salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What is a Hymn?

What is a Hymn?
by Edith Margaret Clarkson

A hymn is an expression of worship—our glad and grateful acknowledgement of the "worth-ship" of Almighty God, our confession of our own creatureliness before our Creator, our bowing before his transcendence. Hymns are a celebration of who and what God is and of what he has done— songs of praise, thanksgiving, and joy in God. Christians sing hymns because our God is worthy to be praised.

It follows, then, that the words of a hymn are of the utmost importance. Good music must accompany them, but its highest office is to strengthen and enhance the message of the words. The best tunes are those that best help worshipers experience the text of the hymn; for it is the words, not the music, that decide the worth of a hymn.
What, then, constitutes a good hymn text? Watts and Wesley set the norm long ago, and their standards have never been surpassed. Today's hymns must be in our own language, idiom, and metaphor, but our main thrust will not be substantially different from theirs. I suggest that good hymns have six general characteristics.

Good hymns are God-centered, not man-centered—-looking upwards, not inwards. They have loftiness of concept, and dignity and reverence of language. They adore the eternal Godhead for who and what he is, worshiping him for his holiness, wisdom, power, justice, goodness, mercy, and truth. They praise him for his mighty acts—for creation, preservation, redemption; for guidance, protection, provision; for the means of grace and the hope of glory. They offer petition suitable to their theme; they praise, worship, nourish, encourage, teach, exhort, inspire, and rejoice in Christian community. Good hymns are not subjective; they are free from introspection. When man enters the the picture, it is to acknowledge the darkness of his own sinful nature in the presence of such a God, to seek his mercy, and to grasp more closely his redeeming grace.

Good hymns are doctrinal in content and theologically sound, rooted solidly in the Word of God. Christian leaders should be more aware of the doctrinal content of the hymns they choose than many of them are, for many hymns in common use today contain theological errors or untruths. All too often attractive or well-known tunes are allowed to take precedence over truly biblical texts, and our congregations absorb false doctrines unwittingly. For as Erik Routley has written, "A congregation's disposition towards right belief or away from it is subtly influenced by the habitual use of hymns… The singing congregation is uncritical; but it matters very much what it sings, for it comes to believe its hymns. Wrong doctrine in preaching would be noticed; in hymns, it may come to be believed" (Erik Routley, Hymns Today and Tomorrow, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1964). The worshiping congregation with a good and wisely used hymnbook, however, is constantly instructed and blessed as the great doctrines of the faith are brought before it in review: so truth is kept vernal. The doctrine of good hymns is neither myopic nor overblown, but true to the Word of God and to the experience of the average believer. It is practical in nature, designed to help worshipers respond to God's truth and so to live better Christian lives.

Good hymns have words of beauty, dignity, reverence, and simplicity. Whether their theme is one of lofty exultation or a simple expression of trust, good hymns are chaste, precise, and lovely in their utterance. Their language is clear and concise. They are never glib, never pat, never extravagant, never trite; they are always true. Emotionally warm and fervent, they are never sentimental. They speak beautifully, feelingly, compellingly, and with restraint of the things of God. They do not transgress the limits of good taste in concept, word, or setting. They cannot give offense.

Good hymns are adult in word and tone. They do not insult intelligence by requiring us to sing immortal truths in childish or unsuitable modes of expression, or to sloppy, sentimental tunes. While remaining true to the Gospel, they contain nothing to embarrass or bewilder outsiders, but rather will speak to them of a deep, sincere, vital experience of God. Their figures of speech will be in keeping with the worth-ship of God and will have meaning for the contemporary Christian.

Good hymns display precision and finesse of poetic technique and expression. They will have a single theme and organic unity. They move from a bold and arresting attack in the opening line, through a definite progression of thought, to a clear and decisive climax. No extraneous throught may intrude for the sake of a rhyme or rhythmic pattern. Rhymes and rhythms are interesting, original, and correct. The declamation (union of words with music) is accurate. Meters may be varied but will be conservative enough that good tunes, capable of being well sung by average congregations, may be written for them. Good hymns should be short enough to be sung in their entirety, in order that the full impact of their sequence may be experienced. They should be free of irrelevant refrains which detract from the main thought.

Good hymns turn the heart heavenward. They rejoice in the unity of believers and the communion of saints. The best hymnists have recognized more clearly than most of us that the people of God are one. They take their place with the warring, suffering, and triumphing church universal, identifying with the saints of long ago as readily as with those of today. The hymns of such writers sing often, and with deep delight and longing, of the soul's true home.

What constitutes a good hymn? Good hymns are not the result of desire or ambition, but are an outgrowth of spiritual life. They are not based on feeling but on eternal verities, not centered on man but on God.

Writing a hymn is more than using certain techniques correctly. It is a matter of looking on the face of God, of worshiping in his presence, of embracing his will, of accepting his cross and living under its daily obedience; then, having learned the disciplines of good writing, of singing his grace. True hymnwriters have not sought primarily to write hymns, but to know God: knowing him, they could not help but sing. Theirs are the hymns that have lived through the ages and will live far into the future. It is this kind of hymnwriting we need today if our generation is to contribute anything of real worth to the church's treasury of worship and praise.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lord's Day Eve - The Valley of Vision

Another week has gone and I have been preserved
in my going out,in my coming in.
Thine has been the vigilance that has turned
threatened evils aside;
thine the supplies that have nourished me;
Thine the comforts that have indulged me;
Thine the relations and friends that have delighted me;

Thine the means of grace which have edified me;
Thine the Book, which, amidst all my enjoyments,
has told me that this is not my rest,
that in all successes one thing alone is needful,
to love my Saviour.

Nothing can equal the number of they mercies
but my imperfections and sins.
These, O God, I will neither conceal nor palliate,
but confess with a broken heart.

In what condition would secret reviews
of my life leave me
were it not for the assurance that with thee
there is plenteous redemption,
that thou art a forgiving God,
that thou mayest be feared!

While I hope for pardon through the blood of the cross,
I pray to be clothed with humility,
to be quickened in thy way,
to be more devoted to thee,
to keep the end of my life in view,
to be cured of the folly of delay and indecision,
to know how frail I am,
to number my days and apply my heart unto wisdom.

Amen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness

Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700 – 1760)

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb,
Who from the Father’s bosom came,
Who died for me, e’en me to atone,
Now for my Lord and God I own.

Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.

Lord, I believe were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For all a full atonement made.

When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.

This spotless robe the same appears,
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
The robe of Christ is ever new.

Jesus, the endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me—
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What is thy only comfort in life and death? - Heidelberg Catechism

Answer: That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto him.

Jesus Shall Reign - Hymn - Isaac Watts

1. Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does its successive journeys run;
his kingdom spread from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.

2. To Jesus endless prayer be made,
and endless praises crown his head;
his name like sweet perfume shall rise
with every morning sacrifice.

3. People and realms of every tongue
dwell on his love with sweetest song;
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on his name.

4. Blessings abound where'er he reigns;
all prisoners leap and loose their chains;
the weary find eternal rest,
and all who suffer want are blest.

5. Let every creature rise and bring
honors peculiar to our King;
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the loud amen!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Prodigal - Sovereign Grace Ministries




You held out Your arms, I walked away
Insolent, I spurned Your face
Squandering the gifts You gave to me
Holding close forbidden things
Destitute, a rebel still, a fool in all my pride
The world I once enjoyed is death to me
No joy, no hope, no life

Where now are the friends that I had bought
Gone with every penny lost
What hope could there be for such as I
Sold out to a world of lies
Oh, to see Your face again, it seems so distant now
Could it be that You would take me back
A servant in Your house

You held out Your arms, I see them still
You never left, You never will
Running to embrace me, now I know
Your cords of love will always hold
Mercy’s robe, a ring of grace
Such favor undeserved
You sing over me and celebrate
The rebel now Your child

Guitar Charts here
MP3 here

By Meghan Baird and Ryan BairdThis lyric sheet accompanies the song "The Prodigal" from the Sons & Daughters album.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Preacher Said

Concerning Jesus, the Preacher said, Jesus is the heir of all things. Jesus is through whom God created the world. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. Jesus is the exact imprint of God's nature. Jesus upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, Jesus sat down at the right h...and of the Majesty on high. Jesus is superior to angels and his name is more excellant than theirs.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Grace of the Cross - The Valley of Vision

O MY SAVIOR,
I thank Thee from the depths of my being for Thy wondrous grace and love in bearing my sin in Thine own body on the tree. May Thy cross be to me as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs, as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty, as the brazen serpent that calls forth the look of faith. By Thy cross crucify my every sin, use it to increase my intimacy with thyself, make it a ground of all my comfort, the liveliness of all my duties, the sum of all Thy gospel promises, the comfort of all my afflictions, the vigor of my love, thankfulness, graces, the very essence of my religion, and by it give me that rest without rest, the rest of ceaseless praise.

OH MY LORD AND SAVIOR,
Thou hast also appointed a cross for me to take up and carry, a cross before Thou givest me a crown. Thou hast appointed it to be my portion, but self-love hates it, carnal reason is unreconciled to it, without the grace of patience I cannot bear it, walk with it, profit by it. Oh blessed cross, what mercies dost thou bring with thee. Thou art only esteemed hateful by my rebel will, heavy because I shirk thy load. Teach me, gracious Lord and Savior, that with my cross Thou sends promised grace so that I may bear it patiently, that my cross is Thy yoke which is easy, and Thy burden which is light.

From Valley of Vision – A Collection of Puritan Prayers page 312

Sunday, March 14, 2010

13 Evangelistic Phrases That Produce False Conversions

From Weretched Notes on FaceBook.

A.W. Tozer said, “It is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ, and they have not been saved.”

I would like to present thirteen ways that we have re-defined how a person becomes a true convert. Have we done this intentionally? Certainly not. We have simply created lingo that has a grain of truth in Scripture, but it is so open to interpretation that the un-converted understand it in ways that lead to false conversions.
  1. Make Jesus your Lord and Savior. We cannot make Jesus our Lord and Savior, He is our Lord and Savior. We are living in rebellion to Him and He commands us to repent and trust Him.
  2. Ask Jesus into your heart. Does Jesus come into our hearts? Yes He does. The question is, “How does He get in there?” It is not by simply asking Him in; it is by repentance and faith.
  3. Just believe in Jesus. The demons believe and they tremble. We must repent and trust.
  4. You have a God-shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it. We have far more than a hole that needs to be filled so we can feel complete; we have a wretched, deceitful, sinful heart that needs cleansing. Repentance and faith applies the blood of the lamb for that cleansing.
  5. Accept Jesus. Whoa. We need to accept Jesus? This is entirely backward. We need Jesus to accept us–and He will, if we repent and trust.
  6. Make a decision for Jesus. Decisional regeneration puts man in the driver’s seat of salvation. When we repent and trust, Jesus decides to save us. That puts Him in the driver’s seat…where He demands.
  7. It is easy to believe. While the formula of repentance and faith sounds simple, a complete surrendering of self in repentance is anything but easy. It’s hard.
  8. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. The only promises for the convert are trials, temptation and persecution. If that is how you define a wonderful life, fine. Otherwise we must command all men everywhere to repent and trust.
  9. Come to Jesus just as you are. We should come to Jesus just as the sinners we are, but He also expects a broken heart and contrite spirit demonstrated in repentance and faith.
  10. Come to Jesus and you will receive forgiveness of sins and ________________ (fill in the blank with money, health, a healed marriage). Jesus didn’t promise healed marriages; in fact He promised broken homes because we would divide when one member repents and trusts.
  11. Come to Jesus and experience love, joy, peace. Do we get the fruit of the Spirit upon conversion? Yes. But if we come seeking the gifts and not the giver, we will receive neither. Instead, we must repent and trust.
  12. Jesus is the missing piece. Um, no, the God of the universe is not the missing piece, He demands that He is the center of our lives when we repent and trust.
  13. Jesus is better than fame and fortune. That is an understatement, and frankly, it is insulting. Saying Jesus is better than money is like saying that a steak dinner is better than eating a dung hill. He defies comparison and we trivialize the Son of God. Instead, we should be pleading with all men everywhere to repent and trust.

Read the rest of the post here.

Go to the Wretched Radio Website here and have a listen.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

2010 Shepherd's Conference

I am back from a wonderful week at the Shepherds Conference. This year a couple of recordings were made of the congregation singing. Me and about 3500 of my closest friends singing God honoring hymns was very special. All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name at link http://tinyurl.com/ydjxwzg and When I Survey The Wondrous Cross at link http://tinyurl.com/ybqpssc.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A New Kind of Christianity - Book Review by Tim Challies

Please follow this link to a book review of Brian McLaren's new book, "A New Kind of Christianity". Unfortunately you will find this non-Christian book in you local Christian book store. Here is an excerpt from the review:

Here, in it’s as if McLaren is screaming “I hate God!” at the top of his lungs. And swarms of Christians are looking at him with admiration and saying, “See how that guy loves God?” I don’t know what McLaren could do to make the situation more clear. In fact, his book is nearly indistinguishable from many of the de-conversion narratives that are all the rage today. Compare it with Bart Ehrman’s God’s Problem and you’ll see many of the same arguments and the same misgivings; you’ll find, though, that Ehrman is at least more honest. He at least has the integrity to walk away from faith altogether rather than reinventing God in his own image.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Your Grace Still Amazes Me" Phillips, Craig & Dean

My faithful Father, enduring Friend Your tender mercy’s like a river with no end It overwhelms me, covers my sin Each time I come into Your presence I stand in wonder once again

Monday, January 18, 2010

Voice of the Martyrs - Algeria Update

Algeria: Update: Church Burned

On Jan. 10, Muslim extremists set fire to Tafath church in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, damaging church property, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

The Tafath church has been threatened since December, when extremists disrupted a Christmas celebration. “As Christians continued to come for worship to this church despite the increasing intimidation, the Muslim extremists decided to burn the church,” VOM contacts said. “The next morning, the church members were able to retrieve some unburned stuff from the church and move it to a safe place.”

Read more here.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Worship - The Valley of Vision

Glorious God,
It is the flame of my life to worship thee,
the crown and glory of my soul to adore thee,
heavenly pleasure to approach thee.
Give me power by the Spirit to help me
worship now,
that I may forget the world,
be brought into the fullness of life,
be refreshed, comforted, blessed.
Give me knowledge of thy goodness
that I might not be over-awed by they greatness;
Give me Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God,
that I might not be terrified,
but drawn near with filial love,
with holy boldness;
He is my mediator, brother, interpreter,
branch, daysman, Lamb;
him I glorify,
in him I am set on high.
Crowns to give I have none,
but what thous hast given I return,
content to feel that everything is mine
when it is thine,
and the more fully mine when I have yielded it
to thee.
Let me live wholly to my Saviour,
free from distractions,
from carking care,
from hindrances to the pursuit
of the narrow way.
I am pardoned through the blood of Jesus-
give me a new sense of it,
continue to pardon me by it,
may I come every day to the fountain,
and every day to be washed anew,
that I may worship thee always
in spirit and truth.
Amen
From The Valley of Vision page 358

Monday, January 04, 2010

Preach the Gospel For the Perishing and the Saved - Matt Chandler

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

The gospel of Christ is powerful enough to justify us, it is powerful enough to sanctify us and it is powerful enough to glorify us.