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Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

Glory Be to God

(free download from Sovereign Grace Music)

Glory Be to God

Words and music by Bob Kauflin
As recorded on Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man

Lyrics

Glory be to God on high
Let peace on earth descend
God comes down before our eyes
To Bethlehem
God invisible appears
Endless ages wrapped in years
He has come who cannot change
And Jesus is His name

Emptied of His majesty
He comes in human form
Being’s source begins to be
And God is born
All our griefs He’ll gladly share
All our sins He’ll fully bear
He will cover our disgrace
And suffer in our place

Let the joyful news ring out
The Prince of Peace proclaim
Lift your heart and voice to shout
Immanuel’s name
God has kept His promises
What a work of grace this is
Son of Mary, chosen One
The Lamb of God has come

Hosanna, hosanna
The Lamb of God has come
Hosanna, hosanna
He is the promised One

Glory be to God on high
Let peace on earth descend
God comes down before our eyes
To Bethlehem

© 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

  • Format: MP3 download
  • Availability: For immediate download (will not be shipped)

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Cell Sin

This past summer I enjoyed some great vacation time with my wife of fifteen years, Grace, and our five children. We went to the high desert and spent most of our time enjoying the sunshine by playing catch, swimming in pools, inner tubing down rivers, going for walks and the like. For the first time in my life, I actually did not turn on my cell phone and did not take any calls or emails while on vacation. I made it a full three weeks of fasting from digital demons such as my BlackBerry, iPod, and second cell phone. Within a few days I also stopped wearing a watch and stopped really caring about time and instead enjoyed my wife, kids, and vacation. In short, it was wonderful. Unplugging my technology and simply having nothing on my body that required a battery seemed like a new kind of spiritual discipline for our age that refreshed and renewed me more than I could have imagined.

Being unplugged from my technology also made me more aware of how much lords over us as a beeping, ringing, and vibrating merciless sovereign god. I was grieved when I went to the pool every day with my kids to swim and play catch in the water and looked around the pool only to see other parents not connecting with their children at all but rather talking on their cell phones and dinking around on their handheld mobile devices while sitting in lounge chairs. When we went out for meals we saw the same thing. Parents with children were commonly interrupted throughout the meal by their technology and spent more time talking on the phone than to their family. To make matters worse, these people were actually quite loud and were incredibly annoying to the rest of us who do not want to hear whether or not their friend Hank’s nasty inner thigh rash had cleared up.

Sadly, the trend continued even late into the evenings. At night my kids like to go for bike rides and walks before heading off to bed so we spent our nights doing just that. At the resort where we stayed, it was amazing how many other families were doing the same, but the parents were not speaking to their children but rather chatting on the phone via their wireless headset (which I keep expecting to include an option to be surgically implanted into one’s head between their ears since there is apparently a lot of extra space there).

A recent article confirmed this is actually a tragic national trend and a cell sin to be repented of. An AP-Ipsos poll found that one in five people toted laptop computers on their most recent vacations, while 80 percent brought along their cell phones. One in five did some work while vacationing, and about the same number checked office messages or called in to see how things were going. Twice as many checked their email, while 50 percent kept up with other personal messages and voice mail. Reasons vacationers performed work-related tasks included an expectation that they be available, a worry about missing important information, or in some cases the enjoyment of staying involved (Source: Associated Press, June 1, 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18983920/).

I know in years past I too have been guilty of these same digital sins against God, my family, and my own well-being. Now that I see it as a sin that destroys silence, solitude, fellowship, prayerful listening, and meaningfully and attentive friendship, I am deeply convicted that there is a new spiritual discipline of fasting from technology to be mastered. In this way, we can enjoy the life and people that God puts in front of us rather than ignoring them while we peck away with our thumbs and chat about nothing, which in the end is rarely as important as the people we are ignoring all around us.

by Mark Driscoll

 

 

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For the past two or three weeks I’ve really grown fond of the hymn:
It Is Well With My Soul.

Here are the lyrics:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Some contemporary worship starts off joyful but when I occasionally don’t feel joyful. In contrast this song, by reflecting on theology, and using vivid imagery can bring tears to my eye because of the meditation on ideas so powerful and moving: My salvation and Christ’s Return.

The first stanza really sets the stage that all may not be going well in life saying, “When sorrows like sea bellows roar.” The length and emphasis on the word, “roar” causes you to hear the storm, making the singer/reader feel like a boat on stormy waters with thunder and waves crashing into the boat, over the rails, and seemingly on the verge of sinking the ship. It really contrasts with the first verse, “when peace like a river attendeth my way.” For in the first verse peace sounds calming, like the constant soft trickling of water on rocks- sort of like the trickle of a water filter creating bubbles in a fish tank.

And I love how the stanza ends with the phrase, “Whatever my lot, you have taught me to say,” really emphasizing that regardless of the situation, God teaches to consider Christ crucified so that you will say, “It is well, it is well, with my soul.” The repetition of “it is well” really emphasizes what one ought to be thinking and meditating on during trials and tribulations.

In the second stanza, the phrase, “Though Satan should buffet”, continuing to use the ocean in a storm metaphor the lyrics emphasize the idea that the wind is striking repeatedly and forcefully– the idea of being battered around, or “tossed to and fro” like in Ephesians 4:14. The second stanza reminds one that Christ died for us, bringing to mind many aspects of Romans:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Ro 5:6-11

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Ro 8:31-32

In the next stanza, notice how the 3rd stanza shifts from thinking about one’s own personal troubles and shifts the focus to God, I love how the hymn as a whole is working up in fervor and building on each joyful meditation on the precious doctrines that give us peace and joy. The 3rd stanza move now to Christ’s complete atonement. I actually didn’t know what verses supported the verse, “My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more” but I think this scripture is similar in Hebrews 10 is similar:

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
Hebrews 10:10-14

And finally the 3rd stanza ends with a celebratory tone loudly reminding oneself whom has forgotten to “Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

The epitome of emotions and theological depth, concludes boldly in the 4th stanza: Christ’s return!

The verse, “And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,” refers not to suicide but to seeing Jesus. “When my faith shall be sight,” is playful use of 2 Cor 5:

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
2 Cor 5:6-8

However this last stanza not only brings to mind scripture, but also vivid imagery of Christ’s return- giving one the sense of awe and majesty of his return with the phrase, “The clouds be rolled back as a scroll.” Our church has been going through Revelations, so I immediately think of Revelations 6 whenever I hear the lyrics:

“The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”
Rev 6:14

The context may refer to the stars striking the earth not Christ’s return, but its the imagery that comes to mind when thinking of the clouds being “rolled back as a scroll.” Perhaps Rev 6:14 may be appropriate because the context of the following verse, “The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.” The verse uses the phrase, “even so,” seeming to offer reassurance to the one who is afraid.

Plus, the fear and reverence at Christ’s return is biblical:

“Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
Rev 6:16-17

Lastly this majestic stanza not only piles a multitude of scripture and theology, not only imagery of clouds being rolled back, but sound: “The trump shall resound”, and finally the image of the Lord descending to earth in Mark 13:

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.”
Mark 13:24-2

The combination of sound of the trumpet, the majesty of the sky being rolled back, and the image of Jesus descending on a cloud is what usually brings one to tears of joy.The story explained a lot about the lyrics as well:

Words by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
– Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1876

The words to this hymn was written after two major traumas in Spafford’s life. The first was the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially. Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford’s daughters died in a collision with another ship. Spafford’s wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram: “SAVED ALONE.” Several weeks later, as Spafford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, he was inspired to write these words.

Bliss originally named the tune “Ville de Havre” after the ship on which Spafford’s four girls perished, the SS Ville de Havre. Ironically, Bliss himself died in a tragic train wreck shortly after writing this music.

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Since its almost Christmas, I thought I share this poem …

The Story Of The Birth Of Jesus
Once a cold night in December,
Began a story we all remember,
With angels singing praise,
And nearby Shepherds daze.

That night in a lonely manger,
Could not have been lonelier,
For a young pregnant virgin,
With no room in the inn.

A Holy Child was born,
In a place that’s not adorn,
For the Child was a King,
Salvation He will bring.

A bright star marked the sky,
And Wise Men even came by,
Searching for the mighty One,
God’s Holy Son.

Shepherds who worked at night,
Saw an angel gleaming bright,
As they headed for the manger,
That one night in December.

In that lonely manger,
There lay the Savior,
By the Virgin Mother,
And Joseph besides her.

Of what they witness in the stall,
They praise God for what they saw.

And when they went away that night,
From that manger site,
The Good news got around,
That in a little Judea town,
A little child wrapped warmly,
Was a child of God’s Glory.

This story, now many years old,
And millions of times retold,
Reached many different places,
And all kind of races.

Many have been blessed,
Because of the birth of Jesus.

By Jimmy Li

For more poem read this.

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I’m reading a book and slowly digesting through the Chapter titled, ‘The Philosophy of Politics”

I thought this paragraph was insightful:

“When one asks, which government is better, one must explain the better: Better for what? THe German government was pretty good at waging war, but the American Government was better.  The British Government is pretty good in stability, but the French government has been better at alternating premiers.  Perhaps the problem should be expressed in other words.  The clearest expression may be, What is government good for?  What is the the purpose of government?  ANd this is the question that underlies many of the controversial issues of our legislative chambers.”

(From “A Christian View of Men and Things”, by Gordon Clark, pg. 68)

image

Indeed, when people complain about the government (liberals or conservatives, liberterian or socialists, Theonomists or Anarchists), people judge the government according to a particular theory (the question that follows would be, is it cogent?), standard (on what basis are these standards justified?), value (how are these values arrived at?) and ultimately their entire life and worldview.  To state it another way, criticism of our government assumes a certain expectation of our government that is dictated by our philosophy of what a government is and is not (or ought not be).

 Sometimes it might sound like its going tangent, but a critical analysis of the foundation and presuppositions of an objection/criticism/argument might actually bear much fruit for future discussion/debate/dialogue and at the minimum, understanding where others are coming from…

At the same time, we too have to be conscious of our own standard, value and whether what we believe cohere or is consistent with the rest of our life and worldview

For a Bible-Based Christian, one ought to begin with the Bible and deduce from Scripture any proposition that might concern the area of our discussion (be it with a biblical view of Marriage, how is Church to be conducted, a Christian view of Christian love, etc) and not just the area of political philosophy, but all spheres of life

That is at the Heart of Presuppositional Apologetics

This is what makes me stay up till late in the night reading and thinking

image

The question of why it excites me is because I love the Lord and want to see things from His Perspective; I want to submit under Him and see the Beauty around me of doing things and thinking things His Way

At the very core of it, its one of many ways one worships God… 

Okay, gotta go to sleep now, long day ahead…

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