when love was born

The voices of children in an old feed silo -- beautiful and brilliant. And the song?  Mark Shultz's "When Love Was Born."  Come - let us adore Him...

Starlight shines, the night is still
Shepherds watch from a hill
I close my eyes, see the night
When love was born

Perfect child gently waits
A mother bends to kiss God's face
I close my eyes, see the night
When love was born

Angels fill the midnight sky, they sing
Hallelujah, He is Christ, our King

Emmanuel, Prince of peace
Loves come down for you and me
Heaven's gift, the holy spark
To let the way inside our hearts

Bethlehem, through your small door
Came the hope we've waited for
The world was changed forevermore
When love was born

I close my eyes, see the night
When love was born


the modern church?

PlaneI wrote about them before on my blog.

And yes, I've probably been too snarky about them, and should probably just ignore them.

But it bothers me when a church seems to go too far to scratch people where they itch - or seem to say, "Hey, we're no different than anyone else and we're certainly not as stuffy as that old-fashioned gathering of persimmons down the road."

Continue reading "the modern church?" »


narrow

NarrowApologies for irregular postings during the past few weeks.  It's that time of year when yard work and home clean up dogs at me - and although spring is a pretty time of year, it is for me one of the most tiresome times.

At the same time, with Easter I struggle with thoughts about church and my relationship to it and to my Lord. I stumbled onto an author this past week when I found myself wondering "Is Jesus Enough?". As I read his materials, I found myself thinking over the years since I accepted Jesus as my Savior (1970), to the years when I slowly exited the church (finding that much of the time I spent in church I felt I was disconnected), to now when I find I am becoming more and more content to consider my relationship with Jesus more of a solo pilgrimage.

I confess that many times along the narrow path I have detoured from the way that leads to life. Such is the nature of a solo pilgrimage. But I am finding my way back and determining that walking with Jesus is enough.


his favorite song of all

One of the great American choirs singing one of my favorite songs... Turn it up, and sing it out!

He loves to hear the wind sing
As it whistles through the pines on mountain peaks
He loves to hear the raindrops
As they splash to the ground in a magic melody
He smiles in sweet approval
As the waves crash to the rocks in harmony
Creation joins in unity to sing in majestic symphonies

[Chorus:]
But His favorite song of all
Is the song of the redeemed
When lost sinners now made clean
Lift their voices loud and strong
When those purchased by His blood
Lift to Him a song of love
Nothing more He'd rather hear
Nor so pleasing to His ear
As His favorite song of all

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/b/brooklyntabernaclechoirlyrics/favoritesongofalllyrics.html

true love

Shepherd1Dear God,

Help me today to understand what love really means.

I don’t mind the red and pink, the plentiful chocolates, and construction paper hearts. I don’t mind that the florists are having a lucrative day. I don’t mind whatever romantic comedy will be coming out in theaters, whatever beautiful heroine falls in love with a hunky hero even though they started out as enemies. I don’t mind the corny poetry and sappy love songs and interminable kissing. I think love is allowed to include all of these things.

But I need for love to be so much more.

Continue reading "true love" »


there is a cloud

I call songs like this "meditative community worship".  Lots of repetition mixed with lots of metaphors that create spiritual pictures and remind of a rich spiritual relationship believers have with one another and with God. (The allusion to Elijah and the coming rains of 1 Kings 18 ["...there is a cloud beginning to swell..."] is particularly nice, though I guessing today's young worshipers would not understand  it without a reference or introduction.) These songs are good, but I still think they're on a much different track of the worship genre of music.  I guess this is where I'm old school. Compared to such songs as "What A Friend We Have in Jesus" and "How Great Thou Art", they're lacking depth.  Still, if they are stimulating a new generation to adore the Savior, my prayer is that they will be the stepping stones that bring brothers and sisters in Christ to greater and greener pastures of growth and devotion.

NOTE: This is NOT an endorsement of the ministry of Elevation Church, a mega-church in North Carolina. I listened to the song and found it an interesting work. I would suggest, however, that you research the ministry of Elevation Church with a focused mind on what God's Word says.

 


Remembering the Fallen

December 7, 1941.  Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.

2,403 killed. 1178 wounded.  Eighteen ships were sunk or run aground, including five battleships.

December 7, 2016 - seventy-five years later. The men and women of the Naval Academy Glee Club honor those lost in the attack.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
William Whiting (1860)

Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
Be thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps.
J. E. Seim (1966)

 


shoulders

"your forgiveness is my fortress...and your mercy is relentless"

I've loved this song for awhile. It's a good reminder when I'm feeling low and alone that He is there, carrying me on His shoulder - found and heading home. I'm so very thankful for His present in my life - reminding me of His love and protection.

 


the pleiades and orion

While a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, I had the wonderful opportunity to see and hear one of my favorite Christian musical artists in concert - John Michael Talbot. I had enjoyed his music for years and decided I had to go and hear him live. It was a particularly cold and wet December night in Dallas; the first part of the concert was Talbot singing alone on stage with his guitar and the second part of the concert was a performance of his Christmas cantata, Light Eternal with a full symphony and choir . I can still see him in my mind's eye walking onto stage in his monk's tunic and sandals and thinking how cold his feet must be. Just before heading to bed last night I remembered this tune and went looking for it - and found it. Listen and worship.

He who created
The Pleiades and Orion
Turning darkness into
The light of the dawn
And darkens day into the night

Who calls from the waters
Renews the world in the falling rain
And who strides the height of creation
He is the Lord the God of Hosts by name

He formed the mountains
And created the wind
And through His Spirit
Declares His thoughts to men

(REPEAT)

He who created
The Pleiades and Orion
And who strides the height of creation
He is the Lord the God of Hosts by name


contemporary worship?

Recently on Breakpoint I read an interesting article about how "contemporary worship" is failing to keep young people in church or even draw them back.  It's a problem I've seen growing ever since I heard a church I used to attend was struggling over the use of drums in the worship service - and the problem of producing a more "contemporary" service.  Some churches deal with the tension by having two kinds of service -- one traditional, and another contemporary thinking that segregating people according to their preference settles the issue and makes everyone happy. 

It begs the question -- what IS worship?, and that's probably a topic for another posting.  For now, here's the Breakpoint article:

________

Want to attract young people to church? Lose the skinny jeans. For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John 70percentStonestreet with The Point.

It’s a familiar sight these days: Churches turning services into rock concerts, adding coffee shops, and dressing their pastors up in skinny-tight jeans and hipster haircuts. Now all of this is done in the name of appealing to young people. But new research from the Fuller Youth Institute suggests none of it works.

Writing at Christianity Today, the team described their findings at 250 congregations around the country that are effectively reaching 15 to 29-year-olds. They discovered that almost every strategy used to attract young people—culturally savvy messages, pastoral attire, church size, location, newness, or worship style—were poor predictors of long-term engagement among the youngest members.

What did work? Treating youth like adults made a huge difference. And churches small and large, traditional and contemporary, that integrated young people and gave them responsibility and leadership were vastly more successful than those that relied only on lattes and light shows.

----- from Breakpoint

 


Beautiful Savior

Sometimes on Sunday night, as I'm going to sleep, I'll turn the radio on and listen to a wonderful radio program that features classical music and choirs. One of the choirs they often feature is St. Olaf's. I have sung in a choir like this before - at Washington Bible College - and loved the blending of voices with and without musical accompaniment. There is nothing like the sound of the human voice tamed, trained, and focused in praise to God...

By the way - there's nothing to see here. This post is for ears only...