mercy still (tuneful tuesday)

The church choir sang this anthem on Sunday. Old hymns finding new arrangements - like a new set of clothes over an old man's frame. And if done right - like this arrangement of an old Charles Wesley hymn - I find myself humming the tune and thinking of the words. A meditation on the question of whether or not a person and their sinfulness can ever exhaust the mercy of God; the answer wonderfully given.

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.

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the blessing of the helping hand (repost)

TBTI first posted this on September 29, 2006 - the first year of my blog. The friend hasn't contacted me since finishing the college he was attending. From what I know, he went to the West Coast, attended seminary, and now pastors a church in Maryland. It was difficult to lose his friendship, but I still believe in the blessing of the helping hand. Granted, in the end the friend moved on, but I still remember how wonderful it was to have been of help to someone, if only for a moment...

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@FCP studying Psalm 134

Picture1The last of the Songs of Ascent.

The psalmist commands worshippers to "Bless the LORD." (v. 1)

He speaks of SERVANTS (v.1) in the SANCTUARY (v. 2) and of their SALVATION (v. 3).  Salvation?  Yep. "The LORD bless you from Zion = Jersualem."  And PTLwhat happened in Jerusalem intended to bless the world?  The sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (NOTE: See Psalm 133: 3 "...Zion, from there the LORD commanded the blessing - Life forevermore.")

What does it mean to "bless"?  It means "to bestow favor upon"; some like to suggest "to make happy". I like that.

How do I bless/make happy the Lord? Service and Worship "...stand by night in the sanctuary" = service  "...lift up your hands" = worship.  Did you realize that your service and your worship can make the Lord happy?

How does the Lord bless me? He is called the Creator ("...made heaven and earth...") AND He has given us salvation ("...bless you from Zion." - see above).

And notice the cycle of blessing in this verse. We bless/make happy the Lord with our service and worship. The Lord makes us happy with new beginnings and with new life!

So much to see in such a little psalm. So much to do. 

Receive the Glory (tuneful tuesday)

"Not to us, but to your name alone be all the glory; the glory belongs to you alone."

Why do we do the things that we do? If we believe in a Savior who gave His life to provide salvation, and if we believe in Him, that which we do is not done for us - it is done to the glory of Him to whom we owe all things.

A great reminder of this from the acapella group, Glad.


the bottom line

The other day I viewed part of a pastor’s message which encouraged believers to be responsible for their spiritual health. He was concerned that believers were being too reliant on their weekly visit to their local church and then blaming the church for not feeding them spiritually. He reminded his listeners that if they were not being satisfied in their spiritual lives, then maybe that was simply the result of their not taking personal responsibility for times of spiritual nourishment the other six days of the week.

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Christ's beauty


“Many of His saints looked upon Him from the gloom of dungeons and from the martyr's flames; yet they never uttered an ill word of Him, but died extolling His surpassing charms. To keep our gaze on the Lord Jesus is noble and pleasant employment. Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Savior in all His works and to perceive Him matchless in each? To shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh combinations of matchless grace? In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on His throne, in the garden and in His kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, He is everywhere glorious in His beauty.

“Examine carefully every little act of His life and every trait of His character, and He is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge Him as you will, you cannot censure; weigh Him as you please, and He will not be found wanting. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather as ages revolve, His hidden glories will shine with even more inconceivable splendor, and His unutterable loveliness will continually ravish all celestial minds."

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.


WorshipWorship should be the desire of every believer's heart and the duty of every believer's mind. I've long thought of the importance of worship - how it is not something we switch on and switch off on one day a week, but how it is something that should be as natural and as responsive as breathing or eating.

And it is a response, as this quote says. It is not just an occasion or an event that one attends. It is what we do when the Spirit impresses upon our spirit the beauty, the wonder, and the richness of the person of God and the reminders of what we have and who we are which are the result of God's love and care.

Thoughts of His strength and His might - worship.

Thoughts of His concern and His willingness to guide us - worship.

Thoughts of His majesty in the beauty of a sunrise, or the tapestry of His making as the sun sets - worship.

Every sigh we make, every tear that falls, every song that is sung in response to His presence in our lives - worship.

Oh heavenly Father - may your people love You and live for you in an attitude of worship. An attitude that is a natural response and a desired response with every breath we take, every thought we have, every act we perform. As your Word proclaims: "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

people of the cross (tuneful tuesday #6)

I was standing by the toaster oven preparing some breakfast when this song came across the radio:

It's a wonderful hymn, and some great words. But the final line of the bridge started me thinking:

"Jesus we will be faithful till You meet us
Give us Your courage as we finish
We want to hear well done"

And the thought entered into my mind - "What if I don't hear Jesus say to me 'Well done'?"

So I went looking for an answer, and found it at Got Questions, one of my favorite Bible study sites. Essentially it is a matter of doing the things that God has asked me to do - being faithful in the little; making them daily chores, and doing them with delight in order to glorify Him.

I have much to do. 

The Depths of Woe (Psalm 130 - Luther style)

Tim Challies featured a hymn written by Luther and called it "The Best Worship Song You Don't Sing." 

And he's right... These are the types of hymns I love -- words that drip with meaning and cause a worshiper to ponder about the truths they present. But sadly, hymns such as this are rarely if ever sung in contemporary church settings.

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