Encouraging a higher standard for Christian music

Posts tagged ‘message churches’

Video

True Worship

This sermon/teaching was recommended to me and I must say it’s one of the best I have heard on this subject.

The balanced approach to the subject of music and worship in the church is refreshing.

Highly recommended!

worship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could not download it,

so here is the link: True Worship by Tim Pruitt

 

 

Is This True Worship to God?

 

Is this type of “worship” God-centered? Do you consider it to be true worship to the one true living God, The Lord Jesus Christ?

 

If you have any further comments or questions after voting, you may use the comments sections below. Thank you!

 

 

Christian Internet Radio

http://knvbc.com/player/

Music is powerful. Biblical music is a vital part of the Christian’s life that can do much to foster spiritual growth in every believer. Ungodly music will have the opposite effect, leading us away from fellowship with God. It seems that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are quickly being replaced in our homes and churches by other forms of music and entertainment.

KNVBC, a local church ministry, will provide Christian music and programming to encourage, equip, and challenge Christians around the world. This unique station will run 24 hours per day. Listeners will be able to tune in anywhere there is internet access.

We believe that Christian homes and churches will be strengthened in the Lord through the daily broadcasting on KNVBC.

Dr. Jack Trieber explains what you will hear on KNVBC:

http://knvbc.com/player/

This is one of my favorite online radio stations. It is nice when I can listen at work too.

If you would like to share some of your favorite online Christian radio station and why they are, please do so in the comments section?

Trust And Obey

“I think it’s very important for us to be slow with the trigger. Very important for us to be slow to speak; quick to hear. And you know, If somebody’s got a heart against God, let God deal with that person. Let God deal with that. Our role, our job description does not include judging people who we feel are guilty. That is not our place to do that. God is the avenger of all such; God is the one who will sort it all out in the end. What He wants you to do is obey His Word. And when you make mistakes we can come back to God and ask Him for His mercy and say, ‘Lord forgive me for what I’ve done wrong, forgive me for what I’ve done in error. Lord forgive me for what I’ve done here. That’s not my heart. My heart is to get over this. My heart is to be an over-comer.” – my pastor

Trust And Obey

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Refrain

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Refrain

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

Refrain

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Refrain

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Refrain

God Has Given Me a Cheerful Heart!


“God has given me a cheerful heart, and he will surely pardon me 
if I worship Him cheerfully.”

Franz Joseph Haydn and Friends

 Do you know who said these words? Many are familiar with Haydn’s music, but it is little known that, before his talent was recognized, his life was filled with struggles.

 When Joseph was just a boy, his parents recognized his love for music and sought to develop his skill. A distant relative offered to teach him music, but little did Joseph realize  how difficult this would be–his relatives were stern; they flogged him and often deprived him of food. But this did not deter him.

 

 Eventually Haydn was given the opportunity to sing in Vienna’s renowned St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Two years later, after pouring his soul into this endeavor, he was penniless.   Still determined, he made a promise: “I will never give up.” In due course Haydn received the support of a countess and went on to became the world famous composer we  admire today.

 

 In all of this, Haydn never allowed his success to fill him with pride. Toward the end of his life, he was carried into an orchestral hall, too weak to walk. There he listened to the performance of his famous Creation oratorio. In the grandeur of the moment, as the crowds applauded, Haydn “simply pointed upwards and devoutly exclaimed, ‘The music came from above–from God.‘”

 

May it be with us that, after we have persevered and labored heartily before the Lord, we might say with the psalmist, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory” (Psalm 115:1).

Changing Hymns

For years now Indelible Grace has been at the forefront of the new hymns movement, setting old hymns to new music. Their stated purpose is:

 “Our hope is to help the church recover the tradition of putting old hymns to new music for each generation, and to enrich our worship with a huge view of God and His indelible grace.”

Frankly I am not sure what is meant by “tradition”.

They also claim:

“But our true goal is even more ambitious. We want to be a voice calling our generation back to something rich and solid and beyond the fluff and the trendy.”

They go on to say…

“We want to remind God’s people that thinking and worship are not mutually exclusive…”

“We believe worship is formative, and that it does matter what we think.”

No, probably not as long as we feel good right?

“We believe that this theological poetry is supremely suited for expressing the seeming paradoxes of the faith that drive us to worship. Our prayer is that Jesus would be made more beautiful and believable, and we have found few things better suited for this than hymns.”

After listening to a few of the songs below, I did not find myself driven to worship, nor did I think Jesus was made more “beautiful and believable”. Is that the purpose of a hymn – ‘to make Jesus more beautiful and believable”?!

Here is a trailer of the documentary video Roots and Wings: The Story of Indelible Grace and the RUF Hymns:

One definition of a hymn is “…a lyric poem, reverently and devotionally conceived, which is designed to be sung and which expresses the worshipper’s attitude toward God or God’s purposes in human life. It should be simple and metrical in form, genuinely emotional, poetic and literary in style, spiritual in quality, and in its ideas so direct and so immediately apparent as to unify a congregation while singing it”.[2]

Robert Cottrill, a long time contributor to the Cyber Hymnal, wrote in his excellent article 30 Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing:

  “Occasionally, sing a hymn to a different tune than the one employed in the hymn book. (The Metrical Index can help with this. See my article About That “Metrical Index”.) Make sure the tune fits the word emphasis of the metre, and the mood of the words.”

It is not a bad idea if done correctly. Indelible Grace Music claims this was a tradition of the early hymn writers and uses as justification a claim that Wesley’s tune to And Can It Be was originally a bar tune. Mr. Cottrill however, correctly concludes in his article “Barroom Tunes…Again!” this was not common practice, nor was it condoned.

Luther, Wesley and others were greatly concerned that Christians should not be singing the songs of the world. They certainly would not condone using something that would remind people explicitly of immoral conduct or a sinful lifestyle. Down through the centuries, many Christian hymn writers have laboured to keep the church’s music distinct and separate, recognizably different from the secular music of the day.

In the final analysis, we mustn’t use the practice of others as our standard. We cannot say, “Because some hymn writer did this, it is permissible for me to do the same.” The bottom line is that our ultimate standard is Christ (Eph. 4:13), and the principles of God’s Word (cf. Lk. 16:15). When Jesus met with His disciples after His resurrection, Peter, curious about what the future held for John, asked, “Lord, what about this man?” The Lord’s answer affirms a basic principle of personal responsibility: “What is that to you? You follow Me” (Jn. 21:21-22).

 

If The Holy Spirit inspired the writer, what is the inspiration to change it?

What do you think? Should Hymns be changed?

“Christian” Bands

Claiming Musicians as One of Us

“I heard that the lead singer’s dad was a missionary….”

“I think the bass player has “Jesus” tattooed in Hebrew on his side.“

“I’m pretty sure they were a worship band for a church somewhere in Tennessee. Or maybe it was California?”

“Yeah, man. I’m positive. The band is Christian…. “

“Oh really,” you respond. Sitting a little taller in your coffee shop chair, excitedly playing with the idea along with the rims of your thick black-rimmed glasses. “This it it,” you think to yourself, we’ve got someone on the inside, someone successful, someone who can prove that someone can be Christian and talented.

The idea produces more goose bumps than the night you sang “Amazing Grace” holding hands around the campfire.

So you order some songs on iTunes and start listening. I mean really listening. For the Spirit-infused lyrics. For the biblical illusions. The love-songs-that-are-really-about-Jesus that you somehow missed before.

Oh yes, you hear it now. They’re not just talented. They’re anointed.

It’s high school all over again, and the cool senior with the tattoos just walked into Wednesday morning prayer. We Christians have finally made it.

Notable Secular-Christian, Christian Musicians.

Jon Acuff already wrote about arguing about the faith of U2, but the list of Secular-Christian, Christian musicians is longer than the Levitical laws.  Such reputable artists include Collective Soul, OneRepublic, Justin Bieber, Jessica Simpson, Regina Spektor, The Fray, Miley Cyrus, Jewel – the list holds no prejudice to genre or style. If Google says they’re Christian, then it must be so.

Creed was driving the train for years with star-struck Christians climbing aboard — Five Iron Frenzy t-shirts quickly being replaced by Scott Stapp looking pensively towards the sky with arms wide open.

Mumford and Sons was the main addition to the list from 2011. Songs like “Awake My Soul” and “Sigh No More” leading countless people to the Lord, of this we are sure. Sure “Little Lion Man” and its chorus of F-bombs confused the equation a bit. But those F-bombs were nothing more than explosions of authentic-emotional-truth. Nothing more. And when in doubt, we’ll just turn that song down in the office. Problem solved.

But why? Why is it so tempting for us to throw the Christian label on musicians who have purposely tried to avoid it?

Three Reasons We Quickly Claim Secular Musicians as One of Us

1. Evangelism Made Easy
No longer do we have to coax friends to church or a Christian music festival to be touched by the spirit. No, now we can just slip on that Regina Spektor CD, sit back, and watch the conversion-magic happen.

“Do you hear it?”

“Hear what?”

“Oh, you’ll know.”

“Know what?”

“Just keep listening…”

2. Guilt-Free Music
The days of giving away all our “secular” CDs after coming back convicted from camp are over. Now we can listen to our favorites, as they are merely undercover agents for the Lord. Buying a CD is like giving money to the ministry smuggling Bibles into a communist country. We can support their secret mission with every $9.95.

3. Cool Christianity
All the angry bearded men with megaphones and signs about hell. All the do’s and don’ts, lest you be judged. All the “Christian” music. All the strikes against us can be demolished with just one Mumford and Sons chorus at the proper volume.

It’s the best of both worlds: Good music and great God. The only thing that can throw a monkeywrench into the whole thing is when one of the bands we’ve claimed makes a point of saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. We are not Christian.” They go beyond the traditional faith disclaimer of “We’re not a Christian band. We’re a band of Christians” and actually say, “We are decidedly not down with the king.” At that point, well, we’ll take our albums and go home.

Content that we still haven’t found what we’re looking for.

http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/2012/04/claiming-musicians-as-one-of-us/#more-7061

Death of a Loved One..

More often than not, the death of a loved one is uncharted territory for those who are left behind.

But it motivates me to remind everyone I know of the preciousness of the families and friends God has given to each of us.
And this is what I feel compelled to say: Tonight, stop and take a really good look at your spouse. Next, look at each of your children. Look really, really long and hard. Take a moment and thank God for every whisper of a moment that God has given you with them. Thank God for the little kisses offered, the stories told, the tickles dispensed, the games played, the readings shared, the silent moments cherished, the victories experienced, the losses endured, the kind words presented , the songs sung, the glances exchanged. These moments not only count for eternity, but they will be remembered for the next billion years after you leave this minuscule moment in time called “life.” Every moment with your loved one matters. Someday they or you will be gone. Every conversation matters. Every kind deed in the name of Christ matters. It all matters. – Doug Phillips

Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints. Psalm 116:15

In honor of Mother, Daughter, Father, Son, Sister, Brother, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Grandmother, Grandfather, Grandchild

who have gone to their heavenly reward these past several weeks, I offer this song, written by Norman J Clayton, for encouragement. 

Listen: If We Could See Beyond Today

Lead Vocal: Jerry Paladino
Words: Anonymous
Music: Norman J. Clayton

“IF WE COULD SEE BEYOND TODAY”

If we could see beyond today as God can see,
If all the clouds should roll away,
The shadows flee;
O’er present griefs we would not fret,
Each sorrow we would soon forget,
For many joys are waiting yet
For you and me.

If we could know beyond today as God doth know,
Why dearest treasures pass away,
And tears must flow.
We’d know that darkness leads to light,
And dreary days will soon grow bright;
Some day life’s wrongs will be made right,
Faith tells us so.

If we could see, if we could know, we often say,
But God in love a veil doth throw
Across our way;
We cannot see what lies before,
And so we cling to Him the more,
He leads us till this life is o’er;
Trust and obey.

He leads us till this life is o’er;
Trust and obey.

“IF WE COULD SEE BEYOND TODAY” (with chords)

Capo: 1st fret
(Bm/D)-(C#7)-(F#m)-(Am)-(Am6)

If (E)we could see beyond today as (Bsus4)God can (B)see,
If (F#m)all the clouds should (B7sus4)roll a(B7)way,
The (A/E)shadows (E)flee;
O’er (Bm/D)present griefs we (C#7)would not fret,
Each (F#m)sorrow we would (Am6)soon forget,
For (E)many joys are (C#m)waiting (F#)yet
(E)For (B)you and (E)me.

(E)-(Fdim)-(F#m)-(Am)-(Am6)

If (E)we could know beyond today as (Bsus4)God doth (B)know,
Why (F#m)dearest treasures (B7sus4)pass a(B7)way,
And (A/E)tears must (E)flow.
We’d (Bm/D)know that darkness (C#7)leads to light,
And (F#m)dreary days will (Am6)soon grow bright;
Some (E/B)day life’s wrongs will (C#m)be made (F#7)right,
(E/B)Faith (B)tells us (E)so.

(E)-(Fdim)-(F#m)-(Am6)-(E/B)-(F#9)-(E/B)-(C7)

If (F)we could see, if we could know, we (Csus4)often (C)say,
But (Gm)God in love a (C7sus4)veil doth (C7)throw
A(Bb/F)cross our (F)way;
We (Cm/Eb)cannot see what (D7)lies before,
And (Gm)so we cling to (Bbm6)Him the more,
He (F/C)leads us till this (Dm)life is (G9)o’er;
(F/C)Trust (C7)and o(F)bey.
(F7/Eb)-(Bb/D)-(Bbm/Db)

He (F/C)leads us till this (Dm7)life is (G9)o’er;
(F/C)Trust (C7)and o(F)bey.(G/F)-(F).

 

With A Prayer – Love Incarnate

I really like the words to this song and felt to share them:

WITH A PRAYER

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a prayer You fed the hungry,

With a cry You stilled the storm;
With a look You had compassion
On the desperate and forlorn.

With a touch You healed the leper,
With a shout You raised the dead;
With a word expelled the demons,
With a blessing broke the bread.

Love incarnate, love divine,
Captivate this heart of mine
Till all I do speaks of You.

As a sheep before the shearer
You were silent in Your pain;
You endured humiliation
At the hands of those You’d made.
And as hell unleashed its fury
You were lifted on a tree,
Crying ‘Father God, forgive them,
Place their punishment on Me.’

Love incarnate, love divine,
Captivate this heart of mine
Till all I do speaks of You.

I will feed the poor and hungry,
I will stand up for the truth;
I will take my cross and follow
To the corners of the earth.
And I ask that You so fill me
With Your peace, Your power, Your breath,
That I never love my life so much
To shrink from facing death.

Love incarnate, love divine,
Captivate this heart of mine
Till all I do speaks of You.

– Stuart Townend – With A Prayer (Love Incarnate)

Merry Christmas

May the great Christmas Present, the first one, the original and the only one there is, Jesus Christ, be afresh in your heart…

May the Holy Spirit come to you and bring you ministering gifts and things from God… a gift that you might live a better life.

That’s what I want.

I would rather have the Life of Christ in me to live sweet and victorious than I would all the gifts of healing, the gifts of prophecies, all the other gifts,

just give me Jesus.

Let me live the Life, the Life is what I want to live.

I want to live so others will know.

That’s my desire at Christmas, and I pray that’s your desire.

And I pray that God will give us His desire.

~William Branham | December 22, 1963 God’s Gifts Always Find Their Places

Lord God, I’m asking the Bride, tonight, the ones that I feel have pulled away and waiting.

May they separate themselves from everything in the world.

They must lay in the Presence of the warm Son Light of the Son of God,

bathing in His Word,

in His Love.

Grant it, dear God.

~ William Branham | November 25, 1965 The Invisible Union Of The Bride of Christ

 

 

DOWN FROM HIS GLORY

Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Savior came,
And Jesus was His Name.
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.

Refrain:
O how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine, my all in all.
The great Creator became my Savior,
And all God’s fullness dwelleth in Him.
What condescension,
Bringing us redemption;
That in the dead of night,
Not one faint hope in sight,
God, gracious, tender,
Laid aside His splendor,
Stooping to woo, to win, to save my soul

Refrain

Without reluctance,
Flesh and blood His substance,
He took the form of man,
Revealed the hidden plan,
O glorious myst’ry
Sacrifice of Calv’ry,
And now I know Thou art the great ‘I Am’

Refrain

[He] took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7)

Happy Thanksgiving | O Praise Ye The Lord

Happy Thanksgiving!

image002

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:34-40

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:14-17

“And Father, someday, may we have Thanksgiving together when You’re crownded the Kind of king and the Lord of lords. That great Thaannksgiving day, when all the saints shall rally together, God, help us to work for that day while we’re here on earth, and may You give us Divine strength. This is an American holiday: Thanksgiving Day.
Tonight I want to say that there’s so many things that I’m thankful for. I don’t know how to give thanks to God for so many blessings. If your church has service, attend. If you don’t have church service, then at home, get the family together, sit down, take God’s Word, read it. Tell your children about it. Tell them that this nation was built upon such as that. Our forefathers who fought to bring this freedom to us and left the other country so that we could have freedom of worship, and freedom of speech, and freedom of press, and so forth. And we’re thankful yet for it. We don’t know how long it will last that way, but I say this, “Long may our lands be bright with freedom’s holy light; protect us by Thy might, great God, our King.”~ William Marrion Branham

Thanksgiving is here, and we are thankful for your support, your comments, and your emails and letters. Most importantly we are thankful for our Heavenly Father and His abundant Mercy and Grace, for the Revealed Word of the Hour, for the freedom to worship Him in Spirit and Truth, for Family, and for The Family of God.

Thanksgiving is a time to remember that the source of all our blessings and amazing liberties is God.

In his official proclamation in 1863, President Lincoln wrote;

They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13:5-6).

O PRAISE YE THE LORD!

By Henry W. Baker, 1875

O praise ye the Lord! praise Him in the height;

Rejoice in His Word, ye angels of light;

Ye heavens, adore Him by whom ye were made,

And worship before Him in brightness arrayed.

O praise ye the Lord! Praise Him upon earth,

In tuneful accord, ye sons of new birth;

Praise Him who hath brought you His grace from above,

Praise Him who hath taught you to sing of His love.

O praise ye the Lord! All things that give sound;

Each jubilant chord re-echo around;

Loud organs, His glory forth tell in deep tone,

And sweet harp, the story of what He hath done.

O praise ye the Lord! Thanksgiving and song

To Him be outpoured all ages along!

For love in creation, for heaven restored,

For grace of salvation, O praise ye the Lord!

O praise ye the Lord and sing a new song,

Amid all His saints His praises prolong;

The praise of their Maker His people shall sing,

And children of Zion rejoice in their King.

With timbrel and harp and joyful acclaim,

With gladness and mirth, sing praise to His name,

For God in His people His pleasure doth seek,

With robes of salvation He clotheth the meek.

In glory exult, ye saints of the Lord;

With songs in the night, high praises accord;

Go forth in His service, be strong in His might,

To conquer all evil and stand for the right.

For this is His Word: His saints shall not fail,

But over the earth their pow’r shall prevail;

All kingdoms and nations shall yield to their sway.

To God give the glory and praise Him for aye.

 

O PRAISE YE THE LORD.doc

The Secret is Christ in Me | Day by Day and With Each Passing Moment

God came down and lived in this same world as a man. He showed us how to live in this world, subject to its vicissitudes and necessities, that we might be changed-not into an angel or a storybook princess, not wafted into another world, but changed into saints in this world. The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances. – Elisabeth Elliot

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.
–Lina Sandell, Swedish

 Day by Day

Lina Sandell Berg, 1832–1903
Translated by Andrew L. Skoog, 1856–1934

Blott en dag (Swedish)

“Day by Day” was written by a young Swedish woman who learned early in life the all-important lesson of living each day with the conscious presence and strength of her Lord. Lina Sandell has often been called the “Fanny Crosby of Sweden” for her many contributions to gospel hymnody. From her pen flowed approximately 650 hymns which strongly influenced the waves of revival that swept the Scandinavian countries during the latter half of the nineteenth century.

At the age of twenty-six Lina had an experience that greatly influenced her life. She was accompanying her father aboard ship to the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch and Lina’s father, a Lutheran minister, fell overboard and drowned before the eyes of his devoted daughter. Although Lina had written many hymn texts prior to this tragic experience, now more than ever poetic thoughts that expressed a tender, child-like trust in her Lord began to flow freely from her broken heart. — http://www.scriptureandmusic.com

◊†◊

A Quiet Heart

Jesus slept on a pillow in the midst of a raging storm. How could He? The terrified disciples, sure that the next wave would send them straight to the bottom, shook Him awake with rebuke. How could He be so careless of their fate?

He could because He slept in the calm assurance that His Father was in control. His was a quiet heart. We see Him move serenely through all the events of His life–when He was reviled, He did not revile in return. When He knew that He would suffer many things and be killed in Jerusalem, He never deviated from His course. He had set His face like flint. He sat at supper with one who would deny Him and another who would betray Him, yet He was able to eat with them, willing even to wash their feet. Jesus in the unbroken intimacy of His Father’s love, kept a quiet heart.

None of us possesses a heart so perfectly at rest, for none lives in such divine unity, but we can learn a little more each day of what Jesus knew–what one writer called the negligence of that trust which carries God with it. Who would think of using the word negligence in regard to our Lord Jesus? To be negligent is to omit to do what a reasonable man would do. Would Jesus omit that? Yes, on occasion, when faith pierced beyond reason.

This “negligent” trust–is it careless, inattentive, indolent? No, not in His case. Jesus, because His will was one with His Father’s, could be free from care. He had the blessed assurance of knowing that His Father would do the caring, would be attentive to His Son’s need. Was Jesus indolent? No, never lazy, sluggish, or slothful, but He knew when to take action and when to leave things up to His Father. He taught us to work and watch but never to worry, to do gladly whatever we are given to do, and to leave all else with God.

Purity of heart, said Kierkegaard, is to will one thing. The Son willed only one thing: the will of His Father. That’s what He came to earth to do. Nothing else. One whose aim is as pure as that can have a completely quiet heart, knowing what the psalmist knew: “Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure” (Psalm 16:5 NIV). I know of no greater simplifier for all of life. Whatever happens is assigned. Does the intellect balk at that? Can we say that there are things which happen to us which do not belong to our lovingly assigned “portion” (This belongs to it, that does not”)? Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty?

Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled. Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter.

What do we really want in life? Sometimes I have the chance to ask this question of high school or college students. I am surprised at how few have a ready answer. Oh, they could come up with quite a long list of things, but is there one thing above all others that they desire? “One thing have I desired of the Lord,” said David, “this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…” (Psalm 27:4 KJV). To the rich young man who wanted eternal life Jesus said, “One thing you lack. Go, sell everything” (Mark 10:21 NIV). In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus tells us that the seed which is choked by thorns has fallen into a heart full of the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things. The apostle Paul said, “One thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14 NIV).

A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace. One morning my computer simply would not obey me. What a nuisance. I had my work laid out, my timing figured, my mind all set. My work was delayed, my timing thrown off, my thinking interrupted. Then I remembered. It was not for nothing. This was part of the Plan (not mine, His). “Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup.”

Now if the interruption had been a human being instead of an infuriating mechanism, it would not have been so hard to see it as the most important part of the work of the day. But all is under my Father’s control: yes, recalcitrant computers, faulty transmissions, drawbridges which happen to be up when one is in a hurry. My portion. My cup. My lot is secure. My heart can be at peace. My Father is in charge. How simple!

My assignment entails my willing acceptance of my portion-in matters far beyond comparison with the trivialities just mentioned, such as the death of a precious baby. A mother wrote to me of losing her son when he was just one month old. A widow writes of the long agony of watching her husband die. The number of years given them in marriage seemed too few. We can only know that Eternal Love is wiser than we, and we bow in adoration of that loving wisdom.

Response is what matters. Remember that our forefathers were all guided by the pillar of cloud, all passed through the sea, all ate and drank the same spiritual food and drink, but God was not pleased with most of them. Their response was all wrong. Bitter about the portions allotted they indulged in idolatry, gluttony, and sexual sin. And God killed them by snakes and by a destroying angel.

The same almighty God apportioned their experience. All events serve His will. Some responded in faith. Most did not.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).

Think of that promise and keep a quiet heart! Our enemy delights in disquieting us. Our Savior and Helper delights in quieting us. “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” is His promise (Is 66:13, NIV). The choice is ours. It depends on our willingness to see everything in God, receive all from His hand, accept with gratitude just the portion and the cup He offers. Shall I charge Him with a mistake in His measurements or with misjudging the sphere in which I can best learn to trust Him? Has He misplaced me? Is He ignorant of things or people which,in my view, hinder my doing His will?

God came down and lived in this same world as a man. He showed us how to live in this world, subject to its vicissitudes and necessities, that we might be changed-not into an angel or a storybook princess, not wafted into another world, but changed into saints in this world. The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.

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.
–Lina Sandell, Swedish

-A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot

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Day By Day (English Version sung in the video by the Antrim Mennonite Choir, from the album ‘Amazing Grace’)

1. 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.

2. 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 Counsellor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

3. Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy 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 with Christ the Lord I stand.

Source: http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/713#ixzz1YPRAGg1G

Glory

GLORY IS A SPECIAL WORD IN SCRIPTURE—
a word infused with the essence of God himself. It appears (along with its cognates) over 500 times in Scripture. One verse in particular is of great significance to us:

Psalm 66:2:

Sing out to the honor of his name;

make his praise glorious

In this verse, the psalmist (King David) exclaims with strength and power, “Sing out to the honor of His name“. The psalmist then follows this declamatory proclamation with an even stronger assertion:

Make His praise glorious!

There is to be nothing ordinary about this praise, it is to be of the highest order and of the greatest magnitude.
To create a powerful platform for praise, God inspired King David to marshal a corps of 4,000 professional musicians who were spiritually prepared, skillfully trained, highly organized and spent their lives giving praise to God.
The musicians were organized under three men of God (Levites) who carefully crafted their worship in a musically and theologically acceptable manner. (See 1 Chronicles 23 and 25.) David and his musicians would take no chances that their musical sacrifice of praise would be presented in a frivolous or careless way. This was music that was to exalt “the honor of His name and make His praise glorious!”

The result:

a spiritual environment

that brought this high worship of God

to the Israelites

in a way that united the best of music and poetry.

In Scripture, it’s important to note that glory is not only an attribute, it is an actual place: Glory…heaven, the dwelling place of God.
In looking forward to “glory”, Jonathan Edwards made this observation:

“If praising God in song is very much the employment of heaven…let all be exhorted to the work and duty of praising God [here on earth.]
(See: “Thankgsgiving Sermon”, 1734)

Note the reformer’s words regarding the use of music as a “work” and a “duty”. Like David’s original musical organization, music in heaven will be a joyous fulltime occupation infused with His glory, majesty and greatness!
For twenty-first century Christians this must all seem strange, having been persuaded by their culture that music:

a. exists for their own personal pleasure.
b. is all good–style is relative!
c. can be utilized for any purpose.

Today, begin your preparation for glory right now — forget popular culture and sing in the great tradition of King David and his spectacular choir of Levite musicians. Sing — and then memorize — a great hymn of the faith! You’ll be glad you did! To God be the Glory!

–Center for Church Music

What is Worship?

This video illustrates some very important points about worship, and what we perceive worship to be. Someone could close their eyes, half-heartedly listen to the words and “feel” the “spirit”..

We must be very careful that our worship is not just some kind of feel-good manifestation of the flesh or even our human spirit, but rather our whole being yielded to Christ for His Glory.

Sometimes when we worship, we don’t really mean it. What would it look like if we were to sing what we really meant? This was an illustration from a sermon about worship at First Orlando Worship, and it struck a chord.

 

GOD WANTS TO BE EDIFIED HIMSELF. AND WE’RE TO NOT SEEK SELF-EDIFICATION, BUT TO EDIFY GOD WITH ALL WE DO. SO IF YOU SEE A PERSON WITH A GREAT GIFT, TRYING TO DO SOMETHING TO GLORIFY THEMSELVES, YOUR OWN DISCERNMENT OF THE SPIRIT TELLS YOU THAT’S WRONG.                                 ~ WILLIAM BRANHAM

 

“Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of the conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose—all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable.” – William Temple

He Hideth My Soul – 1890

So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. ~ Exodus 33:32

Bouncing back — that is a quality to be cultivated because life is full of struggles. How do we become resilient? Unsinkable? Joyful amid the blows and burdens of life? This hymn tells us:

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, He taketh my burden away; He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved, He giveth me strenth as my day.

This hymn by Fanny Crosby explains the author’s life. During her ninety-five years, Fanny faced three incredible hardships. The first was her blindness, caused by a careless doctor when she was only six weeks of age.

The second was a less-than-ideal marriage. Fanny was teaching at the New York Institute for the Blind when a young musician named Alexander Van Alstyne joined the faculty. Fanny later recalled, “After hearing several of my poems, he became deeply interested in my work; and I after listening to his sweet strains of music became interested in him. Thus we soon grew to be very much concerned for each other…Love met love, and all the world was changed. We were no longer blind, for the light of love showed us where the lilies bloomed.” The two were married on March 5, 1858. No one knows what happened, but years later the two drifted apart and in the end occupied separate addresses.

Fanny’s deepest blow was the loss of her child. To this day, no one knows if it was a boy or a girl. Fanny seldom spoke of the infant. The child’s death seems to have devastated her, and she privately bore the sadness all her life.

Yet all who knew Fanny Crosby spoke of her energy, her zest for life, her joy. One biographer said, “Even in extreme old age, she would tire out people twenty or thirty years her junior.”

She said, “How long am I going to travel and lecture? Always! There is nothing that could induce me to abandon my work. It means nothing to be eighty-four years of age because I am still young! What is the use of growing old? People grow old because they are not cheerful, and cheerfulness is one of the greatest accomplishments in the world!”

Fanny Crosby lived out her song every day of her life: “He hideth my soul in the depths of His love, and covers me there with His hand.”

_Then Sings My Soul (Special Edition) by Robert J. Morgan  

◊♦◊

 

 http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/334

Great Things are Quiet Things

William Branham from the message entitled What Hearest Thou, Elijah? [audio versionprintable version] in Los Angeles CA April 12, 1959 at the Angelus Temple 

Let the dew of heaven fall upon my thirsty soul,


Let the dew of heaven fall on me,


Blessed Holy Spirit come and take complete control;


Let the dew of heaven fall on me. 

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