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Monday, June 30, 2008

Hymn of the Week

Back on May 13, I featured the relatively unknown hymn Friend of Sinners by Augustus Toplady. This week I will feature perhaps his most known and beloved hymn, Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me. You can find a traditional musical arrangement to the hymn at cyberhymnal. You can also find a sample of the hymn with an alternative musical arrangement here on Upward: The Bob Kauflin Hymns Project.

Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
[originally When my eye-strings break in death]
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Excellent Audio Resources

The following sermons and conference addresses are very powerful. I suggest you take the time and download these to your MP3 Player and listen and be challenged and be edified.

Church Planting Evangelism by Mark Dever. Given at an Acts 29 Boot Camp in Chicago.

I have listened to this talk about four times so far. This talk has great application regardless of whether you are a church planter or not.

Adoption by C.J. Mahaney. Preached at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

This sermon opened my eyes to the significance of this truth and the joy to be found in this truth. I do not recall hearing enough sermons on this topic.

Pastoral Character and Loving People by C.J. Mahaney. Given at the National Resurgence Conference titled Text and Context.

Mahaney in this address gives great application in how to look for God's presence among church members.

How My Pastoral Ministry Shapes My Pulpit Ministry by John Piper. Given at the National Resurgence Conference titled Text and Context.

In the first part of the address, Piper gives examples of how the Bible and Theology shape his pulpit ministry. Then he gives pastoral care examples that shape his pulpit ministry. Many of these are extremely moving.

Calvinism: A Cause for Rejoicing, A Cause for Concern by Jeff Noblit. (Just scroll down to the appropriate message) Given at the Building Bridges Conference sponsored by The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The Founders Organization.

I have also listened to this address multiple times. This is not only a good address for those who share Noblit's theological convictions, but would be great for those who know little about Calvinism, maybe those who have only heard negative comments by others and have done no research themselves.

The Role of Men, Part I
The Role of Men, Part II
The Role of Men, Part III
by Matt Chandler. (Just scroll down the 2007 sermon archive to find these three sermons) These sermons were preached at The Village Church.

These sermons are great for engaging men, which the church so desperately needs today.

Note: Most of these sermons may still be located on ITunes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Pictures IV

Our little one, Karis

New Pictures III

The young ones at Little River Baptist Church

New Pictures II

Here are some pics from both Lydia and Chloe's birthday parties.

New Pictures

Here are some recent pics of Lydia at her first dance recital.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday is for Hymns

One of my favorite hymns is There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood by William Cowper (1731-1800). Cowper and Amazing Grace author John Newton collaborated in writing hymns of which the fruit can be found in the Olney Hymns. Newton ministered to Cowper who suffered from severe depression and tried on more than one occasion to take his own life. You can find some information on Cowper at cyberhymnal and much more at igracemusic. In fact Newton's suggestion of the Olney Hymn Project was to help Cowper in his depression.

There are several musical arrangements to this classic hymn, some of which can be found on the previous cyberhymnal link. There is a new arrangement of music for this hymn found here recorded by Red Mountain Church which I have grown fond of recently.

There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Hymn of the Week

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this relatively new and popular hymn is not found in the current Baptist Hymnal published in 1991. However, according to Lifeway, The Love of God will be included in the new Baptist Hymnal.

The third stanza of this song comes from a Jewish poem dated to around 1050. For more information on the author, Frederick Lehman and the song check out cyberhymnal.

The Love of God

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

IMB Policy Change

Thought you might all be interested in the online petition and letter to the IMB found at this site This is of course in reponse to fairly recent IMB policy changes that invalidate baptism outside of a Southern Baptist church and reject as missionary canidates those with a private prayer language.
The petition began with former IMB trustees but seems to have branched out since it's beginning a couple days ago. I believe this is a huge issue and a lot is at stake if the IMB is not held accountable on this. Not only are they going outside of the realms of scripture on making this requirement, but the BFM 2000 in no way addresses these issues.
I for one will join the ranks of Chris and Elisabeth Hilliard and affix my name to this important document.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday is for Hymns

My introduction to Hark! the Voice of Love and Mercy comes from the album titled Help My Unbelief, by Red Mountain Church, which is retitled It Is Finished -- Part II. The authors of this hymn are Jonathan Evans and Benjamin Francis. You can listen to the music for the hymn on cyberhymnal (by William Owen) or you can listen to the hymn set to a different arrangement by Jeff Koonce at Red Mountain Music.

Hark! the Voice of Love and Mercy

Hark! the voice of love and mercy
Sounds aloud from Calvary;
See, it rends the rocks asunder,
Shakes the earth, and veils the sky.
“It is finished!” “It is finished!”
“It is finished!” Hear the dying Savior cry;
Hear the dying Savior cry.

“It is finished!” O what pleasure
Do these precious words afford;
Heav’nly blessings, without measure,
Flow to us from Christ the Lord:
“It is finished!” “It is finished!”
“It is finished!” Saints the dying words record;
Saints the dying words record.

Finished all the types and shadows
Of the ceremonial law;
Finished all that God had promised;
Death and hell no more shall awe:
“It is finished!” “It is finished!”
“It is finished!” Saints, from hence your comfort draw;
Saints, from hence your comfort draw.

Tune your harps anew, ye seraphs,
Join to sing the glorious theme;
All in earth, and all in heaven,
Join to praise Emmanuel’s Name;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Glory to the bleeding Lamb!
Glory to the bleeding Lamb!

A Son's Rememberance of his Father's Prayers

I am currently working through a series on Sunday evenings focusing on prayer. Last night I shared an excerpt from John Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides, concerning his Father's prayers. John Piper rightly concludes that John was the man he was in part because of the godly influence of his father. I weep just about every time I read this as it is a great encouragement in my own life to lay before my own children a godly heritage of prayer unto God. I am hoping it will also build up the type of dependence upon God that leads my children to do great things for the glory of God.

The following is taken from John Piper's autobiography on John Paton, given at the 2000 Desiring God Pastor's Conference. Paton's autobiography can be found through Banner and Trust Publishers:

There was a small room, the "closet" where his father would go for prayer, as a rule after each meal. The eleven children knew it and they reverenced the spot and learned something profound about God. The impact on John Paton was immense.

Though everything else in religion were by some unthinkable catastrophe to be swept out of memory, were blotted from my understanding, my soul would wander back to those early scenes, and shut itself up once again in that Sanctuary Closet, and, hearing still the echoes of those cries to God, would hurl back all doubt with the victorious appeal, "He walked with God, why may not I?" (p. 8)

How much my father's prayers at this time impressed me I can never explain, nor could any stranger understand. When, on his knees and all of us kneeling around him in Family Worship, he poured out his whole soul with tears for the conversion of the Heathen world to the service of Jesus, and for every personal and domestic need, we all felt as if in the presence of the living Savior, and learned to know and love him as our Divine friend. (p. 21)

One scene best captures the depth of love between John and his father and the power of the impact on John's life of uncompromising courage and purity. The time came for the young Paton to leave home and go to Glasgow to attend divinity school and become a city missionary in his early twenties. From his hometown of Torthorwald to the train station at Kilmarnock was a forty-mile walk. Forty years later Paton wrote,

My dear father walked with me the first six miles of the way. His counsels and tears and heavenly conversation on that parting journey are fresh in my heart as if it had been but yesterday; and tears are on my cheeks as freely now as then, whenever memory steals me away to the scene. For the last half mile or so we walked on together in almost unbroken silence – my father, as was often his custom, carrying hat in hand, while his long flowing yellow hair (then yellow, but in later years white as snow) streamed like a girl's down his shoulders. His lips kept moving in silent prayers for me; and his tears fell fast when our eyes met each other in looks for which all speech was vain! We halted on reaching the appointed parting place; he grasped my hand firmly for a minute in silence, and then solemnly and affectionately said: "God bless you, my son! Your father's God prosper you, and keep you from all evil!"

Unable to say more, his lips kept moving in silent prayer; in tears we embraced, and parted. I ran off as fast as I could; and, when about to turn a corner in the road where he would lose sight of me, I looked back and saw him still standing with head uncovered where I had left him – gazing after me. Waving my hat in adieu, I rounded the corner and out of sight in an instant. But my heart was too full and sore to carry me further, so I darted into the side of the road and wept for a time. Then, rising up cautiously, I climbed the dike to see if he yet stood where I had left him; and just at that moment I caught a glimpse of him climbing the dyke and looking out for me! He did not see me, and after he gazed eagerly in my direction for a while, he got down, set his face toward home, and began to return - his head still uncovered, and his heart, I felt sure, still rising in prayers for me. I watched through blinding tears, till his form faded from my gaze; and then, hastening on my way, vowed deeply and oft, by the help of God, to live and act so as never to grieve or dishonor such a father and mother as he had given me. (pp. 25-26)

The impact of his father's faith and prayer and love and discipline was immeasurable. So much more could be said.