Archive for February 2018

Father and Son

A Hymn based on
John, chapters 14 – 17

Recording
Printed Music

In joy and in grieving, in love and in loss
I share in the Father and Son.
Reflecting their glory, enduring the cross,
I walk in the Father and Son.

Refrain:
One with You, Father,
One in Your Son,
Breathing Your Spirit, our union begun,
Rich in Your blessing,
Secure in Your grace,
Glimpsing the heaven that shines in Your face.

In speaking and doing, I’m never alone –
I follow the Father and Son.
When needing a strength far exceeding my own,
I cling to the Father and Son.

Embraced and empowered by all that You are,
O Father and Spirit and Son,
I share in Your fullness, Your mind and Your heart,
O Father and Spirit and Son!

A Glance Backward

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified;
do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God
will be with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Faithful, Faithful, Faithful.
I look back over my life, and
I am startled by the love I thought I knew.
You pursued me when I couldn’t see You in my darkness.
You whispered in my ear,
You clutched my heart,
then stood in front of me and declared that
YOU were God.
I knew it was true.
As I bowed, You gave me new life—
Your life.
I was warmed by the fire of Your love,
and in its light, I saw Your glory all around me,
leading me on.

You’ve taught me that
Your deliverance, Your forgiveness,
are daily gifts,
flowing from the fountain of Your eternal love.
Viewing my past journey,
I see only Your hand
guiding, teaching, holding me,
giving my life a consistency that is Yours, not mine.
The power of Your presence has
always, always, always been there,
though I only glimpse it now and again.

Father,
Eternally Faithful One,
make our bond of love and trust
as iron.
Make it a living cord from Your heart to mine.
Draw my eyes constantly to You,
making simple faith my every breath.
Great God of power and tireless love,
in every situation,
with every desire,
with all my energies,
be my God.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Your Ceaseless, Unexhausted Love
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Pursue Love

A reflection on Revelation 2:1-4,
Christ’s letter to the church in Ephesus,
based on 1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:3; 14:1

God is love, and
the surest mark of His children is love:
true,
active,
self-sacrificing love.

Without love, the greatest spiritual gifts are meaningless.
Pursue love.

Without love, wisdom and knowledge are worthless.
Pursue love.

Without love, all our efforts, all our accomplishments are empty noise.
Pursue love.

Love is the most excellent way to live.
As we grasp for all the best of life,
we too often ignore its most precious possibility: a
constant,
personal,
interactive,
loving,
transforming relationship with the Living God.
As we humbly receive His love,
we love Him in return.
As we love Him,
we grow in our love for His children.

In the beautiful, perfect Kingdom of our Father,
love is the coin of the realm,
not money.
Love will never lose its value.
Pursue love.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Ever Full and Overflowing
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

All-conquering Love

A Hymn based on
Christ, the Conquering Lamb

Recording
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Sovereign, all-transcending Lord,
Holy mystery, feared, adored,
In Your mighty Son we see
All Your love’s humility.

Christ the Lion, now the Lamb,
Gives Himself, the great I AM.
Christ, the Prince of Paradise,
Dies a slaughtered sacrifice.

Christ the Victor, in defeat,
Makes Your victory all complete.
As He prays His final breath,
Sovereign life now swallows death.

In His conquering strength we see
Deep and glorious mystery
Glowing from Your heart above:
Holy, fierce, all-conquering love.

Listen for His Word

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders…
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
(Psalm 29:3-4, 9, NIV)

God spoke, and the universe came into being.
He didn’t need to shape it by His hands.
He is completely sovereign.
When He expresses His will, matter obeys.
He is the Lord of all reality.

Yet we seldom listen for His Word to us.
We rarely hunger for His perfect wisdom
or trust His unfailing love.
We chase what is too petty to satisfy us.
We seek security in what is weak and small and sure to pass away.
We refuse to fully face His greatness
and our utter helplessness.

Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:4-5, NIV)

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Is There Any Word from the Lord?
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Centered on Jesus

A prayer response to Revelation 2 & 3,
the letters to the seven churches.

Father, examine my desires.
Examine my hopes.
Examine my thoughts.
Examine my words.
Examine my habits and
all my actions.
Examine each of my relationships.

Father, I long for You to find
Your holy Son Jesus
at the center of all these.

Examine our family.
Examine our Sunday School class.
Examine our local church.
Examine our association of churches.
Examine Your universal Church,
for we are to be
His Body and
His Bride.

Merciful Father, may Jesus Christ be at the heart of
all we are and
all we do.
When the world listens to us,
may they hear Jesus.
When they look at us,
may they see Your holy, loving, energetic, self-sacrificing Son,
Jesus Christ.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: One in Purpose, One in Passion
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Lay Aside Your Passing Pleasures

A Hymn for Lent

Recording
Printed Music

Lay aside your passing pleasures.
Look beyond what cannot last.
Shallow hopes are mere distractions.
Earthly comforts soon are past.
See in Christ a grand horizon.
Find a life more rich and vast.

Raise your eyes and see the Savior.
Feel His love, and hear His call.
Follow Him in self-denial.
Find your Father all in all.
Take the cross, accept the suffering.
Soon the cost will seem so small.

Gladly trade your crumbling treasure.
Gain the pearl of greatest price.
Life is more than pain and pleasure.
Life in Him is true delight.
Find your freedom, find your glory,
Find yourself in Jesus Christ.

Grasping for Greatness

They came to Capernaum. When [Jesus] was in the house, he asked [his disciples], “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:33-37, NIV)

Jesus, You had set Your face to go to Jerusalem. You had explained to Your disciples that You would be handed over to Your enemies to suffer and die. You called them to take up their own crosses and follow You there.

And in the next breath, what are they doing? Arguing among themselves about who would be the greatest. You had called them to suffer. All they could think about was basking in glory. You had called them to be servants. They still dreamed of being prime minister.

Lord, too often I’m as dull as they. I dream of greatness, not service.

Such foolish pride is so persistent. But I find it melts away as I look to You and love others.

Lord Jesus, fill my life with those. Teach me to look to You constantly through the day. Help me to forget about doing “great things” and instead simply show love to those around me.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Not Greatness, but Sacrifice
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Christ Walks among Us

A reflection on Revelation 1:9-20,
John’s vision of the glorified Christ, walking among the churches.

Jesus Christ is no longer the Galilean peasant,
the homeless teacher
wandering a small corner of the Roman empire.
He is the risen, ascended, glorified Christ
in all His natural splendor,
with all the radiance of the only-begotten Son of God.

He is robed as our Great High Priest.
His hair is gleaming white.
His eyes are like a blazing fire.
He sees everything as it truly is:
this world,
the Church,
our lives,
our desires.
He stands with feet like glowing bronze,
unshakable,
unstoppable.
His voice is like the thunder of a mighty waterfall.
He speaks with absolute, unquestionable authority.
His entire being radiates the splendor and power of heaven.

Right now this Christ is walking among us,
His Church.
He is seeing.
He is judging.
He is encouraging.
He is warning.
As He speaks,
I am comforted.
I am challenged.
I am humbled.
I am called.

I begin to see the Church…His Church…in a whole new light.
What is critical for us is not
our size,
our finances, or
our techniques for growth.
What is critical is our living relationship with Him:
our love for Him,
our obedience to Him,
our faithfulness to Him,
our living, holy sacrifice to Him,
our incarnation of Him.

Speak, Lord Jesus.
We are listening.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Glorified Christ
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Christ My Joy

A Hymn based on
Nehemiah 8:10; John 15:11; 17:13; Romans 14:17;
Philippians 2:17-18; 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Recording
Printed Music

Jesus, Lord,
Truth and grace,
Boundless power,
Tender love,
Face of God my Father,
I rejoice in You!

Bleeding Lamb
Lifted up,
Dying God –
O what love!
Mercy from my Father,
I rejoice in You!

Living Christ,
Breath of God,
Holy life,
Holy love
Flowing here within me,
I rejoice in You!

All I want,
All I need,
All You are
Evermore
Filling all my being,
You are Christ my joy!

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