Christ, Our Source and Goal

Jesus Christ is not simply
the corrective for humanity gone wrong.
He is our original blueprint,
our prototype, and
our sure destiny.

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From forever to forever,
From our birthplace in Your heart,
Christ the dream that drove creation,
Christ our model from the start.
Christ the ruler, Christ the servant,
Christ the source and Christ the goal,
Christ the true, eternal Adam,
Christ the pattern, Christ the whole.

From the garden to Mount Sinai
To King David on his throne,
Christ the sun that cast the shadows,
Christ the promise, Christ alone.
From the stable to Golgotha
To His reigning at Your side,
Christ the Savior, Christ the Sovereign,
Christ preparing for His bride.

Christ the light of all creation,
Christ the longing of each heart,
All the means and all the meaning,
Life’s completion, and its start.
We have minds that we might know Him,
Lips to sing His glorious name,
Lives to share His living Spirit,
Love to set His world aflame.

 

by Ken Bible, © 2018 LNWhymns.com

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Living in Christ 1 

 

Monday –      A Real Person
         Hymn: In Your Presence, God Almighty (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     Living a Relationship
         Hymn: Day by Day in You, Our Lord (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – What Was Jesus Really Like?
         Hymn: God of All People (recording) (printed)

Thursday –    Enjoying His Presence
         Hymn: My Life, My Love, My Joy (recording) (printed)

Friday –          In Christ
         Hymn: I’m in You (recording) (printed)

Saturday –     A Living Relationship
         Hymn: Now in Christ (recording) (printed)

 

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

The Immensity of God, Part 1

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is your name in all the earth!
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which you have ordained;
What is man that you take thought of him,
And the son of man that you care for him?
(Psalm 8:1, 3-4, NASB)

Have you ever been out under the clear night sky and
looked up at the stars and
the vastness of the heavens?
Have you marveled that the Creator of all this has any interest in you?
Consider this:

Light travels so fast that a beam of light can circle the earth
more than 7 times in a second.
The moon is a quarter of a million miles away, and
its light reaches the earth in less than a second and a half.
The sun is 93 million miles away, and
its light arrives in only 8 minutes.

Our group of stars, our galaxy, is called the Milky Way.
How long do you think it takes light to travel across this one galaxy?
100,000 years!
Light travels around the earth 7 times in a second and
93 million miles in only 8 minutes.
But our galaxy is so vast that even light takes 100,000 years to cross it.

Galaxies are vast beyond our imagination.
But ours is only one galaxy.
How many galaxies do you think there are in the universe?
One recent estimate says there are
125 billion galaxies in the universe.
Try to imagine that:
93 million miles in only 8 minutes;
100,000 years to cross our galaxy;
125 billion galaxies.

We are so very small.
Reality dwarfs us.
It dwarfs the human race.
It dwarfs all that we can imagine.

But there’s more:
This vast universe is only the smallest taste of the Living God.
He overflows all physical existence.
Job 26 says that in all God’s mighty creation,
we see only the fringes of His robe.
We hear only a faint whisper of Him.

Father,
Your Word,
Your creation, and
the presence of Your Son here
all proclaim that there are
realities beyond our earthly reality.
But You are
the Creator and Sovereign King over all reality, and
I am secure in You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Everlasting Father
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Printed Music & Lyrics

Special Thursday Blog Post

What Do You Want from Your Music?

This is simply a personal testimony.

As a lifelong evangelical with an eye on history, I see nothing new in our current struggles over praise and worship music. As I observe its emotional appeal, I am reminded of much of the music I’ve heard in the church over my 69+ years. It reminds me of the big “anthems” of Sandi Patti, Larnelle Harris, and others. Before that was the “Jesus Music” movement of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Consider southern gospel music. And before that was the traditional gospel hymn, largely popularized by the Moody-Sankey revivals of the 1870’s.

All were highly emotional expressions of song within the evangelical movement. All had roots in popular culture. All were highly controversial in their day, being vehemently criticized by more conservative sectors of the church. And honestly, not without reason. None of our music is perfect. Even our most meaningful music has its limitations and flaws. In the case of these emotional styles, perhaps…just perhaps…all were too exclusively and too uncritically practiced by their proponents. But isn’t that the nature of such new movements? Objective reflection and thoughtful editing usually come later.

But the issue is broader than music. During my brief lifetime, I have observed that with both individuals and institutions, our stronger qualities also tend to be our weaker qualities – or at least our more troublesome ones.

For the evangelical church, one of those strong-but-troublesome qualities is the place of emotion. Read back through church history, and the issue never seems to go away. It just continues to resurface with different names and different faces. During my lifetime, the strained relationship between two theological siblings, the Wesleyans and the charismatics, is just one example.

Our problems with emotion are not a surprise. Emotion is inherent in our marvelous, thrilling relationship with our Magnificent God. But like all stimulations, emotional stimulation easily becomes habit forming. It feels good. We want more. We begin seeking more.

I grew up in a church culture where too often, the quality of our religion seemed to be measured by its emotionalism. A good service was one that stimulated our emotions. A good song was one that stimulated our emotions.

Please understand me: I’m not belittling emotion in religion. But I came to realize that if the transcendent God we preached was real, our religion had to be more than emotion. My religion had to be more than emotion.

Speaking for myself, I have found what I was seeking. I have found a God who is very real, very personal, and marvelously constant, moment-by-moment; One who is both transcendent and immanent, One who has planned a beautiful destiny for His people as well as for each of His children. I live and move and breathe in Him.

He is the One I worship. He is the One I trust. He is the One I seek – through music and through silence, through thought and through action, through the everyday and in profound crises. He is completely real, all-encompassing, and the source of all meaning and satisfaction.

I want music that draws me to Him. I want music that helps me know Him and serve Him and glorify Him, not just through singing but through every breath I take; not just for one hour on Sunday morning, but for all 168 hours of the week. I want music that helps me love God, not just with my mouth and my music, but with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength – and my neighbor as myself. It is good and vital that we tell God how great He is. But I want music that also fosters faith, love, and self-sacrifice, learning, growing, repentance, and holy living. I want music that helps me live like Jesus, worship like Jesus, love like Jesus, and die like Jesus.

Our music is good as far as it goes, but I hunger for more.

Hymn: The Reason We Sing

Ken Bible

Come and Feast

Jesus Himself is
the banquet the Father has spread
for all His people.

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Refrain:
Come and feast!
Come and feast!
Come – the feast is Jesus.
Life and love, holy and free –
Come near and feast on Jesus.

Share in His Spirit –
His presence in His people.
Find all He is and all you can be.
Find all you need in Jesus.

Here in abundance:
The Bread and Wine of Heaven.
His truth, His joy, His power, His peace –
Find life complete in Jesus.

 

by Ken Bible, © 2017 LNWhymns.com

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Easter Season 

 

Monday –      After His resurrection…
         Hymn: Reconciled in Christ (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     The Need Is in Me
         Hymn: I Walk the Dark Emmaus Road (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – Breakfast with the Lord
         Hymn: It’s So Good to Be with You (recording) (printed)

Thursday –    The Good Shepherd
         Hymn: Good Shepherd (recording) (printed)

Friday –          Father, thank You for Your marvelous…
         Hymn: Chosen in Jesus (recording) (printed)

Saturday –     Jesus Walks among Us
         Hymn: The Glorified Christ (recording) (printed)

 

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

Knowing the Transcendent God: My Personal Story 4

As we begin looking at our magnificent, transcendent God, I am reflecting on how He has patiently drawn me toward Himself. Here is the last of four major turning points.

On February 20, 2015, our thirty-eight-year-old son, David, took his own life. I will not recount the shock and trauma and the depths of grief that have gripped our lives in the aftermath. But within months, I began trying to process my struggle the way I had always processed my struggles: by writing about them. But as I wrote about my grief, I found myself overwhelmed. The river of sorrow that normally flows quietly within me would overflow and flood my heart. Writing about my grief proved counterproductive. It dragged me down. It only made my grief worse.

The Lord then told me that instead of focusing on my grief, I should focus on my joy in Him. Instead of dwelling on my loss, I should dwell on all that is mine in Him – permanently, completely, joyfully, irrevocably. I should fix my eyes on Him. He is the joy that never changes.

Each day as I began to pray “Our Father in heaven,” I found myself hungry to see Him and know Him again. I needed to fix my eyes on Him again. I craved it the way I crave a refreshing morning shower. Only by refocusing on Him could I regain a true perspective. Only by seeing Him could I see everything else clearly (Psalm 36:9).

Over the years I have become increasingly aware that being a Christian is not obeying a set of rules. It is living as Jesus lived: in loving, wholehearted response to the Father. Our son’s death brought this need into focus. As I remember who God is, I remember who I am. Only then can I live in response to Him – simply and naturally, in humility, trust, and joy. Only then can I live in that ongoing connection with Him that Jesus enjoyed, and that I deeply desire more than anything else in heaven or earth.

Each and every day I want to walk in the full light of all He is. Each and every day I need to connect with the Transcendent God.

That is why all the reflections that follow were written. I want to draw you and myself to the Magnificent God who longs for us to know Him, love Him, trust Him completely, and walk in Him forever.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Need You, Holy God
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Printed Music & Lyrics

We Shall Rise in Jesus Christ!

1 Corinthians 15
prompts us to consider
the glories God has planned for
our resurrection bodies.

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Printed Music 

From death and all its suffering and
Its prison of despair,
Our Lord rose up to take His throne,
And we will join Him there! 

Refrain:
Sown in darkness, raised in light,
Sown in weakness, raised in might,
As a flower blooms to life,
We shall rise in Jesus Christ!

The body that is planted here
Is just a tiny seed,
An acorn to the mighty oak
Of all we soon will be!

We’ll blossom in His likeness, and
Our glory will begin
With bodies made for worship and
For boundless life in Him.

So give yourself to serving Him,
Be strong and unafraid,
For all your faith and sacrifice
Will more than be repaid!

 

by Ken Bible, © 2007 LNWhymns.com

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Easter Sunday 

 

Monday –      The Christ of Easter
         Hymn: Christ Is Alive! We Live in Him! (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     Prepare for Easter
         Hymn: Alive in You (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – A Celebration of Life
         Hymn: A Celebration of Life (recording) (printed)

Thursday –    Risen with Christ
         Hymn: Risen from Eternal Death (recording) (printed)

Friday –          In the Light of the Cross
         Hymn: In the Light of the Cross (recording) (printed)

Saturday –     Living in a Saturday World
         Hymn: I Rejoice in Your Purpose Today (recording) (printed)

 

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

Knowing the Transcendent God: My Personal Story 3

As we begin looking at our magnificent, transcendent God, I am reflecting on how He has patiently drawn me toward Himself. Here is the third of four major turning points.

In my mid-forties, God challenged me to begin spending more time with Him in prayer. He specifically asked me to begin using the Lord’s Prayer as the pattern for my praying. I had heard speakers suggest that before, and it had struck me as artificial. So when God asked me to do it, it took me by surprise. But I began to obey.

Then a few years later, in 1998, I reduced my work load to half-time in order to have more time to write. That schedule change took away my long-established means of daily exercise, so I found myself looking for another exercise routine. In early 1999, at age 49, I began taking long daily walks – an hour or more every weekday. Those walks soon became my prayer time.

Those extended prayer times have done more to enrich my life and my relationship with the Living God than anything else. The first half of the Lord’s Prayer, applied to my daily situation and prayed from the heart, has been deeply formative in the way I think of God and relate to Him.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10, NIV)

In the early years of those walks, I usually walked outside, alone, in nature. Spending all that time speaking with God the way Jesus taught us to pray, while immersed in His creation, continued God’s process of drawing me into Himself.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: As I Pray
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics