11.20.2008

He has made me glad

I discovered our long-lost old hymnal last weekend while I was changing our closet light bulb. (hhmm reminds me of a good rk song.) Some of the them have a depth and richness not easy to find in contemporary "pop-praise". The first stanza of "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" particularly stood out this morning. In fact, one of my friends wrote a melody for it so I hear it sometimes on my ipod. I am super-grateful for God giving folks in every generation the gift of God-directed expression in writing and music.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
'Come unto me and rest;
Lay down thy weary one, lay down
They head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus as I was

Weary, and worn, and sad
I found in Him a resting place
And He has made me glad

I heard the voice of Jesus say
"Behold, I freely give
The living water thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live."
I came to Jesus and I drank
Of that life giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him

I heard the voice of Jesus say
"I am this dark world's light;
Look unto me thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my star, my sun;
And in the light of life I'll walk
'Til traveling days are done.

by.Horatius Bonar.

11.16.2008

we're not done yet


The Packers absolutely destroyed the Chicago Bears today. We let them get a field goal in the fourth quarter so they could have a little something on the score board.
Green Bay winning 37-3. That, my friends, is a big deal.
(Big" when it comes to useless and trivial things, that is. ;)

11.14.2008

from strength to strength

My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young, at your altars,
O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed!

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere..
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
~psalm 84~

11.12.2008

november 11.

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive made of stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Concord Hymn"

I'm not a huge poetry fan and even less an Emerson fan. But Veteran's Day was a good time to share one of the few that I do like. Even if it's technically honoring veterans from the Revolution. (i guess sometimes i do cave into the "obligatory holiday posts"...)

11.07.2008

more about goodness

Wednesday night in my caregroup, we sang two songs centered on the goodness of God. I'm thinking this is something God wants me to focus on... I was especially encouraged by a few lines in the chorus of the one of the old Sovereign Grace songs "You're So Good to Me":

"For you have crowned my days
With overwhelming grace
Lord, You're so good to me
Though troubles fall like rain
This precious truth remains
Lord, You're so good to me
Yes You're so good to me
..."

Those 3 lines sparked such joy in my heart. Truth is not changed by circumstances. This is truth: God is good to all those whom He has chosen. (indeed, His goodness is shown even to those who rebel against Him in the form of common grace. "Did the sun come up this morning?" as John Piper would say--but that's for another post.) The truth of God's goodness has a solid foundation in the gospel. No other appearance of goodness is needed to prove that God is who He says He is, than the death of His Son in the place of wicked sinners. Indeed, what evidence could be greater? "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (John 15.13)

As I have sought passages that reference God's goodness, there is a theme I want to apply to my life. Scripture speaks of God's people as being satisfied in God's abundant goodness.
"Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!" Psalm 65.4

This is what I want. I want to be satisfied in His goodness. Not just read about it or believe it, but dwell* in it. No matter how many torrential downpours may fall upon those I love or myself in the future, may I never doubt His goodness.
"Oh, how abudnant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!" (ps. 31)


*dwell, verb
1.to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside.
2.to live or continue in a given condition or state: "to dwell in happiness".
3.to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing (often fol. by on or upon): "to dwell on a particular point in an argument".

11.04.2008

______

Sunday was interesting. There is much I could say but I'd rather express appreciation for the love of God shown to my family by His people. To update the situation:
Late saturday night, Grandpa had sudden health problems. His symptoms were such that he was in a coma-like state for awhile. He's been recovering from his second leg amputation. He appears to be slowly on the mend but still confused and lethargic. The amputation site is fine, but there are other things going on. Nobody is sure yet what is causing the confusion. In a way, it's not that important. What is of most importance is that he knows the gospel. God is sustaining. He doesn't belong to us, he doesn't belong to earth. He belongs to God.

On to the thankfulness. How kind of God to give us dear friends! My fam has been very blessed by folks wanting to care for us. (I mentioned the situation to one person in explanation of my absence from children's ministry and it seems half the church knew. Which is good because I wouldn't have thought to tell anybody else, and then we wouldn't have been blessed.) Mum Schwab, Felicity and Cherie spent their entire sunday afternoon in the ICU lobby with us. We were cheered by the company, conversation and card games. The Swansons wanted to bring us dinner. The Cook girls preached truth. Heather and Kayla made us treats and brought scripture (and goofiness) into our house. Beks uplifted me despite being sick herself. Many other folks are praying for Grandpa

During a conversation with Mrs Schwab I realized my family might come across as if we don't taking the situation seriously. We might seem glib or matter of fact to outsiders. It's not because we don't care or we're ungrateful! Honestly, we're used to serious. This type of thing has happened so much the past few years that it's normal. It feels more like normal life than like an interruption to life. And really, we are not suffering. Grandpa is suffering, Grandpa is enduring a trial. We are only trying to bear his burdens as best we can. And wishing we could take it all for him.

.:stability:.

Lana posted this on her blog today. I found it applied so well to my family that I'm stealing it. This, my friends, is the reason why we can be okay with not knowing what is wrong with Grandpa, how long it could take him to recover, how fully he will recover, or a million other questions that tempt us.

“It is just as well for us that in all the variableness of life there is One whom change cannot affect, One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow inconsistency can make no furrows…The delight that the sailor feels when, having been tossed about on the waves, he steps again upon the solid shore is the satisfaction of a Christian when, in all the changes of this distressing life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth —‘I THE LORD DO NOT CHANGE.’”
The stability that the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a solid hold is like that which the Christian’s hope provides him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth.With God ‘there is no variation or shadow due to change.’Whatever his attributes were in the past, they are now;His power, His wisdom, His justice, His truth are unchanged.He has forever been the refuge of His people,their stronghold in the day of trouble,and He is still their sure Helper.He is unchanged in His love.”
Charles Spurgeon