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Hummable Hymns

October 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Have really enjoyed how many hymns (modern or from ages past) we’ve had in the Evening Service at the Local Church. The university students are not complaining – good tunes, good meaty lyrics, what’s not to like? Feeds the earworms too so the truth gets sung to you for a few days after – more bang for your buck!

Generally good stuff to be had from Stuart Townend and Sovereign Grace Music. Some good scores at Songs For Today with good clear-thinking blog posts as a little bonus.


The Lord’s my Shepherd I’ll not want
He makes me lie in pastures green
He leads me by the still still waters
His goodness restores my soul

And I will trust in you alone
And I will trust in you alone
For your endless mercy follows me
Your goodness will lead me home

He guides my ways in righteousness
and he anionts my head with oil
and my cup it overflows with joy
I feast on his pure delight

And I will trust in you alone
And I will trust in you alone
For your endless mercy follows me
Your goodness will lead me home

And though I walk the darkest path,
I will not fear the evil one
For you are with me and your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know

And I will trust in you alone
And I will trust in you alone
For your endless mercy follows me
Your goodness will lead me home

Stuart Townend
© 1996 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

 


The Lord is gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger and rich in love
The Lord is gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger and rich in love

And the Lord is good to all
He has compassion in all that he has made

As far as the east is from the west
Thats how far he has removed our
transgressions from us (repeat)

Praise the Lord, oh my soul
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord, oh my soul
Praise the Lord

Graham Ord
© 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/EIRE)


A debtor to mercy alone
,
of covenant-mercy I sing;
nor fear, with your righteousness on,
my person and offering to bring:
the terrors of law and of God
with me can have nothing to do;
my Saviour’s obedience and blood
hide all my transgressions from view.

The work which his goodness began,
the arm of his strength will complete;
his promise is “Yes” and “Amen”,
and never was forfeited yet:
things future, nor things that are now,
nor all things below or above,
can make him his purpose forgo,
or sever my soul from his love.

Eternity will not erase
my name from the palms of his hands;
in marks of indelible grace
impressed on his heart it remains:
yes, I to the end shall endure,
as sure as the promise is given;
more happy, but not more secure
the glorified spirits in heaven.
Augustus Montague Toplady, David. E. Evans (“Trewen” – this is the best approximation I could find of it)

 

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
what more can he say than to you he has said,
you, who to Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
in poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
at home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
as days may demand, shall your strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed,
for I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen and help you, and cause you to stand
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through fiery trials your pathways shall lie,
my grace, all sufficient, shall be your supply;
the flame shall not hurt you; I only design
your dross to consume, and your gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I cannot desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavour to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Richard Keen, Richard Simpkin
© Simpo’s tune – songsfortoday.com
See this rockin’ tune. Or listen to it with electronica craziness at emumusic.

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Bluebell Woods, Foraging for Wild Garlic in Cemeteries, Tweed Run 2014, Integrity in Ministry

May 20, 2014 Leave a comment

carpet of bluebells, Church Wood
carpet of bluebells, Church Wood

How time flies (when you’re having fun)! You blink and find yourself, somewhat dismayed, in the middle of May.

Church WoodInundated with:

  • prep for the two Bible study groups i help lead – a mixed group of young workers and a women’s group of City professionals;
  • meeting up with the 15 people from both groups who have the misfortune of being under my care;
  • shakily training up new leaders;
  • loads of controversial experimental practice talks at the School; and
  • next month (only two weeks away!) travelling up north(ish) to do a real talk.

The last worries me most – the organiser called today to say how they “loved” hearing me previously and that they’re now moving to a new venue because of the number of people coming. Truly dislike upfront ministry – to stand there feeling the weight of expectation, cringing from the full force of critical stares, is not my idea of a good time. Being neither a competent speaker, nor possessing any natural charm or charisma, the chances of it all going horribly wrong are very good. Am thinking of taking a wingman/woman along who will hopefully so outshine me that they’ll spare me the next time!

rump steak with portobello mushrooms and wild garlic leaves wild garlic omelette

wild garlic leaves (they grow plentifully in parks and cemeteries) with rump steak and in an omelette

Still, perhaps there is an important lesson here: do i rely heavily on God only because i don’t think i have the skills for the job? Shouldn’t i rely on God all the time for all things because any small amount of skill could only have been given by Him, and he, being sovereign, is in charge of how everything turns out regardless of how wonderfully gifted i might (not) be?

Tweed Run in London 2014 Tweed Run in London 2014
Tweed Run in London 2014
Tweed Run in London 2014 Tweed Run in London 2014
Tweed Run in London 2014
Tweed Run in London 2014 Tweed Run in London 2014
Tweed Run in London 2014
Tweed Run in London 2014 Tweed Run in London 2014

Tweed Run, London 2014

Lee Gatiss’ church history exposé on the real reason why Wesley was allegedly told by a church warden after he had preached at St. Helen’s Church on Bishopsgate “Sir, you must preach here no more” (his unbiblical denial of the complete sovereignty of God and the unbecoming manner in which he made that known (“[predestination] is a doctrine full of blasphemy”) – see page 35 of Gatiss’ The True Profession of the Gospel), the George Whitefield and John Wesley spat, and Wesley’s later meanness to Augustus Montague Toplady (love that name and also his tunes) and his deliberate and devious altering of Toplady’s pamphlets, was talked about amongst friends for some time. Could John Wesley plead an unhappy marriage to Molly Wesley as the reason for his ranting and outbursts and inability to think clearly (see Clare Heath-Whyte’s Old Wives Tales)?

Few of us will be famous enough for people in later centuries to want to study our lives, but if they did would they find our good reputation unjustified or would false charges against us be dropped and our persons vindicated?

And does it really matter? It is not a state of equanimity that is proposed, but the clear realisation that it is only before our master that we stand or fall.

yuzu poppyseed loaf cake
yuzu poppyseed loaf for a very hot day

We’ve been working our way through the Book of Revelation in our Sunday morning meetings. Last Sunday’s passage on Sardis was a very good reminder that success in ministry doesn’t look like having a great reputation:

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Revelation 3:1-6)

Whatever reputation we have amongst our peers, whatever the history books say, whatever fruitfulness or lack thereof we might see in ministry, whatever accolades or criticisms, it is Jesus’ opinion of us that we should be concerned about. God alone sees all things (“I know…” he says), and will therefore be the just judge of all.

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