Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Be Still My Soul

Psa 131:1-3 LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.  (2)  Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.  (3)  Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.

Be Still My Soul
was re­port­ed­ly the fav­or­ite hymn of Er­ic Lid­dell, the ath­lete who be­came fa­mous in the 1924 Olym­pics for re­fus­ing to run on the Sab­bath (see the mo­vie Char­i­ots of Fire). Lid­dell lat­er be­came a mis­sion­ary in Chi­na, and was im­pris­oned dur­ing World War II. He is said to have taught this hymn to others in the pri­son camp (where he event­u­al­ly died of a brain tu­mor).

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend.
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.

Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Prayer

Every night a mother would kneel on the floor with her little 4 year old to pray. And then one night the little girl asked if she could pray. The mother consented and the little girl began to pray. The more she prayed the softer and softer her little voice became, until her mother could no longer hear her speaking. And then finally the little girl said, Amen! The mom said, Honey, I didn't hear a word you said. The little girl answered, Mama, I wasn't talking to you.
 
When we pray, we must that remember:
1. The love of God that wants the best for us.
2. The wisdom of God that knows what is best for us.
3. The power of God that can accomplish it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Lam. 3:19-23 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.  (20)  My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.  (21)  This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  (22)  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  (23)  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
 
Thomas Chisolm wrote Great is Thy Faithfulness in 1923.  In stanza one he writes of God's unchanging character and unfailing compassions.  In stanza two he writes of God's faithfulness in maintaining the order of His universe.  In stanza three he writes of God's faithfulness in forgiving our sins, providing strength for today and hope for tomorrow.  Each stanza leads to the great culminating chorus that declares the victorious words of Jeremiah, "Great is Thy faithfulness."

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin And a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today And bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, With ten thousand beside.

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Don't Worry About Tomorrow

The Bible says in Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  (26)  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  (27)  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  (28)  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  (29)  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (30)  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (31)  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (32)  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  (33)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (34)  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Three times in this passage Jesus gives the command to now worry or be anxious (vv.25, 31, 34). 
He also gives four reasons why we should not worry or be anxious.
 
#1 It is unfaithful because of our Master (v.25). To worry is to doubt the faithfulness of our Master to take care of us. 

#2 It is unnecessary because of our Father (vv.26-30). The believer has no reason to worry because of who his Father is. Jesus is basically asking, Have you forgotten who your heavenly Father is? 

#3 It is unreasonable because of our faith (vv.31-33). Worry is inconsistent with our faith and is therefore sinful. To worry means that we have taken our eyes off of God. 

#4 It is unwise because of our future (v.34). Making reasonable provision for tomorrow is wise, but to be anxious about tomorrow is unwise.

There is an old hymn written by Ira Stanfield that says:
 
I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
And I don't borrow from the sunshine,
'Cause the skies might turn to gray.

And I don't worry about the future,
'Cause I know what Jesus said;
And today I'm gonna walk right beside Him
'Cause He's the one who know what lies ahead.

There are things about tomorrow
That I don't seem to understand.
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

They Are Not Singing Anymore

This is an excellent article that every pastor and worship leader needs to read.

They Are Not Singing Anymore... - LifeWayWorship.com/blog

Feed the Flock

The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:1 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;   Although he knew tough times were ahead, Peter encourages them to feed the flock that God had entrusted them with.   He is simply passing on what he was told by Jesus in John 21:15-17 during his restoration after denying the Lord.
 
The primary responsibility of the elder is to the feed the flock of God.  The apostles said in Acts 6:2 It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.  That is why deacons were selected.
 
Too many elders get sidetracked with other things.   I.e. counseling, church administration, etc…   These can be snares of the enemy if they are placed on par to or over the primary responsibility of the elder which is to the feed the flock of God.  I've seen way too many pastors who are guilty of this.
 
taking the oversight thereof : This literally means "Do your job!"  In the original it says, "Discharge your duties."  Sadly, too many pastors are lazy bums who are simply there for a paycheck.  The call to ministry is not a "career choice" but a calling from Almighty God Himself.  One old preacher told me once, Son, if you can do anything else, please do us all a favor and do it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Can't Confine God

With the elections in Peru behind us and a new president in front of us, I found this on my son Brandon's Facebook this morning and I totally agree. 

iiii personally  don't see what the big deal is with the elections stuff....i don't think we can possibly confine God's ability to work within this box of who wins or not...God's gonna do what he does whether ollanta wins or mother teresa wins. good thing to know : )

Friday, June 3, 2011

The 23rd Psalm

Psalm 23:1 says The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 
The purpose of the 23rd Psalm is to show that God is our shepherd.  As such, we can trust Him to provide and care for us.  The words I shall not want according to Albert Barnes,
as applied to the psalmist, would embrace everything that could be a proper object of desire, whether temporal or spiritual; whether pertaining to the body or the soul; whether having reference to time or to eternity.

I found Seventeen Promises from Psalm 23 years ago.  I have no idea from where, but it has been a blessing to me and the source of many messages.

The Lord is my Shepherd = That's
Relationship!
I shall not want = That's Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That's
Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters = That's
Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul = That's
Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness = That's
Guidance!
For His name sake = That's
Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That's Testing!
I will fear no evil = That's
Protection!
For Thou art with me = That's
Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me = That's
Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = That's
Hope!
Thou annointest my head with oil = That's
Consecration!
My cup runneth over = That's
Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life = That's
Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That's
Security!
Forever = That's
Eternity!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rainbow Flag over Government Building

How utterly sad that 1.7% of the total population can force their will on the other 98.3%.

Objections fly with rainbow flag (OneNewsNow.com)

What is a Friend

I read this many years ago.  I have no idea where it came from, but it is so true.  How many friends to we truly have?  Oh, we all have acquaintances, but I'm talking about true friends like described below.  I don't think most of us can name more than just a few, if that.  However, I believe that just one is a tremendous blessing.  My best friend is my wife.

"What is a friend? Friends are people with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be naked with them. They ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you are. They do not want you to be better or worse. When you are with them, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, as long as it is genuinely you. Friends understand those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With them you breathe freely. You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities, and in opening them up to friends, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of their loyalty. They understand. You do not have to be careful. You can abuse them, neglect them, tolerate them. Best of all, you can keep still with them. It makes no matter. They like you. They are like fire that purges to the bone. They understand. You can weep with them, sing with them, laugh with them, pray with them. Through it all--and underneath--they see, know, and love you. A friend? What is a friend? Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself."