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Archive for the ‘worship’ Category

Highly Recommended

Very talented friends of mine in Memphis/Nashville have produced some very high quality worship lyrics/music.Listen for free.

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to Red Mountain Music at Second Presbyterian next Saturday night.  Drawing to be held Tuesday PM.  To enter leave your name and preferred contact (email, phone, etc) in the comments (we will delete them after we enter you for the concert); by contacting Jason Hood; or Robb Roaten or Jacqueline Jones at Second Presbyterian (first initial and last name, then @2pc.org), telling them you want to enter for the drawing and giving contact info.

Very high quality music, great contemporary arrangements of hymns.

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This is a video from the Lausanne Conference describing how God is working in the Middle East and North Africa. If you want to read more on this you can check out “Light Force” and “Secret Believers” by Brother Andrew, or “Which None Can Shut”, by Reema Goode. Brother Andrew also has a website called Secret Believers. In the words of Ravi Zacharias,””Brother Andrew and Al Janssen reveal the amazing stories of those who witness the love of One they once refused and passionately searched until they found Him, even in the face of great opposition. Theirs is a testament to meekness, grace, and triumph, and a call to every follower of Christ to mirror their example.”

Here’s the link to the video (it’s a little slow to load, but worth the wait):

http://conversation.lausanne.org/en/resources/detail/11511

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Do It Again

Grace and I drove to Asheville, NC last weekend to enjoy what RomanticAsheville.com told us was “peak color”. And they were right, it was beautiful. As we walked through the woods, I kept thinking of the quote below. We walked or drove past hundreds of thousands of trees and  probably billions of leaves, each one glorifying its Creator, changing color and falling  at His command.

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”   G.K. Chesterton 

Psalm 96

1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; [1]
tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12 let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13 before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

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What were we made for?  To know God.  What aim should we have in life?  To know God.  What is the eternal life that Jesus gives?  To know God.  What is the best thing in life?  To know God. What in humans gives God most pleasure? Knowledge of himself.

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I’ve spent a fair bit of time pondering where the divide lies between orthodoxy and heresy, that divide famously defined by J. Gresham Machen as Christianity and Liberalism (whatever the latter happens to go by; it often assumes Christian names for its gods and churches).  Al Mohler is the President of Southern Seminary; he thinks that abandoning a young-earth, six-day view of creation is a great gateway to apostasy.  Others point, with more validity, to the cruciality of particular understandings of atonement and inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture.

Machen himself, however, pointed to one great door through which so many enter, and I think this may be the grandaddy of gateways to another religion:

The truth is that liberalism has lost sight of the very centre and core of the Christian teaching.  In the Christian view of God as set forth in the Bible, there are many elements.  But one attribute of God is absolutely fundamental in the Bible; one attribute is absolutely necessary in order to render intelligible all the rest.  That attribute is the awful transcendence of God.  From beginning to end the Bible is concerned to set forth the awful gulf that separates the creature from the Creator.  It is true, indeed, that according to the Bible God is immanent in the world.  Not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him.  But He is immanent in the world not because He is identified with the world, but because He is the free Creator and upholder of it.  Between the creature and the Creator a great gulf is fixed.

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Eerdmans, 1923), 62-3.

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America’s Idol

There may be no more famous statue, and there may be no god more widely worshipped by men.

I don’t think it’s well-known that this is an image of the Roman goddess, Libertas.

If “we become what we worship”, as the slogan goes and as Scripture shows (see the recent fine book by Greg Beale bearing that title), then it’s worth asking to what extent we are becoming radically free in an altogether unhealthy way.  We’re not far from Solaris, Asimov’s imaginary planet where thousands of humans live in complete isolation, only relating to one another through technological alternatives to the person-to-person.  We’re terribly far from the biblical view of radical dependence on God and his Messiah, on his teachings, on life with others in radical community, sharing a radical faith.

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