He Died For Me

March 13, 2011 at 9:56 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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It has been an interesting two and a half months for Kim and I. The next two months should be pretty interesting also. We are getting ready to move as I have accepted a call to pastor a redevelopment church in northeast Ohio. We are going through all the things associated with moving. We have many mixed emotions connected with this move, but we know that God has released me to go and pastor this church. We know that He is sending me and us to serve there. We are looking forward to it. This move will take place soon.

There are other things going on in our lives too, both good and bad, or encouraging and discouraging; whichever way you want to describe them. No matter how you look at them or describe them, we know that God is in control. We have rested in Him and His plans for us for too long to give up now. These circumstances involve both of our sons. Two completely different circumstances or events, but they are linked because of family. No matter the outcomes we know that God is in control here also. They were both dedicated to the Lord when they were babies and we have trusted God to watch over them and teach them.

That brings me to today and blogging. Sometimes I like blogging and sometimes I don’t. I have been busy and preoccupied so I have chosen not to blog consistently over the past few months. I was going to start earlier this week, but then I decided to start with a hymn for Sunday. I have a couple of things in mind with this hymn. First, I want to do some hymns that have an Easter type theme to lead up to Easter Sunday. Second, I hope to encourage people with hymns they may not know or have not sung in a while. Third, I hope to reaquaint some people with great old hymns and introduce some people to some hymns they may never have heard of.

So I hope this hymn blesses you and encourages you to think about what Jesus did for you. He died a painful, terrible death on a cross to pay for your sins (and mine of course). But there is more to that story. God raised Him from the dead and seated in Him in heaven and gave Him the Name that is above every name. Now God the Father offers new life and forgiveness of sins by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, what a Savior! I think there is a hymn by that name, but that is for another Sunday.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Ephesians 1:15-23

He Died For Me

by John Newton (1725-1807), sung in 6/4 time

1.      I saw One hanging on a tree, In agony and blood;

He fixed His loving eyes on me, As near His cross I stood.

(Refrain) Oh, can it be, upon a tree The Savior died for me?

My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled. To think He died for me!

2.      Sure, never till my lastest breath. Can I forget that look;

It seemed to charge me with His death. Though not a word He spoke.

(Refrain)

3.      My conscience felt and owned the guilt, And plunged me in despair;

I saw my sins His blood had spilt And helped to nail Him there.

(Refrain)

4.      A second look He gave, which said, “I freely all forgive;

This blood is for your ransom paid, I die that you may live.”

(Refrain)

Hide In His Pavilion

February 25, 2011 at 6:12 am | Posted in Devotional | Leave a comment
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Hide in His Pavilion

Still Higher For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, February 25

(1)The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?……(5)For He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27 ESV)

God give us the energy of an impregnable position, viz: the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and we have to make the effort to be strong from that position. We have not to work up to that position, but to work from it with the full energy of will. It is impossible to live according to Our Lord’s teaching without this secret of position. We do not get to the heavenly places by struggling, or aspiring, or consecration; God lifts us there, and if we will work from that position, He keeps us in His pavilion. No wonder the life of a saint appears such an unmitigated puzzle to rational human beings without the Spirit of God. It seems so ridiculous and so conceited to say that God Almighty is my Father and that He is looking after my affairs; but looked at from the position in which Jesus places us we find it is a marvelous revelation of truth.

This part of my devotional reading this morning was a big encouragement to me. My wife and I are facing some challenges and God is consistently reminding us that HE is in control and knows everything. We only need to trust HIM, praise HIM and rest in HIM. Tears may come to our eyes at times, but there is joy in our hearts and minds because we see the great sovereignty of God displayed all around us. Trust HIM because HE knows what HE is doing and allowing to show HIMSELF mighty in behalf of those who put their faith in HIM.

I hope you are encouraged this day,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 5:11-12)

Our Victory through His

February 20, 2011 at 9:41 am | Posted in Devotional, hymns | Leave a comment
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I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NIV)

My wife and I are going through a lot of changes right now. Some of these changes are good and challenging and exciting. Some of the changes are difficult, discouraging and life changing in a bad way. But God is in control and is leading and guiding us. He owns us because He purchased us, or redeemed us through the blood the Jesus shed on Calvary. He does know the plan He has for us. We know we can pray and trust Him. He not only expects us to rejoice in Him, we know He will help us rejoice in Him. In light of all of this, part of my devotional reading this morning spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you. It reminded me of a song that I really like too. It is a good old hand clapper, raise your voice in praise and move like you have some rhythm song!

The devotional is found in Still Higher For His Highest by Oswald Chambers for February 20. I hope it encourages you like it did me.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

(Romans 15:13; Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Our Victory through His

I am only healthy according to the fighting corpuscles in my blood, when the fighting millions inside get low, I become diseased and after a while I shall be snuffed out. Morally it is the same, we are not born moral, we are born innocent and ignorant; morality is the outcome of fight. Immediately I am lazy in moral matters, I become immoral. Spiritually it is the same. “In the world ye shall have tribulation,” i.e. everything that is not spiritual makes for our undoing; but, “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Why did our Lord say that He would help us to overcome? Because we have to imitate Him through the power He has put in us. Think of sitting in a corner before the Almighty and saying, “But my difficulties are so enormous.” Thank God they are! The bigger the difficulty, the more amazing is your profit to Jesus Christ as you draw on His supernatural grace.

Victory in Jesus

(Eugene M. Bartlett, 1855-1941)

1.      I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory,

How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me.

I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning.

Then I repented of my sin and won the victory.

 (Refrain) Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever! He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.

 2.      I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing,

How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see.

And then I cried, “Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit”;

And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory.

 (Refrain)

 3.      I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory,

And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea,

About the angels singing, and the old redemption story;

And some sweet day I’ll sing up there the song of victory.

(Refrain)

There Is Power in the Blood

February 13, 2011 at 8:16 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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There Is Power in the Blood

By Lewis E. Jones (1865-1936); sung in 4/4 time

1.      Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Would you o’er evil a victory win? There’s wonderful power in the blood.

 (Refrain) There is power, power, wonder working power In the blood of the Lamb; There is power, power, Wonder working power In the precious blood of the Lamb.

 2.      Would you be free from your passion and pride? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide; There’s wonderful power in the blood.

 (Refrain)

 3.      Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow; There’s wonderful power in the blood.

 (Refrain) 

4.      Would you do service for Jesus, your King? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Would you live daily His praises to sing? There’s wonderful power in the blood.

 (Refrain)

(11)They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)

There is a lot going on in my life and the life of my family right now. I have taken some time away from blogging just to take a break and because of other more important things. Honestly for most of the time I did not miss it. But I do want to start up again and chose to wait until today to start with one of my favorite hymns. I hope you experience the presence of God in your life today.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Jeremiah 9:23-24

The Mark of Maturity

January 4, 2011 at 10:24 am | Posted in Devotional | Leave a comment
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The last couple of weeks I have not blogged regularly. We were doing some travelling and visiting of family and I just wanted a break from blogging. I do want to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog, especially those who read it on a regular basis. I started the blog a year ago and have grown and developed in different ways as a blogger. I think I will try a new pattern starting this week and through next week. There will be some consistency through days, weeks and the coming year.

Tuesday’s will either be an excerpt from a devotional that I am reading through with my wife or an excerpt from a book that I am reading. Most excerpts will come from books I will be posting reviews of. I will keep doing coffee reviews or coffee shop or product reviews on a regular basis. I will also do a weekly study that will take us completely through a book of the Bible. I am hoping to blog on a daily basis, but can’t guarantee that.

Thanks again for helping me and the blog to grow. Give God your whole heart and all of your obedience and you won’t go wrong. Let’s help each other grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To God be the glory! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

(Romans 15:13; 2 Peter 3:18)

The Mark of Maturity

Day 3

(6)And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (7)It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. (8)For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. (9)And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, (10)so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, (11)filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:6-11 ESV

Paul found joy in his memories of the friends at Philippi and in his growing love for them. He also found joy in remembering them before the throne of grace in prayer.

This is a prayer for maturity, and Paul began it with love. He prayed that they might experience abounding love and discerning love. Christian love in not blind! The heart and mind work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment.

The ability to distinguish is a mark of maturity. When a baby learns to speak, he or she may call every four-legged animal a “bow-wow.” But then the child discovers that there are cats, mice, cows, and other four-legged creatures.

One of the sure marks of maturity is discerning love and loving discernment.

SOMETHING TO PONDER

With daily decisions, do you tend to seek what is good, or do you try to discern what is truly best? – taken from Pause for Power by Warren W. Wiersbe. Published by David C. Cook, 2010; page 6.

We Three Kings

December 19, 2010 at 9:36 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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This is one of my favorite songs of all time let alone one of my favorite Christmas songs. I can’t really explain why, maybe it’s because the theme of giving runs throughout it. I have carried a copy of the words in my briefcase for more years than I can remember. I’ve sung it alone as an offering of praise to God, I’ve sung it with my wife and sons and of course I have sung it in church. I just like this song.

I went online to you tube to look for a choir singing this song to post under it for your added enjoyment. Lo and behold what did I find? I found a posting of the Claymation version of this song. I remember watching that with my sons when they were little. I’ve posted that at the end of this song. I also found a rendition of another of my favorite songs from a Soulful Celebration. I hope you enjoy reading the words and watching the video.

More importantly if you don’t personally know the gift of salvation that only comes from God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ; that is what I hope you know. It is as close as sincerely calling out to God and acknowledging that you are a sinner (you have missed His mark of perfection) and asking Him to forgive you. Then receive from Him the gift of salvation which Jesus purchased on the cross. This salvation comes to you by grace through faith. Do this and believe it in your heart and you will be saved, adopted into God’s family, accepted in the beloved (Christ) and sealed with the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing your future redemption (Ephesians 1:1-14, 2:1-10). Then go out and let your changed life show the new hope you have deep within you.

Merry Christmas,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

(Romans 15:13; 3:10-12, 21-26, 10:9-10, 13)

We Three Kings

By John H. Hopkins, Jr.

1.      We three kings of Orient are; Bearing gifts we traverse afar – Field and fountain, moor and mountain – Following yonder star.

(Refrain) O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect light.

2.      Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain; Gold I bring to crown Him again, King forever, ceasing never Over us all to reign.

(Refrain)

3.      Frankincense to offer have I; Incense owns a Deity nigh. Prayer and praising, all men raising, Worship Him, God on high.

(Refrain)

4.      Myrrh is mine: its bitter perfume Breathes a life of gathering gloom – Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

(Refrain)

5.      Glorious now behold Him arise, King and God and Sacrifice; Al-le-lu-ia, al-le-lu-ia! Earth to heaven replies.

(Refrain) 

I hope you enjoy this clips. God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Claymation “We Three Kings” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87wGHfAi17Q (it leaves out verse 4).

This version is a chamber choir with all verses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJGwSzApdIA&feature=related

Soulful Celebration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V51aTh2c0Q

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

December 5, 2010 at 9:41 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

By Charles Wesley, sung in ¾ time

1.      Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free.

From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s Strength and Consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art;

Dear Desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.

 2.      Born Thy people to deliver, Born a Child and yet a King,

Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit, Rule in all our hearts alone;

By Thine all sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne. 

Let’s start off our Christmas hymns with this overlooked one from Charles Wesley. These songs could be sung at any time during the year, but mostly they’re just sung during December. Enjoy them and maybe you can even make a request to your pastor or music director for a particular one. Or ask them if you can take a hymnal home and sing or read them out loud when you have family or friends over. Either way, rejoice and make a joyful noise to the Lord. Take time to worship the Triune God this month and give Him glory for all He has done for you.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Luke 1:26-38

“For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

My Eyes Are Dry

December 1, 2010 at 10:59 am | Posted in A. W. Tozer, Quotes | Leave a comment
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My Eyes Are Dry

Words and Music by Keith Green

My eyes are dry, my faith is old.

My heart is hard, my prayers are cold.

And I know how I ought to be,

Alive to You and dead to me.

Oh, what can be done for an old heart like mine?

Soften it up with oil and wine.

 The oil is You, Your Spirit of love.

Please wash me anew in the wine of Your blood.

_____________________________________________  

“The church has lost her testimony. She no longer has anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an option and not meant to sound bigoted…… Pure Christianity, instead of being shaped by culture, actually stands in sharp opposition to it.”

– A. W.  Tozer

 ___________________________________

“The glorious charity of the present day is such, that it believes lies to be as good as truth; and lies and truth have met together and kissed each other; and he that telleth truth is called a bigot, and truth has ceased to be honourable in the world.”

– Charles Spurgeon

____________________ 

The song posted above is one of my favorite songs. I was a young Christian when Keith Green died in a plane crash. I really liked his music. It made you think and search your heart, mind and soul. It’s funny the things you remember and the things you don’t as you get older. I remember being moved to tears as I sat alone eating lunch before going to work while I listened to Green’s album “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt.” There was a song about Romans 7 and I knew I was not the sold out, fully committed Christian that I should be. I asked God for His forgiveness and for the power and filling of the Holy Spirit in my life. Now I knew I was saved and growing and I was a young Christian, but I also knew I was holding back from God.

God graciously taught me about His sanctifying power. He has used me and forgiven me many more times since then. What about you? Are your eyes dry? Is your heart cold? Are you saved but holding back from God? Do you believe the Church is losing its testimony of purity and truth? Are you a part of that? Only you and God know the answer to those questions. Ask Him to forgive you and fill you and renew a right spirit within you and He will.

The quotes are by two of my favorite authors. Both dead and in the presence of the Lord they loved and served. Both of them were great preachers and authors. Both loved the Church and served the Church. Both believed in prayer and the power of God. Both believed in evangelism and making disciples. They are from different eras of time. One would be called an Arminian and the other a Calvinist. Yet they still have something to say that is relevant today.

Take the time to learn and grow and apply that knowledge to daily living. Make an effort to make a difference for the Kingdom of God and His glory. Your labor for the Lord will not go unrewarded.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 138:1-8

Ask God for a Stronger Hope

November 30, 2010 at 9:55 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). God is the God of hope; not only of the first seed but also of the whole growth and harvest of it in us. He does not give a saint the first grace of conversion and then leave the completion of it wholly to his human skill.

Be sure you humbly acknowledge God by constantly waiting on Him for your spiritual growth. “The young lions” are said to “seek their meat from God” (Psalm 104:21). God has taught them to express their wants when they are hungry; and by this they have learned that their Maker is also their Supplier. At first a baby expresses his needs only by crying’ but as soon as he knows who his mother is, he directs his cries to her.

The Father can always find you, Christian. He knows what you want but He waits to supply you until you cry to Him. Does God care for the beasts in the field? Then surely He will care for you, His child in His house. You might pray for more riches and be denied; but a prayer for more grace is sure to be answered quickly.

Love has a secret yet powerful influence in hope. Moses befriended the Israelite when he killed the Egyptian who fought with him. And love kills slavish fear – one of the worst enemies hope has – and thereby strengthens hope’s hand. Whoever pulls up the weeds helps the corn to grow. It is fear that oppresses the Christian’s spirit so that he cannot act or hope strongly. “Perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). The freewoman will cast out the bondwoman. Fear is one of Hagar’s breed – an affection that keeps everyone in bondage who partakes of it.

Love cannot tolerate fear. The loving soul asks, “Can I fear that the One who loves me most will ever hurt me? Fear and doubt, away with you! There is no room for you in my heart.” Charity “thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, November 29. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers edition, 1994.

Count Your Blessings

November 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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Count Your Blessings

by Johnson Oatman, Jr. – sung in 2/4 time

1.      When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

(Refrain) Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done. Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

2.      Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings; every doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by.

(Refrain)

3.      When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings; money cannot buy Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.

(Refrain)

4.      So amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged; God is over all. Count your many blessings; angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

(Refrain)

Prais be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. The holidays can be a stressed filled time too. Hopefully this great old hymn is a good reminder to thank God for the wonderful blessings He has put in your life now and for the blessings yet to come.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 138:1-8

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