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Wednesday, 21 June 2006
Bible Ministry Sources
Topic: Ministry

Bible-based blogs are intended for spiritual blessing.

Christian web pages below are hyperlinked; you can just click on the title to read.

web address -> Bible Gems for the Week
web address -> Bible Gems Monthly Archive
web address -> Sound Words for Pilgrims
web address -> Guidance from God's Word

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web address -> Scripture Journal
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web address -> Word of Truth Faithful Sayings
web address -> Lead me in a Plain Path
web address -> Form of Sound Words
web address -> Learning More of Him

web address -> Pattern of Good Works
web address -> Magnify the Lord
web address -> Choice Gleanings
web address -> Spurgeon Selections

web address -> Answers to Life’s Questions
web address -> Christian Hymns and History
web address -> Quotes from H.E. Hayhoe
web address -> Quotes from Christians
web address -> Topical Devotions


Posted by dondegr8 at 11:10 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 2 January 2009 7:39 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 22 September 2004
Singing Together
Now Playing: How much do we enjoy singing together ?
Topic: Attitude
THE CHURCH'S SONG SERVICE

March 15, 2004 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist
Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron,
MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; )

As I have traveled across the world and preached
in hundreds of churches, I have had the privilege
of participating in many truly spiritual and
enthusiastic song services. It is a genuine joy
to participate in these. Yet the sad truth of the
matter is that these are rare.

I have loved congregational singing since I was a
boy growing up in a Southern Baptist church. That
church had bi-annual all-day services. After the
morning service we would have "dinner on the
ground." All of the ladies would bring their
tastiest dishes and we would have a real feast.
It was called "dinner on the ground" because
weather permitting it was held outdoors on large
picnic tables, and since I grew up in Florida,
weather often permitted this 12 months out of
the year. Later in the afternoon we would
congregate back in the church auditorium and have
a "sing in." Sometimes quartets and groups would
attend and provide some of the music, but my
favorite part was the congregational singing.
They would take favorites and just sing and sing
and sing. I wasn't even saved at the time, but I
loved those old songs. I turned my back on the
things of the Lord in my teenage years and spent
many years away from Him, but after I repented
toward God in 1973 and began to attend church of
my own accord as an adult, I have continued to
love congregational singing.

All too often, though, it is not done properly
and is dull and lifeless and ritualistic. There
are many reasons for this serious problem.

SOME REASONS WHY SONG SERVICES BECOME LIFELESS

1. THE LIFELESSNESS IS SOMETIMES A REFLECTION OF SPIRITUAL DEADNESS

"Public worship is only the manifestation of
private worship. The reason our public services
are dead is that our private devotional life is
dead" (Tim Fisher, The Battle for Christian
Music, p. 108).

In many instances song services are dull because
so many of the members sing only half-heartedly,
if at all. All too often is obvious that many
don't have their minds on the service. In many
cases, if someone really desires to lift up his
or her voice in praise to God, people look at him
like he is strange. Too often we are just going
through a religious ritual with our song
services. It might as well be a Latin mass. The
words are merely being mouthed without
consciousness of the glorious message of the
lyrics and without heart-felt enthusiasm toward
God. This is a great sin. It is dangerously close
to "having a form of godliness but denying the
power thereof," which is a mark of apostasy (2
Timothy 3:5). It is not an evidence of having
left our first love (Revelation 2:4)?

2. THE LIFELESSNESS IS CAUSED BY TREATING THE
MUSIC AS A RITUAL TO BE "GOTTEN THROUGH."

The fact that song services are often mere
rituals is evident in many ways. It is evident by
the aforementioned half-hearted manner with which
we sing the songs. The ritualism of many song
services is further evidenced by the haphazard
manner in which the songs are sung. Though I
don't believe the church is under an obligation
to sing every stanza of every song, all too often
it is evident that the first, second, and third
stanza (or the first and last) are sung, not
because the lyrics of those particular stanzas
have been carefully selected, but because that is
the ritual and no serious thought and preparation
has been given to it! Many times the third stanza
is necessary to complete the message of the song.
Why skip it? Because that is how we do it, and we
don't think about it any more deeply than that.

I once thanked Bro. McNeily, one of the song
leaders at Fairhaven Baptist Church in
Chesterton, Indiana (and a teacher at Fairhaven
Baptist College), for singing all of the stanzas
of the songs and hymns at a conference I attended
there. His reply was informative. He said simply,
"We are in no hurry." Amen. Why are we seemingly
in such a hurry with our song services? Is it not
too often because it is merely a ritual that we
are rushing through with almost no thought or
heart-felt involvement?

The ritualism of many song services is also
evident by the improper choice of songs. There is
not a lot of genuine worship to God if we sing
songs like "Church in the Wildwood," with its
simplistic, nostalgic message, or if we sing
something which contains actual doctrinal heresy
which many of the popular songs and hymns do, or
if we sing songs the words of which most people
do not understand. If we are going to worship God
in song we have to use songs that are worshipful
and doctrinally sound and that are
understandable. God must be worshipped in truth.
"I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing
with the understanding also" (1 Corinthians
14:15).

This is very basic, and when many of the songs
selected for the song service miss the mark of
having a powerful and appropriate message this is
evidence that we are often treating the song
service as a mere ritual to be gotten through.

3. THE LIFELESSNESS IS CAUSED BY UNQUALIFIED AND
UNPREPARED LEADERS AND MUSICIANS.

The position of song leader is important. Just as
orchestras need effective conductors and armies
need effective officers, churches must have the
right song leaders if they are to have effectual
song services. An individual can worship God
alone effectively if he is so inclined, but a
congregation must be led. That is why God has
ordained leaders and has set forth high
qualifications for them. It is true that the New
Testament does not spell out the position of song
leader or music director, but the Old Testament
plainly sets forth this pattern and there is no
need to restate it in the New. Common sense
dictates its necessity.

"And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for
song: he instructed about the song, because he
was skilful" (1 Chronicles 15:22; see also 1
Chronicles 25).

In Israel the music associated with the worship
of Almighty God was carefully prepared and
skillfully performed with godly oversight. We
should have no less in the churches of Jesus
Christ. Yet all too often the song service is led
by individuals who know almost nothing about what
they are doing and/or do not have the enthusiasm
and skills and spirituality to do the job.

No wonder many are tempted to go to a church
which has an enthusiastic worship service. No
wonder young people think of church as dull. I
received an e-mail recently from a woman who
informed me that her family left an independent
Baptist church that was lifeless and boring and
that they are now happy members of a lively,
contemporary Southern Baptist congregation. I
wonder how many people have turned away from the
truth because it was presented in an incredibly
boring manner!

Friends, church does not have to boring, and the
solution is not found in the contemporary
direction!

If a church is young and the congregation small,
it is understandable that there might not be
proper musicians and song leaders. No one expects
a young church to have everything that a more
established church can have. Under such
conditions, the church must do the best it can
with what it has. We are referring here to
established churches.

4. THE LIFELESSNESS IS CAUSED BY IGNORANCE ABOUT MUSIC.

Oftentimes the chief problem with a church's
music program is simple ignorance. In these
cases, the pastor does not understand music
himself, and he does not provide training for
someone who is qualified to direct the music.
This is understandable in a new work with a tiny
membership, but the pastor should make it a
priority to see that a properly trained,
spiritually-qualified individual is set over the
music. If this is absolutely not possible and no
one is currently available, there is not a lot
one can do but pray and be patient. Frequently,
though, the problem is a lackadaisical attitude
toward church music so that it is not made the
priority in prayer and planning that it should be.

For those who speak English there is no excuse
for ignorance about spiritual music and effective
song leading. There is a wealth of good material
available. At the Way of Life web site we have a
list of such materials in the article on "Helpful
Music Resources." This can be found in the Music
section of the Apostasy database --
http://www.wayoflife.org.

There should be continual education in the church
pertaining to music, both positive and negative.
We should be continually warning of the danger of
worldly music and continually educating on the
nature of spiritual music. New members are coming
into the church and young people are growing up
who need to be trained; and people forget what
they learned a few years ago. In fact, they
forget it much quicker than that!

5. THE LIFELESSNESS IS CAUSED BY LACK OF VARIETY AND IMAGINATION.

All too often there is little or no imagination
and serious preparation given to the music
service. The same songs are sung every service.
"Victory in Jesus" is a wonderful song, but when
it is sung every week for fifty years, even a
wonderful song can grow tiresome! There are
hundreds of songs in the hymnbooks, but many
churches sing only a few of them. Variety is the
spice of life, friends. The largest book in the
Bible is Psalms, and God has provided 150
different psalms in this inspired hymnal.

In the following section on song leading we give
some tips for introducing variety into the
service.

MARKS OF GOOD SONG LEADING

1. LEADERSHIP

Good song leaders lead rather than follow. Some
song leaders seem to think that their only job is
to announce the song numbers. No! Their job is to
actually lead the congregation in singing unto
the Lord, and that entails many things. They
should lead out with their voices, lead with
their enthusiasm, lead by teaching the people how
to sing properly unto the Lord, lead by
explaining the message of difficult songs, lead
by introducing variety into the services, and
many other things. There is a saying that
"everything rises and falls on leadership," and
that is great deal of truth to that.

2. PREPARATION

The song leader represents the church and Jesus
Christ, and he should therefore be well prepared.
He should be prepared week by week by prayerfully
seeking the Lord's will for the service, by
choosing the songs prayerfully and wisely, by
preparing his own heart before the Lord. He
should also prepare himself by doing all he can
to learn how to be a better song leader. (There
are materials that can help with this. See
"Helpful Music Resources" at the music section of
the Apostasy database at the Way of Life web site
-- http://www.wayoflife.org.)

It is not absolutely necessary that the song
leader be able to read music, but it is a great
advantage if he can. Learning how to read music
it is not that difficult to learn if a person is
willing to make the necessary effort.

He should be prepared by studying the lyrics to
songs and hymns and even the backgrounds to the
songs. Pastor Ken Shaver, Greater Cumberland
Baptist Church, Hopkinville, Kentucky, has led
singing in large churches. He observes: "Another
thing that I would mention is how important it is
to learn the story behind the song. Knowing that
H.G. Spafford wrote 'It is Well' after his
children drowned in a shipwreck and that 'Amazing
Grace' represents the testimony of a former slave
trader, I believe adds so much depth to the
songs. 101 Hymn Stories and 101 More Hymn Stories
by Kenneth W. Osbeck (Kregel Publications) are
both excellent publications."

The song leader should also be prepared by
understanding how to discern the difference
between sacred and contemporary music. (Again,
there are materials that can help with this. See
"Helpful Music Resources" at the music section of
the Apostasy database at the Way of Life web site
-- http://www.wayoflife.org.)

3. EDIFICATION

1 Corinthians 14 is about church services and
spiritual gifts, and the theme is edification.
Twenty times in that chapter we find the words
"edify," "know," and "understand." Paul says,
"Let all things be done unto edifying" (1 Cor.
14:26).

This means that music used in church services
should not be for entertainment. That is not the
purpose of church services. The objective is
spiritual edification.

According to Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16,
our music should minister in three directions:
toward the Lord (Eph. 5:19), toward ourselves
(Eph. 5:19), and toward others (Col. 3:16).

This means that each song should be selected
because of its message. If the message is weak,
there is little or no edification.

Further, if the message of the song is spiritual
but couched in words that are not understood by
the congregation, there is still no edification.
Many of the old hymns use words that must be
explained. The song "Beulah Land," for example.
What is Beulah? Unless the people know the
meaning of that word, the song will be nearly
meaningless. There is the same problem with "Here
I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by thy help I'm
come" in the song "Come Thou Fount." The song "A
Mighty Fortress Is Our God" contains these words:
"Lord Sabaoth is His name, from age to age the
same..." Unless the people know what Sabaoth
means, they will not be edified by that part of
the song.

It is the song leader's job to explain such
things in a concise manner. I don't mean that he
takes 10 minutes to discuss each song. That can
become discouraging to the people. The song
service is not about the song leader explaining
things; it is about actually singing the songs of
Zion to one another and to the Lord (Eph. 5:19).
The song leader must be careful that he not
interpret the service continually with lengthy
testimonies and discussions, but it is important
to take a moment to define lyrics that might not
be understood and to briefly reinforce the
message of the songs.

The people need to be taught and reminded to
think about the words of the songs. No matter how
spiritual the songs are, if the people are not
meditating on the message, no edification is
accomplished. It is a song leader's job to lead
the people in this matter, to help them focus
their attention, not to berate them but to
encourage and lead them.

Something as simple as this can do the job:
"Folks, let's sing out unto the Lord today. Let's
put aside the cares of life and turn out hearts
to Christ. Let's think about the words of these
glorious songs we are going to sing and let's let
the message sink down into our hearts."

4. SPIRITUALITY

The Lord Jesus Christ said, "God is a Spirit: and
they that worship him must worship him in spirit
and in truth" (Jn. 4:24).

Our song services should be spiritual. The music
should not please the flesh, should not be
worldly. In this day when the world's music is
creeping into the Lord's house, song leaders must
be on guard continually against this type of
thing. If it sounds like the world's dance or
sensual entertainment music, it is not fitting
for the house of God!

5. TRUTH

Not only are we to worship God in spirit but also
in truth (John 4:24). Thus all of the songs
should be doctrinally sound, should conform to
the truth of God's Word. The song leader should
go through the lyrics of each song, making sure
that it is preaching truth. This is true for the
older hymns as well as for the newer ones. For
example, the chorus to the song "We've a Story to
Tell to the Nations" says, "For the darkness
shall turn to dawning, and the dawning to noonday
bright, and Christ's great kingdom shall come to
earth, the kingdom of love and light." The second
verse says, "We've a song to be sung to the
nations that shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
a song that shall conquer evil and shatter the
spear and sword." That presents the unscriptural
post-millennial view of prophecy, that the return
of Christ's kingdom will be gradually brought in
as the gospel overthrows the evils of this world.
The song "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" by
Charles Wesley has the Methodist doctrine of a
second blessing and entire sanctification in the
second verse: "Let us find that second rest; take
away our bent to sinning..."

An example of a popular contemporary song that
contains false teaching is "Majesty." The author,
Jack Hayford, is a popular Pentecostal preacher
who believes in tongues speaking, healing in the
atonement and such, and his song reflects his
theology. The song says, "Majesty, kingdom
authority..." What is this kingdom authority? It
is the unscriptural charismatic doctrine that
believers have apostolic authority here and now.
Thus the song leader must ever be on his guard
against false doctrine, so that we are
worshipping God in truth.

6. ENTHUSIASM AND A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

There is no reason why our song services should
be boring, and the song leader has a lot of
responsibility in this regard. If he has no
enthusiasm and leads in a boring manner, the
congregation will probably reflect that.

Pastor David Earnhart of Fundamental Baptist
Church, Escondido, California, observes: "I
ALWAYS avoid scolding the crowd for not singing!
That only makes them resent me! You must give
them a positive reason (surely there are many!)
for singing heartily. And repeating old cliches
('Folks, lets just raise the roof on this verse')
SOON becomes old, and does not work. The song
leader must help interpret the meaning of the
song, and why it should be sung with enthusiasm.
That always brings better results than, 'Come on,
folks, let's really sing now!'"

7. SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT

Those who are in charge of the church's music
must have spiritual discernment so they can
select godly songs and reject those that are
worldly and that appeal to the flesh. One of the
chief ways that contemporary music enters
churches is through the specials. I witnessed
this on a recent preaching trip to 12 churches in
three countries. About half of the churches
allowed special music that was at least mildly
contemporary. In each of these cases, the
congregational music was traditional, while the
special music was contemporary. I learned that
the men in charge of the music did not know how
to discern contemporary music. One friend wrote
recently, "'In Christ Alone' is a song that has
been sung several times at our church. This song
was popularized by Michael English (CCM) and was
written by Shawn Craig of the CCM group Philips,
Craig and Dean. It takes a strong pastor and a
strong song leader to help guard from the wrong
music coming in." (The Lord willing, we intend to
address this in a video presentation later this
year entitled "Learning to Distinguish Between
Sacred and Contemporary Styles of Music.")

8. PATIENCE AND HUMILITY

The following suggestions were given to me by
Vince Londini, Associate Pastor, Bethel Baptist
Church, London, Ontario:

"in my 10-years as a song leader, and at times a
choir director and ensemble leader, I found that
"working with people" was an important skill.
With regard to leadership, instead of being
demanding or simply expecting, patiently work
with the pianist. Plan ahead and give the numbers
to your pianist well in advance. Encourage your
pianist. If there's credit to dole out or blame
to assign, take the blame for yourself and dole
out the credit to the musicians. Too often I've
seen a song leader start, stare, or comment when
the pianist made a mistake which subsequent
embarrassed the leader. Don't take your
embarrassment out on the musician. Be flexible
and don't draw attention to others mistakes (as
if to make sure that everyone knows the mistake
wasn't yours). Better yet, learn not to be
embarrassed. Kill your pride, and let accidents
and mistakes roll off of you graciously. A
gracious attitude toward mistakes encourages the
musicians to keep trying, knowing that a mistake
or two isn't the end of the world. When I first
started song leading, the pianist at my home
church was very unskilled (having just taken up
the piano) and very uncertain about what skills
she had. She would often get the timing wrong.
For a time, I picked only songs she felt
comfortable playing, and at times my arms waved
in submission to her timing. We learned to sing
it her way, without any public comment or
criticism from me. I just tried to work
graciously with whatever happened. As her skill
improved, I could point out the timing issues,
which she could now properly address. Because her
heart was dedicated to serving the Lord, she
practiced and practiced until she became a good
church pianist. But, in the beginning I submitted
myself to her and worked with her within her
abilities, to help her get up to speed. It was an
important lesson for me, as a young man, to
submit to others rather than lord over them."

9. LIBERTY AND DIVERSITY

Too many churches are stuck in a rut with their
song services. "Victory in Jesus" is a wonderful
song, but when it is sung every week for fifty
years, even a wonderful song can grow tiresome!
There are hundreds of songs in the hymnbooks, but
many churches sing only a few of them. Variety is
the spice of life, friends. You don't have to
look far in creation to see that God is a God of
diversity and variety. The largest book in the
Bible is Psalms, and God has provided 150
different psalms in this inspired hymnal.

Suggestions for Introducing Variety into a Song Service

New songs should be introduced regularly and then
sung frequently until they become an integral
part of the church family's ever-enlarging song
repertoire. In recent years Majesty Music
published a new hymnbook which contains many
beautiful songs which were written in the last
few decades. (For the address for Majesty Music
see the aforementioned article "Helpful Resources
on Music" at the Way of Life web site.) This
music is contemporary in the sense that it is new
but it is not contemporary in style. (We must
warn that some of the new Patch the Pirate
children's tapes are, in our opinion, moving in
the direction of contemporary sounds.)

Pastor David Earnhart says: "For many years we
have used The Chorus of the Month. And don't
forget the "old songs." I have often used songs
like 'Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul.' Last
year many raised their hands to indicate they did
not know that song (even if it was 'old hat' to
us old-timers!). This brings new Christians into
the 'common fold' of music shared by Christians
over many miles, and even generations."

Pastor Don Williams, Believers Baptist Church in
Winona Lake, Indiana, says: "As for learning new
songs, my family regularly picks out a new song
from our hymnal and works on learning it for a
couple weeks. Then we introduce it to the
congregation as a special and begin to sing it in
the song services. Our church has learned a lot
of new songs that way."

Singing Scripture is a wonderful way to praise
the Lord and edify the saints. During their
Sunday evening services, for example, Windsor
Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City uses
Scripture songs produced by North County Baptist
Church, 221 W. 9th Ave., Escondido, CA 92027 and
Tri-City Baptist Church, 4500 Selsa Rd., Blue
Springs, MO 64015. Not only do these introduce
variety within the music program, but nothing
surpasses the actual words and verses of
Scripture for doctrinal purity.

Even the most familiar songs can be made more
interesting by an imaginative change in the
manner of presentation. For example, on some
verses the accompanying musicians can drop out
while the congregation sings A cappella. Or one
verse can be sung by the women, then the next by
the men. The choir, singing group, or soloist can
be accompanied by the congregation in places. The
timing of the song can be altered, etc., etc. The
chorus can be sung with a little more enthusiasm
and volume as the song progresses. There are
endless means of singing old songs in new ways.

The song service can also be spiced up with the
multiplication of musical instruments. Some of
the most enjoyable song services I have
participated in have been those accompanied by
small orchestras. The Majesty Hymnal offers
complete orchestrations for the entire song
selection.

CONCLUSION

I will conclude with the following comments from
Pastor Doug Hammett, Lehigh Valley Baptist
Church, Emmaus, Pennsylvania: "Keep the service
alive! A song leader who is anticipating meeting
with the Lord in the service will display that in
his countenance, tone of voice and attitude. It
will catch fire with the people as well.
Encourage the people to participate. Don't berate
them, encourage them. Keep the service warm!
Speak to the people as friends. Don't be afraid
to encourage one person by name, all the others
will pay close attention to what you are saying
to him. Keep a record of what you sing and don't
get in a rut!!! Singing the same old songs all
the time may be easy for you, but it will put the
people to sleep mentally. Remember you are
preparing for the preaching! Starting the service
with lively music and bringing the mood to a
thoughtful, reflective manner before the message
is a good plan."

Posted by dondegr8 at 12:02 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 14 September 2004
Tender Shepherd
Now Playing: How often do we think of Him ?
Topic: Peaceful
One of the special memories of my early childhood is being put to bed with my godly mother singing us to sleep with the following hymn:

Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me;
Bless Thy little lamb tonight;
Through the darkness be Thou near me,
Watch my sleep till morning light.

All this day Thy hand hath led me,
And I thank Thee for Thy care;
Thou hast kept, and clothed, and fed me;
Listen to my humble prayer.

All my sins are now forgiven;
What my joyno tongue can tell;
Fit, O Lord, as Thine for heaven,
Happy there with Thee to dwell

Author: Mary Duncan
Meter: 8.7.8.7.
Suggested tune: Tender Shepherd
Composers: C & F Jouard
(342 in Hymns of Grace & Truth, Loizeaux Brothers)


Posted by dondegr8 at 3:12 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 23 September 2004 9:59 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 31 August 2004
Come unto Him
Now Playing: Have we found rest for our soul ?
Topic: Peaceful
"Come unto Me and I will give you rest!"
What blessed words to weary ones addressed!
They come from Him who knew the depths of woe,
And felt for sinners as none here below.

"Come unto Me;" yes, come in all your sin!
Through Jesus' blood the vile may enter in,
May come to God, by perfect grace thus led,
ASssured that for themselves that blood was shed.

"Come unto Me;" the blessed Son of God
Thus told on earth, in every step He trod,
The heart of Him who is in nature love,
And is beseeching men that love to prove.

"Come unto Me;" yes, God Himself says "Come!"
He sees afar and runs to welcome home
Unworthy sinners who have nought to plead
But God's own love and their exceeding need.

"Come unto Me;" oh, blessed open door
For those who but for Christ had hoped no more!
Oh, love of God told out in full extent,
When Jesus to those depths of darkness went!

"Come unto Me;" for Christ the risen Lord
Now speaks from glory through the written word;
As Victor now He can with triumph shout,
That none who come to Him will He cast out.

Author: Unknown
Meter: 10.10.10.10.
Tune: Consolation
Composer: Mendelsohn

(#237 in Hymns of Grace and Truth, published by Loizeaux Brothers. Loizeaux is no longer in business, but the hymnbook can be purchased from Bible Truth Publishers, PO Box 649, Addison IL 60101-0649, telephone 630-543-1441)


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Posted by dondegr8 at 12:40 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 24 September 2004 12:57 PM EDT
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Saturday, 21 August 2004
He Giveth Quietness
Now Playing: Are we quiet from fear of evil ?
Topic: Peaceful
"Quiet from fear of evil"
Lord, give us this to know,
To Thy blest words to harken,
And Thou wilt peace bestow;
Thy blessed peace, Lord Jesus,
Thou would'st indeed impart
To those who hear Thee speaking,
Who know THy loving heart.

Quiet in scenes of turmoil,
Peaceful amidst the strife;
Sorrowful, yet rejoicing;
Dying, yet found in life.
Not fearing evil tidings,
Heart fixed on Thee alone,
Trusting Thy love almighty,
Faithful, unchanging One.

With trouble surging around us,
Unrest on every hand,
Thou'lt keep Thine own, Lord Jesus,
Until they reach that land---
Where tempest never rises,
Where there will be no night,
To dwell in bliss unclouded
With Thee in glory bright.

---Selected

"When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?"
(Job 34.29)

"But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."
(Proverbs 1.33)

"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord."
(Psalm 112.7)

Choice Poems #45, available in leaflet form from
MOMENTS WITH THE BOOK
PO Box 322 - Bedford PA 15522
(814) 623-86737 - gospel.lit@mwtb.org

Posted by dondegr8 at 6:34 PM EDT
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Friday, 6 August 2004
To be "There" !!
Now Playing: What will it be like to be "there" at Home Above ?
Topic: Joyful
Many of us are familiar with the hymn, "We sing of the realms of the blest... But what must it be to be there?" which was written by Mrs. Elizabeth Mills a short while before she went "there" in 1829 at the age of 24.

It is #70 in the appendix to the Little Flock hymnbook and #276 in the Echoes of Grace Hymnbook.

John Gifford Bellett, often referred to as the "confectioner" of the 19th century "brethren" writers, wrote an answer to Mrs Mills' hymn which is today's "Chosen Hymn", as follows:

`Tis good to be here,' was the word
Once heard from that country so fair,
In glory beholding the Lord,
`Tis this, it is this to be there! (Matt 17:4)

The glories and joys of that land
The traveler could not declare,
His rapture and silence alone,
Must tell what it is to be there! (2 Cor 12:4)

In sight of that City on high,
Its walls decked with jewels so rare,
He fell, overwhelm'd with the joy,
This tells what it is to be there. (Rev 22:8)

With Thee, Lord, for ever to be
Is the hope Thou hast left with us here,
`Tis enough, Lord, for ever with Thee,
`Tis this, it is this to be there! (1 Thess 4:17)

(shared by Tom & Leah Roach, Nova Scotia)

Posted by dondegr8 at 12:16 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 28 July 2004
Awaiting His Coming
Now Playing: The Day is soon Coming !
Topic: Rapture
O Lord, with our ears and hearts now open,
Awaiting Thy shout would we be.
The summons that calls us to heaven,
For ever to be, Lord, with Thee.
Thy word and Thy Spirit, blest Lover,
The earnest are given to Thy bride;
Thou'rt near to faith's vision, O Saviour,
But soon she will be at Thy side.

The Spirit and bride are united
And now with one voice would say "Come!"
Throughout the long night she has waited
To see Thee, her faithful Bridegroom.
Gross darkness the earth doth now cover,
And night like a pall shrouds the land;
Thy flock is still here, Shepherd Lover,
The sheep Thou hast kept by Thy hand.

Midst darkness faith clearly sees beaming
The light of Thy coming afar;
We watch for the dawnb of the morning,
And hail Thee, the bright Morning Star.
The word of Thy patience we're keeping,
Thy radiancy draws us apart,
A beacon us heavenward attracting
To meet Thee, the Hope of our heart!


Author: Unknown
Suggested Melody: Russian Air (on the CD, Jesus is Lord,
sung by the group Ekklesia, published by Scripture Truth Publications,
Northumberland UK)

Posted by dondegr8 at 10:55 AM EDT
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Sunday, 25 July 2004
Stranger of Galilee
Now Playing: Do you know Him today as your Saviour ?
Topic: Gospel
In fancy I stood by the shore one day,
Of the beautiful murmuring sea;
I saw the great crowds as they thronged the way
Of the Stranger of Galilee;
I saw how the man that was blind from birth,
In a moment was made to see;
The lame was made whole by the matchless skill
Of the Stranger of Galilee.

Chorus:

And I felt I could love Him for ever,
So gracious and tender was He!
I claimed Him that day as my Saviour,
This Stranger of Galilee.

His look of compassion, His words of love,
They shall never forgotten be,
When sin-sick and helpless He saw me there,
This Stranger of Galilee;
He showed me His hand and His riven side,
And He whispered, "It was for thee!"
My burden fell off at the pierced feet
Of the Stranger of Galilee.

I heard Him speak peace to the angry waves,
Of that turbulent, raging sea;
And, lo! at His word are the waters stilled,
This Stranger of Galilee;
A peaceful, a quiet and holy calm,,
Now and ever abides with me;
He holdeth my life in His mighty hands,
This Stranger of Galilee.

Come ye, who are driven, and tempest-tossed,
And His gracious salvation see;
He'll quiet life's storms with His "Peace, be still!"
This Stranger of Galilee;
He bids me to go and the story tell
What He ever to you will be,
If only you let Him with you abide,
This Stranger of Galilee.

Chorus (4th verse only)

Oh, my friend, won't you Him for ever?
So gracious and tender is He!
Accept Him today as your Saviour,
This Stranger of Galilee.

Author: Mrs C H Morris
Tune: "The Stranger of Galilee"
(#514 in Choice Hymns of the Faith)

Posted by dondegr8 at 4:48 PM EDT
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He is Coming Again
Now Playing: Are we looking for Him whom our soul loveth ?
Topic: Joyful
Lift up your heads, pilgrims aweary,
See day's approach now crimson the sky;
Night shadows flee, and your Beloved,
Awaited with longing, at last draweth nigh.

Chorus:
He is coming again, he is coming again,
The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
He is coming again, he is coming again,
With power and great glory, he is coming again.

Dark was the night, sin warred against us;
Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of his coming;
Our hearts glow within us, joy's cup runneth o'er!

O blessed hope! O blissful promise!
Filling our hearts with rapture divine;
O day of days! hail thine appearing!
Thy transcendent glory for ever shall shine.

Even so come, precious Lord Jesus;
Creation waits redemption to see;
Caught up in clouds, soon we shall meet thee;
O blessed assurance, for ever with thee!

Author and Composer: Mabel Johnston Camp
(#403 in Choice Hymns of the Faith, published by Truth & Praise Inc, Belle Chasse Louisianna 70037)

Posted by dondegr8 at 4:46 PM EDT
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