Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lyrics of the Most Beautiful Hymn: O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

 
 
 
 
 George Matheson wrote this after he began to go blind and his fiance left him. 

  1. O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee;
    I give thee back the life I owe,
    That in thine ocean depths its flow
    May richer, fuller be.
  2. O Light that foll’west all my way,
    I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
    My heart restores its borrowed ray,
    That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
    May brighter, fairer be.
  3. O Joy that seekest me through pain,
    I cannot close my heart to thee;
    I trace the rainbow through the rain,
    And feel the promise is not vain,
    That morn shall tearless be.
  4. O Cross that liftest up my head,
    I dare not ask to fly from thee;
    I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
    And from the ground there blossoms red
    Life that shall endless be.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Media Bias from an Insider, an Honest One

Somewhere along the line I started getting Imprimis from Hillsdale College.  (Maybe because I took one of their online courses, which was mostly a series of lectures.)

There is an excellent article in it this time around on media bias by Michael Goodwin. 

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/2016-election-demise-journalistic-standards/

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Shout out to Bed, Bath, and Beyond

I love this store, but even more now.  I went to buy a shower gift and I was able to wrap it there.  What a great perq for customers.  Saved me time and money and a trip to get paper, etc. 

Shout out to them for great customer service.

Speaking of customer service, I know why Google is ruling the world.  I used another search engine to try to find how to change kilometers into miles.  What a mess.  Google?  the calculator is right there.  This is why I keep going back, despite my fears they have nefarious schemes for us lemmings. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Colors and Flowers





Summer colors in Northwest Georgia in June.  Blackberries and daylillies are out.  The mimosa blooms remind me of parrots or monkeys sitting on the tree limbs.  I don't know the names of the other flowers, but they startle and amaze. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Worship

William Temple, the widely regarded and brilliant Archbishop of Canterbury from 1942-44 wrote:

“Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God.
It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness,
Nourishment of mind by His truth,
Purifying of imagination by His beauty,
Opening of the heart to His love,
And submission of will to his purpose.
And all this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of human expressions of which we are capable.”

I heard part  of this quotation on a Ravi Zacharias program, and looked it up based on the wonderful opening line.

I compare this to what passes for worship: a performance by a band (however well intentioned), dry ice (to approximate incense?), colored lights, three or four songs that perhaps the congregation will know, volume, and some swaying movement.  All these elements do not prevent worship nor do they guarantee it.

How can we create the conditions for the description above?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Forgiveness in Matthew 18


Outline of my Life Group Lesson this week.  

Jesus uses a parable that might not actually be a “made up” story.  It might be that a servant or steward of a rich man tried to pull something like this, that is, he obtained forgiveness from his boss and then tried to imprison someone who owed him money, and that others in the community knew about it.  Although the amounts of money are not realistic, the scenario is.  We have all known people who obtained grace and mercy but couldn’t pass it on.  We have all known people who could not see their own sin but saw and judged less sin in others. The question is, do we see ourselves in the parable?

I.  Read it, 18:15-ff. 
A.  Why does Jesus tell this story?  Peter’s question, arising from Jesus words about how to deal with a sinning brother:  deal with him personally, then bring a friend, then take it to the congregation.  If it’s big enough to take to others, it must be big (not just a personal slight).
B.  What are your first impressions?

II.  Forgiveness is about sin
A.  Sin is a debt.  “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
1.  Definition of forgiveness:  releasing the person from judgment, punishment, and revenge.  Act of the will and hopefully the emotions will follow. 
2. Being annoyed by someone or slighted by them doesn’t necessarily mean they sinned against us. 
3.  What does constitute sin against you? 
B.  How much was/is our debt to God? 
1.  Jesus’ big question:  Has anyone sinned against us as much as we sinned against God?
2.  Forgiveness is not saying the act against you doesn’t matter anymore, doesn’t have consequences, or didn’t hurt you.  This is one of the things we misunderstand.
3.  I tend to think that forgiveness is not possible without the cross.

III.  Forgiveness is about our relationship with God.
            A.  Obedience requires forgiveness.  Eph. 4:32.  Matthew 18. 
B.  The Scripture is very clear that willful refusal to forgive someone indicates you do not understand God’s forgiveness and there will be consequences. 

IV.  Forgiveness is about our relationship with others.
A.  Do we, can we forgive those who do not or will not repent?
B.  Jesus asked God to forgive those who crucified them because they were ignorant of what they were doing.  Does that apply to us?

V.  Forgiveness is about our relationship with ourselves and knocking down barriers to spiritual growth.  Forgiveness can be the hardest thing for many people.      

Friday, June 09, 2017

Final Justice in an Unjust World

This is from a review of the Netflix series The Keepers from Christianity Today.  I was struck by this quotation. We must get away from the nice Jesus image.  Jesus is many things, but he's not "nice" to everybody for eternity, nor can he be or would be really want that.  There is too much evil.  He conquers it, one way or another 
Begin quoted material
 In the concluding chapter of his magnificent book, Exclusion and Embrace, Miroslav Volf examines the tension between the “crucified Messiah” and the fierce “Rider” upon the white horse who comes to “strike down the hopelessly wicked.” Is this really the same God? It’s an old question that hasn’t gone away. Volf contends, “The cross is not forgiveness pure and simple, but God’s setting aright the world of injustice and deception.” God’s righteousness is contingent upon his punishment of those who unrepentantly impugn his goodness and mercy. That includes those who callously exploit the innocent.
 It is here that The Keepers reminds us of the need for cosmic justice, of the fact that we have reason to rejoice over God’s righteous judgment. As Volf says, “The violence of the Rider on the white horse, I suggest, is the symbolic portrayal of the final exclusion of everything that refuses to be redeemed by God’s suffering love. For the sake of the peace of God’s good creation, we can and must affirm this divine anger and this divine violence, while at the same time holding on to the hope that in the end, even the flag bearer will desert the army that desires to make war against the lamb.”

Lyrics of the Most Beautiful Hymn: O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

         George Matheson wrote this after he began to go blind and his fiance left him.  O Love that will not let me go, I rest...