Archive for the ‘Devotional’ Category

I’d swim across lake Michigan
I’d sell my shoes
I’d give my body to be back again
In the rest of the room

To be alone with you
To be alone with you
To be alone with you
To be alone with you

You gave your body to the lonely
They took your clothes
You gave up a wife and a family
You gave your ghost

To be alone with me
To be alone with me
To be alone with me
You went up on the tree

To be alone with me you went up on the tree

I’ll never know the man who loved me


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And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:14-16)

Do you find it difficult to be thankful? I’m sure you are like me, and find it easy to be thankful during certain seasons and for certain reasons. Towards the end of November I find it natural to be thankful for family, friends, health, and the blessings of living in 21st Century America.

But what about being thankful when this passage says to be thankful? Is it a struggle to be thankful when someone brings God’s word into your life as a point of correction? Is it a challenge to be thankful when someone wants to sing “hymns” and you want to sing “spiritual songs?”

Thankfulness is the rule in worship. If we are in process as people, continually arriving and striving toward who God wants us to be, then our worship services are also in process. We are continually reforming. Because we are in process and continually reforming, we should filter everything we say and think with thankfulness. When the communion bread isn’t what you expect, be thankful. When the music is too loud, be thankful. When the sermon is too long, be thankful. When you serve and don’t get recognized, be thankful. Be thankful in every situation.

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Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.

A few notes about the author of the text:
-Charles Wesley, hymn was published in 1740
-Charles wrote over 6,000 songs over the course of his life; including “O for a thousand tongues to sing” and “Hark the Herald angels sing.”
-Songs were all personal expressions of his faith.
-Charles and brother John founded the Methodist church in England, and were missionaries to colonial Georgia.

There is a story about how the song was written: Charles was preaching at a revival, apparently sharing some controversial thoughts. Some of the people did not agree with his doctrine. A riot broke out, and a mob chased after him. It is said that the words of this hymn came to him while hiding under a bush.

My paraphrase of last 2 lines: Jesus is the fountain of life, where life finds it’s source. He freely lets us experience true life through being born again in our hearts, causing holiness and purity to happen, leading to eternal life.

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From Jonny Baker

Breathe in the breath of God

Breathe out your cares and concerns

Breathe in the love of God

Breathe out your doubts and despairs

Breathe in the life of God

Breathe out your fears and frustrations

We sit quietly before the One who gives life and love to all creation,

We sit in awe of the One who formed us in our mother’s wombs

We sit at peace surrounded by the One who fills every fibre of our being

Breathe in the breath of God

Breathe out your tensions and turmoil

Breathe in the love of God

Breathe out your haste and hurry

Breathe in the life of God

Breathe out your work and worry

We sit quietly before the One who gives life and love to all creation,

We sit in awe of the One who formed us in our mother’s wombs

We sit at peace surrounded by the One who fills every fibre of our being

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Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.

This stanza is a prayer…with 2 main parts:

1. A confession that Jesus is all we want/need.

2. A petition to God to lift those who have fallen, bring joy to the weary, and impart healing and vision. Not just physical healing, but spiritual.

God is just/holy. There is no corruption in God. God is full of truth [He is THE truth] and grace. On the opposite hand, we are false/sinful/unrighteous.

This is one of the most unexplainable concepts. How can God want to have a relationship w/someone completely opposite of Him?

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Stanza 2

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.

-We are lost, hopeless, depraved apart from Christ. He is: our only help…the only Rock on which we can stand…our only source of eternal support and comfort…the only One in Whom trust can be placed…the only source of true strength…our only Defender.

Psalm 63:7-8Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

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1 Give a welcome to anyone whose faith is not strong, but do not get into arguments about worship styles.

2 One person may have faith enough to worship through any kind of music; another, less strong, will worship only through one style of music.

3 Those who feel free to worship through edgy rock music are not to condemn those who are unwilling to worship through edgy rock music; nor must the person who does not worship through edgy rock music pass judgement on the one who does-because God has welcomed him.

4 And who are you, to sit in judgement over an electric guitar player? Whether he deserves to be upheld or to fall is for his own band leader to decide; and he shall be upheld, for the Lord has power to uphold him.

5 One person thinks that “How Great Thou Art” is holier than “How Great Is Our God”, and another thinks them all equal. Let each of them be fully convinced in his own mind.

6 The one who sings “How Great Thou Art” sings it in honor of the Lord. So the one who sings “How Great Is Our God”, sings in honor of the Lord, making his thanksgiving to God; and the one who does not, abstains from singing “How Great Is Our God” in honor of the Lord and makes his thanksgiving to God.

7 For none of us sings for himself and none of us worships for himself;

8 while we are singing, we are singing for the Lord, and when we worship, we worship for the Lord: and so, singing or worshiping, we belong to the Lord.

9 It was for this purpose that Christ both died and came to life again: so that he might be Lord of both the singers and the worshipers.

10 Why, then, does one of you make himself judge over his brother, and why does another among you despise his brother? All of us will have to stand in front of the judgement-seat of God:

11 as scripture says: By my own life says the Lord, every knee shall bow before me, every tongue shall give glory to God.

12 It is to God, then, that each of us will have to give an account of himself.

13 Let us each stop passing judgement, therefore, on one another and decide instead that none of us will place styles of music in any brother’s way, or anything that can bring him down.

14 I am sure, and quite convinced in the Lord Jesus, that no music is unusable in itself; it is only if someone classifies any kind of music as unusable, then for him it is unusable.

15 And indeed, if through any kind of music you are causing offence to a brother, then you are no longer being guided by love. You are not to let the music that you use in worship cause the ruin of anyone for whom Christ died.

16 A privilege of yours must not be allowed to give rise to harmful talk;

17 for it is not singing a certain style of music that makes the kingdom of God, but the saving justice, the peace and the joy brought by the Holy Spirit.

18 It is the person who serves Christ in these things that will be approved by God and respected by everyone.

19 So then, let us be always seeking the ways which lead to peace and the ways in which we can support one another in worship.

20 Do not wreck God’s work for the sake of music. Certainly all music is usuable; but all the same, any song can be evil for someone to whom it is an offence to sing.

21 It is best to abstain from singing any song, or dancing any dance, or from any other activity which might cause a brother to fall away, or to be scandalised, or to weaken.

22 Within yourself, before God, hold on to what you already believe. Blessed is the person whose principles do not condemn his practice.

23 But anyone who worships with qualms of conscience is condemned, because this worshiping does not spring from faith-and every action which does not spring from faith is sin.

from the New Jerusalem Bible

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