Friday, April 21, 2017

Jesu, be endless praise to Thee...

Jesu, be endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me—
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
 
O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesu, Thy blood and righteousness.
...Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf image

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Resurrection narratives...

The Resurrection narratives are not a picture of survival after death; they record how a totally new mode of being has arisen in the Universe. Something new had appeared in the Universe: as new as the first coming of organic life. This Man, after death, does not get divided into “ghost” and “corpse.” A new mode of being has arisen. That is the story. What are we going to make of it? ...C.S. Lewis image

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It can be so easy for Easter to be a moment in time...

Easter Morning 05
It can be so easy for Easter to be a moment in time and not a moment that changes time. Our experience with Christ should change our lives. We shouldn’t experience the resurrection and then just go back to the day to day lives we lead unchanged. Life should be different because of the grace of Christ. Did Easter change you, or are you back to the daily grind? Jesus wants more from us than to just experience the joy of the resurrection - He wants us to live changed lives! ...Don Crane image

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter 2017

I greet Thy sepulchre, salute Thy grave,
That blest enclosure, where the angels gave
The first glad tidings of Thy early light,
And resurrection from the earth and night.
I see that morning in Thy convert’s tears,
Fresh as the dew, which but this dawning wears.
I smell her spices; and her ointment yields
As rich a scent as the now primros’d fields:
The Day-star smiles, and light, with the deceased,
Now shines in all the chambers of the East.
...Henry Vaughan image

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday 2017

For Holy Saturday: Jesus Laid in the Tomb
LORD, God of my salvation;
I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!  
For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves.  
 
You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O LORD;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you?
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
 
But I, O LORD, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O LORD, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.
-Psalm 88 image

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday 2017

Christ on the Cross
I bind my heart, this tide
To the Galilean’s side,
To the wounds of Calvary—
To the Christ who died for me.

I bind my soul this day
To the brother far away
And the brother near at hand,
In this town and in this land.

I bind my heart in thrall
To God, the Lord of all,
To God, the poor man’s Friend,
And the Christ whom He did send.

I bind myself to peace,
To make strife and envy cease.
God, knit Thou sure the cord
Of my thralldom to my Lord.
...Lauchlan MacLean Watt image

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Maundy Thursday 2017

The Last Supper 09
Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless
Thy chosen pilgrim flock
With manna in the wilderness,
With water from the rock.
 
We would not live by bread alone,
But by Thy word of grace,
In strength of which we travel on
To our abiding place.
 
Be known to us in breaking bread,
And do not then depart;
Savior, abide with us, and spread
Thy table in our heart.
 
Lord, sup with us in love divine,
Thy Body and Thy Blood,
That living bread, that heavenly wine,
Be our immortal food.
-James Montgomery image

Friday, March 31, 2017

Benedictus


Jan 19, 2017
Steve Angrisano
A great prayer to start any day..."In His tender compassion, the dawn now breaks on high". Blessings.

The Christian landscape...

Convict Ruins
The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers—the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. All too many people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of so-called nominal Christianity.
...John RW Stott image

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Of the Father’s love begotten...

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
 He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
 Of the things that are, that have been,
 And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

At His Word the worlds were framèd;
He commanded; it was done:
 Heaven and earth and depths of ocean
in their threefold order one;
 All that grows beneath the shining
 Of the moon and burning sun, evermore and evermore!

He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know,
 That the race of Adam’s children
doomed by law to endless woe,
 May not henceforth die and perish
 In the dreadful gulf below, evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessèd, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race;
 And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
 First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father,
and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
 Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving,
and unwearied praises be:
 Honor, glory, and dominion,
 And eternal victory, evermore and evermore!
-Aurelius Prudentius

Monday, March 20, 2017

Christ in the Desert















Painting of Jesus in the desert, Luke 4:3-13; Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:13
by J.D. Flynn
3/17/17

On Saturday, I watched good friends carry a miniature white casket up the aisle of our parish church, to be laid before the altar for a funeral Mass. Their son was stillborn last week. Our parish had come to the church to pray for them as they laid their son’s body to rest.

My friends have entered the season of Lent in a profound way.

During Lent, we remember Jesus, fasting and praying in the Judean desert. We remember that Jesus was weak, and tired, and alone, and that, relying on the word of God, he overcame the empty promises of Satan.

Like Christ, my friends will likely feel weak, tired, and alone this Lent. C. S. Lewis said that grief feels much like fear, and I suspect they’ll sometimes feel afraid. He also said that grief is an amputation, and I suspect they’ll sometimes feel crippled.

And like Christ, my friends will face temptations. They may be tempted to turn on each other. They may be tempted to turn from God. They may be tempted to pretend they don’t need help—human or divine—when, in fact, they surely do. I suspect my friends will overcome those temptations, by grace. But if they don’t, I know they’ll seek God’s mercy, and I know he’ll give it freely.

During Lent, most of us offer up small sacrifices—pittances, really—to spend more time in prayer. We limit our comforts, just a little. We give alms, usually from our excess, and rarely from our need. And somehow God, in his mercy on us—his pity for our pitiful sacrifices—gives these tiny sacrifices meaning, and uses them to draw us closer to him... image

The rest at First Things

Friday, March 3, 2017

Shine On Us


Philips, Craig and Dean

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Thou Lamb of Calvary...

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!
 
May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!
 
While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!
-Ray Palmer image

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Stand still, and see!

adventure, brak, mountains
In every life
There's a pause that is better than onward rush,
Better than hewing or mightiest doing;
'Tis the standing still at Sovereign will.
There's a hush that is better than ardent speech,
Better than sighing or wilderness crying;
'Tis the being still at Sovereign will.
The pause and the hush sing a double song
In unison low and for all time long.
O human soul, God's working plan
Goes on, nor needs the aid of man!
Stand still, and see!
Be still, and know!
-V. Raymond Edman

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

10 Things You Should Know about Revival

Fiery sunset
January 9, 2017
by Sam Storms

Excerpt:
(1) Revival cannot be scheduled. Revival cannot be predicted, but neither can it be precluded. There simply are no natural laws that guarantee revival. True revival is a sovereign work of God (Zech. 4:6). In other words, revival is always a miracle. Revival is not "in our pocket." Once we fall into the trap of thinking that revival is at our beck-and-call, we will begin to develop earthly strategies that we are convinced will produce the desired end. We will become sinfully pragmatic in the business of religion, as we justify virtually any tactic or method just so long as it gets "results". But this is precisely what we must avoid at all costs.

(2) Someone has defined revival as "a copious effusion of the influence of divine grace," i.e., a bountiful outpouring of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. J. I. Packer defines revival as "a work of God by his Spirit through his word bringing the spiritually dead to living faith in Christ and renewing the inner life of Christians who have grown slack and sleepy" (Revival, 36). Or again, "Revival is God stirring the hearts of his people, visiting them . . . coming to dwell with them . . . returning to them . . . pouring out his Spirit on them . . . to quicken their consciences, show them their sins, and exalt his mercy . . . before their eyes" (Keep in Step with the Spirit, 256).

(3) True revival is a surprising work of God. This is because revival is a gracious work of God. No one deserves revival. One may never expect what one does not deserve. If God were not to send revival, no one could protest that an injustice had been done. That is why we must never demand revival, as if God were in our debt. God is not obligated to visit us with the refreshing waters of his presence. That he occasionally does is an expression of mercy. It is the compassion and loving kindness of God that accounts for revival. image

Full article here

More Observations on the Nature of True Revival

Added 1/12/17: A Dozen Additional Thoughts on the Nature of Revival and How People Respond to It