Free Gospel, Sanctifying Gospel, Gracious Gospel, Godliness

I just read a sermon entitled "The Expulsive Power of a New Affection" by Thomas Chalmers. You can read it here. I highly recommend printing that out, taking about an hour to read it (for meditation and because the English is old), and then hopefully you will be exhorted, encouraged, and amazed as I was after reading it.

To go with the sermon, I made this graphic from a quote near the end:

Feel free to download and share. (Click the image first and then save it.)

Untitled hymn based on Psalm 61:2

I wrote this the other night after coming across this verse:
From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2, ESV)
The hymn follows an A-B-A-B rhyme pattern with a 8-7-8-6 syllable pattern (is that what those numbers are called?) and it has an added refrain of which I am not a big fan.
At the end of the earth I lie,
My soul walks in shadows there,
With fainting heart and weeping eye.
O God, hear now my prayer!

I plead with God to hear my call,
While doubt assails my weak heart.
My great sorrows cause me to fall.
My grief, from me depart!

And if I languish in despair,
And say, "I go to the grave,"
He leads me to the cross, for there,
The LORD my soul can save.

My woe was magnified, my sin,
Brought the Son of God to death!
In Jesus Christ God made amends,   OR   With tears I see I'm forgiven,
Through blood and righteousness.

Lead me to the Rock
The Rock of Ages
You're higher than I
Lead me to yourself
Faithfulness and love
Through Jesus who died
 Any thoughts? What line do you think works better in the fourth verse? Is the refrain rubbish?


Joy to the world the ___ is come?

I don't believe I have made any political commentary thus far on this blog yet, but here is a little snippet I read from a brief article about Obama attending a church service recently.
The first family arrived at a chapel at Marine Corps Base Hawaii mid-morning for a multi-denominational service. The Obamas were greeted by clapping parishioners and a band playing "Joy to the World" as they were led to their seats in the front row.
Now, what is the first line of that classic Christmas-time chorus? "Joy to the world, the Lord is come."

Does anyone else find that funny? Hopefully I am not being too oblique in my humor...

Ask of God more faith

So I saw this quote on the Desiring God blog and then I made this...



"But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise." - Psalm 79:13
"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." - Luke 2:8-11
Just like that, a number of smelly, dirty, uneducated shepherds received the decree announcing the arrival of the Savior, the one who would save his people from their sins. The shepherds were simply going about their own business. How could they ever fathom that God would make them the first to know about the final, ultimate revelation of the great redemptive epic of history?

Is it not fitting that God would announce his message in such a manner? God first told the shepherds of the one who is the Good Shepherd, the one who would be struck for sins. It's funny: the shepherds were really sheep. And it would be my bet that those shepherds/sheep will be recounting the story of the angelic herald of the Good Shepherd forevermore.

Maybe I will ask them to tell me the story again one day.