Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

New Hymn, "The Praises of the King!"

The hymn for today is about the coming of Heaven's own Light, Jesus Christ.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

New Hymn, "Unto the Land"

The hymn for today is an intercessory prayer for the place of your residence.

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Better Than I Deserve

A while ago, in my reading, I came across somethinga detail, but an important one, reallythat I had never noticed before. It was something that got me thinking, and that got me prayingand that got me pondering.
It got me praying and then pondering because it immediately struck me as a detail that hides an essential truth.
If you make a daily habit of reading the Bible, then over the years you tend to come to notice certain qualities of composition that crop up in the efforts of the Biblical authors. One of those qualities is that even the smallest details can be very, very important.
As I was reading in the 11th chapter of Matthew’s account (in the NASB) I noted a list:
The blind receive their sight,
the lame walk,
the lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised, and
the poor have good news preached to them.1
Did you notice that the first item gives us more detail than the others do? Are you, perhaps, wondering why? I know I was.
That’s what got me prayingand then pondering. Why, I wondered, is it that the writer, here, treats sight as somehow different from the rest? Why is it that sight gets treated as a personal possession?
I have rarely relied on a particular translation to bring a lesson in the Scriptures, preferring to dig into the original languages instead, but there are times when translation can also be inspired.
In this case, the translators had some options. They could have kept all of the items in the same sense, bringing a consistency to the passage, thus: the blind look, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the lepers cleansed, the dead rise, the poor evangelized.1
Or they could have put all of them in the sense of receiving. They made a different choice, though. They chose to make one passive and possessive, thus separating it from the rest.
I think that was inspired translation, bringing it into accord with John 21:22, where Jesus rebukes Peter, saying (according to the NCV), “If I want him to remain until I come, that is not your business. You follow me.”
Many are those who forget to focus on the Shepherd rather than on other sheep. This busybody attitude can leave a person feeling superior to the others around them. And that is a danger, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.2
The other day, in Bible study, I noted that, in the passage we were studying, the Mosaic Law is referred to in the singular, rather than the plural, meaning, of course, that it is all one law—not a collection of many laws, but just one law.
In the garden, Adam and Eve had but one law: do not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—one law. Just one. And even though they had only one very simple law they could not even obey that, but rebelled against God’s command. God’s Law is one law, and if you break any one part of it, you have broken all of it.
The details of what you did are irrelevant to the fact that you are a law breaker. The one who thoughtlessly squashes a grape that is not theirs to take is equivalent to the one who takes the life that is not theirs to take. Both are law breakers.
Therefore, the one who thinks themselves not as wicked as some other person—any other person—is sinning by testifying falsely to themselves about themselves. They are, in fact, lying about themselves.
The fact that it is about themselves does not make it any less a rebellion against God. It is, therefore, a thing of wickedness and evil and must be confessed and repented of. God is no less offended by your simple thoughtlessness than by planned wickedness and evil.
Recall, if you will, Jesus’ assessment of the second most important command in all of Scripture. What does He say? You must love your neighbor as yourself.3 Taking it directly from the version of Scripture they would have had, love your neighbor as yourself would be αγαπησεις τον πλησιον σου ως σεαυτον.
Αγαπησεις, being a form of the word αγαπαω, means to sacrifice yourself for the sake of another. Considering yourself above another is a direct slap in the face of the command to consider that other to be above yourself, and is, therefore, a direct slap in the face of God. It is rebelliousness, it is wickedness, it is evil, and it is sin.
Sin must be repented of, or it will cast you into hell.
Do you, now, see the abjectindeed mortaldanger to your eternal soul of seeing yourself as some sort of self-ordained overseer of the Christian walk of those around you? Can you walk more obediently to John 21:22?
The blind receive their sight.1 They are not given the sight of others, but their ownand they do not earn it, but it is given to them. It is given to them by God, though they do not deserve it.
When I took the photograph you see in the masthead4 (with the native version below) and showed it to one of my ministry fellows before adding the self-silhouette and Visions of Love that allow it to be used in a masthead for this newsletter, their exclamation was, “That’s a postcard!” And in a certain sense, it is a thing of beauty, but it is also a warning.
Do you remember the old admonition, “red sky at morning, sailor take warning” advising sailors when it is not wise to sail? That sky is nothing if not a brilliant, gaudy, indeed angry red.
Look closely, and notice that civilization is in darkness with the heavens on fire above. Indeed, it looks as though angry red flames are shooting across the sky over that place that holds itself in such high esteem over those who struggle in their midst.

Before I go further I must make certain that you recognize something about me: I am not better than you. I am no paragon, and today I have been getting reminded of that unalterable fact. There is a standard reply that I like to use whenever anyone asks how I’m doing. Today, for some reason, I got away from that habit. Let me, therefore, address its logic with you.
There are some truths about real life that even the most ardent Christians can be loath to face and address. Rather, they prefer to skip merrily to the cross, thumbing their nose at what is very likely the most powerful created being that God has ever created, and giving that being no respect whatsoever. The arrogant impudence of such behavior should be shocking to us. Alas, it is all too common a thing.
Just who do we think we are that we should behave toward one so powerful as though they were nothing more than an object of derision and laughter and scorn. When we do such things we are thinking too highly of ourselves—far too highly.
As I wrote earlier, the one who thoughtlessly squashes a grape that is not theirs to take is equivalent to the one who takes the life that is not theirs to take. Considering yourself above another is a direct slap in the face of the command to consider that other to be above yourself, and is, therefore, a direct slap in the face of God. It is rebelliousness, it is wickedness, it is evil, and it is sin.
Paul addresses this fact when, in his letter to the Romans, he writes, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.2 He further addresses it when he writes, the wages of sin is death.5
We are not better than the most fallen of the fallen.
Like them, we, too, have rebelled against God. Far more, we are the more responsible, for we have received grace, if indeed we have not falsely believed.
There are hearts that I long forsouls that I would see—but I do not deserve them. If I am to have them, it shall be by grace, for I have no merit of my own.
Indeed, “How many bridges I have burned! Oh! All the pain that I have earned!” We are the more responsible because we know God.
Yet, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,2 and, the wages of sin is death.5 So, how, logically, shall we properly respond when being inquired with regarding the condition of our soul?
Better than I deserve!”

1Matthew 11:5
2Romans 3:23
3Leviticus 19:18
4In the PDF tri-fold, this article has a masthead different than the one on this web page. Download the PDF version to see that masthead.
5Romans 6:23

Saturday, December 26, 2015

New Hymn, "Oh, Lord, Forgive Those Souls"

The hymn for today is a plea, both for yourself, and intercessory, that righteousness be seen by grace.

Play it on MuseScore for a limited time.

Friday, December 25, 2015

New Hymn, "Jesus Has Come to Earth This Day"

The hymn for today is about looking to our salvation. See how many different Scripture references you can find.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New Hymn, "King of Peace"

The hymn for today is a prayer of humble repentance and intercession.

Play it on MuseScore for a limited time.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

New Hymn, "A Thousand Years" — ONE THOUSAND DAYS!!!!

The hymn for today counsels patience.

This hymn marks a thousand consecutive days that I have written at least a hymn a day. This could only have happened by the power and grace of God, for I have not the strength, the ability, nor the righteousness.

Play it on MuseScore for a limited time.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Hymn, "The Battlefield"

The hymn for today is an exhortation to do battle for the Lord.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

New Hymn, "From the Dawning of Time"

The hymn for today is a treatise on the person and purpose of Jesus Christ.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Homeless Rights; New Hymn, "Praise to Jesus Christ, the Lord!"

The hymn for today is, most obviously, a baptismal hymn, but also a hymn of deliverance (play it on MuseScore for a limited time).
In my own spirit, I am taking this as a message from the Lord (regarding our ongoing difficulties with the city) to not worry; He’s got this! And it is in complete keeping with what I was told, by God, at the beginning of all this: That we would lose the battle in order to win the war.
It is as Scott Egan stated in the news conference held, filmed, and shown yesterday (and to be shown again tonight, tomorrow and Sunday), the Federal government is getting sick of the government of this metropolitan area, and of the treatment being leveled at the homeless by haters and governments nationwide. The Justice Department has already called it a violation of the Constitutional Rights of those who are homeless as embodied in the Fourth and Eighth Amendments: freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.
When it became known that the United States was using sleep deprivation techniques against their prisoners in the war on terrorism, the world went ballistic. How, then, can it be seen as right to use those same techniques against their own citizens who have not even been accused of crimes and misdemeanors?
Help, Lord! Shine Your Light of Righteousness into that despicable place where men are treated like dogs and dogs like men! Amen!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Hymn, "As the Light of Heaven Shines"

The hymn for today is an exhortation to live in peace whenever possible.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Hymn, "Heaven's Light"

The hymn for today is a hymn of exhortation away from sin and to the Light.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Hymn, "All is Well"

The hymn for today is a hymn of encouragement and exhortation.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

On the Celebration of Perditious Events: New Hymn, “Thou, Immanuel!”

74 years ago, today, the nation in which I live was wickedly attacked by a cowardly enemy—an attack which was not deserved.

Today, this nation is, once again, under attack, and the enemy is, again, a cowardly one, but today, those attacks are fully and completely deserved, for materialistic profligacies and perversions rule the nation as never before—and God is ridiculed, vilified, slandered, and hated in the public square—and the nation levels no rebuke.

Thinking themselves wise, they have become fools, staggering drunkenly in the filths of their profligacies toward their own destruction.

God would level forgiveness, but they hate God and everything to do with Him, and they refuse to turn from their ways.

But those who do turn, God will forgive and bring them into the Light of His mercy and grace and peace, shining His Truth into the darkness of their formerly wicked lives.

For it is by grace you are saved, through faith (and that not of yourselves—it is the gift of God) so that no one should boast.

Come, Lord Jesus!
Come quickly!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Hymn, "The Son of Man"

The hymn for today is about the heralding of the coming King.

Play it on MuseScore for a limited time.

Monday, November 30, 2015

New Hymn, "Sails of Victory"

Yeah! 983 and counting!

The hymn for today is about the victory of the righteous.

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A Remarkable Thing

Those of you who have been following my composing, here (and especially on MuseScore), have witnessed a remarkable thing. For 982 consecutive days you have seen me post hymn after hymn after hymn. This morning, though, when I turned my laptop on (the only place I have available to me to compose), the screen stayed dark.

Just yesterday I told Chris, in the comments thread of my most recent hymn, that “the screen on my laptop is dying, and I do not have the money to replace it.” This morning it did not turn on at all. While I could, quite dimly, see that changes were occurring on the display, it was far, far, far too dark to do anything with.

Pray for me, gentle readers. God knows a way.

Know this: the music is still in me, unabated, but I have no way, for now, to finish it out.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

New Hymn, "Battle Hymn of the Saints"

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!

The hymn for today is an anthem of praise.

Play it on MuseScore for a limited time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Hymn, "Misunderstood"

The hymn for today speaks of the heart of God toward those He came to save.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Hymn, "King of Light"

The hymn for today is a testimony to the Light of Christ.

Play it on MuseScore for a limited time.

December Issue, St. Louis Amigan: The Opening of the Mind

The other day I made the frequent mistake of venturing into the comments thread of an article on a conservative web site. It is not a mistake of going to the wrong sort of web site. After all, I am a conservative. It is not a mistake because of that. No. It is a mistake because such places are invariably invaded by those who hate conservative ideals, whose only motivation and desire is to shutand shoutthose ideals down.
Their tools are slander, vituperation, vilification, hatred, and a twisted “logic” that is unique to those who want what they want and the Truth—and the rights of others—be damned. Among other things, they failor, rather, refuseto recognize the simple, common sense logic that the presence of the government established by the Constitution of the United States of America does not constitute a Constitution-free zone. In other words, no person surrenders their Constitutional Rights by being a member of the government established by the Constitution that recognizes, and was formulated for the protection of, those rights. When you enter a government establishment you do not leave your rights at the door.
The very basis of the foundation of our government is alluded toif not actually establishedin the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Note that you are not guaranteed happiness, but only the pursuit of it. If happiness itself were a creator-endowed, unalienable right, then I would, by now, be a grandfather with a quiver full of children and a yard full of grandchildren. Happiness, though, is not guaranteed, so I have the life I have, my own happiness ruined, bull-rushed, and trampled upon by those in the head-long, greedy blitz toward their own chosen profligacies, it seemingly never entering their wicked littleand, yes, I do mean littleminds that they are not Constitutionally guaranteed the right to pursue their own twisted perversion of happiness at the expense of my happiness. That they have no right to force me to participate in the celebration of what I see as evil, wicked, twisted, perversion and sin seems to be an alien concept to them.
There are even those who insist that two of our founding fathers, Hamilton and Jefferson, hated religion and were trying to free Americans from its grasp. They seem blissfully unaware of the fact that Jefferson made certain that churches would be allowed to use the House of Representatives chamber as their place of worship, and that, according to Dr. Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, there is reason to believe that, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle” were draftednot by Washington, in whose farewell address they appearbut by Hamilton. So history calls a liar the person who would assert that Hamilton and Jefferson were at war with religion, because such an assertion is simply not true.
The Truth, though, never withstands in the minds of these miscreants of mindful malediction, these purveyors of prurient putrefaction, these simpering sycophants of slanderous surveyal, these hate-filled halogens of hyper-critical histrionics. They care nothing at all for the Truth. The only thing that matters to them is that their own accepted views prevailand the Truthand, therefore, the actual facts of the matterbe damned. They care only that their agenda go forth. If the rights of others get trampled in the process, so be it; they care not, so long as their own supremacy be established in that same process. They are Hitler and his dogs, Caesar and his lions, Nero and his torches. If you stand athwart their goals, to the flames with youand may your sky fairy help you if they can.
Our God can!
You see, the whole reason that they engage in such childish pursuits as hyper-critical histrionics and the like is to shout down what they cannot countenance, and thereby maintain the delusion that what they cannot countenance does not actually exist. But there is a problem there.
No more than it would be sensible to claim that the various moons of Pluto popped into existence upon NASA’s observations of them, would it be sane to assume that our personal preferences effect the existence of those without whom we would find life more tolerable. I am not able, by sheer force of will, to relegate Nealy Tamminga and her PCA ilk to the outer realms of delusional fantasy (no matter the plenitude of gain that would accrue to the world in such an event), and the God and Creator of all that begins to exist is neither subject to such preferences at the hands of those who would wish Him out of existence.
God is real, and it is He that rules over reality, not us. No amount of profligate hand wringing will ever have a single sliver of an iota of an effect upon that.
God is real.
There are those who, seeking to appear reasonable, will cry out for evidence of God to be presentedand then a priori reject any evidence that you bring. Their crying out for evidence is actually a cover, a subterfuge that is designed to make them seem to have the high ground over those poor, deluded fools who depend upon a god of some sort or other to make their meaningless existence tolerable. Poor things. They forget that it is they who lack the evidence to support their stancenot those who accept the evidence of their own eyes, but those who insistently reject that evidence, preferring their own preferences over reality.
No one in possession of a sound mind would, upon seeing a print-out of this newsletter, genuinely assume that it is simply a product of physics and chemistry with nothing more involved. While it is exceedingly likely that they would not appreciate the ideas being brought forth, they would nevertheless concede that there are, indeed, ideas being brought forthin other words, that there is mind involved.
How much more, then, the far more sophisticated concepts involved in the machinery of life! If the simple concepts presented here are guaranteed to be the product of mind, then how much more-so the multi-dimensionally arrayed concepts that allow for an immensely long coded sequence of characters to be decoded and read in eight different ways at the same time in the same code space, yielding functional results with every reading, those results varying according to the decoding method used! If my simplistic scribblings here are certainly the product of mind, then so are the immensely more sophisticated encodings that instruct the construction, maintenance, and replication of the machinery that allows for the thriving of life itself. That Mind is necessarily the Designer, and it is the Designer that rules over His design, and not the design that rules over its Designer.
This is what the profligates cannot countenance and what triggers their childish use of the “LALALALA I can’t hear you!” defense that they unceasingly employ in an effort to shout you down.
Take heart, though, because evidence is never obliterated by its denial. Neither is God effected by such childish foolishness. The evidence for God is all around, suffused throughout all existence. The steadfast refusal of some to countenance what their sober senses would tell them, is not evidence against God, but rather, is evidence against them, prosecutable in the Court of the Final Judgment, in which the only possibility for acquittal only requires the opening of the mind.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New Hymn, "Lord of Glory"

The hymn for today is a prayer for national repentance.

Play it on MuseScore for a limited time.

A Short Thanksgiving Message

Recorded about a week or so ago, this is a very brief message on thanksgiving in the midst of trials and tribulations.

Friday, November 20, 2015

New Hymn, "To the Life!"

The hymn for today is a guiding light to the Lord of Light.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Hymn, "God of Mercy and Compassion"

The hymn for today is a cry of the wounded heart, praying for those who have committed the wounding.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Hymn, "The One-in-Three!"

This hymn is a prayer for those who, through their hatred and dismissal of God, oppose, also, you.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Hymn, "Who Will Always be There"

The hymn for today is an anthem for those who, in Christ, have been used and abused and thrown aside by those who pretend Christ, as has been my history. Truly, I have lived Genesis 39, with the Lord even calling me Joseph, before.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Hymn, "A Prayer for the Wicked Heart"

The hymn for today is also exceedingly personal, following on yesterday's hymn, but dealing more broadly with all those who, claiming Jesus' name, have slandered, betrayed, used, abused, sought to entrap me; as you can see from the chosen Scripture passage, these were not known enemies, but people who had claimed to be my friend, who had shared communion with me under the noses of elders who should have known better.

Play it on MuseScore for a limited time.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

New Hymn, "Wounded Hearts"

The hymn for today is exceedingly personal, an intercessory prayer for a dear, sweet friend.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Hymn, "Savior, over us Forever"

The hymn for today is a celebration of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection.

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