Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Hymn, "Bathing in the Grace of God"

The hymn for today cries out against self-righteous slanderers who think you hell-bound because you do not enjoy the torture of your plight.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sunday, March 27, 2016

New Hymn, "Thy Voice of Salvation!"

The hymn for today is a prayer of the oppressed from under the boot of the oppressor.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

New Hymn, "Silver's Prayer"

The hymn for today is a prayer from out of the Refiner's fire, not to remove the fire, but to guard you through its purging.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

New Hymn, "From the Rising of the Sun!"

The hymn for today speaks about the glory of God in the coming of our King.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New Hymn, "With Dawn on the Third Day"

Today is the third anniversary of the start of the hymn-writing streak I am currently on. That means that yesterday's hymn marked the completion of the third year. I ask you all to ponder and consider what that means.

AS to today's hymn, the hymn for today is a celebration and apologetic regarding the resurrection.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New Hymn, "Upon the Day"

The hymn for today is a celebration of salvation in Jesus Christ.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

New Hymn, "Upon the Love of Christ"

The hymn for today is an admonition and an urging to not turn back, but to follow the painful road.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

New Hymn, "The Light of Calvary!"

The hymn for today is an encouragement to stay the course through the darkest of times, for the dawn of salvation rises!

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Hymn, "From Far Away"

The hymn for today, an anthem of grace, speaks about salvation.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

New Hymn, "The Crown of Victory!"

The hymn for today is a celebration of God's grace upon OUR cross.

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The πονηρου

Today’s Bible Study held a difficult passage, and we did not finish that passage: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the πονηρου [degenerate|calamitous|diseased|culpable|derelict|vicious|malicious|etc.]” where πονηρου is an adjective with the meanings that follow in brackets. I did not include them all, but I think you get the idea.
It hits me particularly hard because no one has ever taken the time to show me what I am to do when a congregation—leaders included, and in its entirety—has been sinning against you and, refusing to acknowledge and repent of their sin, insistently heaps the blame back on you. When you are the victimand not, as slandered, the perpetrator—and confrontation has no hold, how is one to find peace, and joy, and victory? What is one to do? Have I not suffered long enough, Lord? Truly.
Largely, I held my tongue, waiting for the Guiding Light of the Holy Spirit to intervene with illumination, conviction, wisdom, and grace; and for me, finally, after all these years of suffering their wounds in me, peace with God. I am not the Sovereign One, so I cannot bear their cross, nor would it be right for me to try, as that is not my place, but Thine alone. Amen!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Date in Heaven

As I looked out the window my heart was traced upon the sky. The storm clouds gathered and I struggled to see the Light as the darkness was compassing my soul.
Sometimes the presence of God is seemingly impossible to sense as the waves of despair envelope your soul. You are so entrenched with your worries and doubts and terrors and fears that the clouds in your mind blot out the sun so completely that you begin to doubt that it even exists. Lest you believe that such a thing can only happen to those who do not believe, allow me to share a different perspective with you.
A very dear friend of mine had been struggling, and they chose me to come to in humble confession (not in detail, mind you, but in humility) of their struggles, their doubts, and their assessment of the cause.
It is truly, truly dire, upon thorough going examination, what the terrible consequences can be that come with the ignoring of the sins you have committed against others. I can also say that justifying them is no better. You are not walking with God, so you won’t see Him.
Wallowing in your darkness will not help you see the light. Sometimes you need the Godly counsel of a very good friend—someone whom you trust to tell you the truth, no matter what.
That can be a very hard thing to do, but Love will see you through. If it is a treasured friend, perhaps even more, your heart will be for them to such an extent that you will not be able to silence it, even the risk of losing that relationship not being able to keep you from doing what you must so that the date you have with them in Heaven will not see you being stood up. Let not your heart be hardened by their recalcitrance and sin, but let the light of Heaven shine forth to bring them in.
I say not that it will be easy, for it is possible, quite possible, that they will bid you be gone. That, my friend, is a dire feeling, for I have walked it through. I know it. It has been my resident nightmare. It has seen the light of Heaven seem to go out, and I cried out to God.
Oh! How I cried!
And it has been the gentle voice of my Savior that has encouraged me to stay the course, along with the humble words of a dad.
When I was crying out, not understanding—“How can this be possible ?” I cried, “How could You let me be so deceived? You told me this was Your gift to me! How could You let me be so deceived?”—He quietly led me to John 1:11i, then spoke into my soul, “How do you think I felt?”
I can tell you that for quite some time I sat there stunned and amazed that the Creator of all that begins to be wanted me to so know the depths of His heart.
I can tell you—without equivocation—that such an honor is wholly undeserved by such a wretch as me. How could it be that the Holy and Divine God of all creation should choose to so love me? I have no reply. I have no statement. I have no reason why. “It’s ineffable, and I think that’s important.”ii
God does not restrict Himself to human metaphors and understandings in order to get His points across. Sometimes, you see, our ways of thinking will not convey what He wants to say, so He finds another way. My God truly is so amazing, and I measure up so far short that I am ever in need of His shield of grace upon the cross. I will not and cannot deny this. It would be foolish even to try.
In attempting a humble contact with that very dear friend, and having, yet again, read of her struggles with sin, I reminded her of my own struggles (hoping for prayer, yet not daring to ask) and told her to grab her uke and write something simple—that God would make it profound.
She wrote to me last May, “I very much like the method of your reply, as well as the contents of your reply. I am very blessed to have a friend who urges me to do the hard and difficult things. It is refreshing and convicting. Somehow you can tell me to do painful things while still reminding me that you love me. That’s wonderful. It really is.”
How, then, you ask, did we get from such wonderful fellowship to the resident nightmare? Sometimes, when God gives you a message, He tells you to seal it up (in other words, to keep it within yourself). Now, He did not give me that admonition, but I wish that I had considered its wisdom anyway. God did speak to me regarding her, and since it was the fulfillment of such a long-standing promise, in my excitement that the end of my ordeal was finally in sight, I spoke of it and wrote of it—and she told me to leave her life.
Now, understand this: contrary to what my detractors would claim, I did not go off half cocked about this. I argued with God and wrestled with God and poured out my soul before God—for nearly half a year—before finally being convinced of its reality and its genuinely Heavenly source. Unlike Zacharias, God did not strike me dumb for my doubts because I was desperately seeking the truth.
He waited, patiently waited, for my final objection, then answered it, eventually sending me to John 1:11, as I wrote earlier.
And then oh, how I wept fountains of tears! Tears over so many years of looking for the wrong signs, over so many years of having blinded myself to the true nature of His promise to methat finally, after oh so long, there would be someone with whom forgiveness would be no obstacle, because finally, after oh so long, there would be one with whom I could fellowship in Love who had never done me harm.
Can you imagine the floodgates of pain pouring forth from me as the realization hit?
And think of the irony of so many proudly stalking profligates claiming to the Name yet refusing humility and genuine repentance, doing so much horrible damage over so long a timeand all with the tacit support of the congregational elders and the denominational leadershipstrutting about as though the world were their own personal beauty pageant and damn anyone to whom temptation comes through the avenue of their profligaciesiii, as one humble youth comes in humility to me to do what those harlots claiming Christ should have done and what those blind leaders should have commanded them to do!
And, unlike them, she has never done me harm!
Unlike them, she has never pursued me for her pleasure and then laid blame on me when the wheels came off those plans. Unlike them she has never paraded in skin tight, leopard-printed trousers, to play the organ during a church service. Unlike them, she has never shunned the one who would admonish and confront an unrighteous lifestyle. Unlike them, she really does have a true knowledge of Jesus Christ as her Lord and as her Savior, who died for her to set her free.
Unlike them, she has a date in Heaven with me, for, unlike them, she has been set free!

i unto His own He came, and His own received Him not (εις τα ιδια ηλθεν και οι ιδιοι αυτον ου παρελαβον in Greek)

ii quoting Dr. C. John “Jack” Collins from a conversation we had many years ago, then regarding the visions in Ezekiel.

iii Luke 17:1-3a (in the NIV the first paragraph of the chapter). Read that passage in the context of any temptation that could be issuing through you onto others, and wail and weep and moan in repentanceor find the eternal depths of Hell.

New Hymn, "Light of Heaven"

The hymn for today is a calling upon the Trinity to keep us faithful and fruitful and glorifying God!

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

New Hymn! "On the Dawn of Easter Day!"

The hymn for today is a shout of celebration at the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

New Hymn, "All That I Be Free!"

The hymn for today speaks of the calling from darkness to light.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Hymn, "In the Light of the Cross!"

The hymn for today is a call to be faithful and follow Jesus wherever He leads.

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Monday, March 7, 2016

New Hymn, "Heaven's Divine Light"

The hymn for today is an admonition and encouragement to bear the suffering of this world to know the treasure of Heaven, Jesus Christ, eternally.

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

New Hymns, "Behold the Cross!", from Saturday; "I am Redeemed!", from Sunday

Behold the Cross!

The hymn for today is a clear admonition to look honestly upon your own sin and filth and depravity—and then, behold! The cross!

I am Redeemed!

The hymn for today is a testimony to salvation.

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Friday, March 4, 2016

New Hymn, "Bird of Divine Fire"

The hymn for today, in your darkest of times, perhaps could serve as a prayer for Light.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New Hymn, "The Sabbath of Night"

The hymn for today is a depiction of our Savior taking His Sabbath rest, and arising with the new day.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016