One In Mission

I found this newer hymn in With One Voice.  It was written in 1985 by Rusty Edwards, a Lutheran pastor, and expresses a modern vision of the unity and gifting of the church.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same LORD. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12 4-5

Listen and enjoy.

 

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Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ

We haven’t had a song this month yet, and I was having a hard time thinking of one that dealt with spiritual gifts.  Looking through With One Voice in church this week I found this one.  If you haven’t heard it before, I think you’ll love the lively calypso beat.  It will inspire you to use your gifts to spread God’s Word.l

More Grace

I receive morning devotionals every morning from several sources.  One is from a pastor that I’ve known for years and he is the one that married my husband and I, and baptized both of our children.  I enjoy hearing from him every day.

The thought for today included this:

There is an infinite depth in our Lord that can never be exhausted. The excitement continues as the Lord draws us closer to Himself. Continue to read, think, and pray. There is always more grace, truth, and real excitement in walking day by day with Jesus Christ.

Wow, just wow.  This really hit me.  We cannot run out of His Grace, we can always receive more.  There is no “getting there”, we are always moving closer to our Lord.

As usual with me, when I think of things like this, a song came to mind.  Enjoy.

More on Psalm 51

Many hymn writers have picked up on the themes expressed in Psalm 51.   One of those was James L. Nicholson, a native of Ireland. He came to America around the age of 25 and lived in Philadelphia for almost two decades. Around 1871 he moved to Washington DC and worked there as a clerk in the Post Office Department.  He wrote the hymn “Whiter than Snow.”  Listen and remember that God is the only one who can not only forgive our sins, but completely erase them through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus.

Why Me Lord?

Kris Kristofferson wrote this song after attending a worship service during  a low point in his life.  My husband often plays it on the CD player in the car and I think it’s is one of the most genuine songs about repentance I’ve heard.  I love it, and I hope you will, too.

St. Francis Set to Music

If you like the St. Francis Prayer about transforming your environment by starting with yourself, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this musical version even more.  It’s been going around in my mind every since my last post.  Remember, he who sings, prays twice!

God’s Not Dead & God’s Not Dead 2 –Movie Review

Martin Luther would have empathized with these film depictions of Christians who  found themselves in situations that required them to defend their faith against great odds.  You might say they became leaders unintentionally, as did Luther himself.  Facing the Diet of Worms in 1521 he said,

“Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason, I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other.  My conscience is captive to the Word of God.  I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.  Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.  God help me.”

Both films feature a main character who risks virtually everything to defend his or her Christian beliefs.  Both are vindicated and triumph over systems that seek to ridicule and belittle them. Both had very good presentations of the logical, scientific and historical reasons to accept Christianity (the big word for this is apologetics.)  I found them inspiring and entertaining. (Of course, I know I am years behind in my movie-viewing and probably most readers have already seen the films — if you haven’t, you can now easily get them from the local library).

I do have a few criticisms:  most of the characters were almost cartoonishly one dimensional — the Christians are obviously good, the atheists bad, and not much room in between for the doubting or seeking.  Conversions and answers to prayer come quickly….but this is a movie, right?  Things have to move rapidly (after all we only have 120 minutes) and I can’t expect the character development I might find in a good novel.  So I can let that go.

More seriously, the discussion of free will in the first film, and the implication in the second that we must “ask Jesus into our heart” conflict with Lutheran theology.  God choses us, we do not chose Him, and we do not have free will over our salvation (although we do in other areas.)

The Newsboys are not my favorite Christian musical group, but I’ll include the song for those who enjoy them: