Monday, August 30, 2010

A dose of lying

Former baseball star Roger Clemens was arraigned today (Mon Aug 30) on six felony counts. Prosecutors say he lied to Congress in his testimony concerning steroid use.

I have no sympathy for Clemens, but there is a lot of irony here. Lying to the liars! I'm sure they ought to be able to recognize a lie up there is Congress. They're always telling them. While arraigning Clemens, why not also arraign Congress for lying to the American people?!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The desired haven

Psalm 107:30 ...he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

1. The Christian navigates a sea
Where various forms of death appear;
Nor skill, alas! nor power has he,
Aright his dangerous course to steer.

2. Why does he venture, then, from shore,
And dare so many deaths to brave?
Because the land affrights him more
Than all the perils of the wave;

3. Because he hopes a port to find,
Where all his toil will be repaid;
And though unskilful, weak, and blind,
Yet Jesus bids him nothing dread.

4. His destined land he sometimes sees,
And thinks his toils will soon be o’er;
Expects some favourable breeze
Will waft him quickly to the shore.

5. But sudden clouds obstruct his view,
And he enjoys the sight no more;
Nor does he now believe it true
That he had ever seen the shore.

6. Though fear his heart should overwhelm,
He’ll reach the port for which he’s bound;
For Jesus holds and guides the helm,
And safety is where he is found.

This is number 1049 in A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship by William Gadsby. It was written by Thomas Kelly. I liked it so much when I read it, I wrote a tune to go with it. See below.

Kelly, a tune

Kelly, long meter doubled fuging tune in 4/4 time; Key of G minor
Click on image to see larger version. Print and sing if you would like. Don't sell it to anybody!! © 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Georgian Harmony

The hardback edition of The Georgian Harmony is now available. It contains 118 pages of music by one composer, Raymond C. Hamrick of Macon, Georgia.

The regular price is $20 plus $5 shipping and handling. There is a discount for purchases of an entire box of 19 books. For detailed ordering information contact John Hollingsworth or John Plunkett

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Saviour, whom absent we love

O Saviour, whom absent we love,
Whom not having seen we adore,
Whose name is exalted above
All glory, dominion, and power;

O come and display us as Thine,
And leave us no longer to roam.
Let the light of Thy presence, Lord, shine,
Let the trumpet soon summon us home.

Oh, then shall the mists be removed,
And round us Thy brightness be poured.
We shall meet Thee whom absent we loved,
We shall see whom unseen we adored.

Oh, then never more shall the fears,
The trials, temptations, and woes,
Which darken this valley of tears,
Intrude on our blissful repose.

Or, if yet remembered above,
Remembrance no sadness shall raise;
They will bring us fresh thoughts of Thy love,
New themes for our wonder and praise.

William Cowper, 1731-1800

Saturday, August 21, 2010

About that mosque

I keep hearing a lot about this mosque that may be built near ground zero. It has drawn a lot of fire from political and religious conservatives. Being in that camp, I nevertheless have a different opinion. I have not researched the details closely, so I am open to correction if I am mistaken about something.

The issue really heated up after President Obama said on Friday night that they have a constitutional right to build a mosque there. It is my understanding that this is on private property and I agree with the President. Religious groups of whatever stripe have a constitutional right in America to exist and perpetuate their religion without government interference.

On Saturday the President backtracked a bit, noting that he was only discussing the constitutional right and said, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there." Unlike the President, I will comment on the wisdom. I do not think it is wise and it would be a gesture of conciliation for them to withdraw.

From a strictly religious standpoint of my belief as Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, I would be glad for no mosques to exist anywhere. From a viewpoint of freedom of religion from government interference, I believe they have as much right to build there as a Christian church building or a Jewish synagogue. If there is more to this, I will be glad for someone to point it out.

BTW, it is perfectly fine for any number of private citizens to use the influence of the pen to try to convince the builders to not put their mosque there.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Selah" by Ramsbottom

"Selah" by Ramsbottom

We live in a world of much rush, haste and bustle. Never has there been a time when people have seemed so busy and yet all this with a shorter working week and apparently more leisure time.

Satan loves people to be so busy that they scarcely have time for a moment's thought of eternal things in fact, not even a thought for the nobler things of this life.

The word "SELAH" is found continually in the Book of Psalms. It appears to indicate a pause in the music; so often we find that after something of great importance appears the word "SELAH": stop, pause, think about it.

It must not be rushed. And what is written in Scripture is written on the heart of every sinner saved by grace.

Divine teaching will bring us each to stop, pause and "consider our latter end."

"Pause, my soul, and ask the question, Art thou ready to meet God?"

The spirit of the age affects God's people also.

How easy it is to be swallowed up with the rush and bustle of even lawful, even necessary things!

We need the loving rebuke of the Lord:
"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful."

Sometimes the voice of affliction is:
"Come ye yourselves apart and rest awhile."

It is easy to be carried away by the rush and bustle of religious activities.

Were there ever so many services?

Was there ever so much preaching?

But what of the effect?

This is a word specially to gospel preachers.

The recent reading of the life of a well-known preacher of the last century brought this solemnly home. How he was taught the vital importance of drawing nigh even into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, and seeking to dwell there!

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide beneath the shadow of the Almighty."

It seems that today there is a wrong balance. We have as much preaching, as many services as the saints of old and, we believe, the same truth. But they were blessed with much nearness, much communion with the Lord, much of the Spirit, much wrestling in prayer.

If we preach much, and pray not as much, there will be little fruit of our ministry.

O for grace to be found waiting daily, hourly, on the Lord!

By B.A. Ramsbottom

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Antidote of death

The vital savour of His name
Restores our fainting breath;
Believing, we rejoice in Him,
The Antidote of death.

Isaac Watts (stanza 3 of "The Different Success of the Gospel", beginning "Christ and His cross is all our theme")

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just wondering

With all the complaining I hear about the heat, you'd think some people don't think it is supposed to be hot in East Texas in August.

Friday, August 13, 2010

On a stretch of road near a High School in North Carolina (for real)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Missing person, San Augustine

Patricia Johnson, of San Augustine, has been missing since Saturday morning August 7th. She is a 37-year-old woman, white, 5'5", 160 pounds with blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray shirt and blue jeans.

"If the public sees or knows where Johnson is they are urged to call the San Augustine County Sheriff's Office at 936-275-2424."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Boston sings

New recordings are available at Boston Shapenote Resources.

"The Earliest music in America is neither dying nor dead. It's standing right in front of you Singing."

Monday, August 09, 2010

Our new "justice"

I found the following tidbit in "The Kagan moral train wreck", by Robert Knight. I never heard it on any news.

"Elena Kagan] falsified a physicians' group's document on partial-birth abortion to reflect her own view instead of theirs – and it was submitted to the Supreme Court as evidence. This is fraud, plain and simple...When she was a legal advisor to President Clinton, Kagan was the point person in efforts to keep partial-birth abortion legal. She took a draft copy of a statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and changed it to say the opposite."

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sweet place

Sweet place; sweet place alone!
The court of God most high,
The heaven of heavens, the throne
Of spotless majesty!

The stranger homeward bends,
And sigheth for his rest:
Heaven is my home, my friends
Lodge there in Abraham's breast.

Earth's but a sorry tent,
Pitched but a few frail days,
A short leased tenement;
Heaven's still my song, my praise.

No tears from any eyes
Drop in that holy choir:
But death itself there dies,
And sighs themselves expire.

There should temptations cease,
My frailties there should end.
There should I rest in peace
In the arms of my best friend.

Jerusalem on high
My song and city is,
My home whene'er I die,
The center of my bliss.

Thy walls, sweet city! thine
With pearls are garnished,
Thy gates with praises shine,
Thy streets with gold are spread.

No sun by day shines there,
No moon by silent night.
O no! these needless are;
The Lamb's the city's light.

There dwells my Lord, my King,
Judged here unfit to live;
There angels to Him sing,
And lowly homage give.

The patriarchs of old
There from their travels cease:
The prophets there behold
Their longed for Prince of peace.

The Lamb's apostles there
I might with joy behold:
The harpers I might hear
Harping on harps of gold.

The bleeding martyrs, they
Within those courts are found;
All clothed in pure array,
Their scars with glory crowned.

Ah me! ah me! that I
In Kedar's tents here stay;
No place like this on high;
Thither, Lord! guide my way.

Samuel Crossman (1623--1683)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

In the news yesterday

A homosexual federal judge in San Francisco ruled against California's Proposition 8. Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment passed by California voters and upheld as constitutional by California's Supreme Court, restricts marriage to one man and one woman. Now one man throw it out. It will be appealed and probably go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Up to this point, only judges and legislatures have favored homosexual "marriage". When given the chance to vote, the majority of the people oppose it. I wouldn't be surprised if government overruling of the will of the people eventually leads to the rocky disintegration of this country.

The state of Massachusetts has joined in a rear attack against the constitutional provision of the election of the President of the United States by electoral vote. Their governor signed a proposal (joining Hawaii, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois and Washington) requiring that participating states commit their presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote (this would only take effect when enough states constituting more than half of the country’s electoral votes sign on to it). The Electoral College has served this country well since its founding. There are arguments pro & con, but the electoral system follows the original intent of presidents being elected by states rather than popular vote. It prevents candidates from just pitching their candidacies to the large population centers and at least tends toward promoting the idea of appealing to people in all states and regions of those states.

To me, one interesting sidelight of this is that the choice of Massachusetts' governing elite could easily circumvent the will of the citizens of their own state. Should they vote for the candidate who loses the popular vote nationwide, their electors would go to the candidate they opposed!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Convention coming

The 155th Anniversary of the East Texas Convention will be held (Lord willing) on August 7 and 8 at the Henderson Community Center, 302 Fair Park, Henderson, Texas. Singing starts at 9:30 both days.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Figures links

Last week I did several posts on figures of speech in the Bible. Here are a few online sources that address the topic.

Figures of Speech in the Bible

Figures of Speech by Robert I. Bradshaw

Interpreting the Bible: a handbook of terms and methods

Alliterated Sermon Outlines by John G. Butler

In light of past discussions, I found Butler statement interesting: "It may surprise some that the Bible does have some good illustrations of alliteration and other literary devices which give a preacher a good precedence for alliterating his sermons."

It should not pass our attention, though, that this alliteration was used in poetic writing. As far as I can tell, there are no biblical alliterative sermons.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

the volumes of Thy Word

I love the volumes of Thy Word;
What light and joy those leaves afford
To souls benighted and distressed!
Thy precepts guide my doubtful way,
Thy fear forbids my feet to stray,
Thy promise leads my heart to rest.

From the discoveries of Thy law
The perfect rules of life I draw;
These are my study and delight:
Not honey so invites the taste,
Nor gold that hath the furnace past
Appears so pleasing to the sight.

Thy threat'nings wake my slumb'ring eyes,
And warn me where my danger lies;
But 'tis Thy blessèd Gospel, Lord,
That makes my guilty conscience clean,
Converts my soul, subdues my sin,
And gives a free, but large reward.

Who knows the errors of his thoughts?
My God, forgive my secret faults,
And from presumptuous sins restrain:
Accept my poor attempts of praise,
That I have read Thy book of grace,
And book of nature, not in vain.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
The Psalms of David, 1719