Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Means of Grace are in My Hand

I found this hymn in the book, A Portrait of Paul (excellent book which I highly recommend).  In the particular chapter the hymn came from, the authors wrote to their fellow pastors about the subject of the apostle Paul's ministry -Christ.

"It is Christ alone whom we are to preach and Christ only who can enable us, by His Spirit, to preach in this way. Do you feel the weight of this duty? Good! Then we are ready to fall on our faces and plead with God to equip us in mind and heart and soul and strength to serve His glory by exalting His Son, Jesus Christ."

The whole book is filled with great quotes, I could hardly stop underling! It is a great book for church member and pastors. We went through this book as a small group study, at a friend's house.

The Means of Grace are in My Hand 

The means of grace are in my hand
The blessing is at God’s command
Who must the work fulfill;
And though I read, and watch and pray,
Yet here the Lord directs my way
And worketh all things still.

I cannot speak a proper word,
Nor think aright, but from the Lord
Preparing heart and tongue;
In Nature I can see no good,
But all my good proceeds from God,
And does to grace belong.

I see it now, and do confess
My utter need of Jesus’ grace,
And of His Spirit’s light;
I beg his kind and daily care;
O Lord, my heart and tongue prepare
To think and speak aright.

Prepare my heart to love thee well,
And love Thy truth which doth excel,
And love thy children dear;
Instruct me how to live by faith,
And feel the virtue of Thy death,
And find Thy presence near.

Prepare my tongue to pray and praise,
To speak of providential ways,
And heavenly truth unfold;
To strengthen well a feeble soul,
Correct the Wanton, rouse the dull,
And silence sinners bold.

           - John Berridge     
I stumbled upon a christian blogger from the Philippines who had posted this hymn. Tell me what you think.                                      

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Valley Song

"The Valley song" really covers, essentially, what this song is about. There are times when we go through the valley but,

"I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy"

I've always like the name "Jars of Clay", as it is based off of the verse in 2 Corinthians 4:7, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to know that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." Actually, just read the entire chapter, it's good. :)

You have led me to the sadness
I have carried this pain
On a back bruised, nearly broken
I'm crying out to You

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

When death like a gypsy
Comes to steal what I love
I will still look to the heavens
I will still seek your face

But I fear you aren't listening
Because there are no words
Just the stillness and the hunger
For a faith that assures

[Chorus] 2x

Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia

While we wait for rescue
With our eyes tightly shut
Face to the ground using our hands
To cover the fatal cut

And though the pain is an ocean
Tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
Higher mountains have come down


-Jars of Clay (2003)

The tune to this is, like a lot of Jars of Clay's music, different. 

Allow me to make note about these composers/artists that I have been linking to:

"...just because we link to them does not mean that we endorse everything on the site.
The final authority is the holy and applicable, word of God..."

Likewise, I like a lot of Jars of Clay's music, but I don't necessarily agree with everything they write and believe.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The April Days...

This past April was filled with a lot of driving, loud music, and talking.
We spent Easter weekend in Austin, where we celebrated my Grandma's birthday (who proudly turned 69) and my own birthday. On Sunday we went out to lunch with some dear friends. The restaurant was one of a slew of trailer stands parked in a little nook in the busier part of Austin. The food was little bit pricey, but the environment and chips made it worth it.

Becca and Tita.
Dear Becca, she's gotten so big!

Emily and Jacob (note Emily's cheesy pose).

Sweet 16...oh, and those yummy beet cupcakes.

Eva and I had a little photo shoot on the living room floor.

Dominic and "Gendpa"

Dom was quite concerned that there wouldn't be enough chips for him.

The familia.
Behind us was a shake stand. They sold shakes that had real cake blended in.

The Ragamuffin. 
Reminds me of this pin

A delicious Thai dinner in Bryan, TX.
We spent the day with our friends the Loyd's, cleaning, organizing, and reading books from their massive library. We went over  to Mr. Loyd's brother's house, for a Thai dinner and dessert.

Lovely arrangement for my surprise party.
The girls "threw me for a loop", and pulled off a surprise party the week after my birthday. They took me to a local cupcake shop where a few of my friends were waiting. Yes, I was surprised.

We had a crawfish boil one fine Saturday, with a few families.
Us and our Cajun friend's put together a little crawfish boil at our house. Though I'm not a big fan of fishy foods, I do enjoy socially eating crawfish. I stuffed myself silly. But as each batch came out I just felt so inclined to keep eating.

Us Marques, Webb, and Johnson girls had a sister slumber party. Though that was in May. :)
The first weekend in May, the Johnson girls and us (including Nicole) had set a date a month ago, to get together for the weekend. We had a great time talking, going to a Mexican market, going for a walk, watching one of our favorite movie, and talking some more!

Elena's pavlova lemon meringue. 

Elena has had some failed attempts at making pavlova, so she decided to try again but call it something else. It...kinda worked.

Dear Eva, on the day of the crawfish boil
Nicole had completely surprised us by coming down for the day and  thus attending our crawfish boil. Amusingly enough, her hubby, and most likely all her kids, are highly allergic to shellfish. No kisses that day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blest Be The Tie That Binds

A beautiful hymn about the unity we have with one another, being bonded together by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It reminds you of that "forward look", of being together "through all eternity". It is just a gooood hymn.
This was our church's hymn of the month last year; another Baptist Trinity Hymnal find.

" The fellowship of kindred minds, is like to that above...
" We share each other's woes, our mutual burdens bear,
And often for each other flows the sympathizing thing. "

John Fawcett, was a Baptist minister (1765) of a tiny church in Wainsgate, York (UK). He served that tiny church for fifty-four years. Though there was one noted instance where he accepted a pastoral position at a larger church in London, and would have sufficiently provided for his family, but after preaching his farewell sermon, his loving congregation changed his mind, and he stayed. He wrote many other hymns (though none which I'm familiar with) and recieved a D.D degree.
He died at age seventy- eight in 1817.

Blest Be the Tie that Binds

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

-John Fawcett (1782)  

Note: I'm fully aware that there is no April 32nd, but you must forgive my tardiness.         :)


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