And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How did Noah look at it?

I have worked in the construction industry. In and of itself it is an entirely different world than most are used to. Just think, the typical home fix it job lasts twice or three times as long to complete as expected and requires two trips to the hardware store. Multiply that thought by Pi for each job subset. Now add the interruption of phone calls, incompetence of others with poor listening skills and or work habits, weather permitting, and you have the construction industry. It would look like this

Finished product = (est $ + Lowe’s*2)*Pi + Press # for more options + (Break time and not my job man) / Acts of God.

Personally, acts of God are your only hope. So getting into this project I had some experiential expectation of what I would encounter.

You see, memorial day our basement flooded. We did not have flood insurance, and the insurance did not cover the loss in any fashion. So Bank of dad to the rescue. After three estimates we chose a contractor and paid a deposit. We have ordered by price comparison shopping all the materials to finish the job, paint, carpet, baseboards, the endless rollers, and odds and ends. All of it stacked in my garage on top of the furniture from the flood. So far I count four trips to Lowe’s. I have rearranged the garage three times to be able to get stuff in and to be able to paint baseboards for the install. My air compressor quit working too. Sounds like I could sing the twelve weeks of remodel. On the first day of remodel my contractor gave to me, much false hope….

The saying is true, “If your marriage can survive a remodel it can survive anything”.

Our house is a wreck. Things are lost. Cleaning merely involves rearranging the deck chairs and turning out lights. The sarcastic joy of it all is that old line “Why won’t he return my call”?

My solution, its all stuff. Wood, hay, stubble. I am fed up with it keeping me from my time with God by rescheduling and false hopes, but isn’t that the point. It is a testing to see will I keep perspective and seek God’s help (acts of God remember) rather than doing it my way. Noah had to persevere too. The main thing was not the ark but the promises and name of God.

Tomorrow, I fight dirty, I will get the church to pray.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Music Part 3

As the third part of my installment on music that inspires us to persevere I wanted to spotlight Sovereign Grace Music. They can be found on Facebook as a group page at

Last December I discovered them through C J Mahaney's web log. I have found that these musicians are biblically sound and challenging. The music itself is quite separate from the world, even though it may be meditational, rock sounding, or other categories. All that I have listened to has captivated my mind to the things of God.

Personally, I love their Come O Weary Saints CD. It may be my favorite, but also the Psalms CD brings your wandering thoughts to plateaus of peace. If I were to recommend a third disk, one you can actually read the bible with and have undistracting background fill, is the CD THe Valley of Vision.

Sovereign Grace is reasonably priced, ($6 to $12 range) and you will find the quality and depth greater then most other resources. I love that their Facebook group will often offer free MP3 downloads. I just ripped 7 songs this week. When you visit the store you will find you can listen to a sample of the songs, and often frin further free MP3s. Included in their website are PDF downloads for guitar chords, lead sheets, piano arrangements and lyrics. All you need for Sunday praise band.

I hope you will take advantage of this great music. It has quickly become the soundtrack for all I do.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Songs of Perseverance

>My Favorite Songs of Inspiration to Persevere

As I look to perseverance I find that songs that are consumed with scriptural truths tend to be the most powerful. It seems most of the best ones were written several decades ago. Currently I am finding some contemporary songs that wow me too. Tomorrow I hope to share with you a great source for God centered contemporary music.

My music tastes are varied, but to inspire they must be God centered. I personally dislike “In the Garden”, and “Love Lifted Me”. Both seem much of a self centered aspect of I am special above all others tone. Self esteem is promotion of self over God (Remember deny self, take up your cross, and follow Jesus) But this blog entry is not meant to be a critique.

Now, please keep this in mind. I find that we need Christian music for two purposes. One purpose is for pure entertainment. Why should we listen to AC DC, Big and Rich, MC Flavor of the week, or any other “artist” who fails to glorify God but stands opposed to Him? There are times in the car or cleaning house where music is a good background for what we are doing. Mind you the entertaining Christian music we listen to ought to be theologically sound. One contemporary hit has great melody and guitars, but one line talks as if the cross was motivated by a desire to save me alone. That is so wrong, I don’t know where to begin. The cross was all about God showing His nature, not my merit or worth. (I digress)

Then there is the need for music to draw us to the cross. As a caveat, a few months back I attended St. Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida. This is where R. C. Sproul pastors. As we walked in a small orchestra, strings, horns and an organ played selections from Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart. Never had I been so moved by such orchestration. My heart leaped with anticipation for worship. This music was different than that of the general world. It was pregnant with otherness. Music that is soli Deo Gloria ought to be other.

So music ought to draw us to the cross. It should remind us of who God is and who we are in that perspective. Often it should be just like the Psalms, here am I a wicked sinner, I plead for you to hear my prayer. Great worship music ought to have an otherness, but that is not to say it can not include guitars, drums, and choruses. It also should not be solely about how it makes me feel but how does it lead me to look at God?

That being said, here is my list of songs that motivate me to persevere….

And Can it Be, Charles Wesley

Amazing Grace, John Newton

Holy, Holy, Holy, Reginald Heber

Silent Night, Joseph Mohr & Franz Gruber

A Mighty Fortress is our God, Martin Luther

Blessed be Your Name, Matt and Beth Redman

In Christ Alone, Keith Getty & Stuart Townsend

Mighty is the Power of the Cross, Chris Tomlin, Sean Crain, & Jesse Reeves

There is None Like You, Lenny Leblanc

The Wonderful Cross, Isaac Watts, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves and J D Walt

Tomorrow I hope to share a source of some new music that hs been greatly lifting me since January!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Songs to Persevere Survey

A few days ago I was motivated by some great music. I also in that time I was in a store and heard the new Miley Cyrus hit. It is a motivational song that inspires the secular world. It is much like an anthem with a crescendo that holds a tag line of promise. Mind you I have not analyzed nor heard all the song, for my thoughts turned to the motivation behind many songs.

It seams we always sing about matters of the heart. Usually songs have a love motivation, even if it is a motivation for the love of revenge. (I am however excluding the Silly Songs with Larry types)

As Christians I believe that every song ought to motivate by giving glory unto Christ. So I went about asking my mixed bag of friends and acquaintances to please send me their insights as to what songs help them to persevere.
The replies were quite diverse to say the least. So herein I hope to write three articles on the subject. Today I will simply list the responses. Tomorrow I hope to post my personal list, and then on Thursday I want to feature a source of music I have found in the last several months that has greatly motivated me day after day. Remember, we are not to idolize the musicians, but the God and creator of music.

Artist - Matthew West
Song - “The Motions”
Lyrics -
Video -
Artist – Brian Head Welch
Song - “Washed By Blood”
Video -
Artist – Demon Hunter
Song - “My Heartstrings Come Undone”
Lyrics -
Video -
Rescuing men ~as~ God rescued us,
Kurt St. Louis

A song that played a big part in my life at one point is "Have Faith in God". The second verse burned into my brain... "Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered." I was a growing teenage boy praying that his Dad would stop drinking and come back to church. That prayer was never answered until just three weeks before he was murdered (in 2001).
I am also very fond of "It is Well" when during hard times of life. Mom used to sing it at our family piano when she was discouraged or down. Lisa Keune sang it upon request at Dad's funeral.
Fred S. St. Louis, MO

Loving God Loving Each Other - Gaither Vocal Band
Find Us Faithful - Steve Green
God On The Mountain - Lynda Randle
My heart was also on songs that inspire faith this morning....God at work
Love ya brother,
Sid St. Louis, MO

There is only one song that is constantly on my mind...Amazing grace. I either hum, or whistle that one all the time.

Song 1: The Motions by Matthew West. So many times I feel like I'm living the comfortable American life and I wonder if I'm missing the point. Am I too comfortable? Taking life too easy? Do I need to get more 'dirty?'
Song 2: Jesus Freak by dc Talk. My all-time favorite song. When I die, I'd hope people would look at my handsome body in the casket and say, "He was a Jesus Freak." I want to be an "ardent enthusiast" of Jesus Christ.
Song 3: While I'm Waiting by John Waller. Sarah and I don't know what the future holds and this song is a good reminder for us to worship Him while we are waiting for Him to give us the desires of our heart.
Song 4: Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw. I'm a dreamer and I want to live each day to the fullest (hey, it's biblical, we don't know what tomorrow holds!)
Okay, I know you said 3 songs, but I threw the 4th one in there for extra points.
I was hanging with my teens the last couple days and I busted out a quote that I first saw on your bedroom door many many years ago, "He who hesitates is lunch!"
Have a great one,
Dale Jr. hawaii

Not in order necessarily but these are the first 3 that came to mind.
"God is in Control" Twila Paris
"Testify to Love" Avalon
"Lord of Eternity" Fernando Ortega
God is in control, He is the Lord of eternity and He loves me I'd never make it as a preacher
Joe North Georgia

I can't remember the title of the song, but a line is My faith looks up to thee thou lamb of Calvary. I'm sure you have heard it. Hope this helps your search.
Patsy St. Louis, MO

Well, top of the list: I Now Live Remixed, by Crystal Lewis (“I now live because Christ died, and though he had suffered, he suffered it all for me.”) Get’s me going every time I hear it.
Number two: Jesus is Just Alright, by DC Talk – This song is just a rockin’, I’m-glad-I’m-a-Christian kind of song
Number three: Child of Eden, by Joy Williams (“I’m a child of Eden, I have been; but I won’t look back, It’s just my past, the story doesn’t end”) great song reminding me of my future when I spend too much time on my past…
Grant, Springfield, IL

1. “Amazing Love” by Charles Wesley.
2. "It Is Well with My Soul" by Horatio Spafford
Johnny, St. Louis

Aint No Grave by Russ Taff; You Are My King by Newsong; Shackles by Mary Mary
Roger Jacksonville, FL

SLOW FADE Casting Crowns
Tom Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What a week!

Here are a few rough notes from the Sunday sermon. We wound up delving into Paul’s encouragements to the Philippians. Enjoy.

Our week encountered…
• Basements flooding
• Church help, being the church
• Car washed into the lake
• Person missing
• Dam collapse?
P---------‘s father, E______ M______ breaks his neck, and later two ribs.
D______’ daughter L_____ goes to be with Christ.
C________ C_______ mother has a stroke

Do not trifle with God
Judgment is real, used to be a time when our country would stop to fast and repent.
2 Chron 7:14 Trouble has happened, Repentance anyone? Our country used to repent and fast.
Romans 8:28F

n Philippians Paul writes to the church to encourage them. They had real persecution going on, and that is not to be too quickly associated with out temporal inconveniences. But in all our struggles we should look to Christ through the gospel message. For it is the power, and if in these days we fall away, what would happen in worse situations. So we hear Paul’s encouragements…

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:3-5)
The church partners in the Gospel. The gospel is the purpose and being of the church.

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, (Philippians 1:12)
How do we work our situations to become a platform for sharing the Gospel?

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. (Philippians 1:29-30)
Suffering and hardships are to be counted all joy. They are for our purification and knowledge of God.

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. (Philippians 2:19-26)
God often send a Timothy or Epaphroditus to be our encouragements in the Gospel. Reminding us and encouraging us in the things of God.

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11)
Grace is here. Worldly pursuits are but rubbish. Nothing matters but gaining Christ.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)
Pressing on shows the treasure, the love we have for Christ above all else. We don’t “go to pieces” or quit, but we press on for Whom we really love.

For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19)
Some have pursued Christ our of worldly gain, which is no gain at all.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (Philippians 3:20)
Our citizenship, Paul reminds us of where our treasure and allegiance lies.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
Now that these things are covered, we are directed to rejoice in the Lord. Our greatest need has been met! Rejoice from that standpoint.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
Guarding our minds and being transformed.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (Philippians 4:11)
Peace, contentment, despite the circumstances. The summation of faith in Christ, the Gospel being worked in us.