Poetry Saturday—Prayer I

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Prayer the Churches banquet, Angels age,
     Gods breath in man returning to his birth,
     The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almightie, sinners towre,
     Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
     The six-daies world transposing in an houre,
A kinde of tune, which all things heare and fear;

Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and blisse,
     Exalted Manna, gladnesse of the best,
     Heaven in ordinarie, man well drest,
The Milkie way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bels beyond the starres heard, the souls bloud,
     The land of spices; something understood. —George Herbert (**spelling is 1663 English**)

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Poetry Saturday—They Stand

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They stand at attention saluting our flag,
or they place a hand over their heart.
They’ve stood together on foreign lands,
each one has done their part.
They’ve defended this nation and some have died
to ensure that you’ve kept your rights.
They’ve watched as their buddies fell to the ground,
and they’ve slept in the jungle some nights.
They’ve crawled in the mud while covered with blood,
our children, our daughters, and sons,
and never, not once did they go on strike,
saying they did not get enough funds.
Many days they have gone without sleep
as they fought for this country we love.
Thousands of them have lost their lives
and went with our God up above.
To us, they are heroes, but to them it’s their job,
they do what needs to be done,
defending this country that we so love,
even down to the last one.
We give them a day to memorialize them,
to honor them for all that they do,
but a year would not be honor enough
for the service they give that is true.
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines,
men and women that are so grand.
They serve this nation of America,
and forever, together they stand. —Barney Fritcher

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Poetry Saturday—For Fear Of Feeble Man

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Shall I, for fear of feeble man,
The Spirit’s course in me restrain?
Or, undismayed, in deed and word
Be a true witness for my Lord?

Awed by a mortal’s frown, shall I
Conceal the Word of God Most High?
How then before Thee shall I dare
To stand, or how Thine anger bear?

Shall I, to soothe the unholy throng,
Soften Thy truths, and smooth my tongue,
To gain earth’s gilded toys, or flee
The Cross, endured, my God, by Thee?

What then is he whose scorn I dread,
Whose wrath or hate makes me afraid?
A man! an heir of death! a slave
To sin! a bubble on the wave!

Yea, let men rage, since Thou wilt spread
Thy shadowing wings around my head;
Since in all pain Thy tender love
Will still my sure refreshment prove.

Savior of men, Thy searching eye
Doth all my inmost thoughts descry;
Doth aught on earth my wishes raise,
Or the world’s pleasures, or its praise?

The love of Christ doth me constrain
To seek the wandering souls of men;
With cries, entreaties, tears, to save,
To snatch them from the gaping grave.

For this let men revile my name.
No cross I shun, I fear no shame,
All hail, reproach, and welcome, pain!
Only Thy terrors, Lord, restrain.

My life, my blood, I here present,
If for Thy truth they may be spent,
Fulfill Thy sovereign counsel, Lord!
Thy will be done, Thy Name adored!

Give me Thy strength, O God of power;
Then let winds blow, or thunders roar,
Thy faithful witness will I be:
’Tis fixed; I can do all through Thee! —Johann Joseph Winckler (translated by John Wesley)

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Poetry Saturday—Solitude

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Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
     Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
     But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
     Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
     But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
     Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
     But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
     Be sad, and you lose them all,
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
     But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
     Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
     But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
     For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
     Through the narrow aisles of pain. —Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Poetry Saturday—I Have Made Thy Word My Choice

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Lord, I have made Thy Word my choice,
My lasting heritage;
There shall my noblest pow’rs rejoice,
My warmest thoughts engage.

I’ll read the histories of Thy love,
And keep Thy laws in sight;
While through Thy promises I rove,
With ever fresh delight.

’Tis a broad land of wealth unknown,
Where springs of life arise,
Seeds of immortal bliss are sown,
And hidden glory lies.

My faith and love and every grace
Fall far below Thy Word, 
For perfect truth and righteousness
Dwell only with the Lord. —Isaac Watts

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Links & Quotes

The seed your weakened hand is sowing
May ripen to a harvest broad,
Which yet may help, without your knowing,
To fill the granaries of God! —Margaret J. Prescott

My friend and podcast partner Greg Heeres talked about growing and learning through change. You can check out the rest of this episode of The Craig And Greg Show here.

Sometimes the prophetic language in the Bible can be a bit confusing. Like the phrase: “A time, times, and half a time.” Here is how Dr. Henry Halley unpacks this—

“It denotes the duration of the other horn of the fourth beast (Daniel 7:25). It denotes the period from Daniel to the time of the end (Daniel 12:6–7). It is used in Revelation 12:14 as identical to 42 months and to 1260 days (Revelation 11:2–3; 12:6, 14; 13:5), the period of time the Holy City was trampled, the two witnesses prophesied, the woman was in the wilderness, and the revived beast was on the throne. 

“The word ‘time,’ in the phrase ‘a time, times, and half a time’ is generally taken to mean year; the phrase thus means three and a half years, which is 42 months, or 1260 days. 

“By some, this is taken to refer to a literal three and a half years. Others, on the year-day interpretation (Numbers 14:34; Ezra 4:6), take it to be a period of 1260 years. Still others look upon the figures, not as defining time limits or periods, but as being symbolic: 7 Is the symbol of completeness, while three and a half, which is half of 7, represents incompleteness—that is, the reign of evil will be only temporary.” —Halley’s Study Bible (check out all of the biblical references in this quote by clicking here)

“Ambivalence toward the Law of God is troubling. Theologians discard the Law, and pastors either reject or neglect it. Jesus said that keeping and teaching the Law of God was a mark of Kingdom greatness (Matthew 5:17-19). Apparently that’s not a goal many of us aspire to. He also said that when the Law of God is neglected, love grows cold (Matthew 12:24). The ubiquitous lack of love in our world today is undoubtedly related to our failure to teach and live according to the Law of God. … 

“Pastors have three main resources for the work and business of ministry: The Word of God, prayer, and their personal example (Acts 6:4; 1 Peter 5:1-3). If any of these fails, their ministry will as well. Especially must pastors be seen to be men zealous for the Law of God, to obey all the counsel of the Lord in His Word and to resist the devil and overcome every temptation. Jesus did. Paul did. John said this is the way love flourishes (1 John 5:1-3). Throughout this generation, failures of obedience on the part of highly visible pastors have contributed to the Church’s becoming an object of scorn by many unbelievers, while believers have been largely silent about their failings. We must be diligent in obeying Christ if we would teach others to do so and thus fulfill our calling to the Kingdom and glory of God.” —T.M. Moore

New wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) analysis dates the Shroud of Turin to the first century.

Not all viruses need to be eliminated. A study has discovered 5500 new RNA viruses on the ocean, finding “an entire phylum, the Taraviricota . . . found all over the oceans, which suggests they’re ecologically important.” The Creator knew what He was doing!

Poetry Saturday—Praise II

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King of Glorie, King of Peace,
      I will love Thee:
And that love may never cease,
      I will move Thee.

Thou hast granted my request,
      Thou hast heard me:
Thou didst note my working breast,
      Thou hast spar’d me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
      I will sing Thee,
And the cream of all my heart
      I will bring Thee.

Though my sinnes against me cried,
      Thou didst cleare me;
And alone, when they replied,
      Thou didst heare me.

Sev’n whole dayes, not one in seven,
      I will praise Thee.
In my heart, though not in heaven,
      I can raise Thee.

Thou grew’st soft and moist with tears,
      Thou relentedst:
And when Justice call’d for fears,
      Thou disentedst.

Small it is, in this poore sort
      To enroll Thee:
Ev’n eternitie is too short
      To extoll thee. —George Herbert (**spelling is 1663 English**)

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Poetry Saturday—Courage

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There is a courage, a majestic thing
     That springs forth from the brow of pain, full-grown,
     Minerva-like, and dares all dangers known,
And all the threatening future yet may bring;
Crowned with the helmet of great suffering;
     Serene with that grand strength by martyrs shown,
     When at the stake they die and make no moan,
And even as the flames leap up are heard to sing:

A courage so sublime and unafraid,
     It wears its sorrows like a coat of mail;
     And Fate, the archer, passes by dismayed,
Knowing his best barbed arrows needs must fail
To pierce a soul so armored and arrayed
     That Death himself might look on it and quail. —Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Good Friday Services

Issac Watts penned these beautiful words—

Not all the blood of beasts,
  On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
  Or wash away its stain.

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
  Takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name,
  And richer blood than they.

Good Friday is the day we remember and celebrate the noblest of sacrifices that purchased our freedom from sin.

Please join us for our 30-minute Good Friday services. We have two services available for you: noon and 5:30 p.m. 

Poetry Saturday—Oh The Lamb

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In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object met my sight,
And stopp’d my wild career.

Oh, the Lamb, the bleeding Lamb,
The Lamb on Calvary,
The Lamb that was slain and liveth again
To intercede for me.

I saw One hanging on a Tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near the Cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look,
It seem’d to charge me with His death,
Tho’ not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned my guilt,
And plung’d me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.

A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive,
This blood is for thy ransom paid,
I die, that thou may’st live.”

Thus, while His death my sins display
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.

Oh, the Lamb, the bleeding Lamb,
The Lamb on Calvary,
The Lamb that was slain and liveth again
To intercede for me. —John Newton

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