mgpcpastor's blog

reports, reviews, thoughts, news (and fun) posted by Gary Ware


Leave a comment

Abide With Me – Sunday Songs

As Australia remembered the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli by the ANZAC forces many services were held around the nation to extraordinarily large attendances.
At some the Gospel was clearly held forth in Scripture, prayer, song, and word. At others less clearly.
Here in Mount Gambier the Gospel was shared with clarity.
A song like abide with me contains indelible pointers to matters eternal, a complement to a presentation of Jesus’ saving work.
(I do wish that hymns sung at public services could be set to lower keys and have strong vocal leading.)

The lyrics:
1
Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
2
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see.
O Lord who changes not, abide with me.
3
I need your presence every passing hour.
What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like yourself my guide and strength can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.
4
I fear no foe with you at hand to bless,
though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory?
I triumph still, if you abide with me.
5
Hold now your Word before my closing eyes.
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Here’s a simple version from Don Moen (from his album Hymnbook)

As a bonus, here’s an Indelible Grace retune.


Leave a comment

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 17

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 17

Q & A 30
Q How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us,1 and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.2

Q & A 31
Q What is effectual calling?
A Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ,3 and renewing our wills,4 he does persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ,5 freely offered to us in the gospel.6

*1 Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 1:29.
*2 John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Ephesians 3:17.
*3 Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 12; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 1:17-18.
*4 Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:5; Titus 3:5.
*5 John 6:44-45;Acts 16:14.
*6 Isaiah 45:22; Matthew 11:28-30; Revelation 22:17.


Leave a comment

We Remember (preparing for mgpc 26/4/2015)

Songs of preparation: O Sacred Head Surrounded, The Mystery Of The Cross (Jesus, Thank You), and How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds
Call to worship:
Prayer of Approach and Confession: Desiring that we will hear, and continue to hear, the voice of the Good Shepherd in redemption and living as redeemed people.
Song of assurance, confession of faith, doxology: Jesus Loves Me, This I Know; the Apostles’ Creed; Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.
Consecutive reading: Ezekiel 5: 1 – 17, Ezekiel reveals the punishment of God and the preservation of the remnant.
Bible memorisation: Isaiah 53:7.
Praise: The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
Reading: Acts 7:1-60
Sermon: We Remember – What looks like a hopeless defeat is a victory, both in the proclamation and spread of the Gospel.
Pastoral prayer, tithes and offerings.
Departing praise: Psalm 96 (Sing Unto The Lord A New Song)..


Leave a comment

Footy Tipping 2015 – NRL Round 8 / AFL Round 4

The AFL show the NRL how a round of football should work.
It won’t happen again this weekend, though.

NRL (last round 3/8; season tally 27/56)
Canterbury
New Zealand
North Queensland
Easts
Melbourne
Brisbane
Cronulla
Souths

AFL (last round 9/9; season tally 18/27)
Richmond
Carlton
Essendon
Greater Western Sydney
Hawthorn
Sydney
West Coast
North Melbourne
Adelaide


Leave a comment

An ANZAC Day Reflection

This was submitted to The Border Watch as this week’s pastor’s article, but was not published in today’s edition.

The darkness clings as we gather at the ANZAC Dawn Service, the trees in Vansittart Park further shrouding us. We are a silhouette of shadow, movements are few, voices hushed. It is only as the minutes pass and the sun’s emerging light dispels the gloom that individual form and features emerge.
Though we come as one, individual motives draw us to this place of reflection.
Some come having served; remembering comrades-in-arms both present and absent. Those who remained at home give thanks for safe return or grieve their loss.
Others have only experienced the effect of the conflict at the space of generations. They remember grandfathers and fathers who would not speak of their experiences; grandmothers and mothers who welcomed returning husbands far different from those they had farewelled. Still other families carried these realities more lightly. Some wear medals not their own in respect and love.
Each year as I see more and more people gather, and reflect on the various motivations that bring us together, I wonder if the young Australians who died at Gallipoli would recognise themselves in the image that our nation uses to represent them. So many. So young. So diverse in backgrounds. So mixed in motivations to serve. These many, now covered by a blanket characterisation of mateship and sacrifice, as if everything about them can be boiled down to a simple sentence.
It is true that these Australians were lost in the pursuit of both distant and parochial political agendas. They were lost because, in immaturity and innocence, a new nation yearned to experience for itself the form of conflict that marked the history of those nations older than itself; as if sharing that experience would legitimise their place in the world. They were lost because the men themselves, perhaps, were seduced by a promised romance of adventure; one that soon gave way to the reality of carnage that would forever mark the minds of those who survived.
I wonder if it was their example that shaped our nation’s character, or whether it was the shock and grief of the extraordinary loss of a generation that had the larger impact on our identity.
They went for many reasons, we gather through varied motivations.
The fact their battle was futile does not make our observance meaningless.
We gather to remember, to give thanks, to grieve, to support one another.
And to affirm that war is not noble or uplifting, but is a terrible and awful state that should always be avoided until the last.
I find solace and purpose in the words of Jesus ‘Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends’. Jesus is a friend to all those whom he died to save.
An echo of this truth is found in the affinity we feel for the ANZACs; and in the way that our relationship with them brings us together as a people, to remember, give thanks, and look for a peace that will endure.


Leave a comment

Leaning On The Everlasting Arms by Jeremy Wingfield

This trippy version of Leaning On The Everlasting Arms is from an album that’s sitting on my bandcamp wishlist.
I’ll get around to buying it one day.