mgpcpastor's blog

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

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He Hideth My Soul – Sunday Songs

Part of the very busy music acquisitions week included Don Moen’s second album of hymns Hymns Of Hope.
Very simple vocal and piano (with minor additions) renditions, Moen allows the hymns to speak for themselves.
He Hideth My Soul is a favourite song of mine (among hundreds of others, I know).
What I like is the straightforward heartfelt testimony that doesn’t engage maudlin sentimentality.
A lovely set of lyrics from Frances Jane Van Alstyne and wonderful accompanying tune by William Kirkpatrick.

The lyrics:
A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.
A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.
With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture “Oh glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!”
4 When clothed in His brightness transported I rise
To meet Him clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love
I’ll shout with the millions on high!

Listen to this, and then maybe you’ll want to get the album too.

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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 47

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 47

Q. What is the first petition?
A. “Hallowed be your name.” That is: help us first of all to know you rightly, and to hallow, glorify, and praise you in all your works through which there shine your almighty power, wisdom, goodness, righteousness, mercy, and truth. And so order our whole life in thought, word, and deed that your name may never be blasphemed on our account, but may always be honored and praised.

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Priests Behaving Badly (preparing for MGPC 23/11/2015)

Songs of preparation and praise: Tell Me The Old, Old Story; Glory Of Glories; and O Lord, Your Perfect Righteousness.
Prayer of adoration and confession: expressing thankfulness for God’s calling us into fellowship with Himself as His covenant people and anticipating the fulfilment of that kingdom with the return and rule of King Jesus.
Confessing our faith: In Christ Alone; the Apostles’ Creed; and Unto God Be Praise And Honour.
In God’s Word:
Consecutive reading: Revelation 4:1-11 contains a vision of the heavenly throne room.
Bible memorisation: 2 Timothy 3:16
Praise: Blessed Be Your Name.
Sermon reading: Malachi 1:6-2:16
Having reiterated the reality of His covenant love for His people, God goes on to observe the failings and hypocrisy of the priesthood in failing to represent the nature of His love to the people.
A kingdom of priests need to represent the covenant love of God faithfully with lives that match the substance of the good news.
After the pastoral prayer and the giving of our tithes and offerings, worship will conclude with the singing of Revive Your Church, O Lord.

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The Invitation Of The Angel Of The Gap

Somehow I missed the story of Don Ritchie until his story was posted on a recent Things I Found Out compilation.

There seem to be a couple of variations on the question he asked of those who seemed to be contemplating suicide at the edge of The Gap, 50 metres from his home in Watsons Bay, but the substance of reaching out and offering to do something to help someone who seemed to have a very great need is touching in its simplicity and compassion.

Google his name if you want to know more.


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Light Has Broken Through – Christmas EP From Stephen Miller

a3560077527_2Stephen Miller’s five track Christmas themed EP, Light Has Broken Through is available as a free download at both bandcamp and Noisetrade.
If you wish you can make a donation/payment as well.
Bandcamp offers a wider range of download file options.

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A Prayer For Those With Loved Ones Impacted By Memory Loss (via Scotty Smith)

I haven’t featured one of Scotty Smith’s daily prayers for a while, but I know some of you need this prayer today, and more and more and more in days ahead.

Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:15-16 (ESV)

Dear heavenly Father, though Isaiah used the image somewhat metaphorically, mothers and fathers do forget the children they have brought into the world. I know this quite well, having lived through the journey of watching my dad forgetting my name, then my face, then everything about me. The process was very painful, yet you met us time and again, with your mercy and grace.

I am so thankful that the gospel is a living hope, not sentimental hype. I am so thankful that long after dad forgot you, you never forgot him. I am so thankful that dad’s memory has been healed, and that he now knows and remembers perfectly. Above all, I am envious that he now knows you perfectly, while I am bound to the world of knowing-in-part.

As someone who found you to be the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, in a story of dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s an honor to pray for others in that same painful journey. Father, grant spouses and children, family members and friends, a profound sense of your presence, and courage to love well.

Grant them freedom to grieve their mounting sense of loss; the grace to accept the changes in their loved one; and power to stay as present as possible, when doing so becomes increasingly difficult. Grant them wisdom for each stage of the journey, trustworthy and compassionate medical care, and the necessary financial and emotional resources.

Lastly, Father, I pray you will help all of us, impacted by memory loss, to treasure being known and remembered by you. If we should forget you, in our journey to life in the new heaven and new earth, we will never outlive your love and grace for us. The only things you’re not going to remember, is our sins against us. Hallelujah, many times over. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ strong and loving name.


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The Magnificent Three – New EP From Zac Hicks & Coral Ridge Worship

This is proving to be a crazy week for new music.
The Magnificent Three is from Zac Hicks and Coral Ridge Music.
It’s a collection of songs focussed on the Trinity.

The background:

a2893410175_2The Magnificent Three is a small collection of songs whose themes all explore different facets of what it looks like to sing to and about the Trinity. It was inspired by an article written a few years ago by scholar Lester Ruth, entitled, “How Great is Our God: The Trinity in Contemporary Christian Worship Music.” In it was a challenging word that our worship songs may be losing touch with one of the core aspects of our faith—God’s three-in-oneness. The Magnificent Three explores Trinitarianism from the liturgical perspectives of Call to Worship (“Father How Great Your Delight in the Son”), Confession (“Father, Only in Your Power”), Salvation/Assurance (“We Look to You,” “Before the Father”), and the Lord’s Supper (“Open Our Eyes”).
Textually, the songs are the collaboration of songwriters Zac Hicks, Julie Anne Vargas, and Cardiphonia’s Bruce Benedict. Musically, The Magnificent Three is a diverse studio record—from electronic dance-pop, to bluesy 90s rock, with some 80s and gospel influences here and there.

Have a listen.