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How Can I Keep From Singing? – Sunday Songs

How Can I Keep From Singing has received a number of adaptions and special recordings.
This version by Gary Chapman keeps pretty close to the original by Robert Lowry.

The lyrics:
My life flows on in endless song;
above earth’s lamentations,
I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear the music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth.
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?
I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,
Since first I learned to love it,
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
a fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I am his!
How can I keep from singing?

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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 6

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 6

Q & A 15
Q What is the work of creation?
A The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.*1

Q & A 16
Q How did God create angels?
A God created all the angels2 spirits,3 immortal,4 holy,5 excelling in knowledge,6 mighty in power,7 to execute his commandments, and to praise his name,8 yet subject to change.9

Q & A 17
Q How did God create man?
A After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female;10 formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground,11 and the woman of the rib of the man,12 endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls;13 made them after his own image,14 in knowledge,15 righteousness, and holiness;16 having the law of God written in their hearts,17 and power to fulfill it,18 and dominion over the creatures;19 yet subject to fall.*20

*1 Genesis 1 (entire). Hebrews 11:3; Proverbs 16:4.
*2 Colossians 1:16.
*3 Psalm 104:4.
*4 Matthew 22:30.
*5 Matthew 25:31.
*6 2 Samuel 14:17; Matthew 24:36.
*7 2 Thessalonians 1:7.
*8 Psalm 103:20-21.
*9 2 Peter 2:4.
*10 Genesis 1:27.
*11 Genesis 2:7.
*12 Genesis 2:22.
*13 Genesis 2:7; Job 35:11; Matthew 10:28; Luke 23:43.
*14 Genesis 1:27.
*15 Colossians 3:10.
*16 Ephesians 4:24.
*17 Romans 2:14-15.
*18 Ecclesiastes 7:29.
*19 Genesis 1:28.
*20 Genesis 3:6; Ecclesiastes 7:29.

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What’s So Special About The Church Who Gather To Sing? (via Bob Kauflin)

Bob Kauflin contrasts the other settings in which people gather to sing with the church and why the church’s activity of singing together is unique.

The Sunday gathering is not a homogeneous group of people who shop at the same stores, play the same video games, have the same iTunes playlists, and wear the same styles of clothing.
The church is a supernatural entity, made up of people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and economic classes who have been joined together through the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross for their sins (Eph. 2:11-16; 1 Pet. 2:9-10).

Read the whole post here.

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God’s Mission (preparing for mgpc 7/2/2016)

Songs of preparation: Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven and Be Still, For The Glory Of The Lord.
Call to worship:
Praise: All People That On Earth Do Dwell (Psalm 100).
Corporate Prayer of Confession:
Song of assurance, confession of faith, doxology: I Will Sing Of My Redeemer; The Apostle’s Creed; Glory To God The Father.
Consecutive reading: Ezekiel 40:1-4; 43:1-9 – Ezekiel’s prophecy concludes with a vision, even a guided tour, of the restored city of God and temple, which extends over the final nine chapters, portraying an ideal time when God will bless His people and be present among them. (Read 40:1-4.) The remainder of chapters 40–42 describe the temple and its courts. Chapter 43 describes the return of the glory of God to the temple, whose departure had previously been described by Ezekiel (10:18-22; 11:22-24). (Read 43:1-9.).
Memory verse: Acts 14:22
Praise: I Will Glory In My Redeemer.
Reading: Acts 12:25-13:12.
Sermon: God’s Mission.
Pastoral prayer and the Lord’s Prayer.
Tithes and offerings.
Departing praise: Yours Is The Kingdom.

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Broken Arrow by Robbie Robertson

Back in the late 80’s I had a copy of Robbie Robertson’s self titled album.
After a recording hiatus since the breakup of The Band, Robertson was famously assisted by U2, Peter Gabriel, and Daniel Lanois, who were all in creative peaks along with other talented musos. Just listen to the drums.
I don’t know what happened to my CD, but I bought a download of the album and have been listening to it over the last week.
It’s as good as I remember, accessible yet very personal and musically still sounds fresh.
I don’t really have a favourite track, but Broken Arrow is hypnotic.

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The Sense Of Home

Prepared for our local paper, The Border Watch.

Sometimes the grass really is greener. Spending a week away in Sydney the grass is so lush and green everywhere. The trees throughout the suburbs are so large and foliage so dense. Watered by the abundant summer rain and encouraged by sunshine and humidity the plant life strives to fight back against the never ceasing encroachment of human dwellings and other places of activity.
The experience makes me look forward to home, and to a time when the grass under our feet will be thick and green, not brown and crunchy.
It also reminds me of the place where I grew up; the humidity, the brightness of the sun. But the differences in architecture and the multicultural array of faces on the streets brings me back to the here and now.
Thinking of home takes more than one form.
Home is a sense of place. The international flight touches down in the land of your birth and the attendant says ‘Welcome home.’ The town, suburb, or house where you spent the memorable years of growing up always evoke a sense of home, not matter how long you may spend away from them. Even decades later you can return to walk those streets and feel a strange sense of familiarity, though so much has changed.
Home is the people we love. With this sense of home it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as those who are family to us are there. If you’ve moved around you may have experienced this. After the international flight has landed, after you’ve been told you’re home, you walk through the exit door at customs and see the expectant waiting familiar faces of your loved ones. And then you feel at home.
There is a sense of home that is primarily a form of nostalgia. It expressed in fond memories of a time of life that is past. When our senses experience something that evokes those memories we feel a flood of security that we may not have even realised was absent in our lives.
There is a sense of home that is primarily expressed in expectation. The love we give and receive in family life both strengthens and nourishes us. We invest our love in others and become part of their sense of home. We receive the love of others and they become part of the fabric of our identity. Our present experiences bid us look forward with hope.
Home is where nostalgia and expectation intersect.
This is why our hearts are broken for the refugee.
That which is behind has to be escaped, without thought of return. That which is ahead is uncertain in terms of relationship; those to love and be loved by. All that can be hoped for is a future when place and the bonds of love will again be part of life.
Christians are called to identify with this experience.
In different ways throughout the Bible God bids his people seek their lasting security in him through Jesus. In doing so he calls on us to support those who have no earthly home. In affording the refugee a sense of place and partnership he grows our own understanding and expectation of a home that will last forever.

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Presbyterian Church Of Australia Planning To Mark The 500th Anniversary Of The Reformation

Presbyterian Church of Australia Moderator General David Cook has posted information about one of the ways the PCA is planning to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.
“Our major recommendation is to establish a panel of Evangelists who will be available to congregations and presbyteries to both train others to share the gospel in personal witness and to conduct evangelistic meetings in local settings as arranged by local committees.
We believe that the best way to celebrate the gospel is to have occasions where it is declared faithfully and engagingly by gifted men and women.
We are recruiting evangelists now and churches will be asked to contact me for the allocation of the most appropriate evangelist for the local setting.”
Read more here, including an invitation to help David formulate the popular name that this initiative will be known as.