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Ding Dong Merrily On High – Sunday Songs

This is a little departure.
Rend Collective have released a Christmas album and one of the tracks is their version of Ding Dong Merrily On High.
Don’t think I’d ever sing it this way, but I like listening to it. (I confess to singing loudly along in the car, too)
Here’s the track from their youtube page.
I might feature a few more over the coming weeks.
Christmas songs 2014 starts tomorrow.

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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 48

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 48

Q. What is the second petition?
A. “Your kingdom come.” That is: so govern us by your Word and Spirit that we may more and more submit ourselves unto you. Uphold and increase your church. Destroy the works of the devil, every power that raises itself against you, and all wicked schemes thought up against your holy Word, until the full coming of thy kingdom in which you shall be all in all.

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Be Prepared For What You Ask For (preparing for MGPC 30/11/2014)

Those who most desired the judgment of God to fall on others seemed to have no idea about the measure of God’s mercy, or how they themselves needed to be prepared lest that judgment fall on them.

Songs of preparation: Child In The Manger, He Will Hold Me Fast, and Give To Our God Immortal Praise.
Prayer of confession and adoration: remembering God’s faithfulness and the special favour he extends towards his beloved; and that we might cast away works of darkness and continue to lay hold of his favoured one, in whom all light resides.
Song of assurance, confession and doxology: Purify My Heart, the Apostles’ Creed, and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow (with Hallelujahs).
From God’s Word:
Consecutive reading: Revelation 5:1-14, where the seven seals are broken, revealing God’s purposes.
Memory verse: 2 Timothy 3:16&17 (our final week)
Praise: Join All The Glorious Names.
Sermon: Malachi 2:17-3:5. God charges the people with living as if he would not judge, taking mercy as laxity. Informing them of the severity of judgment, God promises that he himself will come and enact that judgment, bidding his people to live in anticipation of his coming and to seek the mercy extended until he comes. Today Christians believe that Jesus has come once to demonstrate the severity of judgment and the extent of God’s mercy and we live in an extended time of grace in which all those who will be saved are being gathered in.
After our pastoral prayer, we’ll hear a brief budget summary, give our tithes and offerings, then conclude worship singing All My Days.

There will be a shared lunch tomorrow, and there will be a paleo pumpkin pie on offer, for starters. All welcome.

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Corporate Worship: Living Out The Great Reversal (via Desiring God)

Joseph Tenney writes about the way in which corporate worship serves to direct the natural flow of our worship toward the one we were created to worship.

An excerpt:

The gathering together of the church for worship is an act of reversal; it is an act of reversing our loves.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “We don’t go to church to worship, we come to church already worshiping.” Our days are not marked with worshipless moments. We are always giving our hearts in worship towards some end — like running water that must move and wind around and fill up, worship is ever flowing out of us. When sin entered the garden, Adam’s and Eve’s worship wasn’t diminished, it was simply redirected.
However, when the Spirit of God awakens us to see our Father’s faithful love in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, he enables us to see Jesus as our glorious Savior. This divine gift of grace begins the reversal process in our souls, and everything we do from that point on is a progression of love and enjoyment and delight in God as the end for which we were created.
Gathering together as the church is one way we fight for ordered love in our hearts. When we come together, we prompt each other, “Look up! Behold our God!”

Read the rest at Desiring God.

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Grumpy Cat’s Christmas

Christmas officially started tonight with the annual viewing of ‘Elf’.
What this clip lacks in Christmas spirit is made up for with a certain cuteness.

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Songs Of The Saved – New Album From EMU Music

EMU Music have just released Songs Of The Saved, a collection of songs seeking to express the great themes common to the experience of God’s redeemed people.
I’m listening to it at various times to see if anything strikes me as demanding to be sung.
There’s no immediate stand-outs, although More Of You is probably leading the pack at the moment.

Here’s EMU’s blurb for the album:

sos165x165There’s an equation that runs right through Scripture – from the song of Moses in Exodus 15 to the song of the heavenly multitude in Revelation 19 – that goes like this: when God saves his people, his people are filled with joy, and when his people are filled with joy, they sing songs of praise to God. The Bible, of course, records many of these songs, and we do well to sing them. But over the last 2,000 years, Christians have written many more that faithfully convey biblical truth and powerfully proclaim God’s praise.
This new album contains 11 freshly written ‘songs of the saved’ – songs of adoration, celebration, dedication, exhortation and petition. They have all been intentionally crafted for congregational use – to give those who have experienced the joy of redemption through faith in Jesus Christ some new songs to sing together in praise of our great God and saviour. For it is not God’s purpose that we remain silent, but that we learn to publicly declare his praise. As the psalmist writes:
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love
and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
Psalm 40:10

If you’re on Spotify, you can check it out here.

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The Death Of Phillip Hughes


The Adelaide Oval Scoreboard

It’s hard to know why an event grips public consciousness.
Phillip Hughes, a professional cricketer died today of an injury sustained during a game.
Search the internet and you’ll find countless articles reporting the story.
One young man of undoubted talent who continued to strive to establish himself at the highest level of his sport.
A life’s ambition not completely realised, a talent and skill not fully developed.
There was something in the straightforward way in which he was seeking to overcome the various setbacks which his career encountered that endeared him many inside and outside the sport.
In cricket when a batsman is not dismissed before the close of the innings their score is denoted as ‘not out’.
Hughes’ incomplete final innings will be recorded as ‘retired hurt’, another way of indicating a turn at bat which was not completed, a marker to a career halted by interruption not by choice.
On a day when I celebrated the 28th birthday of my first-born, the death of a man who was three days short of his 26th birthday strikes a strange resonance.
Parents and siblings in loss, friends and comrades in sport, fans and the public all express loss.
Remembering life is precious, and there are times when words should be few, it is a good time to recall that we should number our days, not to jealously hoard them, but to make sure that each is lived to its fullest.