Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sabbath Songs

Not What my Hands Have Done by Horatius Bonar
Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.
Your voice alone, O Lord, can speak to me of grace;
Your power alone, O Son of God, can all my sin erase.
No other work but Yours, no other blood will do;
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through.
Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest, And set my spirit free.
I bless the Christ of God; I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart I call this Savior mine.
His cross dispels each doubt; I bury in His tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear, each lingering shade of gloom.
I praise the God of grace; I trust His truth and might;
He calls me His, I call Him mine, My God, my joy and light.
’Tis He Who saveth me, and freely pardon gives;
I love because He loveth me, I live because He lives.

And here is an interesting version of these lovely words:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sabbath Songs

Jesus, our Soul's Delightful Choice, by Isaac Watts, adapted by David Ward

Jesus, our soul’s delightful choice,
In You, believing we rejoice;
Yet still our joy is mixed with grief,
While faith contends with unbelief.

Your promises our hearts revive,
And keep our fainting hopes alive;
But guilt, and fears, and sorrows rise,
And hide the promise from our eyes.

Lord, make our dying spark a flame,
Reveal the glories of Your name;
And take our anxious doubts away
Like darkness banished by the day.

Oh let not flesh and Satan win
Amid the struggle of our sin;
Nor see our faith in ruins fall,
But hold it by Your gracious call

Be sure to listen to the demo of this beautiful song at the link above, Gentle Reader.  It will bless you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Content vs. piff and drivel

Today I sat in on a webinar sponsored by Circe Institute, taught by my cyber-friend Renee Mathis.  Renee was an apprentice at Circe, and helped with the revision of their writing program, Lost Tools of Writing. I have used this excellent material in my teaching for several years now, ever since I attended a workshop with Andrew Kern several years ago in Colorado.  If you get a chance to hear someone from Circe speak, do it!  They are changing the way many of us approach the teaching of writing!

Renee reminded me today (without intending it, I am sure) that the wisdom of the ancients is still wise.  As she spoke about the canons of rhetoric (especially invention, arrangement, and elocution), I was reminded that there is nothing new under the sun, and history gives us much to be grateful for.  I'm so glad i don't have to reinvent that wheel.  And in an opposite by related vein., I have been pondering the piff and drivel that passes for creative writing instruction in our day.  My own learning was piff and drivel until I had to teach my own children, and I wanted something better for them. Give me the meat of the progymnasmata any day! When we have the opportunity to teach our students how to think and organize their thoughts and communicate them to others, why in the world would I settle for simply encouraging them to vent their feelings? No wonder that as a culture we are so morally bankrupt.  Our citizenry lacks vocabulary, much less concepts, ideas, and organizational strategies, to discuss anything on a civil and deep level.   Sometimes I despair.

But then, I remember that God has entrusted me with 46 precious students this year-- students I am guiding and influencing.  Some of them will rebel, and some will dismiss, but others will be moved and changed-- or at least that is my prayer.  So instead of whining about the decay of this weary world, I guess I'll do a little prep work to challenge a few souls in my corner of the world next week.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sabbath Songs

We sang the following song this morning in worship.  I cannot sing it without being moved- often to tears.  Oh for the day when we sing that love song before God's throne, and see Him face-to-face!

When we sing this, we don't resolve the final chord.  That's because it is a never-ending song.  What a glorious idea, Gentle Reader.  I hope you will be joining me there forever, singing!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sabbath Songs

Relentless Love 
words by Chris Anderson

Relentless love embraced my soul in ages past—
Love undeserved, unknown, yet deep and vast.
God set His love on me—on me, in spite of me!
Salvation’s work is His from first to last.

Unbounded love, unfailing love,
Love raised upon a tree;
Unending love, prevailing love—
My Savior’s sovereign love for me.

Relentless love pursued my heart, though I would hide—
Was unreturned, yet undeterred by pride.
Till by a grace unsought, my rebel soul was caught—
Redeemed by love that would not be denied.

Relentless love preserves my life from unbelief—
Sustains me through my sin, my doubt, my grief.
Since Christ has done it all, though feeble, I’ll not fall,
His wounded hands hold me, the sinners’ chief.

Relentless love transforms my soul and its delights—
Exceeds the fleeting joys which once sufficed.
Held by His love for me—a hold which sets me free!—
I have my heart’s desire, and that is Christ.