Tag Archives: Worship

A Thought on America, The Beautiful…

I used to think that everyone knew the words to this song, but I’ve learned that there are a lot of people anymore who have never heard it, or even know that it exists, and sadly it’s mostly young people and children that give me a blank stare when I mention it. Speaking for myself that’s a sad thing, almost as sad, as the fact that the God mentioned so lovingly and tenderly in this song is almost as forgotten and unknown as the song. Even the title sounds other-worldly, as if it came from another country (or planet) instead of from this country that I’ve always loved so much because it represented the very best of what people who love God, and believe in hard work and freedom could achieve.

I’m sure I’m not the only one, but it feels a lot more lonelier than it used to in believing that we were indeed, “America, The Beautiful.” What was it that made America so beautiful, that made it the shining beacon on the hill, that shone a light so bright that people all over the world wanted to come here?

Let’s think about this for a moment…. Hum…

Perhaps, it was freedom, but was it the same kind of freedom we have now?

Was it the freedom to be openly drunk, vulgar, and stupid that was the draw?
Perhaps it was because they could come over here and have no opportunity?
Maybe because there was no reward for hard work?
Of course there’s always the chance that they came over so they could be told how to worship?
Then again, maybe it was so that they could practice every perversion known to man…
Or promote every kind of filth imaginable?

I’m probably being too harsh and unfair, huh?

Hold on….there’s more…You don’t want to leave yet, do you?

Maybe they came over here because they wanted the chance to be poor, and be taken care of?
Or so that they could get a quality third-rate education where they could be told what to think instead of learning how to think for themselves?
I know…it was so that they could come to a place where human life is treated like it’s trash and thrown away…
No, that couldn’t be it, could it?

No, they wanted to come here so that they could have the freedom to be irresponsible, immoral, dishonest, and disrespectful, and the opportunity to shun any and every thing that might be restrictive to their right to be so.

Is that why this song was written, sung, and beloved by countless generations of Americans?

Somehow, I don’t think so, but when you live in a country where people are idolized for being vain, and vulgar; and where sports and athletes are worshiped, and power and money are the end goal; where the liberty to be and to live a life that honors God, that respects hard work, that believes honesty and sincerity and integrity are still vitally important, and who believe that the Bible and the U.S. Constitution are still two of the best documents ever written are despised, but being liberal, and all-embracing of anything that strips a human being of their dignity and self-respect is looked upon as the highest ideal of man; where people use “Christianity” as if it’s a room deodorizer and anti-perspirant, and where leadership and responsibility have been replaced by eloquence and Charisma then I guess you can call it just about anything….

For me, I’ll call it what I think it is… a country that has lost its way because it turned it’s back on the Great God Almighty who STILL rules over all the nations and leaders of the world, and who is STILL in control, and who is STILL working His plan toward its ultimate fulfillment…

For those of you who don’t particularly care for this post, it’s okay. I don’t hold it against you. Unlike some people I still respect your right to disagree with me. You’ll have to pardon me for being so outspoken I was raised in “America, The Beautiful!”

Just in case you missed the reference, here it is below for your viewing pleasure.

America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

Here’s a bonus for reading this all the way through….

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The Spiritual Disease of Apathy

The following post is a well written, and incisive comment upon the Christians of today. We should all examine ourselves in the light of God’s truth, evaluate our lives based upon it, and then make whatever changes are necessary. http://realityofchrist.me/2013/01/07/the-spiritual-disease-of-apathetic-christianity/

Fear

Today as I was listening to David Jeremiah, I heard him say something that made me think, and reflect on, and I’m going to share it with you. “Fear is a form of idolatry.” When we fear the problem whatever it may be we’re saying that the problem is greater than God’s ability to handle it. What problems do you have that are greater than God’s ability to solve them? The way to deal with fear is found in worship and praise. When we recognize God for who He is, and acknowledge that all we experience and know is because of Him, we put our problems, our fears, where they belong…. In His hands.

If you’d like to know more you can click here http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/listen/ and click on “When Fear Dominates You” under the month of November.

Psalm 97 (King James Version)

 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.
 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.
 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.
 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.
 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.
 For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

My Prayer to the Father, August 9, 2012

Heavenly Father
I come to You, Father, as
The Father of Light
Piercing the darkness,
As the Truth
That cuts through all
That is false.
You are the Eternal
And Forever God.

I come to You, Father,
In worship and praise,
And with a humble heart
That is filled
With gratitude
And love.
I thank You Heavenly Father
For Your manifold blessings
And for all the ways
In which You
Bestow Your love
Upon us.

Heavenly Father
I come to You with a plea
This night, a simple plea.
Father, please never
Let me forget why I’m here,
And what my purpose is.
Please Heavenly Father
Don’t let me fall into
Vainglory,
Do not for a second
Let me think that anything
I do is important,
Or anything that You can’t
And haven’t done
Through others.
Help me to remember
That it’s not about
My doing it,
But that someone
Does it.

Heavenly Father
help me to grasp the importance
Of looking to Your Word,
To prayer,
And to the wisdom of
Godly counselors,
And the leading of the
Holy Spirit
To guide me
In the living out of my life
In this world
As I walk as a pilgrim
Upon foreign soil.

Heavenly Father
I pray that You give me
A deep and abiding need
To know Your Word of Truth,
And to treasure Wisdom
Above rubies and gold, and
That You will give and
Increase my desire
To live by it And thus
be led by it.

Heavenly Father
Help me to realize
And understand
That living in wisdom
Is to look
At each and every
Situation
From an eternal perspective
And one that honors
All that You are.
Help me to know
That when wisdom
Is in the lead
It doesn’t lead me
Into thorns.

In Jesus name, I pray,
Amen.

 

 

My Prayer to the Father, August 2, 2012

Heavenly Father,
I come to You, Father, with a grateful heart
In sincerity, in worship and praise
Knowing my position before You
As I kneel before Your throne
In humble adoration.
You, Father, who are Spirit,
You, who have the power,
Beyond anything ever known,
Beyond anything that can be
Conceived of in my humanness.
Indeed, Father, I know that
Even when I am living
In the light of eternity
I shall never know
All that You know
And are.

Heavenly Father,
Creator of the stars, Author of their every name,
Maker of the heavens that continually
Stretch forth their boundaries into infinity
How can I ever begin to understand You?
You who have not only created the heavens,
But You who were before…
You, who made something out of nothing
For that is what defines a Creator.
You, who Your created ignore
And mock, and try to imitate
As if they can in any way
Create apart from You.

Heavenly Father,
Were it not so tragic, it would be amusing
To see how like little ants
We march to and fro in our busyness
Feigning such importance as we
March along paths made by others
Subsisting on what others have provided
Glorying in our strength and intelligence
And totally dismissing the truth
That You were there first to make the path;
That You created the source
Of our provision.

Heavenly Father
I can only think of myself and others
As being amusing to One so great.
Yet, I know Father, that You
Are not amused
As You watch from Your
Exalted place
As we scurry forth in our
Never-ending quest to make of
Ourselves what we can never be
Or achieve…You;
The true God, the only God,
You,
The Eternal and forever God.
We who live within a thin
Veil of flesh
Composed of water, air, and dirt,
With a heart and mind
Brought to ecstasy
By such tiny contrivances
As mere men can make
When they are nothing
Of consequence to You.

Heavenly Father
How it must have saddened You
To see that which You made
Act in such a way
When You made them for so much more.
To see and to know that the shadow
Of darkness would come
To cloud their minds and hearts.
To make them simple and empty
Of the beauty
Of Your perfect Love.

Heavenly Father
That is what built the bridge
No man or woman can cross,.
How foolish we are to think
That our works, our possessions,
Our wealth and monuments
Could ever buy us passage
To eternal life.
How ignorant we are to strive,
To explore and search,
To create and build
A way…
When the way is here
Waiting to be embraced.

Heavenly Father
It is here that I lay down before You,
With tears of joy inexpressible in my eyes,
As I contemplate all that You
Have given me.
Your name is Wonderful,
And You have made my life so
Because You provided the Way
In Your Son,
In Your one and only,
Son,
My Savior,
My Lord,
Jesus

Heavenly Father
This night, Father, I make a request.
Father, Glorious and True,
Make Your people brave;
Make then bold.
Make then, Father, give
What in their selfishness they cling to:
Their lives.
Make them know the truth
Of what Your Son proclaimed
That those who lose their
Lives for My sake
Shall find it.

Heavenly Father
Most of all, Make me.

In Jesus name, I pray.
Amen.

From the “Writings of A.W. Pink”

     Among the many failings of the christian church today there is none greater than the failure to teach and to proclaim the Sovereignty of God.  It is this failure, above all others, that has given rise to many of the false beliefs people have about God.  God is not the weak, ambivalent, fickle entity that so many people make Him out to be.  It is a failure to teach the Bible – God’s Holy Word – and it’s doctrines with absolute truth, and without compromise and dissimulation that has led people to think that our God is like we are with all our foibles, flaws and inconsistencies.  Nothing, and I mean, nothing is more dishonoring to God than for people to think that He is like them, or that He isn’t fully in control of everything, and I mean everything, that happens in this world and in the lives of people.  Do I know what I’m saying?  Yes, absolutely, and a careful study of the scriptures bears this out.  
     To say there are things in the Bible that are hard to understand is an understatement, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be understood.  Foreordination, Election, and predestination are difficult concepts to understand, but they are not beyond the comprehension of human intellect when guided and taught by the Holy Spirit.  The Bible is it’s own best commentary; yet, many people fail to benefit from it simply because they don’t take the time to study it.  No one single verse or section of scripture can be fully understood without it being studied in the context in which it is written, and in light of what other scriptures reveal in relationship to it.
     The Bible is the Word of God; His revelation of Himself to man so that man can understand himself and his role in relation to his Creator.   There are many men behind the pulpits of todays churches who quite frankly are false teachers, whether by intention, or ignorance, is not for me to judge, but the results are the same.  Whenever and wherever people teach that God is love, and fail to teach that He is holy, just, and hates sin they are NOT teaching the truth as the Bible reveals it.
     A proper attitude toward the sovereignty of God
 is essential to comprehending and experiencing the promises and blessings of Almighty God. 

What Ought to be Our Attitude Toward the Sovereignty of God?

Arthur W. Pink

It has been well said that “true worship is based upon recognized greatness, and greatness is superlatively seen in Sovereignty, and at no other footstool will men really worship.” In the presence of the Divine King upon His throne even the seraphim ‘veil their faces.’ Divine sovereignty is not the sovereignty of a tyrannical Despot, but the exercised pleasure of One who is infinitely wise and good! Because God is infinitely wise He cannot err, and because He is infinitely righteous He will not do wrong. Here then is the preciousness of this truth. The mere fact itself that God’s will is irresistible and irreversible fills me with fear, but once I realize that God wills only that which is good. My heart is made to rejoice. Here then is the final answer to the question (concerning our attitude toward God’s sovereignty)—What ought to be our attitude toward the sovereignty of God? The becoming attitude for us to take is that of godly fear, implicit obedience, and unreserved resignation and submission. But not only so: the recognition of the sovereignty of God, and the realization that the Sovereign Himself is my Father, ought to overwhelm the heart and cause me to bow before Him in adoring worship. At all times I must say, “Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight.”