Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Photo of the Week

On this rock I will build my church,
And the gates of hell will not overcome it.

- Matthew 16:18

Monday, February 25, 2019

Quote of the Week

"If we are to follow Christ, it must be in our common way of spending every day. [...] If our common life is not a common course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection, we don't live the lives of Christians."

- William Law, author of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday Synaxis

Lord of my heart’s elation,
Spirit of things unseen,
Be thou my aspiration
Consuming and serene!

Bear up, bear out, bear onward,
This mortal self alone,
To selfhood or oblivion,
Incredibly thine own—

As the foamheads are loosened
And blown along the sea,
Or sink and merge forever
In that which bids them be.

I, too, must climb in wonder,
Uplift at thy command—
Be one with my frail fellows
Beneath the wind’s strong hand,

A fleet and shadowy column
Of dust and mountain rain,
To walk the earth a moment
And be dissolved again.

Be thou my exaltation
Of fortitude of mien,
Lord of the world’s elation,
Thou breath of things unseen!

          - Bliss Carman

Friday, February 22, 2019

Hymn of the Week - Hosanna to the King of Kings

This hymn, like last week's, is also written to an old traditional Irish tune: in this case, the famous "Minstrel Boy." I've paired it with the story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The first verse serves as an introduction; the middle three declare Jesus' offices of prophet, priest, and king, and the final verse looks forward to the great, triumphal return of Christ in glory. You can find the audio file at the bottom of the post.

Hosanna to the King of Kings

Come, gather 'round the crowded road,
And acclaim our Savior's glory!
We, with the multitude, will roar
As Jesus ends his journey.

     Hosanna to the King of kings, 
     All hail him who salvation brings!
     Oh, blessed is the king who comes
     In the name of the Lord, the Holy One!

"Who is this man?" the city cries,
"Riding out like this to Zion?"
"Jesus, the prophet," we reply,
"Proclaiming God's salvation!"


Not prophet only, but a priest,
Jesus comes to work atonement:
His sacrifice will bring us peace;
His death is his enthronement!


True king is he, of David's line,
Come extol his royal power!
Messiah comes to reign on high;
Sin and death he triumphs over!


One day in glory he will ride
With the hosts of heav'n behind him;
We will shout as he cleaves the sky;
Every knee will bow before him!



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Photo of the Week

“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”

- Jeremiah 23:23-24

Monday, February 18, 2019

Quote of the Week

"Praying will do more to make the Church what it ought to be than anything else we can do.  Prayer will do more to root out heresy than all the heresy trials ever held.  Prayer will do more to straighten out tangles and misunderstandings and unhappy complications in the life of a Church than all the counsels and conferences ever held.  Prayer will do more to bring a deep and lasting and sweeping revival, a revival that is real and lasting altogether of the right sort, than all the organizations ever devised by man."

- R. A. Torrey

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Saturday Synaxis

Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.

- Augustine

Friday, February 15, 2019

Hymn of the Week: On the Cross of Calvary

Instead of using an old hymn tune for my new composition this week, I went with a lovely old Irish tune, "Mo Ghile Mear." It goes back three or four hundred years and was originally written as a lament. Popular contemporary versions include those done by The Chieftains and Celtic Woman. Below you'll find the lyrics, a simple version of my hymn's sheet music, and a sound file of my own rather humble performance.

On the Cross of Calvary

     On the cross of Calvary,
     In the broken tomb we see
     God's great love poured out for us
     And grace throughout eternity!

Jesus came to bring us peace--
We who lived life sinfully,
We who scorned our God's decree--
Yet he, in love, has set us free!


'Neath the lash and 'neath the thorns,
Christ the king was cruelly scorned;
We are saved by grace alone,
And in his death we are reborn!


As the lamb in Moses' day,
Jesus on the wood was laid;
He, as priest and off'ring paid
Has full atonement for us made.


In the silence of the tomb
Deathless God did death endure;
From the grave alive he burst:
Our Lord, through death, destroyed its curse!


Through his death, through shattered grave,
Our Lord, by his endless grace,
Ransomed us, forgiveness gave,
And we, through Jesus' love, are saved!