Monday, June 17, 2019


I'm taking a two-week break from blogging while we take some family time this summer. Normal posts will resume on Monday, July 1.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Synaxis

O Jesus! Inexhaustible Fountain of compassion, who by a profound gesture of love, said from the cross "I thirst!"--as you suffered from the thirst for the salvation of the human race. I beg of Thee, O my Savior, to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection in all our acts, and to extinguish in us the ardor of worldly desires. Amen.

- Bridget of Sweden

Friday, June 14, 2019

Song of the Week: Come Follow Me!

The song I've written for this week can't really be called a "hymn" like so many of my others, because I'm not sure it would work with congregational singing, but I think it would be a fun one to perform in a church setting. It's based on the tune of the old Scottish folk song "Two Recruiting Sergeants" (and I'm especially indebted to Great Big Sea's rendition). I've kept some of the  "recruiting" elements and transformed it into a song about Christ's call for us to follow him in the adventure of abundant life.

Come Follow Me

Christ came walking down one day to the Sea of Galilee
And spoke to Peter, Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee:
"Fishermen you are, so come fishing souls with me--
Give up your small ambitions, and come follow me!"

     "And I'll lead you to glory and I'll lead you to peace;
      You'll see the Kingdom come in pow'r, the sinners be set free;
      And you'll receive the riches of God's grace eternally;
      Abundant life is calling, so come follow me!
      Abundant life is calling, so come follow me!"

Christ speaks out to every age and tells the sinner's heart
To surrender their sorrows and make a brand new start;
For through our Savior's sacrifice, grace meets you where you are:
"Give up your sins and failings, and come follow me!"


Though you may be walking through the darkness of night,
And though your life may feel like a struggle and a fight--
Hear the Savior calling in the dawning of the light:
"Give up your hurts and heartaches, and come follow me!"


Too long you've been a prisoner of your sadness and your shame,
Too long your sins have bound you down in hopelessness and pain;
There's freedom in the Savior, so call upon his name.
"Give up your chains, you captives, and come follow me!"

     (Chorus x2)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Photo of the Week

Thy goodness and Thy truth to me, to every soul, abound:
A vast, unfathomable sea, where all our sins are drowned.
Its streams the whole creation reach, so plenteous is the store;
Enough for all, enough for each, enough forevermore!

- Verses 3-4 of the hymn "Thy Ceaseless, Unexhausted Love"

Monday, June 10, 2019

Quote of the Week

"A man naturally fancies that it is his own exceeding love of virtue that makes him not able to bear with those that want it. And when he abhors one man, despises another, and can't bear a third, he supposes it all to be a proof of his own high sense of virtue and just hatred of sin. And yet one would think that a man needed no other cure for this temper than this one reflection: that if this had been the spirit of the Son of God, if he had hated sin in this manner, there [would have] been no redemption of the world; that if God had hated sinners in this manner day and night, the world itself [would have] ceased long ago. This, therefore, we may take for a certain rule: that the higher our sense of virtue is, the more we shall have compassion on those who lack it."

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

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Saturday Synaxis

Dear Shepherd of the chosen few,
Thy former mercies here renew;
Here to the waiting hearts proclaim
The sweetness of thy saving name.
Here may we prove the power of prayer
To strengthen faith and sweeten care,
To teach our faint desires to rise,
And bring all heaven before our eyes.
Lord, we are few, but thou art near;
Nor short thine arm, nor deaf thine ear;
O rend the heavens, come quickly down,
And make a thousand hearts thine own.

- William Cowper

Friday, June 07, 2019

Hymn of the Week: When I Am Weary

My new hymn this week is inspired by the Apostle Paul's reflections on God's strength and sufficiency being present in his own weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9). It's set to the 19th-century Gaelic tune "Bunessan," most famously associated with the song "Morning Has Broken."

When I Am Weary

When I am weary, when I am broken,
I rest my spirit in Your embrace.
I am upheld by all You have spoken:
Rivers of new life, riches of grace!

Lord, let Your holy promises fill me
With all that I need here in this day;
May Your Word always teach me Your mercy,
Send me with courage into the fray.

I may be empty, but in my weakness
I find Your mercy working through me.
Your strength is perfect when I am pow'rless,
Your grace sufficient, endless, and free.

Praises and glory, ever and always,
Be to Your holy name evermore!
Praise in my weakness, praise in my trials,
For my completeness comes from You, Lord. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Photo of the Week

My life flows on in endless song; above earth’s lamentation,
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.
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?

- verse 1 of the hymn "How Can I Keep from Singing," by Robert Lowry, 19th cent.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Quote of the Week

"Is that a deathbed where a 
     Christian lies?
Yes! but not his -- 'tis Death 
     itself that dies."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, famous 19th-century poet, ending lines from his poem "My Baptismal Birthday"

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Saturday Synaxis

We praise you, O God, because you have exalted your Son Jesus Christ to your right hand and bestowed on him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. Wherefore, our Father, accept our homage, our adoration, our thanksgiving; and grant that we, with those of every tongue, may confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to your honor and glory. Amen.

- from Contemporary Parish Prayers (Frank Colquhoun), based on Philippians 2:5-11