Wednesday, March 24, 2010

William Cowper

Today I stumbled upon William Cowper as I was searching for sovereign grace poets on google. I had heard of him briefly through reading different biographies and decided to read/listen to John Piper's "Insanity and Spiritual Songs in the Soul of a Saint" about William Cowper. I really enjoy his poetry but was disturbed as I read his biography and learned about his very depressed life. How terrible to let your mind drift and go on every whim of feeling and bad dream. His story is very intriguing.

Anyways I decide to post a few of his poems I enjoy, I have made bold the lines I really loved.

God Moves In A Mysterious Way

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Prayer For Patience

Lord, who hast suffer'd all for me,
My peace and pardon to procure,
The lighter cross I bear for Thee,
Help me with patience to endure.

The storm of loud repining hush;
I would in humble silence mourn;
Why should the unburnt, though burning bush,
Be angry as the crackling thorn?

Man should not faint at Thy rebuke,
Like Joshua falling on his face,
When the cursed thing that Achan took
Brought Israel into just disgrace.

Perhaps some golden wedge suppress'd,
Some secret sin offends my God;
Perhaps that Babylonish vest,
Self-righteousness, provokes the rod.

Ah! were I buffeted all day,
Mock'd, crown'd with thorns and spit upon,
I yet should have no right to say,
My great distress is mine alone.

Let me not angrily declare
No pain was ever sharp like mine,
Nor murmur at the cross I bear,
But rather weep, remembering Thine.

The Narrow Way

What thousands never knew the road!
What thousands hate it when 'tis known!
None but the chosen tribes of God
Will seek or choose it for their own.

A thousand ways in ruin end,
One only leads to joys on high;
By that my willing steps ascend,
Pleased with a journey to the sky.

No more I ask or hope to find
Delight or happiness below;
Sorrow may well possess the mind
That feeds where thorns and thistles grow.

The joy that fades is not for me,
I seek immortal joys above;
There glory without end shall be
The bright reward of faith and love.

Cleave to the world, ye sordid worms,
Contented lick your native dust!
But God shall fight with all his storms,
Against the idol of your trust.

These are ones of nature.....

Epitaph On A Hare

Here lies, whom hound did ne’er pursue,
Nor swiftewd greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne’er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman’s hallo’,

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nurs’d with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confin’d,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance ev’ry night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw,
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regal’d,
On pippins’ russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads fail’d,
Slic’d carrot pleas’d him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he lov’d to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.

His frisking wa at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching show’rs,
Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out all his idle noons,
And ev’ry night at play.

I kept him for his humour’s sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.

But now, beneath this walnut-shade
He finds his long, last home,
And waits inn snug concealment laid,
‘Till gentler puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney’s box,
Must soon partake his grave.

The Poplar Field

The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade:
The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.

Twelve years have elapsed since I first took a view
Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew,
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade.

The blackbird has fled to another retreat
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat;
And the scene where his melody charmed me before
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.

'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything can,
To muse on the perishing pleasures of man;
Short-lived as we are, our enjoyments, I see,
Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.

Well I could post of of his poems here but it would be a very long post so I'll leave you where you can read more on your own, their so eloquently written.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Treading The Thin Line

As most have you have already heard the House has just passed President Obama"s health care reform bill Sunday night. I have to admit both Ben and I were really frustrated at first. There still is some disappointment which I guess is hard to not feel. The one major issue that bothered me the most was the federal funding on abortion. So through our taxes we all will be helping women abort their babies? If this is what I understand it to be I have an issue with that as well as many believers should. In our government's regulations someone can be an accessory to murder without ever being the person to execute the main crime but still serve time for it. To me it feels like we all are accessory to murder of these unborn babies.

My strong faith and passion for the Lord deeply conflicts with this new "could be" mandate from our president and congress men. So my question I've been pondering to myself is this.....How far are we to tread this thin line? Where is there a definitive answer?

"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself."- Mathew 19;18,19

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. "You shall not murder. "You shall not commit adultery."You shall not steal. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. -Exodus 20;8-16

"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder. If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. - James 2;8-11

In I Peter 2:13 it says "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him ....

Then again in these verses....

"Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee. "-Mathew 17;27

"They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. "-Mathew 22;21

My thoughts are , how deepy rooted are we to be in these verses? If the "law of the land" was that we all were to commit murder once a day ordained by our government then what? Is not paying for a unborn baby to be murdered that different? I'm merely writing out my thoughts so if any of you have any thoughts or feedback please don't be shy :) This issue really bothers me, its a bit confusing to me as what through scripture we are to do. Where does the Lord's law overcome that of man?

I read this article that Bear had posted on his facebook which I think is a great reminder to us all to not get carried away with this world, specially with its corrupt politics(health care bill) I know I've been guilty of this lately....specially the night of the bill passing. We all need to remember that we are not of this world, merely living in it for a brief time. James 4;14 says..."yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." We (I) need to trust in God's will and maintain our testimonies. In this article the author talks about being a strong witness through these difficult times to show God's glory throughout that He is the only constant in this world. Really great article if you get a chance read it...........

"Is it a problem that some of us who are tranquil as still water about biblical doctrine and ecclesial mission are red-faced about Nancy Pelosi and the talking heads on MSNBC? Is it a problem that some who haven’t shared the gospel with their neighbors in months or years are motivated to vent to strangers on the street... about how scary national health care will be?"

Also I'm sure that many of you have seen/heard/read Piper's message "No,Mr. President", but I wanted to post this video because its such a strong message, Piper really knows how to make an impact with his sermons.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fresh New Look

I have been playing around with my blog look and have found this fresh new design I've come to love. I need to get back to writing more consistently on here.

A few advent poems from John Piper's poems on Ruth......

As we light candle one, I pray
That bitter providence today
Tomorrow will taste very sweet,
And every famine that we meet
And every broken staff of bread
In death, will bring us life instead.

And meanwhile in the darkness here,
Where tribes and races hate and fear,
O Lord, let Bethlehem ignite
A flame of truth, and let us fight
With love and joy to make it plain
That fam'ly links are not a chain,
And origins do not control,
Half images are not the whole,
Nor true, and take a rending toll,
Beneath the skin there is a soul.
And may we lift this light and truth
For Boaz and for every Ruth.

And so the light of candle three
Today, is meant to help us see,
That waiting is a holy work
Of faith in God. Nor does there lurk
Beneath the timing of his ways
Some secret malice that displays
Itself in holding back the flow
Of future grace. God does not go
From here to there by shortest routes;
He makes a place for faith and doubts.
Nor does he hasten on his way,
But comes when it is best, today,
Or maybe twenty years from now,
Or more. With Boaz we will bow
To God, and there embrace the truth:
Some serve like Mara, others Ruth.

Come candle four and blaze this truth.
Ignite in us the faith of Ruth.

- John Piper

To read the whole four poems go to DESIRING GOD.

Well, that is all I have for tonight, I wish you all a good week!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Church Fire

Hello Everyone,
As most of you know who read my blog , our church was destroyed by a fire this past Saturday.
When we met at the Comfort Inn on Sunday to worship and discuss the damages Eric Yoder had asked us if we'd like to share about what Emmanuel Bible Church (the building) meant to them. I wanted to speak up but knew it'd be too emotional, so I'm writing it down now for reflection......

Emmanuel Bible Church the building meant a lot to me because coming to there the first time a few years ago was a representation of a pivotal time in my life. After I started coming to Emmanuel I could really see God, he opened my eyes to His word and used Emmanuel Bible Church along with that building to call me. Emmanuel the building will always ... See Morebe a treasured memory to me. I'll never forget my first Sunday there and the people I met and the the love I felt from everyone there right from the start even though they barely knew me. I remember thinking how un special the building inside and out seemed to me, just very plain and not big and exciting like other huge main stream churches were.I learned quickly that I was so wrong on my inital perception, what our building lacked in appeal visually it over compensated with love and warmth and a strong sense of God and His word. I had no idea that first Sunday how much my life was about to change and that God was going to use these amazing people in that building to bring about His will in my life. The lessons and relationships that have been built there I will always remember and hold dear to my heart the rest of my life. It was just walls but it held inside the most encouraging, challenging, loving people I've ever known. I'm just so thankful that God blessed me with the time there inside that building that I had and how much of a forever impact in my life was made. I'll never forget where I met my church family and all the amazing ways God challenged me through Eric, Derek ,Bill, and Charlie's lessons. All the wonderful and fun times we all shared there like the chili cookoff, sunday dinners, and our recent italian dinner. I'm going to miss it.

Love, Jennie