Saturday, April 6, 2013

Praise to God for His Grace
I did not come to Thee, Lord,
Until I heard Thy call.
Nor wanted to be free, until
Thou didst my soul enthrall. 
A joyful slave, with sin-stopped ears,
I wandered lost for many years.
I did not hear Thy call, Lord,
Till Thou mine ears didst heal.
I could not see Thy beauty till
Thyself Thou didst reveal,
And NEVER would have come to Thee,
If Thou hadst not my soul set free.
Oh, wondrous grace! I praise Thy Name,
Oh, Thou who madest mine eyes to see;
And madest me love Thee from that day
Thou brakest my chains and set me free.
Oh, sing, my soul, and dance with joy!
Sweet grace the rebel's heart doth claim!
And let me ev'ry part employ
To magnify His awesome Name.
mlc  10/20/12

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Grace Upon Grace
I loved my sin and did not care
For holy things and saints of God,
Nor wished to breathe celestial air -
Content, this darkened earth I trod.
I had no longing for the Lord,
His beauty I refused to see,
Nor trembled at His holy Word:
I mocked and scorned sweet Wisdom's plea.

But then an awesome sight I saw:
A Saviour, hanging on a tree.
Grace then did make me turn aside
And there the Lamb did speak to me:
"'Tis for your sin, this crown of thorns;
Your wicked ways My blood does spill;
In love divine I pour it out,
To bring you captive to My will."

And gently He did turn my heart
To love His saints and all His ways;
To long to be at home with Him
In light, for everlasting days.
He drew me then to follow Him -
His wondrous glory filled my sight;
Now wisdom's path I long to tread,
And His sweet law is my delight.
mlc 10-20-12

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I might start blogging again. I really like to write, and if it is helpful to anyone in any way, I am glad to do it. God is so good, and has done so much in my life, that I like to praise Him in the things I write, and share that with others. There is none so great as our Lord Jesus Christ, and I want to lift Him up.

One person who is incredibly impressive for his desire for God and his intensity in preaching and writing, and, I guess in person (I would like to meet him) is John Piper. If you want to be blessed by good, sound preaching, you should listen at Go to the resource library, click on "sermons" and you can listen. We have been listening to his preaching through Romans, which you can access by choosing the category "by series". Also, there are a number of excellent books by him, that would bless you greatly if you read them.

I want to know Christ to the fullest, whatever that may be in this life, and Piper has helped me greatly along that road.

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Wow!); if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." We don't want to die, but if we don't, we won't be resurrected!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blessed Christmas

At work, we have the radio going all the time. I am privileged to listen to country music one week, and classic rock music the next, alternating each week. The radios in the areas where I work are usually loud enough to hear all the words of the songs. I say that I am privileged because, though I would not choose those stations myself as my personal listening preferences, anything that the Lord has in my life is there because He has placed it there, and is using it for His glory and my refinement as a Christian.

Most of the country music is newer, so I did not recognize but a song or two. I grew up listening to country music, so I know many of the songs from the 60s and 70s. The rock music is from the 60s, 70s and 80s, and I know most of those, because I changed my music to match most of my peers when I was in high school. In both of the categories, rock and country, there are a few songs that I like, but not many. In the rock category, I often find myself turning away from some of the favorites I had as a teenager and afterwards, because their lyrics are about things I have laid aside in order to draw closer to Jesus Christ. He is more lovely than anything those songs promise. The subject matter of the song provides for temptations to dwell on things that draw me away from Him. That is the case with much of the country music as well. I cannot enjoy it, and I really do not want to enjoy it.

The title of this blog entry has to do with Christmas. Well, on these radio stations they are playing Christmas songs among the others. There is sometimes contradiction between the Christmas music and the others. To illustrate, the song "O Holy Night" was playing on the rock station when we came back from lunch one day. It was very well done, and I was greatly blessed by hearing it. Immediately following this, however, with no pause for reflection, the radio blasted out Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust." Much of the blessing from O Holy Night was quickly gone.

I think that probably I was the only one there who had a problem with the station playing Queen right after O Holy Night. But that is where people are. Whether country or rock, when they listen at Christmas they expect to hear some Christmas songs along with their usual fare. It is, at least, a small acknowledgment of the Saviour in a world that has pretty much forgotten Him. But it indicates the effect of religion on the lives of the general populous of America. A little bit here and there is alright, but it doesn't change the way I live, and life pretty much goes on as normal, no matter whether or not there was a Saviour born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. That's how I lived before I knew Christ. I liked Christmas. But the Saviour seemed so strange, so out of place, not even a real person. Pretty much like Santa Claus.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lord, Thou Hast the Words

Agony over not having a feeling of God's presence, so many temptations to lay down arms, to turn away from Christ. I cannot do it. He has the words of eternal life. He is the Joy that is evermore at the right hand of God. I love Him - how can I leave Him? And yet, as I say that, there are a thousand voices ready to tempt me to do just that. My wicked heart would deify every blessing that God gives me, loving the blessings and not the Blesser. How easy that is to see, illustrated by my own Christmas experiences as a child. The givers, my parents or brothers and sisters, were only my channels to getting what I wanted. Sure, I would thank them, if reminded that I needed to do so, but I was not truly thankful to them, or for them. I loved the toys, but not the people who gave them to me. And now, how easy it is to love the pleasures of life without loving the One who gives the pleasures as well as the capacity for enjoying them. How easy it is to say that it is this or that situation that will give me true joy, when even the joy of the most desirable situation would not be there if God did not add it into the mix. Food would taste like cardboard if God did not give it the flavor and me the taste buds to enjoy it. And not only as a process, but every time. He is in everything, making it work the way it is supposed to every time, or it wouldn't. There are no natural processes, truly. God is a God of order, and He continues to bless things to work the way that they always have, but still, it is His hand in it each time it occurs that makes it happen the way it has always happened, and we have the illusion of processes and cause and effect. But nothing can keep going unless He keeps it going. And He is keeping everything going, every moment of every day - there is not one thing that works by itself, or even by processes that He has set up and left to run on their own. There can be no such thing, for if God leaves anything to itself, it would cease to exist immediately. It did not exist before He made it, and it shall not continue without being upheld constantly by the word of His power.

So, anything that I look to for a pleasure that it has given in the past is not able to give me that pleasure unless God wills that it be so, each time I engage in the thing. If I enjoy a particular song, and am thrilled with the music and the lyrics, I cannot look to that song as the ultimate giver of the pleasure, but to God who has given me the pleasure through that song. There are pleasures in reading the Bible, but a Scripture that brought me joy and comfort at one time might not do so at another, because I am seeking the experience, rather than God Himself. So, I could even make an idol out of the Word of God. And I do.

And there are other voices that draw me away in doubt and fear, that make me question the reality of it all - whether any of it is true. I must cling to Christ, for He is the only One in whom I have found peace and true joy. All else has failed me, and continues to fail. So, I hear Him say to me again "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Have Seen the Lord!

Here is a great sermon from John Piper of the same title as this blog entry.

By the way, it has been a coon's age since I have been here. Anybody still out there?

If you merely read Piper's sermons you don't get nearly the same effect as you will if you watch the video. If Spurgeon were living now, I would certainly watch videos of his sermons rather than just reading them. There is something about hearing and seeing that makes a greater impact on the heart than merely reading. Try it. You will never want to simply read Piper's sermons again.

If you don't know Piper at all, you will be greatly encourage by his preaching. I highly recommend him.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


They say that God doesn't leave His people, that He is always with them. They say that if there are any problems, it is simply with your perception, because God has not moved. So, it is always this: if I push the right buttons I can overcome, and go on my way rejoicing.

 No. It has never been that way. God is sovereign, and He is not at my beck and call, I am to be at His. I might do everything right, as far as anyone can tell, and still feel the emptiness of walking without Him, the dryness of the desert of no communion. Everything loses its flavor: every joy is forced, every laugh is hollow, every song (if I can sing at all) is in a minor key, for He is not there. And if you tell me that it is just my perception, I say "What's the difference?" It is hell to be without God, really, or even when it just feels like you are without God. It is all the same thing according to my perception. What is it to me that God is still there, if I cannot hear His voice? How can I derive any comfort from a present Saviour, if He does not make His presence known, if I cannot know His grace and peace filling my soul? What good is it to me that my Father is home, if I cannot go climb up into His lap, and feel His strong arm holding me tight, pulling me close? You may live far off from Him if you can, but I cannot. I don't like it when I cannot find Him anywhere. Just your telling me that He is always there, when I cannot get to Him, provides me no comfort. Oh, that I knew where I might find Him!

I see shadows, glimpses of Him out of the corner of the eye, but that is not enough. I need Him. I am thirsty, and none of these broken cisterns have any water. I am hungry, and tired of trading my money for that which is not bread. My soul thirsts for God. When shall I come and appear before God!

How long, O Lord? How long wilt Thou forget me? Forever?