Friday, June 29, 2012

We Read Thee Best in Christ

O Love of God, How Strong and True
Horatius Bonar, 1808-1889

O love of God, how strong and true!
Eternal, and yet ever new;
Uncomprehended and unbought,
Beyond all knowledge and all thought.

O love of God, how deep and great!
Far deeper than man’s deepest hate;
Self fed, self kindled, like the light,
Changeless, eternal, infinite.

O heavenly love, how precious still,
In days of weariness and ill,
In nights of pain and helplessness,
To heal, to comfort, and to bless!

O wide embracing, wondrous love!
We read thee in the sky above,
We read thee in the earth below,
In seas that swell, and streams that flow.

We read thee best in Him who came
To bear for us the cross of shame;
Sent by the Father from on high,
Our life to live, our death to die.

We read thy power to bless and save,
E’en in the darkness of the grave;
Still more in resurrection light,
We read the fullness of thy might.

O love of God, our shield and stay
Through all the perils of our way!
Eternal love, in Thee we rest
Forever safe, forever blest.

Thanks to a church member for bringing this hymn to my attention.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Whole Church Aroused to Sacred Energy

"Great things are done by the Holy Spirit when a whole church is aroused to sacred energy."

--Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mohler's Reflections on the 2012 SBC in New Orleans

Al Mohler offers his reflections on last week's Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, organized around eight areas of importance:
  1. The importance of meeting in New Orleans
  2. The importance of electing Fred Luter as President
  3. The importance of leadership
  4. The importance of our name
  5. The importance of doctrine
  6. The importance of our mission
  7. The importance of the total event
  8. The importance of getting to work
To read the details and see his reflections in their entirety, click here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stretch Forth Thy Condescending Arm

Beneath Thy Mighty Hand, O God
Philip Doddridge, 1702-1751

Beneath Thy mighty hand, O God,
Our souls we prostrate low;
Shine forth with gentle radiant beams,
That we Thy name may know.

Thy hand this various frame produced,
And still supports it well;
That hand with justice and with ease,
Might smite our souls to hell.

Conscious of meanness and of guilt,
We in the dust would lie;
Stretch forth Thy condescending arm,
And lift the humble high.

So in the temples of Thy grace
We'll sovereign mercy own;
And when we shine above the stars,
Extol Thy grace alone.

The more Thou raise such sinful dust,
The lower would it fall;
For less than nothing, Lord, are we,
And Thou art all in all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Faith, Prayer, and the Word of God

"Prayer and faith, the universal remedies against every want and every difficulty; and the nourishment of prayer and faith, God's holy Word, helped me over all the difficulties.  I never remember, in all my Christian course, a period now of sixty-nine years and four months, that I ever sincerely and patiently sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, through the instrumentality of the Word of God, but I have been always directed rightly.  But if honesty of heart and uprightness before God were lacking, or if I did not patiently wait upon God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow men to the declarations of the Word of the living God, I made great mistakes."

--George Mueller

Monday, June 18, 2012

Boot Camp for Christian Writers

Interested in writing?  Curious about what it takes to get your articles, essays, or book ideas published?  Then the Boot Camp for Christian Writers might just be the encouragement and the know-how you need to get started.

Boot Camp for Christian Writers
Taught by Carolyn Tomlin and Denise George
"Writing-to-Publish: The Basic Foundations"
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Union University's Luther Hall
Jackson, TN
$139 (includes snacks, box lunch, and handout materials)

Session 1 - The Publishing Opportunities That Await You (C. Tomlin)
Session 2 - How to Choose Your Reading Audience (D. George)
Session 3 - How to Find Great Ideas to Write About (C. Tomlin)
Session 4 - How to Write Clearly and Effectively to Your Chosen Audience (D. George)

Boot Camp for Christian Writers is a no-nonsense, basic, information-packed, all-day seminar that educates and equips Christian writers to write clearly, communicate effectively to a chosen audience, professionally approach magazine editors and book publishers with good ideas, and get articles and books published.  Founded and taught by authors Denise George (author of 27 books and more than 1500 magazine articles) and Carolyn Tomlin (author of 10 books and more than 3600 magazine articles). 

To register, email Carolyn Tomlin at  

Friday, June 15, 2012

In Grace His Brightest Glories Shine

All Nature Spreads, With Open Blaze
Ralph Erskine, 1685-1752

All nature spreads, with open blaze,
Her Maker's name abroad;
And every work of His displays
The power and skill of God.

But in the grace that rescued man,
His brightest glory shines;
Here on the cross 'tis fairest drawn,
In precious bloody lines.

Here His whole name appears complete;
And who can guess or prove,
Which of the letters best are writ,
The wisdom, power, or love?

Justice and mercy, truth and grace,
In all their sweetest charms,
Here met, and joined their kind embrace,
With everlasting arms.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Moving Toward Doxology

Here is a recent conversation I had with Dr. Timothy George on the Beeson Podcast about life, ministry, and writing hymns.  Or you can click here to access it through iTunes ("Moving Toward Doxology," June 5).

To hear the sermon I preached on the Trinity in Beeson Divinity School Chapel, which is referenced in the podcast, click here.     

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just the Kind of Providential Irony Our God Loves

Russell Moore has a great post on the expected election next week of the Southern Baptist Convention's first African-American president and on how providentially ironic it is. Here are a few excerpts:
As I write this, news reports tell us that we just might see, by the time you read this, the election of the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention. This is significant for all sorts of reasons: one being, of course, that the SBC was founded, partly, to protect the “right” of slaveholders to be missionaries. It’s important also because it’s a test for whether the SBC will go forward with the gospel and mission we say we believe.


I’m thrilled about where God might be taking the SBC. A denomination formed to protect slavery led by a descendant of slaves, that’s just the kind of providential irony our God loves. Maybe it will prompt our denomination to stop seeing non-white people as opportunities for “ethnic ministry,” and prompt us to see there opportunities to find our leaders. Maybe seeing a non-white face with the gavel of the SBC might remind us that the Man we’ll see on the Judgment Seat, well, he isn’t a white guy either.
Read the post in its entirety here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Talking Back with the Truth

A great reminder to talk back to sin with the truth of the gospel:
Nobody sins because they want to be deceived.  We sin because we believe what sin offers is true....Sin lies to us.  We need to get in the habit of talking back with the truth.
--Jonathan Dodson, Gospel-Centered Discipleship

Friday, June 8, 2012

Give Me Thyself, the Only Good

My Soul, Canst Thou No Higher Rise?
Augustus Toplady, 1740-1778

My soul, canst thou no higher rise,
To meet thy God, than this?
Yet, Lord, accept my sacrifice,
Defective as it is.

Tune all my organs to Thy praise,
And psalmist's muse impart;
And, with Thy penetrating rays,
Oh, melt my frozen heart.

Give me Thyself, the only good,
And ever with me stay;
Whose faithful mercies are renewed
With each returning day.

Ah, guide me with a Father's eye,
Nor from my soul depart;
But let the Daystar from on high
Illuminate my heart.

Far as east from west remove
Each earthly vain desire,
And raise me on the wings of love,
Till I can mount no higher.

Monday, June 4, 2012

No Graduation from the School of Grace

"No disciple will ever graduate from the school of grace.  Every follower of Jesus needs to know, and be reminded, that the gospel that makes disciples is the very same gospel that matures disciples.  We are born in grace and we breathe by grace, all bought by the blood of Jesus."

--Jonathan Dodson, Gospel-Centered Discipleship

Friday, June 1, 2012

Grace Has Found the Wondrous Means

Alas! By Nature How Depraved
John Newton, 1725-1807

Alas! by nature how depraved,
How prone to every ill!
Our lives, to Satan, how enslaved,
How obstinate our will!

And can such sinners be restored,
Such rebels reconciled?
Can grace itself the means afford
To make a foe a child?

Yes, grace has found the wondrous means
Which shall effectual prove;
To cleanse us from our countless sins,
And teach our hearts to love.

Jesus for sinners undertakes,
And died that we may live;
His blood a full atonement makes,
And cries aloud, Forgive.

Yet one thing more must grace provide,
To bring us home to God;
Or we shall slight the Lord, who died,
And trample on His blood.

The Holy Spirit must reveal
The Savior’s work and worth;
Then the hard heart begins to feel
A new and heavenly birth.

Thus bought with blood, and born again,
Redeemed, and saved, by grace
Rebels, in God’s own house obtain
A son’s and daughter’s place.