Monday Musings & Miscellany…on Thursday

img_3470.jpgThis week’s Musings is coming out on Thursday evening as I am in Mexico doing some ministry at the House of Blessing orphanage our church planted. I took this picture on Thursday evening on a return walk from a neighborhood store.

I have been coming to Bachiniva, Mexico in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico for 21 years this month. My niece Leti and great nephew Nievitos hadn’t even been born yet. In fact, Nievitos’s father, Jose Nieves, was only six years old on that first trip in August 1996. God has done some incredible things in the last 21 years. Come join us some time!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“I was not supported [when my wife died] by lively sensible consolations, but by being enabled to realize to my mind some great and leading truths of the word of God. I saw, what indeed I knew before, but never till then so strongly and so clearly perceived, that as a sinner, I had no right, and as a believer, I could have no reason, to complain. I considered her as a loan, which he who lent her to me had a right to resume whenever he pleased; and that as I had deserved to forfeit her every day from the first, it became me rather to be thankful that she was spared to me so long, than to resign her with reluctance when called forFurther, that his sovereignty was connected with infinite wisdom and goodness; and that consequently, if it were possible for me to alter any part of his plan, I could only spoil it,—that such a short-sighted creature as 1, so blind to the possible consequences of my own wishes, was not only unworthy, but unable, to choose well for myself; and that it was therefore my great mercy and privilege that the Lord condescended to choose for me.” John Newton, Jewels from John Newton, August 19th

This quote came from a reflection on the death of Newton’s wife. He understood and lived out the sovereignty of God like no one I have ever heard of. His hope and assurance of eternity with Christ was real and ever present on his mind.

I have been learning a lot of late about the sovereignty of God. I have always believed it but never really understood it like I do now. It is one of the most profound and comforting truths about God a person could ever embrace. John Newton was not only aware of it but lived in the reality of it.

I shared this quote during my message this past Sunday. Every time I read it I am reminded of how I want to live my life, trusting that in every situation, in every situation, God is in control and knows what he is doing.

VERSE FOR THE WEEK

Romans 14:7–8 (ESV) — For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

As I read this verse recently I was sweetly reminded of to whom I belong. In life and in death, Christians belong to the Lord. How thankful I am for that truth, for in it I am encouraged that God’s possession of me is forever.

EVER HEARD OF LARRY NELSON?

“I think that is what’s good about the game, whether you’re coming back out of a war zone or an office, no matter how many people are out there, it’s still just you, the golf club, and the golf ball, trying to get it where you want it to go.”

I came across a great article in Southwest Airlines Magazine on my flight to El Paso. I remember when Nelson came on the professional golf scene. I was impressed, a bit awestruck really, at the caliber of golfer he was considering he took the game up when he was 21 years old. Not only was the article a trip down memory lane, but a reminder of a few of the many reasons I love the game so much.

NOTE: The link will take you to and electronic version of the magazine. If your scroll to page 60-61/148 you will find the article. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

WHEN WORSHIP LYRICS MISS THE MARK

“My sense is that, until a congregation is devastated by the outrage and the horror of our sin as demeaning and belittling to the glory of God, accompanied by a majestic vision of God’s glory and justice and holiness and wrath—until those two realities are taught and felt deep down, the reality of grace and mercy will not be rightly known and cherished by a congregation.”

I love this quote and would not necessarily expect to read it in an article on worship lyrics. However, in reading this piece it makes total sense. Having been a worship leader for over 30 years I really enjoyed this article. I have watched what would be called the “evolution” of worship over the years and in recent years began to come to the conclusion that the evolution has not been good for the gospel. I appreciate the grace in which Piper handles the subject in a time when we have slowly slipped into what I would regard as an overemphasis on the feeling worship evokes rather than the soundness of the lyrics to minister to our souls. Would love to hear what you think.

THE DAMSEL AND THE VILLAIN

“And we fell in love with lesser things. And we bought them each a diamond ring. And we betrayed our Maker, Our Husband, our King.”

Jimmy Needham is a singer/songwriter and regular contributor to Desiring God. He serves on staff at Stonegate Church in Midlothian, Texas. He and his wife have two daughters and a son. Learn more at jimmyneedham.com.

 

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