In bloom

Dark clouds are gathering to the north, the setting sun gleams golden to the west, and the first lily has bloomed in the back flower bed.

A reminder that God provides.

Matthew 6:25-34 Be not therefore anxious…

Sunday Song: Singing Praise

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord.[a]

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at his command they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever—
    he issued a decree that will never pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
    old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,[b]
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Praise the Lord.

[a] Praise the Lord in Hebrew — Hallelu Yah (also in verse 14)

 

Links to Lyrics: Fairest Lord Jesus, All Creatures of Our God and King

By God’s grace, arranged and played by Katie

Saturday Song: Praise the Risen King

Today’s song is a medley of four hymns. First, Praise to the Lord the Almighty starts of recognizing Jesus is King of Creation and our salvation. The invitation to “join me in glad adoration” flows into a specific reason for praise: Christ the Lord is Risen Today.

“Christ the Lord is Risen today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is bow thy sting, Alleluia! Dying once, he all doth save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!”

Crown Him with Many Crowns and Rejoice the Lord is King are calls to continue praising. “Awake my soul and sing of him who died for thee, and hail him as thy matchless king thru all eternity.”

1 Rejoice, the Lord is King:
Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

2 Jesus, the Savior, reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When He has purged our stains,
He took his seat above;
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

3 His kingdom cannot fail,
He rules o’er earth and heav’n;
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus giv’n:
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

4 Rejoice in glorious hope!
Our Lord and judge shall come
And take His servants up
To their eternal home:
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

— Charles Wesley

By God’s grace, arranged and played by Katie

Psalm 34 (part one)

I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34)  If the heart and mouth were so full of the praise to God and the mind so occupied with His goodness, what contentment and blessing that person must feel.  What joy must be felt within.  Bitterness, complaining, self-pity, and self-seeking cannot live long in the presence of contentment focused on God’s grace.  It is not that this person had less grief than others — King David certainly knew his share of heartache from enemies, family strife, betrayal, and his own sin — and it is not as if he never faltered.  It is, however, that he fixed his gaze on the One who bore all our griefs and carried our sorrow.  Self-sufficiency will disappoint at every turn, but not the One from whom true, lasting life and all other gifts come.

Saturday Song: Immortal, Invisible

Immortal, invisible,
God only wise,
In light inaccessible
hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious,
the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious,
Thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting,
and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting,
Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains,
high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains
of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest,
to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest*,
the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish
as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish–
but naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory,
pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee,
all veiling their sight;
All praise we would render;
O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor
of light hideth Thee.

*This part of the hymn makes me nervous, as it sounds somewhat pantheistic.  The hymnist could mean the phrase in the sense of Ephesians 4:6 “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Or, that God, the Giver of all life, is in all life sustaining it.

Saturday Song: Come Thou Fount

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
tune my heart to sing thy grace; 
streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
call for songs of loudest praise. 
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
sung by flaming tongues above. 
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
mount of thy redeeming love. 

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
hither by thy help I'm come; 
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, 
safely to arrive at home. 
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
wandering from the fold of God; 
he, to rescue me from danger, 
interposed his precious blood. 

O to grace how great a debtor 
daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
bind my wandering heart to thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love; 
here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
seal it for thy courts above.