Melodious Companionship through Melancholy

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For Lord’s Day, October 11, 2015

Dear Saints,

Considering our evening psalms of the month for corporate worship this October, we were delighted this week in family worship to read the following in Book Two of The Pilgrim’s Progress:

… Christiana thought she heard in a grove a little way off on the right hand, a most curious melodious note, with words much like these:

Through all my life Thy favor is
So frankly showed to me,
That in Thy house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.

And listening still, she thought she heard another answer it saying,

For why? The Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

So Christiania asked Prudence what ’twas that made those curious notes. They are, said she, our country birds … I often, said she, go out to hear them; we also ofttimes keep them tame in our house.  They are very fine company for us when we are melancholy: also they make the woods, and groves, and solitary places desirous to be in.

Did you notice the peculiar warbles of those two little birds?  The first sang Psalm 23:6; the second, Psalm 100:5.  These are the final sentences of what we are singing together all October in the evening services as we study Psalm 23!  What a wonderful providence.

In our home, as we practice singing parts for these two psalms this month, they have been making our hearts merry like medicine.  May we all often go out to hear these birds sing and keep company with them in our houses by singing these words of Christ one to another, making melody in our hearts to the Lord and creating places He and others thus find desirous to dwell within — especially while they are our evening Psalms of the month.

Semper Reformanda,

Pastor Grant

Image source: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/yourbestlifenow/2013/03/do-you-hear-the-birds-sing.html

Heaven Rejoices When You Repent

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(Image source: https://newwaysministryblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/dbb2a-jump_for_joy_910.jpg)

For Lord’s Day, July 5, 2015

Dear Saints,

Like a father and mother and grandfather and grandmother and uncle and aunt and brother and sister rejoiced in the hospital at your birth, so did the angels celebrate in heaven when you were spiritually delivered.  And so they do every time you are delivered from evil.

Jesus says, I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7).  Again, Jesus says, Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:10)

Beloved, be encouraged to know that not only did the angels rejoice over the salvation of other people, but they actually praised God when you repented toward Him and had faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. There was actually a moment when there was a party in heaven in your honor!

The “likewise” in the texts above refer to how the woman responded to being reunited to her lost coin as did the shepherd when reunited to his lost sheep. The series concludes with the father being reunited to his lost son who was restored to him because the young man came to his senses and repented and returned home (vss. 17-20).

As we study the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer tomorrow evening and learn to ask that we be kept from doing evil, be prayerfully motivated not to toy with temptation, as well as to be rescued from wickedness, by knowing that there is heavenly, angelic adulation over you every time you repent of a wicked thought or deed or life!  What’s more, the joy of God’s salvation will be restored to you (Psalm 51:8, 12).

Semper Reformanda,

Pastor Grant

The Medicine of Laughter

 

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For Lord’s Day, March 15, 2015

Dear Saints,

I ended up getting the cold that has been going around my family and I didn’t sleep Friday night, so I took to reading through our family’s collection of Mark Twain writings.  I like to read him a lot for a lot of reasons, but one for sure is his keen humor.  Presently, I’m reading Tom Sawyer Abroad, a fanciful tale of Tom Sawyer, Jim, and Huckleberry Fin (the narrator) flying over the world in a futuristic hot air balloon. (Image source: http://www.twainquotes.com/Airtravel.html)

Presently, these men find themselves gliding over the Sahara desert, often hovering above lions and camels.  Part of what Huck conveyed last night had me chuckling so much I couldn’t help but laugh over it with the family this morning at breakfast.  I’d like to share it with you as some self-depecrating humor since I identified with Jim while reading, knowing I’ve earned a reputation from Family Camp and Men Retreats (and lolling off while watching something with the family in the evening):

Jim begun to snore–soft and blubbery at first, then a long rasp, then a stronger one, then a half a dozen horrible ones, like the last water sucking down the plug-hole of a bath-tub, then the same with more power to it, and some big coughs and snorts flung in, the way a cow does that is choking to death; and when the person has got to that point he is at his level best, and can wake up a man that is in the next block with a dipperful of loddanum in him, but can’t wake himself up although all that awful noise of his’n ain’t but three inches from his own ears.  And that is the curiousest thing in the world, seems to me.  But you rake a match to light the candle, and that little bit of a noise will fetch him.  I wish I knowed what was the reason of that, but there don’t seem to be no way to find out.  Now there was Jim alarming the whole desert, and yanking the animals out, for miles and miles around, to see what in the nation was going on up there; there warn’t nobody nor nothing that was as close to the noise as he was, and yet he was the only cretur that wasn’t disturbed by it. We yelled at him and whooped at him, it never done no good; but the first time there come a little wee noise that wasn’t of a usual kind, it woke him up.  No, sir, I’ve thought it all over, and so has Tom, and there ain’t no way to find out why a snorer can’t hear himself snore.

I don’t mind if you had me in mind as the one sawing logs while you read.  I thought of this verse as the giggles settled this morning, and hope this silly story has blessed you:

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine … (Proverb 17:22)

I hope you had a good laugh as you prepare to let the joy of the Lord be your strength anew in worship tomorrow.

Semper Reformanda,

Pastor Grant