November 18th, 2015

O love that wilt not let me go

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

"But I have trusted in thy mercy" Psalm 13:5
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

who came to seek and to save those who are lost

It is in the flow of Time (Eastern Standard Time) 9:52 AM Wednesday morning. Outside this morning it is raining and the wind is howling. I am down in the lower level writing on my lap top. I want to quote what I was reading this morning from a Puritan work titled, "Instructions About Heartwork" by Richard Alleine. I usually can not read Puritan books due having read them for 26 years daily in the past. But once in awhile for unknown reasons I can read Puritan literature for short periods of time. I will read "Instructions About Heartwork" till I am too full inwardly to read any more. I read as the Spirit leads me. It is good once in awhile to sit under 17th century English Puritan gospel preaching.

"Those are not recovered who make light of Christ, their Recoverer. Christ, who is sent down as the Physician of souls, who came to seek and to save those who are lost, ordinarily receives the same treatment as the king in the parable had among the guests that he invited to his feast (Matthew 22:5), but they made light of it.

Here you can see that there are some sinners who make light of Christ. Jesus Christ is worthy of all acceptance. Who is Jesus Christ? He is the Son of God, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He is equal with the Father, the brightness of His Father's glory, the express image of His person, and upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). He is the head of all principalities and powers, the prince of the kings of the earth (Revelations 1:5). What is Jesus Christ to sinners? He is the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). His name shall be called Wonderful. Why did this Jesus come into the world? To reconcile sinners to God, to save them from their sins, to die for the sins of the world, and to wash sinners in His own blood. And to what end does He come for particular sinners? Why is He preached to them; why is He offered to them? To what end is it that sinners are so importunately invited to entertain and accept Him? So that they might be willing that He who was the Savior might become their Savior; that He who was the Reconciler might become their Recoverer to recover them from the snares of the devil, and to bring them into the everlasting kingdom. This is that Jesus who, by the gospel, is preached unto you.

Who could not imagine that such a great, mighty, and glorious one, who is the everlasting King, the God of all the earth, would be reverenced wherever He comes? "They will reverence my son," said the king in Matthew 21:37. It might be well presumed that they would; however it proved not to be so. Who could imagine that one who came upon such a gracious design-to reconcile poor rebels unto God, to redeem poor prisoners out of prison, to recover and raise the dead to life, ransom from the pit, and give them an entrance into the everlasting kingdom-should have wonderful, cheerful entertainment? Who would think but that the whole should ring with acclamation's of joy, and praise at His appearing among them? Who would think but that, when Christ comes to particular sinners and makes a free offer of Himself to them to be their Redeemer and their Savior, such an offer should be greedily and readily embraced?

"Does the King of Glory come unto me? Hast Thou shed thy blood, poured forth Thy soul, laid down Thy life, and purchased pardon and an interest in heaven for me? And dost Thou now come to give Thyself, and all that Thou hast purchased, to be mine?"

What answer would anyone think be given by lost souls to such questions as these? "Will you be Mine? Shall I be yours? Are you willing to be redeemed, to be washed from your sins and to be healed from your diseases? Shall My blood, which is shed for the salvation of sinners, be yours, and peace and reconciliation it has made be yours? Shall I come into that miserable soul of yours, and dwell and rule there, and cast that devil out who has been your destroyer and murderer? Shall I love you, delight in you, and bless you with My salvation?" . . ." pg. 55,56 Richard Alleine
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

doctrines can be the theological commitments that predetermine our reading of history

It is in the cold flow of existence 3:05 PM Wednesday afternoon. It is a cold rainy gray day here in West Michigan. I have had a quiet day thus far wandering the house, reading my books and writing in my paper diary. I have put away my diary for day since it is past 3 o'clock PM. I usually start shutting down around this time of day.

I have been reading this afternoon a book I received in the mail today titled, "The Reality On God And Historical Method: Apocalyptic Theology In Conversation With N. T. Wright" by Samuel V. Adams. I also received in the mail another book I had ordered a long time ago titled, "Neither Jew Nor Greek: A Contested Identity" Volume 3 Christianity In The Making by James D. G. Dunn.

This morning I read for devotions a Puritan work titled, "Instructions About Heartwork" by Richard Alleine (1611-1691). I realized many years ago I could never live the spiritual life of a 17th century English Puritan minister. I seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to be conformed to the image of Christ. I seek to live out the Christian life set forth in the New Testament/Pauline Epistles.

When reading for example the book "Instructions About Heartwork" by Richard Alleine, read the Epistle to the Romans written by the Apostle Paul. Also read this book titled, "Cruciformity: Paul's Narrative Spirituality of the Cross" by Michael J. Gorman. In the end we have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Not much else to report this afternoon. It is now raining cats and dogs outside. Scary weather!

"[8] Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
[10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
[11] If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
[12] Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
[13] Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
[14] I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3:8-14

old diary entry
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

reviewing a novel from a Christian perspective

It is in the flow of my rainy life 9:14 PM Wednesday night. I failed to mention earlier that I read for several hours the novel "City On Fire" by Garth Risk Hallberg today. The novel has been described as epic due to it's length 903 pages. I am on page 193 thus far. Some of my regular readers of my public diary know I have a YouTube channel where I mention the books I am currently reading or books that I have bought used at thrift stores. I have as of yet not done a video where I discuss in-depth a novel or some other book I have read or am currently reading. To be honest I do not know how to go about reviewing a novel from a Christian perspective. If I was to make a video about a novel I would have to make value judgments. For example do I agree with the world and life view of the characters in the novel. Do I agree with the ethics or the politics set forth in this novel i.e. "City On Fire".

I tend to examine the structure of the novel I am currently reading. I ask myself are the characters in the novel believable? Is this novel worth reading?

Do moral values exist in reality?

In reading the novel, "City On Fire" I am constantly wondering where the story or stories are leading to. The novel is cut up into seven sections/Seven Books. I am currently in Book 2 in the novel. The novel has several characters and the novel thus far is telling the life stories of these characters and how they are all connected to a shooting of a girl named Sam in Central Park New York City 1977 New Years Eve. The novel is also about New York City in the 1970's. The writer of the novel seeks to reveal different views/realities of New York city from the characters lives for example the punk music scene or the lives of the super rich. I do not know how to set forth the complexity of this massive novel. I have not gotten bored yet with the novel, even though I find the lives of the characters depressing. In one review I read said all the characters in the novel are lonely/loners. That is a theme one could trace out in this novel.

interview with Garth Risk Hallberg

I keep wondering when I will get to the part in the novel where there is a massive black out in New York City.

Well, I thought I would share some thoughts about the novel, "City On Fire".

  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative