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Showing posts from March 27, 2012

Fresh Start Devotionals

Hardships For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. [7] Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. (Job 5:6–7 NIV) I’d like to think that calamity will visit everyone but me, but I know it isn’t true. Calamity will visit your home, and it will visit mine too. Everyone suffers. Why? Well for one thing, random selection will mean that I’ll have my turn. If one out of a thousand people will get a certain disease, then I have one chance out of a thousand that it will be me. Other times, I suffer because of something stupid I’ve done. If I eat too much, I can’t blame anyone but myself that my stomach hurts, or that I gain weight. Sometimes I suffer because Satan is attacking me. Satan is alive and well, and he will do anything he can to keep God’s people from touching lives and changing the world. But sometimes, I suffer at God’s hand. God uses trials to discipline, instruct and build character in me. My first reaction to t…

Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

March 27 WE’RE MARCHING TO ZION Isaac Watts, 1674–1748 You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. (Hebrews 12:22) Should we sing psalms or hymns in our church services? This was the controversy stirring many congregations during the 17th and 18th centuries. Isaac Watts was the life-long champion of the “humanly composed” hymn while the majority of the English-speaking churches insisted on the traditional psalm settings. Tempers frequently flared, and some churches actually split in the heat of this decidedly inharmonious musical conflict. In some churches a compromise was reached. The psalm setting would be sung in the early part of the service with a hymn used at the close, during which time the parishioners could leave or simply refuse to sing. Isaac Watts’ “Come, We That Love the Lord” was no doubt written in part to refute his critics, who termed his hymns “Watts’ Whims,” as well as to provide some subtle barbs for those who refused to …