Amazing Love by Josh Buttram, Released December 2010
We're proud to share an album which features several of our songs and some fantastic traditional hymn texts and tunes. Josh has done a great job casting these wonderful texts in an acoustic setting that is creative, tasteful, and fresh. Acoustic guitar leads the way on most of the arrangements, but be on the lookout for the occasional tasty electric guitar riff, mandolin, or pedal steel morsel.
Amazing Love by Josh Buttram, Released December 2010
A hymn on the omniscience and wisdom of God from the series of hymns titled "The Lord Is"
This Christmas hymn was written by Eric Schumacher in 2000, and Jeff Bourque and David Ward wrote a new tune for it in December 2010. You can find the original hymn text for use with the tune MANOAH (When All Your Mercies) at the hymn text page.
A hymn on the omnipresence of God from the series of hymns titled "The Lord Is"
This hymn was originally by John Newton in 1774 and appeared in his famous work "Olney Hymns." We're posting it here because we have set this to the very fitting tune of the hymn "Stricken, Smitten" and have made some lyric and meter changes to fit the tune, as well as updating and clarifying some of the phrasing. It is a powerful hymn about judgment day, the day when the Lord Jesus has promised to return to judge the world according to their deeds (Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:12-13). As we soberly sing about the coming judgment, we seek not only to warn unbelievers of their impending fate and urge them to turn back to the Lord, but also to celebrate the amazing truth that believers have been rescued from judgment and can look forward to hearing the Lord's loving greeting as he welcomes us into His kingdom. The phrase "Stranger, from my face depart" is taken from Matthew 7:22.
A hymn on the sovereignty of God from the series of hymns titled "The Lord Is"
My home church has been learning a new song for the past couple of weeks and I thought it might be helpful to share the hymn, point to the modern recording that's available, and point out some lyric changes that one of our song team members made to make the text more understandable. This hymn came from a much longer poetic work published in 1857 by Anne Cousin. It focuses our attention on the fleeting nature of our lives and directs our gaze to what lies beyond death - the chance for the church to be with her bridegroom Jesus, the glory of Immanuel's land.
The lyrics and tune are in the public domain as the tune is an American folk tune. The attached chords are based on the arrangement by Indelible Grace. Our worship leader spent a lot of time working with the lyrics to make some of the phrases whose meaning was buried under poetic devices more easily accessible on first read. He also rearranged the order of the stanzas in a very logical way. Whether you use the original text or this modified text, I can heartily recommend this song for it's Christ-centered focus and catchy, singable tune.
A recording is available on the album "Pilgrim Days" by Indelible Grace. You can download the track from Amazon here, and from iTunes here.
A hymn on the self-sufficiency of God from the series of hymns titled "The Lord Is"
I'd like to call your attention to a hymn text that's buried in our site and encourage you to give it a try this Thanksgiving with your family. One of our family traditions is to sing this one-stanza hymn together before meals in addition to praying. If you aren't familiar with the hymn tune it may seem strange at first, but I promise that it can be learned by even very small children. At dinner tonight I had the pleasure of watching my just-turned-3 year old sing all of the words. May we, amidst the joy and pleasure of our Thanksgiving meals, be looking to our "living" bread, Jesus, for true and lasting joy and pleasure.
Heav'nly Father, Grant Your Blessing
Heav’nly Father, grant Your blessing
On the food before us spread.
All our tongues are now confessing:
By Your hand alone we’re fed.
Never let us be forgetting:
Jesus is our Living Bread.
I had the privilege of preaching this sermon to my local church family on Sunday, November 14th, 2010
Worship: The Christian's Purpose, Privilege and Pleasure
Have you ever kept a journal of how you spend your time? It can be a very eye-opening experience. I did a little bit of research this week into how Americans spend their time and the results were pretty surprising. According to the 2009 American Time Use Survey, the average person age 15 and over spent 8.7 hours sleeping, 1.2 hours eating, 1.8 hours doing housework, 3.5 hours at their job or other work, and 5.3 hours enjoying leisure activities. TV viewing garnered the lion's share of those 5.3 hours of leisure with the average American watching almost 3 hours a day. Nestled into the leisure category was the amount of time people spent doing religious activities or volunteering: a whopping 9 minutes each.
I was also curious about how Americans spend their money. According to the 2009 Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average household spent 34% on shelter, 13% on food, 16% on transportation, 6% on healthcare, 5% on leisure, and a whopping 1.4% of gross income giving to churches of...