October 1, 2003...Last Week's Words, this Week's Music

Prepare our Hearts

As we enter into worship
As we congregate in praise
We now Declare the glory
Of the One Ancient of Days
To pray without ceasing
To walk in the Light
We savor His sweet presence
And in His love delight
A gathering of the graced
A room of the redeemed
A church whose sin has been replaced
And with favor we're esteemed
For all our fountains are within
Every dream for which we yearn
Once you enter this sanctuary
This point of no return
And so we live to please a King
And not the likes of man
We'll live to give him everything
And when all is done to stand.

Anthony Foster Sept 22, 2003

All Our Fountains

All our fountains are in You Lord
You're our source and our supply
Fill our lives with living water
So our lifespring ne'er runs dry.
The river of delights
Flows from you alone
Your streams make glad your city
That teems around your throne.
The flowing forth of your radience
The torrent of your light
In streams of mercy man repents
And is washed clean in God's sight.
For we were born in Zion
And our names are written there

Anthony Foster Sept 22, 2003

The Holy One

O Sing O Sing of the Holy One
He shows Himself Holy among us.
For the great joy of the world
He displays the reason for our trust
He shows His greatness in the heavens
He shows His righteousness on earth
He shows all who would see His glory
The splendor of His Holy worth
So Let us be a people
Who tell of His renown
And point all to His presence
To make His glory known
O Worship now the Holy One
In Spirit and Truth we now confess
The Lamb of Glory, God's own son
And The Splendor of His Holiness
Yes let our mouths sound praises
Till our voices fill the earth
Declare His infinite value
Our Passion to declare His worth.

Anthony Foster Sept 22, 2003

We Declare Your Renown

We come together from far and near
To form a congregation
We lift out voices for you to hear
To make the declaration
Our God is righteous, Light and Love
And in His joy we're made complete
He sits on Heaven's throne above
With earth a footstool for His feet
A chosen generation
With a passion for God's fame
We make the declaration
Of His majestic name
This day we all bow down
And lift out voice in praise
To declare His great renown
His name and matchless ways.

Anthony Foster September 25th 2003

God's Blessing Cup

I would trade my fears for faith
I'd exchange my pain for peace
I would give up grief for grace
Lay down rage for release
All the things that bind and tie
All that would exchange truth for a lie
I give it over , give it up
When I receive God's blessing cup.
I would leave lust in lieu of love
I'd flee from greed and to God's goal
And trade my jealousy for joy
Abandon chaos for His Control
All the things that bind and tie
All that would exchange truth for a lie
I give it over , give it up
When I receive God's blessing cup.

Anthony Foster Sept 25, 2003


If I rest in Christ while waking
I will rest in Him all night too
If I rely on Him when the day is breaking
I 'll rely on Him my whole day through
I will take my rest in His faithfulness
And Deep shall cry out unto deep
I know my Lord never slumbers
So now I lay me down to sleep.
For though the night has fallen
And the day seems dark as well
Unto Him my soul is calling
All my heart I long to tell
For he will take my every thought
And by His grace He'll keep
Me all my days forevermore
Till I lay me down to sleep.

Anthony Foster September 26, 2003

October 1, 2003 Reading...

Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper.

Stunning. This book is full of the hard sayings of Christ- the kind of things that prompted his disciples to lament- this is too hard- it's impossible! And Christ to reply Yep. It's only possible IN ME.

It is a wake up call to follow Christ passionately and singly and to cast off the kinds of things that distract us and water down our faithfulness. The kind of Christian Piper describes is very different from what we see in an affluent society and it is a devastating read.

To my shame, I found myself arguing "but , but" and was left undone by it in the end. If this book's concentrated doses of scripture doesn't force you to examine your life nothing will.

It's not popular to say things like: "Oh, how many lives are wasted by people who believe that the Christian life means simply avoiding badness and providing for the family. So there is no adultery, no stealing, no killing, no embezzlement, no fraud - just lots of hard work during the day, and lots of TV and PG-13 videos in the evening (during quality family time), and lots of fun stuff on the weekend - woven around church (mostly). This is life for millions of people. Wasted life. We were created for more."

Or..."God does not promise enough food for comfort or for life - He promises enough so that you can trust him and do his will."

Reminds me of William Law in A SERIOUS CALL TO A DEVOUT AND HOLY LIFE (pdf here)

"Let not any one look upon this as an imaginary description of charity, that looks fine in the notion, but cannot be put in practice. For it is so far from being an imaginary, impracticable form of life, that it has been practised by great numbers of Christians in former ages, who were glad to turn their whole estates into a constant course of charity. And it is so far from being impossible now, that if we can find any Christians that sincerely intend to please God in all their actions, as the best and happiest thing in the world, whether they be young or old, single or married, men or women, if they have but this intention, it will be impossible for them to do otherwise. This one principle will infallibly carry them to this height of charity, and they will find themselves unable to stop short of it."

September 30, 2003-Media Alert!

Why you can't tickle yourself...from the relevantmagazine site

Joan of Arcadia review from USAToday. I saw the end of it while we were out of town and it looks promising.

Lots more news on Mel's Passion at the CT blog.

Just how bad can a science job get?

The answer: Really, really bad Link via bloggedyblog

September 29, 2003- Pages From my Journals- God is Jealous

Celebrating an anniversary brings relationships and fidelity to mind. I'm pretty secure in my relationship with Earnie and she with me- we are not the type to be possessive and jealous in the negative sense. We have always attempted to set each other free to grow and change and rearrange and become all we can be- that was the words of the song I wrote for our wedding 26 years ago.

...And because God is its author,
Love grows continuously
It grows and changes, rearranges
And becomes all that it can be.
Did He not make us one?
Did He not give this song to share?
For in our Union, God is there,
Yes He is there...

One of the most serious things relationships can face in alienation of affection. At times it is the best thing to help free someone from what ever distraction comes into their life that takes them away fgrom their most important relationships. I have seen lots of "good" things do this over the years. This is yet another form of casting pearls before swine if we do not hold our relationships as precious.

To me jealousy is immature and petty- it irks me to see how some men possess their wives and vice versa. Yet jealousy CAN be a shield or hedge of protection thrown around a relationship to protect it. If you value a relationship, intentional threats to it must be taken seriously. There are people floating around out there who intend to adulterate affections and create discourd in other relationships. Homewreckers are a real threat in thois culture.

So we are careful for our marriage. This is not a set of restrictions but rather intentionally making a safe place at home for freedom. But there is another kind of homewrecker in the spiritual realm who is vastly more subtle and pernicious than the predators who look to adulterate human affections.

We serve a jealous God- he is not some paranoid redneck adolescent. He is a bridegroom and we are a bride. Any other spirits that attempt to make inroads or deistract us from this ONE relationship are intruders, infidels. You don't have to be an Anton LaVey to be a spiritual adulterer. I remember one sage calling the spirituality of the day Californication. I'd say today the borders have expanded somewhat.

Satan loves Spiritual adultery- for one thing it comes naturally to us and it can be very subtle. Adultery is one picture of our estrangement from God. Getting rid of the third party who instigates and encourages that adultery is one of the things that our intercessor did on the cross.

Atonement- making at one parties who are at odds with each other- is central to Christ's work here on earth. Jesus has the power to kick the homewrecker out of his abode. He is at home with us according to John 14. He will protect us from spiritual Casanovas.But never forget that we can pursue them.

Jesus was an intercessor- he was a go between for estranged parties. He is the one we were estranged from. He is the Hosea and we are the Gomer. No matter if you have a fidelity in relationships as part of your history , a loving faithful spiritual marriage is possible with Jesus. He makes it possible and hi is the keeper of His own household.

September 29, 2003 Back into Blogging Again
Earnie and I celebrated 26 years of marriage last Wednesday in the back country at Rough River Lodge. It took some driving to get there but it was quite nice- good people, good food, excellent surroundings and great weather!
After a couple of days together, we went on to the SaltShaker Evangelism Conference Becky Pippert held at Southeast Christian in Louisville. This is the same.Earnie worked as the guidance counselor for Southeast Christian Academy when it was still known as Christian Academy of Louisville in the 80's and I have relatives that are members there as well.
SaltShaker Ministries has just moved its home base from the Chicago area to Louisville. It was an incredibly edifying time with lots of stories and examples of God glorifying Himself through mere mortals like us...It was a great conference but Earnie caught a terrible cold from Becky Pippert. Talk about contagious Christianity!
We had a chance to see the Vietnam War Memorial in Frankfort Kentucky- a very unusual and meaningful time- the shadow of the gnomon falls on the name of the soldier on the day he died. Saw several names I knew but Earnie had ten friends at Lone Oak High to die in that war (almost one percent of all lost from Kentucky). It was particularly meaningful to her.

I have often thanked God for what he has spared me from in this life- I graduated in 1974 when the pullout from Nam was all but over. I always knew I would not have lasted long but for God's grace in a conflict like that so I always will be moved to honor those who went.

Got to go to the Kentucky folklife Festival as well- heard J. D. Crowe and former band members get together for some fine picking. Got to meet and talk to Mr. Crowe as well. I heard them first back in the late 70's when we were following the Bluegrass festival circuit. that was long before it became popular in the mainstream.

L to R: Tony Rice, Dale Ann Bradley, Vicky Simmons, Don Rigsby, J. D. Crowe plus MC

The stages stayed busy all day for three days and lots of the lesser known bands like Kaintuck were exceptionally good. Here's the lineup and bios.

Jamming on the grounds was the most fun for me. Saw Art Stamper my neighbor growing up and softshoe/fiddle artiste extraordinaire..he played with Bill Monroe at one time...

Art still owns the farm two doors down from my Mom and Dad's place...

September 29, 2003 Jamming and Joy

Think about this- the rules for jamming have much in common with the best practices for life in the church. Maybe God means for us to be one big jam session on earth in preparation for heaven..

From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/