‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death’
[a] or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said,
“I am making everything new!”
 Then he said,
“Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 

From DSC:
Our dad, in his younger days, used to sing a song with Revelation Verse 21:4 in it. It was a beautiful piece that he had recorded years ago. That recording recently resurfaced, and our family is glad that we located it again. (Our dad sang quite a bit throughout his lifetime, and still likes to recall/sing some tunes. He and our mom met in college, both studying within the School of Music.)

Music was a big part of our family -- my dad used to sing quite a bit. He had a beautiful voice!


Anyway, that song will likely be played at one or more of the funerals within our family in the near future. Any day now we could get “that call.” Or, if we’re lucky enough, we’ll be able to be present with him when he passes away (though Covid19 is making that very difficult these days). 

Add to these experiences the recent loss of a dear, lifelong friend to cancer — and I’ve once again been reminded of the brevity of our lives. These reflections bring a couple more verses to my mind…


From DSC:

If you doubt that last sentiment/lesson, watch a different version of this song, from a present-day recording.

Our lives move quickly. Carpe Diem!


Time flies. So as our mom would say, “Carpe Diem!”
(i.e., “Seize the day!”)

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

 

Psalm 119:64 (NIV)

64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord;
teach me your decrees.

68 You are good, and what you do is good;
    teach me your decrees.

17 This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches you what is best for you,
    who directs you in the way you should go.

 

Teaching isn’t the same thing as learning: How Judaism reflects fundamental principles of learning — from michaelbhorn.com by Michael Horn

Excerpts:

As I reflected, it occurred to me that what the Torah is doing is what, in education, we might call spiraling. Spiraling is the notion that a student learns more about a topic each time she revisits it and thus expands her knowledge or improves her skill level. When you spiral, you intentionally spread the learning out over time, rather than only concentrate it in certain periods.

Broadly speaking, what Judaism recognizes is a fundamental truth—that teaching is not the same thing as learning. We don’t learn when someone is ready to teach it to us, but when we as individuals are ready to learn. You can’t make someone learn who isn’t ready for it.

Michael Horn   

 

 

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord.[a]

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

 

The Best of Rooms — by Randall Thompson

Christ, He requires still, wheresoe’er He comes,
To feed, or lodge, to have the best of rooms:
Give Him the choice; grant Him the nobler part,
Of all the house:, the best of all’s the heart.

This is a beautiful piece as well:

“The Road Not Taken”by Randall Thompson

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
And that has made all the difference.

Addendum:
My oldest sister posted this beautiful recording today. Good timing sis.

LATIN TEXT:
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:
Where charity and love are, there God is.
The love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.
Let us fear and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).

Phenomenal rendition of "Ubi Caritas" (Latin Hymn)

OK I just discovered this and was floored. I dare you not to be moved as I was by this rendition of the first stanza of the Latin hymn, “Ubi Caritas”. Listen all the way through.Kings Return clearly need to put out an entire album of Latin hymns. Their voices transcend the physical limitations of ‘song’ as the Spirit indelibly weaves Himself within their collective art. What a gift. I so hope they do more…LATIN TEXT:Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.ENGLISH TRANSLATION:Where charity and love are, there God is.The love of Christ has gathered us into one.Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.Let us fear and let us love the living God.And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).•••#song #hymns #Christ #Jesus #love #Latin #Church #voices #chant #harmony #classical #quartet #talent #music #instagood

Posted by Jonathan Roumie on Sunday, July 5, 2020

 

Ephesians 3:20-21 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

From DSC:
As the technologies get more powerful, so do the ramifications/consequences. And here’s the kicker. Just like we’re seeing with trying to deal with systemic racism in our country…like it or not, it all comes back to the state of the hearts and minds out there. I’m not trying to be preachy or to pretend that I’m better than anyone. I’m a sinner. I know that full well. And I view all of us as equals trying to survive and to make our way in this tough-to-live-in world. But the unfortunate truth is that technologies are tools, and how the tools are used depends upon one’s heart.

Proverbs 4:23 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

 

Good cop/Bad cop — from LinkedIn.com by Razel Jones, a former colleague at Calvin College (now Calvin University). Razel was a great man and I’m very glad that I got the chance to work with him.

Excerpt:

I usually am very solution-focused and full of ideas for how we can try to make things better… but, these last few days, I’m empty. More than the last few days…I’m threatened. I’m hunted. I’m labeled. I’m vulnerable. I’m unsafe. I’m unprotected. I’m disrespected. I’m undervalued. I’m dehumanized. But, most of all… I’m tired.

 

1 Chronicles 29:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all.
 

Proverbs 4:23 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

 

Romans 11:33-36 New International Version (NIV)

Doxology

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.

 

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

Fear the Lord
(i.e., per DSC: respect Him, listen to Him, revere Him, give Him the credit that’s due His Name, to obey Him, to trust in Him, and to seek His counsel)

12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

 

From DSC:
I started today (Friday, April 10th) out by reading the Verse of the Day from BibleGateway.com — Romans 5:6-8 (NIV):

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person,
though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

It took me a while to grasp why Christians call this day “Good Friday,” as it represents one of the darkest days in history. “What’s so good about it?!” I often wondered. For we Christians believe that our LORD Jesus Christ had to knowingly go forth into a very hostile situation, upset the power structures of the day, and knowingly and willingly journey into His own torturous, pain-filled murder. A murder that would pay a price, a debt that He didn’t owe. He paid for that price for us…for our sins.. for me…for my sins. It was our/my debt to pay, not His.

And what’s more…Christ, hanging on the cross, experienced the feelings that God had forsaken Him. If you’ve ever had those feelings and that experience, it is a deep, dark, lonely place. Everyone else and everything else feels like a million miles away. It’s a place of being in one of — if not THEE — harshest deserts that life can throw at us.

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”  (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)

But Jesus Christ did pay the price. He completed the work that He was sent to Earth to do. By doing what He did, Jesus Christ tore down the obstacles of us being in relationship with — and in direct communication with — our Heavenly Father.

So that IS good news. It’s because of what the LORD Jesus did on the cross that Christians say that this is a “Good Friday.” 

Thank you LORD for YOU!
Thank you for your grace, courage, strength,
forgiveness, and for your extravagant love!
On this day we remember what you did for us.

And on Sunday, let us exclaim:

 

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