“And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:16-18 KJV).”
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations (Psalm 100:1-5 NASB).”
I sang in many church choirs during the last 50 plus years.
Churches had gifted choir directors, choir members and soloists.
Most directors were dedicated, cordial and appreciative. I remember only once being required to audition for a church choir.
Back in the early 1970’s, J. Lamar Alexander was serving as choir director at the First Baptist Church of Lake Providence, Louisiana. He had me sing notes of the scale. I’m surprised that I got up the courage. I’d say he was a master at his craft…
He mastered the traditional form of worship service.
Lamar Alexander believed in call to worship opening selections. To this very day I recall the holy hush following our offerings of ‘The Lord is in His Holy Temple.’
“But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him (Habakkuk 2:20 KJV).”
The lyrics, based on Scripture, called us to worship, submission and praise.
Oh, dear me; we do hate to see an object in need of straightening.
It matters not where.
At home, a crooked framed picture might catch my eye.
Aghast, I could notice a masterpiece off kilter in a museum.
I’m compelled to straighten the crooked frame.
Tabloid headlines label an influential politician crooked.
Peers point fingers and constituents contemplate on candidates for his replacement.
God has the solution for crooked, wicked men.
He sets them straight.
“Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:7 NASB).”
“He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NASB).”
God’s work spans from beginning to end.
Ponder eternity; can we comprehend it?
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity (Micah 5:2 NASB).”
Days of mankind…
“So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12 NASB).”
“May he also rule from sea to sea And from the River to the ends of the earth (Psalm 72:8 NASB).”
Atlantic to Pacific…
“From sea to shining sea!”
‘America the Beautiful’ 1911 version
[Lyrics: Katharine Lee Bates/ Music: Samuel A. Ward/ Public Domain]
“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern, impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved And mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, Till all success be nobleness, And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed His grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!”
“As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person (Proverbs 27:19 HCSB).”
Is my reflection in the mirror distorted by sin?
“Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was (James 1:23-24 HCSB).”
Lest I forget…
“Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7 HCSB).”
“The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon (2 Chronicles 33:10-11 NASB).”
“When he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers (2 Chronicles 33:12 NASB).”
“When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God (2 Chronicles 33:13 NASB).”
“Now after this he built the outer wall of the city of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance of the Fish Gate; and he encircled the Ophel with it and made it very high. Then he put army commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah. He also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, as well as all the altars which he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city. He set up the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it; and he ordered Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel (2 Chronicles 33:14-16 NASB).”