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Archive for April, 2012

Apr 30

“He Hideth My Soul,” Now Available for Download

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Music and Singing

Last October, DSC hosted the second annual Cause for Praise. The concert was recorded and several songs will be released digitally and made available for free.

The first song to be released, “He Hideth My Soul,” is now available for download at DSC’s Bandcamp page.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
a wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
where rivers of pleasure I see.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
and covers me there with His hand;
and covers me there with His hand.

When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
to meet Him in clouds of the sky;
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love,
I’ll shout with the millions on high.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
and covers me there with His hand;
and covers me there with His hand.

Following the first Cause for Praise in 2010, DSC released a live album, Cause for Praise, available at Amazon. And at the second annual concert in 2011, DSC released an album of Psalms set to song titled, Psalterium, Vol. 1, also available at Amazon.

Apr 27

God’s Blessing and God’s Mission

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “God Wants to Bless You…but Maybe Not Like You Think,” Ryan preached from Psalm 67 about two not-so-obviously related themes: blessing and mission.

Psalm 67 begins this way:

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

The Psalmist prays for God’s blessing on His people in order that God’s name might be praised among the peoples of the earth. John Piper captured the implications of this prayer well in this statement:

If God blesses his people for the sake of the nations; then God is most likely to bless us when we are planning and longing and praying to bless the nations. If God wants his goods to get to the nations, then he will fill the truck that’s driving toward the nations. He will bless the church that’s pouring itself out for unreached peoples of the world. And this blessing is not payment for a service rendered; it’s power and joy for a mission to accomplish. When we move toward the unreached peoples, we are not earning God’s blessings, we are leaping into the river of blessings that is already flowing to the nations.

As those who live on this side of Jesus’ great commission to “make disciples of all nations,” we are experiencing the magnificent fulfillment of the prayer we read in Psalm 67. God is, by His Spirit, displaying His saving power among the nations and winning praise for Himself among the peoples of the earth.

Since this is both our prayer and our mission, it is no surprise that a ministry like The Joshua Project exists in order to highlight the least reached people groups of the world. This is a site worth bookmarking on your browser.

Learn more about The Joshua Project here, and check out their pages devoted to the Rabinal Achi, and pages devoted to the Jemez and Zuni peoples, both New Mexico people groups with little access to the gospel. Several informational videos are also helpful for learning more about unreached peoples around the world.

At DSC, we are privileged to be used of God for the spreading of His glory throughout the world. Here are several helpful links from the Missions section of the DSC site:

Here are several sermons related to the global mission of God’s people:

For a catalogue of sermons preached at DSC on the subject of global missions, click here.



Apr 25

Rest in the Gospel or Strive Unto Holiness? – Clarus Panel Video Now Online

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

At our recent Clarus conference, speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel spoke on our theme, “The Cross-Shaped Christian Life.” In his recent post over at The Gospel Coalition Blog, “Rest in the Gospel or Strive Unto Holiness?“, Ryan followed up on an issue that came up during the Clarus panel discussion: the nature of effort in the Christian life:

During the recent Together for the Gospel conference, Kevin DeYoung delivered an excellent message, “Spirit-Powered, Gospel-Driven, Faith-Fueled Effort.” My prolific friend and fellow Council member for The Gospel Coalition also has a book coming out on the subject, The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness. Anyone attuned to the reformed evangelical blogosphere will know that Kevin’s sermon and book spring in part from lively in-house discussions over the last year about the nature of sanctification: its relationship to justification, the gospel, effort, and so on. (If that’s news to you, start here.)

Those who have been tracking that ongoing discussion might be interested to know that many of these sanctification-related issues were recently addressed by D. A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel at Clarus ’12, a TGC regional conference.

Ryan’s post continued with a partial transcript of his discussion with Carson and Zaspel on this particular issue. His post concluded with a list of the questions that guided the 83 minute conversation, largely focused on the doctrine of sanctification:

  • How do you understand Paul’s struggle with sin in Romans 7:17-25? (Fred and Don have differing views of Rom. 7—and neither is the most popular view!)
  • What is the relationship between justification and sanctification? Are they tied or separate?
  • Can we see our own growth? Or is growth only the further, deeper acknowledgment of our need for the gospel?
  • If we have only one nature, why do we still sin?
  • What is “perfectionism”? And what is the “higher life movement”?
  • Warfield wrote a work called Miserable Sinner Christianity. What is “miserable sinner Christianity”? Is that the kind of language we should use to speak of Christians?
  • Concerning indicatives and imperatives, how do we avoid neglecting or distorting one or the other?
  • How do we teach new believers the basics of discipleship without promoting check-list Christianity?
  • What are some encouraging and concerning trends in North American Christianity?

The 83-minute video of our panel discussion is now online:

Audio for the this year and previous Clarus conferences is available here.

For a nice summary of the conference and a round-up of helpful links, photos, and audio, check out Matthew Barnett’s recap of Clarus over at Credo Magazine.

Apr 20

Sunday Preview: May God Bless Us!

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Preview

This Sunday, we will return to our series, Pour Out Your Heart to Him: A Study Through The Psalms, with a sermon by Ryan from Psalm 67.

In the translation of Hebrew poetry, we do lose some of its original beauty. For example, if we were to translate an English poem with a memorable rhyming scheme, that would be lost in translation, since words that rhyme don’t translate to words that rhyme.

As you look forward to Sunday morning, read and pray this version of Psalm 67, adapted for meter and rhyme:

God be merciful and bless us;
shine upon us with your face,
That the earth may know your actions
and all lands your saving grace.

O God, may the people praise you;
may all the people sing your praise.
For you judge the nations justly,
ruling over every race.

May they sing with joy and gladness;
may they all rejoice as one.
O God, may the peoples praise you
as they all unite in song.

Then the land will yield its harvest;
God will pour his gifts abroad.
God, our God, will surely bless us;
All the earth will fear our God.

– From Sing Psalms: New Metrical Versions of the Book of Psalms (Free Church of Scotland, 2003).

Apr 18

New Song: “Absent From Flesh”

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Songs

On Sunday morning we sang an new old song together, “Absent From Flesh.” Sojourn Music recently set this song and others by Isaac Watts to new music in their album, The Water and The Blood. Isaac Watts wrote this song in the 1700s.

Here’s a video of the song led by the writers of the new tune, followed by the text:

[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]

Absent from flesh, O blissful thought;
What joy this moment brings;
Freed from the blame my sin has brought,
from pain and death and its sting.

Absent from flesh, O Glorious day!
in one triumphant stroke;
My reckoning paid, my charges dropped,
and the bonds ’round my hands are broke.

I go where God and glory shine,
to one eternal day;
This failing body I now resign,
for the angels point my way;
for the angels point my way.

Absent from flesh! then rise, my soul,
Where feet nor wings could climb,
beyond the sky, where planets roll,
and beyond all keep of time.

You can purchase this song from Amazon or from the Sojourn Bandcamp site.

Apr 16

Sunday Morning, Noise, and Joy!

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

Whenever there are instruments involved in anything, there are decisions about volume. That is certainly true when it comes to corporate worship in the church. On this subject, Mike Cosper has written a helpful article over at the TGC Blog, “How to Make an Appropriately Loud, Joyful Noise.”

Cosper shares a number of helpful insights and even specific suggestions for church musicians and audio techs, but here are some of the more helpful parts for the rest of us:

It was nearly time to begin the service. The congregation was gathering in the building, some clustering in the aisles and halls, others dutifully making their way to the space inside the large auditorium. At five minutes ’til, the musicians took their places, running through an instrumental version of one of the tunes we’d all be singing later in the meeting, and I winced in pain. A sinking feeling ran from head to toe: this was going to be a LOUD service.

As a musician who spends a lot of time recording, I’m nervous around loud sounds. I cover my ears when sirens pass. I rarely sit in the front rows of concerts. I don’t like playing with loud drummers. So as the volume swelled, I reached for my trusty iPhone, opening up the Sound-Pressure-Level meter app. The peaks were around 110 or 112 decibels, which is loud—near the damage threshold, in fact. I put the phone away, determined to do my best in participating without wincing, praying that they would turn it down.

The irony of this story is that the music was as traditional as it gets. The only instrument playing as I took SPL readings was a pipe organ.

…Many assume only contemporary music is loud. This is simply untrue. While a rock ensemble is capable of painfully loud volumes (and it’s often easy to get to these levels), so is traditional or classical instrumentation.

…Music that’s described as “too loud” is often more of an issue with harshness than volume. Imagine the sound of your worship band as though they’re running through your car stereo. Turn the bass down. Turn the treble all the way up. Now listen at a normal volume level for four or five minutes. It’s will make you feel like your ears are going to bleed. In reality, it’s probably not dangerously loud. It’s just dangerously bad. Music regarded as loud, especially in the church where musicians and techs work desperately to tame volume levels, is often simply harsh, imbalanced sound.

The goal of music in the gathering isn’t great sound or even great music. It’s a church gathered and united in song.

Good pastoral decisions related to sound will include wise decisions about songs and dynamics, ensuring that services create space for the congregation to hear themselves, to hear one another, and to join their voices in song.

Mike Cosper writes regularly on the gospel and arts at The Gospel Coalition Blog. Click here for more of his articles.

Apr 10

Audio from Easter Weekend

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

Easter weekend meant two services and two sermons at DSC, both of them worth hearing again or passing along to a friend.

Here are links to audio, along with the sermon texts:

Good Friday: “Three Criminals

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
–Luke 23:39–43

Easter Sunday: “Raised with Christ

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
–Ephesians 2:1–10

For sermons from previous Easter weekends, click here.