On my Gran’s first truly “happy birthday”: The Battle Won: Standing by grace in the holy place

October 2, 2013

Today would have been my Gran’s 92nd birthday.  Today was my Gran’s first truly “happy birthday.”

“[God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

My Gran, Lilian Ernestine Collins, born 2 October 1921, died on 19 June 2013 after several months of illness — and she is now more alive than ever.  Below is the sermon i was privileged to preach at her memorial service.  My Dad posted this previously on his blog.  My Gran specifically wanted Psalm 24 to be the text for her memorial service.

Read the rest of this entry »

O God beyond all praising

February 1, 2009

This hymn has been resounding in my head since we sang it at church this morning.

O God beyond all praising is sung to Thaxted, a stirring adaptation of the main theme of the Jupiter movement of Gustav Holst‘s The Planets, which is one of my all-time favourite orchestral compositions.  (You’ll also recognise the tune from the British patriotic hymn I vow to thee, my country and, more recently, from the World in union theme song of Rugby World Cups since 1991.)

But while the tune is stirring, it is the words which speak loudest: “O God beyond all praising” – for how can our words ever repay Him for the great salvation He bought by His own blood, for the infinite riches of Christ?  We sing of “love amazing that songs cannot repay”; He bids us “make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.”

Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name.  (Hebrews 13v15, ESV)

Read the rest of this entry »

Diamond in the rough

April 23, 2006

i am like a diamond
in the rough: precious, but
needing to be cut and polished
until every facet reflects
the glory of Jesus, the
Author and Finisher
of our faith.
Heb. 12