Friday, November 13, 2015

day no. 13,535: Thy Mercy, My God (unabridged)

We choose hymns for each of our kids and sing a verse before bedtime.  "Thy Mercy, My God": is the hymn we picked for Rocco.  It reminds me of Romans 12:1 where Paul turns the corner from orthodoxy to orthopraxy, from the light of the Gospel to living in light of the Gospel.  In this verse, Paul says, "Therefore, in view of God's mercies..."  He uses the phrase "in view of God's mercies" as a summary statement of the entire Gospel he has spent the 11 prior chapters detailing with theological precision.  Therefore, "God's mercies" can be used as a way of referring to the entirety of the Gospel. This song speaks to the glorious joy and gratitude of a heart saved by grace through faith in Christ alone to the glory of God alone!

The author: John Stocker, of Honitan, Devonshire. Contributed during 1776 and 1777 nine hymns to "Gospel Magazine" Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1908 

1 Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, 
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue; 
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, 
Hath won my affections and bound my soul fast. 

2 Without thy free mercy I could not live here 
Sin soon would reduce me to utter despair; 
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive, 
And He that first made me, still keeps me alive. 

3 Thy mercy surpasses the sin of my heart 
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart, 
Dissolved by thy goodness, I fall to the ground 
And weep to the praise of the mercy I found. 

4 The door of Thy mercy stands open all day 
To the needy and poor, who knock by the way; 
No sinner shall ever be empty sent back, 
Who comes seeking mercy for Jesus' dear sake. 

5 Thy mercy in Jesus exempts me from hell; 
Its glories I'll sing, and its wonders I'll tell: 
'Twas Jesus the friend when He hung on the tree 
That opened the channel of mercy for me. 

6 Great Father of mercies, thy goodness I own, 
And covenant love of thy crucified Son: 
All praise to the Spirit, whose action divine 
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

day no. 13,534: ten years in the making

10 years ago today I nervously attempted to hide a bowl and washcloth in Paige's dorm room at Wartburg College. I didn't want her to catch a glimpse or a whiff of what was to come later that evening.  I got my James Bond on and she didn't see the supplies until I exited the bathroom later that evening with them prepped and ready to go.  She sat down on her dorm room futon and I sat down at her feet, bucket, water and washcloth in tow. I washed her feet and asked her if she would do me the honor of being my girlfriend and committing herself to me and the prospect of seeing if perhaps God would bless our budding love all the way to the altar. She said, "Yes!" and 10 years later we sit here in our living room with 5 little kids calling us mom and dad. 8 years of marriage and a budding legacy that began 10 years ago today on a dorm room floor in Waverly, IA. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

day no. 13,526: rocksteady

tonight at 10:38pm Rocco Henry Warfield Van Voorst was born and transferred from womb to room. weighing in at 9lbs 10.9oz and towering over other lesser babies at 22 inches, he is a rockstar! 

i love this little man.  

i have no idea who exactly he looks like yet, but newborns always kind of look like they've recently participated in a fight club.  

what a stud little buddy. i'm very excited to get to know him and to tell him about Jesus and to introduce him to his brothers and sisters who will most certainly love him with all their little van voorst hearts.

welcome to our circus little man.  we're working without a net and we may have a bunch of clowns crammed into a van, but it's entertaining and the popcorn is overflowing.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

day no. 13,523: character witness

My faithful dead friend Oswald Chambers reminded me of this today:

"Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life. Much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him — “I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.” “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” — this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible."