"How Firm a Foundation"
There is a cancer update at the end of this message.
CHIP STAM STEM CELL DRIVE: BE THE MATCH
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is an 18th-century hymn text that has happily lasted into our day. I don't know of a single modern hymnal that uses all seven of these stanzas, but the point is clear: Even in the face of hardships of many kinds, a firm foundation for faith in Christ is found in God's excellent word. It appears that the quotation marks indicate the promises to the believer from God's word. As you read these familiar words, you will see where modern editors have changed things around a bit, mostly for the better. See what you think.
HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION
[Exceeding great and precious Promises—2 Peter 1:4]
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
"As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
"When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
"Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake."
— from John Rippon's (1751-1836) A SELECTION OF HYMNS FROM THE BEST AUTHORS, 1787; this hymn variously attributed to Robert Keene, John Keene, Thomas Kirkham, John Keith and others (the collection of hymns only lists the author as "K——." John Rippon served as a Baptist pastor in England for over six decades and was a principal authority on the hymns of Isaac Watts.
Blessings to all!
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Ministries
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
THE PLACE OF THE CHOIR IN WORSHIP: PART 1 (Ed Willmington):
THE PLACE OF THE CHOIR IN WORSHIP: PART 2 (Carl Stam):
THE PLACE OF THE CHOIR IN WORSHIP: PART 3 (Donald Hustad):
THE PLACE OF THE CHOIR IN WORSHIP: PART 4 (Ron Man):
HEALTH UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST
FOR CHIP STAM, CANCER PATIENT
Dear Friends and Family,
Thanks so much for your faithful prayers for my treatment and healing. We continue to be very excited about the great success of the stem cell drive (even though we did not receive a match for me: www.carlstam.org/stemcelldrive. Praise God! It is not too late to participate and save lives. Longer journal entries (including one from Doris) and new pictures are at www.caringbridge.org/visit/carlstam (click on "journal" or "photos").
HERE WE GO
I was admitted to the hospital yesterday (Tuesday, June 15) for my extended stay to receive a stem cell transplant. My stem cell donor is my younger brother, Billy. I will be here a minimum of four weeks. Yesterday was mostly preparation—an EKG, surgery to put in a central catheter line in my chest, an MRI of my head, and a chest X-ray. I have been running a low-grade fever for about four or five days and have been feeling generally weak and lousy. Even the most excellent meals look suspicious to me. Today the new batch of chemotherapy treatments began in order to ready my body for the transplant. It looks like the infusion of Billy's blood into my system will be on June 24.
Two weeks after the infusion is the crucial time during which Billy's cells will take up residence in my bone marrow and start grafting and producing a new blood system for my body. Get this: My blood has been O+ all my life, but two weeks after the infusion, my blood will be A+. That is amazing to me. ("For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" Psalm 139:13-14).
Please keep praying for this patient and his wife and family; and don't forget to care for the cancer patients in your families, churches, neighborhoods, and places of employment. Pray that our stem cell drive will provide many, many cancer patients with life-saving options for treatment.
In His immeasurable love and care,
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