The Worship Quote of the Week for (03/08/2011):

"How Firm a Foundation"
There is a treatment update at the end of this message.

What is your life's foundation? Where is your refuge in times of physical or spiritual storm? Where is your soul's repose when anxiety sets in or when "deep waters" surround you? Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a familiar hymn text that points to JESUS as the only appropriate answer to these questions for the Christian. This version of "How Firm a Foundation" has a few extra verses you may not know. I have bracketed the two verses that I have never seen in a hymnal. Since this is so familiar, perhaps it would be helpful to read the text out loud.


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,
To you who for refuge to Jesus 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 thee, 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 sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway 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 [grey] 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 his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”

— Collected by John Rippon (1751-1836), A SELECTION OF HYMNS FROM THE BEST AUTHORS, 1787; attributed variously to John Keene, Kirkham, and John Keith. Based on Isaiah 43: 1-5, this text was given the heading "Exceeding great and precious Promises. II Peter 1:4." John Rippon served as a Baptist pastor in England for over six decades and was a principal authority on the hymns of Isaac Watts.

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Ministries
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky


March 9 Treatment Update, PET SCAN RESULTS

Dear praying friends and family,

Thanks for praying for me. Don't stop.

The PET scan ( took place on Friday morning, March, 4. One of my doctors said, "A mixed report—stable, keep up the good work." The other doctor said, "A mixed report—what we expected." The official radiologist's report is less rosey and indicates all the many spots that are there with a summary: "Although there is a mixed response, there is overall progression of metastatic/recurrent disease. In the interval, the liver masses and most of the multiple lymph nodes show increased metabolic activity. " So this is very serious, but we press on. [See "How Firm a Foundation" above.]

Thank the Lord, my rash does not itch, but my entire body is flaking. I am typing this with rubber gloves to keep the dead skin from clogging up my MacBook. The flaking and discoloration is amazing. We are still using steroid cream twice a day—that plus lots of other lotion all day long.

Don’t miss this. Around 10am on Sunday mornings, a group of gospel singers walks the halls of the sixth floor of the University of Louisville hospital. If you open the door and wave them in, they will sing and pray for you.
What a great blessing it was to this sick man!

I have mostly been watching live video of barn owls and hummingbirds. Here they are, and they are amazing: (Phoebe, the mother hummingbird, sitting on two eggs, ready to hatch) (six young hatchlings being fed mice, moles, and gophers, PG13)

Finding my repose in Jesus, the only firm foundation.
Keep praying. God is at work.

Chip Stam