First Corinthians 12:11 says, "All these [gifts] are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills" (ESV, insertion and emphasis mine). GOD the Holy Spirit sovereignly apportions gifts. It was in His sovereign rule why I often don't hit notes when I sing. It was in His sovereign rule why I have more fingers than the chords I can play without looking at a guitar chord chart. It was in His sovereign rule why I am unsure if I write a quarter rest correctly. I do not have the gift of music -- I do not do well with music. And GOD has prepared me for some other work.

However, as a pastor, I believe GOD has put in my heart a desire to guide the church into a congregational singing with GOD-centered, Christ-treasuring, Spirit-filled, Scripture-saturated songs. I have this longing to pen Biblically rich statements following music metrical indexes and use tunes of known hymns with such meters. May the grace of GOD enable me to do so. But for now, let us do a simple honing by trans-tuning the much admired modern day hymn In Christ Alone to a hymn-exposition of Psalm 23, He Leadeth Me



For the tune of He Leadeth Me...
 

But, of course, nothing beats the original arrangement...

The music sheet as how Getty and Townend wrote it is available for download and its free from Getty Music.

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Who Made Uranus and Venus Became a Fetus

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 4:11 PM 0 comments



Here's the first single off Shai Linne's new album, Lyrical Theology Part One.



The Hypostatic Union
By: Shai Linne

Chorus
I know it's deep but when you peep you'll find it's dense
Jesus both God and man, two 100%s
Fully divine, fully human
Introducing: The Hypostatic Union (repeat)

Verse 1
Our topic of discussion is beyond human comprehension
The infinite God has made a super condescension
The kind of entrance nobody could have anticipated
Precipitated by the evil we participated
In- through Adam and Eve our first kin
Cursed when they committed the first sin
Only if you have the Holy Spirit's antennas
Can you truly understand fallen man's dilemma
See, only a human can substitute for human lives
But only God can take the wrath of God and survive
See the humanly unsolvable obstacle?
With God all is plausible, nothing's impossible
True haters'll fight it but the story is certain
Two natures united in one glorious person
Jesus, the God-Man, official soul reaper
The hypostatic union- it gets no deeper

[Repeat Chorus]

Verse 2
The Son of God: 100% divinity
Self-existent second Person of the Trinity
Magisterial Imperial at the helm
Infinitely transcending this material realm
He's so original, getting to know Him is pivotal
Behold the invincible prototypical Holy Principal
Possessor of all divine attributes
The omnis, wisdom, grace, beauty, love, wrath and truth
He's the One that all creation was made through
And by Him, the earth's foundation was laid, too
Ask the angels, they saw it on pay-per-view
Created Satan too, matter of fact He created you
And nothing can escape Jesus' sovereign rule
From the farthest galaxy to the smallest molecule
So who deserves to gain fame?
By the word of His power the universe is maintained
In other words, put the cosmos back on the shelf
Without Christ, reality would collapse on itself
Jesus, the marvelous Author of all consciousness
Beyond what the sharpest biologist acknowledges
He needs no archeologists or smart apologists
He sees all hearts: Omnipresent Cardiologist
Master of Logic, Macrocosmic Novelist
Following any other god is just preposterous!

[Repeat Chorus]

Verse 3
The Son of Man 100% humanity
The mind stretches to understand how can it be?
You gotta see what He does
Becoming what He wasn't while never ceasing to be what He was
Is your mind flipping? That got you tripping? Me too
But the Scripture is true- peep Philippians 2
By faith we believe this amazing Jesus
Who made Uranus and Venus became a fetus
It's such a secret that few if anybody knew it
Months later, He's covered in amniotic fluid
The subject of the gospels, praise of Apostles
Armed with eye sockets, arm pits and nostrils?
Who is this Jesus? God clothed in human weakness
Super sweetness and peace for the true believers
See the One who never tires knocked out sleeping
See the Source of eternal joy weeping
Which one can explain how the Son abundant with fame
Who made thunder and rain now has hunger pains?
See the Creator of water become thirsty
On the cross when He saves from the slaughter the unworthy
My awe should be sky high and I ought to just cry, "Why?"
with water in my eyes when the Author of Life dies
Raised on the third, God man- soul seeker
The hypostatic union- it gets no deeper

[Repeat Chorus]


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The Grace of Meters in Hymns

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 2:21 PM 0 comments




Well, I love hymns. I love these God-glorifying, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, Bible-saturated hymns. I love how they are packed with valuable doctrinal truths expressed in rhymes and poetry. I love how they are designed for congregational worship. I love how they transcend from generations to generations but remain fresh in their message.

And another admirable attribute of hymns is that they are written with a structured metric system. This means that a hymn can be sung even when the tune is unfamiliar as long as the hymn is of the same meter with a familiar tune.

When I was still unaware of this structure, I slightly deject when I browse a hymnal and glance at the great words of hymns like Richard Baxter's "Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care" or the Calvinist-appealing "I Sought the Lord" simply because I cannot sing them due to my ignorance of their tune. Such a grace from God that hymns have meters and that I was instructed of such metric system.

We can take as an example a grandly Theocentric hymn "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise." Although I do not really know its original tune, the hymnal says it is of meter 11 11.11 11 which is the same meter for the Christmas hymn "Away in a Manger." We can therefore take the words of the former hymn and sing it to the tune of the latter one. And here it goes...


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UMC Connectional Table: Out of Kilter

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 7:00 AM 0 comments




I am re-echoing this article (which is originally found here) by Dr. Bill Bouknight of The Confessing Movement Within the UMC because I believe it deserves uppermost consideration.

=========================

CONNECTIONAL TABLE OUT OF KILTER
By Dr. Bill Bouknight
March 1, 2013 Confessing Movement E-Newsletter

The central coordinating body of the United Methodist Church is known as the Connectional Table (CT). It consists of about 59 United Methodist leaders excluding staff). There are 47 voting members. It is the only group meeting regularly between general conferences that includes representatives of the major official denominational power structures.  The problem is that the CT’s make-up is not representative of the global UMC membership. Consider the following:

THE WESTERN JURISDICTION HAS LESS THAN 3 PERCENT OF THE UMC MEMBERSHIP, YET IT HAS 17 PERCENT OF THE SEATS ON THE CT. 
BY WAY OF CONTRAST, AFRICA HAS 35 PERCENT OF THE UMC MEMBERSHIP, YET ONLY 6.4 PERCENT OF THE SEATS ON THE CT.

In modern times, the Western Jurisdiction has been notorious for its liberal theology; no doubt, some of it flows from United Methodism’s Claremont Seminary in California. And, the Western Jurisdiction has consistently lagged far behind the other U.S. jurisdictions in how much of its assigned share of apportionments it pays.

Of the five active Western Jurisdiction bishops three (60%) are presidents of a denominational agency’s board of directors. One of the remaining two has been elected to become the next president of the Council of Bishops in 2014. No other region in the UMC comes close to having as large a portion of its bishops in such prominent leadership positions. One way to address this inbalance would be to discontinue electing bishops as presidents of boards and agencies.

The Western Jurisdiction is over-represented in the leadership ranks of the UMC, at the expense of United Methodism in Africa. This matter should have top priority for correction.

Tithing Statistics

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 3:06 PM 0 comments




Three Simple Questions

  1. How important is tithing to your spiritual life? And how important is speaking in tongues to your spiritual life?
  2. How often do you hear a sermon on tithing? And how often do you hear a sermon on God's wrath? (Or if you are a preacher, how often do you preach on tithing? And how often do you preach on God's wrath?
  3. How much do you affirmatively discuss tithing? And how much do you affirmatively discuss predestination and election?

With your answers on the questions above, I want you to check out the following graph.


The Graph Explained

  1. Using a free Bible software, words were sought in the English Standard Version New Testament.
  2. The graph above represents the number of occurences of some words that have something to do with one of three subjects: tithing, God's wrath, and predestination.
  3. For TITHING, the words "tithe", "tithes", and "tithing" were used. These appeared in 7 verses in 4 chapters of 3 books. [1]
  4. For SPEAKING IN TONGUES, the word "tongues" should occur in the context of spiritual gifts. It appeared in 17 verses in 7 chapters of 3 books. [2]
  5. For GOD'S WRATH, the words "God" and "wrath" should occur together. These appeared in 19 verses in 15 chapters of 6 books. [3]
  6. For PREDESTINATION / ELECTION, the words "predestined", "chosen", and "elect" were used. These appeared in 19 verses in 11 chapters of 9 books. [4]
  7. Except for tithing, some appearances were not counted due to context inconsistencies. While on tithing, all appearances were counted regardless of context. [This implies that, except for tithing,  the figures should have been higher if context is not considered.]

Now, were your answers above consistent with the graph?

Three Radical Statements (At Least to Tithers)
Once, I opened my Sunday sermon with these three statements:

  1. "Pastor Bernard, your pastor, does not believe in tithing."
  2. "John Wesley, the founding father of your Methodism, also did not believe in tithing." Then I quoted Rev. Wesley in his Sermon 50: The Use of Money, "Do not stint yourself, like a Jew rather than a Christian, to this or that proportion. 'Render unto God,' not a tenth, not a third, not half, but all that is God's... (emphasis mine)"
  3. "Your pastor (and your founder) does not believe in tithing not because 10% is too much but because 10% is too small." I then absurdly rephrase Mark 12:30, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and with 10% of your pocket." It does not fit, does it?

--------------------

[1] Matt. 23:23, Lk. 11:42, Lk. 18:12, Heb. 7:5, Heb. 7:6, Heb. 7:8, Heb. 7:9
[2] Mk. 16:17, Acts 2:4, Acts 2:11, Acts 10:46, Acts 19:6, 1 Cor. 12:10, 1 Cor. 12:28, 1 Cor. 12:30, 1 Cor. 13:1, 1 Cor. 13:8, 1 Cor. 14:5, 1 Cor. 14:6, 1 Cor. 14:18, 1 Cor. 14:21, 1 Cor 14:22, 1 Cor. 14:23, 1 Cor. 14:39
[3] Jn. 3:36, Rom. 1:18, Rom 2:5, Rom. 3:5, Rom. 5:9, Rom. 9:22, Rom. 12:19, Rom. 13:4, Rom. 13:5, Eph. 5:6, Col. 3:6, 1 Thess. 2:16, Rev. 14:10, Rev. 14:19, Rev. 15:1, Rev. 15:7, Rev. 16:1, Rev. 16:19, Rev. 19:15
[4] Matt. 22:14, Matt. 24:22, Matt. 24:24, Matt. 24:31, Mk. 13:20, Mk. 13:22, Mk. 13:27, Lk. 18:7, Acts 4:28, Rom. 8:29, Rom. 8:30, Rom. 8:33, Rom. 11:5, Rom. 11:7, Eph. 1:5, Eph. 1:11, Col. 3:12, 1 Thess. 1:4, 1 Pet. 1:1-2


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I Boast (A Parody of "I'm Yours")

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 10:14 AM 1 comments




I BOAST
(A parody of “I’m Yours”)
Words: Bernard Rosario

Galatians 6:19 ~~ May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...
Ephesians 2:9 ~~ [You were saved] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Well human like me, man knows that I failed it
I tried to figure out why my heart is so crooked
Even right works I act now my heart is still black

Before a truthful man had written concerning my bestest
And I know Isaiah 64:6 has fine explanation
All righteous deeds are nothing but filthy rags and foul rags

Though I want to stay so close to God
Without the faith, I'm cursed

We'll open up our Bible, read with me
O, hear the truth, it will set you free
It's not through our hands and works we find and come to God

There is a need to pick an alternate for all crimes and sins
Only one lived perfectly
And He's our God, forsaken for ones He love love love love loves

So I won't depend on good works, no more
It's only Him I boast
Since no one can come perfect, each one falls short
It's only Him I boast

I've been spending days too long, seeing my God in great error
Man, heaven never requires us to toil just to be nearer
It's a gift not a reward
Just surrender, accept grace from God

Since just a sec of sinning makes someone no better person
So free yourself of confidence and come only with faith on
Not what we aim to do, not even our virtue

So I won't depend on good works, no more
It's only Him I boast
Open up our Bible, read with me
O, hear the truth, it will set you free
It's not through your hands and works can heaven be yours
So please don't, please don't, please don't
Since no one can come perfect, cause each one falls short
This o' this o' this is our faith
I boast 

Meet Kevince Ferrer who presented this song in our Love Fellowship last February 15, 2013.


The Proverbs -31 Woman (That's Negative!)

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 4:50 PM 0 comments




The Woman of Unprincipled Personality

-10 A woman of unprincipled personality is everywhere
She is as common as the threads of hair
-11 From her, the husband hides his gains
and he’s deprived of everything but pains
-12 She brings him troubles in great waves
until she is positioned to her grave
-13 The man with the kids wear clothes like rags
while her manicured nails she brags
-14 She’s glad when foods are bought nearby
so, from the TV, there needs no goodbye
-15 She wakes up when the sun is already high
she doesn’t care even her fam eats fungi
and payments to servants she does deny
-16 She has no vision that lasts for a long period

for her, investments cannot be charted
-17 To her tasks, she is frequently half-hearted
Her body is habitually frail, lazily bloated
-18 She spends more than 20 while she gains only 10
supplies run out by midnight, and it happens often
-19 She can’t sew, can’t cook, can’t do the laundry
unappealing to her are the works of domesticity
-20 To the poor and needy, she shows no concern
help is withheld from them who can’t pay in return
-21 Because of the things that she can’t and won’t do,
calamities catch the household unprepared too
-22 Because of discomfort, no one loves her bed
awkward when she wears something sophisticated
-23 She damages her husband’s fine reputation
his opinion is discredited when his wife is mentioned
-24 No one is interested with the fruits of her hands
it is of no value, buyers will know without guidance
-25 Mediocrity and inelegance she noticeably wears
she cannot feel secure and the future she fears
-26 She thinks she is wise, she displays her baloney
her tongue is always loose, her teachings are fleshly
-29 She is not concern with the household’s business
she is over-stuffed by the meals of idleness
-28 To her words, her children give no consideration
Her husband cannot mention any commendation
-29 Instead he asks, “Can’t you do something noble?
Can’t you hold your tongue from your babble?”
-30 Her highest priority is having momentary beauty
she barters for red lips over Christ’s supremacy
-31 Nobody will notice when she is already gone
she will hear praise only from men of same mind

Click here for the true Proverbs 31:10-31.

Mohler Shows Water to Preaching Camels

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 3:11 PM 0 comments





Albert Mohler writes, "Preachers need books as camels need water. The preacher knows the experience of needing a particular book at a particular time in order to prepare a message; other than friends and family, books are often the preacher's closest companions."

He then proceeds to a review of some of the more interesting and important titles of 2012 for preachers. I am re-echoing below his list of ten books every preacher should read (with their respective publisher's description).



The Juvenilization of American Christianity. Thomas E. Bergler (Eerdmans)
In The Juvenilization of American Christianity Thomas Bergler traces the way in which, over seventy-five years, youth ministries have breathed new vitality into four major American church traditions -- African American, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, and Roman Catholic. Bergler shows too how this "juvenilization" of churches has led to widespread spiritual immaturity, consumerism, and self-centeredness, popularizing a feel-good faith with neither intergenerational community nor theological literacy. Bergler's critique further offers constructive suggestions for taming juvenilization.

Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church. Gregg R. Allison (Crossway)
What is a church? This can be a difficult question to answer and Christians have offered a variety of perspectives. Gregg Allison thus explores and synthesizes all that Scripture affirms about the new covenant people of God, capturing a full picture of the biblical church. He covers the topics of the church's identity and characteristics; its growth through purity, unity, and discipline; its offices and leadership structures; its ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper; and its ministries. Here is a rich approach to ecclesiology consisting of sustained doctrinal reflection and wise, practical application.

Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction. Jonathan T. Pennington (Baker Academic)
This textbook on how to read the Gospels well can stand on its own as a guide to reading this New Testament genre as Scripture. It is also ideally suited to serve as a supplemental text to more conventional textbooks that discuss each Gospel systematically. Most textbooks tend to introduce students to historical-critical concerns but may be less adequate for showing how the Gospel narratives, read as Scripture within the canonical framework of the entire New Testament and the whole Bible, yield material for theological reflection and moral edification.

Christ-Centered Biblical Theology: Hermeneutical Foundations and Principles. Graeme Goldsworthy (InterVarsity Press)
For fifty years Graeme Goldsworthy has been refining his understanding of biblical theology through his experiences as a student, pastor and teacher. In this valuable complement to his Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, Goldsworthy defends and refines the rationale for his approach, drawing especially on the work of Australian biblical scholar Donald Robinson.

Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD. Peter Brown (Princeton University Press)
Jesus taught his followers that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Yet by the fall of Rome, the church was becoming rich beyond measure. Through the Eye of a Needle is a sweeping intellectual and social history of the vexing problem of wealth in Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire, written by the world's foremost scholar of late antiquity.

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. Charles Murray (Crown Forum)
In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.

The Intolerance of Tolerance. D.A. Carson (Eerdmans)
Carson examines how the definition of tolerance has changed. It now has less to do with recognizing the right of another to disagree with us, and more to do with not saying that others are wrong. It is impossible to deploy this new tolerance consistently, so that actual practice is often whimsical and arbitrary. Worse, the word "tolerance" has almost become an absolute good, and "intolerance" an absolute bad. Tolerance and intolerance have become merely rhetorical terms of approval and disapproval.

Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. Ross Douthat (Free Press)
As the youngest-ever op-ed columnist for The New York Times, Ross Douthat has emerged as one of the most provocative and influential voices of his generation. In Bad Religion he offers a masterful and hard-hitting account of how American Christianity has gone off the rails - and why it threatens to take American society with it.

God Is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology. Gerald Bray (Crossway)
This volume is unique from others in that Bray traces the common theme of God's love through the Bible categorically--from God's love for himself and his creation to the cross as the ultimate expression of God's love, among other categories. The centrality of God's love in Bray's theology reflects a deep conviction that the Bible shows us God for who he really is. This volume will be of interest to Christians seeking to grow in their faith.

Delighting in the Trinity: an Introduction to the Christian Faith. Michael Reeves (InterVarsity Press)
In this lively book, we find an introduction to Christianity and the Christian life that is from start to finish rooted in our triune God - Father, Son and Spirit. Not only do we understand the person and work of Christ through the Trinity, but also prayer, the church and every aspect of our faith. With wit and clarity, Reeves draws from church history down to the present referencing a wide range of notable teachers and preachers. Here is a rich and enjoyable portrayal of the basic beliefs of Christianity that opens up the profound and life-changing truths of our faith.

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Naaalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Ang mga laruan ko'y natatangi sa kanila
Hawak nila'y plastik na binili mula sa plaza
Ngunit espada ko'y hinulma ng mapagmahal kong ama

Naaalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Kayang-kaya ni Tatay na hatakin ang apat na baka
Marunong sa pagsasaka, pagkarpintero't karinderia
Buong sipag na itinaguyod ni ama ang kanyang mag-iina

Naaalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Noong ako'y hindi pa marunong pumaroon sa eskwela
Kinaiinggitan ang upuan ko sa kanyang bisikleta
Paghatid-sundo ni Tatay, kay bunsoy lamang ginawa

Naaalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Nang ang aking mga binti ay namaga at nagka-marka
Dahil sa pinabayaang kambing, sanga ng ipil ay nakilala
Malinaw ang turo ni ama, responsibilidad at disiplina

Naaalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Nang dahil sa kakulitan, nawasak ang daliri ko sa paa
Ang kanyang pag-ibig ay bakas sa kanyang pagkataranta
Humayo sa ospital, suot ay tsinelas na hindi magkapareha

Naaalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Nang aking hinampas ang likod ng sakitin kong kuya
Hinarap si Tatay, walang pamalo o sinturong dala
Gamit ang mga luha, ibinilin ang pag-ibig sa pamilya

Naaalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Napaiyak siya nang ako, sa wakas, ay nakapagtapos na
Pinag-aral ang walong anak kahit ang isa'y palpak pa
Alam ni ama ang kahalagahan ng edukasyon at diploma

Naaalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Sa unang araw ng taon, ang bahay ay maingay at masaya
Nagtitipon ang mag-anak, bitbit ang kanya-kanyang handa
Para parangalan ang ama na magdiriwang ng kaarawan niya

Ngayong araw, si Tatay Ben ay pitumpu't limang taon na
Pero hindi tulad ng dati, katawan nila ngayon ay mahina
Nanggagaling sa isang malaking tangke ang paghinga
Ang pagkain ay sa tubo sa ilong sa halip na bunganga

Naalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Hindi tulad ni Tatay, ang mga alaala'y tila nabura
Pati ang kanyang kaarawan ngayon ay hindi alintana
Tila nakalimutan lahat, pangalan man namin o kanya

Naalala ko pa; Salamat at naaalala ko pa
Na ang makapangyarihang Dios kung umibig ay kusa
Nawa'y ibigin Niyang lumikha ng bagong puso sa aking ama
Nang maalala namin ang lahat doon sa bagong langit at lupa

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