Monday, January 17, 2005

A Mighty Fortress

Well, its been a while since last I wrote. I had a one week class when I got back here to Kentucky. So life has been crazy. But I have still had plenty of time to enjoy my family, and draw closer to God. I was singing this old powerful song to myson (who is still 12 weeks away from being born) the other night, and thought you might like to be reminded of what a great God we serve. It is written by one of the heros (though flawed like all our human heros are) of the faith. Songs like this are not sung much in our churches anymore. That is a shame. Songs like this are not written much anymore. That is a tragedy. We need more God exalting, soul stirring songs, that flow from hearts that have been much with God and suffered much on the narrow road. Well, without further introduction, here it is... Please read it, and think about it, and pray through it, be encouraged by it and most of all SING IT!

A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing;
For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God's own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name, From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And tho' this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim - We tremble not for Him;
His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly power, No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours Thro' Him who with us sideth:
Let good and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still,
HIS KINGDOM IS FOREVER!
(By Martin Luther, at some point in the 16th century)

13 comments:

sherry said...

Hey...I've been checking your blog and I was convinced that you'd thrown in the towel on the whole blogging thing! Glad to see you've made a comeback. Thanks for the reminder of the beautiful hymn filled with truth and promises. Just so you know, I was convinced that you guys chose the name "myson" for the baby and I thought, "wow, steph said it was a surprise and mark wrote it on his blog. I wonder if she'll be dissappointed." That's right..I'm a complete dork:) Thanks for your comments on my blog...

sherry said...

P.S. Each time we sing this in church, I wonder what a bulwark is and I vow to look it up when I get home. Needless to say, I always forget. Today I looked it up! This hymn will be sung much more worshipfully now that I won't have to wonder what a bulwark is:) Ha.

Mark said...

Wow, a response. That was exciting to see I got a response. It is just nice to know that someone has read the post. No I haven't thrown in the towel, I was just way too busy the past 2 weeks. I know what you mean about bulwark. I once heard a speaker in chapel at Cal. Bap. kind of making fun of religious people and talk... he brought up this song, and said, "What's a bulwark anyway? Give me a break. Who says bulwark? Who even knows what that is?" My thought was, yeah, wouldn't want to learn anything new to know God. That's like saying, "salvation" what does that mean? Nobody uses that word! Hey I'll take Martin Luther over some 19 year old with 3 ounces of life experience sitting in his dorm room writing some 3 chord, 4 line chorus just like all the others. But enough of that rant.

Mark said...

Disclaimer: I have no problem with 19 year olds writing worship songs. In fact I think it is good. I just have a problem with the modern bias and arrogance so many people have. There is so much we can learn from those that have gone before us.
Definition: Bulwark basically means defense or protection.

PT Barnum said...

Mark, excellent post, I too thought myson was quite a good name and I really think you should keep it. Mydaughter doesn't work as well or sound as eloquent though. I think we've had some excellent talks of hymns and 19 year olds before and it reminded me of those. I wish I could play the organ really bad. - tw

PT Barnum said...

p.s. ebenezer from come thou fount was always the "bulwark" in my hymn vocabulary ignorance - tw

sherry said...

Tyler, I second you on that one. It's great to be reminded of these things as I'm sitting in front of my computer and have access to a wealth of information. Now we know that we're raising a stone signifying God's help... do you think you can get one of those at the Bible book store? :) Do you have any more tough words in hymns, Mark? Tyler and I will do the research for you:)

PT Barnum said...

I do agree there is a necessary and vital need for Christian bookstores to carry such things. I mean I think they could do it. Imagine children's playsets or something that helped kids grasp what these words mean and also some pretty rad attributes of God.

Martin Luther's Bulwark never failing playset. And Robert Robinson's Ebenezer monument (perhaps lawn ornament?). It's official Mark, Sherry and I have gone comment crazy on this one. We should be named official commenters for your blog. - tw

sherry said...

Mark, if you want to give us a prize, we'd both love a rock named Ebenezer.

Mark said...

First, allow me to say, I love comments! Thank you for going comment crazy. I think they sell things like Ebeneezer's and bulwarks down here in Kentucky. The Bible belt and all... we've got it all. In fact, we even have books in our Christian bookstores. They are a must have for living room bookshelves I guess.

PT Barnum said...

I want a Bible belt, can you get me one Mark? -tw

sherry said...

Oooh...A brown bible belt for me, please.

Mark said...

ok. Would you like your name engraved on it with a little Holy Spirit dove above it?