Monday, May 30, 2011

Wesley's song: Soldiers of Christ Arise

This is one of my favorite songs.  I love being reminded of the spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-18).  Last night, my Pastor preached on the spiritual warfare.  He spoke on the two imperatives: Be strong in the Lord, and put on the whole armor of God.  In Charles Wesley's song, the word "panoply" is transliterated (meaning, taken from the Greek and put into English).  The word means "full armor," emphasizing the entirety or the completeness of the Christian's divinely given armor.  Wesley's lyrics captures so many lessons about the spiritual warfare, based from the Bible, and put in such eloquent poetry.  Enjoy, and have happy and blessed Memorial Day.

Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.

Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.

Stand then against your foes, in close and firm array;
Legions of wily fiends oppose throughout the evil day.
But meet the sons of night, and mock their vain design,
Armed in the arms of heavenly light, of righteousness divine.

Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole;
Indissolubly joined, to battle all proceed;
But arm yourselves with all the mind that was in Christ, your Head.

But, above all, lay hold on faith’s victorious shield;
Armed with that adamant and gold, be sure to win the field:
If faith surround your heart, Satan shall be subdued,
Repelled his every fiery dart, and quenched with Jesus' blood.

Jesus hath died for you! What can His love withstand?
Believe, hold fast your shield, and who shall pluck you from His hand?
Believe that Jesus reigns; all power to Him is giv’n:
Believe, till freed from sin’s remains; believe yourselves to Heav’n.

To keep your armor bright, attend with constant care,
Still walking in your Captain’s sight, and watching unto prayer.
Ready for all alarms, steadfastly set your face,
And always exercise your arms, and use your every grace.

Pray without ceasing, pray, your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey and call upon the Lord;
To God your every want in instant prayer display,
Pray always; pray and never faint; pray, without ceasing, pray!

In fellowship alone, to God with faith draw near;
Approach His courts, besiege His throne with all the powers of prayer:
Go to His temple, go, nor from His altar move;
Let every house His worship know, and every heart His love.

To God your spirits dart, your souls in words declare,
Or groan, to Him Who reads the heart, the unutterable prayer:
His mercy now implore, and now show forth His praise,
In shouts, or silent awe, adore His miracles of grace.

Pour out your souls to God, and bow them with your knees,
And spread your hearts and hands abroad, and pray for Zion’s peace;
Your guides and brethren bear for ever on your mind;
Extend the arms of mighty prayer, ingrasping all mankind.

From strength to strength go on, wrestle and fight and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well fought day.
Still let the Spirit cry in all His soldiers, “Come!”
Till Christ the Lord descends from high and takes the conquerors home.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Frustration - some Blogger hate and love

I am frustrated...with Blogger, and my inability to get the pictures inserted in the proper order.  I don't exactly know when I started meddling with my blog template, but somehow or another I must have messed up some details in the html code (this would be like the DNA of webpages) and as a result, my postings (including pics) are not as smooth or swift as I would like for it to be.  To my well meaning friends (who are tech savvy, and have offered their aid) thank you, but I really don't want to spend much more time with this aspect of blogging (Maybe I will scrap this old blog and start over again, I don't mind that - no more will I try to customize - I have learned my lesson) - please do not offer any help. 

So if you look at the pictures (if you can see them, that is) just read the captions and you will hopefully get what I am trying to convey.  If anything else, at least I get to update my blog today.  Even if it is a minor note of Blogger hate.  And please don't suggest Wordpress, I think that one is worse than Blogger - now there is some Blogger love.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My trip to the Philippines (part 2) - I got to visit three cities

Downtown Olongapo City

Subic Bay - formerly a US Naval Base, now an Economic Zone in Olongapo

Makati City (reminds me of Chicago...of course, that's just me)  

Makati City (one of the cities that makes up Metro Manila, the Capital of the Philippines).

Olongapo City Public Market (just people everywhere!)

  This is downtown GMA in Cavite, south of Manila.   

Friday, May 13, 2011

My trip to the Philippines (part 1)

First of all, meet my mom and dad (Tess and Bill Hardecker).  They housed me for a good portion of my survey trip.  I am so thankful to God for giving me loving parents.

This is the new Shepherd's Baptist Church building (which houses the academy and church congregation).  It is wonderful to know that the good people of Shepherd's Baptist is carrying on.  I was able to spend sometime with Pastor Joey Andrew Guerrero, and his family, and they gave me a couple of preaching opportunities.  We even went street preaching (although I didn't preach, I was able to help pass out some Gospel tracts, while the Bible students proclaimed God's Word with great boldness).

These are the Bible students who took turn street preaching.

This is the choir that sang Sunday morning.  The church was meeting on the third floor of the new building.  They have a huge building project which will totally revamp the old auditorium.

Meet Pastor Joey Andrew Guerrero.  I surveyed a city about an hour southwest of Angeles City (called Olongapo).  I am so thankful that Pastor Guerrero and his staff was a huge help and a blessing to me.