“Streams of Mercy-Never Ceasing!”

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Jul 082018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Streams of Mercy-Never Ceasing!”

 By:  Ron Woodrum

 

     Robert Robinson was born September 27th 1735.  He lost his father at an early age and was raised by a poor single mother.  She was a godly woman, raising 12 children on a meager income.  She prayed for her children, and especially prayed that Robert would become a preacher of the gospel.  In 1750, at the age of 15 he was indentured to a barber in London.  He worked hard but had more interest in books and taught himself four languages, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and French.  He loved to listen to the Methodist preachers of his day but was especially drawn to the powerful preaching of George Whitefield.  He came to faith in 1752 at one of Whitefield’s preaching services.  He wrote his testimony in Latin, talking about born of the flesh in September 27, 1735. and born-again May 24, 1752.  He studied under John Gill, John Wesley, and Whitefield of course.  In 1759 he was invited to preach at a Baptist Church at Cambridge, later made famous by Robert Hall.  He soon began preaching there and drew large crowds.  He followed the Lord in Believer’s Baptism and became a Baptist.  He soon wrote two hymns.  One called-Brightness of Thy Eternal Glory. 

 

Brightness of eternal glory,

Shall Thy Praise Unuttered lie?

Who would hush the boundless story?

Of the one who came to die

 

Came from off the throne eternal.

Down to Calvary’s depth of woe

Came to crush the powers infernal;

Streams of praises ceaseless flow.

 

Sing His blest triumphant rising

Sing Him on the Father’s Throne

Sing til heaven and earth surprising

Reigns the Nazarene Alone!

 

His most famous hymn was Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

 

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Tune my heart to sing thy Grace

Streams of mercy, never ceasing

Calls for songs of loudest praise

 

Teach me some melodious sonnet

Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it

Mount of Thy unchanging love.

 

He was also asked to write a History of English Baptists.  His history became a standard for many years.  But as often happens, he began to be drawn in by other voices.  Friends bombarded him with teachings of the Unitarian faith.  He soon began to wander into teachings that questioned the deity of Christ, and the fundamentals of the faith.  He soon quit preaching and returned to a life in the far country.  One bright Sunday morning Robert was in the mood for anything but sunny.  All along the street there were people hurrying to Church.  But in this crowd Robert was a lonely man.  The sound of the Church bells reminded him of years past when his faith in God was strong, and the Church a joyous part of his life.  He walked outside, and hailed the horse drawn cab to take him to the local pub.  He saw the cab was occupied by a young woman obviously dressed for Lord’s Day, he waved the driver on, but she insisted he join her.  He got in.  She was reading a book.  To his surprise, she handed it to him and she asked his opinion of the hymn she was reading.  His eyes fell on these words:

 

Oh, to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be

Let that grace, now like a fetter

Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above

 

He began to cry as he read those words.  She asked, “what is wrong?”  He said, “mam…I am the poor wretched, miserable man that wrote those words!  I would give anything to have the joy that I had when I penned them!”  She reminded him of the previous verse “steams of mercy never ceasing” are still flowing even for the author that needed them now more than ever.  That encounter was used of God to bring Robinson back to His Lord.  God did take his heart and seal it.  He returned to usefulness and preached several times each Sunday until the day he died in June 9th, 1790.  Galatians tells us that when we see a brother, “overtaken in a fault, ye that are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself”.  The word restore is “katartidzo”- it means “restore a broken bone” it means “restore a torn fishing net”.  The idea is to take what is broken and restore it to full usefulness.  God used this dear lady in the horse-drawn cab to use Robert’s own words to restore his soul.  Perhaps God wants to use you today to restore a broken brother or sister. 

 

 Posted by at 1:23 pm

“A BRIDGE WORTH CELEBRATING!”

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Jul 012018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “A BRIDGE WORTH CELEBRATING!” By:  Ron Woodrum        It was called “the bridge that could not be built”.  It was first proposed in 1872 by Charles Crockett, railroad executive, 3 years after completing the Trans-continental Railroad. It was a bridge to span the strait that separated San Francisco from Marin County California, because of […]

 Posted by at 1:22 pm

Christian Rip Van Winkles? Ushers get ready with crash helmets and signal flares?

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Jun 242018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE:  Christian Rip Van Winkles? Ushers get ready with crash helmets and signal flares? By:  Ron Woodrum   If you visit the town of Irvington, New York, not far from Tarrytown, the location of Sunnyside, the home of Washington, Irving, you will come across a bronze statue of Rip Van Winkle.  Rip (Rest In […]

 Posted by at 1:20 pm

MIMICING AND MODELING HE WHO IS ‘BETTER THAN THE BEST FATHER!’

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Jun 172018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: MIMICING AND MODELING HE WHO IS ‘BETTER THAN THE BEST FATHER!’ By:  Ron Woodrum   One little boy’s definition of Father’s Day went something like this…”it’s just like Mother’s Day, only we don’t spend as much!”  Well we father’s can concede that, usually due to our own frugality and insistence!  Someone else has […]

 Posted by at 4:24 pm

“Alexander my Shepherd too?”

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Jun 102018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Alexander my Shepherd too?” By:  Ron Woodrum        One of the most interesting prophecy passages in all of the Bible is found in Isaiah, written 150 years before Cyrus was born, relates to Cyrus the Great, King of Persia.  In Isaiah 45:1 God says, “I summon you by name and bestow on […]

 Posted by at 2:24 pm

“Encountering a Living Presence”

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Jun 032018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Encountering a Living Presence”. By:  Ron Woodrum        Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, told a very fascinating story about an encounter he had while getting his hair cut at a Barbershop.  Listen to his words:  “I was sitting in a barber chair when I was aware that a […]

 Posted by at 2:24 pm

“Becoming whole for the whole world!”

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May 272018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE:  “Becoming whole for the whole world!” By:  Ron Woodrum        In John 5 Jesus goes to Jerusalem.  He encounters a paralytic lying beside the Pool of Bethesda.  The Aramaic word “Bethesda” means “house of mercy”.  That pool became a center for crowds of desperate persons hoping against hope that they might be […]

 Posted by at 5:01 pm

“Jacob’s Ladder at Charing Cross?”

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May 202018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Jacob’s Ladder at Charing Cross?” By:  Ron Woodrum        Author Philip Yancey tells of an experience playing chess with a master player.  He explains his rapid realization that no matter what move he made, no matter what strategy he chose, the master seemed to turn his play around to serve his own […]

 Posted by at 12:07 pm

“Unbroken Til He Comes”

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May 132018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Unbroken Til He Comes” By:  Ron Woodrum        In May 1897, the great American humorist and author Samuel Clemens, best known for his pen name, Mark Twain, was in London.  He was on a round-the-world speaking tour to raise money to pay off some debts due to some unsuccessful investments and publishing […]

 Posted by at 12:09 pm

“Don’t Let Me Miss The Glory”

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May 062018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Don’t Let Me Miss The Glory”. By:  Ron Woodrum        Back in 2010 we had the privilege of attending the Bill Gaither concert at the Coliseum.  All the usual guests were there to sing all the usual songs.  It was a marvelous evening of worship and Christian fellowship.  But in the middle […]

 Posted by at 12:50 pm