Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

The eldest sings with Wingate University’s University Singers. During their spring concert, they performed “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”. The text is based on two passages of Scripture.

The first is from Revelation 22:2 which reads: ‘On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

The second comes from Song of Songs 2:3 “Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.”

From Divine Hymns or Spiritual Songs,
compiled by Joshua Smith, New Hampshire, 1784

Tune by Elizabeth Poston, 1905-1987
1. The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.
2. His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.
3. For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree.
4. I’m weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.
5. This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.

Life in the Full-Service Cage

“Today, social media are hailed for empowering dissidents and undercutting tyrannies around the world. Yet it’s hard not to watch the Google video and agree with Forbes’s Kashmir Hill when she suggests that such a technology could ultimately “accelerate the arrival of the persistent and pervasive citizen surveillance state,” in which everything you see and do can be recorded, reported, subpoenaed … you name it 

In this kind of world, the Man in the Google Glasses might feel like a king of infinite space. But he’d actually be inhabiting a comfortable, full-service cage.”

Here’s the video. 

Celebrity or Hero?

When I ask the high school students at my church to name a celebrity, they can instantly rattle off a list of twenty. When I ask them to say who their heroes are, their response is usually quiet silence with furrowed brows. After they think about it awhile, however, a few name their grandparents as the people they most admire. Their heroes are people whose names aren’t even known in the next town, much less nationwide. When we compare what the celebrities are well known for and what our heroes are admired for, we find a chasm between people whose glory far outstrips the value of the goods for which they receive it, and people whose worth far outstrips any glory they will ever receive. We don’t have to be famous, however, to embrace the goal of being well known and well liked, publicly approved of and applauded. To wrestle with the vice of vainglory therefore requires reflection on how much the desire for attention and acclaim can dominate our lives.

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung. Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies (pp. 59-60). Kindle Edition.

Christmas Concert

The eldest is in the Glenn High School Concert Choir. Here is their performance of “Call to Advent” and “Noel”. “Noel” has grown to be my favorite over the season. You may view it at about the 2 minute mark.
Here’s the translation of the Kituba text:
“Noel! Noel! Jesus has come to live with us. If you want to know the Child, you have to come and kneel.”

More Love to Thee

I discovered Elizabeth Prentiss a couple of years ago. I acquired a copy of Stepping Heavenward after my grandmother died. Grandma Maude said it was her favorite book.

Reading a fictional, girl’s diary was not something I was initially drawn to, but after picking up the book and reading it, I was struck by the sweetness of the story and the reality and honesty of the main character. I ended up reading it the day I started it. I’ve often thought of juxtaposing Stepping Heavenward with Bridget Jones’s Diary.

I was taken with Mrs. Prentiss’ and later discovered that she had wrote hymns. A couple of years ago, I retuned this one for the congregation I pastor. Here is a recording I did for some friends.  More Love To Thee by Randamir