Tuesday Hymns: Psalm 89:1-16

At Reformed Presbyterian Church in Beaumont, we traditionally sing at least one Psalm every Sunday night (of course, we sing Psalms during the morning services, also) from The Trinity Psalter. Over the last two weeks we have been singing Psalm 89. It is a Psalm about the Coming King and His reign over all the earth, but especially His reign over His people. It is sung to the tune of Ode to Joy by Ludwig von Beethovan, and I am not sure that I have ever heard a tune more appropriate for a text.

The first four stanzas (which comprise verses 1-16) speak of God’s Sovereign power over nature:

Of God’s love I’ll sing forever,
To each age Your faithfulness.
I’ll declare Your love’s forever,
Founded in the word from heav’n:
“With My Chosen I’ve made cov’nant,
To my servant David sworn:
‘I’ll your line confirm forever,
To each age build up your throne.’”

Lord, the heavens praise Your wonders,
Angels sing Your faithfulness.
For none matches God in heaven,
Who’s like God in heaven’s throng?
God is feared among the angels,
He’s more awesome than they all.
LORD, O God of hosts, who’s like You?
Mighty God, You’re girt with truth.

You rule over sea’s proud surging;
When its waves rise, bid them still.
You broke Egypt, left her dying;
Your strong arm dispersed Your foes.
Yours the heavens, earth’s bounds also;
You have founded all the world.
North and south You have created;
Tabor, Hermon, praise Your name.

You’ve an arm that’s great in pow-er;
Your strong hand is all supreme.
Your rule’s based on right and justice;
Cov’nant love and truth are Yours.
They are happy who acclaim You;
In Your favor, LORD, they walk.
In Your name rejoicing ever;
In Your righteousness raised high.

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Christmas Letter, 2011

I noticed that I haven’t written a blog post since November 1 of this year. It is good to know that the world did not come to an end because of my negligence. To quote Don McClean, “I feel like a spinning top for a dreidel, the spinning don’t stop when you leave the cradle….

Every year with our Christmas cards, we send out a summary of our family’s year, for those interested in the “goings on” of the Rankins. Last year, I started posting it on my blog, and this year I will continue what has now become a new tradition:

December 12, 2011

Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends:

It is that time of year to send out Christmas cards and along with all Christmas cards goes the obligatory “Christmas Card Letter.” First of all, it never ceases to amaze me that the people who shout the loudest about keeping “Christ in Christmas” are often the ones who seldom take the time to worship the Lord on His day every week. (Now that I am through “preachin,’” I will bore you with the many mundane events that have graced the Rankin family during the last year.)

The Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA—we’re the stodgy, conservative Presbyterians) of Beaumont, Texas has allowed Clifton to remain as their Associate Pastor for another year. In March of 2012, he will mark six years with that wonderful group of people, and would be the first to say, “I have never been happier.” Along with his normal responsibilities, he has been blessed with the privilege to preach once a month at the Federal Prison in Beaumont. It is always a joy to point people to the grace of Jesus Christ as their “only hope in life and death.”

Dixie started 2011 recovering from a cervical laminectomy (Vanna, I would like to buy a vowel) surgery at the Methodist Hospital in Houston. Other than saying, “I will never let them do that to me again,” she has done rather nicely once she got past the initial recovery period. Since she is no longer home schooling the boys, she is enjoying the opportunity to go to the women’s midweek Bible study (although the Bible study teacher really gets on her nerves), to eat lunch with her friends from time to time, and do various and sundry activities that she has missed out on doing the last nine years.

Reed will be seventeen in February, has grown to a height of six foot, and weighs ____ (he probably would not want me to tell you how much he weighs). He is once again attending a private school in Port Neches which, along with the regular curriculum, teaches job skills, social skills, etc., for those which special needs. He loves going there, and has shown a great deal of progress in his ability to care for himself. He is looking forward to his first “real job” working at a theater near the school which should begin in a week or two.

Caleb will be fourteen in April and is our resident “Geek.” We were shopping for a computer for Reed and Caleb was explaining the ins and outs of video cards, RAM, gigabytes, and other pertinent needs. Since no one else in the family had the “gift of interpretation” we are not sure what he said, but he sure seemed to know what he was talking about. He, too, has been attending the same school as Reed, and has adjusted well to the new schedule, and the responsibilities that go along with it. He is still the family comedian, although he sometimes struggles with knowing how far he can go teasing his mother. (I am sure that he will have to learn the hard way…)

Josh and Kera are still living in Ft. Worth where he is the defensive coordinator (football coach) and one of the math teachers at Haltom High, and she works as a personal trainer at a health club. Their three kids are growing like weeds: Kesh is ten, Koen is eight, and Kya is six.

Our lives are a testimony of the grace of God that has been shed abroad through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are looking forward to the new heavens and the new earth, but until then, as we live between the already and the not yet, our hope is that Christ will finish the work that He has started in each one of us, for our eternal good, and His eternal glory.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Clifton, Dixie, Reed, & Caleb