Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We Bask in the Beauty

We will bask in the beauty of the believer’s dream
We will ask to have eyes that can see the unseen
The present reality of that beauty will entice
Us to forsake all we own for that pearl of great price.

We will bask in the beauty of the believer’s dream
We will taste perfect goodness as we see what it means
The horrific and holy held in tension for now
Will be changed by His glory as to beauty they bow

We celebrate the vision of the power of His might
Christ empowers the mission and we do what is right
The truth is revealed as we walk in the light
Where darkness shall flee as our faith becomes sight.

We will bask in the beauty of the believer’s dream
In the beauty of holiness our Lord we esteem
So in high adoration and in sweet reverie
We shall bask in the beauty
We will bask in the beauty
As we set our minds upon eternity.

Anthony Foster
December 29, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Incarnate Lord

The High and Holy One Became the meek and lowly one.
The High and Holy One Became the meek and lowly one.

He brings forth justice for truth And strength unto the weak
A curse to those who Truth suppress And blessing to those who seek

To open up blind eyes To set the captives free
To confound the wisdom of the wise He comes to bridge eternity.

The High and Holy One Became the meek and lowly one.
The High and Holy One Became the meek and lowly one.

The lion became a lamb To become a lion again
That through his slaughter We may stand as he stands.

He comes as servant To make us right
He is the One In whom God delights.

The High and Holy One Became the meek and lowly one.
The High and Holy One Became the meek and lowly one.

He comes to rescue and redeem He comes to reconcile
He consecrates us to Himself This blessed, lowly child.

Designer of our image Author of all creation
Maker of the cosmos Now speaks incarnation.

The High and Holy One Became the meek and lowly one.
The High and Holy One Became the meek and lowly one.

Anthony Foster
December 27, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh Light that is the Life of Men

Oh light that is the life of men
Illuminate the night again
Your great glory show to us
Poor sinners whom you declare just.

Oh light that is the life of men
Darkness cannot comprehend
The searing rays of glory shed
Abroad to bring life to the dead.

Lord rule this world with Truth and Grace
Lord make a throne room of this place
Lord make the nations come to confess
The glories of your righteousness
Lord make the nations prove
The wonders of your love
Lord make each creature prove
The wonders of your love.

Oh light that is the life of men
Shine upon this world of sin
And make the darkness flee
Lord shine your light through me.

Lord rule this world with Truth and Grace
Lord make a throne room of this place
Lord make the nations come to confess
The glories of your righteousness
Lord make the nations prove
The wonders of your love
Lord make each creature prove
The wonders of your love.


Anthony Foster
December 24, 2010
Based on a verse from "Joy to the World"

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Horizons of my Heart

Expand the horizons of my heart
That I may love like you
Take me beyond my uttermost parts
To a world where grace rings true

Increase the boundaries of my soul
Far beyond any man made chart
Take me to that holy goal
Expand the horizons of my heart

Beyond the sunset of my desire
Set in me a holy fire
That lights the twilight with its glow
Where the Morningstar rises I'll go.

A bold explorer of your grace
A sojourner in your joy
A traveler beyond time and space
Where boundaries are destroyed

Expand the horizons of my heart
That forgiveness and mercy may grow
Make my life a work of your art
Displayed your love to show

Till I live and move for your sake
Lord expand my capacity
Till I learn to give more than I take
And your face is all I see

Anthony Foster
December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We lift our Eyes

A reservoir of hurt and shame
Where drowning in the dust and pain
We betray our bent and bear the blame
Oh Christ help us long to confess
Help us receive
Help us believe in your beautiful brokenness.

Repentence for sin yields up peace as we yield
Healing is ours if we would be healed.
Give the gift of your beautiful brokenness
We need your rod when our hearts fail to confess

We recall the stall where holiness lies
We hear the word of life as he prophesies
Ponder incarnation’s mysteries
How gospel truth has set us free
As to the cross we lift our eyes
We see the son of God arise

We lift our eyes, we lift our eyes
To see the glory of our God arise
And see his grave as he descends
The light no darkness comprehends
We lift our eyes, we lift our eyes
To the cross where the God of glory dies
And see as glory is revealed
And by his stripes now we are healed.

Purge my sin for woe is me
I am undone so I’m set free
The grace on which my heart depends
The breath of life and forgiveness of sins
New creation and a heart that’s cleansed.

Through life arise, through death arise
From the depths of darkness we arise
The light of new birth breaks on our eyes
And so with Christ we shall arise.

Anthony Foster
December 2010

Marvelous Myst’ry

The Lord has been gentle, so gentle to me
Lovingkindness is all I see
He sends me love notes from heaven above
And nothing shall separate us from His love.

Our hearts are made of miry clay
When troubles rise our souls give sway
We call you Lord for fail to obey
Our spirits groan our hungering need
We break our lives on living stone
All the truth that can be known
Confronted by the seed we’ve sown
Yield naught but broken reeds.

But the bruised reed you will not break
The smoking flax you will not quench
You heal us for your glory’s sake
Pouring peace on the man who repents

The Lord has been gentle, so gentle to me
His Lovingkindness is all I see
He sends me love notes from heaven above
And nothing shall separate us from His love.

You enter into that violated place
And shed abroad your glorious grace
On eyes that have not more tears to weep
A place where the brokenness is deep
These gates you enter and reveal
The marvelous myst’ry by which we are healed.

The Lord has been gentle, so gentle to me
Lovingkindness is all I see
He sends me love notes from heaven above
And nothing shall separate us from His love.

Anthony and Earnestine Foster
December 19, 2010

Gospel Trust

Trust his timing, trust his plan
Trust when you don’t understand
The fullness of time has surely come
And God sends forth his only begotten son
Fulfillment of the story of Israel
Messiah is our Emmanuel

This is the good news that we tell
Redemption comes from slavery’s chains
The more sure word has splintered hell
And freedom’s foundation he ordains.

The more desperate our need
The more joyful our joy
The righteous branch from the woman’s seed
Has come to us as a baby boy.
The dungeon’s depth from which we are freed
Reservoir of grace sees death destroyed

This is the good news that we tell
And so His loss becomes our gain
The resurrection now has rent the veil
And bold redemption Christ proclaims.


Anthony Foster
December 19, 2010

Starburst of Incarnation

You arose from an obscure birth
You arose through the weight of life on earth
You were raised up and crucified
And arose from the dust of death when you died

There is nothing that can hold you
Nothing that can bind the living stone
No power on earth constrains you
The exalted lamb upon the throne

God most high came down
To live among your enemies
To dwell among creation’s crown
And to die from hatred's dread disease.

Starburst of incarnation
Shine upon your creation
Light of the World make the darkness flee
Light of the World come reign in me.

As Moses lifted up in the wilderness
The serpent image of Israels’ distress
Whosoever believes
In the lifted one receives
Healing from His wounded righteousness.

So we lift up the broken bread
So we lift up the crimson cup
We are no longer dead
And we are lifted up
And we are lifted up.

Starburst of incarnation
Shine upon your creation
Light of the World make the darkness flee
Light of the World come reign in me.

For our transgressions pierced
Oh wounded majesty
You were crushed for our iniquity
The glory of the Lord has been revealed
And by your wounds By your wounds
By your wounds we are healed

Starburst of incarnation
Shine upon your creation
Light of the World make the darkness flee
Light of the World come reign in me.


Anthony and Earnestine Foster
December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader-Review

In the third installment of the Chronicles of Narnia, we are taken up with the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This is an archetypal questing story. At the beginning of the story, the two youngest Pevensie siblings are left with obnoxious cousin Eustace Scrubb, who generally makes life for them miserable. All three children are swept away into Narnia though the portal of a painting of the venturing ship. Finding themselves adrift in an ocean, they are conveniently rescued by the crew of the Dawn Treader which is passing by.

Lucy and Edmund discover that the ship is inhabited by Narnians from a few years after their last adventure, and among them is King Caspian, who is on a journey to retrieve seven lords of Narnia who were exiled during the reign of his evil uncle Miraz. One of the weaker features of the film is that we are never quite sure about the gravity of the quest, or its clear purpose. It would have been accurate to play up some of the allegory at this point, whether is be of a King leaving his kingdom to search for lost subjects, or the idea and imagery behind the seven swords given by Aslan to protect Narnia.

For the most part, the Hollywood version of the text works pretty well as far as it goes. This story had to be difficult to translate to the film medium. It could have been done better, especially if the omission of a couple of key story lines that were in fact, changed from the original, had been faithfully interpreted. Importantly, both of these story elements centered on the grand Lewisan (and bibllical) theme of redemption. The rest of this review will be concerned with those changes, which I have not yet been able to fathom a valid rationale for.

At the first of the movie, we find Lord Bern occupying the same prison Caspian and Edmund are cast into. In the text it is Bern who redeems Caspian from the slave market. Then the governor of the Lone Island is sought out, deposed, and Bern is made new ruler of the region. This establishment of authority over the lands Caspian encounters is curiously missing in the film. the rest of the cast is involved in the rescue of the captives from the slavers at this point. When they board the Dawn Treader, Eustace wants complains incessantly, much like Israel wandering in the Wilderness.

Again a major change in Lewis' story is imposed at the end. In the book, when the captives from the Lone Island are set free, it is by virtue of one who gives his life for them- Reepicheep. In the movie, he rows to Aslan’s Country, but the redemptive strain of the action is totally missing. He is admitted because he has a valorous heart, according to Aslan. This is another unnecessary and not so subtle change in the text, and in the theological construct behind it.

It is understood that the story might have come across as a bit boring without some of the embellishment of the more sensational features and creatures in the book. I would posit, however, that the missing allegorical features would have made the story stronger if they had been left intact. Not sure how the Narnia policeman, Doug Gresham, missed all these.

At the Burnt Island the ironic imagery of one (Lord Restimar) who immerses himself in water to obtain worldly gain and is turned into literal gold is mostly lost in the film. The evil magician is recast into a kindly benefactor, not one sending the questers to danger and potential doom as he had sent the seven Lords before them.

More missing features of the story left unrequieted holes in the movie plot that where wholly unnecessary. It makes one wonder if the director read the book deeply. Aslan’s appearance to Caspian is missing, and I was unable to discern the message from the fallen star Ramandu to the crew. I must have blinked. In the book, Lord Octesian is supposed to have been the dragon whose treasure Eustace chances upon and pilfers. The image of Eustace as a dragon desperately clawing to remove his dragons’ scales and having them grow back was played down, and rather than have Aslan rip the covering from him, we see a slight pawing at sand and then a roar from the great lion transforms Eustace back into a human being. At least the element of Eustace’s total inability to free himself from his state of being was held mostly intact. Finally, I cannot fathom why, at the end, when Aslan appears it is not as a lamb who transforms into a lion, but as the same Aslan we see elsewhere.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Joy to the World

This verse just struck me between the marrow and the bone-

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.

My prayer is that OUR NATION will be made to prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of His love this Christmas. It has to start with my heart and your heart, one heart at a time, and it has to be perpetual.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sing to My Bones

In my wilderness a voice cries out
It’s preparing my way even now
It sweeps out leaven and casts out doubt
Sets my face like a flint as I vow

To examine my heart and enact
All these lessons I’ve learned from the start
I am bound in a covenant pact
To the one who is searching my heart

He will sing to my bones and they will dance
I encounter the joy that only Christ grants
Fill that God-shaped space you carved out in me
Hallow this hollow heart and set me free.

In the aching marrow of my soul
Mystic music ascends from the deep
It resounds in the uttermost flickering coal
As the melody rises the embers now leap

And a harmony holy and happy and true
Sourced by life’s righteous fountain above
Flows forth and dry bones are born anew
And prove the wonders of your love.

There are songs that the Spirit writes
Writ on tablet of hearts that are contrite
They emerge from the marrow and sing to my bones
Profound praises where Christ is enthroned

Deep is now crying unto deep
For the glory the Spirit now groans
Inexpressible prayers take root in the weak
And break forth as You sing to my bones.

As You sing to my bones then they will dance
I encounter the joy that only Christ grants
Fill that God-shaped space you carved out in me
Hallow my hollow heart and set me free.

Anthony Foster
December 3, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Song

Thanks be to our God and Father
Thanks be to the Lord
Our gratitude will be our mark
Our praise will be outpoured

Thanks be for what You've done
Thanks be for what You're going to do
Thanks be for what You are doing now
Thank You, thank You, Thank You

Thanks be for our blessings
Thanks be for Your Light
Thanks be for our sufferings
Lord thank you for new sight

Thanks be for what You've done
Thanks be for what You're going to do
Thanks be for what You are doing now
Thank You, thank You, Thank You

Anthony Foster
November 25, 2010

How could I be without you?

Who would I be, where would I be
How could I be without you?
Righteous sufferer, you did not please yourself
You would not have your own way
Reproached Savior, You gave away your wealth
You gave yourself away.

Servant to the circumcision
Manifest there on your cross
Cut off completely from the Father
Forsaken, all but lost

Their supreme weapon was killing,
But your supreme weapon was dying
Despising the shame, you were willing
To once for all be death defying

Who would I be, where would I be
How could I be without you?
Who would I be, where would I be
How could I be without you?

Anthony Foster
November 28, 2010

Goodness and Mercy

Follow me all of my days
All of my days a sacrifice of praise
Hallow me, oh Hallow me
Consecrate my life fully
Only Lord to Thee…

Make me good and make me merciful
For your good news it is beautiful
As in your courts forever I dwell
Of your goodness and mercy Lord I will tell

Follow me all of my days
All of my days a sacrifice of praise
Hallow me, oh Hallow me
Consecrate my life fully
Only Lord to Thee…

I will proclaim you from the housetops
Declare your truth in the light
I will sing for your mercy never stops
Your goodness is ever in sight

Follow me all of my days
All of my days a sacrifice of praise
Hallow me, oh Hallow me
Consecrate my life fully
Only Lord to Thee…

Anthony Foster
November 28, 2010

Render Me Righteous

Strip away all but your grace
Bring your truth to light in my face
Distill my heart till my conscience is cured
Render me righteous and make me pure
Being me to the holy state
Rectify my wrongness as on you I wait

I relinquish and yield
And then I am healed
Submit and surrender,
As I come now to render
That which belongs to you
Make me faithful and true
For my all in all to you is due

I present myself a living sacrifice
You find me acceptable, it will suffice
All to you I owe. Everything I know
Render me righteous, your image to show.

Unfetter and loose me
Convert and reduce me
Until I am holy and pure
Render me righteous that I may endure.
The altar-fire take me through
Make me faithful and true
For my all in all to you is due

Anthony Foster
November 28, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

We Are Not Our Own

We are not our own, we are not our own.
We are bought with a price, we are not our own.
All our possessions threaten to possess us
And all our politics and plans rot us to the bone
But all our loss can become gain
E’re dung becomes our throne
We are set free when we believe
That we are not our own.

Some will mark their bodies and some will pursue wealth
Some will end up in the ditch and lose their minds or health
For each one goes their own way but we’ll reap what we have sown
To live is Christ and to die is gain for we are not our own.

Each man does what he thinks
Is right in his own mind
And there’s no room for God in that space
We seek what we really want to find
Our selves we seek to realize
Our selves we seek to save
But there’s no light within our eyes
Who are bound up in the grave
We don’t need to be better
We need the source of life alone
Who frees us from our fetters
For we are not our own.

We are not our own, we are not our own
We are redeemed and reconciled and God is on the throne
We are not our own, no we are not our own
We’re his esteemed, beloved child
Bought with a price
Saved by his sacrifice
Purchased and made right
And we are not our own.

Anthony Foster
November 23, 2010

No Other Name

He was forsaken, forgiven are we
He was cast down so raised up we could see
He was bound over to sin and the law
Picked up a cross and then laid down His all.

Despising the shame
Bearing our blame
Now his name is above
Every other name
No other name under heaven
No other name is given
From age to age the same
He has the words of life we can know
There is none other to whom we can go.

Anthony Foster
November 23, 2010

Astonished

I will ever be astonished I will ever stand in awe
That though I should have been punished, under judgment of the law
We wear glory on our faces now so let the Lord be praised
I stand amazed, I stand amazed, I stand amazed.

Grateful for the gift of living
Grateful for the gift of grace
Grateful to be found repenting
Raised by falling on my face

A prodigal with no remorse
A sinner who loved sin
An enemy who hates his source
A loser who could never win

I stand astonished, I stand in awe
That the Lord of all glory, the lamb without flaw
Travelled far beyond time and split apart space
To reach down and draw us up into His grace

He who is perfect and holy and just
Chose us from the foundation of this world to trust
To live and to move and In Christ to be
Bearers of His image and bound to be free.

Anthony Foster
November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lachrymatory


In our laments we're tossed about
All the sorrows, all the tears
Of our wanderings You have taken account
A wasted wilderness of years.


A remnant of the battle
Though they flow as Jordan rolls
Put our tears in Your bottle.
Are they not found in Your scroll?

A memorial of sorrow
The drops fall from our eyes
Though they cut us to the marrow
They are changed into a prize

In the days of our pilgrimage
In the days of our sojourn
In the devastating damage
There are lessons we must learn

Christ receives our tears
And stores them to his keep
We forget our fondest fears
And in supplication weep

For as the teardrops flow
Our contrition he’ll employ
For as he receives our tears
He returns them as pure joy.

So let mourning turn to dancing
Lamentation turns to praise
Sorrow turns to sustinence
As we turn our eyes to gaze

On the glory of the suffering
In the fellowship of pain
In the surety of the savior
Who turns our loss to gain.

Anthony Foster
November 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sacred Scars

There’s a fellowship of suffering and a living sacrifice
A once forever offering, pain that paid a perfect price
His sacred scars still testify
To the Way that we are justified
They still witness to the wounding of the consecrated lamb
And though he died he stood up so now on His blood we stand.

Jesus bears the wounds inflicted by this world and by our ways
And they witness to the finished work accomplished the third day
Marks of men from which Jesus died,
Borne on head, hands, feet, and his side
Now the fellowship of suff’ring bears a sign that sanctifies
For our righteous, wounded healer shall forever testify.

Jesus was forsaken so we are forgiven
His life was taken and so now we are living
We’re mourning for the murder of the Morningstar.
And we see a sign and seal in the sacred scars

So flee to the consecrated cross and flee from your precious pride
Flee to the cross where sin and shame and the bread of heaven died
By His stripes we are truly healed
By His blood the judgment’s sealed
Faithful are His wounds and we are resolved to never forget
We are all called to remember and repent without regret.

We who were drawn near to him while we were wand’ring off afar
Now we rest within the wounds hidden under the sacred scars.
He was wounded for our iniquity
When we were yet his enemy
There is wonder in the wounding of the mighty Morningstar
His loss becomes our glorious gain as we see the sacred scars

He draws us to his wounded side --all who enter in abide.
There is healing in the hearing of a word that testifies
To the wonder and the mighty sign
Of the Morningstar who shines.
After dying he was raised up by a glory of his own
Glory that's now shed abroad on those on whom this light has shown.

So let not your heart be troubled, let your soul be unashamed
He bore our blame so now His name’s above every other name
Our suffering servant has died
And so in His refuge we may hide
We will make much of his sacrifice upon the rugged tree
And we shall make much more of his overcoming victory!

Jesus was forsaken so we are forgiven
His life was taken and so now we are living
We’re rejoicing for the rising of the Morningstar.
And we see a sign and seal in the sacred scars


Anthony Foster
October 26, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NAPCE Presentation

Dr. Anthony Foster's presentation from October 22, 2010 at the NAPCE Conference,
The Leadership Curriculum, is located HERE.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Joy Is Growing In A Barren Land

God has shown kindness
By removing our blindness
Surely as the night gives sway
To another glorious day

Sure as the rain falls from heaven’s skies
Crops in their season shall arise
And as the tears fall from sadness
Soon our hearts will bring forth gladness

For joy is growing in a barren land
And peace is pervading this place
Blessedness rains down from His gracious hand
And in this desert’s an oasis of grace
Righteousness is flowing here where we stand
And joy is growing in a barren land.

God in His mercy has shown
All of the glory that can be known
His Son turns our mourning into a dance
And our grief gives way to a holy romance

Our rocky soil is raised as it’s tilled
All of its low places shall be filled
Flooded by living water from above
For it flows down from heaven in love

Now joy is growing in a barren land
And peace is pervading this place
Blessedness rains down from His gracious hand
And this desert’s an oasis of grace
Forgiveness is flowing at God’s command
And joy is growing in a barren land.

We were all a wilderness, lifeless parched and dry
Void of rivers running deep except for the tears we’d cried
But He has delivered us from our distress and raised our souls on High.
So we are called now to confess the Name of the Most High….

Now joy is growing in a barren land
And peace is pervading this place
Blessedness rains down from His gracious hand
And in this desert there's an ocean of grace
Forgiveness is flowing at God’s command
And joy is growing in a barren land.


Anthony Foster
October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Consecration

The consecrated living way
Abides forevermore
The Holy One has made a path
A way to enter Heaven’s Door

We long to give Christ all our hearts
We devote our lives to You alone
The obedience of faith impart,
So consecrate us as your own!

This is true worship as we become
The holiness of the Holy One

Lord, consecrate our lives to You
Align our souls in one accord
Our pure devotion now is due
To our Holy, Most High Lord!

This is true worship as we become
Devoted to the Holy One!

Consecration, devotion, obedience
Made for the noble purpose of His presence!

Oh Lord, be our supreme desire
As your holiness we now confess
This is what holiness requires
You become our Righteousness

This is true worship as we become
The likeness of the Holy One.

Anthony Foster
October 20, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bold Humility

Boldly is the way we come
Faultless, without blame
For our Lord’s finished work is done
And we are unashamed.

Humbly at his feet we bow
We will not be cast out now
Here we declare His worth
In heaven and on earth

For at the throne His presence reigns
And all that’s hidden comes in view
Purifying glory attains
And hearts are changed, made new.

The truth of Your matchless worth
Known in heaven is revealed on Earth
The revelation of what is True
Makes us want to worship You.

Humbly at his feet we bow
We will not be cast out now
Here we declare His worth
In heaven and on earth

Human language cannot describe
The majesty that reigns on High
That glory now indwells these walls
The hearts of those the Spirit calls

Humbly at his feet we bow
We will not be cast out now
Here we declare His worth
In heaven and on earth

Anthony Foster
October 13, 2010

The Naphash Stream

Every hungry starving soul that feeds upon the Word
Bring your yearning to be whole, reject the lies you’ve heard
You who pant for living streams, who thirst for heaven’s dew
There is water here to redeem your dreams, and a better hope renew.

Rich provision, taste and see
The goodness of the Lord’s glory
Revealed in the fountain
That flows from the mountain to the sea.
Springs that never run dry
Shall run through you and me.
Rich provision full and free
The goodness of the Lord’s glory
Revealed in the bread
By which the body’s fed
Bread made from grain
That was milled for you and me.

You who thirst for an oasis in a dry and weary land
Bring your parched tongues, burned by the searing sands
And drink a draught of living water from this flow
Drench your thirst in The Naphash stream, then tell all that you know

Rich provision, taste and see
The goodness of the Lord’s glory
Revealed in the fountain
That flows from the mountain to the sea.
Springs that never run dry
Shall run through you and me.
Rich provision full and free
The goodness of the Lord’s glory
Revealed in the bread
By which the body’s fed
Bread made from grain
That was milled for you and me.

Anthony Foster
October 13, 2010

Cover Up

Buried in the depths of dust
Covered by miry clay
Captives of a dismal tomb
Yearn for the light of day
O’er whelmed by sin’s landslide
A covering that kills
A darkness where there’s nowhere to hide
Raised up against God’s will.

You can pray for mountains to fall
Or an avalanche to cover you all
You can pray to be washed away in a flood
But there is nothing but the beloved’s blood.

There is no garment you can weave
No skin of animals, no coat of leaves
To cover over the sin you love
There is nothing but the beloved’s blood.

You can pray to be swallowed by the earth
Or cast yourself in the sea
You can change your name, for what it’s worth
But you can’t change your identity
For the one who made you knows you
As He knows the hearts of man
He’s the only one who’ll show you
Who you are and what He’s planned

Anthony Foster
October 13, 2010

The Love of Jesus

Oh the love of Jesus is a fire
That warms the heart in its glow
Its flame envelops our desire
And burns the haughty soul

Oh the love of Jesus is a flood
Covering a multitude of sin
In love he poured out his lifeblood
Many sons of glory to win.

The love of Jesus is a wind
A storm that yearns to blow
It boils and breathes and enters in
To sweep the leaven from our souls.

The love of Jesus is a rock
Upon which we would stand
A mighty refuge for His flock
In a world of shifting sand.

Oh Love of Jesus draw me near
Perfect love that casts out fear
Nothing can separate us from
The love by which we’re overcome.

Anthony Foster
October 13, 2010

A Mighty Prayer

Oh Jesus deliver me
From evil and my schemes
And may your deliverance be seen
In the change you make in me
Save me from what I want to fix
From my inferior dreams
Save me from settling for less
From living beneath my privilege
Rescue me from my dangerous mind
Redeem my wasted moments of time

Restore me to right reckoning
Show me the value I disdain
Your holiness is beckoning
Give me vision to pursue what is plain
Make it obvious to me what you ordain.

Show me your way, guide me today
Give me the wisdom, I hunger and pray
Make my prayers a hunger
Make my desires a holy thirst
Only you can quench when I seek you first
I want you more than anything
I want to bless you alone
Put you before all others
Every moment I have known
Help me to clearly see
Make your will obvious to me!

Anthony Foster
October 13, 2010

There is Honey in the Rock

There is honey in the rock
For mercy is so sweet
The uncut stone not formed by hands
Now rests on mercy’s seat
Waters of Meribah made me thirst to know
Waters of Merom- and rock from which it flows

The place carved out for me to hide
Machpelah beckons me inside
So I will lay me low within its cleft
Hide my soul within its rift
Cast my life upon the cornerstone
The rejected rock, a tower and throne

Set my feet on the rock and save me from doom
A landslide of love will cover me
For this rock still rolls the stone from my tomb
Consecrated stone I hide in Thee.

Honey in the Rock
Honey in the Rock
Honey in the Rock
Honey in the Rock

Anthony Foster
October 14, 2010

Stone of Heaven

Sweep out all the leaven
That defiles this holy place
Break me on the stone of heaven
Make me a temple of grace.

Redeem all the rocks I have thrown
Rebuild my life stone upon stone
One on another an altar is raised
These stones of remembrance
Will declare your praise.

Raise up the Ebenezer now
A mighty memorial erect
In its shadows memories and vows
Both come to mind as they intersect
I need your wisdom to form my walls
I need your tower strong and tall
To form the ramparts of my defense
You will build unshakeable confidence

So fall on me oh Stone of Heaven
Righteous Rock crush my deceit
Forgive me seventy times seven
Make me a footstool for your feet

Sweep out all the leaven
That defiles this holy place
Break me on the Stone of Heaven
Make me a temple of Grace.

Anthony Foster
October 13, 2010

Repentance

There is a grieving in my heart
For the wasted opportunities
That never bore fruit in their season
They were consumed in vanity.

Forgive me Lord and take control
Lord forgive me for the hardness
That you find here in my soul
Restore me Lord and make me whole

Break my heart and rend my veil
I have sought my soul to shield
I am not faithful, am not true
So help me fully yield myself to You.

I have cast my heart before the swine
To eat the slop that this world serves
I have desecrated this holy place
By casting my eyes on the dark and disturbed.

So purify this hard heart
Consecrate this muddled mind
Empower my poor spirit
And destroy the chains that bind

Break my heart and rend my veil
I have sought my soul to shield
I am not faithful, am not true
So help me fully yield myself to You.

Anthony Foster
October 13, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Refugee

Long, long is the way from home
This side of the fall
Dark, dark is the path I’m on
Who will hear my call?

A runaway from justice
Believing I could hide
There’s no covert operation
Under God’s all seeing eye.

I will take refuge in my righteous rock
I will refuge in the cave of your heart
In the tower you build my soul shall sing
My home and hearth will be your sheltering wings
Your city of refuge is where I long to stay
You are the safe place for my wandering soul today.

No longer prone to wander
But prone to long after You
Prone to pursue your presence
United with the faithful and True.

I will take refuge in my righteous rock
I will refuge in the cave of your heart
In the tower you build my soul shall sing
My home and hearth will be your sheltering wings
Your city of refuge is where I long to stay
You are the safe place for my wandering soul today.

October 9, 2010
Anthony Foster

He will Clothe My Bones in Glory

When I die they will lay me low
Though my tomb be consecrated
Yet I am leaving, going home
I will have vacated.

When I die I’ll enter in
To my shelter from all harm
Hope will never die with me
Refuged in my Jesus’ arms

Consolation of the dead
Found in my own living Head
Sure salvation to those who believe
And breathe and move and live
This is what I am living for
The grave becomes the door
No fear of death
While I breathe life’s breath
For the battle is the Lord’s

He will clothe my bones
He will clothe my bones
In glory when I go.
Better than a chariot of fire
Will be the body that is higher
Than what I now can see
And my foot will be set free
From this world’s mire.

October 9, 2010
Anthony Foster

Breathe Deep

Breathe deep the breath of life
And breathing you shall live
The Spirit of Christ indwells us
And sustains the life He gives.

Break now the bread of life
And eating you shall live
The body of Christ receives us
And returns the life we give.

Our hearts now beat
Our minds will learn
His strength we seek
As our souls yearn
For the very breath of life
In the very bread of life.

Breath deep the breath of life
It overpowers death
Receive the bread of life
And deliverance from wrath

Our hearts now beat
Our minds will learn
His strength we seek
As our souls yearn
For the very breath of life
In the very bread of life.

October 9, 2010
Anthony Foster

A New Creation

We are regenerated and new
The old passed away and all credit is due
To the one who gives purpose and worth
The sovereign Lord of new birth

Transformed into glory
In our innermost parts
Conformed to your likeness
Keeping beat with your heart
Make us a mirror, give us your face
A face filled with glory, a face showing grace
May we be conformed to you in all we do
Transform our likeness to the image of You.

A new creation is truly new
We are now more than human
We are faithful and true
By the power that indwells us
By our captain of souls
By the Word that now tells us
We are complete and whole.

October 9, 2010
Anthony Foster

Tree of Life

The tree of life my soul has seen
Laden with fruit and evergreen
God has made a garden in this place
And a fertile field yields a harvest of grace.

Now we shall bear much precious fruit
For it springs from the righteous root
At his command we set hands to plough
And we will never turn back now

We are the workman and we are the field
But he gives the seed that has been revealed
He give us strength our soils to till
And we give increase as we do His will.

The tree of life my soul has found
And now I live by the fruit that abounds
God has supplied my every need
It springs forth from the woman’s seed.

October 8, 2010
Anthony Foster

Divine Comedy

Justice and mercy now kiss
Righteousness and peace embrace
Dust and starlight mingle in bliss
As heaven inhabits this place
So Man and Maker may coexist
Where justice and mercy kiss.

You cast our sins to the depths
As you reach down into our souls
Now in your song we catch our breath
And the broken image is made whole
For you have raised us up from death
And delivered us from wrath.

And so my soul takes courage
And though my heart takes strength
My mind can never comprehend
The height and depth and length
Of the lovingkindness without end!

Justice and mercy now kiss
Righteousness and peace embrace
Saved from the wrath and abyss
To become holy vessels of grace
We were created for this…
For justice and mercy kiss.

October 8, 2010
Anthony Foster

Heart Beat

Reshape and reform and replace
Reconcile our divergence from grace
Change and transform us
Shape and conform us
Until we see you face to face
You are the standard
Your likeness convey
For you are the potter
And we are the clay.

The beat of your hammer
On anvils of toil
There you shape our being
You are forging our souls
We are chas-ed and tempered
As a work of your art
By the beat of your hammer
And the beat of your heart.

Reshape and reform and replace
Reconcile our divergence from grace
Change and transform us
Shape and conform us
Until we see you face to face
You are the standard
Your likeness impart
For you are the sculptor
And we are your art.

October 8, 2010
Anthony Foster

Majesty On High

God has spoken fully and the work is done
God has spoken finally in His beloved Son
Heir of all things- the radiance of glory
He is Creation’s source and the end of God’s story

Oh Majesty on High
Oh Majesty on High
Come lift our hearts
As we cast our eyes
On the majesty on High!

By the word of His power he sustains all things
He cleanses us from sin by his perfect suffering
So in Christ we live and in Christ we die
He sits at the right hand of the majesty on high

Better than prophets, better than angels
On the right hand of the Majesty on High!
Better than Moses, Better than Aaron
Keep us anchored to the Majesty on High!

So let us not drift for the anchor is sure
Let us not doubt for the anchor’s secure
The more sure word is the anchor of our souls
Christ will keep our life for the anchor holds!

October 8, 2010
Anthony Foster

Throne of Grace

We have a great high priest who is wise
Who has passed through the heavenlies
When we are weak he will sympathize
Tempted in every way but without sin is he
And he never dies, he never dies
He sits on the throne of grace

Therefore let us approach with confidence
The throne of grace where he reigns
Our great high priest will be our defense
So mercy’s received and grace attains
For the weary soul that repents…
Before the throne of grace

No blood of birds or bulls or goats
There is only one sacrifice
Just as Adam and Eve received the coats
Only one covering lamb will suffice
Only one intercessor, Only One priest
Who offers his own blood and on his flesh we feast
Certain his redemption will mean our release
Before the throne of grace.

Oh throne of grace where mercy sweet
Flows down from on the the mercy seat
Where justice and mercy finally meet
Upon the throne of grace

Oh throne of grace where Christ alone
Now rules and glory is made known
Oh I would be a footstool for this throne
The very throne of grace.

October 8, 2010
Anthony Foster

Not By Might

It is not by might, not by Power
That the victory is finally ours
But by the Spirit of the Lord we overcome.
We are only dying dust
But in our Warrior we will trust
In our weakness it is done
Arise in strength in the One Son
For in Jesus every victory is won!

Not by power, not by might
By His Spirit fight the good fight
For in weakness mighty power is outpoured
Not by power, not by might
But His Spirit sets things right
So arise for the battle is the Lord’s

October 9, 2010
Anthony Foster

Monday, September 13, 2010

ShepherdsFest


ShepherdsFest was a big success this year. I initially expressed interest because I always like to support anything that I can come alongside related to Christians taking responsibility in the arts. I ended up actually exhibiting a number a pieces, from drawings to midsize sculptures (see two of them here). For its second year, it was well attended- I would guestimate 5000 people by midday. Not bad for an unseasonably warm weekend. I posted a mini-video on the Facebook site as well.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Temple Grandin


I bought this video on the recommendation of a friend. When I was checking out at Borders the sales clerk gushed over the movie.

A remarkable story of human intervention on par with The Miracle Worker. This is the story of an autistic child and the power of intentionality in bringing light to darkness. Rather than give up and heed the advice of experts a mother perseveresthrough the pain of pushing her child to reach what might otherwise be unimaginable goals. This is a great biopic- fascinating to the end- that reveals the details of the thought processes of the person it renders on the screen. It is filled with unexpected, but unsentimental emotional power.

Part of the power is the peeling of the onion that occurs as we are dropped into a life to encounter explanations and circumstances in situ.

It is also touchingly human to follow Temple’s development through challenges at every turn. She see the challenges as doors to go through to emerge on the other side. We can all learn and be inspired by her tenacity in the face of opposition and ignorance. The mother's role cannot be underestimated in this process. We hear her demand respect for her child who is "different, but not less." Indeed, Temple seems to have savant capabilities in visual thinking which she is able to leverage to compensate for her extreme dysfunction in verbal and social ability.

It is also a testimony to the power of teachers to provide a platform for transcendence to their pupils. In the case of Temple, her science teacher saw with sage eyes the potential of his very special student- “trust me, we know how special she is”. And this depiction of the power of deferring presuppositions is inspiring as well.

And yes, I was completely choked up by the celebratory ending, which also testifies to the profound worth of the film.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How I dood it.

Some of you have asked how I went about losing weight. I just got the most important news: my bloodwork came back and I nearly lowered my blood sugar to under 105- it is now 109 down from 155 in three months. Everything else is within acceptable range for the first time in probably 20 years.

For those who are asking how I did it, it was mainly the old fashioned way- caloric intake and output maintenance. I had a mixture of strategies, but key things were getting the Eat This Not That books (all of them) to help with grocery shopping and with eating out because we loves us our restaurants. Rocco Dispirito has a great cookbook called Now Eat This- both of these approaches give low calorie, good tasting alternatives that are reasonable and available. Also checking out the online calorie count sites for things at other restaurants.

Walking 1-2 miles on the treadmill at least 5 times a week is important to get the muscles toned. In the next phase I will have other exercises, but walking was all I did for the first 35 pounds.I didn't totally eliminate anything so I didn't obsess on not having sugar, fat, etc. I eat light 6 times a day- with 3 meals around 3-400 calories and 3 snacks not exceeding 300 calories total so I have not been hungry ONCE in the three months.But I am learning to count to 1500 calories in a general way without getting obsessive with it. It's more of an average of 1500 with some days 1800 and some days 1200.

God bless Splenda. There are many alternatives from Hershey's chocolate to ice cream to cookies to pickles to fruit cocktail sweetened with Splenda now. A banana and 2 Snackwell cookies is a great treat under 200 calories. Once in a while a McDonald's ice cream which is under 200 calories. Severely limit empty calories like Cokes. I still have Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet A&W occasionally but have even limited "diet foods" that are highly processed- they seem to make me retain fluids which is a killer at the weigh ins.

I weigh in a couple of times a week early in the morning and CHART it. That way I can make corrections, which has been the case several times. I always figure there is at least a 1 percent fluctuation to expect any given day in weight, so for me that means plus or minus 2.5 pounds. I don't worry if it's within that range when weighing at odd times. After a month the stomach shrinks to its intended size- about the size of your fist- and then it hurts to eat more than that.

Smaller plates help. Also only eating HALF of most anything I get at a restaurant- and the other half gets to be lunch the next day for either Earnie or myself. Grilled chicken and fish have been a staple. BUT another huge help from the Don't Eat This books has been the discovery of Chili's Old Timer Hamburger on a wheat bun with a side salad and lowfat honey mustard dressing for under 600 calories. This is my red meat fix as I don't like steak, which is also lowfat. The difference in a wheat versus white bun is incredible. Mustard and ketchup and dill pickles/peppers/onions are freebies.

Oscar Mayer thin sliced Turkey and Ham with 45 calories a serving (6 slices!) on 35 calorie veggie fiber bread has become a staple at lunch along with fresh tomatoes and baby spinach salads. Bob Evans veggie Omelet with fruit. There are several low calorie dressings out there by Vermont Farms that actually taste better than the high fat alternatives. Something hard to find locally is Marzatti's low fat honey mustard dressing. They have this at Cracker Barrell, but I had to load up on some when we were visiting friends in St. Louis last time as I cannot find it in the stores here. It's just about the only thing-salad with Marzatti's- I can eat at Cracker Barrell anymore- they won't even put calorie counts online because they load stuff with hidden fat and salt. Whole wheat, whole grain, fresh unprocessed stuff,are the ticket... very few potatoes and rice go into my mouth these days.

Drink plenty of water and go light if at all with the salt shaker, which causes fluid retention. I can gain weight eating very lowfat pretzels because of the salt..and I discovered Lays new light potato chips (75 calories a serving) that taste like the real thing, so there's another treat once in a while. But watch the salt there too.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

More Mp3

Added another collection of 16 song demo's written some years ago. It's my good intentions to start adding a few more every month as I can. With nearly 2000 songs written, this will likely take a lifetime to do.

Announcing

You may have noticed a new link over at the right called "Anthony's MP3 Songsite-beta."
It's beta because it has not been prettified yet. All the links are currently working, I think.These first 54 demo's are songs I wrote during a 40 day intensive Bible Study I did a few years back. Lyrics are at the old blogsite. As such, the quality is a bit uneven- some of the songs are pretty good, some mediocre, and some stink, imho. They give insight into the process of writing songs though, I think. Also my vocals and guitar wax and wane in regard to quality. You know, I think my voice is actually a bit better now than then.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kabod

Oh the glory set before your eye
Was a heavy weight and a means to fly
It sheds a grace that cannot be ignored
It makes me the raging love that is love’s reward.

Shine on our lives and make us aware
Of the profound power that we bear
Upon your Word and Will we wait
Help us to bear your glory’s weight.

Living to die and dying to live
We stand or fall by the power to forgive
So in your power we participate
Make us to bear your glory’s weight.

A furious and ferocious fire
A devastating draught of divine desire
Lord let it consume the haughty heart
There is no power that can tear us apart.

Fashion a fortress of forgiveness divine
Set us in a tower of your power’s design
We persevere, prevail and participate
As you make us bear your glory’s weight.

Anthony Foster
August 25, 2010

Blood-Bought Bride

We commit our hearts to thee
Bound to you we are set free
To love and to cherish and obey
We embrace your covenant today.

Protected in the mighty rock of offense
Bastion our spirits with love that never relents
Brand us with fervor to see you glorified
Make us the beautiful blood bought bride.

And nothing shall ever separate
Us from the love that is our fate
No power of heaven or on earth
Can change our heart of change your worth.

And so with the bridegroom we are one
One flesh, one spirit conformed to the Son
We betroth our souls to the One who died
Make us part of the beautiful blood bought Bride
The bridegroom draws us to His side
We are the beautiful blood bought bride.

Anthony Foster
August 25, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reduce Me To Love

Reduce and refine me
Put my idols behind me
Set my mind on things above
Reduce and refine me
Kindly remind me
What I am made for and made of
Jesus, reduce me to love.

For life will confound
Distract and leave bound
But your love will humble us
For your love simplifies
And in You pride dies.
And love becomes our trust.

Reduce me to love
Reduce me to love
Simple and pure
Love will endure.
Render my heart
Or rend it apart
Until my reason to be
Is to be conformed to Thee

Your raging love
Sears my soul of
Distraction and dross
Until gain becomes loss
When you become Lord
We become loves reward.
Jesus reduce me to love.
Jesus reduce me to love.

Anthony Foster
August 22, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We Name the Name

We declare the power of our strong and steadfast tower
We declare the glory that is age to age the same
He has risen from the grave and He is mighty to save
So we tell the story and we will name the Name.

For He is Jesus- the mighty King
Jesus is the name we sing
To Jesus all praise we will bring
We profess His honor and fame
And we will name the Name.

Filled with wonder, tearing Sin asunder
Heart’s beat and soul’s breath
Name that conquers Death
Darkness is driven out
And in its wake despair and doubt
So in His Name we live and move
And by His name we learn to love.

The Name of Jesus frees us from our sin
There is no other name and there has never been
A name that is our living head
A name that raises from the dead
The only name that is the hope of men
By His name we are forgiven and begin

To name the name of Jesus, Glorious Jesus
Jesus Mighty Jesus, Jesus Holy Jesus
Jesus is His name

We who are called by your Name
Who now stand without blemish or blame
Can only lift our eyes
We are the foolish made wise
One unholy mess who will confess
The One by whom we are named
The name above all names.

The Name of Jesus frees us from our sin
There is no other name and there has never been
A name that is our living head
A name that raises from the dead
The only name that is the hope of men
By His name we are forgiven and begin
To name the name of Jesus, Glorious Jesus
Jesus Mighty Jesus, Jesus Holy Jesus
Jesus is His name
For He is Jesus- the mighty King
Jesus is the name we sing
To Jesus all praise we will bring
We profess His honor and fame
And we will name the Name.


Anthony Foster
August 11, 2010

To Count the Cost

How will we fathom the profound price
Of an all sufficient sacrifice?
How do we count the terrible cost
Of our God hanging on a cruel cross?

Before the mystery profound
Before the Glory that is found
When all else is counted as a loss
We must count the cost, count the cost.

And how will we measure
The depths of Father’s pleasure
In bruising his beloved Son
So that we may be undone?
How can we ever hope to plumb
The depths of a grace that leaves us numb?

The cost that shows the power of
We strength of weakness bound in love.
How can we ever hope to count
The worth of wonders that surmount
Every other value in this Earth?
We can only start to ascribe worth
By falling down in mercy’s dew
We’ll not comprehend the shame he knew
For glory set before Him he endured the cross
How can we ever count the cost?
The wage of the work that redeems the lost
How can we ever count the cost?

Anthony Foster
August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Genealogies and spiritual heritage

The Apostle Paul admonishes us in 1 Timothy 1:4 not to "pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith." Again in Titus 3:9, "But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless." On the other hand the genealogy of Christ serves a purpose in the Scripture. At the very least we must not presume to rely in any way upon the righteousness of our ancestors to accord any merit to us in our walk. However I think it is proper to understand that we stand on the shoulders of giants and if we do we have a godly heritage that CAN inform how we walk as well.Recently I have bee doing a study of five pastors from the past hundred years of my ancestry who played a major role in the shaping of the spiritual landscape I now find myself in, as well as the upbringing I had in the Church. I have found that five local churches were founded and supported by family members, and five pastors of those churches were related to me as well. Then I ask myself- what have I been doing, or will I do, to continue that Kingdom impetus in my generation in this community? Is that a part of my calling from the Most High? These are not easy questions, but ones I must ask as I move forward with seeking the Lord's will.

Why Call Me Lord?

A voice comes to me, One I know well
Conviction is the story it must tell
To confront and rebuke and reprove it comes
To train me in righteousness till I am undone

"There is really only black and white
Not many shades of grey
There is only wrong and right
But you go your own way
If you don’t even trust my word
Why in My name do you pray?
Why do you call me Lord, Lord
And do not do the things that I say?"

"The only sacrifice that I desire
Is for you to do the things that I require
To do justly and love mercy
To love one another in charity
And from this wicked world to walk away
Why do you call me Lord, Lord
And do not do the things that I say?"

I hear the word fall on my hard heart
And I pray that it will break it apart
I want to do your will but I have gone far astray
Give me the faith and the power to stand and stay

"Your prayers they have become
A game that you play
I don’t want your sorry sacrifice
I want for you to trust and obey
Why do you call me Lord, Lord
And do not do the things that I say?
Why do you call me Lord, Lord
And do not do the things that I say?"


Luke 6:46
Anthony Foster
August 9, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thought for the Day

I am one unholy mess
Becoming perfect righteousness.

Christ forever intercedes

Golden bowls of incense pure
Outpoured before God’s throne
Prayers of the saints that e’re endure
To make his glory known.

So let us lift up holy hands
To glorify his name
For the one in whom his presence stands
Boldly without blame

Christ forever intercedes
He forever intercedes
His very blood he pleads
And He ever intercedes.

Out great high priest has prophecied
Our reigning King has bled and died
So in Christ we are crucified
In His resurrection we abide.

Healed by His stripes and Christ’s alone
The curse is broken, we are blessed
And standing boldly before His throne
In confidence and peace we rest.

The righteous prayer he hears and heeds
For his good pleasure’s sake
For grace and mercy intercedes
And lives, our chains to break

So transform every one of us
Make us more than dying dust
Though die we will and die we must
In hope eternal now we trust

Christ forever intercedes
He forever intercedes
His very blood he pleads
And He ever intercedes.

Anthony Foster
August 7, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Urgent Obedience

We so easily pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

To live and move and to have our being in Christ demands that we live in increasing alignment with His imperatives, found in His expressed will. There is no other way to joyful fulfillment of our purpose. He who would be great in the Kingdom must evidence the humility of the obedience of faith.

Without faith a man cannot please God, to be sure, but it is also true that the measure of God’s pleasure in His sovereign reign over His Kingdom is the rule of obedience. Each increment of that rule is an identification with Christ in his obedience or in His suffering, None of us stand in s state of stasis against that rule. This is a lesson taught in Gethsemani that still must be learned in each heart on a moment by moment basis. Pure submission to the authority of Christ is the only way forward into delight, and this must be effected with earnest fervor and urgency. There is no laissez-faire way to our destination.

Monday, July 26, 2010

When Loss is Gain...

I started a new way of eating May 22. I hesitate to call it a diet, as I am actually eating better and more than before, just being very aware of calories and adding more exercise to my lifestyle. It's working, as I have pulled off 27 pounds thus far, an average of three pounds a week. I have a long way to go, but I am encouraged! At this rate, Santa will need to bring a new wardrobe for Christmas.

Earnie has joined me in the quest and she has lost 17 pounds as well. You GO girl!

WHEN THE DAY OF TOIL IS DONE

The original words were written by John Ellerton in 1870.They still speak to me today, so I have adapted them to a new song.

When the day of toil is done,
When the race of life is run,
Father, grant your wearied one
Rest forevermore.

When the strife of sin is stilled,
When the foe within is killed,
Be your gracious Word fulfilled:
Peace forevermore.

When the darkness melts away
At the breaking of the day,
There where glory lights the way:
Light forevermore.

Lord, in Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Lord, in Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

When the heart by sorrow tried,
Feels at length its pain subside,
Bring us, where all tears are dried,
Joy forevermore.

When for vanished days we yearn,
Days that never can return,
Teach us in Your love to learn
Love forevermore.

When the breath of life has flown,
When the grave must claim its own,
May we live before your throne,
Life forevermore.

Lord, in Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Lord, in Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Music, new words, and chorus Anthony Foster
July 20, 2010

Lord Help Me Hear

So many voices fill this place
Lord shout your will out loud
Above the din I hear mercy and grace
Where before I heard only the crowd

Lord help me hear from you
For Your Word is True
You have spoken, it is clear
So now give me a listening ear
Lord help me hear, help me hear…

Every one that is of the truth hears your voice
So I want to make faith’s obedient choice
Help me your Covenant to keep
As I hear your cry within the deep

May there be no other voice
To distract me from your word
That beckons me to hear its noise
Or challenge the Truth I have heard

Lord help me hear from you
For Your Word is True
You have spoken, it is clear
So now give me a listening ear
Lord help me hear, help me hear…


Anthony Foster
July 25, 2010

Holy Hiding Place

Oh we wrestle then we rest
Try so hard to pass the test
Anxious spirits need Your grace
Here in our Holy hiding place

We’re exhausted by our best
Our self effort’s rarely blessed
We need to cease to state our case
And come to the Holy hiding place

We would cease to wrestle
As we seek to nestle
Safe beneath Your winsome wing
Here in peace we safely sing

Here Your perfect peace attains
Here our losses become gains
Where peace in righteous fullness reigns…

We will only cease the quest
When our weakness we’ve confessed
Retiring from the pace of the race
Here in our Holy hiding place

Oh we wrestle then we rest
By life’s turmoil we are stressed
We would fall in Christ’s embrace
Here in our Holy hiding place
Here we see God face to face
Here in our Holy hiding place.

Anthony Foster
Julay 23, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Oh For the Day

Lord in these days of darkness and doubt
Make our lips quick to confess and cry out
Profound and sincere repentance from deep in our heart
May we bring open eyes and hearing ears
From tender hearts may love cast out our fears
In the brightness and the glories of the cross set us apart.

For the darkness is blinding and the shadows are deep
Through the now and the not yet You are our keep.

Oh for the day when our faith becomes sight
Oh for the day when our souls cease to fight
Oh for the day undimmed glory shines bright
Oh for the day, oh for the day

Oh for the day all our Sins are confessed
Oh for the day -When we pass the last test
Oh for the day When Christ is fully blessed
Oh for the day He comes
Oh for the day Christ comes!

Oh for the day of glory divine
Oh for the day That we transcend all time
Oh for the day Sight comes to the blind
Oh for the day He comes
Oh for the day Christ comes!

Anthony Foster
June 27, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Standing in the Need of Grace

Here we are-casting our needs upon you
Here we are-confessing our deeds before you
As we go casting your seed- sowing it for you
Unto you and through you and to you alone.
Your forgiveness and mercy will forever overflow
And we can rest in this trustworthy truth that we know…

We are standing in the need of grace
Standing in the need of grace
Trusting in a risen savior to plead our case
Standing in the need of grace.

Standing- standing, standing in the need of grace…

Here we are- are casting our cares upon you
Here we are-casting our selves upon you
As we are casting our crowns before you
Unto you and through you and to you alone
Your lovingkindness will forever attain
And all we cast off will surely lead to our gain

We are standing in the need of grace
Standing in the need of grace
Trusting in a risen savior to plead our case
Standing in the need of grace.

Standing- standing, standing in the need of grace…


Anthony Foster
James 4:6, Titus 2:11
June 25, 2010

More

We already have your fervent favor
We already have your marvelous love
Our hearts are filled by your presence
But we will never get enough

The more we receive the more we perceive
And we see our desire increased
We taste and see that Christ is good indeed
So we would join the feast.

Forever hungering for all our Lord gives
Forever thirsting for the water that lives
A holy gluttony grows we are wholly satisfied
In a paradox of pleasure we forever abide

More, more of you, all that we can receive
More, we need more of you, so help us to perceive
The Presence you have secured for us before your holy throne
And let us boldly enter in to that place where we know as we’re known
We need more of you alone.

We would apprehend
With all the saints comprehend
what is the length and breadth
And height and depth,
And to know the love of Christ
which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up
to all the fullness of God.

More, more of you, all that we can receive
More, we need more of you, so help us to perceive
The Presence you have secured for us before your holy throne
And let us boldly enter in to that place where we know as we’re known
We need more of you alone.

Anthony Foster
Ephesians 3:19
June 25, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Treadmill of Faith

Put one foot in front of the other
One foot in front of the other
One foot in front of the other
Press on toward the mark

There is an upward calling
And there is a fear of falling
There is no point in stalling
Press on toward the mark.

The path is narrow The path is steep
The mountains are high and the valleys are deep
We rejoice with the rejoicing and weep with those who weep
As we press on step by step toward the mark.

Worthy is the way to walk
By one who’ll do more than just talk
The world is spinning as we balk
So press on toward the mark.

Step by step and case by case
Steady you must keep your pace
Till you come to that final place
Press on toward the mark

Don’t grow weary in well doing as onward you press
Each step a trial and a trust as we face every test
The sacrifice of sojourn leaves the traveller blessed
As we press on step by step toward the mark.
As we press on step by step toward the mark.
As we press on step by step toward the mark.

June 21, 2010
Anthony Foster

Oh You Souls Who Cling To Dust

Oh you souls who cling to dust
Oh you souls who shortchange grace
Live your privilege and trust
Christ would fuel a fiery faith.

Oh you souls who love your sinning
Oh you souls who go your way
Your end is closer than your beginning
Number yet another day.

Oh you souls who serve your passions
Oh you souls who discount worth
Why subsist on meager rations
Till your bones return to the earth?

Oh you souls turn now and waken
Come to Jesus lest you die.
Else you find your self forsaken
Dead and damned and wondering why.

Oh you souls who are heavy laden
Cast your burdens on His grace
May your hearts be truly gladdened
As you seek his glorious face.

Jesus, he will run to meet you
He will heal your sinsick soul
By his mercy grace will greet you
As you come, ye’ll be made whole.

June 21, 2010
Anthony Foster

Tomorrow's Song

The morning dew has fallen, the morning sun’s aglow
The whippoorwill is calling and the rooster starts to crow
The daylight is a –breaking over on the Eastern view
This morning is awakening seen by but a chosen few.

The advent of a new day
And a fresh start comes e’re long
The nigh has flown in dawn’s display
Till we sing tomorrow’s song
New every morning is your mercy to us
New every morning In you promise still we trust.

Great is your faithfulness Lord, Great is your mercy sweet
We savor each note in creations chord, our hearts follow every beat
The daybreak is a calling we’re reminded you are True
And when nighttime is a falling, there will follow days anew.

The advent of a new day
And a fresh start comes e’re long
The darkness flees in dawn’s display
Till we sing tomorrow’s song
New every morning is your mercy to us
New every morning In you promise still we trust.

Until one day when sunrise will no longer be required
The risen lamb will light our eyes and the sun shall be retired.
The new Jerusalem descends to abide eternity long
In the glory that shall never end we shall sing tomorrow's song!

Anthony Foster
June 21, 2010

Faith Becomes Sight

We shall walk by faith in a world dark and dreary
And sometimes we may stumble and sometimes we grow weary
Put one foot in front of the other as we walk in the light
As we walk by faith it becomes sight.


We walk in the footsteps of a living guide
And we journey a pathway where we must confide
In a Savior that’s unseen to show us what is right
As we walk by faith it becomes sight.

But Christ shall be our vision
And his Word is our light
He still mandates the mission
So we’ll fight the good fight
For our master has overcome
The battle is already won
And by faith we shall see it is done

Bye and bye all our blindness shall be wholly healed
And we’ll bask in the glory that is being revealed
And the darkness shall flee with the Son shining bright
We walk by faith that becomes sight
We walk by faith that becomes sight.

As we are sifted the veil becomes lifted
And what glorious sights we may see
We shall see, we shall see glory as we walk in the light
And our poor faith shall become sight
We walk by faith that becomes sight.

Anthony Foster
June 21, 2010

Nail Scarred Embrace

When I was a young man
I thought I had a plan
God took me to the desert
So I could find out who I am.
And then I saw the truth
And my deceitful youth
And devastated by reality
I cut a covenant that set me free.

I am no longer mine
My heart, my soul and mind
Are consecrated to the Living Lamb.
Now I live and move and breath
Though an outcast on my knees
I find myself delivered and not damned.

This sinners soul
Loves a spotless lamb
This hypocrite who is so unfit
I cast myslf and all I am
To depend on his mercy
I depend on His grace
Now I am held securely
In a nail scarred embrace.

June 21, 2010
Anthony Foster

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Holy Love

Can't believe it's been over ten years since I wrote this one...

Holy Love can heal a broken body
Holy peace can make the demons flee
Holy Joy releases sin's poor captives
And gives new strength to hearts set free

Holy fruit of the Spirit crowned with power
Crowned because God is the source alone
The fruit bears the seed that soon will flower
Into the greatest harvest we have known!

So the pot of the manna of your provision
And the resurrection life of Aaron's Rod
And the Tablets of law are our vision
Written on hearts prepared by our God!

Our hearts are the ark of your presence
Your covenant is kept within this place
Your presence goes with us where're we're carried
Our hearts are but vessels for your grace!

Anthony Foster
September 7,1999

Sunday, May 16, 2010

GRADitude

Here's the video from a major life event for the Fosters. We thank all our friends whose prayers have strengthened and sustained us on this five year journey to a terminal degree in Leadership, and say with great humility- Soli Deo Gloria!

Wonder in the Wilderness

In this desert wilderness
Every heart is parched and dry
Amidst the trials and the tests
We wander as we wonder why
In this barren wilderness
Where there’s nothing to sustain
The starving soul is left to guess
If life will still remain

There is a fountain and there is a feast
And there is a mountain rising in the East
Where the Savior shall stand when the trumpet shall sound
In a dry and weary land life will surely abound.
But till that day we shall confess
These lessons of the wilderness
And in the midst of this wasteland
A pillar of cloud and of fire sifts the sand
Christ’s presence still abides
In the heart that will seek Him as guide.

And Jesus floods our thirsting hearts
In a wilderness we are set apart
Jesus feeds our hungering souls
When His presence is our highest goal
Jesus fills our searching minds
And manna from heaven we will find
He feeds our faith when we confess
His wonder in the wilderness.

And Jesus floods our thirsting hearts
In a wilderness we are set apart
Jesus feeds our hungering souls
When His presence is our highest goal
Jesus fills our searching minds
And manna from heaven we will find
He feeds our faith when we confess
His wonder in the wilderness.

Anthony Foster
May 16, 2010

This memory verse is on the treadmill...

"He (Christ) is able to save to the uttermost those
who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to
make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25

Unto the Uttermost

Unto the uttermost the victory's won
Unto the uttermost for all who to Him come
He ever lives, ever intercedes for each of His own
Unto the uttermost-unto the uttermost His salvation is done

The Love of God is shed abroad
By his Spirit in our hearts
When we were weak he came to seek and to speak
And to vouchsafe the peace he imparts

What he started he will accomplish
That good work he began in you
He will perform it and make it complete
Till the day of Christ Jesus is due.

Unto the uttermost- He intercedes
Unto the uttermost His own blood He pleads
Unto the uttermost-He'll meet all our needs.
Unto the uttermost, unto the uttermost
We're freed indeed!

Unto the uttermost, He is able to save-
Unto the uttermost Even to the grave-
Unto the uttermost, He gave and gave
Unto the uttermost, unto the uttermost
Jesus will save!

Anthony Foster
March 24, 2006

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Flawed Logic

Trouble is, this makes all the sense in the world to some people I know.What the postmodern world needs most is a true way to reckon reality.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nature/Grace/Glory

Remove the sandals from your feet
To the land of milk and honey come and feast
We’ll only walk worthy when we find
We are walking in the light of His presence divine

So we tell the story
Nature to grace and glace to glory
We tell the old old story
Nature to grace and grace to glory
The power of Christ is changing lives
Do you want to be healed?
Then pray to the Lord He will make you wise
And the truth shall be revealed

How many times must I thrust my hand into his wounded side?
How many times has my wounded heart raised its head in pride?
Holy despair in our own self is hope’s best proving ground
For in our weakness He is strong and there’s where grace is found.

For he is tender to the weak
He will comfort all who seek
But those he loves he will chastise
For God is merciful and wise

So we tell the story
Nature to grace and glace to glory
We tell the old old story
Nature to grace and grace to glory
The power of Christ is changing lives
Do you want to be healed?
Then pray to the Lord He will make you wise
And the truth shall be revealed

Anthony Foster
April 18, 2010

There is None Other

There is none other who has the Word that will save
Where can we go? Where can we go?
There is none other who arose from the grave
Where can we go? Where can we go?

None other has come down from heaven to earth
Where can we go? Where can we go?
None other has the power to empower new birth
Where can we go? Where can we go?

None other, there is none other sacrifice
None other, none other than Christ
The living God displayed to us
The holy God conveyed to us
The most High God portrayed to us
None other than Jesus Christ.

None other has the righteousness to rend the veil.
Where can we go? Where can we go?
None other has the keys to death and to hell
Where can we go but to the Lord?

None other, there is none other sacrifice
None other, none other than Christ
The living God displayed to us
The holy God conveyed to us
The most High God portrayed to us
None other than Jesus Christ.

April 18, 2010
Anthony Foster

You Are I AM

Bread of Life in you we delight
Light of the world you give us sight
Door of our entry open wide
Good Shepherd be my only guide

You are I am,
You are I am
You are the first and the last
Beyond the future and the past
Source of reality
Our sufficiency
All found in you
You are faithful and true.

The way the truth and the life we’ve found
The resurrection and the life abounds
In our living vine we will abide
To your holiness we flee and hide

You are I am,
You are I am
You are the first and the last
Beyond the future and the past
Source of reality
Our sufficiency
All found in you
You are faithful and true.

Anthony Foster
April 17, 2010
John 6:35; 8:12;9:5;10:9; 10:11; 14:6; 15:1; 1 Pet 1:16; Rev 1:8; 19:11

Hallelujah Hallelujah

My eyes were blind but I thought I could see
And in my own miry mind I planned my destiny
My heart was chained but I thought I was free
Sought to have my way but that way had me

I was dead within my sin
Careless of the state that I was in
I was yet your enemy
When you bled and died for me

And then there came a time
There was once a place
It was by God’s design
An entry into Grace

It was not the counting of the cost
But by the devastating power of the cross
There I saw the love beyond my dreams
There I saw what lovingkindness means

All my guilt for all my Sin
All the wrath He bore
All my vain attempts to win
Shall bankrupt me no more

I was lost but now I’m found
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Once hellbent, I’m heaven bound
Hallelujah, hallelujah

It was not the counting of the cost
But by the devastating power of the cross
There I saw the love beyond my dreams
There I saw just what lovingkindness means

I was lost but now I’m found
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Once hellbent, I’m heaven bound
Hallelujah, hallelujah

Anthony Foster
April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Only Boast

There is no grace I have within
My self has nothing to commend
All that is in me all that I am
Alll that I own is in the Lamb

I have no goodness of my own
There’s naught in me but Christ alone
No other worthiness to claim
Except the faithful and true Name

I have no claim on purity
I have no claim on the holy
I have no lofty place to stand
I only plead the risen lamb

The lamb who was made sin for us
He bled and died to win for us
All we need to be reconciled
For he was righteous, undefiled

My only boast, my only aim
My only hope in In His name
My only cause, my only trust
Is in the One who calls me Just

Christ is my only place to stand
Two things are graven on his hands
His scars eternally remain
There alongside we read our names

So in that weakness now I boast
I am the least He is the most
All that I am, all I will be
Is hid in Him eternally

My only joy my only plea
Is in the lamb who died for me
My only choice is found in Christ
My security, his sacrifice

I have no words; I am defiled
He knows the weakness of this child
So I have fallen at his feet
My only boast, that I am weak.

My only boast, my only claim
Is in the power of His name
My only hope, my only plea
Is that His blood was shed for me

To live is Christ, To die is gain
So live for Christ while we remain
Our Master soon brings His reward
Our heritage be the Lord

My only plan, all I believe
All I have is what I received
My only boast, my only plea
Is that His blood was shed for me

Anthony Foster
April 16, 2010

Written in meditation this evening after a long week

Friday, April 16, 2010

Life and Death

Sin brings death, sin brings death
It will break your heart and steal your breath
For sin requires that blood be shed
You’ll never live till sin is dead.

Christ brings life, Christ brings life
By the pow’r of His One sacrifice
He laid life down and took it up
We are fed by His bread and cup

The author of life was crucified
And in his dying death has died
In His resurrection so we rise
A body that now never dies.
There is only one sacrifice, only one name
Only one deliverance from age to age the same
Only one refuge from the guilt and the blame
Only one Savior praise God that He came!

Sin brings death, Christ brings life
The cure for the sinsick souls’ strife
Forgiveness and Christ’s own righteousness
Are ours when His name we confess.

Christ brings life. Christ brings life
He shapes us with His pruning knife
To guide our growth and make us strong
To flower and bear good fruit e’re long.

April 16, 2010
Anthony Foster

Put in the Sickle

The seed that's in the wayside cast
Will never root and never last
The birds will snatch away the seed
For untilled ground is where they feed

The stony ground of a hard heart
Will receive the seed but will not start
To see it grow and soon it dies
When troubles come and fears arise

The thorny bramble will choke out
The seed cast there is crushed by doubt
But saving faith will bear much fruit
When life springs from Christ's righteous root.

The Spirit ploughs the stony ground
The Word of God the Tiller sounds
For man's heart is but fallow dust
But broken brambles yield forth trust

The seed that's sown now sprouts and grows
And how this happens no one knows
The Lord Himself sees that it is done
Put in the sickle, the harvest has come.

It is men's hearts that are the soil
And so the heart is where Christ toils
It is to us to sow the seed
For Christ provides all that you need

The seed that's sown now sprouts and grows
And how this happens no one knows
The Lord Himself sees that it is done
Put in the sickle, the harvest has come.

April 14, 2010
Anthony Foster
Written while attending a sermon by John MacArthur at T4G

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beardification and Credibility

News of a new study that says beards make men seem more trustworthy. Or in the case of number 6, more like a bassett hound.

T4G

This has been an excellent conference- sorry I had to cut it short to get back to pressing matters at work.

This was denoted as the largest gathering of Southern Baptist pastors of the year, but it was noted that this is also the largest PCA and Sovereign Grace pastors' conference as well. Lots of ladies there too and many of the folks I spoke with were not pastors or on a church staff.

We almost didn't drive back to the Convention Center last evening for the session, but I am so glad we did. Linked up with Stephen Keene and Rob Turner. It was so good to sit with those dear brothers in the midst of the crowd. Been to a load of conferences through the years but this one will be memorable. R. C. Sproul yesterday, John MacArthur this morning and Piper tonight. I was hungry for good spiritual food. You can get this in the comfort of home over the internet, but being there live with 7000 plus and seeing friends in the process is much better in every way...except for the inconvenience of Louisville drivers:-(

I listen to quite a lot of John Piper and have read most of his major works, so just when I think I've heard most of what he has to say, he pulls out one of those sermons that will be a watershed for me for years to come. It'll be on the T4G site after the conference and I will link to it here.Scroll down the page once there!