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