August 26, 2009

John Newton hymning on Prayer

this Sunday, Pastor Drew is preaching from Matthew 6 on the Lord's Prayer. if you didn't catch his post about how well you know the Lord's Prayer, check it out here.

one of the quotes from this week's reflection is taken from a hymn by John Newton. the first line is a beautiful invitation: "Come, my soul, thy suit prepare". the hymn provides us with wonderful guidance in the posture of prayer (see full text below).

I'm a firm believer that the second most important book in a Christian's library is a hymnal, and this text demonstrates this superbly. as with the Biblical Psalms, hymns give voice to the heart of the worshiper. not only that, they teach us the language of prayer. regularly supplementing your study of the Bible with reflection upon hymn texts is a prescription for a healthy devotional life.

Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare
available in Trinity Hymnal #628 (1990 edition)

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare;
Jesus loves to answer prayer;
He himself has bid thee pray,
Therefore will not say thee, Nay.

Thou art coming to a King:
Large petitions with thee bring;
For his grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.

With my burden I begin:
Lord, remove this load of sin;
Let thy blood, for sinners spilt,
Set my conscience free from guilt.

Lord, I come to thee for rest;
Take possession of my breast;
There thy blood-bought right maintain,
And without a rival reign.

While I am a pilgrim here,
Let thy love my spirit cheer;
As my guide, my guard, my friend,
Lead me to my journey's end.

Show me what I have to do;
Every hour my strength renew;
Let me live a life of faith;
Let me die thy people's death.

More information at
Full text of Newton's "Olney Hymns"

August 12, 2009

eat this film

this summer, we've been going through a series of film discussions I've called Eat This Film. we've watched and discussed films that might be termed as "Foodies". additionally, we've served a meal that is tied closely to the film. in June, we watched Mostly Martha, and enjoyed an authentic Italian meal with spaghetti as the main dish. in July, Eat Drink Man Woman, along with a Taiwanese/Chinese meal with (almost) no takeout. in August, we'll finish the series with Sideways, which will include a lesson in wine tasting.

it's been great to discuss a subject that our part of the country cherishes with such gusto. through my scouring of IMDB and my local library, I'm seeing a trend in recent decades of filmmaking toward more films that center on chefs and eating, typically with gorgeous scenes documenting the process of food preparation.

the most recent addition to the Foodie Canon is Julie & Julia. I have not seen it yet, but I've heard positive reviews from critics and friends. it's not official yet, but I'm planning on taking an extra credit Eat This Film field trip to go see this as a group. here are two recent posts about it from the NYTimes, one by Michael Pollan, the other by Kim Severson.

*UPDATED, 8/31 - Great article from The Curator on the Art of Marriage in Julie & Julia.

during the summer, I've been blogging in my head (I seem to do this a lot) about this series. I was thinking that this very post--the one that you're reading right now--would be a brilliant compilation and commentary of all that I've come across in my research and our discussions. but someone beat me to it, and someone who is a far better writer and a far more experienced film journalist than I ever will be. check out Jeffrey Overstreet's Tribute to Films about Feasting over at Filmwell. he touches on many films that we've already discussed, suggests a few more tantalizing options, and ties it all together wonderfully with the great film that started this whole Eat This Film exploration, Babette's Feast.

For more information on this and other film series at Grace, visit the Movies @ Grace page on our website.

For discussion:
What's your favorite Foodie movie and why?