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  • Endorsements of "Gospel Meditations for the Church"

    We are thankful for these friends and their kind endorsements of our latest devotional book, Gospel Meditations for the Church.

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    "We have come to expect meaty, edifying, superbly written devotional entries from Chris Anderson and his team. Here are thirty-one more, and they don’t disappoint."

    (Phil Johnson, Executive Director of Grace to You)

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    "Deeply rooted in Scripture, compelling, insightful and motivating. These inspiring and carefully crafted meditations reflect a profound love for the local church, an institution that is all too often under-appreciated by many Christians today."

    (Les Lofquist, IFCA International Executive Director)

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    "I found these “gospel” devotionals doctrinally substantive, local church centered, balanced and stimulating. My heart was lifted in praise to God and challenged to faithfulness."

    (John Greening, GARBC National Representative)

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    "A most welcome book on a most vital topic, Gospel Meditations for the Church should nurture within every gospel-loving soul a deeper understanding of the church, its part in God's cosmic plan, and how one can experience the fullness of the heart of Christ in community with the saints."

    (Milton Vincent, Pastor of Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church in Riverside, CA; Author of A Gospel Primer for Christians)

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    "Since I believe that solid biblically based devotions is one of the main components for promoting spiritual growth I am aways glad to review and recommend devotional writings that are biblically sound, theologically accurate and practical in their application. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional is a classic example that has been used of the Lord in this regard. And, over the years I have recommended Spurgeon’s book to many Christians because of its biblical, theological and practical accuracy. Well, I recommend this book by Pastors Trypak, Anderson and Doran for the same reasons. I encourage Christians to read and apply the solid biblical counsel that is found in this devotional. If you use it faithfully and with a submissive heart I think you will be greatly strengthened and enriched by your reading and mediation on the truths found in the book."

    (Wayne Mack, noted Christian counselor and author)

  • More Information on Dawn Black

    Following my post about a cherished memory I have of Dawn Black, several people asked me to post information about the funeral. I actually have a few updates that may be an encouragement to you, and may prompt you to be a blessing to her husband and children in their need.

    First, as I understand it, the cause of death was a previously undiagnosed heart condition. That, and not the fall, took her life. So the event wasn't as random as it initially seemed. I hope that will be a comfort to Dawn's family. Of course, nothing is random. How comforting it is to rest in the hands of our sovereign and wise Lord, who does whatever He pleases and whatever is right (Psalm 115:3).

    Next, information about the visitation hours (Saturday) and funeral (Sunday) can be found here. Also available at that link is information about giving financial assistnace to Dawn's family, both for short-term needs (such as funeral expenses) and long-term needs (such as a fund for her children's future eduction). Here's a summary:

    Further assistance may be directed to the Dawn Black Memorial Fund and will be accepted by Bible Baptist Church to help with funeral expenses, education expenses for their four young children, and other family needs. Your contributions are tax deductible. We appreciate your kind and generous help. Please make all donations to Bible Baptist Church designated for the Dawn Black Memorial Fund.

    Gifts may be sent to Bible Baptist Church at 2780 Mount Carmel Road, Hampton, GA 30228.

    Finally, Dawn's dear college friend Crystal Joos has searched for and found the recording of the concert I mentioned in my original post. The quality of the recording isn't stellar (it was uploaded from a tape), but you can hear Dawn and the BJU Chorale singing "Lux Aeterna" from Rutter's Requiem here. What a nice gesture, Crystal. Thank you!

    Grace to you!

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

  • The Death of Dawn Black: "They rest from their labors."

    I was nearly asleep last night, when my wife asked me what I knew about the lady who died. She was referring to an email we had both received, but I hadn't opened it yet. I said I didn't know. She read it to me. "Pray for the family of Dawn Black, the music director at Bible Baptist Christian School in Hampton, Georgia. She fell in the shower this morning and was killed." I was stunned, like I'd been punched in the gut. I interrupted my wife: "No! No, no, no! That can't be right!" I was heartbroken. I wept. I had just spoken to Dawn a few days ago. I watched her caring for her toddler son as she moved from room to room, cheering on her students at the GACS fine arts competition. I chatted with her about her family, her choir, her hopes for the competition. I heard the announcement that they won. I listened to them perform under her direction. She was alive, thriving, joyful. And now gone. In paradise, which is far better, but gone from earth.

    I grieve for her familyher husband Brian and her four children ages 4 through 11. I ache for them. It's impossible to imagine how their lives changed so drastically, so suddenly, so irreversibly. It's hard to process it. I'm praying for them, for the school, and for the church. I'm confident—I'm certainthat God is always good and wise. Always. I'm grateful for the loving church family the Blacks have to help them bear this burden, and I pray for grace for them as they live with this greatest of all thorns.

    I'd like to share an experience I had with Dawn that is still one of the favorite moments of my life. Many knew her better. But I was privileged to witness a spectacular moment, and I'd like you to hear of it.

    Dawn and I were in school together at Bob Jones University. More specifically, we were in the BJU Chorale, directed by Dr. Warren Cook. I was a grad student, the Chorale President for the year. I think she was a freshman or sophomore. The Chorale was and is the premier choir on campus...and I'm afraid that we knew it. We boasted a bunch of graduate students with tremendoushuge!voices. (Myself excluded, genuinely. I was average, but I filled a spot and a robe.) Well, this occasionally smug group witnessed an inspiring, humbling, once-in-a-lifetime moment, all because of Dawn. Dr. Cook was having impromptu auditions for some solos that we would be singing in John Rutter's masterful Requiem. He asked this young, unknown, unassuming girl named Dawn Braun to sing the solo part that day. Sure. Whatever. But it was magical. The room fell silent as she sang. I remember it like it was yesterday. I teared up as I listened to the hauntingly beautiful song, with impossibly high notes, which she performed perfectly. We were involuntarily riveted to her voice. Without warning, the rehearsal became a concert. She sang the entire piece, and we sang our background parts, trying desperately not to break the trance. She finished, and we just sat there, hushed. Overwhelmed. Then spontaneous applause erupted. Voice Graduate Assistants cheered a young, spectacled undergrad with a golden voice. I knew I'd been part of something powerful, the likes of which I'd probably never experience again.

    I saw Dawn shortly thereafter. She was working in the dining common, wearing a dining common uniform (complete with a hairnet), with no hint of glamour or sophistication. But her eyes still glowed. I told her that I'd remember that moment for the rest of my life. I thanked her, sincerely. She quietly smiled, I think knowing she'd had an artistic "coming of age," and still wondering at it.

    Ironically, the piece she sang was "Pie Jesu" (online here). The translation is stunningly appropriate: In a prayer for one who has died, the choir asks "Pious Lord Jesus, Give them everlasting rest."

    As it turns out, she didn't end up singing that solo in the concert. Instead, she sang the solo in the last movement, "Lux Aeterna" (online here). The text is even more perfect: "I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors.'" 

    Indeed. She rests from her labors, and her deeds follow her (Revelation 14:13).

    Rejoice with those who rejoice, for she sings in a heavenly choir, beholding the face of her Savior. And weep with those who weep, for her family has suffered a deep loss, for which nothing but God's grace will be sufficient for them (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

    Thank God for grace.

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

  • New Hymn: "You Are Always Good" (Chris Anderson and Jonathan Hamilton)

    I was overwhelmed when Ron and Shelly Hamilton asked me to write a text for one of the tunes composed by their son Jonathan. His death was a tragedy to their family, but they have responded with faith and grace that can only be traced to our Heavenly Father. I considered the charge a solemn responsiblity, and I desired to honor Jonathan, comfort those who loved Him, and magnify His Savior. The result is You Are Always Good, a text which I believe encapsulates the experience of Jonathan, his family, and every true Christian.

    You can read the text and textual notes here. Here are the links to the hymn version, MP3 (courtesy of Majesty Music), and choral version:

    Full Page / Half Page / MP3 / Octavo / Choral Book

    Grace!

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

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    Comments are welcome but will be sifted for content and tone.

     

  • Thinking Scripturally and Compassionately about Suicide

    It grieves me to read blogs that use a tragedy to grandstand. I've done it, and I hate it. But there's also the reality that public heartache gets people thinking about a topic—and we might as well endeavor to think well.

    Regarding Robin Williams' suicide, I wrote the following Facebook post:

    "Funny people are often sad. Popular people are often lonely. Successful people are often insecure. Wealthy people are often broken. This is always true, whether we notice it or not. We just had a profoundly tragic reminder. I ache over it. We need grace."

    I do ache. I'm sad that the world is so broken. I'm sad that someone can reach such a desperate place that destruction actually seems like a solution. But people do descend to that kind of crushing despair, more often than you'd think. They need help. They need understanding. Ultimately, they need Christ.

    If possible, I want to help others think well about the issue of suicide. To that end, here's a PDF of a piece I wrote on the topic in the recently published devotional Gospel Meditations for the Hurting: Suicidal Thoughts: "It Is Enough." Feel free to share it. Grace.

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

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    Comments are welcome but will be sifted for content and tone.

  • Sample Articles from "Gospel Meditations for the Hurting"

    We're very excited about the fifth installment in the Gospel Meditations series. The 31 articles grow out of years of comforting ourselves and others with the balm of Scripture. "In this world you will have tribulation," Jesus told us (John 16:33a), and Christians through the centuries have found it to be so. But Jesus also offered Himself and His glorious gospel as our help in times of distress: "But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b). How sad it is for Christians to suffer alone when such a Comforter is available to them!

    We are posting a sample of two articles, hoping they will encourage you and motivate you to utilize the book in your own life and ministry. You can download the sample PDF here. You can read reviews by Kevin Bauder and Tim Keesee here. You can order the book (with quantity discounts) here. (Note: If you want them by Mother's Day, May 11, you need to order right away!)

    The articles are varied, coming from both Testaments, encompassing multiple genres of Scripture, and addressing many specific trials. The titles and Bible passages are as follows:

    1. God Is Always Good (Psalm 100)
    2. Grace for the Hurting (Ruth 1-4)
    3. We Broke the World (Genesis 3)
    4. Jesus, Fix This Mess (Revelation 21-22)
    5. Take a Long, Hard Look (Isaiah 53)
    6. Comfort Received and Recycled (2 Corinthians 1)
    7. Faith Like Concrete (Luke 18)
    8. Wortds That Sustain the Weary (Revelation 2)
    9. Suffering and Sovereignty, Part 1 (1 Peter 4)
    10. Suffering and Sovereignty, Part 2 (John 9)
    11. Help in the Wilderness (1 Samuel 21-24)
    12. The Friend of the Hurting (John 5)
    13. Suicidal Thoughts: "It Is Enough" (1 Kings 19)
    14. Worship 24/7/365 (Psalms 103-104)
    15. To Cry or Not to Cry (Revelation 4-5)
    16. "The Adversity Gospel" (Psalm 44)
    17. Sustaining Grace (2 Corinthians 12)
    18. Truth for Unstable Times (Daniel 1-6)
    19. Are You Exhausted (1 Corinthians 15)
    20. The God Who Weeps (Romans 8:18-30)
    21. Rest from the War (Hebrews 3-4)
    22. Controlled Venting (Lamentations 1)
    23. A Balm for the Parents of Prodigals (Luke 15)
    24. Courage for the Overwhelmed (Joshua 1)
    25. Talk Yourself Out of Depression (Psalms 42-43)
    26. Wisdom for the Real World (Ecclesiastes 3)
    27. Run to Christ (Luke 18:35-43)
    28. Undying Love (Revelation 2)
    29. It Will Be Worth It All (2 Corinthians 4)
    30. How to Provide Refreshing Comfort (Job 6-7)
    31. Friendly Thorns (2 Corinthians 12)

    Grace!

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

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    Comments are welcome but will be sifted for content and tone.

  • New Hymn, Commissioned by SGI: "To Live or Die"

    Four years ago, Greg Habegger and I were privileged to write For the Sake of His Name for the 2010 Student Global Impact Conference in Detroit, MI. This year, we were again commissioned to write a hymn for the conference, this time focused on Philippians 1:21. The result of our collaboration is To Live or Die, which debuted at the conference around a month ago.

    LINKS:  

    • You can hear a live recording of the SGI assembly singing the song here.
    • You can hear a beautiful recording of the song in Albanian (translated by my good friend, David Hosaflook, and sung by Aranit Kola) here
    • You can download a free and reproducible PDF of the song here.
    • You can read the text below.

    We hope To Live or Die will be used of the Lord to remind Christians that life and death centers on Christ, and that laboring for His glory is eternally worthwhile, regardless of the cost.

    Finally, CWM has been blessed to write a number of commissioned hymns, sponsored by individuals, conferences, and churches for various occasions. Several will be published here in coming days. If you would like to commission a new hymn to rejoice in a milestone (a dedication, missions conference, wedding, funeral, anniversary, retirement, etc.), please contact me at info@churchworksmedia.com. Such commissions point people to God as the Source of all blessings, while also supporting the publication of hymns that will bring God glory for years to come.

    SDG. Grace!

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    To Live or Die

    To live is ChristI long to spend
    My might and time to worship Him.
    I’ll give my all for Him who died
    To bring a rebel to His side.

    Refrain: Lord, help me use my fleeting breath
    To honor You, through life or death.
    And when my heart drums its last beat,
    I’ll lay my labors at Your feet.

    To die is Christeternal gain,
    To wake, and never sleep again.
    I will not fear the feeble grave,
    The pathway to my Savior’s face.

    To live or dieit’s all the same;
    For Christ consumes me, either way.
    If I should live, I’ll live for Him,
    And if I die, I’ll live again.

    Copyright (c) 2014 ChurchWorksMedia.com. All rights reserved.

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

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    Comments are welcome but will be sifted for content and tone.

  • "See the Christ" (a new hymn text by Chris Anderson)

    Here's a demo of a new hymn I was asked to write this summer for the Fred Bock Music Company. Hart Morris' organ and brass arrangement was already finished, using the familiar Hyfrydol tune (usually associated with Our Great Savior). I was commissioned to write an Easter text for it. I did...somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, on the way to Ghana. I was happy to hear the demo for the first time on my birthday, this last Monday.

    The text views the death and resurrection of Jesus from the disciples' perspective, moving from sorrowful uncertainty to joyful triumph.

    • You can hear the beautiful, building arrangement here
    • You can order the octavo here.
    • You can  read the text below.

    I hope it's encouraging to you, and that it will point many people Christ-ward. We face a new year with a victorious Savior! Grace!

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    See the Christ

    See the Savior's body lying, lifeless in the garden tomb.
    Hear the shamed disciples sighing, hidden in the upper room.
    Was life vanquished? Had hope languished? Would the Son succumb to night?
    No! The risen Son has triumphed. Jesus lives, our Life and Light!

    Feel the shaken graveyard rumble, as Christ's tomb is opened wide.
    See the stone and soldiers tumble; angels sweep them all aside.
    Was life vanquished? Had hope languished? Would the Son succumb to night?
    No! The risen Son has triumphed. Jesus lives, our Life and Light!

    Praise the risen Jesus bringing life to all who trust His name.
    Join the glad disciples’ singing, savoring the Savior's fame.
    Death is vanquished! Pain has languished! Day has not succumbed to night!
    Christ, the risen Son has triumphed. Jesus lives, our Life and Light!
    Jesus lives, our Life and Light!

    Copyright (c) 2013 ChurchWorksMedia.com. All rights reserved.

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

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    Comments are welcome but will be sifted for content and tone.

  • New Hymn: "To Live or Die" (in Albanian)

    I can't remember enjoying a recording more than I have this one.

    Greg Habegger and I have been commissioned to write a hymn based on Philippians 1:21 for the upcoming Student Global Impact Conference in Detroit, Michigan. As we were finishing it up this week, I shared it with a few friends to ask for some final suggestions. I was surprisedand thrilled!to wake up this morning to hear a recording of an Albanian brother singing the song in his own tongue. Thanks to my dear friend David Hosaflook for the translation, and to Aranit Kola for sharing his lovely voice with us. Beautiful. Passionate. A foretaste of Revelation 7:9-10!

    You can hear the recording here. You can register for the SGI conference here. You can read the English text below. Grace!

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    To Live or Die

    To live is ChristI long to spend
    My might and time to worship Him.
    I’ll give my all for Him who died
    To bring a rebel to His side.

    Refrain: Lord, help me use my fleeting breath
    To honor You, through life or death.
    And when my heart drums its last beat,
    I’ll lay my labors at Your feet.

    To die is Christeternal gain,
    To wake, and never sleep again.
    I will not fear the feeble grave,
    The pathway to my Savior’s face.

    To live or dieit’s all the same;
    For Christ consumes me, either way.
    If I should live, I’ll live for Him,
    And if I die, I’ll live again.

    Copyright (c) 2013 ChurchWorksMedia.com. All rights reserved.

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

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    Comments are welcome but will be sifted for content and tone.


  • Gospel Meditations for Kindle

    Kindle editions of the Gospel Meditations books are finally available from Amazon.com. Over 50,000 hard copies of the books have sold so far. Now we're pleased to provide electronic versions, as well:

    As always, hard copies are still available through the CWM online store, with quantity discounts. Please help us get the word out about these resources. Grace!

    Chris Anderson

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    Chris is the pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA. He was the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH. He writes hymns and devotionals through ChurchWorksMedia.com and preaches at Bible conferences around the United States. He and his wife Lori have four lovely daughters.

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    Comments are welcome but may be sifted for content and tone.