Showing posts from November, 2009

That Jonah, Newton...

"I tell ya Chester, that Newton's a Jonah, he is. Temper quick as mercury. Wicked tongue ta shame even my drunken Uncle Tammas. He's no good for tha ship, I fear. Be lookin' fer whales, boy. Be lookin' fer this storm to roise."

The other, moving his pipe to the opposite side of the large jaw, mumbled, "Mmmm... Why is it d'ya think that Captin shows 'im such peticular favour? Even afore I came belowdecks he had turned over the helm to John. I've had no fearsome grief from the lad, ceptin' for his dour looks betimes. But still ye could be right, old friend."

And above, John Newton gripped the wheel these past forty minutes and noted the coming screech in the rigging. The plaintive growl and roll of the big hull. The wash of water being taken in. The pounding of his own heart.

He had overheard a litle of the "Jonah talk". Had seen the increasing scowls on the faces of men without guile. Men who were loyal and brave, but gravely s…

Almost Feel the Lake...

Part VIII: Hiawatha's Fishing

Forth upon the Gitche Gumee,
On the shining Big-Sea-Water,
With his fishing-line of cedar,
Of the twisted bark of cedar,
Forth to catch the sturgeon Nahma,
Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes,
In his birch canoe exulting
All alone went Hiawatha.
Through the clear, transparent water
He could see the fishes swimming
Far down in the depths below him;
See the yellow perch, the Sahwa,
Like a sunbeam in the water,
See the Shawgashee, the craw-fish,
Like a spider on the bottom,
On the white and sandy bottom.
At the stern sat Hiawatha,
With his fishing-line of cedar;
In his plumes the breeze of morning
Played as in the hemlock branches;
On the bows, with tail erected,
Sat the squirrel, Adjidaumo;
In his fur the breeze of morning
Played as in the prairie grasses.
On the white sand of the bottom
Lay the monster Mishe-Nahma,
Lay the sturgeon, King of Fishes;
Through his gills he breathed the water,
With his fins he fanned and winnowed,
With his tail he swept the sand-fl…

Little Garden Spots

Mark 6:

38"How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see."
When they found out, they said, "Five—and two fish."

39Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

There are times when Mark is particularly vivid and sensual in his presentation of the Gospel. I have heard that in the account of the feeding of the 5000, in the Greek, the arrangement of the groups of listeners had the appearance of "little garden plots".

That is rich! I have been in large gatherings, and…

Which Wolf?

(With thanks to Bible teacher Abe at the church.)

The lesson began as the native grandfather paced the forest trail with the youth, life happening all around, in the trees, in the air, underfoot.

"I tell you, we come to realize that two wolves are in constant battle in our hearts, son. I still must deal with it, leaning heavily upon the Great Spirit.

The one wolf strives for uncleanness, hatred, envy, evil report, theft, lying, lust, argument and unearned praise. The other raises the standards of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control.

If you look at a man in the quiet time, in the unnoticed time, you will see the signs of the struggle on his face. You may also ask the Great Spirit to show you how the battle is going."

A hawk flew overhead, spreading back its beautiful red tail as it lighted high in the oak. Both men observed it with respect and noted a hush among the scurrying ones, ever present.

"Well, which wolf wins, Grandfather?&q…

The Heart Bursts Forth

Praise for the Incarnation

Sweeter sounds than music knows
Charm me in Immanuel's name;
All her hopes my spirit owes
To his birth, and cross, and shame.

When he came, the angels sung,
"Glory be to God on high;"
Lord, unloose my stamm'ring tongue,
Who should louder sing than I?

Did the Lord a man become,
That he might the law fulfil,
Bleed and suffer in my room,
And canst thou, my tongue, be still?

No, I must my praises bring,
Though they worthless are and weak;
For should I refuse to sing,
Sure the very stones would speak.

O my Saviour, Shield, and Sun,
Shepherd, Brother, Husband, Friend,
Ev'ry precious name in one,
I will love thee without end.

John Newton (1725-1807)

Psalm 84:

11For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Watts in Worship

Crucifixion to the World by the Cross of Christ

WHEN I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow, mingled down;
Did e're such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson like a robe
Spreads o'er his body on the tree,
Then am I dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of Nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)


That's the word that the topical Bible used concerning Mephibosheth the crippled son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul. The story is told in 2 Samuel 9:

8And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

Mephibesheth could not imagine that he held a place of favour with King David, but such is the strength of covenant, a blood covenant cut between David and Jonathan for the life-long support of each other's families. This bond of love and of promise caused David to overlook all of the struggle which he had suffered at the hands of Saul. His only desire was to bless the one who was cringing before him.

The dictionary defines the curious word "obsequious" as having a servile deference to or fawning, slavish attitude toward a superior. There is a pathetic shortcoming of relationship in this. The one in leadership should desire honest, courteous, open-faced partnership.

Certainly Jesus was and is such a leader, or Elde…

Desires of Your Heart

Taken from Psalm 37 in "The Treasury of David" by Spurgeon:

Verse 4. There is an ascent in this third precept. He who was first bidden not to fret, was then commanded actively to trust, and now is told with holy desire to delight in God. Delight thyself also in the Lord. Make Jehovah the joy and rejoicing of thy spirit. Bad men delight in carnal objects; do not envy them if they are allowed to take their fill in such vain idols; look thou to thy better delight, and fill thyself to the full with thy more sublime portion. In a certain sense imitate the wicked; they delight in their portion—take care to delight in yours, and so far from envying you will pity them. There is no room for fretting if we remember that God is ours, but there is every incentive to sacred enjoyment of the most elevated and ecstatic kind. Every name, attribute, word, or deed of Jehovah, should be delightful to us, and in meditating thereon our soul should be as glad as is the epicure who feeds delicately…

Holy Ghost Lecture Series

Hear what Jesus had to say in order to prepare his friends to meet and to enjoy the Holy Ghost:

Holiness - Luke 11: 13

Conviction - John 16: 8-11

Guidance - John 16: 13

Truth - John 15: 26

Comfort - John 14: 16-26

Utterance - Matthew 10: 19,20

Non-Retaliation - Luke 9: 52-56

Peace, Joy, Love - John chapters 14 and 15

Worship - John 4: 23,24

Remembrance/Teaching - John 14: 26

Anointing/Deliverance - Luke 4: 17-21

Regeneration - John 3: 5-8

Inspirer of Scriptures - Mark 12: 36

The Best Gift - Luke 11: 3

The Finger of God - Luke 11: 20

The Victor over Evil Spirits - Luke 11: 22

The Promise of the Father - Acts 1: 4

Power/Testimony - Acts 1: 8

Instruction to Churches - Revelation chapters 2 and 3

Eager for Christ's Second Coming - Revelation 22: 17

Ian McCormack Views Heaven

The shiftless young man was on an island hopping tour of tropical waters, working at odd jobs, surfing, diving, fishing, sailing, doing drugs, taking in the fun spots.

Ian was a native of New Zealand and very comfortable in the water. He was visiting the island of Mauritius off the east coast of Africa (1980). Some new-found friends invited him for night snorkling and fishing.

Unfortunately in his delightful wanderings underwater by flashlight, he was stung by a venomous box jellyfish, and then another and another...five in total. It is reported that one sting has the potential to kill. His mates gradually understood the cause of his falling behind and dragged him to the boat and headed to land.

The tale of his transport to medical care includes clumsiness, abandonment, misunderstanding and refusal to act on the part of several individuals who thought "that he was strung out on booze or drugs, or something. Why, look at the track marks in his arms!" (toxic stings)

Eventually at…


1 Corinthians 4:

9For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

10We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

11Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;

12And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

13Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

People in the Church read these verses and almost despair. They bemoan the disappearance of prayer from public gatherings, the roadblock to the Gideon mission of Bible distribution to the public schools, the scarcity of Bethlehem images on the decorated windows.

They suggest that if we do not speak out against such discrimination ag…

Hearing With Right Em-Pha-Sis

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

Jesus is in the Upper Room. Leaving a parting message with his friends. Explaining the equipment which is to be forthcoming for their mission to change the world.

It is at a time of departure that we attempt to communicate our intense feeling, our best encouragement, our most worthy advice, the particulars of our reunion.

Facing his perplexed travel-mates and students, he assures them of the soon arrival of another comforter and guide, the Holy Spirit. He then issues the marching orders abovementioned.

I wonder if we hear them right. There is a crucial point of emphasis. A world of difference between pain-staking duty of dubious sucesss, and grateful love which never fails in giving what the Master has requisitioned.

Have you heard Him say,"If ye love me, keep my commandments." If so be prepared for the long painful stretch of self-examination, frustrating set-backs and discontent in the Christian walk. This is law, an…

Canadians Don't Always Apologize

Sandy was enjoying a slow coffee after breakfast at the City Centre Grill. Marcel was on a holiday to the old country and his daughter Samantha was in charge for the month. Sister Karina was cooking, and the new woman Cindy was waiting tables.

The latter had the nervous look of the hopeful novice. Her hair had been tossed back into a hurried pony tail. She talked with Samantha of the mechanics of day care for a little girl. Of buses to be caught. Of sniffles and symptoms which were raising some alarm.

Shortly Sandy would be off to help his son-in-law Ken paint a couple of bedrooms. He had picked up the colours as instructed the day before from Rona building centre.

An influx of cold November air at the door announced a middle-aged couple, smartly dressed and engaged in heated conversation.

"I told you Frank that there wasn't time to stop in at that men's shop. The rehearsal is in an hour. It's hard enough to stomach that niece of mine. But you had to add to my torment by …

Demoniac Unbound

He wanted to come closer.
The demons shouted, "No!"
And he was still their prisoner
(The townsfolk feared him so.)

Long banished from the village
He lived among the dead.
In filth and naked horror,
For years their constant dread.

And part of him was dying
And part yearned to be free.
His baffled mental battle
A tragic mystery.

Some noise down at the lakeshore
Had stirred him from the cave.
For stepping from a boat, was One
With righteous power to save.

The demons knew that instant
Their host was on the mend.
Their stay among the Gadarenes
Their craft could not extend.

And then Christ called them, named them
And cast them into swine.
Which, plunging headlong to their death,
Were smothered in the brine.

The demon-plagued no longer,
But faithful, clothed and well.
This rescue at the lakeside
His special joy to tell.

(A single word from Jesus
Can touch such depths of soul.
Eradicate the madness
And make the broken whole.)

Note: Not every person with mental illness is a candidate for exorcism. Discernment MU…

Open-Air Household

Nature the gentlest mother is

NATURE the gentlest mother is,
Impatient of no child,
The feeblest of the waywardest.
Her admonition mild

In forest and the hill
By traveller be heard,
Restraining rampant squirrel
Or too impetuous bird.

How fair her conversation
A summer afternoon,
Her household her assembly;
And when the sun go down,

Her voice among the aisles
Incite the timid prayer
Of the minutest cricket,
The most unworthy flower.

When all the children sleep,
She turns as long away
As will suffice to light her lamps,
Then bending from the sky

With infinite affection
An infiniter care,
Her golden finger on her lip,
Wills silence everywhere.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

(Picture by Joey Frisillo)

Master of the Ivories

Sandy had just enough time to make it to Marjorie Slade's apartment before choir practice. It was his bi-weekly visit with odd treats from "the outside world" for his old friend. Long time mezzo-soprano in the St. Matthews choir. Until the arthritis had made it pretty well impossible to continue.

Oh, she could make it around the apartment all right. The wheel chair usually just sat in the corner. But in getting outside, the challenges were just too hard. Parking lots, curb sides, stairways, the bustle of the people, the chill and damp of November. Marjorie was seventy-seven. Her Herb had had his stroke eight years ago. Paralyzing left arm. Slackening left cheek. Slurring speech to a humiliating degree. He had lasted only another three years.

That last Christmas Herb had insisted on attending midnight service to hear Marjorie give her heavenly rendering of "O Holy Night". Sandy's daughter Kate and her husband had helped him throughout, and he couldn't than…

Son Rise in Wales

The following is taken from "With Christ Among the Miners" (1906) written by H. Elvet Lewis. The book is a particular treasure, illustrating the transformation of churches first, then of communitiees by the sweet presence of the Spirit of God and a consequent loathing of sin.

Faithful mothers hear their errant sons cry out for Jesus in extended prayer meetings. Beautiful Welsh songs soften many hearts. Rough-surfaced men excuse themselves to the dark and distant end of mine corridors to plead through to release from sin and brilliant new life. Simple testimony, so long a part of the Welsh service, contributes to a wonderful harvest.

Consider some early roots of revival:

"Every lover of Mount Snowdon knows Beddgelert and the Vale of Gwynant. In a farmhouse in the vale, one Sunday in August, 1817, a humble “exhorter’ - Richard Williams by name - was expected to take a service. He came but the congregation was scanty. John Elias was preaching that day at Tremadoc, and the fam…

Sliding into Darkness

The Traitor

“Judas also… knew the place… Judas then, having received a band of men cometh thither.”

John 18:2,2

Every new line in the story of the betrayal shows new blackness in the heart of Judas. Going out from the supper-table he hastened to the priests, and was quickly under way with his band of soldiers. He probably first hurried back to the upper room, where he had left Jesus; not finding Him there, he knew well where the Master had gone, and hastened to the sacred place of prayer. Then the manner in which he let the officers know which of the company was Jesus shows the deepest blackness of all: he went up to Him as to a dear friend and kissed Him — kissed Him over and over, and with feigned warmth and affection.

Let us remember how the treason grew in the heart of Judas, beginning in greed for money, growing into theft and falseness of life, ending at last in the blackest crime the world ever saw. The lesson is, that we should watch the beginnings of evil in our hearts.

A picture …

So, What's in Store?

By coincidence, a number of our entries lately have referred to the return of Jesus in triumph and judgment. The conquering King, whom the Hebrew people expected two thousand years ago, will finally take his rightful place on this planet. All nations will offer tribute.

Isaiah chapter 33 has never appeared to me before so clearly as a foreshadowing of Zion (Jerusalem) under King Jesus. Read the entire chapter and see the inevitable fate of the faithless, the thieving and the oppressor. Game over!

The portion which follows speaks of the inheritance of the redeemed. It will certainly be a new earth:

15-16The answer's simple:
Live right,
speak the truth,
despise exploitation,
refuse bribes,
reject violence,
avoid evil amusements.
This is how you raise your standard of living!
A safe and stable way to live.
A nourishing, satisfying way to live.

17-19Oh, you'll see the king—a beautiful sight!
And you'll take in the wide vistas of land.
In your mind you…

Plundering Hell

"Yes, young man. Can you speak German. You look German. What can I do for you?"
These were the first words of evangelist Reinhard Bonnke to our son Jordan. He had been speaking at an evening service at Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly, and he had exited the sanctuary, after a season of prayer and ministry, into the adjacent hall.

Our pre-teen son had gotten separated from us and I had motioned him over to that side of the building to extricate himself from the bustle of the dismissed congregation. He had walked right into the entourage of the evangelist. He had thought my wave had meant, 'Go see him.'

Jordan knew that I had had strong feelings for this ministry since days in Chatham when we had been able to visit meetings in Detroit featuring this lion-like herald of Jesus to mass crowds throughout Africa.

"My father would like to have prayer with you, sir."

"Go get him. I wait right here."

And that is how I got to chat with Reinhard. I could remember tel…

In Mufti

He was the glorious Son of God in mufti. I can remember Phillip Keller using words to this effect in his noteworthy book "A Layman Looks at the Lamb of God". This is an excellent book on the entirety of the Bible theme of the sacrificial lamb. It may be just the right size to impact the "busy" man or woman.

The words "in mufti" suggest an officer out of uniform and in civilan clothes, or some sort of disguise. It had particular reference to certain Muslim leaders or judges. One who comes so unadorned may be ignored by the popular throng who look for the indicia of success, wealth and public renown. Uniforms often raise the inference of such credit. We assume the best in the adorned one, the decorated one, the one who is heralded in the street.

But with such trappings removed will the intrinsic worth of the man make itself known? Hear the words of Isaiah in chapter 42 concerning Jesus:

1Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth…

They Shall Never Perish

"They shall never perish." You know, brethren, that the shepherd often loses his sheep. Thus Jacob did, he sometimes lost the sheep. And you remember David sometimes lost the sheep. A lion and a bear came once and carried away one of the sheep. But there is one shepherd that never loses any. "These are they which thou has given me, and I have kept them, and none of them is lost," "They shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." Those that are Christ's sheep have got many adversaries; there is the devil, like a roaring lion, going about seeking whom he may devour; there is the world, gaping like strong bulls of Bashan; and then there is the old heart striving to get back to its pleasures; but you shall never perish. It is true that you have got many tossings. Oftentimes God's people cry to the Rock, but it hears not. Often they cry, "My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God." But that …

Challenging Novokuznetsk

This morning at a local pentecostal church we heard the moving testimony of Ilya Bantseev, an ordained pastor representing Teen Challenge in the community of Novokuznetsk in Siberia.

Born in that city; receiving ministry credentials in North America; back in his home town these past sixteen years, and shouldering a charge with Teen Challenge for the rehabilitation of young drug addicts and disillusioned youth.

Together with his wife Janet, he is presently a life-line to two hundred young men and thirty young women from the community. This is the approximate ratio of males and females, suffering the bondage and hopelessness of drugs in his country and province. Death from this addiction takes its toll of 100,000 young lives each year.

But Ilya is there with his Christ-given passion and a mandate of strict and constructive discipline, a growing local church and a youth group on fire with the energy to hit the streets with food, gifts and the message that "Jesus saves, Jesus heals,…


"We have seen Him! Miriam, it was wonderful. Cleopas and I were walking the road to Emmaus. We just needed some time together to deal with the events of the last few days in Jerusalem. Some small business there provided the opportunity for a quiet journey.

We felt intense heaviness and disappointment. We had heard the Nazarene in the Temple. On the Mount of Olives. Wonderful, frightening words of a coming upheaval followed by a Golden Age. Admonitions to remain vigilant, clean, helpful. Just like the man himself. Surely you had heard, Miriam, of his many deeds of mercy. How he would lighten up a crowd. The many healings. That fellow Lazarus over in Bethany. And such Messiah talk!

But this was the third day. Some women had reported that his body was missing from the tomb. No one knew where he was or who had taken him. Our spirits were heavy. It was hard to let go of the dream. Liberation for our people.

Suddenly we were joined by a pleasant looking man who asked if he might walk with…

Sober Second Thoughts

How many can identify with this observation?

In the early days of the Christian walk, I was greatly interested in the impressions derived from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. God's kind of wisdom. The indwelling Holy Ghost. Marriage and divorce. Warnings against unbelief. The right approach to the sacrament of Communion. The spiritual gifts of discernment, of utterance, of miraculous power and healing. The best kind of love. The mystery of bodily resurrection.

In later years I found myself turning more frequently to Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians. The benefit of trials. Godly compassion and help. The fullness of our second birth. Our call to be ambassadors of reconciliation for God. The challenge to remain unspotted from the world. The likelihood of reproach for Christ's name's sake. The constant need for godly repentance. The grace of giving. The right state of mind for spiritual warfare. The danger of self-confidence and the rich equipment brought …

Equipped by Failure

Strength out of Weakness

“When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

Luke 22:32

Peter was not to be lost in the terrible experience through which he was to pass. Christ had made intercession for him, and he would come again from the trial humbled, bruised, defeated, but saved, and a better man. Our Lord tells him here that after his restoration he should turn his experience to account in helping other souls. “Do thou, when once thou hast turned again, stablish thy brethren.” He would be able then to warn others of the dangers in which he had suffered so terribly. We can imagine Peter in after days counselling Christians against self-confidence and the other false steps which led to his own fall, and thus strengthening or stablishing them in safe ways. Then there is no doubt that his experience of penitence, and of the grace and love of Christ in that experience, enabled him to be a wise and safe guide to many another disciple who had fallen into sin and was seeking to be restored…

Rutherford's Golden Pen

Letter to MARION MCNAUGHT, when persecuted for her principles

WELL-BELOVED SISTER, -- I have been thinking, since my departure from you, of the pride and malice of your adversaries; and ye may not (since ye have had the Book of Psalms so often) take hardly with this; for David's enemies snuffed at him, and through the pride of their heart said, 'The Lord will not require it' (Ps. 10.13). I beseech you, therefore, in the bowels of Jesus, set before your eyes the patience of your forerunner Jesus, who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him who judgeth righteously (I Pet. 2.23). And since your Lord and Redeemer with patience received many a black stroke on His glorious back, and many a buffet of the unbelieving world, and says of Himself, 'I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting' (Isa. 50.6); follow Him and think it not h…

Mayan Mayhem

There has been much fuss on the internet about the revelations of an ancient Mayan calender which forecasts an apocalyptic crisis in December 2012, if not the end of the world. Researchers point to the fact that the calendar did appear to pinpoint various catastrophic events in human history. But, they say the calendar ends in December 2012. Various videos attempt to establish a common thread in all the literature of prophecy, linking the Mayans to the Chinese to the Delphic Oracle to Nostradamus to Jesus.

Today, Friday the Thirteenth, the movie "2012" premieres starring John Cuzak. It is a carnival ride of special effects in which the audience sees national monuments topple around the globe, earthquakes shatter, tidal waves engulf. The inference is "Ha...ha...ha, Bad Luck, Friday the Thirteenth, It's all over!" What a sick joke.

Some internet "science" suggests that our solar system oscillates in wave fashion above and then below the "pan" of…

Gospel Paradox

God becomes Man.

King becomes Servant.

Teacher becomes Lesson.

Victor becomes Captive.

Priest becomes Sacrifice.

Blessing becomes Curse.

Death becomes Life.

Galatians 3:

13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Isaiah 53:

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Trenches Remembered

Young Fellow My Lad

"Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad,
On this glittering morn of May?"
"I'm going to join the Colours, Dad;
They're looking for men, they say."
"But you're only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad;
You aren't obliged to go."
"I'm seventeen and a quarter, Dad,
And ever so strong, you know."

"So you're off to France, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you're looking so fit and bright."
"I'm terribly sorry to leave you, Dad,
But I feel that I'm doing right."
"God bless you and keep you, Young Fellow My Lad,
You're all of my life, you know."
"Don't worry. I'll soon be back, dear Dad,
And I'm awfully proud to go."

"Why don't you write, Young Fellow My Lad?
I watch for the post each day;
And I miss you so, and I'm awfully sad,
And it's months since you went away.
And I've had the fire in the parlour lit,
And I'm keeping it burning bright
Till my boy com…

Lamb Without Blemish

In the presribed procedure for the sacrificial lamb, Moses had been instructed to ensure through the priests that the animal was free from spot, blemish or fracture. No second-rate offering was to be presented to the Lord.

John the Baptist had seen Jesus at the Jordan River and had confirmed Him to be 'the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.'

Christ must have lived a sinless life or he would have been disqualified. This places his clean living on a par with his obedient dying in accomplishing our redemption.

How would this look over the years of His upbringing? No spoiled and selfish whining for treats as a youngster. No yielding to the suggestions of pre-teen playmates to steal, fight, avoid chores or engage in harmful pranks. No slacking in the scripture studies of a young Hebrew boy. No talking back to his parents. No slippery salesmanship with a piece of furniture in the carpenters' shop. No untoward anger when any buyer complained of price, quality or deadline. No…

Holy Ghost Power

Acts 1:

8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The following is taken from "Secret Power" by D. L.Moody:

There were some men burying an aged saint some time ago, and he was very poor, like many of God's people, poor in this world, but they are very rich, they have all the riches on the other side of life - they have them laid up there where thieves can not get them, and where sharpers can not take them away from them, and where moth can not corrupt - so this aged man was very rich in the other world, and they were just hastening him off to the grave, wanting to get rid of him, when an old minister who was officiating at the grave, said, "Tread softly, for you are carrying the temple of the Holy Ghost." Whenever you see a believer, you see a temple of the Holy Ghost.

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we read aga…

Down Came the Wall

Paul is a friend who serves as associate pastor in an inner city church in Kitchener. His parents were of German and Dutch background, having weathered the chaos of World War Two Europe. The family came to Toronto and then Kitchener.

Paul relates that in 1989 he took a vacation in Germany and was present in Berlin when the wall was knocked down. He recalls the euphoria of families and friends being re-united, and the era of guard towers, machine guns and barbed-wire being brought to an end.

In the midst of the excitement and noise that day (November 9,1989), he happened upon a small church which was backed up against "the wall". He heard a worship service in progress, and entered to see a gathering of song, tears, hugs and tangible joy. Just outside the building there was posted on the wall a plaque containing a portion of scripture. Doubtless that one Word of God had been raised to His remembrance on innumerable occasions during the decades of separation and estrangement:


Not to be Discouraged

Martin Luther once said something to the following effect:

"A little bird flies past your head and you sense the breeze, and for a moment you are curious, and perhaps interested. That is temptation. A little bird flies up to your head, hovers, and then you invite him to build a nest in your hair. That is sin."

This was the observation of a man who in his early days was tormented by the nature of thoughts which came to his mind. As a young priest he struggled incessantly to remain holy before an awesome God, but all to no avail. Then he discovered grace.

We know from the scriptures that it is possible to be tempted and yet not found in sin. Even Christ encountered this. Consider Hebrews 4:

14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.