Showing posts from August, 2011

Of Andrew's Spirit

We have found Him
And know that He is truth
Distilled and pure.
A Certain Spring,
'Though damp and slush
Delay the budding.
A Prince with yarns
Of fields and flowers
And feathered trust.
Unspoiled by gold
Or other trappings
Of convention.
Unmoved by rank
Or rule of present powers.
But moved by
Smallest cry of
Pain or shame
Or lonely lot.
A Man whose every
Waking step displays
Assurance, equity,
Mercy, patience, hope
Direct from Heaven.
Whose gaze commands.
The Promised One.
Re-charging nightly
On hills of prayer,
(With His Father,
So He says.)
As we have slept.
Brother, drop your net.
Come meet this One.
Come meet your future.

Ready for the Call

He calls you
When there's nothing left but pleading.
When the grim resolve you birthed
Has come and gone.
When the stumbling past
Re-visits with a vengeance.
And the face betrays
The force to carry on.

He sees you
When the days seem all so common.
When the evening prayer is lost
To clouded sleep.
When the Book of Life
Is shut to new discovery,
And the first-love fire
Impossible to keep.

He knows you
As the shepherd knows his lambkin.
And your stumblings and wanderings
In the climb.
But He promised through
The season to sustain you,
And His caring shoulders
Bore you many a time.

Christ loves you
And this truth proves all-sufficient.
And will clear the mists of doubt
And dull despair.
And will steel you for
New purpose in His timing,
With the force and fire
To work His wonders there.

Working Session Number Two

Midweek evening service at Crosspoints. Beth in her stark white cast walking delicately to a front pew. Smiles and welcomes all around. Numbers significantly up. Keith taking a wooden stack-a-chair to a point one-third of the way down the centre aisle.

"Welcome friends to a week of bubbling, new considerations, hope...that Jesus might be honoured. I hear that you enjoyed your visit with the young pastor from Calvary Temple. That your curiosity is stirred. That this pastor could get out of the way for you to make glorious discoveries on your own. I am thankful.

On the way out you should take a copy of the list of suggestions for change being circulated. Right by the back centre door. Harry has a bunch of them.

Perhaps you have heard that things are being stirred at Craig's church. I have met with Todd Bushnell, back from vacation, and the two of us are considering how the assemblies might operate together in this period of new light. Apparently many living rooms have been ope…

Healing in His Rays

It hurt me fifteen years the same,
And I thought that it would
Continue to torment my life,
And cripple me for good.

Oh, how I hoped the medicine
Would gently ease the pain;
But doctors told me not to hope
Too hard, lest it remain.

Each morning, I would fear the sun
Which called me from my bed.
I wanted to stay safe and still,
And nurse my pain instead.

I nursed the curse of memories
Of aching wasted days,
And thought that there was naught on earth
To cause me joy or praise.

From time to time, some friend would come,
And urge me to take heart;
As if by some strange strength of mind,
My symptoms would depart.

But nothing changed, and each new day,
My heart sank deeper still.
Experience and doubts and fears
Had robbed all strength of will.

Then one spring day, my mail contained
A letter from a friend,
Which praised a risen, healing Christ
Through whom my grief would end.

I read with hunger every page,
And scriptures she revealed
About the Lamb of Calvary,
‘By whose stripes we were heale…

The Children's Bread

Stewart and Krista Cromarty had only been occasional attenders at Calvary Temple. But recently they had felt a greater compulsion to worship. Perhaps the cumulative effect of Uncle George's testimony for Christ and his recent stroke had impressed them with their need.

They heard of the movings and shakings at Crosspoints, but the development of friendships and providence had placed them elsewhere. A men's Bible study which Stewart attended had been investing time recently in new insights into Holy Communion. Both spouses were hoping to see it celebrated more frequently at Calvary.

Stewart had been particularly interested in Paul's teaching of blessings to health and body to be derived from the Sacrament properly taken (1 Corinthians 11). He could not shake the image of that little Gentile woman pleading with Jesus for the "children's bread" that her daughter might be healed (Matthew 15). Of course Krista's fibromyalgia was always on his mind. Pain in hips…

On Into the Evening

It took about another hour and three quarters for the praying, the hugging, the confessing and the tears to abate. About seventy-five of varying ages had stayed behind . The corporate movement had separated into little clusters of four or five seated around the sanctuary. Hearts were being opened. Stories and secrets were being told. Burdens were being relieved.

Circulating among the groups Craig and his fiancee Michelle could be heard saying things like, "So you're tired of playing church"; "Jesus is really pleased with this"; "Don't hold back"; "He is sovereign"; "Come on back tonight for special Communion".

Something provoked Craig to call over one of the ushers and to tell him to get Phil the janitor to change the outdoor sign. "Let it read. Special Communion Tonight. Cleansing. Commissioning. Come."

Craig could already hear himself sharing with the people that famous exhortation of M'Cheyne's about Commun…

Cataract Flowing Extempore

It turned out that Craig Randall was expected to take the first Sunday service following his visit with Crosspoint Community Church. Todd and Suzie Bushnell had long planned a holiday trip to Cape Cod and Craig would just have to flow into the next two weeks. He remained charged up from his fill-in assignment for Keith and Beth. But there was something causing an edge now as he took the pulpit for Calvary Temple. He put his notes down on the lectern and lowered his head:

"Tabbara mas cummi thabatha sin doromannna sic bianti mas coomah." Quietly and to himself that prayer in the Spirit had been offered. Craig in all honesty did not know how to pray here; neither did he know in himself what to say next.

"Good morning friends. It is good to be here with you again and to open up together some of God's truth. Turn with me please to John's Gospel chapter six."

Craig noted that many did not have Bibles with them, but he had resolved that there would be no use of t…

Musical Possibilities

Music defies analysis. It contains every emotion, every promise, every discovery. Its chords and its rhythms are in the swoosh of a meadow, the flap of pigeons' wings, the tinkle of a wind chime, the boom of an awning in strong wind, the clock at the cathedral.

In one of my favourite movies music is the avenue for a miracle for one gifted orphan boy, come to the streets of New York. He does not know the circumstances of the departure of his parents (both musically gifted), but he knows that he hears things neglected by others, and suspects that his parents share this aptitude. Perhaps this inner ear will bring them all together.

I will not spoil the story line or the beautiful conclusion. I will only say that the eleven year old child's premonitions are realized. Some will say that the story is over the top in a fairy tale or Dickensian way. But then so is music.

At one point, when the boy's talents are becoming apparent, he is asked what he would like to be. His answer, s…

Mixing With Those Young People

It was a Tuesday morning and Keith was attempting to return to the customary at the church. Beth was thrilled to be home and to catch the news from Becky and Michael about their time with her Mom. Blanche would be coming over that evening with take-out Chinese. She had to see for herself that Beth was on the mend.

Back to the morning jog and over to the office in sweats for messages and final strategy for the day. He was looking forward to being "back in the saddle". All reports were very positive about Craig Randall's interim help. From a phone conversation of Monday evening it was clear that Craig was charged up.

No one else in the office. Stack of pink messages. Top one was to call Jerry Caswell, long time buddy of George Cromarty. Three rings and Jerry had it, "Haylo".

"Jerry, it's Keith returning your call. What's new?"

"Oh. that was pretty quick. Been meaning to congratulate you on your initiative of late. Talked it all over with G…

Getting Down to the List

Keith had just gotten home from taking the kids out for hamburgs. It was agreed that they would stay three more days with Gramma. She was loving it and in no hurry to see them leave.

Tomorrow morning would be the final trip to the Hamilton hospital. Beth was coming home. For the last hour he had been cleaning up some of his "bachelor's mess". Now it was time for rest and reflection in the quiet house. Outside, the threatenings of an approaching thunderstorm. He was reminded of the rainy morning of Beth's accident.

He took out from his desk the new "Working File" compiled from parishioners' suggestions for change at the assembly. It contained a wide range of ideas, not all of which would need big time for launching. He reminded himself not to be in a hurry to mess with the good stuff already in operation.

A theme had been formulating over the past few days: "He must get the glory. Not us." He had sensed sadly that a number of projects in the pa…

Don't Bring a Thing

The week had flown by for Craig Randall. People at Keith's church had greeted him warmly on the morning Ted Brandon spoke. He had given simple exhortation to press on offering kind words, everyday help, a ready smile and willingness to listen. All in the name of Christ. The message was entitled "Apply the Salt". Now it was Craig's turn and he felt strangely confident before his newfound friends:

"So it's settled," the hostess said. "We'll see you guys at 6:30 on Saturday. Everything will be ready. Don't bring a thing. Just your appetites. We look forward to a really good evening together."

Perhaps you have had such a conversation, and then on the way over stopped for flowers, some drinks or an interesting treat to take along. Just common etiquette isn't it? Or is it that you don't want to be beholding to another?

I have been studying one of Jesus' more forceful parables - the wedding feast in Matthew 22. A prince is to be …

All Stiff in Starched Sheets

Beth awoke with a yelp. What a horrible nightmare! She longed to reach over to Keith for a comforting hug. But no, she was in a hospital, remember?

The doctor had told her that the recent trauma might produce some crazy things in the sub-conscious. Not to mention the drugs for pain. She felt that she must present an odd picture. Upper body casts. Unsightly purple bruise on the left temple. Stitches at the eyebrow.

The young woman in the bed opposite had been trying to hide the fact that she was staring. From what Beth had gleaned, Crissy was in for a broken hip from a fall from a second story balcony. Standing on a chair to water some plants. Lost her balance, or so the official story went. Beth suspected that there was some other real scenario.

"Must have had a bad one, eh?" Crissy looked genuinely concerned, but conversation had been strained. In the two days of Beth's treatment thus far Crissy had had only one visitor, a boyfriend named Steve. He had brought her up-to…

All Things Work Together...

Todd Bushnell got up from the table to give Keith a big hug. Through their secretaries they had arranged lunch at Ennios, their favourite pasta place. Todd had only heard vaguely about the accident.

"Beef, good to seeya. Grab a chair and tell me what's going on with Beth?"

Before they could get started a waitress appeared and they put in their orders for Caesar salad and the house favourite spagghetini with meat sauce.

"Beth was driving to Guelph with two other women day before yesterday for a Women's Aglow luncheon at one of the hotels. It had been drizzling all morning and the road was really slick. Suddenly an oncoming motorcycle lost its hold and skidded on its side right toward Beth. In her efffort to avoid collision she put the car down into a steep ditch. Almost flipped it over. Everybody was thrown about inside the vehicle. Her two friends managed to get up and out. Only cuts and bruises. Beth was in too much pain to be moved. They phoned for police and …


Yesterday's devastating tornado coming off Lake Huron to Goderich has had everyone talking. Hilary and I visited this pretty town on Canada Day and enjoyed a scenic rest and read on the bluffs looking down at the lake. The downtown roundabout was completely dedicated to a parade and party for our national holiday.

I look on the news at the same spot as of yesterday afternoon. Trees down. Brick walls and glass panels imploded. Cars overturned. Awnings lifted. Roofs collapsed. Large fallen limbs damaging homes everywhere. Debris. I can't remember anything so destructive ever in southwestern Ontario.

But look at what I also found browsing on You Tube:

The Confession

In his new paperback John Grisham appears to be getting more into the possibility of community-active pastors and Good Samaritans. Lutheran Pastor Keith has been approached by Travis a paroled convict who is just about through his half-way house stay, but also dying from a brain tumour. Something led him to the church.

Travis' criminal record is repugnant. A repeat sex offender. The scene of their discussions is Topeka, Kansas. Over near Slone, Texas a young black football star is about to die for the kidnapping and murder of a high school cheerleader. He maintains his innocence after nine years of appeals claiming a tortuously coerced confession, unreasonable disallowance of exonerating alibis, a trumped-up jailhouse snitch, a biased trial judge, a politically motivated District Attorney and the absence of the teenager's body.

The ex-con knows that the wrong man is going to his death. Travis did the deed and has detailed facts which put him in the scene including possession o…

How to Meet the Evils of the Age

(Taken from An All Round Ministry by Spurgeon)

So far as I remember, every year has been an exceedingly critical period; and so far as I can see in history, almost every six months some fervid spirit or another has written about "the present solemn crisis." There are persons who always believe in the imminent peril of the universe in general and of the Church of God in particular, and a sort of popularity is sure to be gained by always crying "Woe! Woe!" Prophets who will spiritually imitate Solomon Eagle, who went about the streets of London in the time of the plague, naked, with a pan of coals on his head, crying "Woe! Woe!" are thought to be faithful, though they are probably dyspeptic. We are not of that order: we dare not shut our eyes to the evils that surround us, but we are able to see the Divine power above us, and to feel it with us, working out its purposes of grace. We say to each of you what the Lord said to Joshua in the chapter we have just…

Right What?

Isaiah shows us the way to God's pleasure. It is the right sort of Sabbath and the right sort of fast described in chapter 58:

6Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.

9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise…

Consolation To a Youth

St Peter's, March 1.1842. My Dear A.

"I did not think I was to have answered your kind letter in the time of bitter grief. But so it pleases Jehovah, whose will must be our will, if we would be happy. It is good for you to bear the yoke in your youth. This is the way God trains his saints, and especially his ministers. I saw your dear little brother twice on his dying bed, and indeed I could not believe he was dying, except that his calm eye was directed to the hills of Immortality, and he seemed already to breathe some of the atmosphere of the world of sinless joy. I do trust and believe that he was a saved boy. You know I am rather slow of coming to this conviction, and not fond of speaking when I have not good evidence; but here, I think, God has not left us in doubt.

At Blairgowrie he used several times to speak to me about divine things, and the tear would gather in his eye when he said that he feared he had never been brought to Jesus. Once, when he' had a sore thro…

Wave a Trucker On Through

Do something nice for a trucker, please. These guys put in so many days which would try the patience of the gentlest person you know.

They take longer to stop; more space to turn; need more visibility than they are ever afforded to back up. They approach many a loading dock which was only designed for "straight trucks" (24 feet) over thirty years ago.

These men and women are often told to hurry up as much as possible in the on-loading of a shipment and in the drive to a customer's shop or job site. Upon arrival they find no receiver present. In a phone call they are told, "Oh, Charlie is also overseeing another job about 20 miles distant. Give him a call at *** and then probably in about 40 minutes you'll have your men and machinery". It is the classic "hurry up...and wait" scenario.

They are constantly expected to make the quick stop or lane change in heavy traffic. Other motorists will only comment, "They are professionals. They should be u…

Duty After Privilege

(Today's thought from J. R. Miller in Come Ye Apart)

“Lord, it is good for us to be here: & let us make here three tabernacles;”

Matthew 17:4

We should know that it was Peter who said this, even if his name were not given; it is just like Peter. He wanted to hold the heavenly vision on the mountain top, and not go back any more to the cold, struggling life of earth. It seemed such a heavenly place that he did not want to leave it. It certainly was good to be there; but they could not stay there long and yet be faithful to their duty and their mission. There was work waiting in the sad world below which they must hasten to do. There was a poor demoniac at the foot of the mountain whom the disciples could not cure; the Master was sorely needed there. Then farther off were Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha for Jesus; He must make an atonement for the world. Then for Peter there was Pentecost, with many years of earnest service, and martyrdom in the end.

Devotion is good. It is ve…

Keith Speaks Again

The heart and the hunger of Keith Green, singer-prophet of over three decades ago, often put the Church to shame.

There is a new release of the song "Let Me Rediscover You" by the group "Downhere". I hope that it gets lots of mileage over the airways. The singer is dry as the song begins, tired of the games and pounding momentum of religion and program. He seeks a new vision and understanding of the Master... a new commissioning.

He is done with the "same-old", the strawberry socials; the breakfasts and small talk; the teaching which fattens the flock but never blesses the stranger; the courteous hold on emotion; the thinning use of the name of Jesus; the stultifying of the testimonies of those startled by grace. With familiarity, rigid terms of reference and vain repetition he has put the story of Jesus into a box, and a distorted one.

He feels that he must almost start anew and alone. So few today have the time, patience or interest to do this. But with…

Bondservant's Plea

(Ministered by the group "Downhere". An old Keith Green song with mucho heart.)

Let me rediscover you
And breathe in me your life anew.
Tell me of the God I never knew
And let me rediscover you.

The time had come to step out in freedom, but my love for the Master would not allow it. I wished to remain His and I submitted the lobe of my ear to the mallet and awl. "Nail it to the lintel of the door. Please, now. I will never leave the Master's house; never leave His service. I renounce my own path. I tie my destiny into the Master's."

That had been the decision so many years back. He had watched over me through good times and bad; my family as well. But I consider things now and my understanding of Him. So much that I still do not know. He is so far beyond me. So deep. So constant. While I waiver. Do I bring Him pleasure? Do I get the work done in a manner fitting His nobility? Oh teach me more Master. Bring out what you expect to find in me. I will not set…

And Finally, Up

A reading of Isaiah chapters 30 through 33 gives impressions which are both beautiful and confusing.

The people of God are under attack. They have not totally cast off their idols. They have foolishly considered aid from the wrong human source (Egyptian horses and chariots). They have received poor counsel at their gates. The ravenous Assyrians with their vile leader "the Assyrian" (foreshadowing the Anti-Christ) have cut a destructive path of colossal proportions. God looks upon the unbelief and chastens His people. But then God arises:

Isaiah 31:

3Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.

4For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abas…

Your Ready Sympathy

(Today's entry in Our Daily Walk by F. B. Meyer)


"I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." -- Mat 16:19.

ALTHOUGH THESE words were spoken to the Apostle Peter, there is a profound sense in which every true disciple of Christ can exercise the power of locking and unlocking the door of Faith, Hope, or Love to another soul. You may be aware of some one who is carrying a heavy burden, is oppressed with some over-mastering dread, or is fighting some besetting sin. You try to gain that person's confidence, endeavour to find some way of escape, promise some much-needed assistance, speak words of cheer and encouragement, and in this way unlock the door of the dark cell in which he has been incarcerated. The manifestation of your ready sympathy and help have emancipated him. Is not this a true use of the…

In His Heavenly Mission

(Taken from Andrew Murray's book Like Christ)

THE Lord Jesus lived here on earth under a deep consciousness of having a mission from His Father to fulfil. He continually used the expression, 'The Father hath sent me.'1 He knew what this mission was. He knew the Father had chosen Him, and sent Him into the world with the one purpose of fulfilling that mission, and He knew the Father would give him all that He needed for it. Faith in the Father having sent Him was the motive and power for all that He did. In earthly things it is a great help if an ambassador knows clearly what his mission is; that he has nothing to do but to care for its accomplishment; and that he has given himself undividedly to do this one thing. For the Christian it is of no less consequence that he should know that he has a mission, what its nature is, and how he is to accomplish it.

(*1 It will repay the trouble to compare carefully the following passages: John v. 24, 30, 37, 38, vi. 38, 39, 40, 44, vi…

Poignant Moment in Music

I have been in meetings where the simplicity and trust of the following song lyrics have broken me and brought me into the celebration hall of the King of Kings. Truly an expression of worship which has no need to use the "enticing words of men's wisdom". It is simply spirit responding to Spirit:

Words and music: Tanya Goodman and Michael Sykes

The King of Who I Am

My days are filled with laughter,
My heart has known Your peace.
I've travelled far, still there is far to go.
'Cause in my heart there is a longing,
To look upon Your face.
Where You are is where I want to be.


You are my King;
You are the Lamb;
Lion of Judah,
Seed of Abraham,
The Holy One,
God's only Son.
You are the King of who I am.

Every road I've travelled down,
You have walked before me.
Made the light to shine out of darkness.
I am looking for the day when I bow before You,
Lay my crown at Your feet.

(Chorus Again)

Oh, I'll Be Alright Chile...

Watching the video in the last post I was reminded of all the good Gospel music enjoyed in the 80's with the signature of Andrae Crouch on it. It was a time when we lived close to Detroit and frequently went over for concerts or revival meetings. Names such as Swaggart, Copeland, Cerullo, Price, Bonnke, Jenkins, Grant, Schambach.

Crowds were always of mixed colour and mixed expression. It was a learning time of comparative worship. We timid little Canadians were received warmly. Our teenage recollections of the race riots in the 60's evaporated under the sun of the Son.

I remember one crusade in particular at Cobo Hall where the praise was rich and unashamed. Hilary and I could hear a delightlful alto voice close behind us joining in all the songs without hesitation and with interspersed exclamations of "Praise ya Lode, Thank ya Jesus." At a break in the meeting we had a pleasant conversation with this black grandmother in her upper 70's. She was a frequent attend…

Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid?

Psalm 27:
1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

I can still hear the powerful tenor voice of Larnelle Harris pounding out this lyric, and repeating "the Lord is the strength of my life".

Dear believer, have you the witness of his all-capable fathering of you? Do you see it in the scriptures? Do you sense it in the hidden man of the heart? Does He come with calm in the midst of a storm? Does He leave you laughing at your strategies when you neglected Him? Does He bring to your recollection the many rescues and guiding impressions. Does a strange word of comfort or assurance startle you in the night?

Toward the end of the Psalm the writer states, "13. I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living". I will repeat it... "in the land of the living".

Goodness of this Lord?
Did he not shepherd the massive Exodus from Egypt with Mo…

Concerning England's Riots

Psalm 2

1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.

5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

10Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12Kiss the Son, lest he …

In Torments

Earlier I have referred to Brownlow North (1810-1875) and his evangelistic efforts in England and Ireland. I enjoyed reading the book "The Rich Man and Lazarus" (Banner of Truth Trust).

Some very emphatic points were made about the plight of the rich man in Jesus' story in Luke 16:

22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go…

The Rich Man's Death

I could have blessed the beggar
Found daily near my door
And never missed the outlay
With always plenty more.
And brought him to my wardrobe
And dressed him in last year’s.
And filled his aching belly
And washed away his tears.

But fashion held me captive
And closed the hand of grace
For fear of colleagues’ censure
For need to know my place.
A privilege come from family,
And shored up for one’s heirs,
Not soon to heed a pauper
Not soon to bless his prayers.

Just yesterday they told me
He sighed his final breath.
But still I hear his calling
Despite the unsung death.
“The good Lord, this. The good Lord, that.”
Would season every phrase.
Perchance he’s gone up laughing
To meet Him face-to-face.

And I am left the poorer
For lack of showing love.
Alas, not mine the blessing
That he secures above.
Yes, his a peace unworldly
Not seen in all the rest.
The pain now comes intensely.
“My lot, my loss, MY CHEST!”

A Successful God...

Of all the dubious thoughts raised by Michigan pastor-writer Rob Bell, I will now mention one.

A quick scan through the chapters of the controversial book Love Wins highlights Bell's perception of a successful God. He is love, and must be able to maximize the number of targets for that love. Bell highlights a verse in 2 Peter 3:

9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

There must be some way, he says, for most if not all created beings to enter into that love, if not in this life, then perhaps in some other.

The story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16) affirms that each individual has up to his final mortal breath to repent and to receive mercy. Better to receive early however; better to receive under the sense of present need than when surrounded by comforts, distraction and applause.

Paul in Ephesians and in Colossians speaks of the…

Taste and See

It’s not just a taste
That I’m after
Some look-see Evangel to try.
For that will not hold
Me to Holy,
Or shield me when
Harm passes by.

Consider the Friend
Of all sinners,
And imitate Him if I can?
For none ever spake
Life the wiser,
Or comforted more
Than this Man.

But knowing myself,
That I waiver
And daily lose sight of the goal.
I wonder could God
Ever love me?
Harbour my soul?

And then comes the truth
Like the sun-rise.
The Father has drawn me to come.
Has seen me full into
The sheepfold.
Has made me a gift
To His Son.

And with these new
Eyes of the Spirit
This chosen child finally finds rest.
And daily delivers
The service
A thankful heart
Renders the best.

Psalm 34
8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.

9 Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness.

10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry,
but God-seekers are full of God.
(The Message)

Hitherto Hath the Lord Helped Us

A Look at 1 Samuel Chapter Seven in Summarized Bible: Complete Summary of the Old Testament by Keith L. Brooks

Contents: Ark brought to house of Abinadab. Revival of Mizpah. Victory at Eben-ezer.

Characters: God, Samuel, Eleazar, Abinadab.

Conclusion: When we are truly sensible that by sin we have provoked God to withdraw from us and that we are undone if we continue in that state, if we make a solemn business of returning to God we may be assured we are on the way to a renewed prosperity and deliverance.

Key Word: Return, v. 3.

Strong Verses: 3, 8, 12.

Striking Facts: v. 12. The Christian should, as he passes along, set up his Ebenezers by which he will be reminded that “hitherto the Lord hath helped him” and by which he will give all the glory of his victories to God and His Son Jesus Christ.

A portion of this chapter taken from The Message:

10–12 While Samuel was offering the sacrifice, the Philistines came within range to fight Israel. Just then God thundered, a huge thunderclap exp…

The Convicting Aspect

In Luke chapter five we have the incident of Jesus instructing Peter to set out again in the morning after a night of futile fishing. A number of possible interpretations have been offered for Peter's response: 'Lord, we have been at this all night to no avail; nevertheless at thy word we will launch out.'

The extraordinary yield of fish which followed caused Peter to say "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man." Here is the rabbi, obviously inexperienced in the ways of fishing, showing some supernatural knowledge or authority concerning the fish.

Perhaps Peter had responded in sarcasm or in doubt as to Jesus' prospects of success. The Lord's calm, sincere and hopeful demeanour had a convicting effect. It is likely that anyone who got within range of the Master's words or extraordinary deeds would respond in like fashion.

In am reminded of one of the Psalms which states, "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." (Psalm 13…

Too Sick But to Pray

(Taken from the M'Cheyne Memoir)

Accordingly, in company with our faithful Hebrew friend, Erasmus Caiman, we embarked; but as we lay off Cyprus, the fever increased to such a height, that he (Robert) lost his memory for some hours, and was racked with excessive pain in his head. When the vessel sailed, he revived considerably, but during three days no medical aid could be obtained. He scarcely ever spoke ; and only once did he for a moment, on a Saturday night, lift his languid eye, as he lay on deck ending the breeze, to catch a distant sight of Patmos We watched him with agonizing anxiety till we reached Smyrna and the village of Bouja. Though three miles off; yet for the sake of medical aid he rode to this village upon a mule after sunset, ready to drop every moment with pain and burning fever. But here the Lord had prepared for him the best and kindest help. The tender and parental care of Mr and Mrs Lewis, in whose house he found a home, was never mentioned by him but with dee…