Showing posts from September, 2011

A Very Precise Map

Hear David's assessment of the Word of God:

Psalm 17:

4Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

5Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

6I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

7Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.

8Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

9From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

David acknowledges that a strict keeping and knowing of scripture alone keeps him safely on the right path. He loves to dig into it. Will not be satisfied with simplistic overviews.

Imagine that you are on a trip and lost in the backwoods. A friend has given you a simple map showing only main roads. But you are not on a main road! Will you ever get out of the boonies?


"Nice" Misses the Mark

(Taken from Come Ye Apart by J. R. Miller)

The Young Ruler

“There came one running, and kneeled to him , and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

Mark 10:17

This was a young man, with all his powers fresh and full. He was rich, with all the honour, ease, distinction, and influence that riches give. He was a man of good reputation among his fellows; for he was a ruler of the synagogue. His character was above reproach; for he had scrupulously kept all the commandments. He was a lovable man, with many fine qualities, attractive and winning; for Jesus loved him when he saw him. Yet he was not satisfied. his heart-hunger was also very strong, driving him irresistibly in all haste to Christ.

There never was a more important question asked than he put to Jesus. Eternal life is the most glorious prize in the universe to be gained. It embraces all the blessings of salvation in this world, and then a place in the family of God for ever. It is no wonder this you…

One Dead Duck

Our children will never forget it. One of our frequent walks through the old neighbourhood to the university campus. A property on Keatsway Drive had a beautiful pond which often hosted the local ducks. Occasionally one would see traffic stopped as a parade of our waddling feathered friends walked across.

On this particular day one car did not stop and a male mallard was the casualty. Pinned on the road and rolling slightly over on the right shoulder and wing, this poor bird could not regain its feet. It rolled its neck and head left and up toward the sky, attempted to activate its wings, and died. Young children cried. One of their first encounters with death.

Poor duck. Made to swim, fly, grow, court, breed, feed, mate, brood, protect, argue, gossip and expire with one last upward look. Sound familiar? Have many lives not followed such a course? Hoping for nothing beyond? Placing no trust in the God Who creates, redeems, sustains, resurrects and glorifies.

Sad picture offered in most …


I can waste a body
I can shatter dreams
I can raise my threat
Through a thousand schemes.
I can rob a home
I can stunt a life
I can tear the bond
Of a man and wife.
I can pull the blind
Down on hope or joy
And the neighbours'talk
I will oft' employ.
I am given more
Than my powers are due
I just feed on fear
And the schemes come true.
I am named with awe
In the Hall of Waste
I have Slewfoot's praise
Seen him face to face.
I have often heard
When their end is nigh
How they doubt their God
How they curse the sky.
But it troubles me
That a few gain power
As they choose to smile
In my meanest hour.
As they give loud thanks
For a life to date
And they lean on Christ
For tomorrow's fate.

After the Rains...


The rain that fell a-yesterday is ruby on the roses,
Silver on the poplar leaf, and gold on willow stem;
The grief that chanced a-yesterday is silence that incloses
Holy loves when time and change shall never trouble them.

The rain that fell a-yesterday makes all the hillsides glisten,
Coral on the laurel and beryl on the grass;
The grief that chanced a-yesterday has taught the soul to listen
For whispers of eternity in all the winds that pass.

O faint-of-heart, storm-beaten, this rain will gleam tomorrow,
Flame within the columbine and jewels on the thorn,
Heaven in the forget-me-not; though sorrow now be sorrow,
Yet sorrow shall be, beauty in the magic of the morn.

--Katherine Lee Bates

(From today's entry in Streams in the Desert)

Bones and Thoughts

Bones and thoughts
Are briefly giv'n us.
Bones and thoughts
For this short span.
Bones to play
And render service.
Thoughts to delve
The scope of man.
Bones to sling
The trowel and mortar.
Bones to draw
The waters cool.
Bones to plant
The seed and harvest.
Bones to bully
And to rule.
Thoughts to better
Each month's tally.
Thoughts distilling
Beauties bright.
Thoughts to cheer
A struggling neighbour.
Thoughts to favour
Or to fight.

But the bones
Will stop their clatter.
And the thoughts
Will disconnect.
And beneath
Them both a whisper
Fiends and fools
Can scarce detect.
Softly vowing,
"There is more yet."
Which the Spirit
Yearns to give
To the hearers
Of that whisper.
"Children, come and
Trust and live."

What's In That Apple?

Just finished a helpful book by Josh McDowell and Thomas Williams (2003). It challenges the Post-Modern world view with some very convincing illustrations. Throws in some well-placed shots at evolutionary thinking along the way.

Recent views of tolerance and the disappointing inflexibility of rules have made numbers leave the world of fixed absolutes for "Whatever reality turns you on". The yardsticks are gone. After all, we originated out of chaos (the Darwinian view) and out of non-living matter, and have moved through a twisting path of coincidences.

I am reminded of a book on Creation Science entitled "From the Goo to You By Way of the Zoo".

But how does this pragmatic "scientific" view account for our undeniable responses to guilt, beauty, affection, moral law and search for purpose? They just don't fit into the evolutionary puzzle. Observations all around point to entropy and not to the irrepressible improvement of things. Clearly there has been a …

With God

(Taken from the first chapter of F. B. Meyer's work on John's Gospel)

"He was with God." We may not at first perceive the significance of this clause, any more than the casual tourist sees the importance of an embrasure in the fortifications where sheep browse, and soldiers stand at ease. But if ever there should come again days of conflict, like those which swept across the early Church, in which men should assert that the Word was but a momentary and impersonal manifestation of God, we should instantly revert to this significant clause, and cry, It cannot be--The Word was WITH God. The same was in the beginning WITH God.

The preposition selected by the Evangelist is very significant. It means communion with and movement towards. It denotes the intimate fellowship subsisting between two, and well befits the intercourse of the distinct Persons of the one and ever-blessed God. "The face of the everlasting Word was ever directed towards the face of the everlasting F…

Hidden Treasure

Psalm 119 is the longest psalm. It speaks repeatedly of the wisdom, guidance, comfort, correction, challenge and assurance which David receives from the Word of God.

He looks to scripture and the God of scripture as his main teacher, trainer, moralist, therapist, encourager, protector and reward. Seemingly every verse heaps praise and thanksgiving upon God’s ‘laws, statutes, commandments, ordinances, testimonies, ways, precepts, etc’. Every verse except three.

I would suggest that in these verses one finds hidden the message not of law but of grace:
Verse 90: Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth and it abideth.
Verse 122: Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.
Verse 132: Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.

What is being said here? God is eternally faithful. I am trusting in the Almighty Creator and not in myself to reach the finish line. He will guarantee or stand as su…


Just finished a five-day visit with Hilary to our nation's capital. A beautiful city with an infrastructure overtaxed by the flow of humanity. Parking problems. One-way street confusion. Constant construction bottlenecks.

But there is so much that is pleasing to the eye. A city overlook two hundred feet high from the gothic Peace Tower of the Centre Block of Parliament. A lean over the rail, viewing the cruise boats on the Rideau Canal. A hushed pause before A. Y. Jackson, Monet, Constable or Caravaggio at the National Art Gallery. An unforgettable walk through our history and regions at the Canada Hall, Third Floor of the Museum of Civilization. An uphill drive through the greenery and puffing cyclists in Gatineau Park. A relaxed and informative tour through the profiles and purposes of our Governors General at stately Rideau Hall. Stunning multi-media displays on ocean life, birds, dinosaurs and pre-historic mammals at the Museum of Nature.

Hilary had her fill of shopping. I had m…

Bring It On

Over the past couple of years I have enjoyed taking a try at short stories and poems with a spiritual thrust. Poetry has long been a fascination in all sorts of forms. But the anecdotes are something new.

I show here as a Helpful Link the entry "Bring It On". The document has been put into Adobe Reader form at the following:****Q-2zN9w

I now self-publish in this rather hasty fashion. Hopefully some readers out there will be blessed. As I have often said to friends, "Who can boast about finding a beautiful seashell at the shore, while walking along quietly. It has been found...plain and simple. God should get the glory."

Press On, Ilya and Janet

A recent review of statistics in viewership of this blog showed a renewed interest in a post of November 2009. It concerned a missions outreach and church in Siberia, receiving help from the Teen Challenge organization and others.

Pastors Ilya and Janet Bantseev have a remarkable story to tell of revival and infusion of the life of Christ into a drug-hazed culture. I thought I should add a picture of the couple to the article, and I discovered through Google Images another blog which has given them attention, but in a negative slant. That blog has the purpose of "putting evangelicals under the microscope". It is obviously stirred by the spirit of anti-Christ. Holds itself out as investigative reporting. Uses ideas from my article to suggest that Ilya and Janet are handling poorly some conflict in their neighbourhood (A businessman who is upset by some of the activities of the church. Ilya knows very well that this detractor may become a brother in the family of faith. He pra…

Church on the Hoist

Check out our new blog.

It is found at

Our purpose is to put into a format, easily referenced, some thoughts concerning revival for the church. A story is told of a young pastor's family compelled to challenge their congregation to a new level of worship, testimony and service. To stop attending a "Sunday show" and to start to operate in real compassion, transparency and burden bearing. This requires a new visitation in the Spirit and sovereign initiative of God. Our hunger and honest supplication play a part.

Essentially I have collected all the posts from this blog under the label "Surgeons Cut" and have re-packaged them with some additional insights. I have no special skill to be making these recommendations. I am sure that some with years in pastoring or other leadership will look at the package and suspect naivete. I almost did not take the step, but visitor response to these articles did suggest that they were proving…