Posts

Showing posts from December, 2011

If I Should Continue...

Image
Now over one thousand articles posted on this blog and a number of ebooks released at issuu.com/deedub51.

A new visitor may be inclined to ask, "Who is this guy? Probably some self-righteous know-it-all who in reality would rather believe than think."

I have no such posture or opinion. Just a newsboy with nothing original to say, but the grand old truths to reiterate to a society that is forgetting. I have reservations about organized religion, being the man-made system that it is.

My own impressions of the risen Christ have been crystallized out of personal crises, thoughtful reflection on the scriptures and keen dialogue with other sincere Christian friends and mentors. I did my stints at the United, Anglican, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Although I am aware of the admonition 'to gather together', I must confess that the major revelations and attractions did not occur "at church".

Consequently, I see much opportunity for the "Christ of the stree…

Hebrews: Final Trio

Image
A few words now on chapter 11 (faith), chapter 12 (chastening) and chapter 13 (new sacrifices).

Many are familiar with the faith chapter and its glorious listing of the victories of heroes in the Old Testament. Remember that the writer is addressing a Jewish bunch. He must be respectful to their inspiring tradition; at the same time driving home the point that trust in the finished work of Jesus is now paramount. Things have been very much "done" for us. The compulsion to "do" the many Jewish feasts and rules and regs of Exodus and Leviticus has been over-ridden. One must also note that the faith list includes almost an equal number of happy victories and noble martyrdoms. The lineage of heroes knew that there was something more - a city, a community under Messiah. The writer proclaims that it has now come and is fulfilling the hopes of his people.

Admittedly, the taking of a stance for Jesus at that time drew fire from the unbelieving and from the traditionalists. T…

New Covenant: Gotta Be

Image
In my current look at Hebrews I see quite clearly in chapters five through ten the inadequacy of Moses' covenant. The Law established in Aaron's line a priesthood which could not approach holy ministrations with clear conscience.

There had to be blood-lettings and washings first to make the priest suitable for ministry. The animal sacrifices had to be repeated over and over because of sin and because of the deaths of the priests, all caught in "the thrall of the Fall".

But then there appeared a sinless priest, of un-designated origin after the image of Melchizedek (Genesis 14). He was able to operate under "the power of an endless life", a sinless life. He had only to offer up a sacrifice once for the sins of the people. Calvary.

Let that word ring through your heart and your consciousness - "once"!

Hebrews 9:

24For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in th…

We Are

Image

Entering Into His Rest

Image
What a wonderful progression of victory is depicted in the first four chapters of the Letter to the Hebrews.

Jesus is the express manifestation of the nature of God. He is God. He is David's Lord, after the order of Melchizedek, foreshadowed in Psalm 110. He is better than the angels, although He came down to such a lowly service. He is better than Moses (oh ye Jewish candidates). He is better than the Temple. He is the Eternal Bridegroom described so magnificently in Psalm 45. He is the conqueror of all fear of death.

In the eternal plan He was made to suffer as all mortals suffer, and thereby He acquired "the place of intercession" that He might be more than qualified, more than trustworthy as High Priest and Captain of our Salvation.

But we have this terrible caution in front of our eyes, the sad wanderings of the Israelites under Moses which failed to result in the majority of them entering into the Promised Land. Why was this? Unbelief. What hadn't they believed? G…

I Don't Know

Image
Lincoln was depressed; Churchill was bipolar; Farraday stuttered; Beethoven was bipolar and deaf; Tchaikovsky was homosexual; Ulysses Grant was alcoholic; Fanny Crosby was blind; Dostoyevsky was a compulsive gambler, Jules Leger was a stroke victim; John Nash was schizophrenic; Carrie Fisher was drug-addicted.

All stellar contributors to the full orb of life, and God-gifted with flair, creativity, determination and opportunities.

As I round out my sixty-first year and a time when apparently I am to be equipped with wisdom, life experience and moderation, I only seem to know "that I don't know".

In faith matters this can be seen in my recent poem "More Imaginative":

http://issuu.com/deedub51/docs/more_imaginative

As I look at the talent and the productivity, and yes the philanthropy, all around, I realize that God has His hands on all kinds of people. That this planet is a marvelous laboratory of opportunity, with many good things yet to be done.

The general impressio…

A Different Poet

Image
Saw this comment on a poetry blog. He suggests the beauty of the words may not be in the message. There is room for such, I guess, in the Great Anthology.

Tempusfugit

Ahh, the beauty of poetry. I agree absolutely your points about poetry – it should be spoken/heard rather than read, and the reader shouldn’t spend too much time trying to ‘understand’ everything. Merely revel in its sound and savour the obliqueness. e.e. cummings is a great fave of mine. I used his poetry in class when I was doing teaching practice many years ago in Washington, County Durham. I’ve also used it often over the years for TEFL teaching. Its so deceptive, seeming simple yet packed with complexity, disarmingly profound. I’ll try and blog a couple of other fave poems when I’ve found them on poemhunter.com. I reckon everything is better if its got a bit of poetry in it somewhere. The ‘Spill is no exception.

Approaching the New Year

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

THE MARCH OF GOD'S PROGRESS

"Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign."-- 1Co 15:24.

WHITHER IS God moving? When we speak of the eternal progress of the Almighty, it must be remembered that we are adopting human speech, because God lives in the eternal present. He is Jehovah--"I AM!"

God is moving to the supreme exaltation of our Saviour. Christ must and will reign, and the Father's power is even now engaged in putting all things under His feet. He has given Him the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. It is true that we see not yet all things put under Him, but God is even now engaged in hastening the fulfilment of His eternal plan. The rise and fall of rulers and kingdoms within the last few years; the clamour for new methods of…

A Living Parable

Image
John 13:

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?


This is one of the most beautiful scenes of Jesus with His disciples - the foot washing. Jesus, the Master of the feast gets up from his focal position at the table, strips off his raiment, takes the bowl of refreshing and stoops at the feet of every friend for the washing. This was common at a special meal, but it was to be done by the house servant.

What a contrast! Master of the Feast. Lowliest one in the room. Jesus intended his friends to understand that somehow in the intentions of God He was both. It takes us back to Matthew 11 where the Lord spoke of His "yoke" of meekness and lowliness.

But then the half-naked servant takes back the robe, returns to the head of the table, probably with John and Judas reclining on either side of Him, and asks, "Know ye what I have done to you?"

Here it seems that we have the entir…

Could Have Been My Parents' Living Room

Image

One Day Over Lunch

Image
Thanks for this to The Christian Link broadcast and website.

Let all the people praise Him!

Drummond Again on Love

Image
"Then Paul contrasts it with sacrifice and martyrdom. And I beg the little
band of would-be missionaries and I have the honour to call some of you by this
name for the first time—to remember that though you give your bodies to be
burned, and have not Love, it profits nothing—nothing! You can take nothing
greater to the heathen world than the impress and reflection of the Love of God
upon your own character. That is the universal language. It will take you years to
speak in Chinese, or in the dialects of India. From the day you land, that language
of Love, understood by all, will be pouring forth its unconscious eloquence. It is the man who is the missionary, it is not his words. His character is his message. In theheart of Africa, among the great Lakes, I have come across black men and women who remembered the only white man they ever saw before—David Livingstone; and
as you cross his footsteps in that dark continent, men’s faces light up as they
speak of the kind Doctor who passed there …

Hello, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Image
You keep on popping up as a visitor to this blog. Perhaps you would like to comment on how you have been affected; on what has been rolling over in your heart and mind concerning Jesus...Doug

Shevchenko: My Thoughts

Image
My thorny thoughts, my thorny thoughts,
You bring me only woe!
Why do you on the paper stand
So sadly row on row? ...
Why did the winds not scatter you
Like dust across the steppes?
Why did ill-luck not cradle you
To sleep upon its breast? ...

My thoughts, my melancholy thoughts,
My children, tender shoots!
I nursed you, brought you up -- and now
What shall I do with you? ...
Go to Ukraine, my homeless waifs!
Your way make to Ukraine
Along back roads like vagabonds,
But I'm doomed here to stay.

There you will find a heart that's true
And words of welcome kind,
There honesty, unvarnished truth
And, maybe, fame you'll find ...
So welcome them, my Motherland,
Ukraine, into your home!
Accept my guileless, simple brood
And take them for your own!

Taras Shevchenko
St. Petersburg, 1839.

Translated by John Weir, Toronto

Un-Possessing, and Yet...

Image
My thirteenth year was wearing on
Grazing the lambs, one day I was
Beyond the village.The sun shone
Perhaps ? Or was it without cause ?
Such joy, such joy, as at the throne
Of God I felt . . .
They'd called already for our food,
But I, among the weeds, remained
Alone, and prayed to God. Indeed,
Why I, a small boy, wished to pray
So eagerly, I do not know,
Nor how my happiness was caused.
Around, the village and the Lord's
Sky, the lambs, it seemed, rejoiced,
The sun shone warm - yet did not scorch.

Not long the sun shone fair and warm,
Not long my prayers I murmured,
The sun blazed fiery red above,
And set this heaven burning.
As if aroused from sleep, I looked:
The village had grown dark,
Even God's azure sky above
That too was cheerless, stark.
I turned my eyes towards the lambs
These lambs were not mine;
I looked yonder to the houses
No home there I'd find.
God did not give me anything

And tears started flowing . . .
Bitter tears . . . But a young girl,
Over by the roadside,
Onl…

A Proviso on Bold Faith

Image
FOR WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

"There are testimonies of barren wombs opened, hopeless battles reversed, estranged loves renewed, broken bodies healed, food provided to empty tables. The victory list of Hebrews 11 will provide a good shot of adrenaline. But one must remember that the Lord by the Holy Spirit intentionally placed the eleventh chapter (faith) between the tenth (patience) and the twelfth (chastening). All of these three factors work together to accomplish the greatest sum of blessing for the most of God’s children, and to His greatest glory."

(This was written years ago. Since then I have heard so many testimonies and interviews where the speaker enthusiastically attempts to turn extracted tid-bits of scripture, often out of context, into recipes or formulae for personal success. As if every desire need not go through the filter of God's will, name and nature. 'He is a Father who would always wants to bless His kids, and give them what they want. Is…

If You But Knew

Image
Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), Ukrainian poet, had first to be purchased out of serfdom before his artistic career could flourish in painting and poetry. At twelve years of age he had been orphaned. Later forced into ten-plus years of military service by a Russian Czar angry at his writings. An infirm bachelor, dead at age forty-seven. Feel the atmosphere of anger in the following poem:

Young gentlemen, if you but knew
Where people weep their whole life through
You'd not compose your rhapsodies
And God for nothing you'd not praise -
And mock our tears and twit the truth.
The tranquil cottage in the grove
You call a paradise, I know.
In such a cottage once I dwelt
And there my first hot tears were spilt,
My early tears! I know no vice,
No wrong or evil anywhere
That's not within that cottage fair ...
And yet they call it paradise!

I do not speak of that wee house
Beside the village, by the copse,
As though 'twere paradise on earth.
'Twas there my mother gave me birth
And, singing as h…

How Much of This Book to Accept?

Image
Yesterday I finished the bestseller by Brazilian author Paulo Cuelho entitled The Alchemist (1988 and English version 1993)

There are some legitimate undercurrents of Bible truth in this allegory about one's fate, but also a pile of seemingly New Age Universal Consciousness. The author claims that on a lengthy walking pilgrimmage in northwestern Spain he was blessed with a self-awareness and a spirital awakening described in his book The Pilgrimmage. Ideas are extended in The Alchemist, and they focus upon keenly following your dream, as if the whole universe conspires benevolently through life experience and omens to see your dream accomplished.

A shepherd boy in Andalusia (Spain) has carved out a successful livelihood, knowing the flock, the trails, the weather, the market towns and beautiful Spanish girls. But he is restless. A recurring dream only increases the ennui, as it speaks to a treasure to be found at the base of the Egyptian pyramids. The boy goes to a fortune teller t…

Milestones

Thanksgiving is a marvelous resource and weapon. I collected the writings in this ebook largely to encourage myself.

Open publication - Free publishing - More family

Good Will Toward Men

Image
It had become a Christmas tradition in our City. Julius' restaurant would be the location of a free Christmas dinner for the "down and out". Not too far from the Farmers' Market. A popular deli-style European eating spot.

The paper had covered the event a couple of times. Pictures of Julius and friends carrying large trays of steaming turkey, mashed potatoes and dressing. Happy conversation. Pats on the back. Smiling faces of individuals whom the reader might have noticed at park benches or store vestibules at other times of the year.

This seemed to embody the true Christmas spirit. Donations of money for the event were welcomed from the public.

But then came a year when everything changed. A few weeks before Christmas. Police were called to the restauant. Yellow tape stretched all around. A body found inside. Julius. Suicide?

Follow-up reporting was never very clear. Financial problems? Mental illness? And this in a man extending apparently so much good will to others. …

Abandoned

Image
Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Seeking all His fulness at whatever cost;
Cutting all the shore-lines, launching in the deep
Of His mighty power--strong to save and keep.
Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Oh! the sinking, sinking, until self is lost!
Until the emptied vessel lies broken at His feet;
Waiting till His filling shall make the work complete.
Utterly abandoned to the will of God;
Seeking for no other path than my Master trod;
Leaving ease and pleasure, making Him my choice,
Waiting for His guidance, listening for His voice.
Utterly abandoned! no will of my own;
For time and for eternity, His, and His alone;
All my plans and purposes lost in His sweet will,
Having nothing, yet in Him all things possessing still.
Utterly abandoned! 'tis so sweet to be
Captive in His bonds of love, yet so wondrous free;
Free from sin's entanglements, free from doubt and fear,
Free from every worry, burden, grief or care.
Utterly abandoned! oh, the rest is sweet,
As I tarry, waiting, at His blessed …

Breathtaking Buggies

Image
One Christmas Season my family took a night-time drive with a friend into the country north of Waterloo - Mennonite country.

A moderate amount of snow lay all around. The air was thick with moisture, almost foggy. A partial moon helped our vision along an otherwise unlit Township road.

At one point we were on a height of land overlooking a valley, partially white and showing broken field remnants of harvest. An intersecting road crossed our view at the crest of the hill.

Three Mennonite buggies were there. Gas or battery lanterns on the back. Twin-horse teams enthusiastically pacing the journey. Occupants all blanketed and enjoying the beauty of the night. Animals steaming from the exercise in the humidity.

Peter Etril Snyder should have had an opportunity to paint the scene.

It was a magical, timeless Christmas family moment.

It Buzzes By

Image
The people you meet today, Boxing Day, will inevitably shrug their shoulders and say, "It all went by so fast!"

Christmas Day, a blur of early rising, devastated packaging, fancy breakfasts, favourite old music, happy family visits, turkey and dressing. Done.

And that, for many, following the anticipation of several weeks.

In the stores in preceding days, I noticed the prediminance of melancholy in the Christmas tunes. I'll Be Home for Christmas, Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, White Christmas, Blue Christmas, long-dead recording artists. The suggestion is that the Good News of the Season is almost too good to last or to grasp. It is but a warm memory. Pity.

Then too there is the confusion of legitimate Christmas images with fictitious traditional ones. "No Johnny, the Bible does not mention the Little Drummer Boy, Ebenezer Scrooge, Charlie Brown, The Christmas Shoes, Santa Claus, Red-Nosed Rudolph or John-Boy Walton."

The sincere Christian does not lose the mag…

Clydes at Play

Image
The previous posted video had beautiful scenes of horses in the snow. That got me thinking.

Years ago on a very cold winter's morning with sun bright above, Hilary and I took a drive near Dresden. My wife always enjoys getting near horses. Brings back the memories of riding at a stable near her family's cottage at Port Stanley.

We came across a farm which included a long and narrow barn, all snow covered and glistening. In the fenced in paddock one Clydesdale of beautiful proportions was looking toward the open door of the barn as if expecting something. Suddenly a second and younger horse burst out of the structure at surprising speed, followed by a third. These two were obviously at play and galloping in every direction in the untouched snow of the yard. Then back into the building at such a speed that we feared a collision.

Only seconds later they emerged to do it again, breath steaming, snow flying from large feathered hooves, mighty shoulders and haunches shaking in the thri…

Winter by Vivaldi

Image
I know that many will be looking for some signs of winter. We had a green Christmas Day. Holidayers have skis and sleighs in hand, looking for some snow. This video of Vivaldi's "Winter" sets the mood.

Christmas Exchange

Image
I once had a client, call him Edward, who had been born on Christmas day in the Irish trouble spot of Belfast. There were then unwritten laws dividing spheres of influence in the city between Protestant and Catholic. Intense fighting, bombing and gunfire.

Edward's pregnant Protestant mother found herself in the wrong part of town as the birth pangs came on, with only a couple of friends in the same predicament and able to help.

It was Christmas and surely there would be some kind of reprieve in suspicions and hostility. A Catholic family was informed, and reluctantly they agreed to ask some quick questions about how a transport might be arranged. In short order that family learned that another pregnant mother, a Catholic one, was in the same condition, and stuck in the Protestant side of the city.

A truce and an exchange were arranged in the darkness of night for the "Christmas babies and mothers". The memory of the Christ child had been sufficiently compelling. Shortly the…

Our December Gift

Image
I am getting the impression that at this Christmas season our greatest gift to the community is our prayers. A bustling world will say, "Oh no, not that; give money and groceries and time and attention; a helping hand."

But we are the peculiar priesthood, Peter tells us. If we don't pray for souls, for peace, harmony, healing, wise leadership, particular comfort, who will to any significant effect?

John Wesley once said that our benevolent God waits to release His blessing in response to the heartfelt petitions of the saints. If several come into agreement in a particular season, all the better.

Listening to a Sunday radio broadcast recently, I noticed that one of our liberal local churches gave a focal and extended period of time to corporate prayer. There were invocations from the reverend and responses from the congregation. Numerous areas of concern were addressed. Hopefully the people truly believed for what they were asking. They will be surprised to see the answers c…

In the Olive Press

Image
Still sleeping?
Friends and brothers?
Though you were to watch with me,
And to share in this prayer garden
What the others might not see.

Still sleeping?
Simon Peter?
Coarse and headstrong at your best.
But beneath it all a leader
Who will one day meet the test.

Still sleeping?
Sons of Thunder?
Did you not once ask the seat
At my right hand in the Kingdom?
But you doze now at my feet.

Yes, sleeping,
As I watch you
Like a parent in the night
Checking children's needful slumber,
Trusting they will be alright.

Sleep on now...
There is comfort,
Strangely getting me prepared,
As I smile now in recalling
All the glorious times we shared.

Sleep on now.
What I do here
Will first bring you grief and gloom;
But the dark must yield to daylight.
I will leave an empty tomb!

Sleep on now.
Dear disciples.
I have loved you from the start.
And have shared the Father's vision,
And have given you my heart.

Enough now.
Time to rally!
Waken brethren. Watch me stand.
I am ready for the offering.
My betrayer is at hand.


(Picture: Olive…

Thanks For the Flag

Image
Thanks for the flag, saints.
You ran once with Him.
Touched His clothes.
Placed hands of camaraderie
Upon those shoulders.
Saw the lame walk,
The outcast relieved,
The fretful calmed,
The dead raised,
The deaf ears opened.

To His message of love
And of Father's
Constant reaching.
Of the prize in
Absorbing the blow;
Going two miles;
Listening with grace;
Facing the grave.
Proclaiming at hand-off,
'Him, Risen Indeed!'

To other keen runners,
In different times,
In different struggles,
In different climes.
But all with
The Spirit and
Joy reinforced,
To herald the message
And finish their course.
The flag still clean.

And true to its purpose.
No never gone stale,
Nor broken, nor bested,
Nor picayune, nor pale.
Maintaining rich colour,
Its drapery white,
And crimson its message,
'Begone dreadful night
Of death and despairing.
Our Lord makes things right!'

So carry the standard
When passed on to you.
Its olive-wood handle
So straight and so true.
And look for new runners
Who reverence God's Son,
Who range to the…

It's All So Confusing

Image
The whole Bible prophecy thing. People in the Church appear to have argued over this for years. Particularly in the last hundred years.

At one point we read of worsening conditions on the planet as prophesied by Jesus. Then Paul encourages with a supernatural escape plan for the Church "into the clouds", evermore to be with the Lord. Then John the Revelator talks of a corporate return of the Church Triumphant to planet earth to set up a literal kingdom under Jesus. The Old Testament prophets were repeatedly describing inevitable blissful conditions for a renewed Israel following horrendous Divine Judgment of wickedness aligned against God's people. And finally some sort of new existence without time, night or sorrow is described in the New Jerusalem.

Through it all one cannot help but notice the obvious spiritual contrast between two cities, two spiritual destinations for mankind. It is either Zion or Babylon. It is either Isaiah 54 or Revelation 17. Contented peace and se…

Test of Faithfulness

Image
(Today's entry in My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers)

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . . —Romans 8:28

It is only a faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls his circumstances. We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. We act as if the things that happen were completely controlled by people. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith— the Lord Jesus Christ. God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be repeated in our life. This is where the test of our faithfulness comes. If we will just learn to worship God even during the difficult circumstances, He will change them for the better very quickly if He …

Body of Christ

Image

Let Us Take the Pause

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

QUIET RESTING PLACES

"My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."-- Isa 32:18.

ISAIAH'S CONCEPTION of these quiet spots in our lives is set forth in Isa 32:2 of this chapter, as also by the Psalmist in the Psa 23:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. It is scorching noon. The glare from the limestone rocks is almost unbearable. The sunbeams strike like sword-blades. Every living creature has fled for shelter from the pitiless heat, with the exception of the little green lizards that dart to and fro in play, or searching for food. The shepherd has led his panting flock down into the valley, where great rocks cast dark shadows. Listen to the musical ripple of the brown-hued brook, as it glides lazily between the mossy banks, and breaks against the little pebbles that line its bed! These are the green pastures and the water of rest!

Have they not their counterpart in our lives! The happy …

Nativity Rhymes

Innkeeper

Image
So why did I do it?
It still isn't clear.
The rooms were all taken;
The busiest this year.
And all of them dusty,
And all of them tired.
The trek to their birth-place
By Rome now required.
A census, the issue.
A right royal pain.
And doubtless the purpose
More tribute to gain.

The evening was settling,
The rush nearly o'er.
But still came a knocking
For help at my door.
The couple so tender,
The young girl with child.
The husband imploring
With eyes almost wild.
About to refuse them,
I glanced once at her.
Amazingly peaceful
And patient, demure...

"But wait, there's the stable.
Not much of a spot.
But shelter and bedding;
That's all I have got.
And liquids and lanterns
And clean swaddling fare.
Go quickly, my children,
Your baby comes there!"
(And so near my livestock
Messiah was born.
The night sky, the shepherds,
The earth-changing morn.)

Hush, Pause, Be Still

Image
Not in the tumult of the rending storm,
Not in the earthquake or devouring flame;
But in the hush that could all fear transform,
The still, small whisper to the prophet came.
0 Soul, keep silence on the mount of God,
Though cares and needs throb around thee like a sea;
From supplications and desires unshod,
Be still, and hear what God shall say to thee.
All fellowship hath interludes of rest,
New strength maturing in each poise of power;
The sweetest Alleluias of the blest
Are silent, for the space of half an hour.
0 rest, in utter quietude of soul,
Abandon words, leave prayer and praise awhile;
Let thy whole being, hushed in His control,
Learn the full meaning of His voice and smile.
Not as an athlete wrestling for a crown,
Not taking Heaven by violence of will;
But with thy Father as a child sit down,
And know the bliss that follows His "Be Still!"

--Mary Rowles Jarvis

Jesus, Just in Time

Image
I love to consider God's perfect control over the things which He must see accomplished. It was so in the birth of Jesus. A Roman emperor had to declare a census at just the right time. The one in power was perfect for the assignment. He was in love with his own glory and took special delight in collecting numbers on the resources and people within his grasp.

When the people of God heard of this command to be numbered in the places of their birth, they made special protest. 'The travel required would throw the whole territory into turmoil and would suspend all commercial endeavour! Why not allow the registration in the places of current residence?'

A special delegation of Jews traveled to the centre of the Empire to make protest. Implementation of the census was delayed accordingly, so that the protest might be heard and considered.

Meanwhile the child in the womb of little Mary of Nazareth is coming to full term.

She is betrothed to Joseph the carpenter, of the lineage of Dav…

The Covenant to David (Christ)

Image
Psalm 89:

34My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.

35Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.

36His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.

37It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

38But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed.

39Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.

40Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin.

41All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours.

42Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice.

43Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle.

44Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground.

45The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou ha…

Pretty Good Sign

Image
How many times have you encountered an individual who is meek, withdrawn, careful with words, observant, courteous, going through a knothole of difficulty?

Perhaps in your spirit you hear the suggestion, "That one is on My table. Notice the signs?"

You will do well to heed this leading and to pray for him/her. You should also consider affirming this one in whatever way seems appropriate, and without strain or awkwardness. A brief bit of conversation, a smile, a door held open.

How often have my wife and I commented that someone noticed appears very close to Gospel light. Of course nothing in our encounters should be brushed off as mere coincidence. God intends to use His servants through words, actions, expressions and demeanour. This Gospel is a very tactile thing. It spreads with the rubbing of shoulders and the pressing of hands. The Book of Acts makes this very clear. It is about being "living epistles". (2 Corinthians 3: 2,3)

I have some difficulty with "scat…

Lord Send Revival

Image
The ebook utility issuu.com offers Conversation Groups where contributors can share their publications and exchange views and experiences on given topics or themes.

We have started a Group at the following:

http://issuu.com/groups/lordsendrevival

Simply click the picture in the left sidebar.

We look forward to hearing from fellow believers who have a heart and a burden for new fervour and hands-on service in the churches; spreading to the community as Jesus is honoured and His love and power receive heightened focus.

Tel Aviv in Trouble?

Image
Never before have I seen news items telling so clearly of the prospect of a nuclear device being launched at Israel. The National Post ran a hypothetical column entitled "The Day Tel Aviv Died". It examined the scenario of Iran launching a warhead which in a matter of a minute or so would vapourize an area of six square miles. Nuclear fallout would drift up the coast of the Mediterranean. Devastating, blinding, scalding impact would also register in slowly diminishing effect with Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Eastern Block. Oil prices would soar. Financial markets would somersault. Garden territories feeding Europe would be gone. Carnage and contagion which would dwarf Katrina, Chernobyl or anything else we have ever seen. Perhaps even Hiroshima.

We in the West have heard so much about trouble around Israel that we have become dull.

Mr. Netanyahu and his Minister of Defence are on record as predicting that they might become pressured by circumstances into the launch…

The Solar Look

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

"Light is sown for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart."-- Psa 97:11.

WRITING OF Emerson, Margaret Fuller says in her diary: "Emerson has been here this morning with a sunbeam in his face." It is recorded of Daniel Rowlands, the famous Welsh preacher--to hear whom on the Sunday morning people would travel through the entire Saturday night--that when he was preaching there was "a solar look" on his face. Like Moses, he wist not that his face shone. Is not this what our Lord meant when He bade His disciples anoint their heads and wash their faces that they might not appear to men to fast! We have no right to go through the world looking dour and dark, as though our religion had a depressing and saddening effect on its professors. "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart."

Of course, there are the darker aspects of human life, and hours when we must en…

Pure Focus

Image
Summum Bonum

ALL the breath and the bloom of the year in the bag of one bee:
All the wonder and wealth of the mine in the heart of one gem:
In the core of one pearl all the shade and the shine of the sea:
Breath and bloom, shade and shine, --wonder, wealth, and--how far above them--
Truth that's brighter than gem,
Trust, that's purer than pearl,--
Brightest truth, purest trust in the universe--all were for me
In the kiss of one girl.

Robert Browning

This is what poetry can do. Draw the attention quickly to a message with microscopic effect.

I remember once having a discussion with Waterloo Region's poet laureate Rienzi Crusz. He knew of my budding interest in writing, and he gave an admonition something like this:

'This is the beauty of poetry. You have the delicious freedom to write whatever you want, in whatever form, at whatever length, loping along at whatever rhythm and intended to cause whatever effect. It may not all be marketable these days…

Just Jesus There

Image
So take away
The Christmas choir,
The banquets and the books.
The Holy Cup,
The Holy Days,
The cheerful hugs and looks.
The mission trips,
The Pastor's quips,
And all the other fare.
I ask you, saint
With Gospel quaint
Would Jesus still be there?

Would Jesus still
Be there for you,
Your portion and your power,
Your daily friend
Right to the end,
Not just at worship hour?
Your inner voice,
In each tough choice;
Your solace in the test.
Unspoiled by sham,
The wondrous Lamb,
Your brightest and your best.