Showing posts from January, 2012

At the Water's Edge

Is the Lord able and desiring to help? Youbetcha!

Psalm 77:

15Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
16The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
17The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.
18The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
19Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
20Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Under Moonlit Sky

Car is in the shop. Took the bus to work early this wintry morning.

In the last few blocks walking to the plant under a partial moon, I got thinking about the rate of production recently in this blog and in the ebooks at

I realize that I need to “put down my pen” and stock up again in things of the Lord.
Quietly and to myself, I commented, ‘Have to spend some quality time now in learning and in feeding upon God’s Word’.

In the spirit I heard the following; “Doug, I don’t need you to learn. I need you to draw close to me. All else will follow.”

Is this not a weighty suggestion to the Church at large?

Proverbs 31 Woman, Approximately

She Was a Phantom of Delight

SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.

I saw her upon a nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveler between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warm, to comfort, and command;
And yet …

Perfect Peace


All Roads Are His


I had the strangest leading
Early upon rising.
Why me, would be
Anyone's guess.

But here I am
On my way to
Straight Street,
Walking into trouble.

Never before
Such strong impression.
A vision of one
Suffering God's will.

The rabbi Saul
Sent only for peril
For our people.
Prison for Christ's flock.

The house of Judas.
Here it is.
And Saul abed,
And sightless, much in prayer

Now, what to say?
God help me.
Useless I am!
But for Your Spirit.

This room? Oh yes.
Well, Brother Saul,
New marching orders today
Only believe.

And eyes again
To see each
New assignment.
The Lord hath need of thee.

Strange Fire

Oh my children,
You invoke me
To your gathering,
Using words like
Worship and waiting,
Hearing and bowing down.

But I see the
Smiles and small talk.
Lists, dates and hype.
Strangeness in supposed family,
Butting and shoving
Near the water.

And I hear talk
Of power not sweetness;
Learning not loving;
Mountains not meekness;
Sweet treats not Living Bread.
And I sigh.

And I inhale
That acrid stench
Of strange fire.
“Watch me” priests
Throughout the house
Obscuring my Son.

But there you have
My Holy Name,
My nature
For the asking.
Such precious gifts.
Be lifted up!

Yes, lifted up
As witness to my
Sovereign will.
My keeping care
Embracing still,

Love Remembered Always

We Remember Your Love

(From Pastor Alistair Begg in Truth for Life)

Song of Songs 1:4

Jesus will not let His people forget His love. If all the love they have enjoyed should be forgotten, He will visit them with fresh love. "Do you forget my cross?" says He. "I will cause you to remember it; for at My table I will manifest Myself anew to you. Do you forget what I did for you in the council-chamber of eternity? I will remind you of it, for you shall need a counselor and shall find Me ready at your call."

Mothers do not let their children forget them. If the boy has gone to Australia and does not write home, his mother writes, "Has John forgotten his mother?" Then there comes back a sweet epistle, which proves that the gentle reminder was not in vain. So is it with Jesus. He says to us, "Remember Me," and our response is, "We will remember Your love." We will remember Your love and its matchless history. It is as ancient as the glory that Yo…

Death: His Sting and Defeat


The First Thing Said to the Church

John 20:

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

It is my submission that the Church was birthed in this room of prayer when the disciples saw the risen Lord and received the communication of the Holy Spirit. Others suggest that it was on the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit came in powerful manifestation following Peter's signal sermon (Acts 2).

In the above verses I note that the very first statement after Jesus breathed upon His friends con…

God Rules Out the Antithesis

So often in scripture God has anticipated the naysayer's argument and has ruled it out in advance. His mighty deliverances are not to be questioned. I will mention three.

Moses led his people across the Red Sea. When all seemed lost and the Egyptian host ready for the slaughter at the water's edge, God simply reminded Moses, 'What is in your hand?' The rod with mystical powers! Touch the water's surface. And immediately the path was cleared through the deep, and the children of Israel passed unharmed.

Now the skeptics will say that they have some information to the effect that the waters were very shallow. No big deal. How fascinating! What a miracle in itself! God must have drowned the entire Egyptian host in three feet of water. (Not likely.)

Then let us consider the tale of Daniel in the lions' den. One of the children's favourites showing the victory of a faithful, praying prince. All night long the big cats caused no harm. 'Well perhaps they had alead…

Room for Well-Considered Protest

Poem attributed to Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Niemoller suffered in Sachsenhausen and Dachau Camps for his overt opposition to the Nazification of parts of the German Lutheran Church by the Third Reich.

When the Allied overthrow was apparent and the camp was being emptied, it became quite clear that certain intellectuals were being taken by car into the hills for execution. They knew too much and could express the outrage to the rest of the world.

Another prisoner in Martin's car indicated that he had secreted a pistol and was prepared to shoot the driver and commandeer the vehicle. Martin shook h…

Comfort in Grief to Lady Kenmure, 1629

Think, Madam, that it is a part of your glory to be enrolled among those whom one of the elders pointed out to John, 'These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' Ye have lost a child: nay she is not lost to you who is found to Christ. She is not sent away, but only sent before, like unto a star, which going out of our sight doth not die and vanish, but shineth in another hemisphere. We see her not, yet she doth shine in another country. If her glass was but a short hour, what she wanteth of time that she hath gotten of eternity; and ye have to rejoice that ye have now some plenishing up in heaven. Build your nest upon no tree here; for ye see God hath sold the forest to death; and every tree whereupon we would rest is ready to be cut down, to the end we may fly and mount up, and build upon the Rock, and dwell in the holes of the Rock. What ye love besides Jesus, your husband, is an adulterous lov…

Hungry Lions Put on Hold

God had said through the prophet Jeremiah that the Hebrew exiles would be in Babylon for seventy years. Time and again, and through the reign of several monarchs Daniel had proved himself to be a man in whom was found "an excellent spirit" (Daniel 6:3).

King Darius the Persian recognized this and was prepared to make Daniel number two in charge. Other governors and satraps in the land, jealous as they were, conspired to alienate the King's favourite.

But where and how to entrap Daniel? His record was successful and blameless. They realized that somehow public policy and opinion would have to be turned against Daniel's religion and God. Do we not see this today? Are faithful people in office not usually brought to the difficult decisions where it would be most expedient to "hang their faith out to dry"?

Hence the plot was devised, and the King was duped into a program of thirty days' no prayer except to the image of the King. Daniel's thrice-daily pract…

Das Choich

Intertwined, with the Sap Flowing

(Part of today's devotional in Our Daily Walk by F. B. Meyer)

...there is Life which is resident in Jesus Christ, stored in Him, abounding in Him, which He longs to communicate to every soul that trusts in Him. This was the witness of those who knew Jesus most intimately in His brief human life--that "God hath given unto us Eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son." "He that hath the Son hath the Life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not the Life." This more than outweighs the down-pull of the serf-life. The law of that life makes us free from the law of sin and death, for it has mastered death and the grave.

This Life is communicated and sustained by the Holy Spirit. We must be one with Christ; we must be in Him, as the sponge is in the ocean. We must be in Him, not only in our standing, but also in our daily walk. We must be in Him as the branch is in the vine, and the vine-sap in the branch. And this must not only be a theory, but an hourly experienc…

Let's Sing, Together

Come now, together,
Let’s sing for the joy of it.
Gather with brothers
And sisters of grace.

Tell of the stories
Of Jesus the marvelous
Captain of courage
Who died in our place.

Whate’er the trouble
Preceding the glad refrain
Soon it will vanish
Like mists of the morn.

Saints with new vistas
Of God in the commonplace.
Shaking the tambourine,
Sounding the horn.

To a Loved One, As Comfort...Lay Down Your Sword

(This was received this morning from a new friend. I suspect he would not mind my airing it for him. It is, after all, the Spirit's work.)

I've lost in love
And gained in love
I've lost in life
And gained new life.

I've lived in fear
To find it's ok in the dark.
I've drifted from the Word
To discover the Word wrapped around me when I woke.

I've missed my chances
And missed the mark too many times to count.
And still what counts never marks my paper "failed"
And chances reappear like the sun.

It's not what or when
But how and why that matters most;
The "who" will be supplied.
Just venture into newness
That awaits you around the corner.
It's not defeat to rest in your family's arms
When the battle is through
And exhaustion seeps into your soul.
Victory comes when, being true to yourself,
You lay down your sword
And accept the strength of wisdom
And grace
And truth.
And the truth will set you free!

Terry Hursh, Reverend (with permission)

Point of Combustion

The day will come.
Incontrovertible truth
The messenger’s face
Bright, direct
With sincerity,
And assurance;
The sufficiency
Of Christ.
His noble service.
His victorious ethic.
His blood-letting.
His invigorating Spirit.
The words are
From God;
Seeds of life
Through the ages.
Your arguments
Your idols
Cracked and
Your tradition
The trying moment
Of alloy.
The metal strip
Presented to burner.
Ignited and red,
Rushing to flame?
Flash of light?
Ethereal wind
Or charred and limp,
Refusing transformation?
Lacking the inner
Such a day
Will be yours.
Expect it.
Pray for
Christ’s constitution.
His agenda.
Disparage the
Experiences of
Soiled self.

He Goeth Before

He goeth before
And none can change the order.
He goeth before
And scopes the next day’s climb.

He goeth before
Through every kind of weather.
And knoweth their strength,
Their tender lambing time.

He goeth before
And sweet will be the grazing.
The waters pure
To slake and soothe each friend.

He goeth before
Their fearless, guarding champion.
The wolf or bear
Brought swiftly to its end.

He goeth before
To miss no bleat of terror,
Push of pride
Or action out of place.

He goeth before
Til evening’s gentle bedding
When every sheep
Takes courage from His face.

Looking to the Shepherd

Open publication - Free publishing - More caretaker

Note: This little ebook bears reference to two of the best inspirational books that I have ever encountered: 1) A Layman Looks at the Lamb of God by Phillip Keller and 2) Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush by Ian Maclaren (one of our links here in the sidebar). If at all possible find and read them. You will be changed.

Or Paws Or Anything They Got

Sister-in-law Whitney sent this one. "Shay Looves da Celtic". In this case Celtic Thunder.

Surprising Welcome

He was one of the first people Cliff Barker met upon his arrival. Pleasant looking young man. Probably about twenty-three with open smile and generous handshake.

"Mr. Barker, it's great to see you. I heard something about your coming and thought I would come down to check. Oh, pardon me; you probably don't recognize me. Last time we talked I was only nine. But I have remembered you all these years. My name is Peter Worthington."

'The Worthingtons,' Cliff thought to himself, 'Hadn't they been the ones who suffered a marriage break-up and moved away from the old neighbourhood at Cedar Street? And the stalwart boy, that summer...Peter.'

"You're absolutely right, Sir, I am that one you talked to in the school yard. I told you about my fears and my parents' arguing. You spoke to me about Jesus and his particular sympathy for children with problems. You made Him seem so real to me and you excused yourself to come back with a captivating small …


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

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,”

Luke 1:46

No wonder that Mary sang that day. At the shut gate of the garden of Eden there was a promise given of a Saviour, a Saviour — who should be “the seed of the woman.” Ever after that, all along the line of the covenant, each woman hoped that she might be the mother of this Saviour. Centuries passed, and generations of disappointed hearts saw their hopes fade. At length one day a heavenly messenger came to this lowly Nazarite maiden, and announced to her that she should be the mother of this long-expected Messiah. What a glorious honour! No wonder she rejoiced. One strain of her song was, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” We cannot make God any greater; He needs nothing from us. Can the candle add to the glory of the sun’s noon-day splendour? Yet we can so tell others of God that He will seem greater to them. It was said in praise of a distinguished preacher that in his sermons he made God a…

Seemed to Pick Her Up Out of the Trouble

Marnie hadn't seen the elderly man until after the collision. Until after she had rear-ended the guy in the pick-up. Until after her teething toddler Jeremy had increased the volume of his bawling threefold. Until after she had sunk her tear-smudged face into the steering wheel.

The old chap had come to her driver's side window: "Not to worry young lady. I saw the whole thing. Stay where you are. Calm your little guy down. My name is Chas. I have phoned for the police. I'm going to get insurance particulars from the guy in the truck. He cut you off. Craziest darn swooping attempt at a right turn that I've ever seen! I'll stick around and give a statement for sure."

And he did just that, giving the odd wave to passing motorists who might have otherwise started the "gawkers block" in traffic.

Who was this guy? He seemed like some sort of guardian angel. His help continued with the arrival of the cruiser and the collecting of information.

"Miss do…

Who's the Artist?


Take This Paragraph, Run With It

One thing leapt off the page of Joseph Girzone's book "Joshua and the Shepherd" at page 226:

(David is now leaving his district for another assignment.)

"David had to make provisions for his house. It was a large house, with plenty of land around it, far enough into the country to be away from noise and distractions. It was a good place for people to come to think and pray. He decided to turn it into a house of prayer for trained men and women who could teach people how to pray and benefit from the rich mystical traditions of the Church that are the key to a more intimate relationship with God. The house would be big enough to accommodate at least twelve people overnight. A permanent ecumenical prayer community of five or six could staff it. In time it would have to be expanded. David talked one of his wealthy friends into endowing the house of prayer, thus assuring its survival."

Love, Lift, Lighten

In the average church service today the focus goes something like this:

"Listen. Learn. Lunch". It seems of paramount importance to offer instruction in righteousness, with the congregation remaining largely passive, and with the sense of fellowship enhanced by meals, meals, meals. The whole process takes on the appearance of a good show or lecture. The professionals have the floor.

But Jesus once criticized the misdirection of the religious leaders by reminding them that "It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." A marginal reference in my Bible suggests that He was reiterating a promise contained in Isaiah 56:

6Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;

7Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of pr…

Ears to Hear

Would you listen,
I could tell you
Of the life He’s given me.
Of the rudder
Of His Gospel
Taming all my wilful sea.
Of the hope of
Christ’s sure calling
To His side eternally.
Oh, do listen!

Would you listen,
I could tell you
What the saints have always known.
Of the Manger,
Seaside wonders,
Of the Cross become a Throne.
Of the grave
Forever vanquished
By the God we call our own.
Yes, do listen.

Won’t you listen?
I must leave you
To the best that you can be;
And the dismay
Down the pathway
In your insufficiency.
While the Master
Spreads a Banquet
For His listening Family.
…Had you listened!

LUKE 8:8 And other (seed) fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Joshua and the Shepherd

I am at it again. Reading Joseph Girzone. A Catholic priest who stepped into a writing and speaking outreach. This book cost me one buck at a used book store downtown. Its message cannot be valued. Copyright 1990, Joseph F. Girzone.

The main character is David Campbell, a likeable priest who has just been ordained as a Bishop. To many he is known as upbeat, but definitely "bound by Church Law". Some in his parish have had sad encounters with his intransigence.

But the night following David's elaborate ordination, his sleep is disturbed by a life-changing dream/vision. It is all about shepherding. Being a messenger. Serving over-worked priests with sermons, visitation, counsel- whatever they need. This will necessitate a turning over of a large bundle of administrative and educational work to others of equivalent capacity, and perhaps lay people. This will bring on the fireworks!

In the same epiphany David had a vision of a man approaching him - trim, relatively young, well-…

More of David...I Must


The Broken Vessel

The broken vessel
Strewn across the floor.
Fragments scattered far.
The pattern of original
Gone forever.
The shape, the symmetry
Things of the past.

One asks:
"What the mishap?
What the sudden,
Shocking drop?"
As if somehow
Reversing the loss
Of earlier glory.

And what of that glory?
Thing of men's fashion.
Mis-spent resources.
Calling for kisses
Of praise.
Pride of a pot.
Others have not.

So let it shatter.
Life of convention.
Painful pretention.
Now search for beauty,
Delightful duty,
Living like Christ
Pearl of great price.

Al-Anon Meets the Book

The old man sat in the coffee shop, Bible in hand, reflecting on the Advent church service just concluded. Call him Charlie.

He sat alone, but delighted to "watch the race", as he put it (the human race). Happy people, in the main, sipping hot drinks and talking of exciting holiday plans.

Two tables to his right there were two men, one middle-aged, the other twenty-something in denim, tattoos and pony-tail. The subject of their conversation was the younger one's girlfriend. Obviously a drinking problem. Totally unpredictable. And there was a baby involved. At times the young woman could not be trusted at all with the child's care. What was to be done?

Obviously the middle-aged man was a seasoned Al-Anon member, and this was a scheduled session of comfort and guidance. The eaves-dropping elder heard words like "unconditional love, patience mixed with firmness, being there for her, especially at this Season". The encouragement was commendable. But as with all se…

From Corner to Corner

Today, Friday at mid-day, I had errands to run in the heart of Kitchener. For a long time our residents have been hard on the core, saying that it is in decline, with retailers leaving, and with drug and pan-handling activity picking up.

I would hope otherwise. The area contains my Father's beloved Farmers' Market, running continuously since long before his boyhood romps in the thirties. And the stately Walper Hotel where he used to work, and where they once used to bring their eggs, chickens and pork from the yard out back! One might also mention The Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, The Museum, the stylish and relatively new City Hall, a majorly renovated Public Library. A new downtown condominium busines centre. Not too far over The Centre in the Square Concert Hall with acoustics purportedly better than anywhere else in the Province. Headquarters of the Record newspaper. A Court House in construction and taking over two city blocks. Let us not forget my array of beloved used bo…

The Simple Goods

God gave Moses the laws. Jews tried to keep them meticulously. The penalties were severe, if not fatal, for non-compliance. The triune Godhead knew that the Old Testament culture would be a flop. (any rule-keeping group will flop). The New Testament culture was not meant to be choice# 2, but rather phase # 2.

Then God instituted the program of Grace by Faith. The only perfectly obedient Jew would be Jesus. Never sinning, but tempted often like other mortals. When He died He would stand as the blameless sin-offering Lamb. There was to be no fracture or blemish ; otherwise Holiness would not be appeased.

But Holiness already had the plan. Christ would die. His resurrection would corroborate that He was Messiah. Now, we do not say "do this, and do not do that". Rather we say that it has already been DONE for us voluntarily - the suffering and the dying and the "fine paying".

It's as if the Judge has called you up on the carpet and said "You gotta be guilty. But …

The Remedy

The Christmas television classic “The Walton’s Homecoming” offered a memorable moment of comedy. John-Boy Walton had gone to the comfortable home of two wealthy, elderly spinster sisters to ask a favour. He needed transportation to go out looking for his Father. The man had been away at a job and he was alarmingly late in returning. It was Christmas Eve. There had been news on the radio of a tragic bus accident…

Seated comfortably in the parlour the three were engaging in festive niceties with doilies, tea services and baked treats all around. But what the mischievous, sparkling sisters really wanted to offer was a zesty draft of the “remedy”. They were bootleggers with their Father's old formula!

A remedy spoken of at Christmas? Certainly in many homes liquid hospitality ranks high on the festive list. The underlying remedies for this Hollywood Christmas offering were the joys of family together and fulfilled dreams.

But let us not in any way diminish the real Remedy of Christmas. A…

David Bowden: Prophet, Poet


But the Gospel Says "Come"

A peasant was talking over the back fence to his neighbour, "Wife and I were at market yesterday and saw her cousin from two shires over. He said that he had enjoyed a brief visit with the King, and it had not been all that bad. We talked this over on our way home. She really wants this. I guess I could cooperate...But he knows where I live, and presently I am very busy. He will have to come here wearing something appropriate to meet me in my field, and share my lunch at regular hour. If he is really all that good he will oblige, like any other decent neighbour."

The King never came.