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Showing posts from February, 2012

J. H. Jowett on Prayer

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(Taken from The Whole Armour of God, 1916)

Lord Tennyson, in what must have been
a wonderful conversation on the subject of
prayer with Mr. Gladstone, and Holman
Hunt, and James Addington Symonds,
said that to him prayer was the opening of
the sluice-gates between his soul and the
waters of eternal life. It is worth while
just to dwell upon Tennyson's figure for
a moment. The figure may have been
taken from a canal. You enter a lock
and you are shut up within its prison.
And then you open the sluice-gates, and
the water pours into your prison and lifts
you up to the higher level, and your boat
emerges again on a loftier plane of your
journey.

Or the figure may have been taken from
a miller's wheel: There are the miller and
his mill. And the wheel is standing idle,
or it is running but sluggishly and wearily
at its work. And then the miller opens
the sluice-gate, and the waiting water
rushes along, and leaps upon the wheel,
and makes it sing in the bounding rapidity
of its motio…

The Body, the Nerves Couldn't Follow

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Some recent discussion has prompted me to take another look at the Welsh Revival of the early 1900's. The key personality was Evan Roberts.

At an early age Roberts was impressed to relinquish most youthful pursuits for intense activity in prayer and at all hours. He was often seen at the entrance to the local coal mine giving out portions of scripture to each of the workers as they entered, and then asking later for response after their day's work.

Soon opportunities came to preach and a formal period of study in the ministry could not keep up with the urgency of the agenda which had been set for this spokesperson by the Holy Spirit. Meetings multiplied beginning in 1904 and those in attendance would remark that Evan's method of operation defied description or predictability. It was not so much the force of his preaching. He spoke softly. But rather it was the sincerity of his prayer and the unashamed transparency of his countenance as he allowed the Spirit to move upon him …

No Nasty Memory

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We all have such trouble with our memories. Painful or disappointing experiences of the past which we cannot shake. People we find it hard to forgive. Dark experiences which still bring on the scowl.

We need to take many hard and long looks at Jesus and the mighty reservoir of forgiveness available to Him. We need to supplicate for the mercy of forgiveness.

Take a look at the story of the morning visit and breakfast on the beach after the resurrection (John 21). Some of the disciples had had a rough night at fishing. A man calls out to them from the shore, "Children, have ye any meat?" They answer in the negative, and he suggests that they toss nets again over the other side. There is then a miraculous haul. John recognizes that "it is the Lord".

Peter in his excitement leaps out and strides the waves to be the first one to the Master's side. I suspect that the others graciously held back so that their ring-leader could have a private moment.

That moment holds prec…

Death of Death

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(Taken from The Way Into the Holiest by F. B. Meyer. This worthy book has now been made a helpful link in the right sidebar.)

Hebrews 2:

Many of man's fears were known to Christ. And he knew that they would
be felt by many who were to be closely related to him as brethren. If,
then, he was prompted by ordinary feelings of compassion to the great
masses of mankind, he would be especially moved to relieve those with
whom he had so close an affinity, as these marvelous verses unfold. He
and they are all of one (ver. 11). He calls them brethren through the
lips of psalmist and prophet (ver. 12). He takes his stand in the
assembled Church, and sings his Father's praise in its company (ver. I
2). He even associates himself with them in their humble childlike
trust (ver. 13). He dares to accost the gaze of all worlds, as he comes
forward leading them by the hand (ver. 13). Oh, marvelous
identification! Oh, rapturous association! More wondrous far than if a
serap…

Despondency

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SONGS FROM A DUST-HEAP!

"Thy dead shall live!" "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs."-- Isa 26:19.

THIS CHEERY summons to awake and sing is addressed to those who dwell in the dust! The world is filled with them--those who dwell in the dark cells of disappointed love and faith, or who have failed in their life's purpose, or who, like Bartimaeus, are blind and reduced to beggary. Hope has been painted as blind-folded, her head downcast, her lyre broken in her hand. Sitting on the axis of the earth, which is making its difficult way through the storm and cloud, she presses to her ear the one unbroken string, as though catching at the music of a better time. It is thus that in many lives string after string has become broken and failed, and they have come down to sit in the dust of death and despair.

It may be that you have lost all sense of God's nearness and love--not because of any known sin, but through physical weak…

Homer Watson, Artist (1855-1936)

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Almost 25 years here in Kitchener-Waterloo and I still have not seen the Homer Watson Art Gallery. How often have we noticed that local residents are the ones who have not yet visited the points of interest!

Watson was largely self-taught and benefited from a short period of training and photography in New York State.

The playright Oscar Wilde visited him occasionally and called him the "Canadian John Constable". Presenting a distinctly Waterloo County rural theme along the Grand River.

Unfortunately many of his pieces were sold during the Great Depression to keep the household going.

My workplace is reached most easily off Homer Watson Boulevard.

Rejoice...Caint Hep It

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Debt of Service

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

The Determination to Serve

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve . . .Matthew 20:28

Jesus also said, “Yet I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:27). Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s— “. . . ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). We somehow have the idea that a person called to the ministry is called to be different and above other people. But according to Jesus Christ, he is called to be a “doormat” for others— called to be their spiritual leader, but never their superior. Paul said, “I know how to be abased . . .” (Philippians 4:12). Paul’s idea of service was to pour his life out to the last drop for others. And whether he received praise or blame made no difference. As long as there was one human being who did not know Jesus, Paul felt a debt of service to that person until he did come to know Him. But the chief motivation behind Paul’s service was …

Lessons from that Witch

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Take another look at 1 Samuel 28. King Saul under heavy pressure from his enemies concludes that he is no longer entitled to the counsel of God. His prophet Samuel has been dead for approximately two years.

He panics and decides that, God's prohibition notwithstanding, he will seek out a woman with a familiar spirit and will entice her to call out the spirit of Samuel. She is a witch, a practitioner in dark divination.

There appears unto this woman the impression of an old man, asking why Saul has called for him and reinforcing the sad news that Saul is out of God's favour and going to join that spirit in the place of the dead, the Kingdom being torn from him and his sons. Could this visitor be Samuel?

Sounded authentic. Definitely supernatural and miraculous. Having nothing to do with the righteous agenda of God. But how do we know? First the laws of Moses condemned such a practice. Second the King knew by reputation that the woman was a witch. Third it was clear that God was o…

Formed into Flesh

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Every step in the
Perambulation of faith;
Every acquisition of the
Beggar's hope;
From out of
The miry clay;
From first blush
Of the Living Christ
Within;
To heroic outreach
Of charitable heart;
To donning of the vestments
Of one gift
In the Spirit
After another;
To suffering His
Reproach with dignity,
At the hand of any
Serf of darkness,
Or disgruntled
Fellow-traveler;
To hearing His
Ingenious guidance
And uplift
In the silence;
To uttering words
Of rescue
And reassurance
Beyond our ken;
To breathing
Graciously one's last
At the hairpin
Turn in the road;
And viewing a limitless
Green and Glory.
Will be a Bethlehem.
Deposit of God.
Plain and simple,
Free and sure.
Be it unto me.

With Christ Among the Miners

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This delightful book by H. Elvet Lewis speaks of the roots and development of the Welsh Revival (1904). Here is an excerpt:

What new meaning the title “Son of Man” has come to bear- the Man who comes nearest to every man, from childhood to old age. A father had, through drink, fallen into an early and dishonored grave, leaving his widow and children in want of bread. It was one of his children, raggedly clad, that left every heart in one prayer-meeting aching and yet exultant, as in his childish prayer he used phrases that must suffer in translation:-

“Dear Jesus, I thank thee for coming here as a poor rnan, so very poor - perhaps as poor as I arn. Thou couldst have chosen the finest palace in the world to be born in, but Thou wouldst have been too high for me then. But I know how to come to a manger. I wish I had been living when Thou wert here. Everybody will want to cast their crown at Thy feet in heaven, but I should like to have laid my crown at Thy feet when they were stained with…

Latest from Eldredge

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“Have you read the latest from John Eldredge? I tell ya, the guy really seems to get inside my skin. I can relate to so much of what he says about the plight of Christian men in today’s society. Marriage. Parenting. Relationships with other men. Finance. Competition. Community service.

He seems to find some really stirring testimonies. And they are honest both in challenges and successes. In dealing with the testosterone – sex, anger, drive for legacy. I never miss one of his volumes. And our Men’s Group at the Church has made good use of several.”

The speaker was about thirty-eight. Connected. Visibly successful. Trim. An honest and straight expression.

The other man was about sixty-seven. Stooped. The shoulders massive. The gaze incisive.

“No Dave, I haven’t read Eldredge. Instead I have read again the four Gospels, Acts, Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. And many stirring Christian biographies. David Livingstone, Hudson Taylor, William Carey, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, D. L. Moody,…

Ordination Service Much in the Spirit

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(An email sent yesterday after a dear friend, David, was ordained with his wife Keren into Canadian ministry service.)

This morning I attended the ordination service for David and Keren DeQuesada conducted by Ian Wills and his wife (Feb 12th). I have known David for about nine years at my factory workplace. From time to time he would tell me of family ministry experiences in Cuba, and of no small persecution on and off under the Castro regime. I know that it took more than four years' of David's waiting and working before family could be released to him in Canada.

I respect very much the meek and guided spirit of this man, demonstrated to me in many ways in the day-to-day experiences of a steel fabricating plant, serving highway and bridge building. Often we would talk as brothers of faith. His shining in Christ has been noticed by all. I have only met recently his gracious wife Keren, but this morning's experience in praise showed me the anointing and the momentum of a Span…

Stay on Train for Entire Trip

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John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


A great deal has been said about "One-Way Jesus". This refers to the second part of the passage. But let us look now at the former part.

I am the Way - If you watch how I live, move and operate you will have the key to successful living. Be humble, be helpful, be a good listener, be found in places of need, be forgiving, be full of good and reverent words about the Heavenly Father, be much in prayer.

I am the Truth - Gain the lessons from what I have said. Learn my ethic. Meditate on eternal reward and consequence. Place yourself in my parables. Heed my prophetic utterances. This will require a serious look at Matthew chapters 5, 6, 7, 13, 24 and 25. Also Luke chapters 10, 15 and 22.

I am the Life - I have something to give to you for the simple asking. It is not a creed or a subtle urging. It is rather the very life residing in me. It is meant to be distributed. It is…

Seen, Tasted and Approved

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(Today's entry in Come Ye Apart by J. R. Miller)

Evidence of Repentance

“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.”

Matt 3:8


There is only one way to prove that we have truly; repented. It will not be enough to tell people that we have; they will wait to see the evidence in our lives. suppose a wicked man joins the Church and then goes back on Monday morning to his old wicked ways, will anybody credit his Sunday’s profession? He must go on Monday morning to a new life if his repentance is to pass for any thing. Everybody knows what is right in such a case. None are quicker to cry out against the insincerity and unreality of the man’s profession than wicked men themselves, when they see him continue in his old evil ways. Even bad men know what it is to be good; thus they pay high compliment to Christianity. Repentance amounts to nothing whatever if it produces only a few tears, a spasm of regret, a little fright as a flash from eternity reveals to a man his guilt and danger, a…

And She Had to Die?

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Many remember the news images of a woman on death-row, clearly a much changed person through the input of the Gospel - Karla Faye Tucker.

She was sentenced to death in a Texas prison for murder. During her period in prison she had become a Christian and had a positive ministry to other inmates. In an article about the ministry of the prison chaplain Jim Brazzil in Christianity Today by Virginia Stem Owens, [39] he described how, before her execution, Karla Faye asked to borrow his Bible. He gave it to her while he went to see the warden. When he returned she handed it back without saying anything. Next day, while working on her funeral, he picked up his Bible and flicked it open. There was her message. She had written:

"Chaplain/Jim

THANK YOU for bringing the love & fellowship of Jesus to me as I was preparing to be face to face w/Him. You, my precious brother, are hand-picked of God, because of the compassion in your heart, to minister to those who have to walk this road. May…

Vigilante Virus

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The search warrants had been forthcoming after an ex-girlfriend of Carruthers bailed on an alibi tryst accounting for that Thursday night three weeks prior. One warrant for Carruthers' apartment, one for Bell Telephone records and one for a rented storage locker on the east side of Edmonton.

Marko had coordinated the blitz, and by the end of the afternoon Carruthers was in custody, nabbed from his job at the accountancy firm. Marko had been the one in Homicide who had suggested him as suspect. The connection was a recent suicide. Trudy Carruthers, a sister and high school teacher, had been found dead of an overdose. Friends confirmed that she had just gone through a nasty break-up with fiance Steve Thomson, the murder victim. It had looked really hurtful and devious. He was also into her for money.

The victim's body had been found in the parking lot behind Cromarty's Pub in the core of the City. Face blown away by shotgun. Somewhere around 2:30 that Friday morning. Shotguns…

Imagination Required

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Check out our new blog "Imagination Required".

In the form of small stories or fables, some important ideas about the Christian faith are communicated,

http://imaginationrequired.blogspot.com/

See the picture in the right sidebar and click.

Zechariah and the Flying Scroll

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The other night my wife and I spent an interesting hour of conversation with a semi-retired man who frequents a certain coffee shop. His birthplace is Turkey and his formal discipline is chemical engineering. Apparently he has kept pretty much to himself within the last dozen or so years, attempting to live within his means while observing a society which has gone into debt-leveraged frenzy.

He sees the sad impact of this frame of mind and impatience upon the university age students all around him in the restaurant. He had an experience of business attempts lasting thirteen years in Malaysia and other "Tiger economies". Meeting with little satisfaction or success, he had concluded that "they were the real pirates". He was relieved to come back to Canada his homeland of choice.

But regrettably he has seen the development of the same falsehoods here - in business, speculation, fiscal policy, public policy, resource management, advertising and education. The fast buck w…

As Mary...As We, Might Have Thought

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"The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy."...Wow!

First Comes the Praise

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(Today's entry in Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman)


When Do We Praise

"And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me" (John 11:41).

This is a very strange and unusual order. Lazarus is still in the grave, and the thanksgiving precedes the miracle of resurrection. I thought that the thanksgiving would have risen when the great deed had been wrought, and Lazarus was restored to life again. But Jesus gives thanks for what He is about to receive. The gratitude breaks forth before the bounty has arrived, in the assurance that it is certainly on the way. The song of victory is sung before the battle has been fought. It is the sower who is singing the song of the harvest home. It is thanksgiving before the miracle!

Who thinks of announcing a victory-psalm when the crusaders are just starting out for the field? Where can we hear the grateful song for the answer which has not yet been received? And after all, there is nothing strange…

Secret Power

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(Taken from the classic volume by D. L. Moody)

I remember the morning I came out of my room after I had first trusted Christ, and I thought the old sun shone a good deal brighter than it ever had before; I thought that the sun was just smiling upon me, and I walked out upon Boston Common, and I heard the birds in the trees, and I thought that they were all singing a song for me. Do you know I fell in love with the birds? I never cared for them before; it seemed to me that I was in love with all creation. I had not a bitter feeling against any man, and I was ready to take all men to my heart. If a man has not the love of God shed abroad in his heart, he has never been regenerated. If you hear a person get up in a prayer meeting, and he begins to speak and find fault with everybody, you may know that his is not a genuine conversion; that it is counterfeit; it has not the right ring, because the impulse of a converted soul is to love, and not to be getting up and complaining of every one …

Just Like That

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The American had really enjoyed the flight in the single engine craft until over the horizon he saw it. Stretching for excruciating miles over the dust and sad vestiges of vegetation. The refugee camp.

The noise of their approach had scarcely raised a head in the heat, exhaustion and brilliance of mid-day. Deceleration across the dirt track had been surprisingly quick. The Agency's Rover was already there with the Belgian, Andreas and his one very thin nurse Miranda, standing at attention and shielding their eyes.

"Welcome to the new nation, my friend; it's a far cry from Fort Worth, isn't it?"

"Greetings Andreas, your arrangements have all been meticulous, really. I am thrilled to be here. I must gather the data and the photos and the interviews to make a convincing pitch back home. What I see here is really overwhelming!"

"Not so fast. First a humble lunch of welcome at the main tent. I want you to meet the key doctors and water specialists. Four of …

It Takes More Than I've Got

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That's what many say when presented with the prospect of living for Christ. Too much change. Too frightening. Too much invested in the old ways. Too many friends in the balance. Too...too...too much not my cup of tea.

Well, that may be the time to stop. Unless the Holy Spirit has started to turn on the burner, one is premature. One may actually do more harm than good.

Shall we magnify the problem? Let's give tracts or run through the Four Spiritual Laws with complete strangers. No connection. No awareness of the facts. No bond. No place of intercession. It is for these reasons that I am nervous about scattershot witnessing.

But what if some telling signs of hunger or conviction are there ? Different story.

Now about being sufficient for the commitment. Remember the little boy with loaves and fishes, and how he offered his snack to Jesus for the people. It was all that he had. It did not measure up to a crowd of 5000 men, and more women and children. But he gave it to Jesus in…

Christ's Humiliation

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We are living in the age of Christ's humiliation. Broadcaster-preacher David Jeremiah has done a series on things of disrespect toward the Lord which he thought he would never see in his lifetime. Consider in your own community the cloud of censure cast over celebration of Christmas joy. Immorality applauded. Moral collapse in celebrities. The "eff-word" peppering conversation everywhere. The Darwin stickers. Prayer exercises curtailed. Church leaders portrayed as stiff, intolerant and so "very yesterday". But notice how David the prophet chooses to continue to rejoice in the God of his salvation (Psalm 89:49-52), knowing that the covenant of irrepressible Kingdom (Christ) holds true. We also must remain stedfast. The Glory is coming.

49Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth?

50Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;

51Wherewith thine enemies…