Showing posts from April, 2012

Faith Under a Big Tent: 1972

It's tonight folks
And you have been well primed.
The praise of the saints
Fills this tent.
The man of God has been
Deep in prayer all afternoon
With some of your pastors.
The needs out there
Are imposing,
The expectation...electric.
And Jesus knows,
He knows your deepest need,
And as many as touch Him
Get their answer.
Have you touched Him?
Have you felt
The pull of His Spirit
In the songs?
Have you smiled
At gleeful looks
Of excitement
On faces of your neighbours?
Have you waited long
In faith's craning pause?
Well get ready:
Some are gonna walk
Outa here on new legs.
Some are gonna see
That loved one for the first time.
Some are gonna sense
Tumours shift and dissolve.
Some are gonna kick
The needle or the flask.
Or the back-alley's business.
But don't look unto
This speaker, Heavens NO.
Look unto the Master.
Touch Him.
See what a prayer of faith can do.
And your life has been
Such a prayer...for years.
Now's the time.
And if you have committed
Any sins,

The Sun-Dial Theory

Much controversy has surrounded thought on the origin of the 15 psalms entitled "Songs of Degrees" ((Ps 120-134).

Were they for progressive meditation and praise as worshippers approached the temple on pilgrimmage? Were they specifically for the priests and levites in approaching holy orders? Were they a celebration of return of the exiles under Zerubbabel or Ezra or Nehemiah? Did they correspond to a ritual of ascending fifteen literal steps constructed in the temple (but not as of the days of King David)?

One can see from the text that 5 are attributed to David. Ten remain anonymous.

Another theory attributes the 10 to King Hezekiah of later date. Certainly he was in distress as the Assyrians swarmed his kingdom and as he suffered from a supposedly incurable disease. He turned his face to the wall, laid out the threatening letter of his enemies and wept. His fervent prayer and the intercession of the prophet Isaiah reversed all of this. The King was given a sign that resc…

Little Deposits at Camp

It is amazing how often my thoughts will return to summer camp experiences as either camper or staff. The facility was Camp Queen Elizabeth operated on Beausoleil Island in Georgian Bay, by the YMCA-YWCA of London, Ontario.

Songs, meals, campfires, special competitions, canoe trips, Northern skills and boating classes; all remembered fondly.

Today a song came to mind. This was often used at conclusion of a campfire program under a twinkling night sky:

Day is done
Gone the sun;
From the hills
From the lakes
From the sky.
All is well,
Safely rest.
God is nigh.

Also the grace sung before meals by a mess hall of some 120 kids plus staff:

Be present at our table, Lord.
Be here and everywhere adored.
These mercies bless, and grant that we
May feast in Paradise with Thee.

These were the days when the "Y" could remember Gospel roots, involving men such as Sir George Williams and D. L. Moody.

Presumably today there would be much fuss about this "imposition" of faith upon our impressio…

It's God's Call

I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Our preaching is not a matter of intellectual jousting. Apologists are mistaken in thinking that they can convince people into the Kingdom of Heaven. As if some light goes on saying, "That sounds like a good deal. I'm in for it".

We are to 'take with us words', Gospel words that have the power to beget new life, as Peter tells us in his First Letter.
It is always better for the preacher to importune God for His input and mercy, than to spend much time struggling over sermon heads and catchy lists of words.

In the pulpit one must recognize the role of God's oracle with reproductive, cleansing, c…

What's the Sense of It?

I hear people express their resentment at the thought that they are accountable to a sovereign God. "Nope don't give me that guilt and making amends stuff. I have always done the best I can my own way. I just don't buy the idea of an uncreated First Cause of all there is. Bible thumpers obviously hate any serious considerations of science. They check their brains at the front door of their church. I believe that we have what we make of it."

Now place these individuals in the squeeze of some serious dilemma, hardship or sickness and they will be the first to say, "I just don't understand it. If God is so powerful and so full of love, how could he allow such a terrible thing to happen. I just couldn't submit to such a one and call Him the best."

Well isn't that interesting. In the first instance they sound like die-hards for free will. In the second instance they want God to be Master Puppeteer pulling all the right strings. They seem to leave no…

Our Workshop

(Taken from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers)

The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success

Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you . . . —Luke 10:20

Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go “outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10:20  , Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have a commercialized view— we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is all right.

Yet our work only begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation. Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple…

Inbound Freight

Oh it’s two more loads of inbound
And the streets of home I’ll see
And the tension of the tarmac
Fades away.
And the hunching, cramped up quarters
That for days have twisted me,
I’ll exchange for pause, and prize and
Love at play.

And the trip this time was testing
And the load a deuce to strap.
And the drop-offs never ready,
Not a one.
And the hills so often amber
With their crowning frosted yield,
Hold a black ice threat of havoc,
Not much fun.

But it’s miles that I am killing
As the state lines come and go,
And the coffee steels this drover
‘Gainst collapse.
And the thoughts of home and loved ones
And the soothing fireside’s glow,
Bring me safely to the finish,
Just perhaps.

See our new EBook "Hopes of the Road"

And our Issuu Group of Publications "Jesus Carryin' My Heavy Load"

Another Look at the Pearl

Bible expositor G. Campbell Morgan was often known for taking unconventional views on the teachings of Christ. Although I have not always agreed, I have been consistently challenged.

In the parables on the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 13) he presents an interesting view on the pearl of great price. I have heard it taught that the pearl is salvation, Christ Himself as Elder Brother or the purged conscience which comes from an honest look at Calvary. The merchant prepared to make the unconditional purchase is the anxious inquirer, the believer in the bud.

But in his book "The Parables of the Kingdom" (1907, Fleming H. Revell and Company) Morgan takes another approach. He says that to the Old Covenant Jew a pearl was not a precious item; witness the stones on the breastplate of the High Priest of that economy. No sign of a pearl. Conversely there was ample evidence that gentile kingdoms and their monarchs took a different view.

Unlike all the other gems listed in Exodus 28: 15-2…

Jail Doors Spring Open

2 Corinthians 3:

7But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
8How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
9For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
10For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
11For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

What a wonderful shift in gears occurs between the 2nd and 3rd chapters. Paul has been referring to his earlier rebuke of a sinful man at Corinth. That man has repented. It is time now to reconcile him to the church and its healing balm. Law and rules had lanced the wound, but they would not provide permanent cure.

Paul calls the laws of Moses (in fact any rules of good b…

Inter-State Argonauts

It’s seven hours to Pittsburgh
And the rig is running rough.
But the load is worth a bundle
Soon will fix things, sure enough.

I haven’t seen the sunshine
In the last four drizzling days.
And the wife has missed my phone calls.
How she hopes the new boss pays.

I’m thankful for the mileage
And the triple-city link.
Yes, the shut-down at the last place
Brought us nearly to the brink.

I miss her more each outbound
And the boy just hit thirteen.
But the getting’s good this season
After months of living lean.

Ahead, I see the flashers
And the red flares through the haze.
Buddy jack-knifed at a hairpin.
He’ll be out for several days.

I see him by the squad car.
Sorting out the clean-up plan.
Was it four months back-the diner?
I had roast beef with that man!

We traded favourite stories.
Some of bright days on the ‘pike.
Some of weariness and set-back.
It’s the road, the road, we like.

I’ll have to hit the shoulder
Watching out for gravel drift.
Offer up a drive, some cold-cuts
For this Brot…

Say One For Me

So many Saturdays the scene at the grocery store was the same. The part-timer was back in the dairy corner, on his knees and stacking the bags of milk or cartons of eggs. He had enjoyed occasional conversations with the customers, particularly the elderly. They wanted so much to engage in a society which was becoming more and more "hands off".
Frequently while he was down there he would hear the remark, "While you're at it, say one for me". There would be something awkward or perhaps condescending in the tone. Or maybe just the application of gentle humour, when in fact the prayer needs were there.
Without hesitation or embarrassment, the big fellow, still stooping, would respond, "Always happy to pray. Is there something specific?" No response. Perhaps some awkwardness from the other. Mentioning prayer and its power and relevance in a public place and amidst the general shuffle. Humanity all around. Some sad, happy, rushed, lonely, worried, pre-occupie…


(Contributed by our son, Jordan Blair, commercial pilot of Winnipeg and parts North. Nice work Jord.)

He paused a while atop a ledge His cold, wet nostrils flared And stole a glance over the edge Where brave men scarcely dared
His call rang out both shrill and true 'Cross stoic Jack-pine stands And told a tale of derring-do 'Midst rugged Northern lands
Of snarling battles in the brush  With other furry foes And timid river crossing's rush Thin ice beneath his toes
He knew these parts and knew them well Like all God's creatures should And secrets he would never tell This keeper of the woods.

You Are Forgiven

Heard an interesting testimony about George W. Bush and unsung grace.

Tim Goeglein was on the Presidential staff through both terms and had distinguished himself. He was becoming a premier liaison between the President and Christian Evangelicals. He served directly under Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove. His periodic column was gaining readership at a surprising rate, and in order to keep up with demands he yielded to the temptation to plagiarize some good stuff.

In an interview with Focus on the Family Ministry he accepted full blame for this serious stumbling, and acknowledged that at the time he was exposed he believed that his political career was finished, if not worse. A reporter reminded him of an Indiana newspaper article in which copied materials appeared without acknowledgment of source. This was only the tip of the iceberg. Pride, he said, was the problem. Having the supposed "last word on the Hill".

He confessed to this reporter and to his family and waited for t…

Ordnance for Tough Times

ord·nance/ˈɔrdnəns/Show Spelled[awrd-nuhns]noun 1.
cannonorartillery. 2.
militaryweaponswiththeirequipment,ammunition,etc. 3.
thebranchofanarmythatprocures,stores,andissues,weapons,munitions,andcombatvehiclesandmaintainsarsenalsfortheirdevelopmentandtesting. So many times in the Christian walk, when testing comes, it will seem that the best strength and preparation is found in Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians. A run down on the chapters might read something like this: 1. Comfort 2. Conviction 3. Rules 4. Liberty 5. Reconciliation 6. Paradox 7. Repentance 8. Liberality 9. Bounty 10. Credentials 11. Infirmities 12. Humiliation 13. Examination If I might centre out just one verse as exceptional help, it would be the following from the 5th chapter: 21For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Does this not bring backbone and hope to the struggling believer? When Satan's attack comes with the inevitab…

Grace Abounding

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

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ."-- Rom 5:17.

NOTICE THAT word Receive! We first receive forgiveness, or reconciliation, then abundance of grace. We cannot merit or earn either one or the other; all that we have to do is to take what God offers, by an act of the will which accepts and appropriates. If men are lost, it is because they refuse to receive the grace and love of God, secured to us, in spite of our failure and sin, through the second Adam. We must believe that we have received, even when we are not conscious of any new experience. There is no limit to the abundance of God's supply--it abounds! The Apostle keeps using that word, which really means "running over "

This glorious life in which we are daily victorious over sin, daily using and scattering the u…

"Just So Long As It's Tolerant"

Recently I listened to a radio interview. It disturbed me; and more as I thought again of it.

A minister of Protestant persuasion had become involved with an Inter-Faith Group. Common ground and mutual respect were being sought through an exchange involving Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans and others.

He was delighted with the experience, and had come to see North American proliferation of the Gospel as something bullying and unrealistic in light of our current demographics. Coming from him "conversion" sounded like a dirty word.

For any one group to claim the exclusive path to Heaven now seemed most inappropriate to this man of the cloth. The other minister conducting the interview appeared sympathetic.

But I have gone to the fifth chapter of Galatians and have been reminded of the "offence of the cross" acknowledged by Paul. It is not the Cross plus something else! It is the finished work of Jesus which has all our confidence.

And we must remember that…

David Bowden...Today's Jeremiah?

David Bowden's verse recitations are huge. They come out of intense burden for opportunity yet unrealized through the churches. They are not simply keen memory work. The timing and the emphasis are just too spirited and precise. They are a fascinating example of manifestation of the compassion and anointing of the Holy Ghost.

We need to exercise ourselves toward such anointing, earnestly beseeching the Spirit to arrive and to put us to redeeming use. Clearly that anointing was in Jesus and is made available as more of the life-flow of the Saviour comes to the sincere believer. It is an impartation; not an imitation. It will illumine, heal and steel for single-minded life and service in Christ. It is the essence of Jesus Himself.

Acts 10:

37That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing al…

The Lord Waits

Looking again at Isaiah 30:

18And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
19For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

The people of the Southern Kingdom were in a panic and considering going back to the old "bail-out" remedy of Egypt with its horses, chariots and military strength.

God had other plans wherein He would show Himself strong on their behalf. The terrible judgment about to be reaped by the invading Assyria was going to bring much glory to His name and renewed holy fear in His people.

But God was waiting. Yes God...until circumstances became so bleak that only He could bring about rescue.

And God has often waited. For Adam and Eve to sense their shame. For the wicked…

Where Do I Go?

Where do I go when the pressure builds with strains of daily life and push and pull of the passing throng?

I have the news. It tells of a world which is frightened by its shrinking; by the shortened breath of environment; by increasing stories of troubled people with greater means of doing harm.

I have my home. It beckons with odd-jobs, escalating expenses, procurement of stuff and mounted memorabilia of good and bad.

I have my job. It promises a regular routine and occasional challenges to be undertaken and accomplished; the arriving paycheck already spent.

I have my friends. They will be quick to tell me of events in their circle. Sadly, only few will hear out my daily portion.

I have my books and hobbies. They take me to places and people briefly interesting; to cozy workshop  fixtures where the plans always create more buzz than the products.

I have my quiet walks.  The sound of measured tread, birds above and today's persistent inner melody. All providing a brief over-ride.


Fresh Path for Struggling Preachers

The task is ALWAYS to display the nobility of Jesus. To get out of the way of the Author and Finisher of our faith. To dedicate as much precious time as possible in the service to the Lord and Saviour. People's hearts still need the same nourishment. The faith once delivered to the saints. Comfort and confidence in the very presence of the all-righteous Elder Brother.

He is in the boat with us. He told us to make this crossing. Storms must subside.

(Painting by Delacroix)

On perilous waters, see also the following EBook:

"Don't Touch That TV Dial..."

The preacher on the television turned with a knowing eye toward the camera and blurted out, "Don't touch that dial. God's got something for you."

The viewer sat with feet up on an ottoman and a cynical smirk on his face.

"I really mean it fella. You were saved and then the Devil got hold of you and drew you back into intense darkness."

The viewer had to speak now. His wife was in the bedroom, having withdrawn from yet another bitter argument. "Yeah preacher, you have no idea how far down I've gone and there's no coming back up. I'm a mess and its hopeless."

On the screen it appeared as if the evangelist were going to continue with his message, but then he turned a third time and said, "And just to let you know that God has your number, you are sitting right now in a recliner with an Old Milwaukee Beer in your hand and a pipe in the other!"

And that was it. Derlon Wilson was in fact sitting and scoffing in a recliner with an …

Gist of "Church on the Hoist"

In the churches there is no simple fix for the problems of stultifying routine and over-dependence upon professional ministry. One cannot point-by-point lay out a format to force increased spiritual zeal and sincerity. Service and evangelistic opportunities will be different in each community. The momentum achieved in "theatrical" worship will be hard to reverse for something more participatory. Words from the floor have their place. Trust will have to be developed before testimony fulfills its powerful purpose in a gathering. Believers are personally responsible for moving beyond the basics in their understanding of God's Word, and the Gospel in particular. Bible study helps abound. Corporate prayer should be developed, and program announcements minimized. Worship time is precious. The rush of service number two at the heels of service number one is dampening.

But perhaps I can help in tendering the following comments:
1. God loves to be sought out.
2. God loves to tou…

Are You Looking?


"The Rapture" by Ron DiCianni

Consider in scripture 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 and Hebrews 9: 24-28

But lest we become too cloud-minded, consider also 1 Corinthians 15:

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always a…

High Flying

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

You cannot detain the eagle in the forest. You may gather around him a chorus of the choicest birds; you may give him a perch on the goodliest pine; you may charge winged messengers to bring him choicest dainties; but he will spurn them all. Spreading his lofty wings, and with his eye on the Alpine cliff, he will soar away to his own ancestral halls amid the munition of rocks and the wild music of tempest and waterfall.
The soul of man, in its eagle soarings, will rest with nothing short of the Rock of Ages. Its ancestral halls are the halls of Heaven. Its munitions of rocks are the attributes of God. The sweep of its majestic flight is Eternity! "Lord, THOU hast been our dwelling place in all generations."

"My Home is God Himself"; Christ brought me there.
I laid me down within His mighty arms;
He took me up, and safe from all alarms
He bore me "where no foot but His hath tr…

Quietness and Confidence

Isaiah 30:

15For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
16But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.

For decades we have displayed a brass plaque by our front door which has the "quietness and confidence" verse. When things have gotten hectic or tenuous, as we have headed outside, this reminder has registered time and again. We are being told in effect, 'You are not your own. My Son and I have invested in you, and will not see you cast down. Now make your plans, but do not leave prayer and quiet trust out of the formula. Almighty God is involved here.'

In the scripture portion in Isaiah the people of Jerusalem were facing with trepidation the likely assault of the Assyrians, a mighty host of warring men who had over-run many a nation by …

Already Been Said

And said better.

There is a surfeit of teaching in today's churches. Needed prayer and testimony time will be sacrificed for the sermon (and also, painfully, the announcements). Pastor's plan is to take a very small portion of Bible text and load on the anecdotes and practical guidelines for "today's parishioner".

Unfortunately there is a suspicion evidenced in many pulpits that if too much time is given to straight- out Bible exposition the message will be dusty. Hence all the current and charming extraneous stuff.

Perhaps pastors need to reimagine their roles. Might more emphasis be given to counsellor, comforter, coach, corrector and conductor? What a shock! So much time goes now into the crafting of the sermon.

I must confess that many of the messages sound as if they are being directed to new believers; the foundational message of Grace; the multi-faceted pitch to turn one's will over to the will of God. I ask myself, 'Do the listeners have Bibles of…

Radical Change

Centuries have listened to arguments refuting the resurrection of Christ. There is the "swooning" theory; also the "corpse secreted away" theory. The suggestion of a bunch of lies and subterfuge committed by men who were purportedly the disciples of the Greatest and Truest Man.

But let us look at the these disciples. Competitive, presumptuous, argumentative, cowardly, prayerless, impatient,  fleshly in their perception of the Kingdom. They deserted Jesus and fled from the Garden. Perhaps the seven saddest words in the Evangel:

And they all forsook him, and fled. (Mark 14:50)

I remember Presbyterian Peter Marshall (one-time chaplain of the U.S. Senate) making the following point in his bestseller "Mr. Jones, Meet the Master". These same men after the Resurrection appear fearless, mighty in prayer, bold in the face of hostile authorities, convicting in testimony, harmonious in purpose. In effect, newly made men, and at the front of the list Simon Peter. What…

Case Study on Revenge

Watched it again this evening (Easter Sunday). Pulled out the old VHS cassette and RCA player to watch the conclusion of the epic film Ben Hur (MGM 1959). This remains one of my favourites.  It stars Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Sam Jaffe and Hugh Griffith (the bright-eyed Arab horseman).

In the second reel we had gotten past the accident which sends Judah Ben Hur's family into Roman custody, the slave procession through the desert, a chance meeting with Jesus the carpenter, the Roman galley ships in battle, the oarsman Ben Hur falling into the favour of the Roman commander, and the pomp in Rome where this Jewish nobleman receives Roman adoption.

Returning whole and hale to Jerusalem he stuns his boyhood friend turned nemesis, the Roman commander Massala. He was responsible for locking up Judah's family. The chariot games are scheduled before the new Governor Pontius Pilate, and the Jew is bent on victory and revenge in defeating and out-wagerin…

Assurances in Christ

I have spoken to people at times about the blessing and indomitable hope of a present assurance of salvation.

The look on their faces tells me that they do not get it. They are still thinking in terms of some giant chalkboard somewhere, some giant tally, where all of their good points and all of their bad have been listed. The net gain or loss of their good works determines their ultimate fate. Joy in the presence of the Lord, or anguish forever to be separated from His glory and peace. They are thinking and behaving as did the people of the Old Testament. They are waiting for their day of "reckoning" (at its root an accounting word).

But Grace tells us to remember that day when we confessed our sinfulness and trusted in the obedience and "dues-paying" of another, the Lord Jesus. Remember Romans 10:

8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth …

Treachery's Kiss

The kiss upon the cheek.
The countenance glazed
With feigned friendship.
The onlookers in the know
With slander, besmirching
And judgment.
The menacing swords
Having Father's approval,
Furthering His plan.

Still I must forgive.
Count it all loss
For the excellency
Of His better.
I have right, words
And power to silence
All scoffing.
But I shall not,
And He shall have His way.

And I shall rise
In some bright morn
Of recompense.
And postures,
And much unfeeling,
Found shining in wondrous
Family likeness;
Beside an empty tomb.
The hate forgot.

(Painting by James Tissot)

Visit the following link for a recent ebook:

Your Name

A simple and powerful song! Every time Jesus' Name is mentioned, things happen, things change.
Oh God, let this honesty, reverence and heart hunger come to the churches of the Region. Bring the compassion, humble service, healing and reproductive power. In His Name.

My offering; my prayer; my birthday. This Good Friday.

Tradition, But Lacking

Easter Sunday morning. Brad had taken special effort to get home from the Convention the day before. Hectic week at work. Night before he and Suzie had hidden throughout the ground floor all of the chocolates, eggs and gift certificates for the two kids. It was always fun to watch the scrounging and to throw in a couple of stickler hiding places.

He had risen early, and Brock and Trisha were only now getting up. This would be a day when Suzie had reprieve from the kitchen. Cracking the eggs. Chopping the ingredients for the omelettes. Setting up the coffee perc. Warming the hot cross buns. All a fun sort of assignment for this young father. CBC news going on the radio, but at a subdued volume.

He hoped that Suzie would enjoy the pearl pendant that he had picked up while away. A really interesting shopping mall in Kansas City. Visited it during a break from meetings on Friday. And it had been wide open, religious observances notwithstanding.

In the next room, chairs were being pushed,…

Do You Know?

Do you know what you possess? Do you really get it? Has the concept and power of blood covenant gotten deep into your consciousness?

You share the bread and the wine. You reflect on the tears of Gethsemane and the shame and anguish of Golgotha. Had you seen the blood flowing and mingling with the earth. Had you smelled it. Had you heard the moans of the sympathizers. The janglings of Roman contraption. The mockings of the callous. You would be incapable of forgetting a single detail.

This was the definitive blood covenant. My precious Son and I agreeing, one with the other, that all of our power, resources, blessing and protection would accrue to those in the family line, now and forever.

You have simply stepped forward to respond to the call of my Son; His Good News; to seek out His family; to grow in family likeness. His genes, if you will, have been deposited in you. I am constrained to bless. I will honour my word. When I see you, I see Jesus, and I can only love. I remember tha…

Outflashings of Jesus

(Taken from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers)

All my fresh springs shall be in Thee. — Psalm 87:7 (P.B.V.)

Our Lord never patches up our natural virtues, He re-makes the whole man on the inside. "Put on the new man," i.e., see that your natural human life puts on the garb that is in keeping with the new life. The life God plants in us develops its own virtues, not the virtues of Adam but of Jesus Christ. Watch how God will wither up your confidence in natural virtues after sanctification, and in any power you have, until you learn to draw your life from the reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus. Thank God if you are going through a drying-up experience!

The sign that God is at work in us is that He corrupts confidence in the natural virtues, because they are not promises of what we are going to be, but remnants of what God created man to be. We will cling to the natural virtues, while all the time God is trying to get us into contact with the life of Jesus …

Tissot, Preacher in Watercolour

See also Google Images:, Preacher in Watercolour James Jacques Tissot (1836-1902). Consult the following link: Son of devout Roman Catholic parents, but a Christian convert only late in life, after a history of patronage in the vain societies of Paris and London, an adulterous relationship of twelve years with a divorcee (Kathleen Newton who died in 1882, a suicide suffering from consumption) and dabblings in spiritualism. Several visits to the Holy Land increased his zeal and sense of detail for the land and people.q=paintings+by+Tissot&aq=f&aqi=g-S1&aql=&gs_l=img.12..0i24.1344l7547l0l9391l19l18l0l5l5l0l250l2141l2j7j4l13l0.frgbld.

Pathway of Palms

This Sunday we remember Jesus' entry into Jerusalem upon a donkey, with the young and unsophisticated giving Him praise and laying down palm branches before His procession.

The whole event had been prophesied in the 9th chapter of Zechariah. Messiah arrives "meek and lowly and having salvation". The City of God's special interest encounters her King. In fact the donkey entrance was a bold assertion by the Galilean that He was a king.

The priests and councilmen urge the prophet to silence his unruly band. He states that if they were to hold their peace, the very rocks would cry out. The event was momentous for all of creation.

I remember a certain prophecy teacher affirming that in the Book of Daniel a precise period of time was laid out before the arrival of Messiah in the Holy City. This day, Palm Sunday was the very day foretold, and Jesus knew it. Earlier had He not frequently stated, "My time is not yet come."

Events would now progress irrevocably towa…