Friday, May 18, 2018

  "When each of us comes to that place where we fear to quench God's Spirit, He will not allow our time to be a dreary and  unconsecrated thing. Swept by the very borders of His garment, we shall not look far for His glorifying presence.
The poorest outward condition will do nothing to obliterate the seriousness and dignity from life. No, of nothing may we be more sure of than this; that if we cannot sanctify our present state and lot in life, we can sanctify no other.
Our heaven and our almighty Father are here or nowhere.

The obstructions of that lot are given for us to heave away by the concurrent touch of a holy spirit, and labor of strenuous will; its gloom, is for us to tint with some celestial light; its mysteries are for our worship; its sorrows for our trust; its perils for our courage; its temptations for our faith. Brothers and sisters, fellow soldiers of the cross, it is not for us, but for our Leader and our Lord, to choose the field; it is ours, taking the station which He assigns, to make it the field of truth and honor, though it be the field of death." James Martineau.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

  This little story about a girl who was reared in a very strict and proper home made me smile. Some of us will live a life tormented by taboos and prohibitions forever!

  "At Lincoln there occurred a curious instance of Maggie's sensitive and almost morbid sense of responsibility. She was walking with my sister in the streets near the Minster, and saw a child put a half-penny with which it was playing into its mouth. In the nursery all copper coins were supposed to be dangerous to life if placed for an instant in the mouth. This was part of the care which our dear old nurse took of us. Beth, as she was called, always removed the little purple beans from French beans, leaving only the green pod, for some obscure reason of health; she hunted out of ginger-beer the tiniest fragments of cork—they were supposed to " swell up inside you." She never allowed us to pick up things on our walks for fear we should " catch something." Copper coins were supposed to produce " verdigris," which was sure to be instantly fatal.

Maggie saw the child put the half-penny in its mouth and was too shy to interfere, or to tell anyone, but agonized over it in secret. A little later a man was condemned to death at the Assizes for the murder of a child in Lincoln. Maggie became sure that it was the child she had seen, who had died of verdigris, and that the criminal had been falsely suspected of the murder. At last the strain became too great, and she told the whole story to my mother, who was able to comfort her. But the incident shows what a childish imagination is capable of; and Maggie's power of multiplying the significance of life by her imagination, and suffering deep distress from a sense that she ought to have acted, was characteristic of her all her life long." Benson.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

My Testimony

  One night when I was 23, a friend and I went out to the woods where a guy we new lived, he always had weed, so we went there and got loaded; then we decided to go into town and just trip on city life. On the way there a song came on the radio I had never heard and it was called, "Better Homes and Gardens." It was about a young married guy that was losing interest in his marriage and was thinking all kinds of things, none good, to find relief. I bolted back in my seat as I was glued to every line: he was telling my story, in every detail! I was absolutely humbled to discover there was another person on the planet that had the same thoughts as I. My ego was so big that I thought I was unique in the entire world. Then it dawned on me, this is on the radio! That means there has to be thousands that relate like me!!!!!
Oh my ego was shattered, the dam broke and it was the beginning of the humbling process.
I told my friend to take me home! He had no idea why, guess he thought I forgot something, but when he asked I just said, "I don't know, but I need to be home!" Perplexed, and after repeated attempts to talk me out of it, he dropped me off.
I went into the house: my wife had tried to commit suicide and she was in the county crisis ward on a 72 hour hold.
In all the commotion she went through a chest and at the bottom of it was her grandmothers Bible, and it was lying out and I picked it up and began to read about Jesus in Matthew.
That night, He visited me, with a flooding rush of divine love that I found incomprehensible, unattainable, but absolutely irresistible! I fell in love with Jesus that night, 49 years ago, and He has guided me, kept me, forgiven me and loves me when all else failed, and I love Him still!

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!"  2 Cor. 13:5

 "But whoever can so look into my heart as to tell whether there is anything which I revere; and, if there is, what thing it is; he may read me through and through, and there is no darkness wherein I may hide myself. This is the master key to the whole moral nature; what does a man secretly admire and worship? What haunts him with the deepest wonder? What fills him with the most earnest aspiration? What should we overhear in the soliloquies of his unguarded mind? That it is which, in the truth of things, constitutes his religion.

Lift the veil that hides the innermost parts of his worship, let me see what his spirit bows too and let me catch a whiff of his incense, and look in the face the image at whose feet he is prostrate; and thenceforth I know him well; and I can tell where to find him in the world and the divine temper of his home.
Show me the engagements to which he takes with the heartiest relish, the sentiments that raise his quickest response, the occasions that visibly call him out and shake him free, the moments of his brightening eye, and genial laugh, and flowing voice, those will leave on us an irresistible impression of his sincerest tastes and deepest desires. And above all, does he reveal these, when we discover the persons who most occupy his thoughts; in whom he sees what he would like to be or to appear, and whose lot or life he feels it would be an ascent to gain." Martineau.  

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

 "Nay, I don't want to work in children's ministries, why would I?"

I've never actually heard anyone say that, but the need for Sunday School teachers is always so great that people must think that. But one strong dose of the energy, zeal and infectious joy of children: which these photos so vividly portray, absolutely makes this ministry the most joyful, rewarding, not to mention life changing, for ourselves as well as the children, of all the ministries. If someone can teach, guide, play and steep in the presence of children and not come out energized in spirit and lifted in soul, well, you may want to check your pulse.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

  I listened to a woman at the jail unroll her life of great sorrow to me; she was molested by her uncle from age eleven to fifteen, her mother, lost in drugs, did nothing: her father absent. Her addiction to drugs and ultimately meth, began at thirteen and now she sits turning 40 this year, 27 years of addiction and sorrow with absolutely no awareness of God's love, never been to church, and no understanding whatsoever of the connection between her childhood trauma and her circumstances today.
I feverishly rushed to educate her on God's rich mercy and his unfathomable grace, as well as sending her away with two books on Biblical healing for the abused.
Her nearly six foot exterior was hard and she takes no crap from anyone; let me illustrate -- during the sermon, on the men's side of the room, a young guy full of himself was incessantly starring at the youngest girl attending. She is a very petite and young girl, cute as cute can be. This guy caught her attention and began to move his tongue in ways he thought was seductive to try and ..... appeal? to the young woman. His sad fate was that the chair next to him was vacant, and the forty year old woman quietly and tactfully got up and sat next to him, where she looked straight into his eyes and with furrowed brow and gaze of steel said, knock that shit off, she's not for sale! And then quietly got up and returned to her seat. He sat humiliated and his eyes never returned to the girl.

This woman's exterior is hard and course, further traumatized by witnessing her husband put a gun in his mouth and kill himself. Her heart of sorrow was so sensitive tears unwillingly fell from her eyes our entire conversation, and she has flung her sorrows on Jesus for hope and I will pray and believe she will continue to run to Him for refuge. Will you pray with me?