Love of Christ

(taken from

Love of Christ

I can’t contain this thing inside
It grows with each new morn
And helps me see the needs so real
Of lonely and forlorn
Of hurting and self-loathing
In town, at work, next door
Of all the ones in need of Christ
I never saw before.
It makes no sense to plead the case
Of those I never knew
But pray I do, and comfort too
For truly Lord, it’s You.
You walk these streets and offer smiles
And help the old to cope
You hug a child and calm the wild
And give the hungry hope.
It’s not a job; a life instead
To serve the Man of Peace
So use this clay, yes e’en today
In wondrous Love’s release.


One to Greet

Charlie, Lad

It’s you I see

With eyes no verra skillful

Not long ago

You left the Glen

In debt and doubt and willful

Your Gramma

Mourned the parting

While your sister paid the toll

In London

And in service

Til it killed her, precious soul.

But Jamie

Of our number

At her death-bed all-assuring

And kindly

Was one Doctor

Full intent upon her curing

She passed in peace

With plans to bless

The loves of Scottish youth

And said your name

In hopeful trust

That you would come to truth.

And here you be

A sight to see

I’m done here in the garden

So step within

A bite and talk

Your work abroad and pardon.

How folk will laugh

Embrace you Lad

The sheep has clean amended

Back in the fold

As days of old

By love and hope defended.

And I, old Drumsheugh

Privileged here

To give Drumtochty’s hand

The lost is found

Now safe and sound

A bloom from barren land.

(With thanks to the precious writing of Ian MacLaren in “Days of Auld Lang Syne”)

He Who Has Eyes

It was a hectic Friday afternoon and Ches barely had time to grab a bite before driving out of town for his appointment.The Harvey’s restaurant chosen had been a pleasant stop for family in the past and he had been drawn toward it en route. What to order on that hamburg so that it would not be too sloppy for eating on the run?

Ches took note of the chatty male attendant at the cash register and his pleasant approach to customers in line, and the rapport which he had apparently with cooking staff to the rear. Only one more customer ahead and Ches could grab and go.
Then suddenly the elderly man turned away from the counter, dark sunglasses, cane in the right hand, tray delicately balanced in the left.

Sploosh! The tall beverage on the tray slid, the fries headed for the floor and the burger to follow. Counter-man was non-plused. Marj, obviously a senior staffer, came to the fore, “Oh, it’s Harry. He’s a regular here. He usually gets help to his table. Honey, I’m sorry we missed you this time. Don’t worry about the mess. It’s really our fault. We’ll bring another.”

Ches could not see through the elder’s dark glasses, but the rest of the face showed that the old-timer was ashamed. Ches was ashamed.

The counter guy was on to chatting up the next customer with the same small-talk. Marj, unintentionally, had taught a lesson of no small consequence. These men, sometimes….

Song to a Confederate

Yankee lad,
A midnight sentry.
On the graveyard watch tonight.
In this bitter autumn campaign
As our Rebels hold ‘em tight.

Fighting sleep,
The soldier’s struggle,
With the lives of troops at stake.
Fighting dampness, all a-shiver.
Singing, just to stay awake.

Perched on bluff,
And silhouetted,
With a chilly moon behind.
Easy target for my Springfield.
Morning sun-up, corpse they’ll find.

But the song
Drifts cross the valley,
In his soothing baritone,
Of a loving, reaching Saviour.
One, by mother’s side, I’d known.

Something of
A calling Jesus;
And a wanderer’s cry for peace;
And one bitter night’s unloading;
And the Spirit’s sweet release.

I had loved
My Mama’s rendering,
But I would not heed the call.
And with years of tramps and camps, since,
I’ve no heart for it at all.

So tonight
Oh foolish Yankee,
I will put the song to rest.
With a careful eye, a long breath
And a bullet through your breast.

Though sited
Down the cold, gray steel,
I cannot make this kill.
My trigger hand’s a-shakin’
And it isn’t from the chill.

Oh, blue-coat boy,
You’re “saved” again
To see the sun’s first rays.
I’ll not have Mama’s ghost, and yours,
To haunt me all my days…

…A million miles
I’ve traveled since.
And countless moons I’ve seen.
A business came, prosperity.
The war seemed but a dream.

One Christmas Eve,
Some long years’ thence,
I chanced to be afloat.
A break from work. A change of scene.
A festive riverboat.

And word got ‘round
The evening’s sport
Would be a talent fair.
“The lights, the song. Oh come along.
We’ve got to see you there.”

The program came.
I went outside.
With no love for this day.
And aft, I watched the big wheel churn
Its frigid wake away.

Another year.
Another gain.
By rights a sound success.
But like those waters swirling there,
Inside I was a mess.

Too cold it was.
I joined the throng.
I sat right at the rear.
A special guest, evangelist,
One Ira Sankey, here.

I’d heard the news.
I’d read the press.
His tour of Britain’s halls
With Moody; their effectiveness,
Their skill in Gospel calls.

And after songs
Of Yuletide hope,
This tall man took the stage.
His frame so straight, his dress so fine.
A prince in any age.

And then the voice.
That baritone!
My mother’s song begins.
Not Christmas cheer; the sentry’s here
To call me from my sins!

How’s this, I quake?
It must be so.
I’m here, but by some plan.
Oh Mama dear, I think that
Now I understand the man!

His words so true.
His voice so rich.
God’s presence fills the place.
I’ll leave my night. I see the Son.
I’m saved and by His Grace.

(A life was spared.
A song was sung.
His Christ had seen him through.
I’d heard the song. I’d come along.
And now, his Christ I knew.)

(True story. The voice and presence of Ira Sankey were applied to great effect in many of the Gospel Crusades of D. L. Moody)

Secret Power

(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 else, and finding fault.

But it is hard for us to live in the right atmosphere all the time. Some one comes along and treats us wrongly, perhaps we hate him; we have not attended to the means of grace and kept feeding on the word of God as we ought; a root of bitterness springs up in our hearts, and perhaps we are not aware of it, but it has come up in our hearts; then we are not qualified to work for God. The love of God is not shed abroad in our hearts as it ought to be by the Holy Ghost.

But the work of the Holy Ghost is to impart love. Paul could say, “The Love of Christ constraineth me.” He could not help going from town to town and preaching the Gospel. Jeremiah at one time said: “I will speak no more in the Lord’s name; I have suffered enough; these people don’t like God’s Word. They lived in a wicked day, as we do now. Infidels were creeping up all around him, who said the word of God was not true; Jeremiah had stood like a wall of fire, confronting them, and he boldly proclaimed that the Word of God was true. At last they put him in prison, and he said: “I will keep still; it has cost me too much.” But a little while after, you know, he could not keep still. His bones caught fire; he had to speak. And when we are so full of the Love of God, we are compelled to work for God, then God blesses us. If our work is sought to be accomplished by the lash, without any true motive power, it will come to nought.

Now the question comes up, have we the love of God shed abroad in our hearts and are we holding the truth in love? Some people hold the truth, but in such a cold stern way that it will do no good. Other people want to love everything, and so they give up much of the truth; but we are to hold the truth in love; we are to hold the truth even if we lose all, but we are to hold it in love, and if we do that, the Lord will bless us.