He Sings

He sings

And hardly even knows the reason

He bobs

As cat-tails frolic in the breeze

He scolds

As anything of risk comes near the nestlings

He thrills

This little Lord o’er all the stream he sees.

We’re made

For noble purpose kindly birthed in Heaven

We work

Or teach or write or bake or care

We thank

For all the training of a simple providence

We praise

The Lord of life for all His mercies rare.

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Reform School Reformed


I read a moving article on the power of love in a delightful devotional of classic Christian writings entitled “Show Me Your Love” (Barbour Publications, 2004).

A friend of American evangelist Charles Finney (1850’s) ran a reform school in his town. He was called away and struggled with how to leave his charges for a short while.

Approaching the town fathers, he pledged that if any of his boys ran away or caused trouble he would forfeit his town lot and property. A meeting was called at the school and the boys were told the extent of his trust, and the cause of his family which was now left to the boys and their honour. He departed.

The appointment in the other community ended earlier than expected. The principal arrived at the school late Saturday evening. One of the boys shouted “It is Father”, and the entire school gathered, clean, orderly, smiling and overwhelmed with the transformation of trust.

This is the kind of response which love and trust will elicit. We see it in the Gospel. God first loved us. We respond in a way which no principal’s switch could ever produce.

It’s Mostly Spiritual

there’s just somethin’ about that guy

Listen well

To what they divulge

Forgive

Smile often

Mention Jesus

Like the friend He is

Hold a door

Give something of value

Tell a story that lifts

Lots of eye contact

Remember names

And past meetings

Affirm who they are

Where they’re at

Praise a good book

Or film

Keep your choice of words

Simple and direct

Respect the possibility

Of unknown facts

Never pigeon-hole

A soul

And voila

Living epistle to the King.

http://momentsmidstream.blogspot.ca/2010/02/affirmation.html

Little Letter With Punch


From Paul in a Roman prison to Philemon, wealthy householder at Colossae. Not much to look at, if size matters. One chapter. Twenty-five verses. Very personal in nature. Recalling a former time when Paul introduced the Gospel to that household.

But something very unusual has developed. Paul has been ministered to in custody by a young man recently arrived in Rome named Onesimus.The name translates “useful”.

There was a time when the younger had proved useful to Philemon as a slave of his household. But then a theft. A flight to freedom and Rome. An introduction to Paul and a life of new hope in the Gospel.

Over time Paul comes to realize the wrongdoing of his new friend. He insists that the old score must be settled. But this slave faces very dangerous prospects. The law of the Empire would allow the master to kill the thief, or cut off his hand, or allow him back into service.

What will be the decision now in light of the common bond of Christian faith between master and slave? Paul applies some of his most persuasive words to tip the scale in favour of mercy.

Philemon accepts the challenge, leaving for Colossae, and carrying what amounts to his own letter of emancipation. Consider the thrilling words:

15For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;

16Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

17If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.

18If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;

Does not each believer have a similar assurance through Christ? Based upon His own sinless credit He intercedes with the Heavenly Father for our transgressions. He makes the same request as is found in the 17th and 18th verses. Trusting in this plea, we are freed from the bondage and guilt of our sins. Where restitution or apologies are necessary, we comply, and move forward in joyful release.

Good letter isn’t it? Punchy.

Launching the Stones

“A thankful joint contribution of Anthony Gomez
and Doug Blair”

brave fish
Five smooth stones
Stones defending sheep
One-eyed vigil
One-eyed sleep.

Against paw of Lion
And paw of Bear
The Lord with him
And well did he fare.

And well did he come
When Israel’s forces shook
Slaying that Giant
By the brook.

How many stones
From cruel judicial hand
How many harsh blows
Would later land?

How much blood,
Would vengeance toll
Citing cold statutes
As heads roll?

Then came a King
With gentle shepherd’s rod
Marking our trail
With love of God.

Well do we march
The Lord going before us
Bleating our troth
And Love’s chorus.

Psalm 21:13
“Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength”

Remember Me

Straightened Out…

Had I seen the torment

And ridicule you suffered

Had I seen the demons

Behind the cast of men.

Had I seen the lashings

And piercings rake your body

Could I ever lightly

Regard your Cross again?

Could I go on living

As if the sin were trivial?

Could I enter worship

With casual thoughts in mind?

Would I rather fall down

And plead the Father’s mercy

Knowing in that foul crowd

My leering face I’d find.

Yet you uttered ‘Father

Forgive them in your kindness.

They do not yet fathom

The awesome thing now done.’

Scarce could I believe that

God heeded your petition

Washed my record clean

In the bleeding of His Son.

Morbid, some will say at

My point of view now altered

‘Why not stay with us

For we try to live aright.’

Jesus, there’s yet time

For the breaking and the blessing

Visit these dear loved ones

And give them Gospel sight.