VIDEO The Summons

Sept 3, 2010

This is good while you are preparing to worship

Words: John L. Bell & Graham Maule, copyright © 1987 Wild Goose Resource Group/ WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH, Scotland. Melody: ‘Kelvingrove’, Scots traditional. Reproduced by permission. Websites: wgrg.co.uk & holycity-glasgow.co.uk

Pictures taken in Denver, Chicago, and Omaha. (I think someone asked…)

Happy Fall

Happy Fall

From one pumpkin to another!!!!!!!

A woman was asked by a co-worker, ‘What is it like to be a Christian?’

The coworker replied, ‘It is like being a pumpkin.’ God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.’

This was passed on to me by another pumpkin.. Now it’s your turn to pass it to other pumpkins.

I liked this enough to send it to all the pumpkins in my patch.

Seeking the Lord

Colossians 3:1-2

Most people have the idea that Christianity is defined by praying, giving, sharing their faith, and being good. But genuine faith is also a daily yearning for more knowledge of and intimacy with the Lord. A believer’s spirit can be wholly satisfied with the presence of Jesus Christ living within, and yet still remain thirsty for deeper communion with Him. One of Christianity’s basic principles is that the more we know of the Lord, the more we want to learn of Him. If we’re to seek God rather than worldly riches, then our desire for Him must be stronger than any other longing we have.

Yesterday, we learned that we gain life’s “good things”—what God wills for us— by seeking Him. A mind set on finding material success will miss the spiritually fulfilling path. However, pursuing the Lord doesn’t imply abandoning plans and dreams; it simply means we prayerfully subject our hopes to His will. As we strive to know God, our desires change to reflect His. Our Father in turn takes responsibility for His children and puts our goals within reach. He gives us all the good things our God-shaped heart wants.

How does a Christian go about seeking the God who will supply his or her needs? By studying His Word and asking for His revelation. Every believer who genuinely wants to be trained in the Father’s ways can expect His instruction. When we receive new knowledge of Him, our desire for God will be kindled like dry twigs touched by a flame. And the more we seek to learn about Him, the more we will want to know.

The Devil and Halloween

“Neither give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:27)

Halloween has long been claimed as the high, holy day of Satan worship. This is the day when witches and warlocks gather to praise their leader and extend his work on Earth. Festivities are marked by unprecedented evil and blasphemy, with blood sacrifices and hedonistic practices playing prominent parts.

To far too great an extent, Christian families participate in the same, with children (and parents, too) dressing up as demons, ghosts, skeletons, wizards, etc. We can only surmise how much pleasure Satan derives from this deception.

Satan, we must remember, is the “adversary . . . [who], as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), and many times he disguises himself as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). We are to “resist [him] stedfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9), for, “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Although Satan is acknowledged to be “the prince of this world” (John 14:30), his doom is sure. “The God of peace shall bruise [literally crush] Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20). He will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone . . . and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Until the realization of that ultimate victory is gained, our mission on Earth is to “turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18).

Accordingly, let us strive to see that his harmful influence is thwarted on this, his special day. The children of each community need protection from the evil influences boldly swarming this night. May we, ourselves, not fall prey to his dark deceptions, and especially in the lives of our children, may we focus their attention on the Light, instead. JDM

We know not what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us

“Likewise also the Spirit helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26, 27.)

THIS is the deep mystery of prayer. This is the delicate divine mechanism which words cannot interpret, and which theology cannot explain, but which the humblest believer knows even when he does not understand.

Oh, the burdens that we love to bear and cannot understand! Oh, the inarticulate out-reachings of our hearts for things we cannot comprehend! And yet we know they are an echo from the throne and a whisper from the heart of God. It is often a groan rather than a song, a burden rather than a buoyant wing. But it is a blessed burden, and it is a groan whose undertone is praise and unutterable joy. It is “a groaning which cannot be uttered.” We could not ourselves express it always, and sometimes we do not understand any more than that God is praying in us, for something that needs His touch and that He understands.

And so we can just pour out the fullness of our heart, the burden of our spirit, the sorrow that crushes us, and know that He hears, He loves, He understands, He receives; and He separates from our prayer all that is imperfect, ignorant and wrong, and presents the rest, with the incense of the great High Priest, before the throne on high; and our prayer is heard, accepted and answered in His name.—A. B. Simpson.

It is not necessary to be always speaking to God or always hearing from God, to have communion with Him; there is an inarticulate fellowship more sweet than words. The little child can sit all day long beside its busy mother and, although few words are spoken on either side, and both are busy, the one at his absorbing play, the other at her engrossing work, yet both are in perfect fellowship. He knows that she is there, and she knows that he is all right. So the saint and the Saviour can go on for hours in the silent fellowship of love, and he be busy about the most common things, and yet conscious that every little thing he does is touched with the complexion of His presence, and the sense of His approval and blessing.

And then, when pressed with burdens and troubles too complicated to put into words and too mysterious to tell or understand, how sweet it is to fall back into His blessed arms, and just sob out the sorrow that we cannot speak!—Selected.

I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought

“I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.” Hosea 13:5

Yes, Lord, Thou didst indeed know me in my fallen state, and Thou didst even then choose me for Thyself. When I was loathsome and self-abhorred, Thou didst receive me as Thy child, and Thou didst satisfy my craving wants. Blessed for ever be Thy name for this free, rich, abounding mercy. Since then, my inward experience has often been a wilderness; but Thou hast owned me still as Thy beloved, and poured streams of love and grace into me to gladden me, and make me fruitful.

Yea, when my outward circumstances have been at the worst, and I have wandered in a land of drought, Thy sweet presence has solaced me. Men have not known me when scorn has awaited me, but Thou hast known my soul in adversities, for no affliction dims the lustre of Thy love. Most gracious Lord, I magnify Thee for all Thy faithfulness to me in trying circumstances, and I deplore that I should at any time have forgotten Thee and been exalted in heart, when I have owed all to Thy gentleness and love. Have mercy upon Thy servant in this thing!

My soul, if Jesus thus acknowledged thee in thy low estate, be sure that thou own both Himself and His cause now that thou art in thy prosperity. Be not lifted up by thy worldly successes so as to be ashamed of the truth or of the poor church with which thou hast been associated. Follow Jesus into the wilderness: bear the cross with Him when the heat of persecution grows hot. He owned thee, O my soul, in thy poverty and shame—never be so treacherous as to be ashamed of Him. O for more shame at the thought of being ashamed of my best Beloved! Jesus, my soul cleaveth to Thee.

“I’ll turn to Thee in days of light,
As well as nights of care,
Thou brightest amid all that’s bright!
Thou fairest of the fair!”

Renew a right spirit within me

“Renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

A backslider, if there be a spark of life left in him will groan after restoration. In this renewal the same exercise of grace is required as at our conversion. We needed repentance then; we certainly need it now. We wanted faith that we might come to Christ at first; only the like grace can bring us to Jesus now. We wanted a word from the Most High, a word from the lip of the loving One, to end our fears then; we shall soon discover, when under a sense of present sin, that we need it now. No man can be renewed without as real and true a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s energy as he felt at first, because the work is as great, and flesh and blood are as much in the way now as ever they were.

Let thy personal weakness, O Christian, be an argument to make thee pray earnestly to thy God for help. Remember, David when he felt himself to be powerless, did not fold his arms or close his lips, but he hastened to the mercy-seat with “renew a right spirit within me.” Let not the doctrine that you, unaided, can do nothing, make you sleep; but let it be a goad in your side to drive you with an awful earnestness to Israel’s strong Helper. O that you may have grace to plead with God, as though you pleaded for your very life—”Lord, renew a right spirit within me.”

He who sincerely prays to God to do this, will prove his honesty by using the means through which God works. Be much in prayer; live much upon the Word of God; kill the lusts which have driven your Lord from you; be careful to watch over the future uprisings of sin. The Lord has His own appointed ways; sit by the wayside and you will be ready when He passes by. Continue in all those blessed ordinances which will foster and nourish your dying graces; and, knowing that all the power must proceed from Him, cease not to cry, “Renew a right spirit within me.”