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Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Milton at Transforming Sermons is moving to a new Church and home, why not drop in and wish him and the family well, and to let them know you are praying for them! Read more here...

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT - TUESDAY: “…encourage one another…”

Everyone needs recognition for his accomplishments, but few people make the need known quite as clearly as the little boy who said to his father: "Let's play darts. I'll throw and you say 'Wonderful!'" -- Bits & Pieces.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. - 1Thess 5:11. (ESV)

I felt very strongly in my spirit today as I was preparing this, that there is someone who will read this post today, and they are in trouble financially. The illustration below serves to tell us, that our El Shaddiah, (GOD ALMIGHTY, ALL SUFFICIENT) is the one who sees our problems before we do, and supplies the answer. Praise His wonderful and mighty name!

"I often wish that I could lie down and sleep without waking. But I will fight it out if I can." So wrote one of the bravest, most inspiring men who ever lived, Sir Walter Scott.

In his 56th year,
failing in health, his wife dying of an incurable disease, Scott was in debt a half million dollars. A publishing firm he had invested in had collapsed. He might have taken bankruptcy, but shrank from the strain. From his creditors he asked only time. Thus began his race with death, a valiant effort to pay off the debt before he died.

To be able to write free from interruptions,
Scott withdrew to a small rooming house in Edinburgh. He had left his dying wife, Charlotte behind in the country. "It withered my heart," he wrote in his diary, but his presence could avail her nothing now. A few weeks later she died.

After the funeral he wrote in his diary:
"Were an enemy coming upon my house, would I not do my best to fight, although oppressed in spirits; and shall a similar despondency prevent me from mental exertion? It shall not, by heaven!"

With a tremendous exercise of will,
he returned to the task, stifling his grief. He turned out Woodstock, Count Robert of Paris, Castle Dangerous, and other works. Though twice stricken with paralysis, he labored steadily until the fall of 1832.

Then came a merciful miracle.
Although his mental powers had left him, he died September 21, 1832, happy in the illusion that all his debts were paid. (They were finally paid in 1847 with the sale of all his copyrights.)

Thomas Carlyle was to write of him later: "No sounder piece of British manhood was put together in the eighteenth century of time."

Loving Father, Thank you for your word, that tells us to encourage one another. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to really encourage someone today! And I pray for the one who is in trouble financially, meet their needs in Jesus name, according to your word, El Shaddiah. In Jesus wonderful name I pray!

Monday, May 30, 2005


There will be seasons in your ministry when you sow and you see no fruit come forth. Don't give up. Don't change your message. Don't resort to gimmicks. Just keep on preaching the Word. Believe that if you sow the seed in preaching and you water it in tears that in due time God will give the increase.--Paul Powell.
Cartoon by Tim Walburg.


This an update of my earlier post on the 'Lost Chord,' you can read it here.

Doctors investigate Czech clue in 'Piano Man' case!

Doctors caring for the Piano Man, the talented but silent musician found on the Kent coast seven weeks ago, will seek to confirm his identity this week as a formally trained Czech pianist.

Using information obtained by The Independent, staff looking after the patient, who has not said a word since he was found in wet clothes, will try to establish if he is Tomas Strnad, the son of a Prague dentist with an ability to play classical music from memory.

Continue reading

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT - MONDAY: “…encourage one another…”

One morning I opened the door to get the newspaper and was surprised to see a strange little dog with our paper in his mouth. Delighted with this unexpected "delivery service," I fed him some treats. The following morning I was horrified to see the same dog sitting in front of our door, wagging his tail, surrounded by eight newspapers. I spent the rest of that morning returning the papers to their owners. - Marion Gilbert.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. - 1Thess 5:11.

Recently, I heard a touching story which illustrates the power that words have to change a life -- a power that lies right in the hands of those reading this article. Mary had grown up knowing that she was different from the other kids, and she hated it. She was born with a cleft palate and had to bear the jokes and stares of cruel children who teased her non-stop about her misshaped lip, crooked nose, and garbled speech. With all the teasing, Mary grew up hating the fact that she was "different". She was convinced that no one, outside her family, could ever love her ... until she entered Mrs. Leonard's class.

Mrs. Leonard had a warm smile, a round face, and shiny brown hair. While everyone in her class liked her, Mary came to love Mrs. Leonard. In the 1950's, it was common for teachers to give their children an annual hearing test. However, in Mary's case, in addition to her cleft palate, she was barely able to hear out of one ear. Determined not to let the other children have another "difference" to point out, she would cheat on the test each year. The "whisper test" was given by having a child walk to the classroom door, turn sideways, close one ear with a finger, and then repeat something which the teacher whispered. Mary turned her bad ear towards her teacher and pretended to cover her good ear. She knew that teachers would often say things like, "The sky is blue," or "What color are your shoes?" But not on that day. Surely, God put seven words in Mrs. Leonard's mouth that changed Mary's life forever. When the "Whisper test" came, Mary heard the words:
"I wish you were my little girl."

Dads, I wish there was some way that I could communicate to you the incredible blessing which affirming words impart to children. I wish, too, that you could sit in my office, when I counsel, and hear the terrible damage that individuals received from not hearing affirming words -- particularly affirming words from a father. While words from a godly teacher can melt a heart, words from a father can powerfully set the course of a life.

If affirming words were something rarely spoken in your home growing up, let me give you some tips on words and phrases that can brighten your own child's eyes and life. These words are easy to say to any child who comes into your life. I'm proud of you, Way to go, Bingo ... you did it, Magnificent, I knew you could do it, What a good helper, You're very special to me, I trust you, What a treasure, Hurray for you, Beautiful work, You're a real trooper, Well done, That's so creative, You make my day, You're a joy, Give me a big hug, You're such a good listener, You figured it out, I love you, You're so responsible, You remembered, You're the best, You sure tried hard, I've got to hand it to you, I couldn't be prouder of you, You light up my day, I'm praying for you, You're wonderful, I'm behind you, You're so kind to your (brother/sister), You're God's special gift, I'm here for you.
- John Trent.

Loving Father, Thank you for your word that tells us to encourage one another. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to really encourage someone today! In Jesus wonderful name I pray!

Sunday, May 29, 2005


THE mysteriously mute piano virtuoso found wandering on an English beach last month could be a Czech classical musician who once played in a rock band, a drummer in the combo has been quoted as saying.

Klaudius Kryspin said he immediately recognised the man as Thomas Strnad, even though it had been many years since they played together in a tribute band called Ropotamo.

"When I saw the picture in the newspapers, I knew it was Thomas," Mr Kryspin told Britain's Mail on Sunday from Prague.

Officials caring for the so-called "piano man" at Little Brook Hospital in Dartford, Kent, southeast England, said it has informed the Metropolitan Police missing persons bureau about the claim.

The tall blond man, thought to be in his 20s or early 30s, was found on April 7 on the beach at Minster, on the south coast of England. He was soaking wet, but fully dressed in a black suit, with no clue as to his origin.

He has not spoken since and has not responded to written appeals while being kept under observation.

However, he has fascinated social workers, the British media and the general public because of his one means of communication: playing classical piano music.

When given a pencil and paper by hospital staff, the mystery man drew a grand piano - and then, when shown a piano at the hospital chapel, he impressed his carers with a remarkable virtuoso performance.

Mr Kryspin, who has not seen Mr Strnad in nine years, said his old band mate had trained as a classical musician, and that his "first love was always Chopin, Mozart and Liszt".

He added that Mr Strnad did not appear to get along with his family, and three years ago was going around asking for money to buy bread.

He said he immediately recognised Mr Strnad from a photo he saw on the internet, and that "he still looks like the same guy I knew back then".

"The only things that are different are his hair colour and his sad face. He looks like a broken man."


G-Train gets up head of steam to sink Swans!

ST KILDA 15. 10. 100 - SYDNEY 8. 10. 58
A seven-goal haul by full-forward Fraser Gehrig (The G-Train), playing his 200th game, inspired St Kilda to emphatically snap their losing streak with what may be a season-defining win last night...
Oh when the Saints go marching in,
Oh when the Saints go marching in,
Oh how I want to be at Moorabbin,
When the Saints go marching in!
Listen and sing along!


Maltbie D. Babcock attended Syracuse University and Auburn Theological Seminary. Heranked high as a student and participated in both athletic and musical activities. Tall, broadshouldered, and muscular, he was president of the baseball team, an expert pitcher, and agood swimmer. He played several musical instruments, directed the school orchestra, andplayed the organ and composed for it. He was a singer and leader of the glee club. He coulddo impersonations, was clever at drawing, and had a knack with tools. He was also an avidfisherman. He might have become a professional musician had he not chosen the ministry.

After almost 14 years in Baltimore, Babcock was called to the prestigious pastorate of theBrick Presbyterian Church in New York City, to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of HenryVan Dyke. Babcock had been there only 18 months when he made a trip to the Holy Land.While overseas, he died of brucellosis.Though Babcock published nothing during his life, his wife Catherine collected and publishedmany of his writings after his untimely death.

A volume of his poems contained This Is MyFather’s World. Babcock, of course, never heard his famous hymn sung.This hymn is taken from a sixteen-verse poem written by the Rev. Maltbie D. Babcock andpublished in 1901. The first line of each of the sixteen stanzas began with “This is my Father’s world.” However, as one writer has noted, “This hymn is more than a mere outburst of songabout nature, but rather a seasoned appreciation, beautifully worded, of unfailing trust in theways and judgements of God. In the hymn Babcock portrays the message of God’sPresence, God’s Personality, God’s Power, and God’s Purpose.

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears

All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,

The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass; He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad?

The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!God reigns; let the earth be glad!

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.

I ope ‘ my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.

”This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,

The Beloved One, His Only Son,Came—a pledge
of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?

The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.

This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,

For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.

No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.

In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.

This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam

Whate’er my lot, it matters not, My heart is still at home.

Click here to view and Listen

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Dave Milne, from Aberlour in Banffshire, Scotland, says his whisky diet is going well and he's lost three days already!

The Scots are known all over the world as the happiest people on the planet, (or off the planet!) and we don’t need scientists to tell us that! Och Aye!

Land of the high endeavour,
land o' the shining river,
land o' my hert forrrrreeeever!
Scotland the brave!

Hic... noo, whur did I pit that boatel?


Poms laugh less, say scientists! For the uninitiated, POM stands for Prisoners Of Mother-England! Also, Britain is often referred to as England by other countries.

BRITAIN is suffering a sense of humour failure, with laughter levels three times lower now than 50 years ago and nearly half of all adults unable to enjoy at least one big guffaw a day, research has revealed.

Money worries, relationship woes and even political concerns were among the reasons given for the collection of grim faces, according to the data, collected for the cruise company Ocean Village. "Laughter is an essential ingredient of a healthy, happy life and is one of the most effective and immediate antidotes to stress and tension - it really is the best medicine," said Amanda Bate from Ocean Village.

"The findings of this study show a worrying trend towards glumness. In the 1950s we laughed for an average of 18 minutes daily but this has dropped to just six minutes per day," she said.

Morning misery is rife, with almost half of Britons - some 45 per cent - admitting they frequently wallowed in gloom until lunchtime.

Around 16 million adults, totalling 40 per cent, said they failed to muster even one proper belly laugh in an average day.

It is not all sulking and moodiness, however, as the research found that single women aged 18 to 24 in the northern city of Manchester were the happiest people in the country.

In addition, Bristol, in western England, was named the most cheerful place for couples aged 25 to 34.

Factors such as weather, time of day and age, were all cited as being able to spark the blues.July and August were the happiest months of the year according to three out of four people quizzed, with January the most miserable.

The study was carried out by ICM Research on behalf of Ocean Village who interviewed a random selection of 1000 adults aged 18 or over.

Explains everything! :)

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Friday, May 27, 2005


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I have just come across an excellent new Blog by Australian Church Planter, Steve Addisson! This is a recent post...
Collins Books are in trouble. They’re selling off or closing down stores in an effort to survive. The reason? Competition from Amazon and newcomers to the Australian market like Borders.

Collins had a secure place in the world of bookselling. But the world changed. Collins has been left behind. It happens all the time. Proud businesses go out of business.

Most declining churches are shielded from this harsh reality. They survive for decades on artificial life support.

If you’re not in that category, you may like to know what successful change looks like for a church. Here are my three commandments:

1. Thou shalt be conservative
Too many attempts to “modernize” or “post modernize” the faith erode the non-negotiables to accommate a godless culture. If you want a case study you can’t go past the mainline churches that modernized in the 60s and 70s. Once trendy, the party is now over. Their churches are in free fall. No one’s listening. Along the way they lost something.

2. Thou shalt take a risk
In a changing world, if you’re not moving, you’re being left behind. Core beliefs are your anchor while you change everything else in order to get the job done. Keep making that innovative return to tradition. Again and again and again.

3. Thou shalt keep the best
Ruthless evaluation. I love the first two commandments. I hate this one. Hard choices have to be made. At the end of the day is this innovation true to our core beliefs? Is it working?

Here are my biases:
• Are people coming to faith in Christ?
• Are they growing in obedience?
• Are disciple-making groups and communities multiplying?
• Are we developing godly and effective leaders?
• Are healthy churches growing and multiplying?
• Is the surrounding community and culture being transformed by the presence of the Kingdom?

If the answer is “no”— do something about it. Make an innovative return to tradition. Try lots of stuff and keep doing what works.

If you don’t, eventually the Owner of the business may visit you and close down your store (Lk 13:6-9).

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So much for being dependant on God... Psalm 23. Talk about sliding downhill fast, it can't get any faster than this for the Church of Scotland...

Church website considers adverts

The Church of Scotland could soon be looking for a commercial sponsor for its website, the General Assembly is set to hear.

A report to be discussed on Friday says there would be "considerable commercial potential" in looking for sponsorship, or even carrying adverts.

The Kirk says its website will have received two million hits by the end of this year.

However, adverts for alcohol, gambling and tobacco would not be welcome.

Neither would ones for loans or anything which, the report states, might be "ethically questionable".

The popularity of the site could translate into a welcome source of income from sponsorship or adverts, according to several firms which the Board of Communication has consulted.

The General Assembly will be asked to approve the proposal later on Friday.

Considering the number of Churches closing down weekly, the people leaving in droves, not counting the Hotel they built in Israel, which is losing huge amounts of money, I wonder how many of them will pray about this?

For His Names sake, how can they preach about depending on God and do this? Why can't they simply preach the gospel?

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Adrian Warnock, from the UK, has been given the opportunity of asking 10 questions about the ESV, which he passionately pushes and loves! Adrian had asked for other bloggers to be involved in the interview, by suggesting what questions he should ask. The questions have now been decided and he lists them on his blog. If you are interested in the Bible translations, especially the ESV, then this is a must read! Continue reading...

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Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. - Philippians 3:8 – 12.
Today, it’s all about knowing Jesus, what is better than that? Paul said that he held everything else to be worthless in comparison with that knowledge, and he was willing to sacrifice everything else in order to obtain it. Are you willing to sacrifice everything to know Him?

Christ for sickness, Christ for health,
Christ for poverty, Christ for wealth,
Christ for joy, Christ for sorrow,
Christ today and Christ tomorrow;

Christ my Life, and Christ my Light,
Christ for morning, noon and night,
Christ when all around gives way
Christ my everlasting Stay;

Christ my Rest, and Christ my Food,
Christ above my highest good,
Christ my Well-beloved Friend
Christ my Pleasure without end;

Christ my Saviour,
Christ my Lord Christ my Portion,
Christ my God,
Christ my Shepherd, I His sheep
Christ Himself my soul to keep;

Christ my Leader,
Christ my Peace
Christ hath wrought my soul's release,
Christ my Righteousness divine
Christ for me, for He is mine;

Christ my Wisdom,
Christ my Meat,
Christ restores my wandering feet,
Christ my Advocate and Priest
Christ who ne'er forgets the least;

Christ my Teacher,
Christ my Guide,
Christ my Rock, in Christ I hide,
Christ the Ever-living Bread,
Christ His precious Blood hath shed;

Christ hath brought me nigh to God,
Christ the everlasting Word Christ my Master,
Christ my Head,
Christ who for my sins hath bled;

Christ my Glory, Christ my Crown,
Christ the Plant of great renown,
Christ my Comforter on high,
Christ my Hope, draws ever nigh.
- Author unknown.

C.H. Spurgeon, first words in the pulpit of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London…. Said this:
I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this Church, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this building shall be frequented by worshipers… shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I
am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what my creed is, I reply, "It is Jesus Christ." My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a [theological heritage] admirable and excellent in its way. But the [legacy] to which I would pin and bind myself forever, God helping me, is Jesus Christ, who is the arm and substance of the gospel, who is in Himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth.

Do you know Jesus?
Do you know Him intellectually, personally & relationally?
Our greatest quest in life should be to know Jesus.
If you don’t know Jesus and want to get to know Him, you can find what you want here… AN OPEN LETTER.

Loving Father, I thank you that I know your dear son Jesus! I thank you for the love, joy and peace that my Lord and Saviour has brought into my life! I thank you that He took me from a life of misery, to a life of never-ending happiness! I pray that anyone reading this will also know this life. In Jesus wonderful name! Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Anne Frank by Margaret Ann Johnson

Anne Frank 1929 - 1945

After all these years, this is a sory that still breaks my heart...
Anne Frank was an ordinary teenage girl, who matured and grew during extraordinary times. She loved life, laughter, history, film stars, mythology, cats, writing, books and boys. She intensely disliked mathematics, staying indoors, selfishness, human suffering and fleas!

Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews required to wear a yellow star; Jews were required to turn in their bicycles; Jews were forbidden to use streetcars; Jews were forbidden to ride in cars, even their own; Jews were required to do their shopping between 3 and 5 p.m.; Jews were required to frequent only Jewish-owned barbershops and beauty parlors; Jews were forbidden to be out on the streets between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

In the country of Denmark, the King himself declared that he and the entire population would wear the yellow star, in sympathy with the Jews. Every Jewish child over the age of six was required to follow this policy. The Jewish people were not the only ones discriminated against during the Nazi regime so were blacks, gypsies, mentally and physically handicapped as well as homosexual people.

Some Europeons did risk their freedom, and even their lives, in order to help Jews and to conceal them from their Nazi oppressors. Anne writes in her diary that it was apparent to a number of "outsiders' such as the people who supplied them with bread and vegetables as well as the Frank's office staff that the family along with another were "in hiding." She speaks of her father's secretary as being so laden down with food and books that she resembled a pack mule each week.

It is important to note that Anne was given her diary as a birthday present for her thirteenth birthday. Anne decided that she would pretend her diary was her very best friend, a friend she could trust with everything. She called her: 'Kitty'. On the first page, Anne wrote: "I hope I shall be able to confide in you completely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me. (June 12, 1942). On the inside of the cover she stuck a photograph of herself, and wrote next to it: "Gorgeous photo, isn't it!!!"

It wasn't until I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to actually view the original red and white cloth covered manuscript that I could actually feel the invincible spirit and the essence of determination; that this young woman possessed. It was fascinating to me to view her writing in the diary and see that it was written in both cursive and block style.
There are additional pictures and cross-outs as though she were editing. However, she quickly filled it up and then wrote on separate pieces of paper, too. I learned that she didn't just write in her diary she also wrote imaginary stories, essays on serious subjects,etc. That story book is extremely neat without cross outs or mistakes.

I was able to climb the steep and narrow stairs and actually experience the close, crowded quarters which housed eight people "in hiding." The house is bare of furniture but Anne's room remains as it was with her pictures of movie stars and postcards "pasted"onto the walls. It is an overwhelming fact that so many people could be totally exterminated. As a quote in the Anne Frank house reminds us: "It is not true that six million Jews were murdered; one Jew was murdered six million times over."

Anne's writing speaks of her high ideals and "The nice part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings; otherwise, I'd absolutely suffocate." Anne valued life and was greatly concerned with the values of fairness and honesty in judging people for being rich or poor, yellow star-studded, dirty or clean and maintains that true greatness lies in only in "character and goodness." She encourages us in the book Tales From the Secret Annex to set a good example and others will follow. What an example of the idea of value "modeling" from one who is so young!

. . .Give of yourself, give as much as you can! And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness! If everyone were to do this and would not be as mean with a kindly word, then there would be much more justice and love in the world. Give and you shall receive, much more than you would have ever thought possible. . .There is plenty of room for everyone in the world, enough for us to share.

Anne Frank's life and description of it recorded in her own handwriting is a remarkable accounting of a variety of values. When Anne started writing in her diary two days after she received it and recorded how her life changed during those two years. When Anne started writing in her diary two days after she received it and recorded how her life changed during those two years.

There is no way she could have known that millions of people throughout the world would read her diary. She loved, hurt, feared, struggled, questioned, and captured the essence of her life and sometimes discouraged spirit. Her words also reveal an honesty that is remarkable and is sparkled here and there with a sense of humor.

As John F. Kennedy so eloquently states, "Of the multitude who throughout history have spoken for human dignity in times of great suffering and loss, no voice is more compelling than that of Anne Frank."

Anne Frank's example of recording her thoughts and feelings has inspired me to do something that no one else has been able to and that is to record my thoughts and feelings beginning with the first day of my trip to Europe. I will never forget her influence and Anne Frank will also be a very special SHERO to me!

***Note: Anne was born on June 12, 1929 and died three days after her older sister, Margo from typhus fever at Bergen-Belsen in March of 1945. Sadly, the camp was liberated a few weeks later in April.

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT - THURSDAY: How To Maintain A Spirit-Filled Life!

"Do the Pentecostals look back with shame as they remember when they dwelt across the theological tracks, but with the glory of the Lord in their midst? When they had a normal church life, which meant nights of prayers, followed by signs and wonders, and diverse miracles, and genuine gifts of the Holy Ghost? When they were not clock watchers, and their meetings lasted for hours, saturated with holy power? Have we no tears for these memories, or shame that our children know nothing of such power?" - Leonard Ravenhill.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. - Eph 5:15 -21.

You can’t beat the word of God when it comes to improving our walk with Christ, after all He is the master, He is lord, He is our Saviour and He is the font of all wisdom. There are so many self-help books on the market today, that it would make your head spin just trying to pronounce the titles, never mind the deceiving garbage within!

So if we Christians profess that the Bible is the answer to all life’s problems, why do we get caught up reading this self-help rubbish! See my post on this… Is it a case of self-help or help self?’ I am one of those people who actually like to keep things simple, without getting into a debate about it.

I have said before and I will keep on saying it, that Jesus Christ came as a common man, to a common people, speaking a common language! I believe that we need to keep things simple or we get caught up in ego-driven mania about who is right and who is wrong about doctrines etc., Now, let’s get on with our subject of encouragement today…

How do we maintain a spirit-filled life?
Our answer is found in Ephesians 5:15-21. None of this is possible if we are not baptised in the Holy Spirit, see my post on “HOLY SPIRIT... WE NEED YOU!” if you haven’t already read it.

Dr. Merrill C. Tenney points out that… Most homes are connected to a water main. This supplies the house with adequate water for normal life. But suppose a fire breaks out. Then firemen tap a nearby hydrant to secure a much greater flow of water to meet the emergency.

To be "full"
of the Spirit is like a house supplied continuously with adequate water. But to be "filled" on occasion, as the apostles were in Acts 4:31, is to be given extra energy and power for special service. "And when they had prayed, -- they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness."

For the special task of persisting in evangelism, even when the religious leadership violently opposed them, the apostles needed a special filling of God's power. They had been "full of the Spirit" all along. Now they needed "extra filling" to meet the extra demands on them.
– Source unknown.

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesian Church, knew that they were struggling in their walk with Christ, so he sets out ‘seven very effective principles for highly affected people.’ Not to be confused by a book written by a member of a well known cult! Paul is telling us that we need to be careful in our walk with Christ, and to do it wisely, not as those who possess no wisdom. Here is Paul’s antidote for the poison that can seep into our spirit and spoil our walk with Jesus…

Making the most of every opportunity. (v16)
Understand the will of the Lord. (v17)
Be filled with the spirit. (v18)
Do not get not get drunk with wine. (v18)
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. (v19)
Always giving thanks to God the Father for all things. (v20)
Submit to one another.

Making the most of every opportunity depends on doing the other 6 principles. Don’t waste time on petty things, but get on with the commands of Christ; because the present times are perilous, they are full of difficulties and temptations, and only the alert and hard-working have any reason to anticipate, that they shall keep their walk upright.

Understanding the will of God depends on the sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who will guide us into all truth. We are not be foolish by trying to do things in our own strength and getting carried away with every wind of doctrine. It is the will of God that we should be moderate, uncorrupted, holy, and unpolluted by the world. Get a comprehensive understanding of this; familiarize ourselves with God’s will, and bring glory to His name.

Be filled with Spirit! This is in direct contrast to a state of intoxication that comes with drinking to much wine. Remember that our bodies are the temple of God. Get saturated with the Holy Spirit and begin to desire the gifts that He so freely distributes for the extension of God’s Kingdom."Be filled," means, "Be constantly in the process of being filled." Being filled, and never refilled, is like taking a drink of water, we have to keep on drinking. It is a daily process to satisfy the thirst of the spirit. They that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled!

Do not get not get drunk with wine. Drunkards think they have no problems, they don't worry about tomorrow, and they have no burden or cares. These things are only an illusion, their troubles will be back, and multiplied many times over. But the person drunk in the spirit is truly care-free, to go about the purposes of God. The early disciples just kept on being filled, they just kept on drinking! How did they do it?

Verses 19-21 gives us the other three ‘very effective principles for highly affected people, and tell us what they are…

  • Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. (Worshipping God and building each other up).
  • Always giving thanks to God the Father for all things.
  • Through Jesus Christ and being content in every situation).
  • Submitting to one another. (In love and out of reverence for Christ Jesus).

"All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they believed that God would be with them." - Hudson Taylor.

There are a lot of Christians who are doing nothing, but there are no Christians who have nothing to do.

Loving Father, I thank you for your word that tells me to make the most of every opportunity, helps me to understand your will, tells me to be filled with the Holy Spirit, not to get drunk, to speak to my fellow believers with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, always giving thanks to you Father for all things and submitting to one another out of reverence for your dear son and my Lord and Saviour in whose name I pray! Amen!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Oswald Chambers... My Utmost For His Highest was one of the first Christian books that I read, and his writing still influences my walk with Christ today.
Oswald Chambers was a man unbridled by the world and its desires. Some say he was one of the greatest Christian thinkers of our time. He would say if any credit is given, let it go to Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior. Much like the apostle Paul, life for Oswald Chambers was but an open opportunity to glorify God.

He was born on July 24, 1874 in Aberdeen Scotland, where he became a Christian during his teen years under the ministry of Charles Spurgeon. God used many things to shape and mold Chambers. One of which was his acceptance into the University of Edinburgh. Rapid spiritual development followed as Chambers became intently interested in the things of God.
After answering God's call into the ministry, he studied theology at Dunoon College. From 1906-10, he conducted itinerant Bible-teaching ministries in the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan. Upon his return home, he married Gertrude Hobbs. In 1911, he founded and was named principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham, London. The school closed in 1915 due to World War I. Chambers was then commissioned by YMCA to go to Zeitoun, Egypt, where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops.
Many of Chambers' devotional lectures make up a large portion of My Utmost For His Highest, now considered a classic and his best-known book. His death, the result of a ruptured appendix in 1917, came as a shock to all who knew him. He had often told friends: "I feel I shall be buried for a time, hidden away in obscurity; then suddenly I shall flame out, do my work, and be gone."

After his death, a fellow worker remarked: "It is a mighty thing to see even once in a lifetime a man the self-expression of whose being is the Redemption of Jesus Christ manifested in daily hourly living. He would have [simply] called himself 'A believer in Jesus.'" The fact is, God made this man "a refuge from the storm" for many downcast souls. Through his written words, God continues to touch and change lives for Christ's sake.

However, there was a time when answering God's call seemed difficult and painful. For several years, poverty and spiritual loneliness clouded his life. Then came the breakthrough. God had used a wilderness experience to "bring him to the end of himself." He became keenly aware of his utter worthlessness. He found his only worth to be that which God had given him in Christ.

There arose within Oswald Chambers' life a deep desire to abandon all for Christ's sake. He writes, "A sanctified soul may be an artist, or a musician [anyone]; but he is not a sanctified artist or musician: he is one who expresses the message of God through a particular medium. As long as the artist or musician imagines he can consecrate his artistic gifts to God, he is deluded. Abandonment of ourselves is the kernel of consecration, not presenting our gifts, but presenting ourselves without reserve [to Christ]."

Sooner or later God makes each of us aware of the areas in our lives where "self interest" abides. These are the areas He comes to touch and demand complete surrender.

The Cross of Christ took on a new dimension to Oswald. No longer was it just a point of salvation; it became the place of self abandonment and surrender to the call of God.

It was more than a place of forgiveness; it was a place of hallowed ground where he and we stand and willingly identify with Jesus Christ. It is where we "give up our right to ourselves" and die to self.

Out of this death comes life and the opportunity to live a Spirit-filled existence. (John 12:24) As we respond in obedience to God, He promises to lead and guide us through life with a sense of victory and hope. The times of trial, distress, and isolation are times God accomplishes His greatest work, when He molds us into the likeness of Christ.

"The one great need for the missionary (Chambers uses this term for those who have given their lives completely to Christ) is to be ready for Jesus Christ, and we cannot be ready unless we have seen Him." The way we come to see Jesus is through surrender. The blessing of living life abandoned to Him is to witness His daily power and grace alive and flowing through our lives into the lives of others.

In abandonment and surrender we find the unbridled soul—one not tempted by the treasures of the world, but bound to the grace and glory of the Savior. Oswald Chambers' message is one that still calls to us today. It is a call to leave behind everything outside of Jesus Christ:

"The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world. . . . Every now and again, not often, but sometimes, God brings us to a point of climax. That is the Great Divide in the life; from that point we either go towards a more and more dilatory and useless type of Christian life, or we become more and more ablaze for the glory of God - [Our] Utmost for His Highest."

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"The least sin should humble the soul, but certainly the greatest sin should never discourage the soul, much less should it work the soul to despair. Despairing Judas perished, whereas the murderers of Christ, believing on Him, were saved."- Thomas Brooks.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. - Psalm 51:12.

I will never forget the joy of the night that Jean and I and our two oldest daughters, Meg and Bonnie, on a very hot summer night just before Christmas in Melbourne , Australia, walked down the front of the Church of the Christ we were attending, and gave our lives to Jesus Christ and received His wonderful love, joy, forgiveness and the opportunity to lead a new life!

I will never forget the joy of the night ,that we all went through the waters of Baptism, as we made a public confession of our faith, identifying with our Lord and Saviour, in His death, burial and resurrection! Being filled with such a lasting peace that still flows today!

I will never forget the joy in my heart as I watched my two youngest daughters Jeannie and Janet, walk forward in our Church, which we had just planted in a school hall, and where I was the assistant Pastor, to receive Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Saviour! Then later on as their father and Pastor, the joy of leading them through the waters of baptism!

I will never forget the Joy of my Salvation! It has never left me and I don’t want it to! My life in Christ has had its trials and tests and many obstacles were overcome, but the joy has never subsided!

Whenever I read this Psalm of David, which is quite often, it reminds me what it would be like to backslide, and I pray that that never happens. David was full of remorse because of his adulterous relations relationship with Bathsheba, which had resulted in the death of her husband, on David’s orders. He was exposed by the Prophet Nathan and in turn confessed his sins and wrote this Psalm of repentance.

David asked the Lord to forgive him and restore to him the joy of his Salvation, and to keep him from falling again. How awful it must be to lose the joy. There, but for the grace of God go we!

The Joy of our Salvation is found in;
The Knowledge of our Forgiveness…
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! - Psa 51:2. David knew that the stain of sin in his body had gone so deep, that ordinary washing wouldn’t cleanse him. Today when we ask God for forgiveness, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin…

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. - 1 John 1:7. Knowing that we are forgiven, is to know JOY!

In the 14th century, Robert Bruce of Scotland was leading his men in a battle to gain independence from England. Near the end of the conflict, the English wanted to capture Bruce to keep him from the Scottish crown. So they put his own bloodhounds on his trail. When the bloodhounds got close, Bruce could hear their baying. His attendant said, "We are done for. They are on your trail, and they will reveal your hiding place." Bruce replied, "It's all right."

Then he headed for a stream that flowed through the forest. He plunged in and waded upstream a short distance. When he came out on the other bank, he was in the depths of the forest. Within minutes, the hounds, tracing their master's steps, came to the bank. They went no farther. The English soldiers urged them on, but the trail was broken. The stream had carried the scent away. A short time later, the crown of Scotland rested on the head of Robert Bruce.

The memory of our sins, prodded on by Satan, can be like those baying dogs--but a stream flows, red with the blood of God's own Son. By grace through faith we are safe. No sin-hound can touch us. The trail is broken by the precious blood of Christ. "The purpose of the cross," someone observed, "is to repair the irreparable." - E. Lutzer, Putting Your Past Behind You, Here's Life, 1990, p.42.

The Joy of our Salvation is found in;
The Realisation of the Holy Spirit’s POWER…
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. - Psalm 51:11.

David knew that he could not live a godly life on his own strength, he needed the power of the Holy Spirit in his life. And we need Him today also, we need to realise that we can do nothing apart from Christ, and the Holy Spirit helps us to do this… And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: - John 16:8.

While the Holy Spirit is working in us, convicting of sin, righteousness, and judgment, there is hope of salvation; when he departs, then the hope of redemption is gone. But while there is Godly repentance, then all is not lost; for these things prove that the hand of the Holy Spirit is still upon us.

A vacationer watched with curiosity as a lumberman occasionally jabbed his sharp hook into a log, separating it from the others that were floating down a mountain stream. When asked why he did this, the worker replied, "These may all look alike to you, but a few of them are quite different. The ones I let pass are from trees that grew in a valley where they were always protected from the storms. Their grain is coarse.

The ones I've hooked and kept apart from the rest came from high up on the mountains. From the time they were small, they were beaten by strong winds. This toughens the trees and gives them a fine and beautiful grain. We save them for choice work. They're too good to make into plain lumber."

Friend, God often allows some of His dearest saints to be bent by trial or buffeted by the winds of adversity so that they may be strengthened for His service and prepared to fulfil His highest purposes.
– Source unknown.

The knowledge that we are forgiven, when we confess our sins and the realisation of the power of the Holy Spirit to change us, is what helps us to understand the joy of our salvation!

Loving Father, I thank you for the joy of my salvation! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the knowledge that when I sin and confess, I am forgiven, and my relationship with you is restored, as is the joy of my salvation. In Jesus wonderful name I pray! Amen!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Henrietta Mears 1890 - 1963

People who knew Henrietta Mears say she was a woman of vision—one who wasn't afraid to trust God no matter how difficult the circumstances. They also tell of her single-minded devotion to God—a trait that developed very early and remained until her death.

Billy Graham once said of her: "I doubt if any other woman outside my wife and mother has had such a marked influence [on my life]. She is certainly one of the greatest Christians I have ever known!"

Mears, the youngest of seven children, was born in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1890. Her mother was the motivating force behind her early devotion to Christ. By the time she became director of Christian education at the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood in 1928, Mears was well on her way to becoming one of the most outstanding Christian educators of her time.
"God doesn't call us to sit on the sidelines and watch. He calls us to be on the field, playing the games," said Mears. Knowing Christ intimately and telling others about Him was her first and foremost objective.

Three years after her arrival at the church, Sunday school attendance grew from 400 to 4,000. During her tenure, over 400 young people entered full-time Christian service—one of whom was Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.

As a child, doctors told her mother that she would be blind by thirty. But Mears was convinced God had a purpose for her life. Therefore, she read and studied all she could in case her eyesight failed. Against the advice of her physicians, she enrolled in classes at the University of Minnesota, where she graduated with honors.

After college, she accepted a position teaching high school chemistry. And while she suffered from extreme nearsightedness throughout her life, God never allowed her to become blind.

A growing desire to become a missionary began to tug at her heart, but God didn't lead in this direction. Instead, He opened the door to the ministry at First Presbyterian, and Mears confessed that it was unlike anything she had ever envisioned.

Settling into her new job, she discovered the Sunday school material being taught wasn't in keeping with her convictions. One lesson prosed that the apostle Paul survived the ship wreck at Malta (Acts 27-28) because he had "eaten carrots and was strong."
This shocked Mears, for she knew it was the hand of God that saved Paul and the others. The material was immediately returned to the publisher with an explanation stating that she could not use any lesson that denied the miraculous in Scripture.

In that day, sufficient Sunday school literature was limited. Mears was left with but one option—to write the lessons herself. Earl Roe, editor of Dream Big, The Henrietta Mears Story, writes: "Henrietta insisted that Christian education worthy of the name must be Christian. And being Christian meant that every lesson must honor Christ. And that, in turn, meant that every teacher must be faithful to the Bible."

Mears, who was known for her boundless energy, infectious laughter, and colorful hats, began writing the material she and her staff would use to teach the growing number of young people attending the church. The lessons were to be bold, challenging, and captivating as they underscored the principles of God's Word.
It wasn't long before her efforts gained results, and requests for copies of her material came in from all across the country. Her office staff worked long hours mimeographing and mailing the lessons. When the demand became too great, Mears and a group of businessmen established Gospel Light Publications, one of the first publishers in the Christian education field.

However, the publishing arena wasn't her natural domain. She loved being with young people and was most at home with them and her Bible.

For years, Mears searched for a retreat area where she could take her high school and college-aged students. "If you place people in an atmosphere where they feel close to God and then challenge them with His Word, they will make decisions," said Mears. Believing God would provide direction, she prayed for His wisdom.

A privately owned resort in the San Bernardino mountains was available, but the price was too high. For a moment, the dream appeared impossible. Mears called a group of people together for prayer. She insisted that they should "dream big whenever God was involved" and trust Him for His blessing at the right time. After a miraculous intervention, Forest Home, valued at $350,000, was purchased in 1938 for the unheard of price of $30,000.
Those who attended the retreat remember the days as being filled with activity and laughter and the evenings brimming with spiritual insight. An outdoor amphitheater provided a place where commitments for Christ were made before a blazing bonfire.

One of the things that had drawn Mears to California was an opportunity to witness to those in the entertainment industry. God provided an open door into this area through the Hollywood Christian Group, which began meeting in her home. Many entertainment professionals came to know Christ as a result of her ministry. One friend observed, "She led others in the faith by being led by God."
On March 20, 1963, Mears "slipped through that veil between present and the hereafter. . . . " Someone remarked, "It was nothing new for her to meet her Lord alone, for she had often done so. This time she just went with Him."

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"Why does the Church stay indoors? They have a theology that has dwindled into a philosophy, in which there is no thrill of faith, no terror of doom and no concern for souls. Unbelief has put out the fires of passion, and worldliness garlands the altar of sacrifice with the tawdry glitter of unreality. The Holy Ghost cannot conquer the world with unbelief, nor can He save the world with a worldly Church. He calls for a crusade, a campaign, and an adventure of saving passion. For this enterprise He wants a separated, sanctified and sacrificial people." – Samuel Chadwick.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" - Luke 11:13.

This is an interesting verse in the fact that, when we are born again in Christ we receive the Holy Spirit, why would we need to ask Father again for the Holy Spirit? I believe that Jesus is telling us to ask for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that we would be immersed in His power, immersed in His love, immersed in His compassion, immersed in His grace, immersed in His guidance, immersed in His truth, and immersed in his peace.

A lot of Pastor’s and Christians contend that we don’t need this immersion in the Holy Spirit! Well, why is it that the biggest percentage of Christians is not involved in any kind of ministry? Why is it that the biggest percentage of Christians have never witnessed for Jesus, never won a soul for Him, never seen anyone healed in His name, never seen a demon cast out in His name, never ministered to drug addicts, alcoholics, abused children, battered wives, homosexuals or street people?

Let me answer my own questions! Because they think that they don’t have too, that those kinds of ministries are for other people, but not for them! Or, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not needed today! Or, that those who talk about the baptism of the Holy Spirit are one sandwich short of a picnic! Like me!

C’mon Church, wake up! Have a look around you; things are getting worse if you don’t do something, the Devil is laughing at your intellect, your weakness, your unbelief! While you are pondering over all of this, trying to work it all out in your own power, another child is abused, another baby is aborted, another drunk dies in the street, another druggie dies of an overdose, another boy is prey to the homosexual, another girl is prey to the lesbian, and another soul is on its way to hell!

Finney wrote how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit "that went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this...

Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same results. I would they set apart a day for private fasting and prayer... after humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life."
Wesley L. Duewel, Touch the World Through Prayer, OMS, p. 232.

Let’s not get distracted by futile debates or sidetracked by issues that have been going on for centuries! Jesus said that our Father is more than ready to bestow on every Christian, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, if they ask for it, than a generous parent is to give food to a hungry child. Have a look at the work of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures…

The Holy Spirit;
Endued the disciples with power... Acts 1:8.
Inspired the sacred Scriptures... " 1:16.
Gave expression to the preachers... " 2:4.
Witnessed concerning Jesus Christ... " 5:32.
Encouraged the Local Churches...... " 9:31.
Gave guidance when needed... " 10:19.
Directed in Missionary enterprise... " 13:2.
Sent forth the Missionaries........ " 13:4.
Administrated them in their movements.... " 16:6-7.

Let us look at why we need the Holy Spirit…
He was received as an ENDOWMENT (Gift)… And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. - Acts 2:38. We need to use our gift of the Holy Spirit if we want to lead Godly lives and obey the commands of Christ.

Came on believers as an EMPOWERMENT (Tool)… But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." - Acts 1:8. We need the correct tools for the job at hand!

The believers were baptised in the H.S. as an ELEMENT (Component)for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." - Acts 1:5.

"It is the Holy Ghost in us that is everything, and the Father is willing to bestow Him upon the weakest if he will only ask in the spirit of implicit faith and entire self-surrender. My cry these days is for a Pentecost, first on myself and my missionary brethren, and then on the native Church, and then on the heathen at large."Griffith John.

Let us recognise our need of the Holy Spirit by allowing Him to ENDOW us... to EMPOWER us... to receive Him as an ELEMENT... today.

Loving Father, I thank you that Jesus told us to ask you for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Fill me again to overflowing Father, with the Holy Spirit’s power, that I may be immersed in the work of the kingdom of Heaven. In Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray! Amen!

Monday, May 23, 2005


Boss to retiring employee: "This company can't afford a gold watch, Homer. But here's a phone number that gives the correct time." - Lichty.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. - Col 3:16.

I was sitting in Church yesterday listening to my son-in-law, Malcolm, preach Part 2 of his wonderful sermon, ‘Leftover’s are important’ based on the baskets of fish and bread taken up after Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand in John Chapter 6, and I started to think of how appreciative I was of Malcolm and how blessed I was that he was my Assistant Pastor, married to my beautiful #3 daughter Jeannie, and father of my two wonderful granddaughters, Jordan Jean and Chelsea, whom I absolutely adore.

In turn I started to think of my beautiful wife of almost forty years (Yes! I said forty!), sitting by my side, who has been such a blessing to me as a wife, friend, and sister in the Lord, and the other half of my ministry, and how appreciative I was of her and the wonderful times we have had in our lives and especially since we became Christians.

This led me to think of my Christian Family surrounding me, and how appreciative I was of their love and acceptance of Jean and I as their Pastors, and who had recently enormously showered me with some fantastic gifts for my 61st birthday, and whom I am forever indebted to, for their faithfulness and support over the past 9 years.

Then I started thinking about Jesus who loves me, and for the past 25 years, has made me a part of His family, by dying for me on the cross, so that all my sin would be blotted out forever, and how appreciative I am of Him who rose again from the dead to give me a new life.

It was many years ago, when I was trying to get sober and I was working in a factory sweeping floors and burning rubbish. I had reached the lowest point of my life at that time. I had been a soldier in the British Parachute Regiment for four years and had served in the Australian Army in the Special Air Service Regiment for two years, when my drinking problems caused me to be discharged.

And here I was sweeping floors and burning cardboard boxes for a living. I was broken beyond my understanding, thinking of how I had come to Australia to start a new life with Jean and my two oldest daughters, and how miserably I had failed. Jean was at our home in Brisbane with my 3 daughters by now, and was pregnant with our fourth. I heard a voice in my head say… ‘You are a waste of space, what good are you to your family?, you can’t provide for them.’

I had heard this voice before; it wasn’t new, but this time it seemed stronger. That was it I decided, I am finished as a husband and father, I was only bringing disappointment and hardship to their lives, that night I would end my life.

As I was coming towards the end of the day, I was sweeping up some discarded metal shavings, and working out a plan in my head how to accomplish this end to my life, when a stronger voice came into my head, it was one of my teachers from primary school, Mr. MacDonald, who had told me as an eleven year old boy that, ‘I was destined for great things.’ This lifted me and I left the factory with all thoughts of suicide gone from my head, and rushing home to my wife and children, to tell them how much I loved and appreciated them!

I would love to tell you that everything changed miraculously and that we all lived happily ever after, but there would be another 6 years of pain, struggle and hardship before I was born again to a new life, but that day started me on that path! I know you will understand me better now, when I said at the beginning, how appreciative I was of my wife, family, Church and my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I appreciate! I appreciate! I appreciate!

A group of elderly, cultured gentlemen met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties, to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests. When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box.

The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea. The host smiled and said, "The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope it will be a reminder to all that the good things in life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly." - Morris Mandel.

Loving Father, I thank you so much for my new life in you! I thank you for the hard times and the brokenness that I went through, because it has made me more appreciative of the people that you have surrounded me with, my wife, family, friends and Church. Most of all, I am appreciative of the Lord Jesus Christ in my life, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to be obedient to His Commands. In Jesus wonderful name I pray! Amen!

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Congratulations to our new WARNIE AWARD WINNER! - Mike Russell from Eternal Perspectives. Why don't you drop in and leave a comment! Here is some information on Mike…

Christian Life:
I have been a Christian since December 10, 1974. I don’t think there’s been any significant period of time that I’ve been “carnal,” although I’m sure it happens more than I’m aware. Either that or I’ve never been in fellowship.

I am married (25 years on 4.5.05) and have two daughters, Amanda (22) and Madeline (16). I was 30 when I married; Cathy was almost 28: it was the first - and last! - for both of us.

· D.Min., Trinity Theological Seminary (not Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago), Christian Education and Discipleship. TTS is not an accredited school in the U.S., but I still learned what I wanted to learn.
· M.A., Denver Seminary, Counseling;
· B.S., Indiana State University, Speech Communication;

Church Affiliation:
Grace Bible Church.

Theological Orientation:
· Just like the cover says, the Bible is holy, i.e., is not profane in any way;
· Dispensational, with a de-emphasis on eschatology;
· Modified Calvinist: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Unlimited Atonement (not universalism), Irresistible Grace, Preservation (not perseverance) of the Saints;
· Evangelical;
· Five Solas;
· The church is edifying when gathered, evangelizing when scattered;
· Pretrib, premil - not that it matters, since God’s going to do what He has in mind and won’t ask for my opinion: the point of prophecy is to promote holiness, not produce books or controversies.

A very worthy winner!

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

MISSING: ONE RUSSIAN LAKE! Americans to blame...

A Russian village has been left baffled after its lake disappeared overnight.

NTV television has shown pictures of a giant muddy hole bathed in summer sun, while fishermen from the village of Bolotnikovo look on disconsolately.

Dmitry Zaitsev, a local Emergencies Ministry official, says trees also disappeared under the ground as the lake emptied near the Volga river, east of Moscow.

"It is very dangerous. If a person had been in this disaster, he would have had almost no chance of survival," he said.

He says water in the lake might have been sucked into an underground water-course or cave system but some villagers have more sinister explanations.

One older woman has told NTV she believes the Americans have finally been able to hit them where it hurts.

"I am thinking, well, America has finally got to us," she said as she sat on the ground outside her house."

Maybe Blogotional can explain? :)

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Say's it all!

GOD IN THE WHIRLWIND ! by Gorman Woodfin.

"I am so afraid of tornadoes to begin with. I grew up being afraid of them. My dad was afraid of them. It’s always been a huge fear of mine," says Kim Bernhardt. Kim is a loving single mom with a playful 4-year-old son, Evan. One day, while running errands around town, Kim says the skies grew strangely dark. Kim and Evan came face to face with a level 3 tornado.

"At first I accelerated really hard when it first hit us, thinking, I’m going to drive out of this. I can get out of this. And I couldn’t. I was just stuck."
Kim desperately tried to get to her church, but the twister was already upon her and it would not let her turn into the church parking lot.

"We should have been killed upon impact," she says. "It just picked us up and carried us. Then we started being raised up more, being swept more, turning. Then I see it’s going up more and more to where we’re up toward the top of the houses, where I’m looking down to the side and seeing houses just literally being sucked apart. I saw the shingles flying off. I saw the roofs just totally being taken off."

Kim had no idea how dangerously high in the air they were.

Candace Shelton was an eyewitness that fateful afternoon. She says that Kim’s van was about 50 feet in the air—over power lines. She saw a white van "flying" in the air from her second-floor window.

"Things were blowing around everywhere, and then there’s a telephone pole over here, and I saw a white van that was up in the air above the telephone pole. It was just as if you take like a little toy car and you set it in your hand and you hold it up in the air. It was just like someone had it held in the palm of their hand," says Candice.

In the midst of her unbelievable ordeal, Kim’s thoughts were focused solely on the safety of her son.
"The darkest moment was when I looked back at Evan and had that thought of what if I live and Evan is killed?" Kim recalls. "I imagined his head being mutilated by debris. I remember loosening my seatbelt, and the next thing I knew, I was embracing him, telling him, 'God is with us.'"

Then Kim began praying a familiar prayer while she was shielding her son on the floor of their van.

"When I went above that house and was praying the Lord’s Prayer, right when I was at the part 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,' this other overwhelming thought came to my mind: 'Oh, no! I don’t think I put the van in park!' I reached up and put the van in park," Kim explains. "
I got right back down over Evan. The van is still going sideways and moving around, and I’m like, Why did I do that? I couldn’t understand why I thought putting the van in park was going to help in a tornado."Read more here!

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