Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
No one in the forest
But my Lord and me;
Walking in the coolness
'Neath the shady trees.
Hand in hand with Jesus
As we walk along;
Troubled when I started
Now I have a song.
Lonely, tired, discouraged
Are you that today?
Take a walk with Jesus
On the narrow way.
Let His arms enfold you
As you journey home;
He will guide you safely
Never more to roam.
He's the Gentle Shepherd
You, the wand'ring lamb;
Walking home with Jesus
He's the great "I AM"!
- David Fisher, October 20/05
Friday, January 26, 2007
Underneath us - oh, how easy!
by A. B. Simpson
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Elisabeth Elliot in her book, Secure in the Everlasting Arms quotes Thomas Carlyle who commented, "Doubt of any sort cannot be removed except by action." Elliot adds, "There is wonderful therapy in taking oneself by the scruff of the neck, getting up, and doing something. While you are doing, time passes quickly. Time itself will in some measure heal, and "light arises in the darkness" - slowly, it seems but certainly."
She continues, "I myself have been hauled out of the Slough of Despond by following the advice of the simple Saxon in an old English parsonage: 'Doe the nexte thynge'."
Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King -
Trust them with Jesus. Do the next thing!
Whatever is happening today, know that as a believer, a follower of "the Way", you are secure in the everlasting arms."
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." - Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Note: Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminar, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world. He is a theologian and ordained minister, as well as an author, speaker and host of his own radio program The Albert Mohler Program.
Check out this link:
I trust that you have a rewarding week!
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
The sun hadn't risen yet but I could tell that it would be spectacular sunrise. I had my trusty SONY with me so I captured some of the morning beauty. Check out some of the pictures on PILGRIM SCRIBBLINGS.
The stillness gave me a quietness in my spirit as I slowly took the long way home. Normally it's about a 20-25 minute drive but I took the back roads. After the sun had risen I could see its reflection on the snow and on other buildings.
The verse that came to mind was Hebrews 1:3. I love the King James Version rendering of this passage. The writer penned these words, "Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:3)
I remember some of the "saints of old" who would stand up in our "breaking of bread" service and reflect on the first few verses of the Hebrew epistle. A word they often used which I have never forgotten is "effulgence". This morning I checked again on its meaning. Effulgence means "radiant splendor" or "shining forth".
Jesus was the "express image" of the Father. He was God, manifest in the flesh or "shining forth" in the flesh. He was and is the "radiant splendor" of all that God the Father is. He was and is "very God" and "very man". God incarnate!
This morning I was capitivated by the sun in all its glory. More important, I reveled in God's Son, who created and upholds all things by the Word of His power. Rejoice in Him today, this Lord's day. Rejoice that He is now enthroned at God's right hand, a Prince and a Savior.
Be encouraged today! The Son has risen and lives for evermore. He inhabits the praises of His people. Give Him praise today!
Friday, January 19, 2007
We can have all the knowledge in the world yet lack compassion or the reverse...being very compassionate but have no idea what to do. Have you ever had a doctor or a nurse who was very informed but had a terrible bedside manner? Of course you have. It's not nice! At times just being there is the best gift for the one we're ministering to.
Jesus is the Perfect Example. He was and is omniscient, all knowing, knowledgeable. Without question He was a compassionate Savior! And He was ever-present or omnipresent.
What is your KCP quotient? Let's work on all three so we can be effective agents of encouragement and hope to those who desperately need us. Let's point them to the One who "looked with compassion on them as sheep having no shepherd".
"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble." Psalm46:1 (NLT)
Try to just "be there" for someone today!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
We depend on the prayers and financial support of the Lord's people.
Last night we had 21 of the Peterborough Petes in attendance at our bi-weekly MONDAY WE HAVE FISH Bible studies.
Thanks again, dear friends!
"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ." - Colossians 3:28 (NIV)
Enfolded in Love
Taking a stroll down memory lane can often lead a person into the nooks and crannies of their most favourite places. For me, that journey back in time is graced with the pleasure of settling down into an old, cozy wing chair nestled into the farthest corner of my family room. I am transported back over a decade to a much younger, (and thinner, I might add) me. No longer is my hair speckled with gray; nor does my face harbour any wrinkles. I am a young mom. The old chair is an oasis, a resting place from the unending activity of raising five small children close in age. It is a place where that which is simple delights the soul. To slowly sip a cup of coffee in the early morning light, to read a treasured portion of Scripture, as if seeing it for the first time or to daydream of exotic places yet unseen are the gifts the chair offers me.
The most prized moments come, however, when one of my little ones sneaks downstairs to crawl onto my lap just to be alone with me as the sun rises. In my usual custom, I wrap them up under my housecoat, cocooning them in my love. There they lie, relishing the warmth of my arms around them, sometimes drifting back to sleep to the rhythm of my heartbeat. Such precious remembrances are those cuddling times shared between mother and child, where hugs and kisses flow. Pure bliss!
At eveningtide, that priceless, old chair would once again be my refuge after the whirlwind of another day. Tucked away in my corner, I would sit longing to talk to God, yet far too weary to formulate the words I knew He was longing to hear. It was at this point, when the house echoed of quietude, my babies fast asleep, that God would visit me right there in my chair. Only now, it was I who would climb upon His lap where He would tenderly enfold me in His robes of righteousness, drawing me close to Himself. Often, feeling the need, I would make another deliberate attempt to articulate something, anything in the form of prayer. Then I would hear God’s gentle “Shhh.” Closing my eyes, I knew no words were necessary, only His embrace. The sweet hush of God! In this intimate bond, I knew I was His child. Once more, the old chair offered to me its simplistic joy. I loved God and He loved me.
The following poem was penned many years ago to capture the essence of these precious moments. As you might have guessed, it was written in the blessed solitude of my favourite
Sweet Hush of God
In the stillness
Where I find You
There I know You
And I love You;
In the stillness
Of Your presence
Where I find
My hiding place.
Sweet hush of God,
Sweet hush of God,
Breathe on me now
Sweet hush of God.
In the stillness
I will listen
To Your heartbeat
In the stillness
I will trust You
As You enfold me
In Your love.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
"God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." - 2 Corinthians 9:8 (KJV)
Amy Carmichael goes on to say that this message helped her time and time again over the years she spent in India. She says she has forgotten thousands of great sermons but not that one.
She closes her devotional thought for today by writing, "All means all, not some, always means always, not sometimes. Lord, today, help us to live upon this 'all'."
And...I close this post by adding a hearty AMEN to what Amy has written. Two people who I'm anxious to meet in heaven are Amy Carmichael and Andrew Bonar.
WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE!
To make it even easier, here's the link!
God's best to you today!
NOTE: If you are checking out the STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY site on any day but January 16th, 2007, go to the archives and enter the January 16th date. You'll be directed to this wonderful story.
Perhaps I've not articulated this fact in simple words so let me do it here and now:
My posts on "the Barnabas Blog" are birthed in my own life experience. I pray that you can sense that. Usually I seek to encourage others out of my own hurts, my disappointments, my frustrations. My prayer is that "the Barnabas Blog" will NOT be a symposium of pat answers, pet peeves, "pit" experiences, pot shots and put downs but a true source of encouragement, born out in everyday living and grounded in the eternally relevant and wonderfully inerrant word of God.
Which reminds me of a scripture passage that comes back to me time and time again. Many years ago I was ministering to a ballplayer from a visiting team in Montreal and the Lord directed me to this powerful verse. The apostle Peter penned these glorious words, "And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever, AMEN." - 1 Peter 5:10,11 (NIV)
Who restores and make us strong? God HIMSELF. Yes, He can and does use His people to come alongside suffering saints but He HIMSELF is the One who does the inner work of restoration and healing.
Rejoice in this truth today! If you are battling through a difficult circumstance, allow the God of all grace to extend that grace to you today in all its fullness. Know someone who is struggling? You can be an agent of reconciliation today. You can be God's hand extended to a hurting fellow pilgrim. God HIMSELF invites you to participate but He will effect the change. Hallelujah!
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Elizabeth Skoglund (see link) has penned an extremely helpful book, "Bright Days, Dark Nights" in which she tackles subjects like depression, loneliness, anxiety and change. She quotes extensively from the writings of the great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon who was no stranger to extended periods of dark depression. The following quote was illuminating and reassured me that when we go through the dark valleys, we are fitted and equipped to take the hands of others and lead them through when they face similar situations.
“I often feel very grateful to God that I have undergone fearful depressions of spirits. I know the borders of despair, and the horrible brink of that gulf of darkness into which my feet have almost gone; but hundreds of times I have been able to give a helpful grip to brethren and sisters who have come into that same condition, which grip I could never have given if I had not known their deep despondency. So I believe that the darkest and most dreadful experience of a child of God will help him to be a fisher of men if he will but follow Christ. Keep close to the Lord and He will make every step a blessing to you.” – Charles H. Spurgeon
Whatever the mountain that looms before you or the valley that you're struggling through, understand that a loving Father is walking every step with you and will use this "dark" time to enable you to help others. You are NOT alone. Take His hand and trust His heart.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
One of these poems was penned by John Oxenham and entitled "God's Handwriting". Oxenham writes:
"He writes in characters too grand
For our short sight to understand;
We catch but broken strokes, and try
To fathom all the mystery
Of withered hopes, of death, of life,
The endless war, the useless strife -
But there, with larger clearer sight,
We shall see this - His way was right."
Having trouble understanding why God is allowing certain trials and heartaches to be so much a part of your life? You're not the only one! We can take solace in this certain fact...
"As for God, His way is perfect." - Psalm 18:30
Believe it, friend, for His Word is faithful and true!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands, I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land." - Psalm 143:5-6 (KJV)
"Among Christians of all ages and of varying shades of doctrinal emphasis there has been fairly full agreement on one thing: They all believed that it was important that the Christian with serious spiritual aspirations should learn to meditate long and often on God.
Let a Christian insist upon rising above the poor average of current religious experience and he will soon come up against the need to know God Himself as the ultimate goal of all Christian doctrine.
Let him seek to explore the sacred wonders of the Triune Godhead and he will discover that sustained and intelligently directed meditation on the Person of God is imperative.
To know God well he must think on Him unceasingly. Nothing that man has discovered about himself or God has revealed any short cut to pure spirituality.
It is still free, but tremendously costly."
taken from That Incredible Christian (A. W. Tozer)
Be encouraged today, beloved friend, there is no limit to the heights we can climb and the depths we can explore as we seek to discover more about the One who redeemed us and called us by His name. And it's not just knowing "about" the triune God...it's knowing HIM -personally, deeply and richly. Begin the adventure today!
My dear Grandma Fisher tought me this poem close to 50 years ago:
"Follow on to know the Lord
Follow where He leads;
'Til the joy of knowing Him,
Ever joy exceeds."
Monday, January 08, 2007
Today I read the following quote on John Piper's Desiring God web site. See the link on the sidebar. Something to think about!
"The climax of God's happiness is the delight He takes in the echoes of His excellence in the praises of His people." - John Piper
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Here's that wonderful hymn:
GUIDE ME O THOU GREAT JEHOVAH
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield;
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.
Lord, I trust Thy mighty power,
Wondrous are Thy works of old;
Thou deliver’st Thine from thralldom,
Who for naught themselves had sold:
Thou didst conquer, Thou didst conquer,
Sin, and Satan and the grave,
Sin, and Satan and the grave.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of deaths, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
I will ever give to Thee.
Musing on my habitation,
Musing on my heav’nly home,
Fills my soul with holy longings:
Come, my Jesus, quickly come;
Vanity is all I see;
Lord, I long to be with Thee!
Lord, I long to be with Thee!
- William Williams, known as the Isaac Watts* of Wales. This hymn was first written in Welsh
"For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end." - Psalm 48:14 (NIV)
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Recently I saw this picture in one of my mother's photo albums and asked her if I could borrow it to post here. This was taken back in 1946 when I was 15 months old. Didn't my father look handsome and manly? He was! Dad has gone "home" to be with our heavenly Father so I don't have him to stand behind me anymore but "my heavenly Father watches over me".
He's Leading the Way
(Comforting words by Moses)
"Do not be terrified, do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as He did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go." - Deuteronomy 1:29-31
He still leads the way today! Why do we fear? He is the Lord our God and He bids us follow Him.
Be encouraged today, dear friends!
Monday, January 01, 2007
A partial list:
"Redeemed how I love to proclaim it,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb."
"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" - Ephesians 1:7 (KJV)
Be encouraged today! God has done mighty things to accomplish our salvation without one iota of help from us. It's all of Him! It's all by grace! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
On the evening of our Christmas banquet with the Peterborough Petes one of the players admitted that he didn't know what one of the words in a poem I read really meant. The word was "Incarnate"! With the enabling of the Spirit of God I gave an explanation that my friend seemed satisfied with. St. Augustine penned the following words that give us deep meaning to the "wonder of the incarnation":
The Wonder of the Incarnation
He so loved us that, for our sake,
He was made man in time,
although through Him all times were made.
He was made man, who made man.
He was created of a mother whom He created.
He was carried by hands that He formed.
He cried in the manger in wordless infancy,
He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.
-Augustine, Sermon 188, 2
Can you grasp that profound truth? Oh the wonder... May we never forget these truths that are foundational to our Christian faith!
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." - John 1:14 (KJV)