Not much of a reader
Not much of a saint
Have tried meditation
But clearly I can’t.
Walked down that straight aisle
And pledged a fresh start
But memories still haunt me
And torment my heart.
I see the True Vine
But vaguely I guess
Still Jesus you graft me
And promise your best.
Not A grade or B grade
I simply believe.
In night calms you visit
I gladly receive
A touch of compassion
A measure of hope
A burden for others
Who wander and grope
This clay has your purpose
And spins with delight
And feels your caressing
And shaping so right.
There just doesn’t seem an answer
And sleep has escaped these eyes
And prayer hit the roof and fell back
And gray clouds have filled the skies.
But this wasn’t meant to happen
No, faith was to bring the sun
And “blessed assurance” a promise
Reducing all fears to One.
The fear we would ever desert you
Or cause you to frown or weep
But now I am walking this tightrope
Believing you save and keep.
So come Lord in all of your power
And settle this mess I’m in
The Servant must be as his Master
Who went through the worst without sin.
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON
Note: See Psalm 34
You have been a church member for as long as you can remember. Parents before you.
Attendance may have waivered from time to time, but you still see the process as valuable. You have read a couple of the Gospels. Frequently in Psalms and Proverbs. Perhaps Pastor’s sermon has provoked a little additional study. You try your best to live a good life. You measure yourself against others you admire.
But all this talk about “salvation” that you hear coming from the evangelicals just leaves you cold. Didn’t you get baptized? Didn’t you attend confirmation; take the pledge? What is all this panic?
Jesus said in John 9 that He had come into the world that they that see not might see. He bestows spiritual vision. Gives glimpses of the holiness of God and the inadequacy of self-righteousness. You must pray for this vision while you are still breathing. You must give yourself over more to considerations of the Eternal. This will require that you break through the pre-disposition of men to have to struggle and sweat for anything good. You are suspicious of those words “free for the asking”.
A good help will be found in the reading of Romans 10. At first reading you might hear yourself asking, “Is that all there is to this?” Pray for illumination. Read it again. The Gospel words of promise are timeless. Believe. Submit. Repent. Confess. Be done with men’s foolish efforts for righteousness sake. God has volunteered to pay the tab if you will trust (read Psalm 85).
The threshold of entrance has been made surprisingly simple. Simple to you, but enormously costly to Jesus and the Father. But with the transformation of new birth comes new comprehension, new sensitivity, new loyalty, new purpose, new zeal for the things of Christ. In short order you will acknowledge your blindness of bygone days. You will have become a citizen of Heaven.
Bursting with thankfulness you will be compelled to tell others the Good News in the ways for which you have been suited.
The flesh, the world and the devil will try to tell you that this is all malarkey. Persevere for the prize.
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON
Sadly on every street
Pain in the ones we meet
Darkens the view.
Brimming with Life and Love
Lifting to heights above
How we need you.
Psalm 3: 3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON
“You applaud the messages of A. A. Allan, R. W. Schambach and Oral Roberts. You post videos on You Tube with readings from John G. Lake (he said medicine was God’s sad second best). But then you post a reading from F. B. Meyer that is all about meek submission and acceptance? Are you sucking and blowing at the same time?”
Answer: I have ongoing health issues; so does Hilary. There have been prayers, laying on of hands, scripture promises recited. Little change for some of the things. I believe that we must pay due respect to God’s Sovereign Larger Plan and issues of chastening (Hebrews 12 and 2 Corinthians 11) and Providence.
A friend of mine has experienced extreme pain and torment but sees it all working out now to the feeding and healing of other sufferers who throw up their fists asking, “Why God?”
The life story of India missionary/poet Amy Carmichael speaks for itself. So does the final trek of malaria ridden Doctor of Africa David Livingstone.
Let me add one more story here. James Robison of the Life Today broadcast. Integrity. Clarity of message. Feeding the hungry. The real deal-you bet. Early in his ministry; essentially an orphaned boy preacher going around to high schools and construction sites with messages of faith, power and surprising results. In the early months add an anointing for healing by faith. Things happened. Crowds came. Billy Graham said “this is the next one”.
But then the healings stopped. Completely. James was baffled and prayed repeatedly “Why God?”
One day at an appointment in a high-rise office tower, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to James. “Those healings Son. If they were to continue you could not bear the fawning and adulation. People would climb up the very walls of this tower to get to YOU. But it wouldn’t be to get to Jesus. I promise you, the day will come when you will do more for my Glory and my Church by just sitting in a lounge chair and speaking plainly to my people.”
Part of God’s Greater Plan. Get it?
But you should also keep pleading those promises (Isaiah 53, 1 Peter 2). The just shall LIVE by faith.
james and betty
Now every day
Though forces rage and blow
That you have pledged
To be my shield
You love me even though
You know my
Darkest faults and falls
My rants of sorry doubt
You take my hand
A two-chord band
We work the problem out.
And never will
I have to toil
Or struggle, frail and weak
My shield you are
The Morning Star
New glories yet to seek.
Psalm 28: 7
Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario