Bunyan’s Cell

So much that I might do

But the tide has turned again

And the King’s ire is up-raised

And he’s seeking out God’s men.

And the Church is now his toy

And the Bishops do his will

Though the lordship of our Christ

Is a fact and power still.

And the cell a wee bit larger

Than the one I had last time

And the sleep in Christ’s approval

Brings restoring most sublime.

And the dream I had last night

Must become a volume true

Of the journey of one “Christian”

And the perils he passed through.

And the vision of the City

That would help him bear the shame

As he left the ways of custom

And the neighbours mocked his name.

And a wife would not go with him

As he heeded Matthew Ten.

But he prayed the God of Mercy

Would unite them once again.

Yes, a dream held all this power

And a River, glorious thought;

With a crossing, praising Jesus

For the Joyful Land He bought.

 

(Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON)

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Evangelist

He was there for them
And they knew it
And his smiles and songs
Would brighten up the tent.
And the energy needed
To get through it
Was a joyful package
Timely, Heaven sent.
He was just like them
Nothing really special
Save that Jesus had
Arrested all his heart.
And accordian and banjo
Played their favourite
Songs of Zion
Building faith
Salvation to impart.
They were hurting
In a town
Close to rock-bottom
And the government
Showed little of relief
But the preachers
Set the stage for
Life abundant
Triggered simply
By repentance
And belief.
“He is here!
The Master yearns to do
His business
And to liberate
Where Satan has deceived.
And you’ve heard
The words of Gospel
Transformation.
Who is ready to
Step forward and receive?”

Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON

http://momentsmidstream.blogspot.ca/2011/02/rag-of-man.html

Open, Ready, Respectful Ears

She was mopping the floor. She was listening to the drive-through ear-phones. She was pouring my coffee at the counter. Pretty young attendant with a lively expression.

I was the only customer inside at such an early hour. I told her about the glorious movie I had just seen. Heaven Is For Real, based on the best-selling book of true experiences of a young Nebraska pastor’s family. A four year old son had almost died in surgery and had been given visions of heaven and Jesus and the saints.

The young lady perked right up and said that “she would have to go and see it”.

I went to my table with lap-top and she kept passing by with comments and pleasant exchange. Still no other customers. Thank you Holy Ghost!

I gave a very straight-forward explanation of salvation, of Jesus’ talk with Nicodemus, and of a loving God “cutting us lots of slack” and of the convincing influence of the Holy Spirit. The words just flowed. She told me about other “religious” family members who were insisting that she make it out to Church with her two kids. This was going to be a large challenge. We got into the difference between Churchianity and Christianity. She smiled as the concept hit home. Perhaps not the Jesus she had heard about to date.

Friends be on the look-out for opportunities. I speak often about being “surprised by ministry”. It’s just that easy when the Spirit sets it up for a searching heart.

Be gentle. Lots of eye contact. Be plain and straight in your language. Angels somewhere are singing.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON

Sung Like a Well Trained Champion

It was the spring of 1984. Thirty years ago now. Cars of Canadians converged at the Fox Theatre, downtown Detroit, Michigan. Mixed crowd lined up out front. Absolute accord in the exciting anticipation of a night of worship and excellence. Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patti.
Never forgot it! And inside, singing and rejoicing as if from another world. (Doug)

Losers …Losers All…

good samaritan

Anthony and I started this collaborative effort last September. We had come to know each other a little bit with our writings on another site. We didn’t always agree and we weren’t always civil with each other. Nope.

The thing started to pick up momentum right about the time AG had heart complications and major surgery. Take a well-travelled trucker, put him on his back with illness and see what transpires?

Christmas season found AG pretty much alone, as his mate Jody was compelled to go out of state to visit her Mother after a considerable gap in their getting together. No problem, Anthony got busy on the Web and our exchanges became very frequent. This is evident at http://twelfthmonth.wordpress.com/

The relationship became much richer for us as we learned of the healthy fare available to men who will simply drop the charade and get honest and transparent and supportive.

Now I find myself alone for a period as my wife Hilary undergoes psychiatric care. I have every confidence that treatment arrangements will improve and that all parties might learn from some shortcomings of the past, professionals included. Hilary will be home, and not too long from now. This is the fourth major episode in the last 13 years. Here in Waterloo the few men in my circle find it difficult to approach my “thrashings”.

I can remember visiting her at the dreadful time of 9/11 and the Twin Tower bombings. She was pretty much isolated from world events in an environment of confused, misunderstood and lonely people. Some proved to be honest-to-goodness caring friends of the time. As I related the phenomenal television images to her, I wondered where the “crazies” really were? On the outside? On the inside? Could I really believe my own eyes and ears as people jumped to their deaths before their fellow New Yorkers? As passengers made bold moves, unsuccessfully, for their freedom in the skies over Pennsylvania?

And this time in my passing perplexity, Anthony has been there for me. Selecting hope and encouragement; speaking and writing words of brotherly kindness and God-honouring submission. That is the service of real men. That is winning in ways never to be lost. And we are given in our pains a place of intercession, resembling in small ways the power and the comfort of the Man of Sorrows and Friend of Sinners. And a hurting world waits for some soothing balm.

Love you Bro’.

Twice

Could we live twice?
Once,
Stumbling and trembling
Stains on our knees, and mud on our fingers
and doubts looming like shadows,
over all too small dreams,
and then again,
free.

If I could live twice,
I’d
alter the stance and the breadth of my world,
replay all the scenes with the knowledge of now,
change all the fragments and shards of my life,

Except one,
the thing within me that chose you for a Friend.

(Poet Lynn Pearcey, Champion in a Wheelchair, Passed on March 29th and addressing joyfully the Reality)
https://sites.google.com/site/stuffthatrhymes/follow-me/blog/reality

The Knee Jerk

Psalm 44: 6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

Trouble comes. The equilibrium is upset. It seems that the “default” is to conclude that I must plow my way out. I despair over lack of resource, allies, energy…whatever.

This is the knee jerk of self reliance. We were to have abandoned this long ago, but the lesson comes hard to the stubborn.

Oh perplexed one, by all means lay out the facts, assess resources at hand and the “climate”, get a decent rest, perhaps talk to a trusted friend, read a psalm or two in order to know that you are in sanctified company.

But then drop that cinder-block anchor out the back of the milk wagon. Go to prayer. Confess your undoubted dependence upon the Lord. Recall his precious former deliverances. Charge your battery with thanksgiving. Ask Jesus to provide some indicators and tell Him that you will proceed upon what you perceive but only for as long as you do not experience a check in your spirit. If the check comes, then repeat the above process. This I liken unto “walking in the Spirit” (Galatians 5: 16)

Remember how the followers of Moses had the assurance, comfort and protection of the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night? They moved when the assurance moved; stopped when it stopped; blew a trumpet (of confidence) for the march. And formidable enemy nations stepped aside.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON

http://youtu.be/i5zZS4QcGCo

This song I heard this morning driving to the factory. An old favourite.