Night Before Street Witnessing

Friday night he had taken about a half-hour in prayer: “Lord I am doing this as an offering. Not because you need my input in particular. There are many others. But I sense an urging to represent your Son out there in the everyday, and in the midst of bustling people without any thought of Church. I truly believe that Jesus is most worthy of common respectful discussion in the open streets; not just behind the bricks and mortar of a church. This is the way I will present Him. Conversational. No direct scripture reading. I will have to speak a little slower than normal. The loud speaker distorts things.

I will tell people that I am not out there plugging any particular church. I realize that I might be mistaken for a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon. They seem to be the only ones systematically on the streets. Pity. They have no idea who your Son is. They are earning big blue stars on a big glitzy tally board somewhere. Grace is entirely foreign to them.

I will abbreviate a testimony, and will move right into one of the fascinating stories of Jesus’ kindness and authority by the Sea of Galilee. I desire to show your nobility, courage, compassion and courtesy, Jesus. They have all heard about the blood and gore of Calvary; about the prospect of Hell which results from their basic disinterest as well as from their known wrongdoings. I want to show how you could always identify with the hurt, awkwardness and loneliness, and then offer just the right solution. The people out there will be encountering nothing but strangers who do not want to engage or to consider anyone else’s pain. Society is getting just that blunt and dispassionate.

But you Lord, never change. Send a few tomorrow morning who are ready to make contact.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON

A Pastor Friend sent me this Beautiful Piece…

“XXX is dying of cancer. We had a very special visit together yesterday…when the visit was still “very much with me” I wrote this poem:

A thin spot revealed
in a weathered piece of driftwood
Inside… concentric circles mark its time
when it thrived as greenwood battling against gale and storm
Each year a circle forms
Some years drier than others
a history kept secret beneath the gray and the brine.
The spirals tell its story
Some close and others far apart
A thin spot.
I met a man today
Our circles joined but for a moment
And we laughed at beauty
In death.
But in the touching a bond formed
and despite our ashen faces
Wrinkled with wear
we drank to life
and beauty in death.
Our journey has just begun
our promise waits in another forest
where we struggle not against nature
but surrender to its calling
and to circles gone before
that beckon a reunion…the Tree of life.”

Terry Hursh, Kitchener ON, Hope Lutheran Church

Book Travels

image by N. Rockwell; travel by R. L. Stevenson

To read again

And nothing stirs

But Spot down

At my feet.

It’s late and still

This racking cough.

The lights now

Spot our street.

But I am gone

No patient I

But crew-man

Out to sea

With Silver slick

And “Jim-me-boy”

And paradise for free.

And jungle trails

And buried loot

As  blood boils


Now ”look alive”

And “trim the sheets”

And “tow your line

Old chaps”.

A bed my sloop

A night sky thrills

A dog first-mate perhaps
(How about three more, Bear-bear, Mr. Clooney & Ms. Peanut?)
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON


Salvoes in Faith

To call you a friend

Is no little rejoicing

Others have smiled

But the plastic soon showed

Theirs an agenda

Of covering bases

Lacking compassion

To ease my harsh load.

Lacking the insight

That comes from the loving

Comes from a mile

In your shoes gladly tried

Deeply determined

For good not for evil

Heeding the Spirit

To come alongside.

“Loving”, I said it

And that between real men

Chucking veneer that

Would hold others back

Birthed in a Saviour who

Maps hidden treasure

Claiming a “stake”

That most others will lack.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario

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Arm Wrasslin’

In email exchanges you, Anthony, and I have been considering the reliability of one of the sources you quoted in a post. Nothing wrong with the quote, but on other points of doctrine I stated that I had real problems with that speaker’s grasp of the doctrine of Christ, judgment, mercy etc. I issued a warning, somewhat like a cranky old woman. You, Anthony, reminded me kindly of our duty to look for points of agreement rather than grounds for battle with others naming the name of Jesus. (Luke 9: 49, 50)

I needed that shot. A smack across the back of the head, lovingly mind you.

Thanks Bro’

I post this because I think that someone out there needs to be reminded of what we are shown in Romans chapters 14 and 15 about quibbling over non-essentials. I missed it. Also someone needs to see honest conflict resolution between Brothers in the faith.

It isn’t always just “Praise the Lord and pass the potato salad”.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON