Could we live twice?
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,

If I could live twice,
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)


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

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

Timothy: What Sort of Guy?

What kind of fellow was Timothy? (the two Epistles, Acts chapters 16 and 17, Romans 16, 2 Corinthians 1). Resident of the Turkish city of Lystra. Son of a Jewish woman converted to Christianity and an avid student of scripture. Her mother the same. The Father was a Greek.

Somewhat young to be called into missions as Paul’s assistant, and somewhat sensitive about the fact. Suffering from a fragile nervous constitution. Having a solid grip on Christian doctrine and Paul’s testimonies of encounters with the risen Christ.

Let me pause at this point. Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4 to hold tightly to his assurance of scripture and the doctrine so ably taught to him by friends and relatives. Do you note in today’s church a conscious turning away from doctrine as something ‘awkward and divisive’? ‘The simple Gospel story, yeah, that’ll be enough.’

Well, Paul speaks entirely to the contrary:

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

With such equipment Timothy is considered well able to be sent to Ephesus to oversee the church and the establishment of leadership and its qualifications; to attend to stern church discipline; to consider the needs of dependent widows and to monitor the use of all available resources (remember the 6th chapter and the exhortation to rich and faithful believers to be rich unto good works?)

In the course of Paul’s final incarceration under the wicked Nero, Timothy is entrusted to bring to his old friend the desired items of comfort before his fast-approaching departure (the cloak, the books and parchments). Paul reminds him:

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (Second Epistle)

We are now in the same shoes as Timothy. Paul would say the same to us.

Times of Restitution: Acts 3

18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

There is something big coming to our planet! The Millenial reign of Jesus (Revelation 20: 3-7).

I have often wondered whether there is a big gap in connecting the promise of Millenium with all of the Old Testament prophecies of a Golden Age of Restoration and Recompense. Could it just be speaking figuratively of the liberation in spirit accomplished by the first arrival of Messiah in the Gospels, commencing the Church Age? Certainly many God-fearing, devoted saints think so. I am not about to cease fellowship on this. In fact all of the End-Times teaching has become less pivotal to me. In many churches it has become a side eddy drawing saints away from the focus of the Gospels and the man Christ Jesus and His commission to us.

But here is Peter speaking to a crowd in Acts 3 explaining the power behind the healing of the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate. He assures that there is an arrival of Jesus yet to be experienced. This arrival will accomplish both refreshment and restitution.

There were years when I gave no consideration to any of this. I had no understanding of bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). I thought that a faithful individual would die, be buried and his spirit taken to the fellowship of saints in Heaven. Period.

I realize that when one goes beyond this the arguments begin. I will avoid those if at all possible.

I did think however that I would share this “lights-on moment” of  a couple of days ago.

A thousand years and then the Heavenly City! (Revelation chapters 21 and 22)

Remember however, that to be in the arms of Jesus is to be in safety and delight, whatever the unfolding scenario. He was the fourth man in the fiery furnace with Daniel’s three friends in Babylon. Be confident, be expectant and occupy in love’s business ’til He comes. Or until your “graduation” in death.     Oral Roberts Famous Sermon “The Fourth Man”.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario

wonderful image by Ron DiCianni

The Sand Falls

From orb to orb

The turning tides

The spinning globe

No scene abides

For all is change

And swiftly flown

The youth forgot

The aching known

And what comes next

We often dread

The last gavotte

Before the dead

Must sand be feared?

It simply falls

We measure loss

While Heaven calls

To ceaseless joy

Delights untrod

The glass tipped o’er

By grace of God.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario