Sound theologians!

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Sound theologians!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
PLAIN WORDS WITH THE CARELESS
No. 778 Luke 8:28.

A man may know a great deal about true
religion, and yet be a total stranger to it.

He may know that Jesus Christ is the Son of
God, and yet he may be possessed of a devil.

Mere knowledge does nothing for us but puff us up.

We may know, and know, and know, and so
increase our responsibility, without bringing
us at all into a state of salvation.

Beware of resting in head-knowledge.

Beware of relying upon orthodoxy,
for without love to Christ, with all your
correctness of doctrine, you will be a
sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

It is well to be sound in the faith,
but the soundness must be in the
heart as well as in the head.

There is as ready a way to destruction by the road
of orthodoxy as by the paths of heterodoxy.

Hell has thousands in it who were never heretics.

Remember that the devils “believe and tremble.”

There are no sounder theologians than devils,
and yet their conduct is not affected by
what they believe, and consequently they still
remain at enmity to the Most High God. A mere
head-believer is on a par therefore with fallen
angels, and he will have his portion with them
forever unless grace shall change his heart.

Giddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction!


Grace logoGiddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction! 


(
Arthur Pink, “Laughter”)

There is a natural laughter, which is innocent and harmless.

There is a spiritual laughter, which is God-pleasing and beneficial.

There is a carnal laughter, which is sinful and injurious. 

“Woe unto you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep!” (Luke 6:25). The laughter which Christ here denounced, was a state of heart which lived only for the present, and had no serious concern for the future. It was His censure of those who are giddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction! In the light of the immediate context, the reference is to those who rejoiced in the abundance of their worldly possessions, and found their delight in making gods of their bellies. 

“I said of laughter, ‘It is madness,’ and of pleasure, ‘What does it accomplish?’” (Ecclesiastes 2:2). Those were the words of one who was granted the opportunity and afforded the means, of gratifying every carnal desire and of obtaining every object which the natural heart and eye can covet — only to prove from experience, that all were but “vanity and vexation of spirit.” There is no real or lasting happiness in anything which money can purchase. The void within the human heart cannot be filled by the objects of time and sense. For one to pursue the shadows — and miss the substance; to devote himself to the things which perish with the using — yet be indifferent to those which are eternal; to seek his delight in gratifying the lusts of the flesh — and neglect the welfare of his soul, is nothing but a species of insanity! “For as the crackling of thorns under a pot [noisy, but of brief duration] — so is the laughter of the fool!” (Ecclesiastes 7:6).

“All who see Me, laugh Me to scorn!” (Psalm 22:7). So far were they from pitying Him, they added to His afflictions with their ribaldry, making jest of His very sufferings! Horrid humanity! Fearful impiety! None should ever doubt the total depravity of man, as they see here to what unspeakable depths of iniquity man sinks, when the restraining hand of God is removed from him! The spectators of the dying Redeemer’s agonies, exerted the utmost of the venom of their hearts upon Him! This was a Diabolical laughter!

There is also a divine laughter, which is dreadful and disastrous. To such David referred: “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh” (Psalm 2:4), which is the laughter of derision against those who think to defy Him with impunity. 

And again God says, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes!” (Proverbs 1:26), which is the laughter of divine retribution. He has “called” — by His Word, His providences, His ministers, and their own consciences — but they “refused” to heed Him. They were neither melted by the abundance of His mercies— nor awed by the dreadfulness of His threats. They did not respect His Law — and had no heart for His Gospel. But though He bears the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction with much long-suffering, He has appointed a day when they shall be made to reap as they have sown. As they scorned His messengers when they warned of the wrath to come — so shall He turn a deaf ear then to their cries for mercy, and righteously laugh at their calamity! Oh, that none our readers may ever be the objects of this laugh!

Our plans and dreams

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Our plans and dreams

(J.R. Miller)

“In his heart a man plans his course — but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart — but it is the LORD’s purpose which prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

There are few entirely unbroken lives in this world; there are few men who fulfill their own hopes and plans, without thwarting or interruption at some point. Now and then, there is one who in early youth marks out a course for himself — and then moves straight on in it to its goal.

But most people’s lives turn out very different from their own early dreams. Many find at the close of their life, that in scarcely one particular, have they realized their own life-dreams; at every point God has simply set aside their plans — and substituted His own. There are some people whose plans are so completely thwarted, that their story is most pathetic. Yet we have but to follow it through to the end, to see that the broken life was better and more effective, than if their own plans had been carried out.

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

For this “Weekly Photo Challenge” i went for the thing that popped into my head first after reading “Liquid”…..It’s got to be coffee! 😎 

Sarah & i love coffee and we love trying the different tastes especially whilst on holiday! 😎 

A portrait of me holding a small glass cup of Coffee

⇧ Me drinking a nice cup of coffee in Florence, Italy ⇧ 

Sarah drinking an iced coffee in Sharkey's Barbados

⇧ Sarah drinking a iced coffee in Sharkey’s, Barbados ⇧ 

Think about such things!


Grace logoThink about such things!


(J.R. Miller)

“The cheerful heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15 

We pretty much see just what we are looking for. If our mind has become trained to look for troubles, difficulties, problems, and all gloomy and dreary things — then we shall find just what we seek. On the other hand, it is quite as easy to form the habit of looking always for beauty, for good, for happiness, for gladness — and here too we shall find precisely what we seek.

It has been said that the habit of always seeing the bright side in life, is worth a large income to a man. It makes life a great deal easier. 

None of us are naturally drawn to a gloomy person, who everywhere finds something to complain about — but we are all attracted to one who sees some beauty in everything. Joy is a transfiguring quality. Its secret is a glad heart.

“Finally, brothers, 
 whatever is true, 
 whatever is noble, 
 whatever is right, 
 whatever is pure, 
 whatever is lovely, 
 whatever is admirable — 
 if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — 
think about such things!” Philippians 4:8 

Black seeds without beauty

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Black seeds without beauty

(J.R. Miller)

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42

“Lord, what do You want me to do?” Acts 9:6

The first condition of consecration, must always be entire readiness to accept God’s will for our life. It is not enough to be willing to do Christian work. There are many people who are quite ready to do certain things in the service of Christ, who are not ready to do anything He might want them to do. 

God does not send us two classes of providences
 — one good, and one evil. All are good. Affliction is God’s goodness in the seed. It takes time for a seed to grow and to  develop into fruitfulness. Many of the best things of our lives — come to us first as pain, suffering, earthly loss or disappointment — black seeds without beauty — but afterward they grow into the rich harvest of righteousness!

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 

Adultery Pollutes

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She is a common sewer!

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments

This selection is longer, but it is needful in our immoral society. Though it particularly addresses adultery, it easily applies to any kind of immorality. This is the best article I have ever read, on how to deal with lust. Every man struggles with lust—so please forward this on.)

“You shall not commit adultery.” 
Exodus 20:14

This commandment is set up as a hedge to keep out impurity; and those who break this hedge—a serpent shall bite them! The fountain of this sin is lust. God is a pure, holy being, and has an infinite antipathy against all impurity. We must take heed of running on the rock of impurity, and so making shipwreck of our chastity. The meaning of the commandment is not only that we should not stain our bodies with immorality—but that we should keep our souls pure. To have a chaste body—but an unclean soul, is like a beautiful face with a cancerous heart. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16.

There is a mental adultery. “Whoever looks on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28. As a man may die of an inward bleeding—so he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it is not mortified. That I may deter you from the sin of adultery, let me show you the great evil of it.

(1) Adultery is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbor, that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him!

(2) Adultery debases a person. It makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse neighing. “Everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. It is worse than brutish; for some creatures which are void of reason—yet by the instinct of nature, observe some decorum and chastity. The turtle-dove is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate. And the stork, wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists write that if a stork, leaving his own mate, joins with any other, all the rest of the storks fall upon it, and pull its feathers from it. Adultery is worse than brutish, it degrades a person of his honor.

(3) Adultery pollutes. The devil is called an unclean spirit. Luke 11:24. The adulterer is the devil’s first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. He is all over ulcerated with sin; his eyes sparkle with lust; his mouth foams out filth; his heart burns like mount Etna, in unclean desires. He is so filthy, that if he dies in this sin, all the flames of hell will never purge away his immorality! And, as for the adulteresswho can paint her black enough? The Scripture calls her a deep ditch. Proverbs 23:27. She is a common sewer! The body of a harlot is a walking dung-hill, and her soul a lesser hell!

(4) Adultery is destructive to the body.
 “Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” Proverbs 5:11. Immorality turns the body into a hospital, it brings foul diseases, and eats the beauty of the face. As the flame wastes the candle, so the fire of lust consumes the body. The adulterer hastens his own death. “So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life!” Proverbs 7:21-23. 

(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only—but the estate.
 “Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!” Proverbs 6:24-26. Whores are the devil’s horse-leeches, sponges that suck in money. The prodigal son spent his inheritance, when he fell among harlots. Luke 15:30. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers.

(6) Adultery destroys reputation.
 “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot. His shame will never be erased!” Proverbs 6:32, 33. Wounds of reputation—no physician can heal. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground. His bastard children are living monuments of his shame.

(7) Adultery impairs the mind. 
It steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. “Whoredom and wine take away the heart.” Hosea 4:11. It eats all purity out of the heart. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.

(8) Adultery incurs temporal judgments.
 The Mosaic law made the penalty for adultery, to be death. “The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;” and the usual death was stoning. Lev 20:10; Deut. 22:24. The Salons commanded people guilty of this sin, to be burnt. The Romans caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion—this sin carries a sting in its tail. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge!” Proverbs 6:34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. “Lust’s practice is to make a joyful entrance—but she leaves in misery.” I have read of two in London, who, having defiled themselves with adultery, were immediately struck dead with lightening from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would rain fire again, as on Sodom.

(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. 
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The fire of lust, brings to the fire of hell. “God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral!” Hebrews 13:4. Though men may neglect to judge them—yet God will judge them! He will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and He will punish them severely. The harlot’s breasts keeps from Abraham’s bosom! “The delight lasts a moment—the torment an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasure—would drink a sea of wrath! “Her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18. The harlot is perfumed with powders, and lovely to look on—but poisonous and damnable to the soul! “She has cast down many wounded, yes, many strong men have been slain by her.” Proverbs 7:26.

(10) The adulterer does all he can, to destroy the soul of another—and so kills two at once!
 He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yes, and also takes away his life— the man’s soul may be happy; he may go to heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and does all he can, to deprive her of salvation. What a fearful thing it is—to be an instrument to draw another to hell!

(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God.
 “The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is abhorred by the Lord, will fall into it.” Proverbs 22:14. What can be worse than to be abhorred by God? God may be angry with His own children; but for God to abhor a man—is the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of hell; and when death gives him a push—he tumbles in!

All this should sound a warning in our ears, and call us off from the pursuit of so damnable a sin as immorality. Hear what the Scriptures say: “Her house is the way to hell.” Proverbs 7:27.

I shall give some directions, by way of antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.

(1) Do not come into the company of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. “Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” Proverbs 5:8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to avoid the occasion of sin, and yet pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt!

(2) Look to your eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. “Having eyes full of adultery.” 2 Pet 2:14. The eye tempts the imagination, and the imagination works upon the heart. A lustful amorous eye, may usher in sin. Eve first saw the tree of knowledge—and then she took. Gen 3:6. First she looked—and then she loved. The eye often sets the heart on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. “I made a covenant with my eyes—not to look with lust upon a young woman.” Job 31:1.

(3) Look to your lips. Take heed of any unclean word which may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Impure discourse, is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to the heart by the tongue. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth!” Psalm 141:3.

(4) Look in a special manner to your heart. “Guard your heart with all diligence.” Proverbs 4:23. Every person has a tempter in his own bosom! “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adultery, all other sexual immorality.” Matthew 15:19. Thinking of sin, makes way for the act of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the serpent, when danger is near—guards his head, so keep your heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.

(5) Look to your attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. A painted face, and half-naked breasts, are allurements to immorality. Where the sign is hung out—people will go in and taste the liquor. Jerome says, “those who by their lascivious attire endeavor to draw others to lust, though no evil follows—are tempters—and shall be punished, because they offered the poison to others, even though they would not drink.”

(6) Take heed of evil company. Sin is a very contagious disease; one person tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords which draw men to immorality: 
the inclination of the heart, 
the persuasion of evil company, and 
the embraces of the harlot. This threefold cord is not easily broken. “A fire was kindled in their company.” Psalm 106:18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.

(7) Beware of going to theaters and plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. “Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness.” We are bid to avoid all appearance of evil; and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there, which are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. A learned divine observes, that many have on their death-beds confessed, with tears, that the pollution of their bodies has been occasioned by going to plays.

(8) Take heed of lascivious books and pictures, which provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading vile books stirs up the mind to wickedness. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and are incendiaries to lust! They secretly convey poison to the heart. 

(9) Take heed of excess in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, immorality and wantonness bring up the rear. “Wine inflames lust.” “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. The foulest weeds grow out of the fattest soil. Immorality proceeds from excess. “When I had fed them to the full, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jer. 5:8. Get the “golden bridle of temperance.” God allows the refreshment of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in temporal things—clouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Cor. 9:27. The flesh pampered—is liable to immorality.

(10) Take heed of idleness. When a man is idle, he is ready to receive any temptation. The devil sows most of his seeds of temptation in fallow ground. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and immorality. “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. 2 Samuel 11:4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God’s vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.

(11) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire love to his own wife. Ezekiel’s wife was the desire of his eyes. Ezekiel 24:16. When Solomon had dissuaded from immoral women, he prescribed a remedy against it. “Rejoice with the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. It is not having a wife—but loving a wife— which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls his fountain, will not go abroad to drink of muddy, poisoned waters. Pure marital love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be nourished, so that it does not go out. He who does not love his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a harlot.

(12) Labor to get the fear of God into your hearts. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out immorality. Such as lack the fear of God, lack the bridle which should check them from sin! How did Joseph keep from his mistress’ temptation? The fear of God pulled him back! “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God!” Genesis 39:9. Bernard calls holy fear, “the door-keeper of the soul.” As a nobleman’s porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.

(13) Take delight in the Word of God. “How sweet are your words unto my taste.” Psalm 119:103. Chrysostom compares God’s Word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from the flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the “forbidden fruit.” “Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure,” says Augustine. The reason why people seek after unchaste, sinful pleasures—is because they have nothing better. Caesar riding through a city, and seeing the women play with dogs and parrots, said, “Surely, they have no children.” So those who sport with harlots, have no better pleasures. He who has once tasted Christ in a promise, is ravished with delight; and he would  scorn a temptation to sin! Job said, that the Word was his “appointed food.” Job 23:12. No wonder then, that he made a “covenant with his eyes.”

(14) If you would abstain from adultery, use serious consideration.

    [1] Consider that God sees you in the act of sin! He sees all your curtain wickedness. He is totus oculus—“all eye.” The clouds are no canopy, the night is no curtain—to hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sin—your Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable acts—your adulteries and your neighings.” Jer. 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jer. 29:23. 

    [2] Consider that few who are entangled in the sin of adultery, ever recover from the snare. “None that go to her return again.” Proverbs 2:19. This made some of the ancients conclude that adultery was an unpardonable sin; but it is not so. David repented. Mary Magdalene was a weeping penitent; upon her amorous eyes which sparkled with lust, she sought to be revenged, by washing Christ’s feet with her tears! Some, therefore have recovered from this snare. “None that go to her return,” that is, “very few.” It is rare to hear of any who are enchanted and bewitched with the sin of immorality, who recover from it. “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.” Eccl. 7:26. Her “heart is a trap,” that is, she is subtle to deceive those who come to her; and “her hands are chains,” that is her embraces are powerful to hold and entangle her lovers. This consideration should make all fearful of this sin. Soft pleasures, harden the heart. 

    [3] Consider what Scripture says, which may lay a barricade in the way to this sin. “I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.” Malachi 3:5. It is good when God is a witness “for us”, when He witnesses to our sincerity, as He did to Job’s; but it is sad to have God as a “witness against us.” “I,” says God, “will be a swift witness against the adulterer.” And who shall disprove God’s witness? He is both witness and judge! “God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4. 

    [4] Consider the sad farewell, which the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a hell in the conscience. “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5. The goddess Diana was so artfully drawn, that she seemed to smile upon those who came into her temple—but frown on those who went out. So the harlot smiles on her lovers as they come to her—but at last, they come to the frown and the sting! “Until an arrow pierces his liver.” Proverbs 7:23. “Her end is bitter.” 

When a man has been virtuous, the labor is gone—but the comfort remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, the pleasure is gone—but the sting remains. “He gains momentary pleasure—but after that, eternal torment,” says Jerome. When the senses have been feasted with unchaste pleasures, the soul is left to pay the reckoning. Stolen waters are sweet; but, as poison, though sweet in the mouth, it torments the conscience. Sin always ends in tragedy! Sad is that which Fincelius reports of a priest in Flanders, who enticed a young girl to immorality. When she objected how vile a sin it was, he told her that by authority from the Pope, he could commit any sin; so at last he drew her to his wicked purpose. But when they had been together a while, in came the devil, and took away the harlot from the priest’s side, and, notwithstanding all her crying out, carried her away! If the devil should come and carry away all who are guilty of immorality in this nation—I fear more would be carried away, than would be left behind!

(16) Pray against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armor against sin; it quenches the wild fire of lust. If prayer will “cast out the devil,” it will certainly cast out those lusts which come from the devil.

O let us labor for soul purity! To keep the soul pure—have recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zech. 13:1. A soul steeped in the briny tears of repentance, and bathed in the blood of Christ—is made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssop—let Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to heaven—where I shall be as holy as You would have me to be—and ashappy as I can desire to be!”

The Delilah in the bosom!

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The Delilah in the bosom!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

If you would not come short of the kingdom of heaven, 
take heed of indulging any sin. One millstone will drown, 
as well as more. One sin lived in will damn, as well as more. 
If any one sin reigns—it will keep you from reigning in the 
kingdom of heaven. 

Especially keep from sins of your natural constitution; 
your darling sin. “I kept myself from my iniquity”—that 
sin which my heart would soonest decoy and flatter me 
into. As in the hive there is one master bee—so in the 
heart there is one master-sin. Oh, take heed of this!

How may this darling-sin be known?

1. That sin for which a man cannot endure the arrow of 
a reproof, is the bosom-sin. Men can be content to have 
other sins declaimed against; but if a minister puts his 
finger upon the sore, and touches upon that one special 
sin—then their eyes flash with fire, they are enraged, 
and spit the venom of malice!

2. That sin which a man’s heart runs out most to, and he 
is most easily captivated by—is the Delilah in the bosom! 
One man is overcome with wantonness, another by worldliness. 
It is a sad thing for a man to be so bewitched by a beloved sin
that he will part with the whole kingdom of heaven—to gratify 
that lust!

3. That sin which a man is least inclined to part with, is the 
endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob could most hardly part with 
Benjamin. “Will you take Benjamin away!” Gen 42:35. So says 
the sinner, “This and that sin I have left—but must Benjamin go 
too? Must I part with this delightful sin? That goes to my heart!”

Take heed especially of this master-sin. The strength of sin 
lies in the beloved sin, which, like a cancer striking at the 
heart, brings death. 

I have read of a monarch, who being pursued by the enemy, 
threw away the crown of gold on his head—that he might run 
the faster. Just so, the sin which you wore as a crown of gold 
must be thrown away—that you may run the faster to the 
kingdom of heaven. 

Oh, if you would not lose glory, mortify the beloved sin! Set it, 
as Uriah—in the forefront of the battle to be slain. By plucking 
out this right eye—you will see the better to go to heaven!


The Trojan horse

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The Trojan horse

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

“Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13

In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the 
evil of our heart, that it may not entice us to sin. 

The heart is the poisoned fountain, from whence 
all actual sins flow. “For from within, out of the heart 
of man
, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, 
murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, 
sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.” 
Mark 7:21-22. 

The cause of all evil lies in a man’s own bosom—all 
sin begins at the heart. Lust is first conceived in the 
heart—and then it is midwifed into the world. Whence 
comes rash anger? The heart sets the tongue on fire. 
The heart is the shop where all sin is contrived and 
hammered out. 


The heart is the greatest seducer “Each one is 
tempted when he is carried away and enticed by 
his own lust.” James 1:14. The devil could not hurt 
us—if our own hearts did not give consent.
 All that 
he can do is to lay the bait—but it is our fault to 
swallow it! How needful, therefore, is this prayer,
“Deliver us from the evil of our hearts!”

It was Augustine’s prayer, “Lord, deliver me from 
that evil man—myself!”

Beware of the bosom traitor—the flesh. The heart 
of a man is the Trojan horse—out of which comes 
a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered 
from the lusts and deceits of our own heart! 

The Evil Consequences

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Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” 
Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.” 2 Samuel 12:13-14
David’s experience is very instructive to us. While it teaches us that God can and will forgive us, if we repent of our great and gross sins—yet it also teaches us that sin is an evil and a bitter thing; and that, though the guilt of it may be removed, the evil consequences of it will cling to us and be a subject of sorrow to us—until God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes!

Charles H Spurgeon

Her ways lead down to Hell

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Man loves his own ruin. The cup of pleasure is so sweet that though he knows it will poison him—yet he must drink it. And the harlot is so lovely, that though he understands that her ways lead down to Hell—yet like a bullock he follows to the slaughter until the dart goes through his liver! Man is fascinated and bewitched by sin.

Charles H Spurgeon

Think of all the hard things there are in your life

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Think of all the hard things there are in your life

(Susannah Spurgeon“Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!” 1898)

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You!” Jeremiah 32:17

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:26-27

Dear reader, your difficulties and trials may not be similar to those of “the weeping prophet,” but they are very real, and seemingly insurmountable to you; and it is a fact that, of yourself, you can neither overcome nor endure them, so I want to remind you that the Lord’s hand is not shortened — that what was true of His power in Jeremiah’s time, is as certainly true today — and that whatever present hardship may press upon you, or whatever burden may be weighing you down — you, yes, you may look up to Him with confident faith, and say, “There is nothing too hard for You!”

Oh, the blessed peace which such an assurance brings! I do not know what your particular sorrow or hardship may be — but I do know that, whatever its nature — cruel, or bitter, or hopeless — it is as “nothing” to Him! He is able to deliver you — as easily as you can call upon Him for support and help. 

Now, dear friend, think of all the hard things there are in your life
  hard circumstances,
  difficult duties,
  grievous pains,
  sore struggles,
  bitter disappointments,
  harsh words,
  sinful thoughts,
  a hard heart of your own,
  a hard heart in others. 
Gather all these, and many more together, and pile them one on another till you have one great mountain of afflictions — and your God still calmly asks the question, “Is there anything too hard for Me?”

When our hearts are weary of life’s cares and crosses, when our courage flags because of our helplessness, and we cry out with the patriarch, “All these things are against me!” — what a support and stronghold is the fact that our God has all power in Heaven and on earth! There is nothing too mighty for Him to manage — there is nothing too insignificant to escape His notice! Jeremiah’s faith . . .
  sees no obstacles, 
  stumbles at no hindrances,
  faints under no burden,
  shrinks from no responsibilities — 
because he realizes the sublime Omnipotence of God, and fortifies himself by calling to remembrance His “outstretched arm” in the creation of the Heavens and the earth. Cannot we do likewise?

I took up a book, in a leisure moment the other day, opened it carelessly, and this is what I read: “It is a scientifically proved fact, that this great globe on which we live, spins around on its axis at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and propels through space in its orbit at a speed immensely greater!” 

The thought of this, seemed almost to take away my breath! Was I calmly and constantly living in the swirl of such a stupendous miracle as this? Then surely I could say, “Ah, Lord God! there is nothing too hard for You! My little troubles and afflictions — how small they must be to You; yet with what tender compassion, do You stoop from guiding the worlds in their courses, to support and comfort the hearts of those who fear You!”

Never let us give up in despair, while we have such a God to trust in. If there is a great mountain of sorrow or difficulty in your way, dear friend — do not be cast down by the darkness of its shadow. Your God can either make a way for you through it — or He can guide you around it — or, just as easily, He can carry you right over it! There is nothing too hard for Him! Expect Him to make the crooked things straight, and to bring the high things low; and while you keep humbly at His feet, He will work wondrously, and you shall see His salvation!

What are you doing with your time?

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What are you doing with your time?

(J.R. Miller)

“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise — making the most of the time” Ephesians 5:15-16 

Our days, as God gives them to us — are like beautiful summer fields. 
The hours are like trees with their rich fruit, or vines with their blossoms of purple clusters. 
The minutes are like blooming flowers, or stalks of wheat with their golden grains. 

Oh the endless, blessed possibilities of our days and hours and minutes — as they come to us from God’s hands! 

But what did you do with yesterday? How does the little acre of that one day look to you now? 

What are you doing with your time? Every moment God gives you, has in it a possibility of beauty or usefulness — as well as something to be accounted for. 

Are you using your time for God?

“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life!” Psalm 39:4 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

Sarah Olypic start line

For this weeks Photo Challenge Unlikely…..I was going to post about how unlikely it was for me to still take photos now that i’m blind…..But i thought i’d post one of my lovely Wife Sarah! 😀 

This trip was such an Unlikely blessing, as Sarah had another “Charcot Foot” and was in an air-cast for the last 5 months…..She had it removed a few weeks ago and she’s been strengthening her leg for this cruise. I love this photo of Sarah on the original ancient start line in Olympia, it was so unlikely to happen! 

Two men look at the same scene:

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Two men look at the same scene:

(J.R. Miller)

“Be joyful always!” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 

“In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy!” 2 Corinthians 7:4 

Thankfulness or unthankfulness is largely a matter of the attitude of our heart. 
Two men look at the same scene:
 
  one sees the defects and the imperfections; 
  the other sees the beauty and the brightness. 

If you cannot find things to be thankful for today, and every day — the fault is in yourself, and you ought to pray for a changed heart — a heart to see God’s goodness and to praise Him. 

A joyful heart transfigures all the world around us! It finds something to be thankful for in the barest circumstances, even in the dark night of the soul. Let us train ourselves to see the beauty and the goodness in God’s world, and in our own circumstances — and then we shall stop grumbling, and be content and thankful in all situations.

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful!” Proverbs 15:13 

“The cheerful heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15 

“A cheerful heart is good medicine — but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 

This Sea of Love!

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This Sea of Love!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
  “THE SHULAMITES CHOICE PRAYER”

Christian, turn it over in your mind — “Christ loves you!”
-not a little; not a little as a man may love his friend;
not even as a mother may love her child; for she may forget
the infant of her womb.

Jesus loves you with the highest degree of love that is
possible; and what more can I say, except I add, he loves
you with a degree of love that is utterly impossible to man.

No finite mind could, if it should seek to measure it,
get any idea whatever of the love of Christ towards us.

You know, when we come to measure a drop with an ocean,
there is a comparison. A comparison I say there is,
though we should hardly be able to get at it; but when
you attempt to measure our love with Christ’s, the finite
with the infinite, there is no comparison at all.

Though we loved Christ ten thousand times as much as we do,
there would even then be no comparison between our love to him
and his love to us. Can you believe this now? — “Jesus, loves me!”

Why, to be loved by others here on earth often brings the tear
to one’s eye. It is sweet to have the affection of one’s fellow;
but to be LOVED BY GOD, and to be loved so intense — so loved
that you have to leave it as a mystery the soul cannot fathom —
you cannot tell how much!

Be silent, O my soul! and be silent too before your God,
  and lift up your soul in prayer thus —
“Jesus, take me into this Sea of Love, and let me be ravished
by a sweet and heavenly contentment in a sure confidence that
you have loved me and given yourself for me.”

Taken from GraceGems

Aqueous Fluid to an Infant’s Brow!

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Aqueous Fluid to an Infant’s Brow!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
    “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE”

The most unpopular truth in the world is this sentence which
fell from the lips of Christ–   “You must be born again.”

Consequently, there are all sorts of inventions to remove the
truth out of those words. “Oh, yes!” say some, “you must be born
again, but that means the application of aqueous fluid to an
  infant’s brow.”

As God is true, that teaching is a lie; there is no grain or
shade of truth within it. No operation that can be performed
by man can ever regenerate the soul.  It is the work alone of
God the Holy Spirit, who creates us anew in Christ Jesus.

Men do not like that truth.

Spiritual Truth Still Displeases the Natural Man.

Taken from GraceGems

Bliss Beyond What the Angels Know

Bliss Beyond What the Angels Know
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“Love’s Vigilance Rewarded”

Why me Lord?

Words cannot express the joy of heart which I feel in knowing that
Jesus is with me, and that he has loved me with an everlasting love.

I shall never understand, even in heaven, Why
the Lord Jesus Should Ever Have Loved Me.

There is no love like it-  Why Was it Fixed Upon Me?

Have you never felt that you could go in, like David, and sit before the
Lord, and say, “Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that
you have brought me here?”

Yet wonderful as it is, it is true; Jesus Loves His Believing People,
loves them now at this very moment. Do you not rejoice in it?

I assure you that, in the least drop of the love of Christ when it is
consciously realized, there is more sweetness than there would be
in all heaven without it.

Talk of bursting barns, overflowing wine-vats, and riches
treasured up-  these give but a poor solace to the heart.

But the Love of Jesus, this Is Another Word for Heaven.
It is a marvel that even while we are here below we should be
permitted to enjoy a Bliss Beyond What the Angels Know!

Taken from GraceGems

NEVER!

NEVER! 
The following is by J. C. Ryle 

“I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5 

Let every believer grasp these words 
and store them up in his heart. 

Keep them ready, and have them fresh in your memory; 
  you will need them one day. 

The Philistines will be upon you, 
the hand of sickness will lay you low, 
the king of terrors will draw near, 
the valley of the shadow of death 
 will open up before your eyes. 

Then comes the hour when you will find nothing so 
comforting as a text like this, nothing so cheering 
as a real sense of God’s companionship. 

Stick to that word, “never”. 
It is worth its weight in gold. 
Cling to it as a drowning man clings to a rope. 
Grasp it firmly, as a soldier attacked on all sides grasps 
his sword. God has said, and He will stand to it, 
  “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” 

NEVER! Though YOUR HEART be often faint, and you are sick 
of self, and your many failures and infirmities overwhelm you- 
even then the promise will not fail. 

NEVER! Though THE DEVIL whispers, “I shall have you at last; 
yet a little time and your faith will fail, and you will be mine.” 
Even then the Word of God will stand. 

NEVER! When the cold chill of DEATH is creeping over you, 
and friends can do no more, and you are starting on that 
journey from which there is no return- 
even then Christ will not forsake you. 

NEVER! When the day of JUDGMENT comes, and the books are 
opened, and the dead are rising from their graves, and eternity 
is beginning- even then the promise will bear all your weight; 
Christ will not leave His hold on your soul. 

Oh believing reader, trust in the Lord for ever, 
for He says, “I will never leave you.” 

Lean back all your weight upon Him, do not be afraid. 
Glory in His promise. 
Rejoice in the strength of your consolation. 

You may say boldly, “The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear.” 

Taken from GraceGems

What a Sight!

What a Sight! 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, 
   “LOVE’S LOGIC” 

O the beauty of the person of Jesus, when seen with 
the eye of faith by the illumination of the Holy Spirit! 

As the light of the morning, when the sun arises, “as a 
morning without clouds,” is our Well-Beloved unto us. 

The sight of the burning bush made Moses put off his shoes, but 
the transporting vision of Jesus makes us put off all the world! 

When once He is seen we can discern no beauties 
  in all other creatures in the universe. 

He, like the sun, has absorbed all other 
glories into his own excessive brightness. 

This is the pomegranate which love feeds upon, 
  the flagon wherewith it is comforted. 

A sight of Jesus causes such union of heart with him, 
such goings’ out of the affections after him, 
and such meltings of the spirit towards him, 
that its expressions often appear to carnal men to 
be extravagant and forced; when they are nothing but 
the free, unstudied, and honest effusions of its love. 

Carnal men are themselves ignorant of the divine passion of love 
to Jesus, and therefore the language of the enraptured heart is 
unintelligible to them. They are poor translators of love’s 
celestial tongue who think it to be at all allied with the amorous 
superfluities uttered by carnal passions. Jesus is the only one 
upon whom the loving believer has fixed his eye, and in his converse 
with his Lord he will often express himself in language which is 
meant only for his Master’s ear, and which worldlings would utterly 
scorn could they but listen to it. The pious feelings at which 
they jeer, are as much beyond their highest thoughts as the 
‘sonnets of angels’ excel the ‘gruntings of swine’. 

Taken from GraceGems

The never-failing friend

The never-failing friend 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, 
   “LOVE’S LOGIC” 

Experience of the love, tenderness, and faithfulness of 
our Lord Jesus Christ will weld our hearts to him. 

The very THOUGHT of the love of Jesus towards us is enough to 
inflame our holy passions, but the EXPERIENCING of his love 
heats the furnace seven times hotter. 

He has been with us in our TRIALS, cheering and consoling us, 
sympathizing with every groan, and regarding every tear with 
affectionate compassion. Do we not love him for this? 

He has befriended us in every TIME OF NEED, so bounteously 
supplying all our neediness out of the riches of his fullness, 
that he has not allowed us to lack any good thing. 
Shall we be unmindful of such unwearying care? 

He has helped us in every DIFFICULTY, furnishing us with 
strength equal to our day; he has leveled the mountains before 
us, and filled up the valleys; he has made rough places plain, 
and crooked things straight. Do we not love him for this also? 

In all our DOUBTS he has directed us in the path of wisdom, 
and led us in the way of knowledge. He has not allowed us to 
wander; he has led us by a right way through the pathless 
wilderness. Shall we not praise him for his. 

He has repelled our ENEMIES, covered our heads in the day of 
battle, broken the teeth of the oppressor, and made us more 
than conquerors. Can We Forget Such Mighty Grace? 

Are we not constrained to call upon all 
that is within us to bless his holy name? 

Not one promise of his has been broken, but all have come to pass. 

In no single instance has he failed us; 
he has never been unkind, unmindful, or unwise. 

The harshest strokes of his providence have been as full of 
love as the softest embraces of his condescending fellowship. 

We cannot, we dare not find fault with him. 

He has done all things well. 

His love toward his people is perfect, and the consideration 
of his love is sweet to contemplation; the very remembrance 
of it is like ointment poured forth, and the present enjoyment 
of it, the  experience of it at the present moment, is beyond 
all things delightful! 

At home or abroad, on the land or the sea, in health or sickness, 
in poverty or wealth, JESUS, THE NEVER-FAILING FRIEND, affords us 
tokens of his grace, and binds our hearts to him in the bonds of 
constraining gratitude. 

If we were we not dull scholars, we would, in the experience of 
a single day, discover a thousand reasons for loving our Redeemer. 

Taken from GraceGems

Return unto your rest, O my soul!

Return unto your rest, O my soul!

(Edward Griffin, 1770-1837)

Return unto your rest, O my soul — for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Psalm 116:7

To rest in God, is  . . .
  to be satisfied with Him as our portion,
  to take Him for our supreme good, and
  to feel that we have enough and abound while possessing Him — though everything else is taken away. 

“Give me,” says the believer, “the enjoyment of my God — and I desire no more. Allow me to feast on heavenly truth — and I shall never complain that I am poor. Let worldlings divide the globe among themselves — let emmets contend for this little heap of dust; I have God — and I ask no more. Come wars and pestilence, come poverty and death — you cannot rob me of my portion.” 

Must it not be substantial rest . . .
  to have the infinite God for a portion,
  to have all the restless desires of the mind composed,
  to feel no anxious apprehension for the future,
  to know that if everything which time or death can destroy, were removed — the whole of one’s portion would remain; 
  to feel that nothing can injure, nothing impoverish, nothing perplex or disturb? 

Ah, give me this portion — instead of thrones and kingdoms!

“Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!” Psalm 73:25-26

Taken from GraceGems

The Blind Sightseers

Hi all, I’ve taken ages trying to figure out how i add my new photos to an existing gallery on my Photography blog “Rebus Photography” …..But now i’m ready and have added a few photos to my Caribbean gallery! I’m now in the process of adding lots of photos and finally updating all my galleries with new images. 

I know i’ve only just started updating……But i’m excited to show you all my new photos! 😀 Please click any photo below to go through to the Caribbean gallery. 

Also…..Please let me know what you think?! 😎

A palm tree on the left aurround by perfect Caribbean blue sea and white sands

⇧ The view from our Hotel overlooking Dover Beach, Barbados. ⇧ 

Beautiful Barbados sunset with dark rocks below the sun and trees to the right

⇧ Sunset over Dover Beach, Barbados ⇧ 

Waves crashing against the rocky coastline at North Point, Barbados

⇧ View from the restaurant at North Point, Barbados ⇧ 

View all Galleries HERE

That very church which the world likes best!

That very church which the world likes best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

That very church which the world likes best, is sure to be the church which God abhors most!

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them!” 2 Timothy 3:2-5

“We have learned to live with unholiness in our churches, and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a church meeting, where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to church with a stick of striped candy, in the form of religious movies, games and entertainments.”

A. W. Tozer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lines

As a “Blind Photographer” my sight is really blurry but i can just about frame a shot by the lines. I don’t often know what the lines of the objects are, lol. But it’s how i can get some good images now and then! 😀 

A black and white photo of my Taylor Koa K22 with lots of textured shadows

As i could get my hands on this guitar….I knew exactly what the lines were! lol.

I thought this weeks Photo Challenge was an ideal opportunity to post a photo of my Taylor K22ce acoustic guitar, which is made from the exotic tropical wood Hawaiian Koa. I just love the lines of this beautiful wood and never get bored looking at them.

Barbados & Caribbean Islands

Hi all. It’s been quiet over here for a couple of weeks….As Sarah & i (the blindies) have been on holiday! 😀 We tried a cruise and stay this time and had a fantastic action & adventure trip as usual, lol. We have just arrived home and i’ve lots of photos to sort out which i’ll post on here as soon as i get the days sorted out etc. 

I must be the slowest holiday blogger of all time….As i still have the last 2 cruises to post yet, lol But a huge thank you for all of your patience with me. I’ll post this holiday first and then work backwards for the other two! 

Here a a few photo so far to give a little taste…..

Me wearing a black best and orane shorts waling along the beach in Barbados with braided hair too

Me walking along the Barbados beach

Sarah running towards the camera with a volley ball net on the right on the Barbados beach. The sea is behind her

Sarah running along the Barbados beach

Sarah & i having a photo shoot during the Captains dress up night on the ship

Me and my lovely Wife Sarah

Join us on our other adventures HERE

The Unseen Places

“The Word of God judges the thoughts. The word “judge” means to critique, to be or act as a critic. This is to say that Scripture is able to accurately audit a person’s life and size it up for what it is. The Word of God is able to examine the unseen attitudes and motivations, expose the secret ambitions and desires, and then render the divine verdict. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart. This sharp, two-edged sword is able to penetrate into the hidden crevices of the heart and judge what only God can see. The Word makes known what we alone know about ourselves – and often what we do not yet know of ourselves. Scripture plunges deep into the unseen places of the human spirit and judges the private matters of the heart. Only the razor-sharp Word of God can do this.”

Steven J. Lawson

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Favorite Place. I think it’s easy to say that the Caribbean Islands are our fave place to visit that are a long way from home. I love to see my lovely Wife Sarah relaxing, as she works so hard in super busy London and it’s great to go away and be recharged! 😀 🌴☀️ 

Roatan Sarah in Hammock

Cappuccino, Chicken Panini & The Immeasurable Riches Of His Grace

It’s Tuesday morning again and this means…..Going to Roots Coffee Shop to get a Cappuccino and a Chicken Panini. But this time while i was sat, my mind drifted to the grim reaper tattoo on my leg. It’s a constant reminder of the position i was in when i got it, and the position i’m in now….Which is life or death! 

As an unbeliever, i got it to simply look hard, and death was what people seemed to fear the most and they certainly didn’t like talking about it. So i thought this was the coolest thing…..Never knowing that God had already written about this. lol.

Ephesians 2:1-3 English Standard Version 

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But now sitting here sipping my Cappuccino thinking….i still have the tattoo and yet i’m in a totally different position. Born again, a new creation….Not by anything i did, but by the Grace of our Lord Jesus. Unbelievable! 

Ephesians 2:4-10 English Standard Version 

By Grace Through Faith

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Each time i remember this tattoo on my leg, i remember that death has no sting for the Child of God…..

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 English Standard Version 

55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I fail to describe the Joy and Peace this gives me, knowing he has saved me and i can trust in Him. I love the line from the old Hymn: On Christ the solid rock i stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Blind Man Tough Mudder Challenge For World Cancer Research Fund

Me waving wearing my World Cancer Research Fund T-Shirt while walking alongside a lake

Hi all!

People who know me?! know that I’ve been struggling and fighting all kinds of obstacles for the past 18 years since being registered blind…..BUT I‘ve never faced obstacles such as these.

I was recently challenged to do the Tough Mudder 5K by Sarah’s nail tech/artist Ashley, who works at Ooh La La Hair & Beauty Salon. I chose the team name HARD AS NAILS and I’ll be competing and raising funds for one of my favourite charities –World Cancer Research Fund

World Cancer Research Fund…..

My lovely wife Sarah works for World Cancer Research Fund and I was stopped in my tracks by one of the statistics she showed me – That a third of all cancers can be prevented… that’s over 80,000 cases each year in the UK alone. This totally blew my mind!

“What??? There are Cancers that I can prevent? I thought Cancer was something that you just got!”

The light switched on for me and I thought “Why didn’t I know this? 
I want to share this good news with everyone so we can all be aware and empowered to start fighting the cancers we can prevent.”

Since then I’ve been following World Cancer Research Funds recommendations and have never felt more healthy and energised (even thoughIi’m on beta-blockers). Most of all I know I’m not digging my own grave with my own knife and fork!

World Cancer Research Fund are the UK’s leading cancer prevention charity funding global research into the links between diet, weight, physical activity and cancer. Their work empowers people to take action to lead healthier, happier, cancer-free lives.

Cancer is a terifying disease and most, if not all of us, either know or have known someone who has had or been affected by cancer.

Many believe that getting cancer is down to your genes, fate or just bad luck, but there are so many things you can do to reduce your cancer risk.

What you eat and drink, how much you weigh and how physically active you are can all make a big difference.

With our support World Cancer Research Fund will be able to learn more about how to prevent cancer – keeping loved ones together for longer.

 Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

 



I have added a JustGiving sponsor button below, and at the top of the sidebar on the right hand side, this links directly to my fundraising page. Even if you don’t want to sponsor me….please take a look and have a read about World Cancer Research Fund and the great work they do. 😀 

P.s….Just to add….If you are in the UK, you can sponsor £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10…..By texting WCRF77 £3 (your preferred amount) to 70070. Every £ helps to power up against Cancer! 💪🏼 😀

Thank you…..

Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my challenge. I will keep you updated here, and on my other social media (see sidebar on right). 😀 💪🏼

Please click the button and sponsor Steve Rebus for this Tough Mudder challenge to raise funds for World Cancer Research Fund

 

Sarah Brings The Sun!

Sarah walking along a wet road with a bright yellow sunflower umbrella facing the camera, and her lovely smile is just above.

Even when it rains…..Sarah brings the sun! 😀 ☀️

A lamb with a wolf’s head!

(John Angell James, “Christian Fellowship” 1822)

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

Christians should excel in the manifestation of Christ’s character. The mind which was in Jesus, should be in them. They should consider His character as a model of their own; and be conspicuous for their . . .

poverty of spirit,
meekness,
gentleness,
and love.

It is matter of surprise and regret, that many people seem to think that Christianity has nothing to do with character! And that provided they are free from gross sins, and have lively feelings in devotional exercises, they may be as petulant, irritable, and implacable as they please! This is a dreadful error, and has done great mischief to the cause of God!

A sour, ill-natured Christian, is like a lamb with a wolf’s head! Or like a dove with a vulture’s beak!

If there be any one word which above all others should describe a Christian’s character, it is that which represents his divine Father; and as it is said, that ‘God is love’, so should it be also affirmed, that a Christian is love–love embodied, an incarnation of love! His words, his conduct, his very looks–should be so many expressions of love!

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us!” Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Why Do We Crave Certain Foods?

Great wisdom….I love this blog! Ellie always keeps me informed with great posts! 😀 💪🏼

New Creations Ministries

It’s a mystery isn’t it? Going from fridge to cabinet to pantry knowing you are hungry but not knowing what you’re hungry for?

Hunger is an umbrella whose spokes branch out in different directions. Sometimes it’s not a food you’re even seeking. Rather it could be comfort, security, to soothe loneliness or a need for increased mental focus.

Occasionally your body simply desires water which is found in all foods and it’s not hunger pangs at all. So drink a glass and see if that helps. If not, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or is it simply a feeling that needs addressing?”

By understanding the reason why behind the loss of control, you’ll recognize the urge when it occurs again.

Certain food cravings have hidden meanings. One should be aware of personal trigger mechanisms. Always ask yourself, what happened just before I craved this type of food and lost control?

Creamy foods like mac and…

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💪🏼 A Huge Thanks To Vini!

Vini

 Hi all, i wondered if you’d join me in thanking this remarkable young dude Vini! 💪🏼 😀 

Vini has been my Gym Buddy for 7 months now and as a blind man trying to train….I can’t tell you how much having Vini around to encourage, enable, spot and push me to not quit helps me on this fantastic new healthy journey. 😀 

What’s even more remarkable……Vini came to the UK 6 years ago when he was 11, and he couldn’t even say hello to me, as he didn’t speak any english at all! Now he can speak better english than me, as i have a thick Derby accent, lol. 😀 

He’s now nearly a year into his A levels and can speak 3 languages so far as well as many other giftings.

I could go on and on, lol…..But i just wanted to thank him for his dedication to training, and for not minding having an old blind guy following him around. He just keeps on giving and helping me to achieve my goals, even though he’s got lots on with school etc…..And for everything he does and the excellent young man he’s becoming…..I’d like to give him a huge thanks! I feel so proud that he calls me “Uncle”. 💪🏼 😀 

Carrying A Princess

I thought i’d just share a couple of photos with you guys of my fun afternoon….Giving my lovely wife Sarah(Princess) a lift around our local common. I keep saying to Sarah “It’s great to finally give you a lift, as i haven’t driven a car since i was registered blind 18 years ago! lol. 😝

In case you’re wondering why……I’ve been challenge by Sarah’s nail tech/artist to do a Tough Mudder 5K on 13th October 2018 One of the activities(called Hero Carry) is to carry someone for a quarter of a mile. 

Sarah as my Backpack

Sarah as my Backpack 2

Big thanks to our friend Sara for capturing these fun photos. 😝 

Building The Muscle Of Faith!

Two dumbbells made of fruitFor the past 6 months I’ve started training in the gym! I know it was a surprise for me too. lol. 😝 

It came about when our friends Ben & Rosie had their latest son Leoin August 2017.  and while Sarah & i were visiting Rosie in hospital, Rosie mentioned that her son Vini(16 already) was going to the local Gym but needed some encouragement?!

Sarah quickly said “Steve knows loads about training at the gym and it would be great for Steve to get training again”. I said “Erm, i havn’t trained for over 20 years…..And i could see back then. I’ve tried Gyms since, but they are simply not accessible for me”. My avoidance tactic didn’t work, lol. 

A huge, huge huge Thank you to Vini…. 😝 

I was excited about the prospect of training again as my blindness kills my mobility and i lose hope of exercise etc. But after meeting Vini at the Gym, i realised that there were quite a few machines i could do, i can’t see the dumbbell sizes(or even the dumbbells for that matter) but it doesn’t matter much as Vini sorts all of that out. But unfortunately i still have to lift them on my own!

 It is really, really hard work. Every time I train I leave the gym completely exhausted and feeling very sore the next few days. Nothing beats when you begin to feel good after a workout and to see improvements every time you go. Being able to lift heavier, for longer and knowing your body is beginning to adjust and change according to your routine. 

The Christian Walk With God Is a little Like Training At The Gym…

The beginner gym goer is like the newly saved christian who has to build up their relationship with Jesus and become more familiar with the word of God slowly and consistently.

Iron Sharpens Iron…

The beginner needs to be discipled and encouraged along their journey, and not keep looking to the mature ones and comparing themselves to them. You are now born again, like a new born babe. The fruit tree starts out as a seed so pride has to be beaten down like a baddie in a film that doesn’t want to die! Yes by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body.

After the gym our bodies create muscle that wasn’t their before, it uses the energy and protein that our body stores and consumes through the food we eat. Like a muscle our faith can turn into something that it wasn’t before. If we feed it with the word of God, with prayer and fellowship with other christians we can have a stronger faith day by day.

Muscle fibres are being torn and broken down in the gym so they need repaired this causes pain for a few days after.

Sometimes growing in our faith and relationship with Jesus can be sore and uncomfortable as we will have to go through situations and rise up to challenges that seem difficult emotionally and physically but every time after this our faith will seem stronger than it was before if we keep being led by the Holy Spirit and not our fleshly desires.

So next time you’re at the gym, exercising, preparing healthy food or out for a walk etc, make sure to remember to schedule in your daily ‘training’ time with God and get building that ‘muscle’ of faith.

🙏 Prayer 4 2day…..

Lord, I ask that you would bring me the wisdom, motivation, and ability to properly exercise my body. Stir me up to train all for the glory of God!

In Jesus name, Amen!

One Savior

-Word- pictures by DLink

IMG_7960

“Let not the wise man glory in his

wisdom,

Let not the mighty man glory in his

might,

Nor let the rich man glory in his

riches;

But let him who glories glory in

this,

The he understands and knows

Me,

That I am the Lord, exercising

lovingkindness, judgement,

and righteousness in the

earth.

For in these I delight,” says the

Lord.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

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Embracing Short Term Goals to Achieve Lasting Ones

Fantastic words of wisdom once more! 😝

New Creations Ministries

You’re on a wonderful journey to become healthier. Recognize it will be a challenge. Don’t allow the thought however, to become overwhelming.

Suppose you were planning a cross-country road trip. The thought  of a 3,000 mile journey might seem overwhelming. Therefore revamp your thinking, Break the trip into smaller milestones. When I reach Memphis I’ll visit Graceland, When I get to Arizona, we’ll see the Grand Canyon – see all of a sudden you are looking forward to it because you’ve broken a burdensome task into short-term goals.

Apply this same strategy to your weight-loss ambition. Create smaller steps for attainable goals.

Remember you are creating life practices not simply losing weight. You want to feel this accomplished everyday! Each time you conquer “self” you reach new heights of disciple.

It is not selfish to desire to be healthy for God!  In fact He commands it.  1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us: “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of…

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Five words of hope in the face of horrific evil and pain

Words of Hope…..Be Blessed

Already Not Yet

crying-855664Denny Burk:

When horrific evil and terror unfold before our very eyes, there is a temptation to lose sight of the verities that ought to sustain and comfort us. Here are some words of hope to cling to. Hold them close.

1. God is good all the time.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8). “For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:5). “Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Ps. 106:1). “The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9).

2. God is near to the broken-hearted.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are…

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In our eagerness to make converts

(A.W. Tozer)

In our eagerness to make converts, I am afraid we have been guilty of using the techniques of modern salesmanship–which is of course to present only the desirable qualities in a product, and ignore the rest. We go to men and offer them a cozy home on the sunny side of the hill. If they will but accept Christ–then He will . . .

give them peace of mind,
solve their problems,
prosper their business,
protect their families and
keep them happy all day long.

They believe us and come–and the first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them.

The teachings of Christ reveal Him to be a realist in the finest meaning of that word. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find Him making over-optimistic promises. He told His hearers the whole truth, and let them make up their minds. He never ran after the retreating form of an inquirer who could not face up to the truth–to try to win him with rosy promises.

He would have men follow Him, knowing the cost–or He would let them go their ways.

All this is but to say that Christ is honest. We can trust Him. He knows that He will never be popular among the lost world–and He knows that His followers need not expect to be. The wind that blows in His face will be felt by all who travel with Him, and we are not intellectually honest when we try to hide that fact from others.

And scarcely anyone appears to care!

(A.W. Tozer)

The only power God recognizes in His Church, is the power of His Spirit. Whereas the only power actually recognized today by the majority of evangelicals, is the power of man. God does His work by the operation of the Spirit–while Christian leaders attempt to do theirs by the power of trained intellect. Bright personality, has taken the place of the divine influence. But only what is done through the Eternal Spirit, will abide eternally.

For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was:

a device for wasting time,
a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience,
a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability.

But of late she appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god entertainment–she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his power.

Christianity is so entangled with the world, that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere!

Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard.

Worldliness is an accepted part of our way of life.
Our religious mood is social, instead of spiritual.
We have lost the art of worship.
We are not producing saints.
Our models are successful business men, celebrated athletes and theatrical personalities.
We carry on our religious activities after the methods of the modern advertiser.
Our homes have been turned into theaters.
Our literature is shallow, and our hymnody borders on sacrilege.

And scarcely anyone appears to care!

God’s Love

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

And did the Holy and the Just,
The Sovereign of the skies,
Stoop down to wretchedness and dust,
That guilty worms might rise?

Yes, the Redeemer left His throne,
His radiant throne on high,
(Surprising mercy! love unknown!)
To suffer, bleed, and die!

He took the dying traitor’s place,
And suffered in his stead;
For man (O miracle of grace!)
For man the Savior bled!

Dear Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell
In Your atoning blood!
By this are sinners snatched from Hell,
And rebels brought to God!

What glad return can I impart
For favors so divine?
O take my all, this worthless heart,
And make it wholly Thine!

Anne Steele, 1859

Do we understand what love is?

(J.R. Miller, “Help for the Day”)

Do we understand what love is? We like to be loved, that is, to have other people love us, and live for us, and do things for us. We like the gratifications of love. But that is only miserable selfishness, if it goes no further. It is a desecration of the sacred name, to think that love, at its heart, means getting, receiving. Nay, love gives.

That is what God’s love does — it finds its blessedness in giving. “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.” That is what Christ’s love does — it pours out its very lifeblood, to the last drop!

The essential meaning of loving must always be giving, not receiving.

“Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25

A spiritual playpen where the crying babies must be appeased!

A spiritual playpen where the crying babies must be appeased!

(Joseph Bianchi)

In the twenty-first century, we are obsessed with self-satisfaction and getting our desires met. Hence, any teaching that invades our lifestyle and tells us we must alter or discard out old habits, is usually consigned to the junk pile. In so thinking and doing, the church has been transformed into a spiritual playpen where the crying babies must be appeased with what makes them feel good.

The Evangelical world is abuzz with terms like “purpose driven church” or “seeker friendly church”. What these terms really amount to is one thing: compromise.

The goal of churches should not be to see how much like the world they can be, so as to make worldly people feel comfortable. Rather, the churches should be so unlike the world, so alien to the world, that the disillusioned unbeliever will be drawn to them.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Religious entertainment!

Religious entertainment!

(A.W. Tozer)

A great company of evangelical churches have already gone over into the area of religious entertainment, so that many churches are tramping on the doorstep of the theater!

The tragic results of this spirit are all about us:
shallow lives,
hollow religious philosophies,
the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings,
the glorification of men,
trust in religious externalities,
quasi-religious fellowships,
salesmanship methods,
the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit.

These and such as these, are the symptoms of an evil disease–a deep and serious malady of the soul.

Religious entertainment has so corrupted the Church, that millions don’t know that it’s a heresy. Millions of evangelicals throughout the world have devoted themselves to religious entertainment. They don’t know that it’s as much heresy, as the “counting of beads” or the “splashing of holy water” or something else. To expose this, of course, raises a storm of angry protest among the people.

Isn’t there a difference between worship and entertainment?

The church that can’t worship, must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship, must provide the entertainment. That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today–the heresy of religious entertainment!

The cross of popular evangelicalism!

The cross of popular evangelicalism!

(A.W. Tozer)

“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24

The cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament.

It is, rather–a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity.

The old cross slew men–the new cross entertains them.

The old cross humbled men–the new cross amuses them.

The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh–the new cross encourages it.

The old cross brought tears and blood–the new cross brings laughter.

The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross. Before that cross it bows, and toward that cross it points with carefully staged histrionics–but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of that cross, it stubbornly refuses to bear.

We must do something about the cross, and only one of two things we can do–flee from it, or die upon it.

The man who takes up the cross no longer controls his destiny–he lost control, when he picked up his cross. That cross immediately became to him an all-absorbing interest, an overwhelming passion. No matter what he may desire to do, there is but one thing he can do–that is, move on toward the place of crucifixion!

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!” Galatians 6:14

From such love — may I ever be delivered!

From such love — may I ever be delivered!

(J.C. Ryle, “Christian Love” 1878)

Christian love does not consist in approving everybody’s religious opinions. Here is another most serious and growing delusion. There are many who pride themselves on never pronouncing others mistaken — whatever views they may hold. Your neighbor may be an Atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Roman Catholic, or a Mormonite, a Deist, or a Skeptic, a mere Formalist, or a thorough Antinomian. But the “love” of many says that you have no right to think him wrong! “If he is sincere — then it is uncharitable to think unfavorably of his spiritual condition!”

From such love — may I ever be delivered!

At this rate, the Apostles were wrong in going out to preach to the Gentiles!

At this rate, there is no use in missions!

At this rate, we had better close our Bibles, and shut up our churches!

At this rate, everybody is right — and nobody is wrong!

At this rate, everybody is going to Heaven — and nobody is going to Hell!

Such love is a monstrous caricature! To say that all are equally right in their opinions — though their opinions flatly contradict one another; to say that all are equally in the way to Heaven — though their doctrinal sentiments are as opposite as black and white — this is not Scriptural love. Love like this pours contempt on the Bible, and talks as if God had not given us a written standard of truth. Love like this, confuses all our notions of Heaven, and would fill it with a discordant inharmonious rabble.

True love does not think everybody right in doctrine. True love cries, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world!” 1 John 4:1. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching — do not take him into your house or welcome him!” 2 John 1:10

The God of contemporary Christianity!

The God of contemporary Christianity!

(A.W. Tozer)

“These things you have done, and I kept silent. You thought that I was altogether like you! But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face!” Psalm 50:21

The God of contemporary Christianity is only slightly superior to the pagan gods of ancient Greece and Rome–if indeed He is not actually inferior to them, in that He is weak and helpless–while they at least had some imagined power.

Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry; for idolatry is at bottom a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is–in itself a monstrous sin–and substitutes for the true God, one made after its own likeness. Always this god will conform to the image of the one who created it–and will be base or pure, cruel or kind, according to the moral state of the mind from which it emerges.

The essence of idolatry, is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow–they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God–and acts as if they were true.

If we insist upon trying to imagine Him–we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts. And an idol of the mind, is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand!

Before a Christian Church goes into a decline, there must first be a corrupting of her Scriptural thoughts of God. She simply gives a wrong answer to the question, “What is God like?”–and goes downhill from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed–her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is–and that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind!

The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God, until it is once more worthy of Him–and of her!

Christlike

Countless little blemishes and flaws

(J.R. Miller, “Things That Endure”)

“Little things make perfection.” In nothing is this more true, than in character and conduct. There are many people who in great matters of principle, and in the cardinal virtues — are without fault; yet the luster of whose life is dimmed, by their countless little blemishes and flaws.

One man who is upright and steadfast, with the firmness of a rock — is hard to live with at home, because of his irritability or his despotic disposition.

Another is full of great benevolent and philanthropic schemes, doing good in many ways — yet those who know him most intimately, discover in him an almost utter lack of the sweet graces and amenities, which are the true adornment of a Christlike life.

It is in the little things, that most of our failures are made. Little faults thoroughly penetrate our characters.

Little sins ruin many a life.

There is a species of little white ants in Africa, which work desolation wherever they go. One may leave his chair at night and go to bed. In the morning the chair is there, apparently in good condition — but let him sit down on it, and it falls with him, in a heap on the floor! During the night, the white ants have eaten the inside out of the legs, seat and frame. Houses are in like manner destroyed. The timbers are bored through and through — until one day the building tumbles to the ground!

Just so, there are human lives which seem strong and right to men’s eyes — but countless infinitesimal faults and sins, eat away their substance, until they fall at last in hopeless ruin!

There is no doubt that the largest part of the pain and heartache endured in the world, is caused by multitudinous little failures in lovingness — by little, needless hurts and unkindnesses — rather than by life’s great and conspicuous sorrows.

It is not enough, therefore, that we seek to be true, honest and just, in all our life. We should learn all the lessons of love, so that in every disposition and temper and word, in every shade of expression — we shall be Christlike.

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