Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

The transforming power of the Spirit!

The transforming power of the Spirit!

(J. C. Ryle, “The Lord’s Garden”)

“To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.” Romans 1:7

Believers are separated from the world by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit calls them out from the world, and separates them as effectually as if a wall were built between them and it. He puts in them . . .

new hearts,
new minds,
new tastes,
new desires,
new sorrows,
new joys,
new wishes,
new pleasures,
new longings.

He gives them . . .

new eyes,
new ears,
new affections,
new opinions.

He makes them new creatures. They are born again–and with a new birth they begin a new existence. Mighty indeed is the transforming power of the Spirit!

Everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost!

Everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost!

(J.C. Ryle, 1884)

One great danger of the church today, consists in the rise and progress of a spirit of indifference to all doctrines and opinions in religion. A wave of latitudinarianism about theology, appears to be passing over the land. The minds of many seem utterly incapable of discerning any difference between . . .

one belief–and another belief,
one creed–and another creed,
one tenet–and another tenet,
one opinion–and another opinion,
one thought–and another thought,
however diverse and mutually contrary they may be!
Everything is true–and nothing is false.
Everything is right–and nothing is wrong.
Everything is good–and nothing is bad–if only it comes to us under the garb and name of religion. Most think that it is kind and liberal, to maintain that we have no right to think that anyone is wrong, who is in earnest about his creed.

We are not allowed to ask what is God’s truth–but what is liberal, and generous, and charitable.

Most professing Christians make cleverness and earnestness the only tests of orthodoxy in religion. Thousands nowadays seem utterly unable to distinguish things that differ. If a preacher is only clever and eloquent and earnest–they think that he is all right, however strange and heterodox his sermons may be.

Popery–or Protestantism,
an atonement–or no atonement,
a personal Holy Spirit–or no Holy Spirit,
future punishment–or no future punishment

–they swallow all! Carried away by an imagined liberality and charity, they seem to regard doctrine as a matter of no importance, and to think that everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost! They dislike distinctness, and think that all decided views are very wrong!

These people live in a kind of mist or fog! They see nothing clearly, and do not know what they believe. They have not made up their minds about any great point in the Gospel, and seem content to be honorary members of all schools of thought. For their lives–they could not tell you what they think is truth about . . .

forgiveness of sins,
or justification,
or regeneration,
or sanctification,
or saving faith,
or conversion,
or inspiration,
or the future state.

They are eaten up with a morbid dread of doctrine. And so they live on undecided, and too often undecided they drift down to the grave, on the broad way which leads to eternal destruction.

They are content to shovel aside all disputed points as rubbish, and will tell you, “I do not pretend to understand doctrine. I dare say that it is all the same in the long run.” They are for a general policy of universal toleration and forbearance of every doctrine. Every school of false teaching, however extreme, is to be tolerated. They desire the Church to be a kind of Noah’s Ark, within which every kind of opinion and creed shall dwell safely and undisturbed, and the only terms of admittance are a willingness to come inside, and let your neighbor alone. Nothing is too absurd to concede and allow into the church, in the present mania for complete freedom of thought, and absolute liberty of opinion.

The explanation of this boneless, nerveless condition of soul, is perhaps not difficult to find. The heart of man is naturally in the dark about religion–has no intuitive sense of truth–and really needs divine instruction and illumination. Besides this, the natural heart in most men hates exertion in religion. Above all, the natural heart generally likes the praise of others, shrinks from collision, and loves to be thought charitable and liberal. The whole result is that a kind of broad religious anythingism just suits an immense number of professors.

Ignorance, I am compelled to say, is one of the grand dangers of professors of religion in the present day.

Who does not know that such people swarm and abound everywhere? And who does not know that anyone who denounces this state of things, and insists that we should be loyal to Scripture truth–is regarded as a narrow, bigoted, intolerant person, quite unsuited to our times?

When there is no creed or standard of doctrine, there can be no church, but a Babel. Let me venture to advise all true Christians to never to be ashamed of holding Evangelical views. Those views, I am quite aware, are not fashionable nowadays. They are ridiculed as old-fashioned, narrow, defective, and out of date–and those who hold them, are regarded as illiberal, impracticable old fossils!

What the final result of the present state of things will be, I do not pretend to predict.

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths!” 2 Timothy 4:2-4

Praise, And Thanks Be To God……It’s Our 10th Amazing Anniversary!!!

Hi all! I’m excited to tell you……It’s our 10th Wedding anniversary!!

I’ve scheduled this post as we are away celebrating, and also we should be in Corinth, Greece by now which i’m also excited about. I’ll post all about it(with photos) when we get back. 

Also a big thanks to all of you for being here for Sarah & i…..Always showing love, kindness, encouragement and never failing to leave us smiling with your joyful comments. 😊 

 

 

Me  Sarah

⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah! ⇧ 

Yay…10 years today!! 😊 

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Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can’t believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! 🙂 

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow through the Holy Spirit…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

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1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails…

Sarah & i in Love Heart

Suck The Honey Out Of It!

Suck the honey out of it!

Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Minstrel”

It is wonderful the effect of a single verse of Scripture when the Spirit of God applies it to the soul.

What power would come upon the soul, if we would grasp a single line of Scripture and suck the honey out of it till our soul is filled with sweetness.

We’re A Million, Billion Miles Away From New Testament Christianity!

I went to a church not along ago — they got thirty acres. So what are their plans with it? They want their own football field and tennis courts. Dear God, do we go to church to learn to play tennis? God help the preachers!

We have such an accommodating Christianity today.

The best title of the professing church of God today, in my judgment, is “Unbelieving Believers.” There’s cancer in the church tonight!

At this grim hour, the world sleeps in the darkness — and the Church sleeps in the light.

You’ll never get me to believe that the church today believes in Hell.

We’re a million, billion miles away from New Testament Christianity!

I doubt if 5% of professing Christians in America are born again!

Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord, the less entertainment you need.

Is the world crucified to you — or does it fascinate you?

The apostles had no gold, but lots of glory. We have lots of gold, but no glory.
The book of Acts shows us the church before it became fat and short of breath by prosperity!

Who or what takes priority over God in our lives?

Where, oh, where are the eternity-conscious believers?

Where are the souls white-hot for God because they fear His holy name and presence and so live with eternity’s values in view?

There’s no cost of being a Christian!

I’d rather have ten people who want God — than 10,000 people who want to play church!

(Leonard Ravenhill)

Why I Believe the Old Book

Why I Believe the Old Book

Charles Naylor, 1920

Do I believe the old Book? Do I really believe it? My heart answers that I do. The deepest consciousness of my soul testifies that it is true. I will tell you some of the reasons why I believe it.

The Bible is the oldest, and still the newest, of books.

God’s book written in the rocks is old, exceedingly old — but God’s book the Bible reaches back still farther. It goes back not only to the “beginning” of this terrestrial world, but into eternity. From past eternity, its majestic sweep covers the whole range of being and reaches into the future eternity. It is, in fact, the book of eternity, and within its folds lie the grandeur and sublimity of the great unknown future.

It never gets out-of-date. Other books have their run of popularity and are forgotten — but the Bible never grows old. No matter how familiar we become with it, it is ever new. To the Christian, it never grows stale — but is always fresh and always satisfying. It ever reveals new depths that we fail to fathom, new heights that we cannot scale, and new beauties that enrapture our vision.

We read it over and over, and repeatedly we see new jewels sparkling within its pages — jewels that delight the eye and reflect the mind of God. From it, refreshing waters break out where we least expect them — and our souls are refreshed like a thirsty man who suddenly finds water on the desert. We may have read a text a thousand times — yet when we look at it again it opens up and presents to us a vista of marvelous truth of which we were before entirely unconscious.

What other book can do these things? When we read a book written by man, however interesting it may be, it soon loses its interest and its charm. We do not find new beauties in it as we do in the Bible. Its treasures are soon exhausted — but the Bible is ever new!

I do not believe that the Bible is man’s book nor that it could be man’s book. Its depths are too deep to come from the heart or mind of man; its heights are too great for him to reach; and its wisdom is more than human. It can only be divine.

The Bible is the most loved of all books.

Wherever the Bible goes, people learn to love and to treasure it above all other books combined. It is the one book that people love — it is the treasure that people hold fast even at the risk of their lives. In past ages when wicked rulers tried to keep it from the people, they could not. At the peril of their lives, people would have it. They underwent dangers and tortures, and shrank not from anything — that they might possess this wonderful book. It is not for what it claims to be — though it claims much — nor for what men claim for it — but for what it is to the individual himself that it is so dearly loved. There is that in the Bible which endears itself to the human heart — and no other book has that quality. Other books are enjoyed and admired and praised and valued — but the Bible, in this respect, stands in a class by itself.

The educated and the ignorant, the high and the low, all races in all climates, when they learn to truly know the Bible, and when they submit themselves to the God of the Bible — learn to love it and to delight in it and are enriched and blessed by it; and because I too feel this deep love in my heart for the old Book, I believe it. I believe that, in some way — it was made for me by One who knew my needs, and that it corresponds to the very essence of my inner self. I could not love it as I do, if it were not God’s book and if it were not true.

The Bible is the most hated of all books.

Not only is it the best-loved book, but it is also the most-hated book. No other book has had so many, nor such bitter enemies. I suppose more books have been written against the Bible than against all other books combined! Men do not hate Shakespeare nor Milton nor Longfellow; they do not hate works on science nor philosophy; they do not hate books of travel or adventure or fiction; they do not hate the other sacred books of the world; they hate only the Bible!

Why this hatred? It can be only because they find in the Bible something that they find nowhere else. What they find there is a true picture of themselves — and the picture is not pleasant to look upon. So they turn away their faces and will have nothing to do with it except to vilify and condemn it. They deliberately misrepresent it and write falsehoods about it. They satirize and ridicule it, using all sorts of weapons and all sorts of methods to combat it, and for only the one reason — that its truth pricks them in their consciences, and they can by no other means escape from it!

It is judged by a standard far more stringent than any other book. No critic would think of treating any other book as he treats the Bible, nor of requiring of any other book what he requires of the Bible. The more men hate God — the more they hate his Word. This has a deep, underlying reason — that the Bible is God’s book, and that in it there is so much of God himself.

The Bible has withstood all assaults.

But though so bitterly assailed through all the ages — the Bible has withstood the assaults of all its enemies and stands victorious still! The Greek philosophers, with all their skill, were vanquished. The greatest intellects of modern times, find themselves baffled before it. The sharpest arrows that unbelief could forge, have not pierced it. The assaults made upon it — have resulted only in the destruction of the weapons used. All through the ages countless theories — religious, philosophic, scientific, or other — have been used against the Bible, only to fall in ruins at last before it and to be rejected even by those who once advocated them.

The Bible endures an amount of criticism that no other book could endure — and instead of being destroyed, it is only brightened and made better known. Could any error endure what the Bible has endured, and live? It is the law of nature that error is self-destructive — but that truth cannot be destroyed; and according to this law, the Bible must be true because of its indestructibility.

The Bible tells me of myself.

My deepest emotions and longings, my highest thoughts and hopes, are mirrored there — and the more settled inner workings of conscience are there recorded. It speaks to me of my secret ambitions, of my dearest hopes, of my fears, of the love that burns within me. My desires are pictured in the Book — just as I find them working in my heart. Whatever picture it draws of the human soul — I find within myself; and whatever I find within myself — I find within its pages; and thus I know that it is true. No man can know me as the Bible knows me — nor picture out my inner self as the Bible pictures me. And since no work of man could correspond with my inner self as the Bible corresponds with me — I know that it did not come from man.

The Bible is the book of conscience.

It is as a mirror into which every man, when he looks, sees himself! It speaks to his conscience, not as a man speaks — yet with a potency unknown to any other book. It is preeminently the book of the conscience. Other books appeal to men’s consciences — but not with the appeal of this book. Other books mirror men — but not like the Bible. In the silent watches of the night, in the lonely depths of the forest, upon the expanse of the sea, or wherever man may be — how frequently is it the case that this book speaks into his conscience in a silent yet thundering voice — and before it, he is awed and silenced and oftentimes terror-stricken. It speaks to the conscience as only God can speak — and therefore it must be God’s book.

The Bible gives comfort and hope.

To what book do those in sorrow turn? To Voltaire? to Ingersoll? to any other skeptic? Do they turn to science or philosophy or poetry or fiction? There is but one book which is the book of comfort. The sad and desolate heart turns to its pages — and as it reads, the consolation of the Holy Spirit, which fills the book, comes into that heart, and it is comforted. It is as the balm of Gilead. It is as a letter from home to the forlorn wanderer. It is as a mother’s voice to the child. Friends may speak words to comfort us — but they cannot comfort us as does the Book. Its words seem to enter into our innermost sorrows with a healing touch. God is the God of all comfort, and it is the comforting God in this comforting book who comforts the soul.

It is also the book of hope. Sometimes man despairs, and he looks here and there for hope, finding none — but there is one book in which hope may always be found. It always has something to offer him to inspire hope with new courage. Therefore it is the hope of the hopeless. In the troubled soul, it brings a calm — brightening dull eyes and causing them to look beyond. It lifts up the bowed head, strengthens the feeble knees, renews the courage, and takes the sadness out of the voice. It is therefore truly the book of hope!

The Bible is the book of the dying.

A soldier, desperately wounded, lay in a trench. The shells were bursting around him; the bullets and shrapnel were whistling through the air; the roar of the guns shook the ground. He was going down into the valley of the shadow of death. Knowing that he must pass over to the other side, he reached into his pocket with his little remaining strength and pulled out his New Testament. Handing it to a comrade he said, “Read to me.” His comrade opened the book and began to read, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God — trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” A smile overspread the face of the dying soldier as he listened to the words amid that solemn and terrible scene. He closed his eyes and lay quite still smiling, then he murmured, “It is well.” And with a smile still upon his face, he passed across to the other side of the river of death.

For what book do the dying call? For just any book? What words do they wish to hear in the final hour? There is but one book for that hour. There is but one book which can throw light into that shadowy valley. That is the Bible. It is the book of the living and of the dying — the book of the sorrowing and of the hopeless. It is just such a book as the loving Father would give to the children whom he loves! It meets their needs in all the details of their lives as only God could meet it — and therefore I can only believe that it is the book of God.

The Bible contains the only answer to the enigma of life.

The “why” of life is found nowhere else. Other books tell us many truths about life — yet its depths and meaning find expression and answer in only one book. The Scripture interprets life; and he who reads the interpretation, knows that it is true because it is the story of himself, and in himself is the witness of its truth. Men have sought everywhere for the secret of life and the things that pertain thereto — but everywhere, except in the Bible — they find only darkness and obscurity and uncertainty. The Bible, however, speaks in no uncertain terms. It speaks the language of him who alone knows the only answer to the enigma of life. If we reject its voice — then we are left in a tangled maze, out of which we cannot find our way.

The Bible outlives all its critics — and is triumphant, when they are long forgotten. It has many times been pronounced dead, but still it lives. It has been called foolish — but its power is not dissipated. It has seen all antagonistic theories of the past, one by one, destroyed and rejected — but it still stands in spite of the critics, in spite of its enemies! Those who anchor their faith upon it — need not fear what voice is raised against it. Neither need they fear what weapons are brought to bear upon it — for it is truth, and those who fight against it fight against God and are themselves ruined!

The Bible is adapted to all people of every race and climate, to the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant. Of no other book, can this be said. It is the Book of books — the book of God! In it God speaks! My inmost heart knows that it is the voice of my Beloved, and leaps for joy!

Godly Parents Cannot Convert Their Children

Godly parents cannot convert their children

(Mary Winslow, Life in Jesus“)

“We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s wrath.” Ephesians 2:3

“You must be born again.” John 3:7

Godly parents cannot convert their children. God alone can do this. But they can lead them to Jesus, and bring them up in the fear of the Lord. And when they have done this, they have done all they can do; for the Holy Spirit alone can change the heart. They must be born again. Christ has said it. It is not a change of sentiment, nor an outward reformation of life; it is a new heart implanted by the Holy Spirit.

“They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan—this rebirth comes from God.” John 1:13

A Holy New Year’s Resolution!

A Holy New Year’s Resolution!

(Matthew Henry)

“My times are in Your hand!” Psalm 31:15

Firmly believing that my times are in God’s hand, I here submit myself and all my affairs for the ensuing year, to the wise and gracious disposal of God’s divine providence. Whether God appoints for me . . . .

health — or sickness,
peace — or trouble,
comforts — or crosses,
life — or death

— may His holy will be done!

All my time, strength, and service, I devote to the honor of the Lord Jesus — and even my common actions. It is my earnest expectation, hope, and desire, my constant aim and endeavor — that Jesus Christ may be magnified in me.

In everything I have to do — my entire dependence is upon Jesus Christ for strength. And whatever I do in word or deed, I desire to do all in His name, to make Him my Alpha and Omega. I have all from Him — and I would use all for Him.

If this should prove a year of affliction, a sorrowful year to me — I will fetch all my supports and comforts from the Lord Jesus and stay myself upon Him, His everlasting consolations, and the good hope I have in Him through grace.

And if it should be my dying year — then my times are in the hand of the Lord Jesus. And with a humble reliance upon His mediation, I would venture into the eternal world looking for the blessed hope. Dying as well as living — Jesus Christ will, I trust, be gain and advantage to me.

Oh, that the grace of God may be sufficient for me, to keep me always in a humble sense of my own unworthiness, weakness, folly, and infirmity — together with a humble dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ for daily grace and strength.

The “illuminated” Bible?

The “illuminated” Bible?

You may read the Bible continuously and yet never learn anything by it, unless it is illuminated by the Spirit.

Then the words shine forth like stars. Then the book seems made of gold leaf; every single letter glitters like a diamond.

Oh! it is a blessed thing to read an “illuminated Bible”lit up by the radiance of the Holy Spirit.

Have you read the Bible, and yet have your eyes been unenlightened? Go and say, “O Lord, illuminate it; shine upon it; for I cannot read it to profit, unless You enlighten me.”

Blind men may read the Bible with their fingers, but blind souls cannot.

We need a light to read the Bible by; there is no reading it in the dark.

by Spurgeon

The biggest loser!

The biggest loser!

There are usually two sides:

the one dangerous—the other safe; the one is uncertain—and the other is sure.

It is always the wisest—to be found on the safe side!

Look at the unbeliever:
He denies the Bible to be God’s book.
He walks by his own reason.
He gratifies his senses and his lusts.
He lives in sin.
He must soon die.
He has no Savior.
He has no true hope.

If the Bible is false—then he is safe; BUT if the Bible is true—then he is damned forever!

He is certainly not on the safe side!

There are many things in the Bible which he does not like.
He is prejudiced against it.
It never prophecies good concerning him—but always evil.
It requires him to change his present sinful course—but he loves it.
He loves sin—and the Bible condemns it.
He gratifies the lusts of the flesh—and the Bible bids him to mortify them.

In a word, there is as much opposition between the Bible and him—as between light and darkness, holiness and sin, truth and error. Therefore he hates it!

At the best, with him all is uncertain, unsatisfactory, and vexatious.

He is certainly not on the safe side!

Now look at the true Christian:
He believes the Bible to be from God. He has examined it. He has evidence of its inspiration in his heart. He fully believes it.
What the Bible says of himself as a sinner—he knows to be true.
What it says of Jesus as a Savior—he has proved to be a fact.
As guilty—he has applied to God for pardon, and obtained it.
As impure—he has sought the cleansing operations of the Holy Spirit, and has experienced them.
His guilt is gone—therefore he has no slavish fears.
His soul is justified—therefore he has peace with God.
He approves of the inspired precepts—and regulates his life by them.
He carries his cares to God—and is sustained under them.
He realizes that God is his Friend, his Father, and his everlasting Portion.
He is peaceful.
He is often happy.
To him death has no sting—and eternity has no terror.
He knows Jesus as his Savior—and trusts in Him.
He knows God as his Father—and walks with Him.
He knows the Holy Spirit as his comforting Teacher—and listens to Him.

He is, perhaps, more tried than the unbeliever—but he has supports, consolations, and pleasures—of which the unbeliever knows nothing. He lives to bless others, to honor God, to prepare for a glorious immortality.

He would not change his worst day—for the unbeliever’s best day!

He is on the safe side!

If the unbeliever should be right—then the Christian is no loser.

But if the Christian is right—and he is—then the unbeliever is the biggest loser—an infinite loser!

Reader, on which side are you? There is but one safe side.

There is no safety for a sinner now—but at the Cross!

There will be no safety at death and judgment—but in Christ!

He who is on the safe side now—will be on the safe side then!

There will be no changing sides then!

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne! All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at His right hand—and the goats at His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father—inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world!’ (the safe side) Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones—into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons!’ (the perilous side) And they will go away into eternal punishment—but the righteous will go into eternal life!” Matthew 25:31-46

(James Smith, “The Safe Side!”)

The “Hell Fire Club”

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The “Hell Fire Club”

“Means for Restoring the Banished” )

Mr. Thorpe was a member of an ‘infidel’ club. In those days infidelity was more blasphemous than now. This infidel society took the name of the “Hell Fire Club”. Among their amusements was that of holding imitations of religious services, and exhibiting mimicries of popular ministers.

Thorpe went to hear George Whitfield preach, that he might caricature him before his profane associates. He listened to Whitfield so carefully that he caught his tones and his manner, and somewhat of his doctrines.

When the “Hell Fire Club” met to see his caricature of Whitfield, Thorpe opened the Bible that he might take a text to preach from it after the manner of Whitfield. His eye fell on the passage, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” As he spoke upon that text he was carried beyond himself, lost all thought of mockery, spoke as one in earnest, and was the means of his own conversion!

He was carried by the force of truth beyond his own intention, like one who would play in a river, and is swept away by its current.

Even the scoffer may be reached by the arrows of truth! Scripture has often been the sole means in the hands of its divine Author of converting the soul.

“For the Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.” Hebrews 4:12

“After his amazing conversion, Thorpe became a noted preacher of the gospel.” 

(edited from Spurgeon’s sermon, #950 

Remembrance Sunday(inspiring you by reminding you of the Truth)

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2 Peter 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Growth in Christian Virtue

1 [a]Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ,

To those who have [b]received and possess [by God’s will] a precious faith of the [c]same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be multiplied to you in the [true, intimate] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [d]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, [e]develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. 8 For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind—shortsighted [closing his spiritual eyes to the truth], having become oblivious to the fact that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by [f]doing these things [actively developing these virtues], you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin]; 11 for in this way entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly provided to you.

12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them and are established in the truth which is [g]held firmly in your grasp. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this earthly tent, to inspire you by reminding you, 14 knowing that the laying aside of this earthly tent of mine is imminent, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 Moreover, I will diligently endeavor [to see to it] that even after my departure you will be able, at all times, to call these things to mind.

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation.

Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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“When disaster comes to a city—has not the LORD caused it?” Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins, and the sins of our land—which have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such—by His judgments now upon us: by withering fields and scanty harvests, by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war!

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite? Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe? Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct—and what do you see? What do you hear?

You see the gigantic forms of vice bidding defiance to the God of heaven—while true religion and virtue are forced to retire, to avoid public contempt and insult!

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them!

You hear the swearer venting his fury against God—trifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures, dishonest craft planning her schemes of unlawful gain, and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor!

You see prodigality squandering her stores! You see luxury spreading her table!

You see vanity laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth; regardless of God, of time and eternity!

You see sensuality wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition—to sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible; the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord; novels and romances more read—than the history of the blessed Jesus!

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business! The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to—than the concerns of eternity!

And where these grosser forms of vice do not shock your senses—you often meet with the appearances of a more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the conversation of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity— engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their important subjects of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls!

You see the holy religion of Jesus—abused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors!

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists! These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens! They are abandoned slaves of sin—who yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time—but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them—when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus!

(Samuel Davies, “The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country” 1755)

When I grumble about the weather

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“The Lord has heard all your grumblings against Him!” Exodus 16:8

Does God really hear every discontented word which I ever speak?

Does He hear when I grumble about the weather . . .
about the hard winter,
about the late spring,
about the dry summer,
about the wet harvest?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .
about the frosts,
about the drought,
about the high winds,
about the storms?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .
about my circumstances,
about the hardness of my lot,
about my losses and disappointments?

If we could get into our heart, and keep there continually, the consciousness that God hears every word we speak—would we murmur and complain so much as we now do?

We are careful never to speak words which would give pain to the hearts of those we love. Are we as careful not to say anything that will grieve our heavenly Father?

“I tell you this—that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak!” Matthew 12:36

“He who complains of the weather—complains of the God who ordains the weather!” William Law

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book—a Year’s Daily Readings”)

Losses, crosses, disappointments and bereavements.

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“Unto you therefore who believe — He is precious!” 1 Peter 2:7

Christ is especially precious to believers — when the emptiness of the world is discovered. The soul having tried the world, has found it . . .

false and fickle,
an empty cistern,
a dry well,
a cloud without water,
only vanity and vexation of spirit!

The Christian has experienced that . . .
the world’s pleasures — end in pain,
its honors — end in disgrace,
and its wealth — ends in absolute poverty.

Now turning from the world, to Jesus — it finds . . .

solid happiness,
substantial pleasure,
full supplies.

It obtains . . .
a deep and lasting peace which passes all understanding,
unsearchable riches in Christ, and
honors which will never pass away.

O how precious is Jesus, when this world appears to be a valley of tears! Almost everything earthly is at times calculated to . . .

cause sorrow,
fill us with sadness,
and draw forth tears.
Losses, crosses, disappointments and bereavements — all conspire to make us sad. Earth is to us a Valley of Achor — the place of trouble and sorrow.

Now turning to Jesus, we find a friend who loves at all times, and a brother born for adversity.
He makes up for every loss,
He sanctifies every disappointment,
and He fills for us every relation.

His presence is . . .

like a flowing spring — in a dreary desert,
like a cheering fire — on a piercing winter’s night,
and like a happy home — to the exhausted traveler.

O how precious is Jesus now!

(James Smith, “Christ Precious!” 1861)

Saviour, Sobbing & Sharing my Testimony ~ Amazing Grace

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I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in yesterdays parade service. The theme was ‘Faith through Adversity’, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)” “Yeah, ok, if you think it will help?”.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i’m blind, i can’t use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i’d not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i’d use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i’m not ashamed of the Gospel, it’s the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said “I can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened…”

“I went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy.  I wasn’t a Christian, i hadn’t been born again, or even been inside a church building…so… as i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i’d be blind for the rest of my life, i collapsed on the floor crying out….and this was the easy bit”.

“Following this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car…everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts “Nobody wants you, you’re useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!”

Suddenly…

It was about this time where my mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably…i’d never sobbed like this in my entire life, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone.

I knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me(or you), it is finished!

I’d been  praying for so long for God to “Break my heart for what broke His” and sang the songs many times, but never had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn’t have the strength to kill myself, and i didn’t have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who’s hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock she was standing on no matter how bad things got for her, she always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for.

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

I then wanted to talk a little of what John Wesley describes as “Prevenient grace”, but the sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He loves you and wants to save you, and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued “I wouldn’t agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I’d lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal”

“I used to hate this song, but now i’d play it every service if i could…have you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you’ll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace”.

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn’t react for a while, then she said “People kept on running up and passing me tissues”. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said “You’re not borrowing him again to speak”. 

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without Hope.

Related Posts:

My Testimony

Captivity of Negativity

God’s Word

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“I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it—His Word. He alone has the power to change lives for eternity, and that power is focused on the Scriptures.”

R.C. Sproul, The Prayer of the Lord

One Accord

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“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.”

A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary

Me and Sarah stood on the grass at Bourne Hall, Ewell with lots of lovely green trees behind us

⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah! ⇧ 

Yay…8 years today!! 🙂 

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Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can’t believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! 🙂 

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

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There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage.

Martin Luther

Sin-Shine

a pair of red sunglasses above the word Sin-Shine in big red letters with a yellow drop shadow

As i left the house this morning on my way to Bible study & Holy Communion, i took my sunglasses from my pocket as it was going to be a hot day today. As i slid them on my face the article i’d just read was still fresh in my mind…

Protect your eyes…

Research suggests that the harmful UVA and UVB rays contained in sunlight may be a factor in a number of eye diseases, in particular cataracts….read more at RNIB

After reading about the UV filter a few Bible verses spoke to me…

“I have made a covenant with my eyes;”

“Lust of the eyes”

And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.

We cause so much damage to ourselves with what we choose to put in front of our eyes. We tend to think it’s ok and not doing any harm. Just like the invisible rays burning our eyes and doing damage we are not aware of until it’s too late. 

“Is your soul crying out…burning from the sin-shine in your eyes?”

The Coming Century

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“The chief danger of the coming century will be religion without the Holy Spirit, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”

William Booth

Stephen Salmon ~ Absent From The Body & Present With The Lord

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2 Corinthians 5:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Meet Stephen…

This post is to celebrate the life of “Brother in Christ” Stephen Salmon (aged 33). His funeral is today so could you please pray for family and friends and all who are affected by his passing.

First i’d like you to meet Stephen as he describes in this video testimony how God pulled him from the streets of Tenerife. Stephen was homeless, addicted to all kinds of drugs and alcohol, and yet God showed him a glimpse of heaven and his new eternal home with Jesus.

 

I saw Stephen’s testimony for the first time whilst looking through the Epsom Baptist Church’s Facebook page which Stephen (and his lovely wife Claire) posted on regularly. Afterwards i shouted Sarah to come and watch as his was the first proper northern accent i’d heard since becoming a Christian, and after moving down to Surrey his voice was like a breath of fresh air, and he somehow made God so personal!

Sarah and i were invited by Ben (our close Brother in Christ, after Ben had visited our church where Sarah & i played in the evening service. We got chatting and he mentioned they were needing a drummer for the morning Worship band. I said we weren’t currently attending a morning service, but i also play the drums…so if you can use me then i’ll come !

The Spirit within…

I still remember the first time i met Stephen, it was at a Sunday morning service and once i heard his accent i nudged Sarah and said “Sarah, that’s the man from the testimony video”. I can’t accurately describe the warmth oozing from him, but the Spirit within him just made you smile. 🙂

The term “Full of beans” always springs to mind when thinking of his character. This brother was “Full On” for God and his hunger for the Word, passion and empathy for the homeless touched so many lives including my own.

As i write this (and thinking of his age) the Metallica lyric “The brightest flame burns quickest” just popped into my head. 

Also (like all of us) this brother was not perfect. We all struggle to mortify the flesh as our body of sin makes war against the Holy Spirit in our journey of Sanctification. I thank God for saving Stephen and giving him the blessed hope we in Christ all look forward to. And i thank God that i got to meet Stephen who not only inspired me…but he encouraged me too. 🙂

Last year i posted one of Stephen’s quotes on iChristian and i’d like to share it again…

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Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah was impatient, Elijah was depressed, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead …..

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED|

Like, Comment or Reblog  this if you know you are NOT perfect, but that God is working in your life anyway…

Stephen Salmon (Brother in Christ)

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I’d like to finish with a message taken from his Facebook timeline… 

Amanda McCrea: See you heaven Stephen. You touched so many lives in life and on Facebook. You used social media as a means to inspire and uplift others. A brother in Christ and a wonderful testimony to how God can transform a life. A true servant heart. My condolences to your loved ones. May God comfort you all at this sad time. Love and prayers. Amanda.

He Transforms Our Hungers

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“When God brings us to salvation, the most remarkable thing we see is that he transforms our hungers. He changes not just what we do but what we want to do. This is the work of the Holy Spirit within us — “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).”

Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives

The Finish Line

As a blind gamer, i was excited to be recommended(by my brother) a brand new racing game called “Project Cars” for the PS4. I’m able to attempt to play a few racing games, If they include Grand Prix tracks, i can often remember each corner from my sighted gaming days, playing F1 97 etc. 

When i sat down to play for 15 minutes last night, i was surprised to be taught a lesson on being over zealous, while lacking wisdom! 🙂

A close up photo of the amazing Ford Capri Touring Car

⇧ Screenshot of my 1980 Capri (Group 5 – Team Zakspeed) ⇧ 

I chose the rather extreme Capri to drive and chose a familiar track. After leaving the pits i span off on nearly every corner as my tyres were cold and not up to race temperatures. An influx of thoughts filled my mind,….

Over Zealous…

It reminded me of when i first became a Christian and first had revelation of the Truth when reading the Bible. I couldn’t believe what i was reading, and how it described me…yes me! I then did what normally happens, and become over zealous like a screaming twin turbo engine and had to tell everyone, and point out the right and wrongs with everything and everyone around me! 

I was making a lot of noise and using a lot of power and energy,  but was lacking something vital, i failed to slowly warm up the tyres of Godly Wisdom!

As we mature, and grow in step with the Holy Spirit, we are given all we need to finish the race. And when we get the balance right, we can stay on track until the end, and if our tyres stay hot, even the storms won’t be able to slow us down! 🙂

Making Doughnuts…

photo of a racing sierra cosworth with smoking tyres doing doughnuts at Donington race track

⇧ Screenshot of my 1988 Sierra RS500 Cosworth (Group A) ⇧ 

After selecting “Donington”, my home town track in Derby, i decided to take the Sierra Cosworth for a ride. I stopped to make some doughnuts, and thought “Here we go again, all that power and energy…and i’m just going round in circles”.

I want to thank God for not leaving us in the pits! But instead He empowers  instructs and steers us towards the finish line! 🙂

Mysterious Power

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“The gospel is preached in the ears of all men; it only comes with power to some. The power that is in the gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher otherwise men would be converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning; otherwise it could consists of the wisdom of men. We might preach till our tongues rotted, till we should exhaust our lungs and die, but never a soul would be converted unless there were mysterious power going with it – the Holy Ghost changing the will of man. O Sirs! We might as well preach to stone walls as preach to humanity unless the Holy Ghost be with the word, to give it power to convert the soul.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

The Holiness Of God & The Love Of God

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“To be really Bible-believing Christians we need to practice, simultaneously, at each step of the way, two biblical principles.

One principle is that of the purity of the visible church. Scripture commands that we must do more than just talk about the purity of the visible church; we must actually practice it, even when it is costly.

The second principle is that of an observable love among all true Christians. In the flesh we can stress purity without love, or we can stess love without purity; we cannot stress both simultaneously. To do so we must look moment by moment to the work of Christ and to the Holy Spirit. Without that, a stress on purity becomes hard, proud, and legalistic; likewise without it a stress on love becomes sheer compromise.

Spiritually begins to have real meaning in our lives as we begin to exhibit simultaneously the holiness of God and the love of God. We never do this perfectly, but we must look to the living Christ to help us do it truly.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

Fresh And New Into His Likeness

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Here I sit in the middle of eternity.  This wheelchair has helped me sit still.  I’ve observed with curiosity the way we Christians grasp for the future, as if the present didn’t quite satisfy.  How we, in spiritual fits and starts, scrape and scratch our way along, often missing the best of life while looking the other way, preoccupied with shaping our future.  In my least consistent moments I too try to wrest the future out of his hands.  Or worse, I sink back into the past and rest on long-ago laurels  But God is most concerned with the choices I make now.  God, standing silently and invisibly and presently with us in the middle of eternity, is interested in a certain kind of change.  He brings us choices through which we never-endingly change, fresh and new into his likeness.

Joni Eareckson Tada

Christian Community

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“Christian community is like the Christian’s sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification. What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

Love Each Other

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Lord, some people in my life are difficult to love. I am tempted not even to try to care. But You showed love to me even when I was Your enemy. Please direct me to love in the way that’s acceptable to you, with Your power and grace, Amen.

Healings & Peelings

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Matthew 12:34 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Shortly after lunchtime today, i strolled up our drive to bring in our recycling bins, tub & bag after the weekly emptying. Sarah & i had just finished a lovely lunch where we had my special “Scwipps”. It’s just swede cut really chunky and long like chips! 🙂 It was now time to put out the peelings into the really smelly food waste recycling bin. This bin has a flip up lid which to me looks like a big mouth, but leave it open at your peril. As i knelt down to open the lid for Sarah to quickly put the peelings in, a thought came straight to mind…

“Our mouths can be like this bin sometimes, as soon as it opens a horrendous smell comes out as our words start to stink up the place, instead of being fragranced with grace, and healing to others. They are rotten and foul”. 

A couple of verses were highlighted in my mind too…

Ephesians 4:29 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Colossians 4:6 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

As i told Sarah that i may have an idea for a post, she said “We can’t even put out some peelings without you going off on one! Lol!”.

It can be such a struggle sometimes to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but our words have power! The power to lift up, or to pull down. It’s the difference between a sweet smelling fragrance that blesses and heals the listener. Or the stench of death that drags everyone down and leaves them worse off for being around you.

So which one are you??

🙏 Prayer 

Loving Father. Unless my heart is clean, my words can’t be clean.Cleanse my heart with the purity of your Holy Spirit so my words can become acceptable to you, I stumble in many ways, Lord, especially with my words. Forgive me for any corrupt word that has proceeded out of my mouth and has grieved the Holy Spirit, Amen.

The Power Of The Flesh

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“The central problem of our age is not liberalism or modernism, nor the old Roman Catholicism or the new Roman Catholicism, nor the threat of communism, nor even the threat of rationalism and the monolithic consensus which surrounds us. All these are dangerous but not the primary threat. The real problem is this: the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, individually corporately, tending to do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than of the Spirit. The central problem is always in the midst of the people of God, not in the circumstances surrounding them.”

Francis A. Schaeffer – No Little People

A Still Small Voice

A screenshot of logic pro of an audio track being boosted using the Automation Tool

Today i’m editing audio interviews Sarah has recorded for the latest CD version of RNIB’s Outlook magazine. As i was using the automation tool (see above) to boost a part of Sarah’s voice, i instantly thought of the still small voice of God speaking to Elijah. 

1 Kings 19:12 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

12 and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 

I started thinking that its so easy for us to try and amplify the “still small voice” to align it with our noisy and busy lives, to try and keep doing everything we want to do and God will bless it anyway. We become so arrogant in our will, that we think we can manipulate God into fitting in (and agreeing) with our purpose driven lives, after all we are doing it for Him aren’t we?!

Are you bombarding God with foolish rantings, or are you ready to slow down and listen to His still small voice?

Lord, What Are You Trying To Teach Me?

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Recently I’ve been learning that life comes down to this:  God is in everything.  Regardless of what difficulties I am experiencing at the moment, or what things aren’t as I would like them to be, I look at the circumstances and say, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me?”

Catherine Marshall

Prayer For 2015

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Lord, I want to know You more. Deep within my soul I want to know You. In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I ask that You would stir up this desire I have to be intimate with You. I depend on You today, and every day this year, to reveal Yourself to me in any way that You choose.

Holy Spirit, please take the powerful, unchanging truths of Scripture and make them alive in fresh new ways each day of this coming year.

Heavenly Father, I praise You that You have given me the Living Word – Your words – through which I can hear from You and experience You. When it comes to my Bible, focus my heart on my relationship with You moment by moment, rather than my reading habits over the course of a year.

I ask in Jesus name, Amen.

An Evening With Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges! 😄

 Wow!! Just returned home from an evening of Worship at church, where we were blessed by the amazing voice of Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges and his Spiritual songs, it was an honour to meet him too! 🙂

Read about Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges on Wikipedia…. 

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Eugene 1

⇧ Eugene “Hideaway Bridges performing at our church ⇧ 

Eugene  Hideaway Bridges  Me

⇧ Me meeting Eugene during the interval 🙂 ⇧ 

Ephesians 5:19 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,

Knocking The Smell Out Of It

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“It must be the rain knocking the smell out of it”

My lovely wife Sarah

Sarah & were walking home from town in the pouring rain this afternoon, and as we walked past the lovely lavender plant which is on the wall of a nearby house, we were gifted with a beautiful scent of this lovely plant.

Sarah then saidIt must be the rain knocking the smell out of it

After a little chuckle i said “lol, yeah doesn’t that remind you a little of the Christian walk? The Holy Spirit spends our whole lives trying to knock the smell (the amazing fragrance of Grace) of of us!” 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

Interpret the theme humanity.

A photo of my tattoo of a inhuman ripping out of the skin

For this weeks photo challenge, I asked Sarah to take a photo of a tattoo i have on the lower half of my left leg. I had this done aged 21, unsaved yet fully sighted and thought it would add to my seriously bad attitude and reputation as i played football at the local 5 a side arena (where i’m band for life for being too aggressive, fighting etc, but that’s another story).

Little did i know that it was an image of my very own nature that was separating me from God. I had no idea that God would now use this tattoo as a conversation starter for me to share a little of how God saved me, and is now working through me in my new life….

All of humanity has a sin nature. This is a nature that is disobedient to God. At the same time, we do have a free choice to be good or bad. God gave all humans free will. We can choose to be good. We can choose to follow the Holy Spirit. We can choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. He gave us choice. We are not just driven by our instincts or our environment. Neither are we puppets of God. We choose to be either servants of God or servants of sin.

Sin Nature

Humans have a sin nature. A sin nature is basically a nature that is disobedient to God. We were all born with a sin nature that can be traced back through our ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve. This tendency for us to disobey God, our sin nature, continues today in that it was passed down from our forefathers.

Romans 5:12 advises us how sin has entered into all of mankind.

The Holy Spirit In Us…

Our human nature does not need to end in corruption and death that sin brings to our lives. If we choose to follow the spirit of God, we can have eternal life and not live in sin.

Galatians 6:8advises us that we can choose the Holy Spirit over our flesh.

Sanctification

Our human nature at it’s best is set aside for God. This is where we put God first. This is where we are willing vessels that purify ourselves to be set aside for God’s purpose.

1 John 3:3 and 2 Peter 1:6 advises us that humans can be pure and take on God’s divine nature.

More of my Weekly Photo Challenges

A Loving Character

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Loving God, please bless me with character as I resist those who are critical, cynical, and vengeful toward me. Please help me respond in a way that reflects the character and Lordship of Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A know-It-All Attitude

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Holy Spirit, bring familiar passages from Your living Word to mind. By Your power, make them living and active in my soul! Oh Lord, break me of any know-it-all attitude, so that I can experience You in fresh and new ways today, Amen.

We Are His Temple

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“We are his temple. We do not turn in a certain directlon to pray. We are not bound by having to go into a building so that we can commune with God. There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us. Even today He would overturn the tables of those who make it a marketplace for their own lust, greed, and wealth.”

Ravi Zacharias

Living & Active Sword

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Holy Spirit, unless You move in my heart and in my mind, the Bible will be little more than words on a page. Guide my thoughts, lead me in my prayers, so that these words might become Your living and active sword in my hand. Amen.

The Way You Should Live

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Ephesians 4:17-32 Easy-to-Read Version

The Way You Should Live

17 I have something from the Lord to tell you. I warn you: Don’t continue living like those who don’t believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. 18 They have no understanding, and they know nothing because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. 19 They have lost their feeling of shame and use their lives to do what is morally wrong. More and more they want to do all kinds of evil. 20 But that way of life is nothing like what you learned when you came to know Christ. 21 I know that you heard about him, and in him you were taught the truth. Yes, the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self gets worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil they want to do. 23 You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. 24 Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to him.

25 So you must stop telling lies. “You must always speak the truth to each other,”[a] because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 “When you are angry, don’t let that anger make you sin,”[b] and don’t stay angry all day. 27 Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you. 28 Whoever has been stealing must stop it and start working. They must use their hands for doing something good. Then they will have something to share with those who are poor.

29 When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. 30 And don’t make the Holy Spirit sad. God gave you his Spirit as proof that you belong to him and that he will keep you safe until the day he makes you free. 31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. 32 Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.

We Need You

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Father, help us to do your Word and not just hear it. Help us to live a life that is pleasing to you in what we say, what we watch, what music we listen to, what we wear, what we think, where we go, and how we live. help us to be mindful that we represent you. 

Help us to live by and lift up the standard that has already been set by your Son. Bring us into alignment with your Word & your will for our lives. Help us to be better stewards over our time, over our finances, over our resources, over our families, and over all that you have given us. Let our delight be in the Lord, the Word of God. Help us To meditate on your Word day & night. 

Please give us the Spirit of discernment so that your will for us might be made clear.

Help us Lord, we need you, in Jesus name, Amen.

iPray

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I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.

C. S. Lewis

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Have You Received This Gift?

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“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about? – Charlie Brown

“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know… the birth of Santa!” – Bart Simpson

Are you aware of this simple fact, that God couldn’t possibly love you more than He does right now? That He loves you as much as a perfect God can? That He loves you perfectly, and there’s nothing you can do to make Him love you more? There’s nothing you can do to earn His approval; you have it. Are you aware of that? Do you realise how deeply God loves you?” 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Have you received this gift? 

Father, today and through this season, give me the ability and the willingness to realise how deeply and passionately You love me. Amen.

Walk Wisely

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Ephesians 5:15-20 (VOICE)

So be careful how you live; be mindful of your steps. Don’t run around like idiots as the rest of the world does. Instead, walk as the wise! Make the most of every living and breathing moment because these are evil times. So understand and be confident in God’s will, and don’t live thoughtlessly. Don’t drink wine excessively. The drunken path is a reckless path. It leads nowhere. Instead, let God fill you with the Holy Spirit. When you are filled with the Spirit, you are empowered to speak to each other in the soulful words of pious songs, hymns, and spiritual songs; to sing and make music with your hearts attuned to God; and to give thanks to God the Father every day through the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed for all He has done.

Wisdom is a rare commodity. Paul urges believers, then and now, to walk wisely. It involves living well every day. Time itself seems to be co-opted by dark forces. But when believers understand God’s will, avoid drunkenness, and allow God to fill them with His Spirit, they are able to walk wisely and live well. The Spirit-filled life is not just for a special few; it is the normal Christian life, and it affects everything, including how we live in community and how we treat others at home.

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