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Riches and Poverty!

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Riches and Poverty! 

(J.C. Ryle, “Riches and Poverty!“)

Many in every age have disturbed society by stirring up the poor against the rich. But so long as the world is under the present order of things, universal equality cannot be attained.

So long as . . .
  some are wise, and some are foolish;
  some are strong, and some are weak;
  some are healthy, and some are diseased;
so long as children reap the fruit of their parent’s misconduct;
so long as sun, and rain, and heat, and cold, and wind, and waves, and drought, and blight, and storm, and tempest are beyond man’s control–so long will there be inequality in this world.

Take all the property in England by force this day, and divide it equally among the inhabitants. Give every person over twenty years old an equal portion. Let all share alike, and begin the world over again. Do this, and see where you would be at the end of fifty years. You would just have come round to the point where you began! You would just find things as unequal as before!

¬†¬† Some would have worked–and some would have been lazy;
¬†¬† some would have been always careless–and some always scheming;
¬†¬† some would have sold–and others would have bought;
¬†¬† some would have wasted–and others would have saved.
And the end would be that some would be rich–and others would be poor.

We might as well say . . .
  that all people ought to be of the same height, weight, strength, and cleverness;
  or that all oak trees ought to be of the same shape and size;
  or that all blades of grass ought to be of the same length
–as that all people were meant to be equal.

Settle it in your mind that the main cause of all the suffering you see around you, is sin. Sin is the grand cause . . .
¬† of the enormous luxury of the rich–and the painful degradation of the poor;
¬† of the heartless selfishness of the highest classes–and the helpless poverty of the lowest.

Sin must be first cast out of the world;
the hearts of all people must be renewed and sanctified;
the devil must be bound;
the Prince of Peace must come down and take His great power and reign
–all this must be before there ever can be universal happiness, or the gulf be filled up which now divides the rich and poor.

Beware of expecting a millennium to be brought about . . .
  by any method of government,
  by any system of education,
  or by any political party.

Labor to do good to all men; pity your poorer brethren, and help every reasonable endeavor to raise them from their low estate. Do not slacken your hand from any endeavor . . .
  to increase knowledge, 
  to promote morality,
  to improve the temporal condition of the poor.

But never, never forget . . .
  that you live in a fallen world,
  that sin is all around you,
  and that the devil is abroad.


The plague of unsatisfiedness

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The plague of unsatisfiedness

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of¬†covetousness; a man’s life does not consist in¬†the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15¬†

Covetousness is . . . 
  a very great and grievous sin;
  a mother sin;
  a breeding sin; 
  a sin which has all sin in its womb; 
  a very vile and heinous sin;
  the root of all evil.

Covetousness makes the soul¬†earthly–which should be¬†celestial.¬†

Covetousness is an evil which subjects men to the basest and vilest evils. 

Covetousness makes a man a fool! “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Luke 12:20

Covetousness robs a man of all true peace, comfort, contentment and quiet. 

Covetousness brings men into snares which drown their souls in perdition.

Covetousness renders men¬†unsatisfied¬†under all their outward enjoyments. Though a covetous wretch has enough to¬†sink¬†him–yet he can never have enough to¬†satisfy¬†him. First he wishes for a¬†bag¬†full, and then a¬†chest¬†full, and then a¬†room¬†full, and then a¬†house¬†full, etc.¬†

The plague of unsatisfiedness–is the great plague which covetous men are under. Certainly you shall as soon fill a triangle with a circle, and a chest with grace–as you shall be able to fill and satisfy a covetous mind with money.¬†

A covetous man is like a¬†swine–which is good for nothing while it lives.¬†
The horse is good to carry, 
the ox is good to draw, 
the sheep is good for cloth, 
the cow is good to give milk, 
and the¬†dog¬†is good to guard the house–
but the hog is good for nothing while he lives! 
Just so, a covetous man is only serviceable when he is dead. That scripture often proves true, “the riches of a sinner are laid up for the just.” Job 27:17¬†

No sin lays men under greater woes! 

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and¬†a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that¬†plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of¬†money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager¬†for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced¬†themselves with many griefs!” 1 Timothy 6:9-10¬†


Murder all his hearers at once!

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Murder all his hearers at once!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)

“The¬†leaders¬†of the people have led them down the path of destruction!” Isaiah 9:16

Take heed of settling yourselves under an unholy minister–of one whose¬†life¬†gives the lie to his doctrine. An unholy preacher is the greatest destroyer of the souls of men! He who preaches well, but¬†lives¬†bad–does what he can, to¬†murder all his hearers at once!¬†There is no greater bar to holiness, than ministers’ unholy lives. An unholy life mars the soundest and the sweetest doctrine. The¬†sins of teachers¬†are the¬†teachers of sins!¬†

An unholy minister is¬†the¬†greatest pest, the¬†worst plague, and the¬†greatest mischief–that can be to a people; for his enormities, his wickednesses, will have the strongest influences upon the souls and lives of men–to make them eternally miserable. His falls will be the fall and ruin of many; for people are prone to . . .
¬† live more by¬†examples–than by¬†precepts;
¬† mind more what the minister¬†does–than what he¬†says;
¬† eye more how he¬†walks–than how he¬†talks.¬†

Let a minister be ever so learned, solid, quaint, elegant, zealous, judicious, sententious, etc.–yet if he is carnal, covetous, worldly, vain, and loose in his life and walk, his hearers will rather slight and abhor the holy things of God.

When the preacher departs out of the way of holiness, the people will quickly wander from all that is good. He whose life is not a standing reproof to sin–will, by his life, encourage sinners more and more in a way of sin. There is nothing which keeps men so off from the love of holiness, and from the pursuing after holiness–than the unholy lives of their ministers.

“Watch your¬†life¬†and doctrine closely.” 1 Timothy 4:16

“Set an¬†example¬†for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12¬†

“In everything set them an¬†example¬†by doing what is good.” Titus 2:7

These Gergesites had rather lose Christ, than lose their porkers!

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These Gergesites had rather lose Christ, than lose their porkers!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)
 

“When they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region.” Matthew 8:34

A man bewitched with the world will prefer the most base and contemptible things before the Lord Jesus Christ. He will, with the Gergesenes, prefer his swine before a Savior, Matthew 8:28-34. 

When they saw what a sad market their hogs were brought to, they desired Christ to depart out of their country.¬†These Gergesites had rather lose Christ, than lose their porkers!¬†They had rather that the devil should possess their souls–than that Jesus should drown their pigs. They prefer their¬†swine, before their¬†salvation!

They present a wretched petition for their own damnation; they pleaded with Him to leave their region. Though there is no misery, no plague, no curse, no wrath, no Hell–compared to Christ’s departure from a people; yet men bewitched with the world will desire this. “When they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region.” Matthew 8:34


The dregs of old age!

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The dregs of old age!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)¬†

“Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my¬†end be like theirs!” Numbers 23:10

Many desire to repent when old age comes, when . . .
  their wits are cracked,
  their souls distracted,
  their senses stupefied,
  their hearts bewildered,
  their minds darkened and
  their bodies diseased and distempered.

Oh, then they think that they will be able to leap into Heaven, with a¬†“Lord have mercy upon me”¬†in their mouths.¬†Even though they have lived like devils–yet they hope they shall die like saints!

Do you think, O vain man–that after you have spent your¬† time, and wasted your strength, and exhausted your energies in the work of Satan, and in the service of your lusts–that God will receive you to His grace and favor? If you do thus flatter yourself–it is ten thousand to one that you will deceive yourself!¬†Though true repentance is never too late–yet late repentance is seldom true.Ah, how many millions are now in Hell–who have thought, and resolved, and said that they would repent hereafter–but that hereafter never came!¬†

You say¬†“Tomorrow, tomorrow I will repent,”¬†when you know not what a tomorrow will bring forth. Alas! how many thousand ways may¬†death¬†surprise you before tomorrow comes!¬†Though there is but one way to come into the world–yet there are a thousand thousand ways to be sent out of the world.¬†Oh, the diseases, the hazards, the dangers, the accidents, the deaths–which daily, which hourly attend the life of man!

Ah friends! it is a dangerous thing to make repentance to be the task of old age. 
The longer any man defers his repentance, the more difficult it will be for him to repent:
  his heart will every day grow more and more hard, 
  and his will more and more perverse, 
  and his judgment more and more corrupted, 
  and his affections more and more disordered, 
  and his conscience more and more benumbed or enraged, 
  and his whole life more and more defiled and debauched.

Friends, do not deceive yourselves! Old age is but a tottering and sinking foundation for you to build your eternal hopes and happiness upon–your eternal¬†making¬†or¬†marring¬†upon! Are the dog-days of old age–are the trembling hands, the wrinkled face, the failing eyes, the gasping lungs, the fainting heart, the feeble knees, and the broken down legs–are these a sacrifice worthy of a majestic God? Is a¬†body¬†full of sores, aches, and diseases–and a¬†soul¬†full of sin–an offering worthy of a holy God? Surely not!¬†

Oh, what madness, what wickedness is this: to serve¬†Satan, your¬†lusts, and this¬†world¬†with full dishes–and to put off¬†God¬†with scraps! To serve Satan, your lusts, and this world in the flower, in the prime and primrose of your days–and to put off God with¬†the dregs of old age!¬†Oh, do not let Satan deceive you, do not let your own hearts delude you!


The beauty and glory of a Christian!

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The beauty and glory of a Christian!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)¬†

Holiness will render you most beautiful and amiable. As holiness is the beauty of¬†God, and the beauty of¬†angels–so it is¬†the beauty and glory of a Christian¬†also. Holiness casts such a beauty upon man, as makes him very amiable and desirable.¬†

The redness of the rose, the whiteness of the lily, and all the beauties of the natural universe–are but¬†deformities¬†compared to that beauty which holiness puts upon us. If all natural beauty were contracted into one beauty–yet it would be but an obscure and an unlovely beauty, compared to that beauty which holiness puts upon us!

Holiness is lovely, yes–loveliness itself. Purity is a Christian’s splendor and glory. There is no beauty compared to that of sanctity; nothing beautifies and bespangles a man like holiness.¬†

Holiness is so attractive and so lovely a thing–that it draws all eyes and hearts to an admiration of it. Holiness is so great a beauty–that it puts a beauty upon all other excellencies in a man. That holiness is a very beautiful thing, and that it makes all those beautiful who have it–is a truth that no devil can deny!¬†

“Demetrius,” says Plutarch, “was so lovely of face, that no painter was able to draw him.” Just so, holiness puts so rare a beauty upon man–that no painter under heaven is able to draw him!¬†

Scipio Africanus¬†was so lovely a person, that the Spaniards stood amazed at his loveliness. Holiness puts such a loveliness, and such an amiableness upon a person–that many admire it, and stand amazed at it.¬†

O sirs, as ever you would be amiable and desirable–be holy!¬†

As ever you would be attractive and lovely–be holy!¬†

As ever you would outshine the sun in splendor and glory–labor to be holy!

Many have ventured their names, their estates, their liberties, their lives, yes, their very souls–to enjoy a lovely¬†Bathsheba, an attractive¬†Helena, a beautiful¬†Diana, a lovely¬†Cleopatra, etc.–whose beauties have been but¬†clay, well-colored. Oh, how much more, then, should you be provoked to labor and venture your all for holiness–which will imprint upon you that most excellent and most exquisite beauty; which will go to the grave and to glory with you; yes, which will render you not only amiable and excellent in the eyes of men–but also lovely and lovely in the eyes of God!

Unholy souls are . . .
  foul souls,
  ugly souls,
  deformed souls,
  withered souls,
  wrinkled souls,
  altogether unlovely souls.


Tears have a voice!

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Tears have a voice!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness”, 1662)

“The Lord has¬†heard¬†the¬†voice of my weeping.” Psalm 6:8

Tears have a voice.¬†God has an eye upon a man’s tears, as well as upon his prayers. Penitent tears are divine ambassadors, which never return from the throne of grace without answers of grace. Peter said nothing, but went out and wept bitterly–and obtained mercy. Tears are a kind of silent prayers, which will at last prevail for mercy.¬†

A sinner’s face never shines so beautiful, as when it is bedewed with penitential tears.

“I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears!” Isaiah 38:5

He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God!

 

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He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God!

(R.C. Sproul, “The Holiness of God”)

A god who is all love, all grace, all mercy–but no sovereignty, no justice, no holiness, and no wrath–is an idol!

The most violent expression of God’s wrath and justice is seen in the Cross. If ever a person had room to complain for injustice it was Jesus.¬†He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God!¬†

If we stagger at the wrath of God, then let us stagger at the Cross. Here is where our astonishment should be focused.

“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God!” 2 Corinthians 5:21¬†

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us!” Galatians 3:13¬†

“He humbled Himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:8¬†

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree!” 1 Peter 2:24

“Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God!” 1 Peter 3:18¬†

 


How wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is!

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How wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is!

(Charles Spurgeon) 

“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should–how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is!¬†May you¬†experience¬†the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.” Ephesians 3:18-19¬†

The love of Christ in its sweetness, its fullness, its greatness, its faithfulness–surpasses all human comprehension. Where shall language be found–which could describe His matchless, His unparalleled love towards His redeemed people? It is so vast and boundless that, as the swallow but¬†skims¬†the water, and dives not into its depths–so all descriptions of Jesus but touch the surface, while immeasurable depths lie beneath. Well might the poet say, “O love–you fathomless abyss!” for this love of Christ is indeed¬†measureless¬†and¬†fathomless; none can attain unto it!

Before we can have any right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand His previous¬†glory¬†in His height of majesty–and His¬†humiliation¬†upon the earth in all its depths of shame.¬†

But who can fathom the majesty and glory of Christ, when . . . 
  He was enthroned in the highest heavens;
  He was very God of very God;
  He made the heavens and all the hosts thereof;
  His own almighty arm upheld the spheres;
  the full chorus of the hallelujahs of the universe unceasingly flowed to the foot of His throne;
  He reigned supreme above all His creatures, as God over all, blessed forever! 
Who can fathom His height of glory then? 

And who, on the other hand, can fathom how low He descended? 
To become a¬†man¬†was something–to be a man of¬†sorrows¬†was far more.¬†
To bleed, and die, and suffer–these were much for Him who was the Son of God; but to suffer such unparalleled agony, to endure a death of shame and desertion by His Father–this is a depth of condescending love which the most inspired mind must utterly fail to penetrate!¬†

Herein is love! and truly it is love that surpasses knowledge!

O let His love for such unworthy sinners as us, fill our hearts with adoring gratitude. 


Walk in the Spirit!

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Walk in the Spirit!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18¬†

Walk in the Spirit¬†(let your steps be guided by the Spirit,)¬†and you will not gratify the evil desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16

Rich would the blessings of this day be, if we were filled with the Holy Spirit. The consequences of this¬†sacred filling of the soul, would be impossible to overestimate. Life, comfort, light, purity, power, peace; and many other precious blessings are inseparable from the Spirit’s gracious presence.

As¬†sacred oil–He anoints the head of the believer, sets him apart to the priesthood of saints, and gives him grace to execute his duties aright.¬†

As the only truly¬†purifying water–He cleanses us from the power of sin and sanctifies us unto holiness, working in us to will and to do of the Lord’s good pleasure.¬†

As the¬†holy light–He reveals the Lord Jesus to us, and guides us in the way of righteousness. Enlightened by His pure celestial ray, we are no longer walk in darkness–but in the light of Scripture truth.¬†

As¬†purifying fire–He both purges us from dross, and sets our consecrated nature ablaze. He is the sacrificial flame by which we are enabled to offer our whole souls as a living sacrifice unto God.¬†

As¬†heavenly dew–He removes our barrenness and nourishes our lives. O that He would drop from above upon us at this early hour! Such¬†morning dew¬†would be a sweet commencement for the day.¬†

As the¬†heavenly Dove, with wings of peaceful love–He broods over the souls of believers; and as a¬†Comforter¬†He dispels the cares and doubts which mar the peace of His beloved ones. He descends upon His chosen people, and bears witness to their sonship by working in them a filial spirit by which they cry¬†Abba, Father!¬†

As the¬†wind–He brings the breath of spiritual life to men. He performs the quickening operations by which the spiritual creation is animated and sustained.¬†

O that we might feel the Spirit’s presence and influence this day and every day!¬†


The Weaver!

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The Weaver!

(J.R. Miller)

The life that is given up to God in true devotion, need fear nothing. We may have our sorrows, our disappointments, our losses, but all of our life is in the hands of God–and no real harm can come to us. In all the events and experiences of our most difficult days–God is developing our graces and character!

Very beautiful is the figure of¬†the loom. God is¬†the Weaver. He has before Him the pattern into which He would fashion our lives. Some threads are white, some are dark–but the great Weaver will blend them so that the finished work will be beautiful.¬†

The Weaver! 
(Author unknown)

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper
And I the under-side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

“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¬†


The road by which the Spirit leads God’s children!

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The road¬†by which the Spirit leads God’s children!

(J.C. Ryle, “Heirs of God” 1878)

“As many as are¬†led by the Spirit of God–they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

All true Christians are under the¬†leading¬†and¬†teaching¬†of a power which is Almighty, though unseen–even the power of the Holy Spirit. They no longer turn to their own way, and walk in the light of their own eyes, and follow their own natural heart’s desire. The Spirit¬†leads¬†them. The Spirit¬†guides¬†them. There is a movement in their hearts, lives, and affections, which they feel–though they may not be able to explain; and a movement which is always more or less in the¬†same direction.

They are all led . . .
  away from sin, 
  away from self-righteousness, 
  away from the world!

This is¬†the road¬†by which the Spirit leads God’s children.¬†
Those whom God adopts as His children–He¬†teaches¬†and¬†trains.¬†
He shows them their own hearts. 
He makes them weary of their own ways. 

They are all led to Christ. 
They are all led to the Bible. 
They are all led to prayer. 
They are all led to holiness. 
This is the beaten path along which the Spirit makes them to travel.
Those whom God adopts–He always sanctifies.¬†
He makes sin very bitter to them. 
He makes holiness very sweet.

When they are taken into the¬†wilderness, and taught to see their own emptiness–it is the leading of the Spirit.¬†

It is He who leads them to Mount¬†Sinai, and first shows them the law–that their hearts may be broken.¬†

It is He who leads them to Mount¬†Calvary, and shows them the cross–that their hearts may be bound up and healed.

It is He who leads them to Mount¬†Pisgah, and gives them distinct views of the promised land–that their hearts may be cheered.¬†

Each and all of God’s children is the subject of these leadings.¬†
Each and all is led by the right way, to bring him to a city of habitation.

Settle this down in your heart, and do not let it go: the children of God are a people “led by the Spirit of God,” and always led more or less in the same way. Their experience will tally wonderfully when they compare notes in Heaven.

“I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” Proverbs 4:11¬†

“In your unfailing love You will¬†lead¬†the people You have redeemed.
¬†In Your strength You will¬†guide¬†them to Your holy dwelling.” Exodus 15:13¬†

The ultimate evil and the ultimate outrage in the universe!

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The ultimate evil and the ultimate outrage in the universe!

(John Piper)

What makes sin sin is not first that it hurts people, but that it blasphemes God. 
This is the ultimate evil and the ultimate outrage in the universe.

Sin is . . .

  the glory of God not honored,

    the holiness of God not reverenced,

     the greatness of God not admired,

      the power of God not praised,

       the truth of God not sought,

        the wisdom of God not esteemed,

          the beauty of God not treasured,

            the goodness of God not savored,

              the faithfulness of God not trusted,

           the commandments of God not obeyed,

        the justice of God not respected,

      the wrath of God not feared,

    the grace of God not cherished,

  the presence of God not prized,

the person of God not loved.

The infinite, all-glorious Creator of the universe, by whom and for whom all things exist (Romans 11:36)–who holds every person’s life in being at every moment (Acts 17:25)–is disregarded, disbelieved, disobeyed, and dishonored by everybody in the world. That is the ultimate outrage of the universe.


The sum of my complaints amounts to this!

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The sum of my complaints amounts to this!

(Letters of John Newton)

“Oh, what a wretched man I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” Romans 7:24¬†

I see much daily cause for humiliation–whether I look backward or inward.¬†The sum of my complaints amounts to this–that I am a sick sinner, diseased in every part. I am burdened with a body of sin and death.¬†

But I have a little book, which I am enabled to believe is the sure Word of God. The doctrines and promises I meet with in it, which we call¬†the gospel, exactly suit my needs–and the temper and conduct it is designed to form, agrees with my leading desires.¬†

I was once far otherwise minded, and would doubtless have remained so–had not almighty power and sovereign mercy softened my heart. I would therefore praise Him for what he has done, and wait upon Him to do more, for I can do nothing for myself. In the mean time, instead of complaining–I would try to be thankful.¬†

If He has begun a good work, I dare not indulge a doubt of His carrying it on to completion. If He who is¬†the infallible Physician¬†has undertaken my case–I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord!


Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

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Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

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(Samuel Davies, “The Preaching of Christ Crucified, the Means of Salvation”)

“Christ died for the ungodly!” Romans 5:6

In¬†the cross of Christ,¬†God’s hatred to sin¬†is manifested in the most striking light–and¬†the evil of sin¬†is exposed in the most dreadful colors! Now it appears, that such is the divine hatred against all sin, that God can by no means forgive sin, without punishment; and that all the infinite benevolence of His nature towards His creatures cannot prevail upon Him to pardon the least sin–without an adequate atonement.

Nay, now it appears that when so malignant and abominable a thing is but imputed to His dear Son, His co-equal, His darling, His favorite–that even He could not escape unpunished, but was made a¬†monument of vindictive justice¬†to all worlds!¬†

What can more strongly expose the evil of sin–than the cross of Christ?¬†Sin is such an intolerably malignant and abominable thing, that even a God of infinite mercy and grace cannot let the least instance of it pass unpunished!

It was not a small thing which could arm God’s justice against the Son of His love. Though He was perfectly innocent in Himself–yet when He was made sin for us–God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up unto death–the shameful, tormenting, and accursed death of the cross!

Go, you fools, who make a mock at sin! 
Go and learn its malignity and demerit–at the cross of Jesus!¬†

WHO is it that hangs there writhing in the agonies of death
 . . .
  His hands and feet pierced with nails,
  His side gashed with a spear,
  His face bruised with blows, 
  drenched with tears and blood,
  His heart melting like wax,
  His whole frame racked and disjointed,
  forsaken by His friends, and even by His Father,
  tempted by devils, 
  and insulted by men? 
Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?
 It is . . .
  Jesus, the eternal Word of God,
¬† God’s Elect, in whom His soul delights,
¬† God’s beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased!

And¬†WHAT¬†has He done?¬†He did no wickedness; He knew no sin–but was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.¬†

And WHY then, all these dreadful sufferings from Heaven, earth, and Hell? 
Why, He only stood in the law-place of sinners–He only received their sin by imputation.¬†
And you see what it has brought upon Him! 
You see how low it has reduced Him! 
What a horrid evil must that be–which has such tremendous consequences, even upon the Darling of Heaven!

Oh! what still more dreadful havoc would SIN have made, if it had been punished upon the sinner himself in his own person! Surely all the various miseries which have been inflicted upon our guilty world in all ages, and even all the punishments of Hell–do not so loudly proclaim the terrible¬†desert¬†and¬†malignity¬†of sin, as the cross of Christ!

The infinite malignity of sin and God’s hatred to it, appear nowhere in so striking and dreadful a light–as in the cross of Christ! Let a reasonable creature take but one serious view of that cross–and surely he must ever after tremble at the thought of the least sin!

An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation

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An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation

(J.I. Packer, “The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel”)

“You are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their¬†sins.”¬†Matthew 1:21¬†

If we do not preach about¬†sin¬†and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Savior from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from the sorrows of this world–then we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible. We are, in effect bearing false witness, preaching a false Christ, and our message is another gospel. Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Savior from sin, will not be found to save from anything else.

An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation
; and a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth.


He that has learned to feel his sins, and to trust Christ as his Savior, has learned the two hardest and greatest lessons in Christianity.

“He was delivered over to death for our¬†sins¬†and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans 4:25¬†

“He Himself bore our¬†sins¬†in His body on the tree” 1 Peter 2:24

I desire that this may be the text at my funeral:

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I desire that this may be the text at my funeral:

The Aged Christian’s Final Farewell to the World and its Vanities” John Whitson, 1558-1629)

I desire that this may be the text at my funeral:¬†Psalm 42:2, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.¬†When can I go and meet with God?”¬†

Oh! when shall I ascend to the eternal throne of blessedness, where no comforts are lacking? 

When shall I be covered with the glorious robe of immortality, and shine in the brightness of my Redeemer’s innocence?¬†

When shall I behold the lovely face of my Lord and dwell in the courts of His holy temple, where . . .
  all tears shall be wiped away from my eyes,
  all sorrows removed from my heart,
  and all sins and spots are done away? 

Where I shall exchange the dross of this world, for true and durable riches! 

Where, instead of these¬†earthly riches¬†which moth and rust corrupt–I shall enjoy the heavenly riches of perfect peace and good conscience, never to be lost!¬†

Instead of these false and flattering honors, I shall enjoy everlasting glory, and be admitted into the fellowship of my Redeemer to reign with Him in His glorious kingdom! 

Instead of vain and momentary pleasures, I shall be filled with fullness of joy and be ravished with those delights which neither eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive! 

Instead of this dark and cloudy knowledge, I shall have my heart enlightened with the beams of the true light! 

Instead of this feeble strength, I shall be endowed with the might of angels! 

Instead of this transitory health, I shall enjoy a powerful and immortal vigor! 

Instead of this¬†fading beauty, I shall be adorned with the loveliness of Christ’s spouse!¬†

Instead of long life, I shall be crowned with life eternal! 

We shall sing, Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God almighty! Heaven and Earth are full of your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord, most High.

And now, as the deer pants for the water-brooks, so longs my soul after You, O God! 
O that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest!
For whom have I in Heaven but You–and who is there upon earth that I desire but You?¬†
My heart and my strength fail me, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever!

Depths, heights, lengths and breadths of loveliness!

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Depths, heights, lengths and breadths of loveliness!

(Cornelius Tyree, “The Glorious Sufficiency of Christ!” 1879)

The more we love Him, the more lovely He will become to us.

We soon exhaust the most excellent characters of earth. But in the character of our blessed Redeemer there are¬†depths, heights, lengths and breadths of loveliness¬†that we can never exhaust through time or eternity. After, in Heaven, we shall have seen the King in His beauty as many millions of years as there are grains of dust in our globe–there will still be in Him an infinitude of unrevealed beauties to transport our ever expanding souls.

“He is fairer than the children of men,” and infinitely more lovely than all the holy angels, comprising in Himself all the graces of time and all the perfections of eternity.¬†

“He is the chief among ten thousand! Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” As every ray of light in the natural world may be traced up in converging rays to the sun–so every trait of moral loveliness found in good men and angels is but a feeble ray from Him, the sun of the moral universe.¬†

The school of spiritual knowledge

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The school of spiritual knowledge

(Octavius Winslow, “Trial, A Help Heavenward“)

The school of trial is the school of spiritual knowledge. 

“Blessed is the man whom You¬†chasten, O Lord; and¬†teach¬†out of Your law.”¬†
Oh yes, in severe trials we learn more of . . .
¬† God’s¬†power¬†to support us,¬†
  His wisdom to guide us, 
  His love to comfort us, 
  in a degree we could not have learned but in the way of trial!

In affliction, we grow in a knowledge of¬†ourselves, learning more of our superficial attainments, shallow experience, and limited grace. We learn, too, more of our weakness, emptiness, and vileness–the plough-share of trial penetrating deep into the heart and turning up its veiled iniquity. And oh, how does this deeper self-knowledge lay us low, humble and abase us. And when our self-sufficiency and our self-seeking and our self-glorying is thus mowed down–then the showers of the Savior’s grace descend “as rain upon the mown grass,” and so we advance in knowledge and holiness heavenward.¬†

Trial, too, increases our acquaintance with Christ. We know more of the Lord Jesus through one sanctified affliction, than by all the treatises the human pen ever wrote! Christ is only savingly known, as He is known personally and experimentally. 
Books cannot teach Him, 
sermons cannot teach Him, 
lectures cannot teach Him. 
They may aid our information and correct our views–but to know Him as He is, and as we ought, we must have¬†personal dealings¬†with Him.¬†

Our sins must bring us to His sin-atoning blood, 
our condemnation must bring us to His righteousness, 
our corruptions must bring us to His grace, 
our needs must bring us to His fullness, 
our weakness must bring us to His strength, 
our sorrow must bring us to His sympathy, and
His own loveliness and love must attract us to Himself. 

And oh, in one hour, in a single transaction, in a lone sorrow, which has brought us to Jesus–who can estimate how rapidly and to what an extent we have grown in a knowledge of His person and work, His character and love?¬†

Oh yes, times of trial are times of growth in experimental knowledge. We see God and Jesus and truth from new standpoints, and in a different light; and we thank the Lord for the storm which dispelled the mist which hid all this glory, unveiling so lovely a landscape and so serene a sky to our view. 

I have seen more of my own vileness, 
and known more of Jesus, 
and have penetrated deeper into the heart of God, 
and have a clearer understanding of revealed truth, 
and have learned more of the mysteries of the divine life
–on this bed of sickness, in this time of bereaved sorrow, in this dark cloud that has overshadowed me–than in all my life before!¬†

A corrupt heart was the source of all!

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A corrupt heart was the source of all!

(Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State“)

We have seen what man¬†was¬†as God made him–a lovely and happy creature.

Let us view him now as he has unmade himself–we shall see him a sinful and a miserable creature. This is the sad state we are brought into by the fall. Man’s nature is now wholly corrupted. There is a sad alteration–an astonishing overturning in the nature of man. Where, at first, there was nothing evil–now there is nothing good.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that¬†every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5

All our wicked practices are here traced to the fountain and spring-head–a corrupt heart was the source of all.¬†

The¬†soul, which was made upright in all its faculties–is now wholly disordered.¬†

The¬†heart, which originally was made according to God’s own heart–is now the reverse of it . . .
 a forge of evil imaginations,
 a sink of inordinate affections,
 and a storehouse of all impiety! Mark 7:21, 22 

Behold the heart of the natural man, as it is opened in our text: 

The mind is defiled.

The thoughts of the heart are evil.

The will and affections are defiled. 

The imagination of the thoughts of the heart, that is, whatever the heart frames within itself by thinking, such as judgment, choice, purposes, devices, desires, every inward motion–is evil. Yes, and¬†every¬†imagination–every frame of his thoughts, is evil continually.¬†

But is there not, at least, a mixture of good in them? No, they are only evil. Whatever changes may be found in them, are only from evil to evil; for the imagination of the heart, or frame of thoughts in natural men, is evil continually. Not one holy thought can ever be produced by an unholy heart.

O, what a vile heart is this! 

O, what a corrupt nature is this! 

What can that heart be, whereof every imagination, every set of thoughts–is only evil, and that continually!¬†

Surely that corruption is ingrained in our hearts, interwoven with our very natures, has sunk deep into our souls, and will never be cured but by a miracle of grace. Now such is man’s heart, such is his nature–until regenerating grace changes it!

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances!” Ezekiel 36:26-27¬†

All the jewels in the Savior’s crown are without a single flaw!

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All the jewels in the Savior’s crown are without a single flaw!¬†

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away, and will present you¬†faultless¬†with great joy into His glorious presence!” Jude 1:24¬†

Revolve in your mind that wondrous word “faultless”! We are far off from it now; but as our Lord never stops short of perfection in His work of redeeming love, every saved sinner shall be¬†without blemish¬†one day. The Savior who will keep His people to the end, will also present them at last to Himself as “a glorious Church,¬†without spot or wrinkle¬†or any such thing–but holy and without blemish!”

All the jewels in the Savior’s crown are without a single flaw!¬†

But how will Jesus make us faultless? He will wash us from our sins in His own blood, until we are as white and lovely as God’s purest angel! We shall be clothed in His perfect righteousness, which makes the saint who wears it truly faultless, perfect in the sight of God.

Also, the work of the Holy Spirit within us will be altogether complete. He will make us so perfectly holy, that we shall have no lingering tendency to sin. We shall be as holy as God is holy, and we shall dwell in His presence forever! 

“You are¬†altogether beautiful, My beloved–there is¬†no spot¬†in you!” Song of Songs 4:7

Sin gone, 
Satan shut out,
temptation past forever, 
and ourselves “faultless” before God
–this will be Heaven indeed!

Unto you who believe–He is precious!

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Unto you who believe–He is precious!

(Author unknown, 1872)

Unto you who believe–He is precious!” 1 Peter 2:7

It is to unbelievers only, that Christ is “as a root out of a dry ground”–having no form nor loveliness.¬†

To those who know Him, and put their trust in Him–He is the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely! To those who believe, He is precious . . .
  in all the offices He sustains,
  in all the relations He bears,
  as their atoning Sacrifice, 
  as the Lord their righteousness, 
  as the source of their spiritual life,
  as their Teacher,
  as their Example, 
  and as their Guide. 

O my soul, is Jesus precious to you? 

Do you realize something of His worth? 

Is He your Refuge, your Hiding-place? 

Are you sheltered in Him? 

Is He your Shepherd, your Guardian, your Friend? 

Do you feel that, whatever you are called to part with–you cannot part with Christ?¬†

Do you feel that that He is your Savior, your Life, your All? 

Oh, then cleave to Him, serve Him earnestly, and live to His glory! 

And know to your comfort, that as unworthy and sinful as you are–you are precious to Him. He bought you with His precious blood, He claims you as His own, and He will treasure you among His jewels when He comes to gather them up!

“Yes, Christ is precious to my soul,
 My transport and my trust;
 Jewels to Him are gaudy toys,
¬†And gold is sordid dust!”

Such a god should be derided, not worshiped!

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Such a god should be derided, not worshiped!

(William S. Plumer, “Providence Asserted” 1856)

“Our God is in Heaven;¬†He does whatever pleases Him!”¬†Psalm 115:3¬†

“The Lord does whatever pleases Him, throughout all Heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths.” Psalm 135:6

To deny God’s¬†providence¬†is as atheistic as to deny His existence.¬†

Nothing more derogatory to the character of God can possibly be said, than that He does not rule His world.

The world may as well be without a God, as have one who is incompetent to rule it. 

A God, who neither sees, nor hears, nor knows, nor cares, nor helps, nor saves–is a vanity, and can never claim homage from intelligent men.¬†Such a god should be derided, not worshiped!

“The Lord reigns,¬†let the nations tremble!”¬†Psalm 99:1¬†

“Hallelujah!¬†For our Lord God Almighty reigns!”¬†Revelation 19:6¬†

Calvary’s stupendous scene!

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Calvary’s stupendous scene!¬†

(Henry Law, “Family Prayers”)

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!” 1 John 4:9-10¬†

Holy Father, 
The heavens, the earth, and all that are therein, proclaim Your wondrous goodness. But Your love shines forth in surpassing luster at¬†Calvary’s stupendous scene!¬†At the cross we see Your heavenly grace removing the tremendous load of our iniquities from us–and¬†heaping them all on Your beloved Son!¬†We see Him standing as a transgressor in our place.¬†
We see Him, who knew no sin–made sin for us.¬†
We see Him, the all-holy One–accounted as a curse!¬†
We see Your justice leading the spotless Lamb to the slaughter, and rigorously demanding the full payment for all our sin-debt!

Your avenging sword enters into His very heart! 

The stream of sin-atoning blood flows! 

Full recompense is meted out!

Divine Justice can ask no more. 

Charges against us are all obliterated. 

The debt-book is cancelled. 
If our sins are searched for, they cannot now be found!

The¬†spotless Lamb¬†is devoted to all anguish–that we may be inheritors of all joy.¬†

He is cast off from You–that we may be brought near to You.¬†

He is treated as Your enemy–that we may be welcomed as Your friends.¬†

He is deserted by You–that we may be received to Your everlasting favor.¬†

He is surrendered to Hell’s worst–that we may attain Heaven’s best.¬†

He is stripped–that we may be clothed.¬†

He is wounded–that we may be healed.¬†

He thirsts–that we may drink of the water of life.¬†

He is in darkness–that we may rejoice in the glories of eternal day.¬†

He weeps–that all tears may be forever wiped from our eyes.¬†

He groans–that we may sing an endless song.¬†

He endures all pain–that we may rejoice in unfading health.¬†

He wears a crown of thorns–that we may receive a crown of glory.¬†

He bows His head in death–that we may lift up our head in Heaven.¬†

He bears earth’s reproach–that we may receive Heaven’s welcome.¬†

He is tormented–that we may be comforted.¬†

He is made all shame–that we may inherit all glory.¬†

His eyes are dark in death–that our eyes may gaze on unclouded brightness.¬†

He dies–that we may escape the second death, and live forevermore.¬†

O gracious Father, thus You spared not Your only begotten Son–that You may spare us!¬†

All our sins are cast behind Your back–all are¬†buried in the ocean of reconciling blood!¬†

We can only fall low and cry, “We adore You for the gift of Your Son as our substitute; for the death of Your Son as our ransom!”


Blessed Jesus, we have been standing beneath Your cross. 
The sight constrains us to the deepest humility. 
Our vile iniquity–is the cause of Your shame!¬†
We cannot fathom the sins which plunged You into such depths of unutterable woe! 
We cannot estimate the burden of wrath which thus crushed You. 
We cannot deny that the sins which stain us are evils of infinite malignity, since nothing but Your blood could wash away their guilty stains! As transgressors, we abhor ourselves before You.

While we humbly gaze–may we anxiously ponder,¬†“Why, blessed Jesus–why did You thus die?”¬†

May His precious answer sound through every part of our hearts and souls, 
“I die–that you may not die.¬†
¬†I lay down My life–to purchase your life.¬†
¬†I present Myself as a sin-offering to–expiate all your sins.¬†
¬†My blood thus streams–to wash out all your guilt.¬†
¬†The fountain is thus opened in My side–to cleanse you from all impurity.¬†
 I thus endure your curse.
 I thus pay your debt. 
 I thus rescue you from all condemnation. 
¬†I thus satisfy divine justice for you!”

How then distinguish them?

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How then distinguish them? 

(Thomas Guthrie, 1803-1873)

You may know a¬†sheep¬†from a¬†swine, when both have fallen into the same mire–and are, in fact, so bemired, that neither by coat nor color can the one be distinguished from the other.¬†

How then distinguish them? Nothing more easy! 

The¬†¬†sheep–a type of the godly–strives and struggles to¬†get out¬†of the muck.

But the swine, in circumstances agreeable to its nature, wallows in the filth. 

“What the true proverb says has happened to them: The dog returns to its own vomit, and¬†the swine, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”¬†2 Peter 2:22

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?¬†Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.¬†A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.¬†Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire!¬†Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”¬†Matthew 7:16-20¬†

What are the marks of a true shepherd?

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What are the marks of a true shepherd?

(Arthur Pink, 1939)

“Be an¬†example¬†to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your¬†faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

How diligently should those¬†who think of entering the ministry, scrutinize their¬†motives; for thousands have abused this Divine institution through love of ease, desire for authority and fame, or love of money–and brought upon themselves “greater condemnation” (James 3:1). Thousands have invaded the pastoral office in an unauthorized manner–to¬†fleece¬†sheep rather than¬†feed¬†them–robbing Christ of His honor and starving His people.¬†

Solemn beyond words is it to observe how sternly our Lord denounced these false shepherds of His day. (Matthew 23). As Ryle rightly said, “Nothing seemed so offensive to Christ as a false shepherd. Nothing ought to be so much feared by the Church, and be so plainly rebuked, opposed and exposed.”

What are the marks of a true shepherd?¬†How are God’s people to identify those called and qualified by Him to minister unto His people?¬†

First, the genuine pastor has¬†the doctrine of Christ on his LIPS. The ministers of the new covenant are described as those who had “renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness.” Christendom today is infested with men who are full of deceit and hypocrisy, trimming their sails according to whatever direction the¬†breeze of public opinion¬†is blowing.¬†

“We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2). The true servant of Christ holds back nothing which is profitable, no matter how unpalatable it may be unto his hearers. He is one who magnifies not himself, nor his denomination, but Christ–His wondrous Person, His atoning blood, His exacting claims.¬†

Second, the genuine pastor has¬†the Spirit of Christ in his HEART. It is the Spirit who opens to him the mysteries of the Gospel, so that he is “the faithful and wise servant” (Matthew 24:45). It is the Spirit of Christ who gives him a love for His sheep, so that it is his greatest delight to lead them into the green pastures of His Word. It is the Spirit of Christ who enables him to use “great boldness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12), so that he shuns not to declare all the counsel of God. It is the Spirit of Christ who makes him to be “prepared in season and out of season; to correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). It is the Spirit of Christ who gives efficacy to his ministry, making it fruitful according to the sovereign pleasure of God.¬†

Third, the genuine pastor has¬†the example of Christ in his LIFE, which is a conforming of him to the image of his Master. It is true, sadly true, that there is not one of them who does not fall far short both of the inward and outward image of Christ. Yet there are some faint tracings of His image visible in all His true servants. The image of Christ is seen in their words, spirit, and actions; otherwise we have no warrant to receive them as God’s servants.

Find a man (no easy task today!) who has . . .
   the doctrine of Christ on his lips,
   the Spirit of Christ in his heart,
   the example of Christ in his life,
and you find one of His genuine ministers. All others are but thieves and robbers!

We do not know what we might have been!

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We do not know what we might have been!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“God is our refuge and strength–a very present help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1

We do not know what we might have been–if God’s gracious protection had not been like a wall of fire around us, as it still is–for the Lord continues to deliver all who put their trust in Him.¬†

Believe with unquestioning confidence that God is delivering you even now. You know that He¬†has¬†delivered you–be just as sure that He will continue to help you in every time of trouble.

“I am locked in a prison of despair!” Yes, but your Lord has a key that can open the door and let you out.¬†

“I am in great poverty!” another says. But He knows all about it, and He is going to supply all your needs.¬†

Yet another says, “But I am fainting!” God is near, ready to revive and encourage your fainting soul.

Perhaps a person says, “I find faith for the past and the ultimate future quite easy, but I don’t have enough faith for the present.” We sometimes forget that God is “a very¬†present¬†help in times of trouble,” but it is true.¬†

There may be many trials before you, but there is an abundance of mercy ready to meet those trials. There may be troubles that you do not know yet, as well as repetitions of those you have experienced. But the Lord will give you strength and will continue to deliver you.

As the eyes gradually fail, and the limbs grow weak, and the¬†infirmities of old age¬†creep over us–we are likely to be distressed, but our Lord will not forsake us.¬†

When severe¬†sickness¬†invades our earthly bodies and our pains multiply and intensify–we wonder how we will endure.

As we consider our¬†death–we wonder how we will be able to bear our last hours.¬†

Be encouraged: He who¬†has¬†delivered and¬†does¬†deliver–will¬†continue¬†to deliver.¬†
Even as the trial comes, the Lord will show you a way of escape.

He¬†has¬†delivered you–give Him your gratitude.¬†
He¬†is¬†delivering you–give Him your confidence.¬†
He¬†will¬†deliver you–begin now to praise Him for mercies that He has yet to show you, and for grace that you have not yet experienced but that He will grant you in the future.

“He¬†has¬†delivered us from such a deadly peril–and He¬†will¬†deliver us!” 2 Corinthians 1:10¬†

The Lord is My Shepherd!

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The Lord is My Shepherd!

(J.R. Miller, 1905)

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need!” Psalm 23:1¬†

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd.¬†He will carry the¬†lambs¬†in His arms,¬†holding them close to His heart.¬†He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young!”¬†Isaiah 40:11

The¬†shepherd¬†is a favorite Scriptural picture of the divine love and care. In the Old Testament, the twenty-third Psalm gathers the whole wonderful truth in exquisite lines which are dear to young and old wherever the Bible is known. Then in the New Testament, when our Lord would give His friends the sweetest revealings of His heart toward them, and tell them what they are to Him and what He would be to them, He says,¬†“I am the Good Shepherd.”

The Hebrew shepherd¬†lives¬†with his sheep. If they are out in the storm–he is with them. If they are exposed to danger–so is he. Just so, Christ lives with His redeemed people. He enters into closest relations with them.

The shepherd¬†knows¬†his sheep. He has a¬†name¬†for each one and calls them all by their names. Just so, Christ knows each one of His friends–He has intimate personal knowledge of each one. He knows the best in us–and also the worst. He knows our faults, our sins, our wanderings. Yet, knowing us as we are–He loves us still and never wearies of us!

The shepherd is most¬†gentle¬†with his sheep. He does not¬†drive¬†them–but goes before them and¬†leads¬†them. When they need rest on the way–he makes them lie down, and chooses for their resting-place, not the dusty road–but¬†green pastures. He is especially kind to the¬†lambs,¬†carrying them in His arms,¬†holding them close to His heart. All this is an exquisite picture of the¬†gentleness of our Good Shepherd in His care of His sheep.¬†Whatever the need is, there is something in the heart of Christ which meets its craving and supplies its lack!¬†

The shepherd defends his flock in all danger. Often he had to risk his own safety, even his life, in protecting his sheep. Just so, the Good Shepherd gives His life for His sheep!

Christ’s sheep are absolutely¬†safe¬†in His keeping. “I give unto them eternal life,” He said; “and they will never perish–ever! No one can snatch them out of My hand!”¬†

Then at last, He will bring His own all¬†safely home, “and they shall become one flock, with one Shepherd!”

The most potent force for the production of virtue!

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The most potent force for the production of virtue!
(Charles Spurgeon)

“The HOPE which is reserved for you in Heaven.” Colossians 1:5¬†

Our hope in Christ for the future, is the mainspring and the mainstay of our joy here on earth.It will animate our hearts to think often of Heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there. 

Here on earth we are weary and toil-worn. Yonder is the land of rest, where the sweat of labor shall no more bedew the worker’s brow, and fatigue shall be forever banished. To those who are weary and woe-worn, the word “rest” is full of Heaven.

We are always in the field of battle. We are so tempted within, and so molested by foes without–that we have little or no peace! But in Heaven we shall enjoy the victory, when the banner shall be waved aloft in triumph, and the sword shall be forever sheathed, and we shall hear our Captain say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!”¬†

We have suffered bereavement after bereavement–but we are going to the land of the immortal, where graves are unknown things.¬†

Here on earth, sin is a constant grief to us–but there we shall be perfectly holy, for nothing which defiles shall enter into that pure kingdom! Hemlock does not spring up in the furrows of celestial fields.¬†

Oh! is it not joy, that we are not to be in a state of banishment forever–that we are not to dwell eternally in this wilderness, but shall soon inherit everlasting glory!

Nevertheless let it never be said of us, that we are dreaming about the future–and forgetting the present. Let the future sanctify the present to highest uses. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the hope of Heaven is the most potent force for the production of virtue! It is a fountain of joyous effort–it is the cornerstone of cheerful holiness.¬†

The man who has this hope in Jesus goes about his work with vigor, for the joy of the Lord is his strength. He fights against temptation with ardor, for the hope of the next world repels the fiery darts of the adversary. He can labor without present reward, “for here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come!” Hebrews 13:1
 
“The hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time!” Titus 1:2¬†

“While we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!” Titus 2:13¬†

“Having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7¬†

The wedding feast!

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The wedding feast!

(Octavius Winslow) 

“Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the time has come for¬†the wedding feast¬†of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself.” Revelation 19:7¬†

Jesus sustains no relation to His Church more expressive than this. From all eternity He betrothed her to Himself. He asked her at the hands of her Father, and the Father gave her to Him. He entered into a covenant that she should be His. The conditions of that covenant were great, but not too great for His love to undertake. They were that He should . . . 
  assume her nature, 
  discharge her legal obligations, 
  endure her punishment, 
  repair her ruin, and 
  bring her to glory! 

He undertook all, and He accomplished all–because He loved her!¬†

The love of Jesus to His Church, is the love of the most tender husband. It is . . . 
  exclusive, 
  constant, 
  affectionate, 
  matchless, 
  wonderful. 

Jesus . . . 
  sympathizes with her, 
  nourishes her, 
  provides for her, 
  clothes her, 
  watches over her, and 
  indulges her with the most intimate and endearing communion. 

The Lord Jesus will come in the clouds of Heaven, and this will be the occasion of His public wedding of His Church. Her¬†presentunion to Him is secret and unknown–invisible to the world. But He will appear, openly and visibly to take her to Himself; and before His Father and the holy angels He will solemnize her eternal union.

Oh what a time of splendor and of rejoicing will that be! Arrayed in His nuptial robes, Jesus will descend to make her His own; and she, “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” will go forth to meet Him. Then will be heard the song of angels, “Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the time has come for¬†the wedding feast¬†of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself.”¬†

Yes! “Blessed are they who are called unto¬†the wedding feast¬†of the Lamb.”

Three rules for a happy marriage

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Three rules for a happy marriage

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Mark” 1857)

Of all relationships of life, none ought to be regarded with such reverence and none taken in hand so cautiously, as the relationship of husband and wife. 

In no relationship is so much earthly happiness to be found, if it is entered upon discreetly, advisedly, and in the fear of God. In none is so much misery seen to follow, if it is taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, wantonly, and without thought. 

From no step in life does so much¬†benefit¬†come to the soul, if people marry “in the Lord.” From none does the soul take so muchharm, if imagination, passion, or any mere worldly motive is the only cause which produce the union.¬†

There is, unhappily, only too much necessity for impressing these truths upon people. It is a mournful fact, that few steps in life are generally taken with so much levity, self-will, and forgetfulness of God, as marriage. Few are the young couples who think of inviting Christ to their wedding! 

It is a mournful fact that unhappy marriages are one great cause of the misery and sorrow of which there is so much in the world. People find out too late that they have made a mistake, and go in bitterness all their days. 

Happy are they, who in the matter of marriage observe three rules: 

The first is to¬†marry only in the Lord, and after prayer for God’s approval and blessing.¬†

The second is not to expect too much from their partners, and to remember that marriage is, after all, the union of two sinners, and not of two angels. 

The third rule is to strive first and foremost for one another’s sanctification. The more holy married people are, the happier they are.

Yay….11th Wedding Anniversary & The Marriage Altar‚ÄĒand After

Yay…..It’s Our 11th Wedding anniversary!!

Hi all…..Today is a really long post as it’s a special day for Sarah & i. I really hope you read through to the end and be blessed! 

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‚ÄĒcompletely free from all impurity‚ÄĒholy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can‚Äôt 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! ūüôā¬†

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.

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 wedding photo

Sarah on wedding day png1

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The Marriage Altar‚ÄĒand After

J. R. Miller, 1880

preparations are all at last made. The bridal dress is completed. The day has been fixed. The invitations have been sent out. The hour comes. Two young hearts are throbbing with love and joy. A brilliant company, music, flowers, a solemn hush‚ÄĒas the happy pair approach the altar, the repetition of the sacred words of the marriage ceremony, the clasping of hands, the mutual covenants and promises, the giving and receiving of the ring, the final “Whom God has joined together‚ÄĒlet not man put asunder,” the prayer and blessing‚ÄĒand the¬†twain are one flesh. There are tears and congratulations, hurried good-byes, and a new bark puts out upon the sea, freighted with high hopes. God grant it may never be¬†dashed upon any hidden rock¬†and wrecked!

Marriage is very like the bringing together of two instruments of music. The first thing, is to get them keyed to the same pitch. Before a concert begins you hear the musicians striking chords and keying their instruments, until at length they all perfectly accord. Then they come out and play some rare piece of music, without a discord or a jar in any of its parts.

No two lives, however thorough their former acquaintance may have been, however long they may have moved together in society or mingled in the closer and more intimate relations of a ripening friendship, ever find themselves¬†perfectly in harmony¬†on their marriage-day. It is only when that¬†mysterious blending¬†begins after marriage, which no language can explain‚ÄĒthat each finds so much in the other that was never discovered before. There are¬†beauties¬†and¬†excellences¬†that were never disclosed, even to¬†love’s partial eye, in all the days of familiar intimacy. There are¬†peculiarities¬†and¬†blemishes¬†which were never seen to exist‚ÄĒuntil they began to make themselves manifest within the veil of the matrimonial temple. There are¬†incompatibilities¬†that were never dreamed of‚ÄĒuntil they were revealed in the abrasions of domestic life. There are¬†faults¬†which neither even suspected, in the temper and habits of the other!

Before marriage young people are on their good behavior. They do not¬†exhibit their infirmities.¬†Selfishness¬†is hidden under garments of courtesy and gallantry. Each forgets¬†SELF‚ÄĒin romantic devotion to the other. The voice is softened and made tender, and even tremulous, by¬†love. The music flows with a holy rhythm mellowed by affection’s gentleness. Everything that would make an unfavorable impression, is scrupulously put under lock and key. So there is harmony of no ordinary sweetness made by the two young lives, unvexed by one discordant note.

Marriage is a¬†great mystery. “The¬†twain¬†shall be¬†one¬†flesh” is no mere figure of speech. Years of closest, most familiar, most unrestrained intimacy, bring lives very close together‚ÄĒbut there is still a¬†separating wall¬†which marriage breaks down. The two lives become one. Each opens every nook, every chamber, every cranny, to the other. There is a mutual interflow, life pouring into life.

There may have been no intention on the part of either, to deceive the other in the smallest matter, or to cloak the smallest infirmity. But the disclosure could not, in the very nature of things, have been any more perfect. Each stood in the porch of a house, or at the most sat in its parlor, never entering any of the inner rooms. Now the whole house is thrown open, and many hitherto unsuspected things are seen!

Too often the¬†restraint¬†seems to fall off, when the¬†matrimonial chain¬†is riveted. No effort is longer made to curb the bad tempers and evil propensities. The delicate robe of politeness is torn away, and many a rudeness appears. It seems to be considered no longer necessary, to continue the old thoughtfulness.¬†Selfishness¬†begins to assert itself. The¬†sweet amenities¬†of the wooing-days are laid aside‚ÄĒand the result is unhappiness! Many a young bride cries herself sick half a dozen times, before she has been a month a bride, and wishes she were back in the bright, happy home of her youth! Oftentimes both the newly-wedded pair become discouraged, and think in their hearts that they have made a mistake!

And yet there is really no reason for discouragement. The marriage may yet be made happy. There is need only for large and wise patience. The two lives require only to be brought into harmony, and¬†love’s sweetest music¬†will flow from two hearts in tender unison. But there are several rules which must always be remembered and observed.

Why, for instance, should either party, after the wedding-day, cease to observe all the sweet courtesies, little refinements and charming amenities of the courtship-days? Why should a man be¬†polite¬†all day to everyone he meets‚ÄĒeven to the porter in his store, and the bootblack or newsboy on the street‚ÄĒand then less polite to her who meets him at his door with yearning heart hungry for expressions of love? If things have gone wrong with him all day, why should he carry his gloom to his home to darken the joy of his wife’s tender heart? Or why should the woman who used to be all smiles and beauty and adornment and perfume when her lover came, meet her husband now with disheveled hair, soiled dress, slovenly manner and¬†face all frowns? Why should there not be a resolute continuance of the old politeness and mutual desire to please‚ÄĒwhich made the wooing-days so sunny?

Then love must be lifted up out of the realm of the¬†passions¬†and¬†senses‚ÄĒand be spiritualized. There should be converse on the¬†higher themes¬†of life. Many people are¬†wedded¬†only at one or two points. Their natures know but the lower forms of pleasure and fellowship. They never commune on any topic, but the most earthy. Their¬†intellectual¬†parts have no fellowship. They never read nor converse together on elevated themes. There is no commingling of mind with mind; they are dead to each other, in that higher region.¬†

Then still fewer are¬†wedded¬†in their highest, their spiritual natures. The number is small, of those who commune together concerning the things of God, the soul’s holiest interests and the realities of eternity. No marriage is complete‚ÄĒwhich does not unite and blend the wedded lives at every point. Husband and wife should be wedded along their whole nature.

This implies that they should read and study together, having the same line of thought, helping each other toward higher mental culture. It implies also that they should worship together, communing with one another upon the holiest themes of life and hope. Together they should bow in prayer, and together work in anticipation of the same blessed home beyond this life of toil and care. I can conceive of no true and perfect marriage, whose deepest joy does not lie forward in the life to come.

Perfect¬†mutual confidence¬†is an element of every complete marriage. Husband and wife should¬†live but one life, sharing all of each other’s cares, joys, sorrows and hopes. There should not be a corner in the nature and occupation of either‚ÄĒwhich is not open to the other. The moment a man has to begin to shut his wife out from any¬†chapters of his daily life¬†he is in peril; and in like manner her whole life should be open to him. There should be a flowing together of heart and soul in close communion and perfect confidence. No discord can end in harm‚ÄĒwhile there is such mutual inter-sphering of lives and such inter-flowing of souls.

Once more, no third party should ever be taken into this holy of holies. No matter who it is‚ÄĒthe sweetest, gentlest, dearest, wisest mother; the purest, truest, tenderest sister; the best, the loyalest friend‚ÄĒno one but¬†God¬†should ever be permitted to know anything of the secret, sacred married life, that they twain are living. This is one of those relations with which no stranger, though he be the closest bosom friend, should intermeddle. Any¬†alien touch¬†is sure to leave a blight.

There are certain¬†influences¬†that bring out all the warmth and tenderness needed to make any marriage very happy. When one is sick, how gentle and thoughtful it makes the other! Not a want or wish is left unsupplied. All the heart’s affections‚ÄĒlong slumbering, perhaps‚ÄĒare awakened and become intent on most kindly ministry. No service is thought a hardship now, or done with any show of reluctance. There is not a breath or look of impatience. Love flows out in¬†tone¬†and¬†look¬†and¬†word¬†and¬†act. There is an¬†inexpressible tenderness¬†in all the bearing. Even the coldest natures become gentle in the sick-room, and the rudest, harshest manners become soft and warm at the¬†touch of suffering¬†in the beloved one.¬†

Or let death come to either, and what an awakening there is of all that is holiest and tenderest and sweetest in the heart of the other! If the dead could be recalled and the wedded life resumed, would it not be a thousand times more loving than ever it was before? Would there be any more the old¬†impatience, the old¬†selfishness? Would there not be the fullest sympathy, the largest forbearance, the warmest outflow of the heart’s most kindly feelings?

And why may not married life be lived day by day, under the power of this wondrous influence? Why wait for¬†suffering¬†in the one we love‚ÄĒto¬†thaw out the heart’s tenderness, to melt the icy chill of neglect and indifference, and to produce in us the summer fruits of affection? Why wait for¬†death¬†to come‚ÄĒto reveal the beauty of the plain life that moves by our side, and disclose the value of the blessings it enfolds for us? Why should we only learn to appreciate and prize love’s splendors and its sweetness‚ÄĒas it vanishes out of our sight?¬†

Why should the¬†empty chair‚ÄĒbe the first revealer of the real worth of those who have walked so close to us? Why should sorrow over our loss‚ÄĒbe the first influence to draw from our hearts, the tenderness and the wealth of kindly ministries that lie pent up in them all the while? Surely, wedded life should call out all that is richest, truest, tenderest, most inspiring and most helpful in the life of each. This is the¬†true ideal¬†of Christian marriage. Its love is to be like that of Christ and his Church. It should not wait for the¬†agony of suffering¬†or the¬†pang of separation¬†to draw out its tenderness‚ÄĒbut should fill all its days and nights with¬†unvexed sweetness!

There are many such marriages. Few more beautiful pictures of wedded love were ever unveiled, than that which was lived out in the home of Charles Kingsley. His wife closes her loving memoir with these words, “The outside world must judge him as an author, a preacher, a member of society‚ÄĒbut those only who lived with him in the intimacy of every-day life at home‚ÄĒcan tell what he was as a man. Over the real romance of his life, and over the tenderest, loveliest passages in his private letters‚ÄĒa veil must be thrown‚ÄĒbut it will not be lifting it too far to say that if in the highest, closest of earthly relationships, a love that never failed‚ÄĒpure, patient, passionate‚ÄĒfor thirty-six years‚ÄĒa love which never stooped from its own lofty level‚ÄĒto a hasty word, an impatient gesture or a selfish act, in sickness or in health, in sunshine or in storm, by day or by night, could prove that the age of chivalry has not passed away forever‚ÄĒthen Charles Kingsley fulfilled the ideal of a ‘most true and perfect knight’ to the one woman blessed with that love in time, and to eternity. To eternity, for such love is eternal, and he is not dead. He himself, the man, the lover, husband, father, friend‚ÄĒhe still lives in God, who is not the God of the dead‚ÄĒbut of the living.”¬†

And why should, not every marriage in Christ, realize all that lies in this picture? It is possible, and yet only noble manhood and womanhood, with truest views of marriage and inspired by the holiest love, can realize it.

Sarah & i in Love Heart

Love At First Sight Village! (10 Years On!!!)

¬†Today i‚Äôm celebrating 10 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at ‚ÄúSight Village, Birmingham‚Ä̬†

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors from throughout the world take part and they welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

I was there (from Derby) working for a charity called LOOK and Sarah was there (from Surrey) working for RNIB. She came to my table as she had a magazine which she had just published an article about LOOK and wanted to show me. Sarah opened the magazine and said here are the pictures and the article, i said ‚ÄúWow, fantastic, it all looks great‚ÄĚ which made Sarah quite proud of her work. I then said while laughing ‚Äúyou know i didn‚Äôt see any of what you‚Äôve just shown me, as i‚Äôm blind!‚ÄĚ. Then as always, a brief pause as Sarah checks out my eyes to see if i‚Äôm joking, then Sarah laughed and said ‚ÄúNo way, me too!‚ÄĚ. We both approach blindness in a similar way and love blossomed from that point. ūüôā

Sarah  i 2005

 ⇧ 2005 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2006

Me Sarah  Bruce 2006

 ⇧ 2006 ⇧ 

Sarah  I Wedding photo

 ⇧ 2007 ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Bruce 2009

⇧ 2008 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2009

⇧ 2009 ⇧   

Valentines heart

 ⇧ 2010 ⇧ 

Steve sarah at friday street1

⇧ 2011 ⇧  

Sarah  i 2012

Me  Sarah in Church

 ⇧ 2012 ⇧  

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

 ⇧ 2013 ⇧ 

Sarah  i

 ⇧ Last Week ⇧

Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

My Thoughts¬†ūüí≠

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

ūüôŹ Prayer

Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

A Wedding Sandwich

Well it‚Äôs been an emotional (but rewarding) couple of weeks with a wedding sandwiched between 2 funerals. 1st was Sarah‚Äôs Grans funeral (see¬†ūüĆĻBeautiful RosaūüĆĻ) then my sisters wedding (see My Sisters Wedding) and today we celebrated Sarah‚Äôs Spiritual guide & support Audrey Broderick‚Äôs life at a beautiful and moving memorial service. During the service Audrey had requested a poem to be read and i thought i‚Äôd share it with you‚Ķ.

You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins, © 1981

My Sisters Wedding

Sarah & i travelled back up to Derby over the weekend for my Sisters (Charlotte) wedding. It was a blessing to be there for her & Marcellus and share their special day. We loved being around family and also got to catch up with others i‚Äôve not seen in years! ūüôā All photos were taken using my iPhone.

C  M Wedding 10  Charlotte  Marc

‚áß Marcellus & Charlotte ‚áß

Marcellus  Charlotte 2

‚áß Marcellus & Charlotte 2 ‚áß

Marcellus  Charlotte Kiss

‚áß The Kiss ‚áß

Me Marc Charlotte  Ambber

‚áß Me, Marcellus, Charlotte & Ambber (my other Sister) ‚áß

C  M Wedding 3

‚áß Family & Friends ‚áß

Friends

‚áß Marcellus & Tony ‚áß

C  M Wedding 17

‚áß ūüôā ‚áß

C  M Wedding 7  Taylor

⇧ My Niece Taylor (right) & friend ⇧ 

C  M Wedding 4  Saff

 ⇧ My Niece Saffy ⇧ 

C  M Wedding 12  Saira

⇧ My Niece Saira ⇧ 

See also: Weddings Page

Visiting Family In Derby

If you’re wondering why i’ve been so quiet for the last few days…..…Sarah & i have been visiting family & friends in my hometown of Derby, Derbyshire,

It was amazing to catch up with as many as i could as i don‚Äôt get to see them very often, and it was sad not too catch up with my brother Paul. Below are some great memories of my trip. Hope you enjoy! ūüôā

Me stood in our hotel window

‚áß Surprised to find this great window in our hotel room! ūüôā ‚á߬†

Sarah next to the river with the Cathedral in the background.jpg

 ⇧ Sarah & i had a lovely riverside walk ⇧ 

Derby Cathedral

  ⇧ Derby Cathedral (i proposed to Sarah inside, 9 years ago ⇧ 

Me  my 2 sisters Ambber  left  Charlotte

 ⇧ Me and my 2 sisters, Ambber (left) & Charlotte ⇧ 

Ambber Sarah Me Charlotte  Marc

 ⇧ From left: Ambber, Sarah, Me, Charlotte & Marc ⇧ 

A photo of me with my beautiful niece Saira

 ⇧ Me with Saira (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧ 

Saira (one of my beautiful nieces).jpg

 ⇧ Saira ⇧ 

Saffy (one of my beautful nieces) .jpg

 ⇧ Saffy (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧  

Taylor (one of my beautiful nieces).jpg

 ⇧ Taylor (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧ 

Me, Eileen (step mum), my Dad, Sarah, Saira, Saffy & Taylor 1.jpg

¬†‚áß From back left: My Dad, Eileen (my step mum), Me, Sarah, Saira, Saffy & Taylor “”

Ben  brother in law my Dad Eileen  my step mum Me Saira Saffy  Taylor

 ⇧ From back left: Ben (my brother in law), Dad, Eileen, Me, Saira, Saffy & Taylor ⇧ 

All photos taken with my iPhone 5s

Related Posts: Families

‚úě Music “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham (ft Shane & Shane)

“You’re Beautiful”

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who You are
You’re beautiful

I see You there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now You are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful

I see Your face, I see Your face
I see Your face, You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful


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