Archive for July, 2014

Scotland and Montreal – A Miracle of Prayer – from a booklet by W.A. Weir

July 28, 2014

 

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I recently said farewell, once more, to one of my daughters who is travelling very much these days. Mothers and fathers the world over watch sadly at the last sight of their children waving goodbye to them at airports and indeed some may even wonder if they will ever see them again…

Thankfully, we have many more means of communication in this era but still the parting can take its toll on us. Not long after my daughter’s departure, I found a copy of an old booklet entitled: “Landing Safely” by the late William A. Weir from Northern Ireland who was once a preacher who produced other similar booklets. One true story in this booklet spoke especially to me last week and I feel led to share it at this time. What a miraculous answer to prayer – and the same Lord who answered this mother’s prayer, lives to answer ours today!

“The letters from her son in America ceased entirely, and when his mother wrote anxiously begging for a reply, no answer came. His home in Scotland had been happy, with every advantage that could give contentment. It was a Christian home, but religion was not forced on the children. The mother was a woman of great faith, and saw many remarkable answers to prayer. However her son, whom we will call John, wanted to see the world, and not long after his father’s death he left home and Scotland. He found a good job; all seemed to go well with him, and he wrote by every mail. Then he decided to give up his job, and to travel for a time, and therefore could give no address. No reason was given, and it was at this point the correspondence stopped. The only mention he had made of any place was that he might call at Montreal.

The days of silence lengthened into weeks, and the weeks into months, and the mother became intensely anxious, feeling that she had lost her son for good. She had prayed often for him, but now she cried with intense earnestness for some contact with her son, and above all that his soul might be saved for Eternity. Then early one morning while she was thinking and praying, someone seemed to stand by her side, and a voice said to her: “Write to the Young Men’s Christian Association at Montreal, Canada.” She was quite bewildered. The vision was all so clear, yet so strange. The words sounded in her ears, and she felt it was a voice from Heaven. Resolving to write at once she knelt down and asked God what to say in her letter. With a deep sense of inspiration she wrote to the Montreal Y.M.C.A., giving her son’s full name and description, with all the circumstances of the case. She asked them to call a special meeting for prayer, on a certain day and at a set hour, both of which she named, adding that she would unite with them in prayer at that appointed hour. The letter went off, and she waited, counting the days until an answer would come, as she was convinced the call to write was the voice of God.

At last the answer came with the assurance that her desire would be carried out. The fixed day and hour arrived and a number of people met in the Montreal Y.M.C.A., and a time of earnest prayer followed for this unknown young man. The hour passed and the closing hymn was being sung, when a young man entered the hall, and took a seat next to the leader, as though directed to do so. As the hymn ended the Secretary explained to him that the meeting was over, and he was sorry he had been late. The stranger answered: “I do not know why I am here at all. I had not the slightest intention of coming here when I left the hotel this morning, but something compelled me to come in. I could not pass the door. I tried to pass it, but I could not; and I do not know why I am here.” The secretary asked his name, and he answered at once with the name of the missing son. The miraculous had taken place before their eyes, something which no human being could have planned or brought about. That John should have been urged against his will to come into that room of the Y.M.C.A. at the moment when prayer was made on both sides of the Atlantic, was nothing only the work of an Almighty and loving God, Who hears and answers prayer.

When the amazing facts finally dawned upon him, John’s proud and restless heart melted, and he burst into tears with trembling emotion as he said: “I can’t turn away from love like this.” He knelt down and confessed his sin and his lost condition, crying: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” He realised that all the time he had been running away from God, and that God had been seeking him. It was a time of thanksgiving in that extraordinary meeting, and there was joy in the presence of the angels of God over another sinner repenting.

John wired his mother saying he was coming home with the best news. He returned to Scotland by the next boat and words would fail to tell the depths of joy and thanksgiving in his mother’s heart as they met, and she recognised the great change in him. Her prayers had been answered in a supernatural intervention of the power of God, guiding and controlling and reaching out beyond the seas to bring a wanderer to the Cross of Christ. This true story may be read by someone far from home and God, and may indeed be a voice calling to return again. Many have heard the clear and inescapable voice, and it is urgent and important to respond without delay. “Come NOW, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1v18) Remember it is NOW.”

“Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,

Calling for you and for me;

See, on the portals He is waiting and watching,

Watching for you and for me.

Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,

Promised for you and for me;

Though we have sinned He has mercy and pardon,

Pardon for you and for me.”

 

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Man Looks on the Outward Appearance… but God Looks on the Heart

July 12, 2014

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One Sunday afternoon recently we were visiting an elderly relative who resides close to the headquarters of the Palmarian Church in north Dublin. Just as we had parked the car I noticed a gathering of people outside this house church – a gathering which consisted of very well dressed ladies in long skirts and just a few men who were also very formally dressed. We had arrived there earlier than expected and so must have stumbled upon the congregation of this sect while they were still talking after their morning worship.

Before going in to see our relative, I took the opportunity to walk slowly towards the people who were still standing there, intending to strike up a conversation. However, I was unsuccessful in this and had the distinct impression that this was not the first time that they had been approached, although at other times it most likely would have been by journalists.

I have noted this dress code phenomenon with other cults such as Cooneyites, Exclusive Brethren and a cult which only exists in one part of the world – the Cooperites who live in Gloriavale which is based at Haupiri on the west coast of the south island in New Zealand. The latter was founded in 1969 by their very controversial leader, Neville Cooper, an Australian-born evangelist.

All of these cults have some definite things in common – there are many rules governing their respective rigid dress codes; they believe that the only way to heaven is by belonging to their organisation and most are governed by a central figurehead on this earth or men’s ideas – not by the Lord.

While I believe that we should do all to the glory of God (and this includes the way we dress) change begins in the heart and works outwards. If our hearts are not right with the Lord, all the dressing in a certain way in the world will make no difference to the ‘inner man.’

“The Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1Samuel 16v7)

Jesus said: “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7v20)

Minutes later two of the well-dressed young ladies walked past the gateway of our elderly relative’s residence and both of them made it clear by their actions that they were not at all happy with my trying to speak to them earlier.

My heart goes out to the young people who belong to this sect. The Lord loves them, died for them and desires that they come to knowledge of His truth – the truth that says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2v8&9)

When our hearts are right with the Lord, we will inevitably have within these hearts of ours His great love for our fellowmen and women, even those who do not worship with us. Only in hearts which truly belong to Him can the fruits of the spirit be manifested.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5v22)