Archive for February, 2017

Ever Thought About The Countries Which View Your Blog?

February 28, 2017

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In the past week “International Mother Language Day” was celebrated on 21st February and this led to my thoughts on the thousands of languages throughout our world and how many souls are currently being reached with the gospel through the internet in their native countries or in the far-flung nations that lie thousands of miles beyond my own little shores. I have made a list of mine (for my own information) in order of the total number of views from each country and although I don’t have that many views, on the whole it is encouraging and fascinating to see just where they come from!

United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, France, Greece, Malaysia, European Union, South Africa, Jamaica, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Indonesia, Norway, Brazil, Singapore, Kenya, South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, Russia, Czech Republic, Ghana, Romania, Serbia, Thailand, Nigeria, Sweden, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Denmark, Israel, Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, Chile, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR China, Qatar, Japan, Zimbabwe, Slovakia, Iraq, Trinidad & Tobago, Colombia, Bahamas, Isle of Man, Latvia, Mexico, Oman, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Cyprus, Iceland, Peru, Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, Ecuador, Myanmar (Burma), Kuwait, Tanzania, Finland, Portugal, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Estonia, Lithuania, Guatemala, Mongolia, Fiji, Guam, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Ukraine, Uganda, Venezuela, Georgia, Syria, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Tonga, Jordan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Maldives, St. Kitts & Nevis, Armenia, Slovenia, Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Albania, Mauritius, Nepal, Malta, Malawi, Guyana, St. Lucia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Netherlands Antilles, Guadeloupe, Gabon, Cameroon, Macedonia, Monaco, Paraguay, Cambodia, Luxembourg, Togo, British Virgin Islands, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Croatia, Guernsey, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Liberia, Vietnam, Algeria, Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, Swaziland, Belarus…. Perhaps in time North Korea, Yemen, Iran and many more can join that list!

I find it interesting that countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are on the list. I know that I had a view from Syria with regard to one of the old hymns I write about. Was it some homesick U.S. soldier or even an army chaplain… or even a native? Who knows? When I look at the landscape of some of the countries, they appear so beautiful in the online photos. Gabon on the west coast of central Africa looks fascinating, with lush green fields, golden beaches – and the wildlife is wonderful! But then there are the world’s war-torn and famine ridden trouble spots – and the “hermit kingdoms…”

It was reported in the last week, too, that NASA had discovered a large batch of earth-size habitable zone planets. Where is it all going to end with these new discoveries, I wonder? We are living in amazing days; in my lifetime I have seen so many changes but I feel that the Lord is no happier with some of these than He was about the Tower of Babel. However, I also feel that He is using the sincere and true testimonies and words written for Him all across this world today on internet sources.

So, yes, we live in fascinating days but in reality man’s need for salvation remains the same and although technology has transformed exponentially, human nature needs the touch of a Saviour. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12v4) Yes, knowledge may have increased and men are indeed running to and fro now, even throughout the entire universe – but sin is as it was in the days of Noah. Jesus said: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of No-e were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24v36&37)

His message to His servants in the nations of the world was never more urgent…. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” (Matthew 24v42)

“Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24v46)

Never were there more signs of the Lord’s soon coming than in the days in which we live. His message to every soul in every nation in their own language remains the same: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3v16&17)

Informal Ladies Meeting in the Barbican Centre, Drogheda

February 21, 2017

Lord willing, the above will take place on Friday, 24th February, 2017 between 7.30pm and 8.45pm approximately.

A testimony will be shared, as well as some reflections on a selected Irish hymn writer. Sadly many of our old hymns have been abandoned in the days in which we live, in favour of short choruses, many of which have no depth. These are very often sung repeatedly in an effort to stir up a certain “atmosphere” in the congregation, all to no avail.

Manie Payne Ferguson is the selected hymn writer at this meeting. Born in the town of Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland in 1850, she eventually emigrated to U.S.A., where with her husband Theodore, she founded “The Los Angeles Mission.” She wrote many other poems and hymns, including “That Man of Calvary” and “Christ in the Storm.”

I have written about her in my book “Singing on the Journey Home,” where I choose the hymn “Blessed Quietness” for a true story: “Lonely Hotel Room – and a Comforting Presence.” I write: “This hymn writer was mightily used of the Lord, having been associated with the Wesleyan/Holiness Movement in the 19th Century. After her conversion Manie had been struggling with a sinful nature but having experienced the fullness of the Holy Spirit, she felt empowered to write “Blessed Quietness.”

I pray that all will go in accordance with the Lord’s will at Friday’s meeting. Indeed I have no idea who will come along, as some people I have invited may not be able to make it… but I trust that it will be a blessing, even if our numbers are small!

 

 

Ladies, you are invited to an informal meeting

In the Barbican Centre, Drogheda

On Friday 24th February, from 7.30pm-8.45pm

Local lady will share her testimony

 Admission Free/light refreshments

For further information Email:

readywriterpublications@gmail.com

 

 

Thy Welcome Call… Avails for All!

February 16, 2017

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I have always admired the voices of a Welsh choir… particularly when they sing some of the lovely old hymns like “Gwahoddiad,” which is Welsh for “Welcome.” The words and music of this beautiful hymn (“I am coming Lord” or “I hear thy welcome voice”) were written by Lewis Hartsough (1828-1919) who composed it at a revival meeting in Iowa and it was subsequently published in “Guide to Holiness.” There are many stories of how it went on to be used in revival meetings and how it blessed many souls and brought many more to a place of repentance.

 

So, why am I thinking of this hymn today? Well, today is the anniversary of when my Dad (who prayed much for revival) was called Home to be with the Lord. Above is a little hall (Ballytyrone) where he used to pray with friends. I recently put a memoriam notice in the local newspaper, in remembrance of him, followed by a little verse which I composed just last week. The Lord gave me the words in an instant one morning, just after I had woken up.

 

Hutchinson, Jack, Called Home 16th February, 2011.

 

Lovingly remembered by Elizabeth, George, Grace, Christine and their families.

 

 Oh, the arms outstretched to all

 

Who gladly hear Thy welcome call!

 

Oh the joy on heaven’s shore,

 

That greets Thy saints forevermore!

 

© Elizabeth Burke

 

All sorts of people read newspapers (even local newspapers) which are left in all sorts of places and waiting rooms and somehow I believe that some simple words which we have been led to write may strike a chord with someone somewhere and will be used of the Lord to, at the very least, inspire them to think upon eternity and spiritual matters.

 

His arms are indeed still outstretched to all in this the Day of Grace; He died for all (“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1John 2v2) and it is not His will that any should perish. (2Peter 3v9)

 

Today I sing along to the words of this lovely old hymn which has blessed thousands the world over. I don’t recall Dad referring to this hymn but I know he would love it… I quote the first and last verses and chorus and share the link as a tribute to him.

 

Link to this hymn:  https://youtu.be/TlR1ot4QzP0

“I hear thy welcome voice,

 

That calls me, Lord, to Thee,

 

For cleansing in Thy precious blood

 

That flowed from Calvary.

 

I am coming, Lord,

 

Coming now to Thee:

 

Wash me, cleanse me in the blood

 

That flowed on Calvary.

 

 

All hail, atoning blood!

 

All hail, redeeming grace!

 

All hail, the gift of Christ, our Lord,

 

Our strength and righteousness!

 

“Be of Good Courage and He shall Strengthen Thine Heart”

February 6, 2017

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On a recent journey for a hospital procedure I received a gift from an elderly Uncle of mine – a little “box of promises,” which he had left for someone else to give to me. Just before embarking on the next leg of my journey, I picked a promise… “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27v14)

Now, my Uncle had no idea that I was going for a procedure on that particular day or that I was driving close to his house around that time, or that I had received the “promise box” – although I called with him later and told him! How lovely were those words – and how comforting to know that the Lord was with me “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8v28)

How He was with me on that day – and how I felt His love and compassion surround me and uplift me… and how He answers prayer! I quote from an inserted leaflet in the little promise box: “Dating back over a century to the 1860’s and each containing 140 extracts from the Authorised King James Version of the Bible, Promise Boxes were widely used by our Victorian ancestors. Seeking comfort and reassurance from God in times of trouble the ladies would draw a scroll, replacing it carefully after use. Given as keepsakes by the men going to the front, to their wives and sweethearts during the First World War, they gradually faded into oblivion and the actual date of origin is unknown. The few which have survived the passage of time have been handed down from generation to generation and become treasured family heirlooms. Used with respect and reverence these charming, unusual gifts are appropriate for any occasion, happy or sad, for their message and purpose are timeless.”

Yes, the message of God’s Word is indeed timeless. Sometimes, indeed, as we go through life we face situations which are tantamount to “going to the front” in a war situation. That battle can be a physical or a spiritual one – or sometimes both. None of us; no, not even those who faithfully serve the Lord, sail peacefully through the seas of life without some storms and testing times. Of course the ultimate testing time is death itself, for “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Cor. 15v26)

“Have you anyone with you?” the nurse asked me, looking somewhat surprised when I said “no.” But in a sense I did have someone with me – and that ‘Someone’ is always with me and will be with me, for as long as I serve Him here below… “and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28v20)

Praise God for every one of His precious promises, of which there are thousands in the Bible. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for inasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1Cor. 15v55-58)