Archive for August, 2018

Thank You Lord, For Saving Me… Forty Years Ago

August 29, 2018

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“For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.” (Deuteronomy 2v7) Years ago I wrote these words which are in “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year:”

“In days of old His children fled,

Through the Red Sea’s dried-up bed;

The Guide who lit all Israel’s way,

By fire at night, and cloud by day,

Ever lives for all who journey Home,

Where streets of gold, not earthly dust,

Their lovely feet shall roam.”

 

Indeed I have known His love, His guidance and His comforting Shepherd’s arms around me since the night I trusted Him to save me, on Monday 28th August, 1978. Like the children of Israel on their forty year journey through the wilderness, I have been provided with manna on my journey through this wilderness of life. As J. Montgomery, the poet and hymn writer who lived for a short time in Northern Ireland wrote…

“For ever with the Lord!

Amen, so let it be;

Life from the dead is in that word,

‘Tis immortality.

Here in body pent,

Absent from Him I roam,

Yet nightly pitch my moving tent,

A day’s march nearer Home.”

 

My Lord and my Saviour has comforted me when loved ones died, healed my sicknesses, been my Mighty Counsellor in life’s major decisions, given me strength to overcome when the evil one placed trials on my path and given me joy in my walk with Him and inspiration through this Word. I have found water in the dry places and honey in the Rock and as my days “so shall my strength be.” (Deuteronomy 33v25)

Perhaps one of the hardest years I have ever had to live is this one – so far; although I am sure that many others are going through the same things – and much worse! I am wearily trekking hospital corridors and sitting in hospital waiting rooms. Helplessly I have watched suffering in someone I love, sometimes feeling numb with fear and filled with anguish. And there have been other trials – too numerous to mention here. Yet through it all, He has “whispered peace to my soul.” Frances Crosby’s hymn aptly describes it…

“I must have the Saviour with me,

For I dare not go alone,

I must feel His Presence near me,

And His arm around me thrown.”

 

Then my soul shall fear no ill;

Let Him lead me where He will,

I will go without a murmur,

And His footsteps follow still.

 

I must have the Saviour with me,

And His eye the way must guide,

Till I reach the vale of Jordan,

Till I gain the other side.”

 

But there is joy in that walk with Him – and He is working His perfect will through all that comes to pass. Through the rain we see the rainbow. I have no doubt about that, as G. Matheson’s hymn describes it…

 

“O Joy, that sleekest me thro’ pain,

I cannot close my heart to Thee;

I trace the rainbow thro’ the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain

That morn shall tearless be.”

 

Praise God, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1v21) As the final three verses of H. G. Spafford’s hymn describes it…

 

“My sin – oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin – not in part, but the whole

Is nailed to His cross; and I bear it no more:

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

 

For me be it Christ, be it Christ, hence to live!

If Jordan above me shall roll,

No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,

Thou wilt whisper thy peace to my soul.

 

But Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,

The sky, not the grave, is our goal;

Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!

Blessed hope! Blessed rest of my soul!”

 

Come Out Of Her My People!

August 24, 2018

Pictures and videos from android 139

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” (Revelation 18v4&5) Many attribute the words in this chapter to the Church of Rome and certainly, in the spiritual sense the Roman Catholic system would appear to “fit the bill” as today’s Babylon.

I have recently heard that the representatives of mainline Protestant churches in Northern Ireland have been invited to this weekend’s reception for Pope Francis in the Republic of Ireland – and I have also heard that they hope to be there. I feel, sadly, that all the world is running after Rome…

The Presbyterian moderator is quoted as saying: “As a church we recognised that this Papal visit would bring great joy to our Roman Catholic neighbours and friends, and it was something we wanted to welcome. I am pleased that our church has been able to accept the invitation to the reception and I am looking forward to it. Should there be an opportunity to meet Pope Francis I would very much welcome that in the context of building good relations.”

There are numerous people out there, however, who were baptised into this Roman Catholic system and those people will not welcome his visit because of the abuse that they or their loved ones were subjected to by paedophile priests or nuns who used women as slaves and often trafficked babies illegally out of the country. These people are still hurt, angry and traumatised by events which may have occurred long ago in their lives –but these events were to impact their formative years and as a result, affect those lives and relationships into adulthood.

And how can you “build good relations” with a system of belief that is idolatrous in essence? This system of belief fabricates doctrines such as the perpetual virginity of the Virgin Mary, the assumption of the Virgin Mary, the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, Purgatory, praying for the dead, transubstantiation etc etc., none of which can be verified by scripture.

If a Christian was asked to meet the Pope, he or she could only do so with the purpose of being a witness to him. The Lord would give them the necessary courage to tell him that he was a lost sinner in need of salvation. Anyone who gives credence to the notion that the pope is a fellow Christian, is, I am afraid, as lost as he is.

“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18v24) The hierarchy of Roman Catholicism authorised the slaughter of the Waldensians, the cruel Spanish Inquisition; the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of French Huguenots in 1572, the burning at the stake of Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer and the martyrdom of multitudes of other men, women and even children all across the world. This system of belief has made little of the Word of God, turning instead to someone who claims infallibility in regard to his every decree.

Men and women died for the truth of these precious scriptures which I hold in my hands. Article 31 of the 39 Articles of Religion of the Church of Ireland and the Anglican Church states: “The offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.”

Why, then, do the clergy of these churches join with a man (blasphemously referred to as “the Holy Father”) to celebrate the mass? While millions upon millions are spent on security for his visit, it has been said that homeless people and beggars (who are seen as an embarrassment on Dublin’s streets) will be moved if necessary. Meanwhile the Pope with all his entourage of security will enter with pomp and ceremony. What a far cry that is from the entrance of the beloved Lord Jesus Christ to Jerusalem on a humble donkey and what love He had in His heart for the “common” people!

They cried: “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (John 12v13) Praise God for “David’s Son and David’s Lord!” …”And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9v6)

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4v12)

While men revere another man, honouring this man of sin, they turn their backs on the “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19v16) “Come out of her, my people…” But sadly many, although they occupy places in pulpits are not His people, yet still He stands with open arms to receive all who come to Him the humble way, repenting and trusting in Him alone for salvation.

I fear for others, on the fringes: professing Christians who are slowly being deceived into inviting people to preach in their churches; these people identify with dubious and sinister organisations, which in turn identify themselves with Roman Catholicism. Spiritually speaking, white is morphing into light grey – which will slowly morph into black. We are living in evil and deceptive days.

This is a difficult time for true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; we are told that the conflict will be greater in the end days but we must stand firm upon the Rock of Ages, whatever befalls us. As the days draw closer to His return, when the dead shall stand before God to be judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works (Revelation 20v12), I pray for a revival in our land and I pray that somehow the events of this weekend would have the effect of turning people to the true Holy Father, who with love gave His only Son for the sins of the whole world ONCE FOR ALL… something that no other person or repeated sacrificial offering upon this earth could ever do.

 

I Have Just Rescued Two Ladybirds!

August 7, 2018

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As I cleaned the windows, I noted that our recent very dry sunny weather has brought with it an abundance of ladybirds – or “ladybugs” as they are referred to in North America and some other countries. However, we also have a great variety of spiders of all shapes and sizes and as a result… cobwebs just about everywhere! Since I was a child I have always loathed seeing a struggling little creature trapped in a cobweb but yesterday I saw a ladybird which was no longer struggling. In fact it was so still that I was convinced that it must be dead. It lay there, wrapped around by the web waiting to be devoured by the nearby giant spider. ‘Well,’ I thought, ‘it may be trapped and dead – but that spider is not going to make a meal of such a beautiful creature with its shiny red coat and black dots!’ Dead or not I was determined to set it free and gently releasing the bits of web, I pushed it onto my finger.

It was at that point that I noticed the tiny movement and was delighted to note that it was certainly not dead! Perhaps it had originally resigned itself to its fate and that was why it lay so still and sad in the web but now it crawled slowly up my finger and was so delighted to be there that it didn’t want to leave me! I took it far from places where webs are built, into the garden where the grass, the shrubs and the flowers would be its new surroundings – truly a wondrous paradise, after the situation it had found itself in.

After this I found yet another ladybird in another cobweb in another window, which was in exactly the same predicament. Again, I was sure that this smaller, younger looking species must be dead and again when I rescued it, was delighted to see the movement and satisfied to see it transferred into surroundings where it could recover and have a new life.

Ladybirds have been known to fly great distances and at great altitudes but these two had obviously flown off into dangerous territory when they had found themselves trapped in that awful situation.

In the spiritual realm, as we go through life we often witness people who are seemingly so dead in “trespasses and sin,” that it would appear that they are beyond rescuing. But as Christians, we must never, ever think this way, for after all, it is the Lord who does the rescuing – not us. But he wants to use His people in the rescue operation. The term “beyond redemption” should never cross the Christian’s mind as he looks at a soul caught up in even the greatest web of evil.

With God all things are possible (Matthew 19v26) and no soul is beyond rescuing from the web of the deepest sins known to mankind. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24v12)) Some may look at the unbelievable state of mankind today, shake their heads in a self-righteous manner and decide that some people are just so spiritually dead that there’s nothing more can be done for them; some would say it is their own fault for literally flying into a danger zone.

Loving a little creature enough to take the time to gently break that horrible web is not a pleasant operation – and it is time consuming. Webs are unpleasant things to the touch but the joy at seeing just one ladybird alive and well after having been entangled is so rewarding!

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations and in places where we see souls struggling and indeed some no longer struggling, as they have resigned themselves to addictions, to all sorts of evil and sin in their lives. The devil is not too far away – waiting to devour their very souls.

But the Lord needs His people as they walk past the souls caught in webs… that drunken man lying in the street, that homeless teenager who shares needles and sleeps with other drug addicts in shop doorways… Look upon them with love; the deep love that only He can confer upon us. Love can break through, untangle and give hope for a bright and happy future, living as the Lord meant His creation to live. Love with the love that only the Lord can bestow upon us for souls for whom He loved and died – even before they ever existed; surely He will guide us how to pray and what to do. We must never assume that they are “dead” and beyond rescue because they lie so still in the web of sin…

As I meditate on these things, Flora Kirkland’s lovely old hymn comes to mind…

Out in the darkness,

Shadow’d by sin

Souls are in bondage,

Souls we would win.

How can we win them?

How show the way?

Love never faileth,

Love is the way.

 

Think how the Master

Came from above,

Suffer’d on Calv’ry,

Breathing out love;

Think how He loves us,

E’en when we stray?

We must love others,

Love is His way.

 

See, they are waiting,

Looking at you,

Furtively watching

All that you do:

Seeming so careless,

Harden’d and lost,

Love never faileth,

Count not the cost.

 

Love never faileth,

Love is pure gold;

Love is what Jesus

Came to unfold,

Make us more loving,

Master, we pray

Help us remember

Love is Thy way.