Posts Tagged ‘soul winning’

Thoughts on World Poetry Day

March 21, 2017

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Perhaps the most beautiful poetry of all is contained throughout the books of the Bible. Even Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson described the Book of Job as one of the “greatest poems of ancient and modern times.”

Job, devastated by the loss of livestock and then tragically bereaved of loved ones and robbed of his own health, seeks to understand this in the light of his standing as a righteous servant of the Lord.

I (and many other Christians I am certain) thank God today for the Book of Job which stands as a bastion of truth in an era when “health, wealth and prosperity” are seen as proof of Godliness.

Sadly, those who think this way live only for the things of this life, while the standard for the Christian is to “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Corinthians 4v18)

Today, on World Poetry Day, I think on the elements “which are eternal.” Perhaps the most essential poetry of all is that which challenges mankind to think on the eternal… on that which will never die.

Like Job, I have this sure hope: “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:” (Job 19v25&26)

Today, in the knowledge that the soul is that which shall never die, I exhort others to think on the value of the soul. (“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8v36&37) With this in mind I have contacted Christians with my poem “The Graves,” written quite a few years ago now.

Like Job, many Christian poets and hymn writers often write best in the face of adversity, persecution and tragedy. Job said: “Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven in an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!”

Job’s anguished cry was indeed answered… for his words were printed in “the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1Peter 1v23) And those words live on to comfort those who still walk the sometimes thorny path of this life. His eloquence in the face of adversity has now been rewarded, as Job rejoices with other brothers and sisters in eternity, who by faith chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” (Hebrews 11v25)

Link to “The Graves” poem: https://readywriterpublications.wordpress.com/tag/the-graves-poem/

Oh For a Deserted Beach!

August 31, 2016

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The “deserted beach” is an unusual phenomenon on Greek islands like Corfu, especially during the height of the season… but strangely enough we found a few of them this year. Not only were there deserted beaches – but also an abandoned villa and a deserted restaurant, both of which were perched precariously on the edge of cliffs. Perhaps a mix of coastal erosion, the Greek monetary crises and fewer British tourists (owing to ‘Brexit’) was taking its toll in the quiet rural location where we were staying.

In contrast we saw other beaches on our travels: the “over-crowded beaches,” all dotted with umbrellas and people, people everywhere! Usually these crowded resorts had also crowded tourist shops, restaurants and noisy nightlife all night long. How glad we were to stay in peace and quiet, with just the sound of the crickets in the night air and the gently lapping tide of the sea not so far away…

Thirty years ago someone I knew had visited a resort in the south of the island and I was curious to know what it would be like now, so that I could tell her about it. Anyway, one evening we visited it, intending to have a meal there and what a shock I got! This resort, which had once been only a quiet sandy beach with a few tourist shops, was now a crazy venue where young people got drunk (and often perhaps drugged) out of their minds. It wasn’t a big town at all but ten GP’s were kept very busy there all during the tourist season, a local explained to me. “Oh yes,” he said, “they have accidents around the place and get bad falls from hired motorbikes because of their drinking you know…”

We managed to find a relatively quiet restaurant overlooking the beach and as we sat watching the sun go down, I thought about all the young lives in this resort and a saying came to mind… “youth is wasted on the young…” It is sad to think about how a baby may be born perfectly and then nurtured and cared for by a loving mother – and later that baby grows into a young person who subjects himself to such abuse!

‘I wonder has anyone out there ever taken it upon themselves to try and reach these young people?’ I thought. We had watched them in the town, jumping up and down on tables, doing crazy feats, under the influence of who knows what…. Do Christians ever base themselves in areas like this to try and reach out to those who come for the so called ‘good’ time? I had visions of tracts trampled underfoot, but still… there would be those who would listen and those would who would be convicted, for we are promised this.

Later, back at our peaceful abode with the nightly sound of the crickets and those gentle dark waves washing in on the beach, I felt relieved; so relieved that I didn’t have to stay in that other place we had seen that night. But I also felt so burdened for the young people that we had seen there. I was once like them – not a drunkard certainly, but I needed to know the Lord and there were souls who reached out to me and prayed for me. I know that. How easy it is, as the years go by, to take the comfortable option; not to ‘get involved’ and yet I believe that often the Lord wants us to get involved; to reach out in these dark dark days.

While we were away, often with no Wi-Fi and no news, I happened to view an old English newspaper one morning… worldwide terror attacks were rampant and there had been a coup in Turkey that we hadn’t even heard about. Jesus said… “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9v4) And as sure as night follows day – that night is coming.

The Lord has given each of us very unique opportunities to reach out to those who very often may never meet another Christian – except us. None of us, as long as we are alive on this earth, are exempt from the ‘Great Commission.’ Going in His will and being led of His Spirit, there is spiritual warfare to be engaged in for the Master but that work must have already begun in our own hearts. The pre-requisite for soul winning is most certainly a clean heart….

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Psalm 51v12&13)

There are times when we need the ‘desert place’ and the ‘deserted beach’ for our own quiet times, with rest and reflection – but there is also the time when our Saviour is leading us to go into the crowds, as He did all those years ago. Do we love people enough to show them that they are heading for a lost eternity? Oh, to be aware, to pray – and to reach them with the true story of His great love for them, for He is not willing that any should perish…

On Soul Winning – and my Recent Visit to “Way of Life” in Tyrone, Northern Ireland

February 27, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Farquhar family who have a wonderful stock of Christian literature, including booklets, a vast assortment of tracts, bookmarks, calendars and some books. (CDs are also available.) Many thousands of their calendars and tracts are distributed around the country, having been acquired by such organisations as the Irish Evangelistic Band which distributes tracts and calendars to remote parts of Donegal, Mayo and other locations in rural Ireland. Please note that the Farquhar family (Robert and Eleanor) may be contacted at this address:

148 Blackisland Road, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. BT 71 6NL.

Around twenty-five years ago the Farquhar family started their outreach with some black and white tracts but on my first visit to their home recently I was truly impressed by the sheer volume of Christian resources now available. I was fascinated by the many tracts and testimonies there, which include “This is my Story… A Personal Testimony by converted priest Henry Gregory Adams” and “I had never heard the true gospel, The Testimony of Peggy O’Neill, formerly Sister Aidan, RSHM.”

I have personally distributed some of the tracts (Henry Gregory Adam’s testimony) to two monasteries in the depths of rural Ireland and I hope to use the testimony of Peggy O’Neill to reach nuns in similar circumstances.

One winter’s evening, as I travelled alone by train from a meeting in Greystones, I happened to note that a priest had embarked at a station along the route. As the cold rain lashed down on the platform where he had been standing earlier, I looked at the reflection of his unhappy face in the rainy grey window. Now he was seated not so far away from me and I felt a tract in my pocket, in the knowledge that here was an opportunity, but somehow I felt hesitant about offering it to him. After a while he got up from his seat and I was sure that he was about to disembark at the next station. It was now or never… so I approached him with Henry Gregory Adam’s testimony in my hand. However, it transpired that he had got up from his seat to get a newspaper that someone had discarded! (He obviously needed some reading material.) The priest took the tract from me, muttered something that I couldn’t hear and before long he had alighted at a station before my destination. Quite probably I will never see this man again in my life and more than likely he has never been witnessed to in his life. How I thanked the Lord that I had not missed this opportunity and how I pray that somehow the tract will touch his heart.

This man is just one amongst billions who need to be reached. Christian, whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever your circumstances are – as long as you live upon this earth the Lord wants you to reach the lost. Our opportunities as individuals differ and also may change over the years of course because of many factors, including health and age. Nevertheless, we all, without exception have work to do for the extension of His Kingdom and for the deepening of our own and our fellow Christian’s walk with the Lord too – and this is where that essential element prayer comes in.

My prayer is that the “soul winning” supplies generously made available by the Farquhar family of “Way of Life” and other organisations, will go out  to the glory of our Lord and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us. “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (1Cor. 3v7)