He Is Immense The Goodness of God Touches Even Me
C. Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON, 2013
Wayward Child You have set the farthest star You have heard the hatchlingâ€™s cry You have timed the tides afar And designed each wondrous eye. There is not invention made That you have not forged the thought Neither natureâ€™s hues portrayed Neither moving music wrought. You should have my constant praise And arrest my heart and mind But the press of common days Takes me off just like the wind. I might try to come in prayer To the Source of all things good But the words are seldom there To adore you as I should. Could your grace just tune my heart? Could your touch just bend my knee? I am yours and set apart Help this wayward child to see.
This Gnat So Small To think that You Regard it all Without a skip or miss. Creation's spin Men's hurts within My hopes and trials and bliss. Is just to sense An un-summed Care Which wearies not, nor wanes. Though nations roar, And lust for more, You never drop the reins. What marvel this! That I am known And figure in the blend. This gnat so small Receives Your all. And comforts without end.
Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid?
Psalm 27: 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? I can still hear the powerful tenor voice of Larnelle Harris pounding out this lyric, and repeating "the Lord is the strength of my life". Dear believer, have you the witness of his all-capable fathering of you? Do you see it in the scriptures? Do you sense it in the hidden man of the heart? Does He come with calm in the midst of a storm? Does He leave you laughing at your strategies when you neglected Him? Does He bring to your recollection the many rescues and guiding impressions. Does a strange word of comfort or assurance startle you in the night? Toward the end of the Psalm the writer states, "13. I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living". I will repeat it... "in the land of the living". Goodness of this Lord? Did he not shepherd the massive Exodus from Egypt with Moses? Did He not engulf the armies of Pharaoh in the sea?
Did he not enter into David's stone launched at Goliath? Did He not cool the flames of the furnace meant to kill the three Hebrew youths? Did He not sculpt that twisting cordillera that you flew over on your holiday? Did he not whip up the angry storm on the open bay and then, just as easily, bring it to a calm? Does He not delight the oriental farmer with the patter of rain for his only crop? Does He not know the time of calving of that Holstein in the Oxford County field? Does he not observe the hungry young ravens which cry from the cedars? Does he not soothe the jagged nerves of staff in the Emergency Ward? Does He not paint the soothing glory of the evening sky? And this Father and his goodness are yours, and yours for good. Of whom then, shall you be afraid?
Lappng Water's Edge
Got out of the cottage Cooler night I guess Sweat shirt over shoulders Just in case. Probably thirty minutes left Crowds and noise gone From the beach. Sandals kicked off Sand cool to the toes. Lone seagull bids me welcome Two-tone exclamation Soaring white Against the coming reds Of the horizon. Waves come to mesmeric Hissing at the edge. Over there, cross the waters Another nation, and A-wollers clopping down To the beach And looking back at me. And God you have done This wonderful thing In our midst. Timeless rolling waves Evening breeze forecasting Sound holiday sleep And tomorrowâ€™s banter And bouncing with the kids. Through the reds And through the lappings
And through the memories I hear your smileâ€ŚFather. Thanks.
God's a Goaltender
I remember watching the documentary on meteors and man's fascination with their occasional touchdown. At one point a computer produced representation of the near-earth pathways of these heavenly bodies was shown in chart form over an extended period of history. It looked like a tangled ball of wool which had been a kitten's plaything for an afternoon! The amazing thing was the fact that small ones repeatedly fizzled out and large ones passed by our little blue and green ball of special favour. Very few large hits were shown. The ones which have been studied show the potentially devastating effect of meteors which make it through. But the good news is that time and again providence had smiled upon our planet, and we had been spared. In the narrator's words it was as if God performed the function of Ace Goalie.
Wings of a Hen
Just to nestle here Neath your outstretched wings And to leave a while All the push and shove For the fox is near For disastrous things And would kill the hen And would quench the love. But you take your place Come what may you say With your shelter calm Not with tooth or claw. And you shield me through The tumultuous day Though such harmlessness Seems to some a flaw. (Luke 13: 34)
The March of God's Progress
(An Entry in Our Daily Walk by F. B. Meyer) "Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign."-- 1Co 15:24. WHITHER IS God moving? When we speak of the eternal progress of the Almighty, it must be remembered that we are adopting human speech, because God lives in the eternal present. He is Jehovah--"I AM!" God is moving to the supreme exaltation of our Saviour. Christ must and will reign, and the Father's power is even now engaged in putting all things under His feet. He has given Him the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. It is true that we see not yet all things put under Him, but God is even now engaged in hastening the fulfilment of His eternal plan. The rise and fall of rulers and kingdoms within the last few years; the clamour for new methods of government has menaced the ancient order; the vortex of elections; the babel of voices; the rivalry of statesmen and parties! What of these? They are the clouds of His feet, the movement of His pieces on the board, the successive stages in the unfolding of His plan. Watch the Divine strategy! God raises up one, and puts down another; there is not an item in the newspaper, nor a change on the map, nor a revolution among the people, however obscure, that is not contributing to that final scene, when the Son of Man shall come to the Ancient of Days, and there shall be given Him dominion and glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, and nations, and languages shall serve Him! There is need for us all to know God's movements, especially in this momentous era, because only so can we enter into His Rest. We can look out calmly on a world in confusion when once we have learnt to understand the Divine programme of gathering up all things in Christ, who is the Head. To the careless world His way is in the sea, and His paths in the deep waters, and His footsteps are not known; but to those who love and follow Him. The heavens may depart, the hills be removed; but His kindness shall not depart, neither shall the covenant of His peace be removed. PRAYER Hasten the coming of Thy Kingdom, O Lord, the fulfilment of Thy purpose. Keep us watchful and alert, that at any moment we may discern the movement of Thy hand, and detect Thy will and guidance in the providence of little things. AMEN.
Known By Him
Known by Him and claimed by Him. That is the path to victory, to overcoming.
Not healed by Him; prospered by Him; promoted by Him; given acclaim by Him. Simply known...and we know Him. The original word suggests an intimacy, as in marriage. The chapter on the Good Shepherd (John 10) suggests that the sheep know His voice and will follow Him and none other. Have the under-shepherds caught this intense affinity? They are caregivers in every sense of the word and not just teachers or cheerleaders. They must have time to attend upon and not just to preach to their charges. Feel this intensity of care in Ezekiel chapter 34: 13And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 16I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. I found my attention drawn recently to the Passover Psalms (the Grand Hallel, Psalms 113-118). At a late point in the reading one encounters the verse " 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? " And that is all our confidence.
Of Caesar's Household
(Taken from The High Calling, Meditations on Philippians by J.H. Jowett, 1909, Fleming H. Revell Company) All the saints salute you, especially they that are of Caesar's household" (Phil. 4:22) "That is a very wonderful thing that the general river of Christian courtesy should be flowing from the hard precincts of imperial lust and tyranny... Here is a clean, clear river streaming out of the very centre of a poisonous swamp. Here is a sweet spring lifting its healthful waters in the bitter waste. Here is a white lily spreading its radiant purity above a very noisome bed. This is the kind of miracle to arrest and startle the world. Goodness in unexpected places!
...A commissioner of one of our great London dailies has recently been exploring some of the awful howling wastes of London's slums. He went into one court, and up one terrible flight of stairs, where gin and sweat and swearing and putridity were horribly commingled, and in the very thick of it all he heard a woman's sweet, clear, triumphant voice singing, "We thank Thee, O our Father, for all things bright and good." Yes, and the commissioner discovered that she was a saint indeed. But how adverse the environment. Where did the lovely fern find even the requisite pinch of friendly earth? God knows, and he provided it. It seems as though God's plants can laugh at circumstances, that they can sink strange roots right through their immediate setting, and reach such marvelous resources that their inhospitable environment counts for nothing."
Bow Down, Lord
Psalm 86: (In lowliness of heart one calls for the condescension of God to hear, to rescue, to vindicate...) 1Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. 2Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. 3Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. 4Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. (Taken from Spurgeon's Treasury of David) Verse 1. Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me. In condescension to my littleness, and in pity to my weakness, "bow down thine ear, O Lord." When our prayers are lowly by reason of our humility, or feeble by reason of our sickness, or without wing by reason of our despondency, the Lord will bow down to them, the infinitely exalted Jehovah will have respect unto them. Faith, when she has the loftiest name of God on her tongue, and calls him Jehovah, yet dares to ask from him the most tender and condescending acts of love. Great as he is he loves his children to be bold with him. For I am poor and needy -- doubly a son of poverty, because, first, poor and without supply for my needs, and next needy, and so full of wants, though unable to supply them. Our distress is a forcible reason for our being heard by the Lord God, merciful, and gracious, for misery is ever the master argument with mercy. Such reasoning as this would never be adopted by a proud man, and when we hear it repeated in the public congregation by those great ones of the earth who count the peasantry to be little better than the earth they tread upon, it sounds like a mockery of the Most High. Of all despicable sinners those are the worst who use the language of spiritual poverty while they think themselves to be rich and increased in goods. Verse 1-4. Poor, holy, trusteth, I cry. The petitioner is first described as poor, then holy, next trusting, after that crying, finally, lifted up to God. And each epithet has its fitting verb; bow down to the poor, preserve the holy, save the trusting, be merciful to him who cries, rejoice the lifted up. It is the whole
gamut of love from the Incarnation to the Ascension; it tells us that Christ's humiliation will be our glory and joy. - -Neale and Littledale's Commentary.
In His Hands
The spiritual says, "He got da Whole Worl' in His hands" ...You an' Me Brother... ...You an' Me Sister... ...Da little bitty baby... He got da Whole Worl' in His hands. I am reminded of that passage in James' letter where he chastens his correpondents for being so certain of plans for the morrow. Eugene Peterson's rendering in The Message is interesting: James 4: 13-15And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, "Todayâ€”at the latest, tomorrowâ€”we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money." You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, "If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that." For a long time the phrase "Lord willing" thrown in at the end of a statement was irritating to me. It sounded insincere, "religious" and weak. But with time events, experiences of colleagues and my own head-buttings taught me the necessary lesson. All things are held together by Christ (Colossians 1:17). Consider the following: 1)The delicate balance in capillary exchange in my own body. 2)The push-pull dance of my musculo-skeletal system. 3)The chemical balance ensuring mental and emotional stability. 4)The importance of the tilt of the earth on its axis for the ice-caps and for seasonal regularity. (About the ice-caps. A friend once suggested to me that the break away of a large ice-flow would be akin to taping a tennis ball to the side of a basketball and watching how the spin changed.) 5)Recent lab observations suggest that the genetic Y factor in sex determination in an embryo is being weakened. The result? Too many girls. Too many sterile males. 6)Astronomers would confirm thousands of near-misses of meteors passing by our planet. (A commentator suggested that the Lord must have the function of relentless goal-tender.) The list goes on... I once heard some of a message from Alistair Begg of Cleveland. (Excellent teaching often on the Truth for Life radio broadcast.) He was teaching on this chapter from James and the image of our vapour-like lives. One evening's service at the church he had been required to stay late and missed a beautiful sunset outside. He was told about it later. Etraordinary combination of colour, focus and cloud shape,
all working to a glorious effect. Clearly a work of God, but then, too soon...gone. Praise Him for today. Trust Him more than your plans for tomorrow.
Again to be here When none other might care. Be the motive of fear Or of gratitude rare. I will run to this space Just to unload my heart; Yes a quieter place Set a little apart. And You come through the gray In the brilliance of love And You settle the day With Your calm from above. And You hear, I am sure Every plea, every verse. A compassion so pure Will consider my worst, And will answer again Lest I misunderstand; Neither mishap nor men Will remove from Thy Hand. Father, this is the spot Where I grow on my knees; See what mercy has wrought; Feel the Spiritâ€™s fresh breeze
The Greatness of God is No Hindrance to His Care For the Small