“This I know and this I don’t know—yet will I trust.” 1 Charles Haddon Spurgeon
A man so well quoted, Charles Spurgeon lived in those uncertain times when the Industrial Revolution took hold of England and changed society forever. He grew up in a rural village not yet caught up with those changes, the son of a Congregationalist father and grandfather—independent preachers both of them. Spurgeon became a Christian at a Primitive Methodist meeting in 1850, then converted into a Baptist and not long afterwards, he began preaching. At the age of nineteen, he drew a crowd that overflowed a twelve-hundred-seat church. His listeners grew and he eventually made his home base at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, which seated six thousand people.
Charles Spurgeon’s message reached people displaced by the great changes and struggles of this time period in England. His life so rich in prayer and Bible knowledge, coupled with his expectation that God still revealed Himself in the everyday, brought life and hope to society.
Questions did not daunt him. He knew this about God, that he could trust His love, provision, and leading, though the path before his feet seemed dim at times. His delivery of scriptural truth and revelation about God was unique, for he acted out of stories, marched across the stage, used poetry, drama, and free flowing emotion with gestures fitted for large crowds.
Aren’t you grateful for those who’ve refused to obey the restrictions of tradition to follow the freshness of God’s life-giving truth and abundance? Unrest has been a reoccurring theme in the lives of societies and peoples all through the ages. The protection and truth that God’s word brings is often taken for granted, until those privileges are stripped away.
We may not know all of the answers, but we can offer comfort and direction to others by extending grace and truth, which we become acquainted with as we spend time abiding in Him. Love is stronger than hate, but having a cursory knowledge of His love will not hold us in a tsunami of anger and hatred. It is time for me to have an intimate relationship with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings and not a superficial one. How about you? Are you ready for a life filled with meaning, challenge, and alliance with the Creator of the Universe? If you are, I want to forewarn you that such a life will bring excitement, challenges, and blessings beyond what you could otherwise hope to imagine! Let the adventure begin—if you dare!
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. John 15:4
Cursory—going rapidly over something, without noticing details; hasty; superficial, running
1 Spurgeon’s sermons on The Death and resurrection of Jesus, C.H. Spurgeon, Preface by Patricia S. Klein Pg. iii – v
All is not lost
Messiah has come
Provided the full cost
Spirit blood water a son
Listen up you that are lost
Satan has you on a run
Believe and receive at all cost
Father Son Spirit
Lord Jesus Christ
This poem was shared with me by Viola's son, Arnie Haverlein. Thank you Arnie! This is a precious poem and your mother's love for Jesus shines through!
Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand? Job 26:14
Blinking Ben, tom turkey extraordinaire, swallowed the last acorn he’d found on the ground hiding among leaves and sticks. Some dark berries waved in the breeze about five feet away, teasing him to the boarder of a yard where people had been known to shoot at targets and laugh at the most ridiculous humors. Yet they seemed fascinating, intriguing, and fun. The nagging warning from Reverend Inky McKee wafted in his mind, “Keep your distance from humans. Do not fall for their traps, literally—their ways lead to destruction.” With that, Reverend Inky McKee gobbled and strutted and struck the wisest pose, which definitely caught the eye of Blinking Ben’s sweet Polly Tweed. Sadness sent a spasm of dread and helplessness through his puffed-up chest. Almost causing his feathers to ruffle. “Help me, Lord.” But who could challenge anyone like Inky McKee, even for the love of his life? Leaves rustled in the foliage beyond.
Seeing the narrow squeeze through tightly growing trees didn’t sway his determination to pursue another direction. These few trees might be no problem at all. He would flap his way to the V shaped trunk—though it proved a bit high—and make a mighty hop through the opening, even if he had to turn sideways and around, before gliding onto the smartly trimmed grass. Colorful fall flowers harboring delicious bugs and maybe a young snake or two—the ones who could be dodging their way beneath the plants—captured his full attention. Blinking Ben’s appetite seemed insatiable and the flower garden promised morsels dangled with availability just across the dangerous tuff of green. Which didn’t seem so very hazardous after all. Did it? Really? This was a time to experience bounty and be thankful. A time before the winter winds and temperatures sliced his traveling and dining choices in half! Ben spread his wings and pushed, catching a slight breeze and his talons slipped against the rugged bark not taking hold. Rustling in the bushes along the green lawn snatched his attention. Polly Tweed chirped and seemed trapped in the brush. He leapt upward and his grip held. Maneuvering his wings and chest through the parted branches, he scrapped through the opening which seemed smaller than he realized.
Blinking Ben caught Polly’s attention just as the door to the human’s house opened and the dog ran out! The furry beast dashed toward Polly. Fly! Ben never stopped to consider where that word-thought came from. With one huge push Blinking Ben glided toward the dog blinking all the way. They collided—taking the dog by surprise they tumbled on the tuff of green. Polly pulled free and Ben shielded her from canine teeth and claws, taking a cut to his chest. They pushed backwards into the brush, breaking some of Ben’s most showy feathers. The beast of a dog yelped and reversed his direction toward the beginning of the brush. Then the dog clawed at its collar. Ben had never seen such a long dripping tongue as that canine displayed. Of course, Ben had to push out his chest and display his wonderful feathers.
Reverend Inky McKee met them at the opposite edge of the woods, gobbling all the way. Polly Tweed faced Ben. Touching her wing to his, as rain began to fall and thunder roared, she said, “Come my hero, let’s go find our tree.” If Blinking Ben’s snood hadn’t blushed red before—it did now.
Blinking Ben dipped his head. “Lord, I thank you. Even if You had to make it rain to answer.” Together they flapped their wings on the rise of the wind in the thundering storm with hearts full of gratitude and thanksgiving!
The words of the Lord are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. Psalms 12:6
Comforting, stabilizing, and encouraging are the loving words of our Father, whether we are joy-filled and elated or down-cast and trodden upon. His words bring life and liberate us from the weighty situations and attitudes this world harbors. When someone has spent much time with Him and soaked in the refreshment and grace His truth delivers, they draw us like a gravitational pull. There is a natural delight and purity that we find attractive, and we sense necessary. But when the undercurrent of law upon the lips of one with an unsoftened heart speaks—the opposite occurs. Bars of unreasonable expectation and critical judgment can hem us in if we do not make our escape.
Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword. They aimed bitter speech as their arrow, To shoot from concealment at the blameless… Psalm 64:3-4a What is the language of the evil one? Lying accusations, disrespect, and belittlement, which yields oppressive fruit. But oh, to discover the language of heaven, which bears abundant life, joy, and hope. How grateful I am that our holy and perfect Father provides our righteousness through Jesus so that we can luxuriate with Him in life eternal. Yet, we need to know His directives: accept, follow and abide.
His kindness and invitation to come unto Me never falters. His message to His children doesn’t devastate or tramp down the spirit. He speaks correction that brings health and life that we may either chose to accept or deny. His precious thoughts toward us outnumber the sands of the sea and are too numerous to count.(1) He is the only way to journey to truth and life.
My soul saddens greatly when blanket accusations wreak their poison. I’ve heard someone accusing his brothers and sisters in the Lord with statements harshly edged in judgment. Was that the sting of contempt upon his tongue? Why? How perfect are any of us? Do we not all share that talent to disappoint? Do we not all need forgiveness and intercessors who pray for life and liberty of our own personal challenges? I suppose it all boils down to what language we wish to speak and what fruit we wish to bear. Will we speak the language of the Devil and spew suspicion, division, and critical unforgiveness? Or will we allow our thoughts and words to produce a garden of delights filled with encouragement, truth that shines a light on hope for future pathways that will lead heavenward? Shall we pray for things that are not as though they were? (2) That is how I wish others to pray for me. How about you?
Words so easily slide off the tongue, yet, are impossible to retrieve after they’ve been spent. I wish this to be my prayer—this prayerful verse from Psalm 19:14--Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord my rock and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14
2 Romans 4:17
she is so slender and soft a reed
that his breath
sways her gently in the breeze of it.
and he, knowing her heart,
tends her with all ease of soul...
she, his soul
he, her life
and they adrift in a pool,
two slender reeds
afloat on the mystic winds of love.
photo and verse © john kopecky 28 Sept 2018
This poem has the feeling of Song of Solomon or Song of Songs in my opinion! I wish to thank John Kopecky, my friend and poet and artist extraordinaire for sharing his talents and gifts with us mere mortals! You may discover more of his poetry and art on his blog sykhgbmnmopljh.blogspot.com and his ebooks are available on Amazon, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble, Nook.
A NOTE FROM JOHN:
I have photo prints and watercolor pieces for sale. . .some appear on G+ as posts and can be found on my profile, photos. Total of over 70 chapbooks written with about 36 printed in some form--one underway but still developing contact through blog.
Thank you John! I really appreciate your work and your heart! Be blessed always!
I will give Thee thanks in the great congregation; I will praise Thee among a mighty throng. Psalm 35:18
Oh, the pain of being broken like a vessel shattered against bricks; the scattered pieces too many to count or replace. And suffering rude individuals who behave as though they have forgotten or merely ignore one’s presence is harsh indeed. King David experienced hostilities from friends and enemies alike throughout his lifetime. At times, terror and scheming hounded him—even from close family members. He’d cried out to the Lord against their threats and advances for they were as smiters he’d not known, slanderers who would not cease. Like godless jesters at a feast they gnashed…with their teeth…how long wilt Thou look on…
Even so David purposed in his heart to praise the Lord. No matter how ugly and fearsome the crowd, this king eventually focused on our magnanimous Lord to praise and expound His attributes! His determination to honor God instead of speaking hasty, unfaithful blame and criticism endeared him to our Father. I must admit that I’ve not been quick to praise in the midst of difficulties as David was apt to do. He has become my inspiration and I admire his devoted affection to the Lord. King David proved how he could stray and make huge mistakes, but he’d bounce back and express the loveliest heartfelt praise and trust in the Lord.
Within the winds of trouble even a king isn’t saved by the might of horses or strong armies. Such advantages are false hope…victory that dissolves into vapor. Try as we may, our strength will fail to overcome, unless we rely upon God who is our ever-present help in times of trouble. We don’t know Him only with intellect for He purposed that the simple things would confound the wise. We can know Him with the intimacy of relationship and heartfelt gratitude. Oh, how slandering lips can ravage the most honorable reputation to ears willing to hear reproach aimed at others. Laughter follows the stumbling of good men or women as critical individuals gnash their teeth and sharpen their mocking attacks. Yet, David shares that when we cry the Lord hears and delivers us out of all our troubles. When the worse comes, may we trust Him.
When we are dashed cruelly to the brickworks of mistreatment and disrespect my hope is that we would arise with undivided hearts to luxuriate and honor His name above all else.
O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:3 and 4
Father, may You fill us with Your love and grace to combat the evil and negativity that can attack us. Accusations may fly easily off the tongue of those who do not guard their lips. May we arise with vigor and strength that only comes from You to be a blessing and bring honor to Your name that is above all other names. Amen
Age is a garden of memories,
Flowers are plants on the way;
And the dewdrops we see on the roses
Were tears in some far yesterday
Age is a hand-woven garment
With colors both vivid and bright,
And a spot here or there won’t be noticed
Just a sadness that lasted a night
Age is a tall, slender willow,
Lending its song to the air;
And if one small branch is yellowed
It dims not the beauty that’s there
Age is a book we have treasured
The pages earmarked and worn,
But none of the value is lessened
If one little flyleaf is torn
Age is a cool, shady pathway
That winds by a murmuring brook;
If one small portion is rocky
It’s just a detour we took
Your garden is filled with the flowers
Of all the kindness you’ve shown
Your handwoven garment holds beauty
For all of the friends you have known
The leaves on the tree are not yellowed
But painted with autumn’s gold;
And the book with its verses you cherish,
Has stories the pages can’t hold
The pathway you walk has been gladdened,
The song of the brook is more clear,
The whole of life has been brightened
Because of your presence here
This is a guest post shared by a friend of mine, Arnie Haverlein. His mother wrote this poem in 1946 and he wanted others to be blessed to read it. :)
All the people crossed over the Jordan and the king crossed too. The king then kissed Barzillai and blessed him…And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why had our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away…” 2 Samuel 19:39a & 42a
When the king crossed the Jordan River, surrounded by all the people, the reclaimed favor seemed a victory for Israel and David, yet heartbreak tormented his body, soul, and spirit. Grief linked hands with guilt over his precious son’s murder. The commander Joab, the very man who’d ordered Absalom’s death, scorched this father’s grief with a tongue lashing weighted with a threat…if you do not go out, surely not a man will pass the night with you, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.1 I believe that David couldn’t even imagine anything more painful than what he’d already slugged through. I’m sure whispers dug-in their talons—If only David hadn’t taken Bathsheba; if only Nathan hadn’t needed to bring God’s message of how the Lord gave and gave…if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things…2 The broken relationship from David’s straying eye showed he’d come to despise the word of the Lord.3 What a ghastly revelation for the man after God’s own heart.
Have you experienced your Jordan crossing? People buzzing around, possibly assisting goals or the journey—oblivious to your heart-felt needs and pain as they look to all appearances to be supportive. And many may wish to be so, still the disconnect cannot be ignored. Your heart flounders in a sea of tears that may have been initiated by choices that shouldn’t have been made. Whether angling for popularity or slipping into sorrow-filled situations, they’d clouded thinking, choice by choice…leading wandering attention far from the King of Kings.
Barzillai had sustained David when the crowd was fickle, when the king’s life and kingdom were threatened by a son loved greatly by the father he hated. David wish to give back by sustaining Barzillai, but the man graciously bowed out of what he called being a burden to the king. Even pleasing friends can be a distraction and I believe that God had something else to offer David. The sword of consequences that God had warned would come seemed to prosper David in a different way. He’d become less willing to take life—unless necessary—and he seemed more agreeable. I believe God prepared a way for the king to begin the journey of restored intimacy. The placement of 2 Samuel 22, a song David had spoken to the Lord, made me think that the king reflected on this worship with deeper heart-felt understanding of God’s deliverance.
It is a fight to keep our minds stayed upon the Lord and certainly a battle worth winning. Let your heart beat quicken to His pace and not the strained expectations of others or yourself. He has something for you even when exhausted you cross your Jordan only to meet difficult attitudes and challenges on the other side. Look what He did for David, do you really think he would do less for you?
Precious Lord, fill me with an awareness of You. I desire to not wander away because of distractions and difficulties. You are great and greatly to be praised. Let my feet be fixed to follow after You all of my days. Amen
Did you ever receive a surprise gift that was just what you needed? Unexplained grace that you could hardly say thank you enough times for. My husband and I were honored to receive Crixus, the boxer, from a sweet friend, Sebrina, and her lovely daughter. We’d lost our Leonberger, Porschea, our perfect puppy, I know—she was eight years old, but she had puppy spirit until the end.
The house felt so empty without Porschea. Cal and I’ve been digging though dog books to pick out the next addition to our home. He wanted to wait a year. My heart just wasn’t in agreement. When my husband mentioned a Boxer, we started looking up the traits for this breed. Porschea had been 175 pounds of hairballs—all over the place. I liked what I was reading; Boxers are curious, playful, want to be with you and on and on the qualities mounted. We told our daughter, Vanessa, and she was with her friend who needed a home for her Boxer. Talk about timing! Sebrina’s work schedule was hard on Crixus and she put him first above her own heart.
This was a gift that cost her and her daughter mightily and we don’t take that lightly. When I went to meet Crixus—he was perfect. Yes, I’m still partial to the look of a hairy chunky dog, but his grace and the communication he brings with those huge eyes—I was sold!
He is now a member of our family. A patient one too. I’ve been sick all week and he has been so attentive and funny. We’d never allowed Porschea on our couch, but we have spread a blanket for Cricket to lay beside us. I’ve never had a dog snuggle so close, ever! Yes, I changed his name for my tongue tripped over Crixus! 😊 He and the cat are growing on one another. Zoey is queen and she wants to make sure we all still know that!
I hope you enjoy these photos and Sebrina, I can never thank you enough for your sweet nature and giving heart. You and your daughter are amazing!
How can one begin a to-do list for their heavenly home? We know that Jesus has prepared a place for those who received him on earth and followed Him until their last breath. But, what about how we spend time there? Will we have time? Will we remember what we wanted to ask or accomplish once we’ve arrived safely inside those heavenly gates? I know more about what I don’t know than what I do know concerning all of those questions.
Yet, a longing sprang up inside my mind yesterday and wedged itself deep into my heart. I want to meet and greet Hannah (Biddy) Chambers, who was Oswald Chambers wife! Her humble, positive nature is noted, revealing her to be a strong woman of faith. Though Biddy, as many called her, passed on to her heavenly reward in 1966, she has touched my life during many of my welcome and unwelcome crossroads. Biddy recorded Oswald Chambers speeches with Pittman’s shorthand and had his lectures and devotions published after he’d passed away in his 40s.
As I found myself making this Heavenly To-Do List, I realized that I’d merely added Biddy to my already developing list to meet Puritan preacher, John Bunyan; Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon as well as many of our numerous founding fathers! The list actually doesn’t stop there, so it would appear that I’ve been working on my Heavenly To-Dos for quite some time.
How about you? Besides Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit and family members—who do you desire to meet? What skill would you like to become proficient with? In other words, I’m curious to know if you’ve started you’re Heavenly To-Do list?
Hannah (Biddy) Chambers