Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Wesley Covenant Prayer

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

—as used in the Book of Offices of the British Methodist Church, 1936.

The new year is a great time to renew our covenant with God.
Happy New Year!
~~ Dave

'Twas the Night Before Jesus Came

'Twas the night before Jesus came
and all through the house
Not a creature was praying,
not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care... hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!

The light of His Face made me cover my head
It was Jesus! returning just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said, "It's not here" my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound
While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all.

Author unknown

The meter is a bit rough, but I enjoy the sentiment.

Said the angel, "Get ready, get ready, get ready!"

Merry Christmas,

Out of the brooding darkness

Christmas 1974

Out of the brooding darkness
God spoke!
"Let there be light!"
and the light
brought life
to the world.

And God said to humankind,
"You alone
have I made in my image!
Love your neighbor!
This is the law
of your life!"

Out of the darkness of exile
God spoke
through Moses,
and through his prophets.
He sang his word
through his psalmists,
with timbrel and harp.

But his people learned other words:
words of hate
and destruction
and hopelessness
and death,
and they forgot
God's word.

Into the darkness of bondage
God's Word came,
the Word that was
from the beginning,
the Word of light
and of life
made flesh.

And the light shone in the darkness,
and the darkness
could not put it out,
for the light
was God's self
come to dwell
on the earth.

And today we behold his glory,
as we give
of our love and ourselves.
And that glory
shines over our darkness,
and promises life
to our world.

Helen June Heath Knapp

Friday, January 4, 2013

Others May, You Cannot

By G.D. Watson

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others who seem to be very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature. The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you. God will take you at your word; if you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

I remember one day when I was serving my bride as her full-time caregiver that I heard John Lomacang saying on 3ABN that he was at the pinnacle, at the top  of his form, in the prime of his ministry, and doing the most satisfying things he could imagine.  Selfish pride smote my heart and I thought, "I wish it was me.  I wish I could say that."  I would tell my bride, "I wish I had a ministry," to which she would reply, I am your ministry.  And she was right, for God taught me many lessons through that season that John Lomacang has never had opportunity to learn and God is yet preparing me for that work which He, in his kindness, has not yet shown me, lest I faint.

remain faithful,

G.D.Watson (1845-1924) was a Wesleyan Methodist minister and evangelist based in Los Angeles. His evangelistic campaigns took him to England, the West Indies, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Korea. He also wrote several books.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

She Was Five...

"Giggles" courtesy of Flickr artist Walt Stoneburner.
She was five and sure of the facts, and recited them with slow solemnity, convinced that every word was revelation.
She said, “they were so poor, they only had one peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat, and they went a long way from home, without getting lost.  The lady rode on a donkey and the man walked, and the baby was inside the lady. They had to stay in a stable with an ox and an ass (hee-hee), but the three Rich Men found them because a star lifted the roof. Shepherds came and you could pet the sheep but not feed them. Then the baby was borned. And do you know who it was?”
With that her quarter eyes inflated to silver dollars. She said, “The baby was God.” And then she jumped into the air, whirled around, dove into the sofa, and buried her head under the cushion, which is the only proper response to the Good News of the Incarnation.

-- John Shea

Blessed are they who see Christmas through the eyes of a child.

Remain faithful,

Friday, December 21, 2012

No Room

Image "Knocking on Heaven's Door" courtesy of Flickr artist Vincent van der Pas

"No room," said the innkeeper,
And the Child was born in a stable.

Today that same Child stands at the door and knocks.
Will you, too, say "No room?"

-- David Jabs

This is, I think, my only original contribution to The Quote File and one of only two surviving poems that I have written.

When Jesus comes, he is the quintessential courteous Gentleman: he stands at the door and knocks.  He suffers the doorknob to be on the inside, with you, where you have the control to let Him in or keep Him out.

This is very different from the behavior of that seasonal charlatan that enters by stealth and without invitation and makes his way through sootier portals.

Merry Christmas!

edit:  This is actually my second original contribution.  I also wrote "Chartreuse Pillowcase" back during the wandering, caregiving years. 

The Weaver

My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
forget He sees the upper but I the under side. 

Image "Loom - iPhone 4" courtesy of Flickr artist Jeffrey Turner

           Not till the loom is silent and 
the shuttles cease to fly,
shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needed in the 
Weaver's skillful hand,
as threads of gold and silver in 
the pattern life has planned.

Image "In the details..." courtesy of Flickr artist Barb Howe

Benjamin Malachi Franklin (1882-1965)

Lord, today I choose to remember to thank you for both the threads of gold and silver, 
as well as the threads of black and gray.  And I purpose not to whine.

Remain faithful,