Just a Thought

                                 

                               Rev. A. Linford

CASKET OF LOVE

 ”Thy word have I hid in my heart” Psalm 119:1 1 

Brewer’s DICTIONARY OF PHRASE AND FABLE records: “After the battle of Arbela a golden casket, studded with jewels, was found in the tent of Darius. Alexander (the Great), being asked to what purpose it should be applied, made answer, ”there is but one production in the world today of so costly depository?” He placed in it his treasured copy of Homer, the great Greek poet.

God did the same with the DECALOGUE. Within the sacred precinct of the Tabernacle Court was the Sanctuary of God called ‘the Holy Place’. This was the vestibule to ”the Holy of holies, the most hallowed spot of the Hebrew camp. Enshrined in this ”Holiest of All” was the most prestigious piece of sacred furniture – the ARK OF THE COVENANT. In this coffer was placed the tablets of stone on which were engraved by the finger of God the Ten Commandments given on Mount Sinai. Thus the Word of God held the central place in the lives of God’s people. The very heart of the Old Covenant is this divine edict – God’s prescription for life.

The psalmist goes beyond this. He hides God’s word in the most sacred casket, his HEART, from that central point to instil virtue into the whole life, so that from the centre to the perimeter of his being the saving and sanitising power of the holy word is felt.

”Let the word of Christ dwell in you”, said Paul – Colossians 3: 16. This word will cleanse us, comfort and sustain us throughout life.

                             

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Illustrious Men and Ministries

                                         

                               Kathryn Kuhlman

Kathryn Johanna Kuhlman was born on May 9, 1907. She was born-again at the age of 14 in the Methodist Church of Concordia, and began preaching in the West at the age of sixteen in primarily Baptist Churches. From relative obscurity, she was catapulted toward national fame in 1946 by a seven-page laudatory article in Redbook magazine. Kuhlman traveled extensively around the United States and in many other countries holding “healing crusades” between the 1940s and 1970s, In her Crusades, she prayed for the sick and thousands claimed they were healed by Jesus Christ in her meetings. Kathryn Kuhlman never claimed to heal people always crediting God. She had a weekly TV program in the 1960s and 1970s called I Believe In Miracles that was aired nationally. The Kathryn Kuhlman foundation was established in 1954, and its Canadian branch in 1970.

Despite detractors, Kuhlman was honored and beloved by Christians of many denominations and even was an honored guest of the Pope. Though she didn’t associate with the Charismatic Movement until the mid 1960s she helped the movement spread through the Roman Catholic Church and other Protestant denominations.

In regard to style, Kuhlman was an incessant worker and gave meticulous attention to every detail of her services; everything had to be first-class. conducting them herself, she was on her feet for four to five hours at a time. She was very dramatic in gesture and consciously deliberate in speech. She was a strikingly tall redhead and dressed elegantly. Her friend and biographer Jamie Buckingham admits: “She loved her expensive clothes, precious jewels, luxury hotels, and first class travel.” She was a star, even until her death short of her seventieth birthday. [2]

Kuhlmann died on February 20, 1976, in Tulsa, following open-heart surgery and was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in a private grave. Today the Kathryn Kuhlmann foundation exists to continue her ministry and preserve her legacy.

                             

 

Dave’s Snippets

                                    

                               Dr. David Allen

BEWARE: A GENIUS AT WORK

In the last few months there have been many commemorations of the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of the poet John Milton (1608-1674). I don’t want to add to all that, except to say that there is no doubt that he is one of our greatest poets and a man of rare leaning and genius. However, we need to be cautious when dealing with genius, when he strays from his own ‘territory’, can get it wrong.

Freud, as an unsympathetic critic called him ‘the Viennese witchdoctor’, and actually wrote a book called Moses and Monotheism. He argued that monotheism was actuary borrowed by Moses from the heretic Pharaoh, Akhnaton. At the time there was a great deal of wild and extravagant claims being made for  that short-lived Pharaoh particularly by the archaeologist James Breasted  and one or two others.

The fact is that Freud’s thesis falls absolutely flat because most Egyptologists and Bible commentators now believe that Moses preceded Akhnaton by several centuries! The Exodus probably took place, according to strict Bible chronology,  circa 1440, The hectic Pharaoh only appeared at some period in the 1300s.

Milton’s epics, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes are unsurpassed in all English literature. But when we  turn to his Christian Doctrine, probably written around 1650 in Latin, it is a very different story: his poetic muse and his rationalism reduced Jesus to a mere great hero, as did the fourth century arch-heretic Arius. And Milton has thrown out virtually all the ancient Fathers and even claims that the Bible does not support the doctrine of the  Trinity. Need we say more ?

No wonder Milton never published that book during his lifetime. It belongs with Freud’s book along with the rest in the ‘reserve stock” in the basement.

Beware a genius at work!

                               

 

Prayer Dynamics

                              

                               Rev. Rick Warren

TO HEAR GOD YOU MUST CULTIVATE AND OPEN MIND

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up”Luke 8:5 (NIV) 

In Luke 8, Jesus uses the Parable of the Four Soils to give us the keys to hearing God speak.

In Jesus’ day, farmers didn’t have tractors or planters. To sow seed, the farmer would take the bag of seed, go out and cast it, or throw it, out over the ground. As he threw it, the seed landed on different kinds of soil. The seed would sprout, grow, and bear fruit depending which type of soil it fell on.

In this parable, the farmer represents God, the seed represents his Word, and the soil represents the four different kinds of responses you can have when God is trying to talk to you.

If you want to hear God speak, you must first cultivate an open mind. You have to be willing, ready, and eager to hear from him so you can receive what he has to say.

When Jesus talked about the hard soil (the path) in Luke 8, he was talking about a person’s resistance to hearing God. Do you know anyone who is like a footpath – narrow-minded with a hard heart? No matter what you say about God, they are not going to listen because they already have their minds made up.

Sometimes we don’t give God a chance to talk. Our minds are made up, our hearts are hardened, and we’re unwilling to listen. We have the hardened soil of a closed mind.

What can cause us to have a closed mind? There are three mental blocks:

  1. Pride. We decide we don’t need God’s help because we can handle things on our own. We don’t pray because our pride says we can take care of the problem.
  2. Fear. We’re afraid of what God might say to us. What if he asks us to do something we don’t want to do?
  3. Bitterness. When we hold on to a hurt and choose not to forgive, our hearts grow hard. We become defensive and resistant God’s love, his Word, and his voice.

What is the antidote to a hardened heart? “Get rid of all filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your soul” (James 1:21 NLT). Get rid of all the garbage, the TV, movies, books, magazines, games and websites you shouldn’t be indulging in, and humbly accept God’s Word.

The key phrase in that verse is “humbly accept.” Pray to God and say, “Lord, I admit I tried to figure it out on my own. It didn’t work, so I’m going to listen to you.” That’s the first step.

                                

Great Stories

                                      

                                   Rev. E. Anderson

SHE’S MY PRECIOUS

Robertson McQuilkin

(condensed) Written six gears after stepping down as president of Columbia Bible College and Seminary to care for his wife, Muriel, suffers frm Alzeimer’s.

Seventeen summers ago, Muriel and I began our Journey into the twilight. It’s midnight now, at least for her, and sometimes I wonder when dawn will break. Even the dread of Alzheimer’s disease isn’t supposed to attack so early and torment so long. Yet, in her silent world, Muriel is so content, so lovable. If Jesus took her home, how I would miss her gentle, sweet presence. Yes, there are times when I get irritated, but not often. It doesn’t make much sense to get angry. And besides, perhaps the Lord has been answering the prayer of my youth to mellow my spirit.

Once, though, I completely lost it. In the days when Muriel could still stand and walk and we had not resorted to diapers, sometimes there were “accidents”. I was on my knees beside her, trying to clean up the mess as she stood, confused, by the toilet. It would have been easier if she weren’t so insistent on helping. I got more and more frustrated. Suddenly, to make her stand still, I slapped her calf – as if that would do any good. It wasn’t a hard slap, but she was startled. I was, too. Never in our forty-four years of marriage had I ever so much as touched her in anger or in rebuke of any kind. Never; wasn’t even tempted, in fact. But, now, she needed me most-…

Sobbing, I pled with her to forgive me-no matter that she didn’t understand words any better than she could speak them. So I turned to the Lord to tell Him how sorry I was. It took me days to get over it. Maybe God bottled those tears to quench the fires that might ignite again some day.

Recently, a student wife asked me, “Don’t you ever get tiredly tired?”

“Tired? Every night. That’s why I go to bed”.

“No, I mean tired of…” and she tilted her head toward Muriel, who sat silently in her wheelchair, her vacant eyes saying, “No one at home just now”. I responded to Cindi’s question, “Why no, I don’t get tired. I love to care for her. She’s my precious…”.

Love is said to evaporate if the relationship is not mutual, if its not physical, if the other one party doesn’t communicate, or if one party doesn’t carry his or her share of the load. When I hear the litany of essentials for a happy marriage, I count off what my beloved can no longer contribute, and then l contemplate how truly mysterious love is.

What some people find so hard to understand is that loving Muriel isn’t hard. They wonder about my former loves-like my work. “Do you miss being president?” a student asked as we sat in our little garden. I told him I’d never thought about it, but, on reflection, as my work had been, I enjoyed learning to cook and keep house. No, I’d never looked back.

But that night I did reflect on his question and turned it to the Lord. “Father, I like this assignment, and I have no regrets. But if a coach puts a man on the bench, he must not want him in the game. You needn’t tell me, of course, but I’d like to know-why didn’t you keep me in the game?”

I didn’t sleep well that night and awoke contemplating the puzzle. Muriel was still mobile at that time, so we set out on our morning walk around the block. She wasn’t too sure on her feet, so we went slowly and held hands as we always do. This day I heard footsteps behind me and looked back to see the familiar form of a local derelict behind us. He staggered past us up and down. “Tha’s good. I like ‘at’, he said. “Tha’s real good. I likes it”. He turned headed back down the street, mumbling to himself over and over, “Tha’s good. I likes it”.

When Muriel and I reached our little garden and sat down, his words came back to me. Then the realisation hit me; the Lord had spoken through an inebriated old derelict. “It is you who is whispering to my spirit, ‘I likes it, tha’s good’”. I said aloud. “I may be on the bench, but if you like it and say it’s good, that’s all that counts—-“.

I think my life is happier than the lives of 95 people on planet Earth.

                                  

Healing Testimonies

                                 

                                Aubrey Shellard

A BOY’S LIMBS FREED IN ANSWER TO PRAYER

Two years ago my little boy, fell into the pool in Small Heath Park, and was nearly drowned. This was a shock to his system. Very soon we noticed that he was not using his left arm and leg as he should do. There was a rigidness about them; he always held them stiff, and always had the fingers clenched. He could only put his hand and arm up about halfway toward his head. I had to take him to the Nerve Hospital. We went three times a week for five months in 1929. He did not improve at all, so I gave up taking him. I jut prayed about it, and felt sure if it was God’s will He would put things right.

When I heard of Principal George Jeffreys’ visit here I brought Aubrey along to the meetings. The first time he was prayed for by the. Principal he put his arm up direct by be side of his head. I think this happened on the Wednesday afternoon of the first week at Birmingham.