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A “Moving” Testimony

29 July 2022

Dear Friend,

Map of a move across the United States3000 miles for new life in Christ…1

One of the first things I ask a new Christian acquaintance is this: “How did you come to Jesus?”

My 54th spiritual birthday comes around on the last day of this month, so let me share how the Lord brought me to Himself.

Not “Bad Enough” (but No Apologies for That!)

A dangle of Sunday school attendance pinsDoes anyone remember these “Cross & Crown” Sunday School attendance pins? I can’t recall, but I might have had as many as seven “shingles.”2

I don’t have a “lost in depraved sin” kind of testimony, but I make no apology for that. Those of us who didn’t have to “hit bottom” before giving ourselves to Jesus can consider our testimonies to include a blessèd dollop of the prevenient grace of God, which kept us from such traps and ensnarements. But we may have had the opposite problem: thinking we were “too good” to need Jesus. After all, weren’t we Christians just because we’ve been good church-go-ers?

I was taken to church every Sunday of my childhood life, from the day I was infant-baptized. As soon as I was old enough for Sunday school, that got added to the never-miss weekly list, as were the dangle of perfect-attendance pins. Junior high brought along the additional weekly attendance at youth group. When I was old enough, I earned my God & Country medal in Boy Scouts even before I earned my Eagle medal.

There was just one small problem. I had no way to know that [continue reading…]

“Give Me This Mountain!”

27 June 2022

Caleb: “Giants? So Much the Better!”

Title image for 'Give Me This Mountain!' showing a large fortress on a mountainYes, giants, fortresses and all!1
  • “As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”
  • Joshua 14:11-12 nkjv

Jim with Gladys de Chávez cutting his birthday cake at the ESUM Guatemala pastors' conferenceWe returned to our COVID-interrupted tradition of celebrating my birthday during the pastors' retreat in Guatemala.
Jim with one of the many pastors at ESUMIt seemed like nearly every pastor wanted a photo with me.2

Dear Friend,

I awoke the last day of ESUM in “Reu” (Retalhuleu), Guatemala at 5 AM. The teaching had been exceedingly well received so far for two straight days. This day, May 28th, was the last day of the conference and the last day of [continue reading…]

6: The Angel and the Speechless Priest Prophesy

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 1

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 1: The Exceptional Messenger
Chapter 6: The Angel
and the Speechless Priest
Prophesy

Copyright © 20221

by
Jim Kerwin

Visiting Memories

Image of John the Baptist from a 16th Century painting“He must increase, I must decrease.”2

Visitors were allowed to call on John in his cell at certain times. Through this “grapevine,” John had heard about how Jesus had associated him with the “Elijah prophecy” at the end of Malachi. John wondered how much of what Jesus declared about him had come by means of revelation, and how much of John’s own story Jesus had learned by other means.

John was just finishing his morning prayers when other visitors arrived. They were the ones to whom the guards and bars couldn’t deny admission, whenever they came. They were [continue reading…]

The Blood, the Blood Is All My Plea

Now I’m Kneeling at the Cross
[alternate title]

John Parker
(c. 1825–1911)

The blood, the blood is all my plea,
Nor should a sinner wonder;
For guilty stain and stinging pain
Hath torn my heart asunder!

Chorus:
But now I’m kneeling at the cross,
Washing in the crimson tide,
And cleansed, I tarry at the fountain
Opened at my Savior’s side.

I rest, I rest supremely blest, [continue reading…]

In God I Have Found a Retreat (Under His Wings)

James Ni­chol­son
(c. 1828–1876)

In God I have found a retreat
Where I can securely abide;
No refuge, nor rest so complete,
And here I intend to abide.1

Chorus:
Oh, what comfort it brings,
As my soul sweetly sings;
I am safe from all danger
While under His wings.

I dread not the terror by night;
No arrow can harm me by day; [continue reading…]

5: Squaring John with Elijah

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 1

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 1: The Exceptional Messenger
Chapter 5: Squaring John with Elijah

Copyright © 20221

by
Jim Kerwin

A Question for You

Image of John the Baptist from a 16th Century painting“He must increase, I must decrease.”2

Matthew 11 relates the story of the imprisoned John sending two of his disciples to Jesus with this question: “Are you the Expected One?” (Matthew 11:2-3) They see some of Jesus’ miracles, receive a prophecy-based word of encouragement for John, and they then depart (vv. 3-7a).

Jesus then turns to the crowds and launches into an unfolding of John’s ministry and its importance. Do you remember Jesus’ final statement regarding John in this passage?

  • 14“And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. 15He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
  • Matthew 11:14-15

In that phrase “Elijah who was to come,” Jesus is referring to [continue reading…]

Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

Isaac-Watts
(1674-1748)

Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With all Thy quick’ning powers;
Kindle a flame of sacred love
In these cold hearts of ours.

Look how we grovel here below,
Fond of these trifling toys; [continue reading…]

It’s Just Like His Great Love

Edna Worrell
(1873–1961)

A friend I have called Jesus,
Whose love is strong and true,
And never fails howe’er ’tis tried,
No matter what I do;
I’ve sinned against this love of His,
But when I knelt to pray,
Confessing all my guilt to Him,
The sin clouds rolled away.

Chorus:
It’s just like [continue reading…]

“He Went About Doing Good…”

16 May 2022

Dear Friend,

Graphic of the words of Acts 10:38Jesus is still doing good!1

April flew by, May is accelerating, and I have a plane to catch early this Friday, May 20th, for my teaching trip to Guatemala (May 20-31). Let me take a break for a few minutes, sit down, and share with you some of April’s highlights.

I’m reminded of a line from Peter’s sermon at Cornelius’ house. Speaking of the Lord’s earthly life, Peter said, “God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power… He went about doing good and healing…”

What a down-to-earth description of the Lord’s ministry! Jesus is [continue reading…]

Take My Heart, O Great Refiner

Ellen Lakshmi Goreh
(1853-1937)

Take my heart, O Great Refiner,
Plunge it in the cleansing flame;
Heat the furnace seven times hotter,
I shall still adore Thy Name;
I shall hail its hungry roaring,
’Twill be music in mine ear,
If, amid its fiery [continue reading…]

His Eye Is on the Sparrow

Civilla Martin
(1866-1948)

29“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

Matthew 10:29-31 nasb

6“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.“

Luke 12:6-7 nasb

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for Heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He—
His eye is on the sparrow, [continue reading…]

The Beautiful Garden of Prayer

Eleanor Schroll
(1878–1966)

There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting,
There’s a place that is wondrously fair,
For it glows with the light of His presence —
’Tis the beautiful garden of prayer.

Chorus:
Oh, the beautiful garden, [continue reading…]

Teach Me to Pray

Albert Reitz
(1879-1966)

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”

Luke 11:1 nasb

“Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray” —
This is my heart-cry day unto day.
I long to know Thy will and Thy way;
“Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray!”

Chorus:
Living in Thee, Lord, and Thou in me,
Constant abiding, this is my plea.
Grant me [continue reading…]

God Leads Us Along

George A. Young
(18??-19??)

In shady, green pastures
So rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow
Bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.

Chorus:
Some through the waters,
Some through [continue reading…]