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Honduras Is a “Go”!

The Pieces Come Together

7 February 2020

Image of a to-do listThe challenge: trying to check-off the items as fast as the list grows!1

Dear Friend,

Maybe you’ve never thought about it. How does a missions trip come together? A trip like the one I’m about to take to Honduras and El Salvador doesn’t just “happen.” I can’t just show up and have folks say, “Hey, Jim’s here. Let’s gather the pastors for some teaching meetings.” So please let me share a few insights from this upcoming Honduras trip (February 20-March 6).

Why Do They [continue reading…]

Make Me a Captive, Lord

George Matheson
(1842-1906)

Make me a captive, Lord,
And then I shall be free;
Force me to render up my sword,
And I shall conqu’ror be.
I sink in life’s alarms
When by myself I stand;
Imprison me within Thine arms,
And strong shall be my hand.

My heart is [continue reading…]

Up to Date (A Motto for the New Year)

Public Domain1

by
Isaiah Reid

Article banner showing a beautiful mountain-lake sceneIf you want a happy New Year,
be up to date!2

The word for the closing and opening years should be “Up to Date.” We need not sit down in tears over the past which is gone. We had better be on our feet for a move forward. We must some way bring our past up to date, settled, canceled, cleared up to the present, or we will not have a fair start for the New Year. The sooner we actually get our whole past under the blood, certainly, and surely, and have witness to the same, the sooner we will be ready for our tomorrow. We need to be paid up to date and prayed up, and forgiven up, and cleansed up to date, and consecrated up to the [continue reading…]

Thankful for Two Births – and for You!

15 December 2019

Dear Friend,

“Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” here at home. Denise is still in Florida (for reasons I’ll explain in a minute), from whence I just returned. We have much for which to be thankful and much to anticipate.

A Paper-Plate Thanksgiving

Photo of Denise Kerwin and her newest grandchild“Grandma” and Chase1

Yes, we had a paper-plate Thanksgiving in Florida with our daughter and her family. Oh, we enjoyed the usual holiday menu, so don’t feel sorry for us. It’s just that there was so much going on in preparation for our new grandson’s arrival that there wasn’t time to spend on “fancification” or clean-up. Completion of a multitude of pre-baby tasks was the priority of the day.

It must have worked! We are giving thanks to God for the first birth that we’re celebrating in this newsletter, Grandson #2 [continue reading…]

Go Tell It on the Mountain!

Anonymous
African-American Spiritual
(Early 19th Century)
adapted by
John Wesley Work, Jr.
(1871-1925)

How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings,
That publisheth peace;
That bringeth good tidings of good,
That publisheth salvation;
That saith unto Zion, “Thy God reigneth!”

— Isaiah 52:7 —

While shepherds kept their watching
O’er silent flocks by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light.

Chorus:
Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills, and everywhere!
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

The shepherds feared and trembled,
When lo! above the earth [continue reading…]

Christmas Carols and Poems

The Lyrics of Christmas

Image of choir members singing“…as we sing Messiah’s birth…”1

We have hundreds of hymns and poems available in the Powerful Poetry section of our website. That's a blessing, but it can make it a challenge to pick out the Christmas carols and poems in that long list.

Here is our list, which will grow every year (Lord willing):

If you have a favorite that's not on the list, please contact the webmaster to request it. If it's not under copyright, we will consider adding it for future Christmases.

Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming

Anonymous
Traditional German Carol

(15th Century)
translated by
Theodore Baker
(1851-1934)

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

— Isaiah 11:1 —

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter, [continue reading…]

Wingless Angels and Their Poetry

Copyright © 2019

by
Jim Kerwin

Title image for the article 'Wingless Angels and Their PoetryHere's a fresh view of Luke 2…1

Ah, Christmas! What for others is a time of joy is for me a time to remember and mourn my felonious and heretical past life. The felony? Kidnapping. The heresy? Thinking that I could save God’s Son, Jesus. But like Saul of Tarsus, “I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in…” well, not “unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13), but because I was an innocent five-year old. I guess I need to explain.

Coinciding with my short career in crime, [continue reading…]

Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Aurelius Clemens Prudentius
(348-c.413 a.d.)
translated by
John Neale
(1818-1866)

Of the Father’s love begotten,
Ere the worlds began to be
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending He
Of the things that are and have been,
And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore. [continue reading…]

Holiness: Preparation for His Coming

Copyright © 20191

by
Percy Gutteridge

The Consummation of Advent

Photo of a hand pointing to the rising sun on the horizonIs your heart ready for the Second Advent?2

We are coming into the great season of Advent. Advent means arrival or coming — the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. In a previous article (This Shall Be a Sign Unto You) we dealt with the sign — learning what the sign was, and the significance of the sign that the angel mentioned to the shepherds. Now we want to look into the consummation of Advent — what it all leads to — the end of time and the last things. That means we must consider the Second Advent, that is, the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, the hope of the Church, and our trust that it’s drawing near. That coming, when He, the [continue reading…]

God’s Bounties Should Make Us Bountiful

Copyright 2007, 2019 by Jim Kerwin1

A chapter from the book
Sunnyside Papers: Inspirational Sketches
from God’s “Book of Nature”

by
Isaiah Reid

Title image with the words 'God's Bounties Should Make Us Bountiful' overlaid on a photo of many colorful vegetables.Bountiful, yes — and thankful!2

It is November.3 We have had an old-time Iowa fall. The charming weather has been just like a northern Florida winter, save the softness and balminess of the air. But doubtless for Iowa, the atmosphere we have had is better for us than that in Florida would have been. What is all right for one part of the country is not always the best thing for the other. Certainly, our fall has charmed everyone; and could it last, no one would care to go to California or to [continue reading…]

The Lord’s Times and Seasons


29 October 2019

To everything there is a season,
And a time for every purpose under heaven.
— Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV1

Dear Friend,

A closeup of colorful fall leaves on the groundHere in the Northern Hemisphere, it's autumn.
Do you know what season it is
in your spiritual life and ministry?2

In His wisdom, our Creator not only established seasons in the natural world, but also seasons in our earthly lives and our spiritual experiences. It takes some life experience in the Kingdom to appreciate the value of God-appointed seasons. Sometimes it requires the Holy Spirit’s fruit of patience and God-given wisdom, so as not to “hurry” a season along; a season is as long as God knows it needs to be. And having willingly submitted to God’s seasons and their appointed lengths, perhaps the best of all is the ability to enjoy the season through which we are passing.

…A Time to Heal…

[continue reading…]

With Steady Pace, the Pilgrim Moves

Richard Jukes
(1804-1867)

With steady pace the pilgrim moves
Toward the blissful shore,
And sings with cheerful heart and voice,
“‘Tis better on before!”

His passage through a desert lies,
Where furious lions roar;
He takes his staff, [continue reading…]

Greater Works Than These

Copyright © 2019

by
Jim Kerwin

An excerpt from the forthcoming book
The John the Baptist Experience

Leaping deer, a photo by jmrocek, under license from 123RF.com at https://www.123rf.com/profile_jmrocekIn prophecy, when do deer walk
and when do they leap?1

When the imprisoned John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to Jesus, he had one question in mind: “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” (Matthew 11:3 nasb2)

Jesus didn’t answer them directly at first. He believed in “show and tell,” and Luke tells us what John’s two disciples saw with their own eyes:

At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.

Luke 7:21

With the long day’s ministry over, the Lord approached John’s two representatives.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, [continue reading…]