If you want a happy New Year,
be up to date!
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…]
15 December 2019
“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
“Grandma” and Chase
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…]
Copyright © 2019
Here's a fresh view of Luke 2…
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…]
(Early 19th Century)
John Wesley Work, Jr.
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.
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…]
The Lyrics of Christmas
“…as we sing Messiah’s birth…”
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):
- 1st Sunday in Advent – Hosanna to the Living Lord
- 2nd Sunday in Advent (1) – The Lord Will Come
- 2nd Sunday in Advent (2) – In the Sun and Moon and Stars
- 3rd Sunday in Advent – Oh, Savior, Is Thy Promise Fled?
- 4th Sunday in Advent – The World Is Grown Old
- Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning! (Jan. 6 – Epiphany)
- Christians, Awake! Salute the Happy Morn
- Christmas Day – Savior, Whom This Holy Morn
- Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
- Come, Ye Lofty, Come, Ye Lowly
- Cradled in a Manger, Meanly
- Go Tell It on the Mountain!
- God's Hour
- Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!
- How Great Our Joy!
- Joy to the World!
- Let Earth and Heaven Combine
- Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
- Of the Father's Love Begotten
- Oh God! Who Gav'st Thy Servant Grace (Dec. 27 – St. John the Evangelist's Day)
- Oh Weep Not O'er Thy Children's Tomb (Dec. 28 – Innocents' Day)
- Savior of the Nations, Come!
- The Mystic's Christmas
- The Nativity of Christ (a.k.a. Behold, the Grace Appears!)
- The Son of God Goes Forth to War (Dec. 26 – St. Stephen's Day)
- Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne
- We Wise Men of Orient Are
- Wise Men Seeking Jesus
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.
Traditional German Carol
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…]
Aurelius Clemens Prudentius
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…]
Copyright © 2019
The Consummation of Advent
Is your heart ready for the Second Advent?
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…]
Copyright 2007, 2019 by Jim Kerwin
A chapter from the book
Sunnyside Papers: Inspirational Sketches
from God’s “Book of Nature”
Bountiful, yes — and thankful!
It is November. 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…]
29 October 2019
To everything there is a season,
And a time for every purpose under heaven.
— Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV —
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it's autumn.
Do you know what season it is
in your spiritual life and ministry?
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…
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…]
Copyright © 2019
An excerpt from the forthcoming book
The John the Baptist Experience
In prophecy, when do deer walk
and when do they leap?
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 nasb)
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.
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…]
J. C. Trott
O ye who tread life’s pilgrim away
With weary heart and sore,
Find hope and comfort in the thought—
’Tis better on before.
Though circumstances adverse be,
And scanty be your store,
Be patient; brighter days will come—
’Tis better on before.
Though you may be beset by foes
Who wound you o’er and o’er, [continue reading…]
A Busy Month in the “Work Zone”
25 September 2019
Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee.
— George Herbert —
“‘Work zone’? Didn't we use to call that
a dining-room table?”
What does a missionary teacher do when he’s not traveling abroad? (As you know, I’ve been sidelined a bit for medical reasons.) Well, it’s been a busy, productive month doing work that other people can’t see… just yet. The Lord can see it, and if He’s pleased, we’re happy. There’ve been “housekeeping” issues that have been left undone for a long time. This hiatus from travel has afforded the opportunity to catch up, starting with some long-overdue vascular “plumbing.”
Surgeries “in Vein”