≡ Menu

Whirlwind, Hurricane, and Storm

30 September 2023

Knocked for a Loop by the Whirlwind

Dear Friend,

Title tile for 'Whirlwind, Hurricane, and Storm'Yessiree, it’s been an interesting period…

Lucky Elijah! He was taken up to Heaven in a whirlwind at the end of his life. But we’ve been caught up in an eight-week-long whirlwind and getting pretty banged up in the process. We’re not trying to leave our friends, supporters, and readers out of the loop — honest! It’s just that over the last eight weeks we’ve been “knocked for a loop” and we’re still trying to recover our equilibrium. Elijah was “one and done” with his whirlwind, but our whirlwind has led to a hurricane, followed by a storm!

A week before we left for Florida, I fell [continue reading…]

O Jesus, Thy Great Love!

Lha Wangdi
(The story of this hymn and its author appears below.)

O Jesus, Thy great love, it is so wonderful,
Transcending sea and stars in the sky,
Greater than mountains so high!
O Jesus, Thy great love…

My heart is bubbling and full, with joy abundant and free;
O Lord, how wonderful, are all Thy workings in me!
From morn to evening, from e’en to morning,
Thou art so praiseworthy!
From morn to evening, from e’en to morning,
Thou art so praiseworthy!
Thou art so praiseworthy!

Oh how my life is crushed [continue reading…]

Worse Than an Infidel? No Thanks!

My 55th spiritual birthday, 31 July 2023

  • But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
  • 1 Timothy 5:8 kjv

God’s “New Thing” Is Coming Clear

Dear Friend,

Photo of a room full of boxes packed for movingPlease. Spare us the “move of God” jokes…1

Denise and I have never had a desire (or funds!) to shuffle-board into some easy retirement in a “senior-living” resort. We love Jesus, He has kept us healthy in spirit, mind, and body, and in many ways we feel like we’re just beginning to come into some maturity of usefulness to the Body, especially with the rising “new generation.”

We have been praying about and anticipating a change of venue for some time now, and have been waiting on the Lord for His direction and timing, offering up much prayer over the matter. Given the various open doors we have had in northeastern Florida, we understood this region could be the most likely, but certainly not inevitable. Until now.

Now serious health [continue reading…]

Give Me the Enlarged Desire

Charles Wesley

I am the Lord thy God,
which brought thee out of the land of Egypt:
open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

— Psalm 81:10 kjv

Give me the enlarged desire
And open, Lord, my soul,
Thy own fulness to require,
And comprehend the whole;

Stretch my faith’s [continue reading…]

Rivers of Living Water (John 7:37-39)

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 3

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 3: The Fellowship of the Forerunner
Deeper Dive #1:
Rivers of Living Water (John 7:37-39)

Copyright © 20231

Jim Kerwin

Frustrated Curiosity

Title graphic over a photo of the Jordan River in IsraelWhere is the verse Jesus quoted? That depends on where John meant to put his “period”!2

Idon’t understand what grace God worked in my heart to make me so, but once I came to Jesus I sought to be a Bible reader — someone who reads The Book through cover to cover at least every year.3 As I continued reading through, I discovered the truth of St. Augustine’s words:

The Old Testament is the New concealed;
the New Testament is the Old revealed.

And I became more and more convinced of what the Apostle Paul taught about what we call the “Old Testament”—

  • For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
  • Romans 15:4

It was (and still is!) a delight to [continue reading…]

Guatemala: Swimming in Encouragement

30 June 2023

When they read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
Acts 15:31
…they have proved to be an encouragement to me.
Colossians 4:11

Dear Friend,

Guatemalan pastors and leaders enjoying pool timeLast year (as I mentioned last newsletter), the Guatemalan pastors threatened to throw me in the pool. This year they merely kindly invited me in. But these pastors left me swimming in encouragement!1

“How was Guatemala?” you ask. Well, never mind the 21-hour marathon to get from reveille to my first overnight location. Don’t count the fact that I had a head cold from the second day right through to the end of the trip. Ignore the experience of being smitten with… how do I put this delicately?… an “intestinal ‘souvenir’” from the early morning of my return-flight day right through my first full week back home. This Guatemala trip was very encouraging, maybe the best trip yet! (And that’s saying something, because I’ve been blessed with visits there almost every year since 2008.)

Yes, despite being “out of it” physically, teaching five to six hours on conference days in “feels like” 107° F. temperatures, and a daily regimen of cold showers, I’d return under the same conditions in a heartbeat!

Trip Diary

Never been on a teaching trip like this? Then climb [continue reading…]

O Christ, What Burdens Bowed Thy Head

Anne R. Cousin

O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head!
Our load was laid on Thee;
Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead,
Didst bear all ill for me.
A Victim led, Thy blood was shed;
Now there’s no load for me.

Death and the curse were in our cup:
O Christ, ’twas full for Thee;
But Thou hast [continue reading…]

They Didn’t Throw Me in the Pool

8 May 2023

A Misstep and a Watery Threat

  • 37Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’”
  • John 7:37-38 nasb

Dear Friend,

Title words 'They Didn't Throw Me in the Pool!' distorted in the waters of a swimming poolI’m glad they didn’t. I’m “negatively buoyant.”1

Even though the Guatemalan pastors threatened to throw me into the pool during my visit last year, I’m returning to them in ten days to be the Bible teacher at their three-day conference / retreat (May 25-27). In their defense, I should note that their threat was made in good humor, that it arose in part from their hunger for the Word, and… well, perhaps I deserved it by inadvertently teasing them.

Let me rewind this story to last May 2022. Honestly, I don’t remember how the subject of John 7:38 came up briefly during last year’s teaching on Soul and Spirit. For some reason I touched it in passing, noting that when Jesus said, “As the scripture has said,” that there was no verse in the Old Testament from which He was quoting. As I [continue reading…]

La Bendición Rechazada

derechos de autor © 2023

Jim Kerwin
texto traducido por
Pastores Fermín y Lilian Chávez
Inés María González Valdés

Preparando el Escenario

Mientras escribo estas palabras, no está lejos el centenario del Avivamiento de la Calle Azusa. Considerando el derramamiento del Espíritu Santo que cambió al mundo en 1906, muchos académicos y escritores, maestros y predicadores estarán pensando “¡Lo que Dios ha hecho!” El mover de Dios en aquella humilde iglesia convertida en almacén, convertida en establo, convertida en misión en la Calle Azusa 321 en Los Ángeles, puso en marcha una imparable ola de crecimiento de los pentecostales y carismáticos que en el año 2000 (94 años después de la Calle Azusa) sumaban casi 524 millones en todo el mundo.1

Tan cierto como el hecho de que somos humanos, [continue reading…]

Devoted (but Misdirected?)

31 March 2023

“Devote Yourselves to Prayer” (But…)

Dear Friend,

Edvard Munch's painting 'The Scream'This is Edvard Munch’s painting of me not dealing well with life in the midst of trials.1

The Holy Spirit has been challenging me of late to be “devoted to prayer” (e.g., Colossians 4:2-4; Acts 6:4). Given what’s unfolding in our lives, that’s a critical and helpful leading, a necessary discipline. But such prayerful devotion needs the Spirit’s direction as well, because…

…it’s possible to be devoted to praying for the wrong thing! Back in 1987 we faced a serious crisis of faith. Little more than a year earlier we had moved from suburban Southern California to rural Georgia by the Lord’s leading, in order to work with a small missions organization based in a small town. All went amazingly well for the first year. In addition to the missions work (developing teaching material for third-world pastors), the Lord opened [continue reading…]

We Are the Net

28 February 2023

    • 6…they enclosed a great quantity of fish; and their nets began to break; 7and they signaled to their partners in the other boat, for them to come and help them. And they came, and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.
    • Luke 5:6-7 nasb
    • 6…They cast… and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.… 8the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.… 11Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
    • John 21:6,8,11 nasb

Dear Friend,

Asbury, Tarrying, Shepherds, and Nets

Photo of a group of fishermen gathered around a full netHearts prepared by God, working together…1
Cover for the e-booklet 'Why Revival Tarries'Like almost all our Bible-teaching articles,
this is available for free on our website.
Or for a whopping 99¢ you can download it
to your Kindle reader.

Ah, timeliness! Weeks ago when I wrote the first draft of this newsletter, the “Asbury awakening” (awakening is what the wise school leaders there are calling it) had not yet begun. Whether Asbury is the start of an actual, nation-sweeping revival, or merely a foreshock of something to come remains to be seen. But…

On January 1st I heard a message from a dear pastor friend, Mark Sellers, which impelled me to transcribe, edit, and publish a Percy Gutteridge audio message. It took Denise and me six weeks of work, but that message — Why Revival Tarries — is now posted on our website. In it, Percy, my father in the Lord, proposed a challenging concept: Full revival tarries because there aren’t enough believers in the Church who are prepared by God to be used as His shepherds for all the newborn “sheep” who will enter the Kingdom — and the Church.

When the Holy Spirit moves in sweeping revival, multitudes come to Jesus. The relatively few pastors and spiritual leaders would be overwhelmed by the many souls who will come to Jesus in such a move of God. Without many individual, surrendered men and women disciplined and heart-prepared by the Lord to care for and disciple the converts, many of these new “sheep” could be lost.

I’d like to come at Pastor Gutteridge’s subject in a slightly different way. (In fact, [continue reading…]

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

Bernard of Clairvaux
translated by
Edward Caswall1


Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find [continue reading…]

1: On the Brink of Failure?

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 3

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 3: The Fellowship of the Forerunner
Chapter 1: On the Brink of Failure?

Copyright © 20231

Jim Kerwin

A Personal Story

Title graphic over a photo of the Jordan River in IsraelThings could still go wrong if… and unless…2

As we launch into this final book in the series, let me share a very personal experience, something from my early days as a Christian. This cautionary tale contains a dollop of wisdom that I believe applies to us as we prepare to implement the full-orbed Gospel in our sharing with those around us. At first, this anecdote may seem to have nothing to do with our subject of John the Baptist or his heart-preparing message; but please humor me — there is an important point to make.

I found — and was found by — the Lord Jesus in 1968. Once I had a glimpse of Him, and all He offered to me and required of me, my heart’s cry was and has been, “My utmost for His highest!”3 Among other things, that has meant seeking to [continue reading…]

Why Revival Tarries

Percy Gutteridge

Copyright © 20231

A Different Answer

Why does revival tarry? My answer to that subject, and the reason behind it, may surprise you; but if so, perhaps the surprise will challenge you. No doubt you’ve heard quite a lot about why revival tarries from preachers and teachers in the pulpit and the media. The general tenor of the message is this: It’s your fault. You are the reason revival tarries. You are not praying enough. My very dear brother, Leonard Ravenhill, would say that most certainly.2 And a chorus agrees with him — America is not praying with sufficient fervor, so God will not send revival.

I don’t believe that is true. That doesn’t mean we should stop praying; but we mustn’t ignore the sovereignty of God. The Most High God sends revival in His will, not ours. And the Most High God, our dear loving Heavenly Father, will send revival out of deep compassion. He has great compassion for every one of us, as if you were the only person in existence. But there is a special [continue reading…]