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An Open and “Shot” Case

5 May 2021

Dear Friend,

Yes, I know — the phrase in the newsletter title is usually “an open and shut case.” I'll explain in a moment but first I have a…

Newsflash for “Somebody,” the Intercessor

Title image of a rusty metal key in a lockOur COVID vaccine shots don’t open doors,
but Jesus does!1

I want to thank the Lord and somebody out there. I don’t know who. You may recall the last newsletter took on the theme of my “oomph-lessness.” I managed to hit the “send” button around 8 pm local time and I went to bed.

Somebody received the newsletter that same night and prayed for me. Dark and early, right at 04:00 the next morning (my preferred wake-up time, a schedule that allows me to spend over two hours in research and writing on [continue reading…]

Copyright © 20211

by
Percy Gutteridge

God’s Calendar of Events

As Christians, we are facing a great and glorious future. But it is a future in which the enemy will try to entangle our minds and confuse us, so that we shall not be ready when the Bridegroom comes. We need guidance from the Lord and His Book so that we may understand and be able to read the signs of the times, to be “men who know what Israel ought to do.”

To that end, God the Father intends that you should have in your mind a divine calendar of events leading up to [continue reading…]

Mother’s Legacy

Copyright © 20071

chapter 10 from the book
Boyhood Memories & Lessons
by
Isaiah Reid

Title image, text surrounded by a floral wreathA Mother’s Day Tribute2

Mother had a catechism which was called The Child’s Catechism. She used it for teaching us before we could read. She asked questions, and answered them either according to the book or with her own “Notes” and personal explanations and illustrations. The first question in the book was “Who created you?” The answer was in a monosyllable, “God.”

I have never been able to get away from that teaching. It was in harmony with the Lord’s Prayer she taught me a little later, beginning with the same Person, only the name was changed to “Our Father.” From that day I always believed that God was my Father in the creation sense, and that He was the Creator of all souls, and ruler of this world. I could never believe that I was a “child of the devil.” In sin I acted like a child of the devil, and was on his side, but all this while I was a prodigal from home. While in sin, and I read from the Bible, “All souls [continue reading…]

Oomphless, But in a Secluded Place

Resting on the Rock(ing Chair)

3 April 2021

Dear friend,

Title image showing a very tired labrador retrieverI’m so dog-gone tired that cat-naps won’t suffice.
I find myself envying ol’ Rip Van Winkle
just a bit!1

Photo of a rocking chair on an outdoor porch

This is what an idyllic vacation dream looks like for me; but it doesn't hold a candle to the Secluded Place where “He restoreth my soul.”2

Yes, this newsletter is a bit late, and it’s a bit different. I just haven’t had the internal oomph to write it and get it published. Oh, don’t worry. External circumstances are going well, the blessing of God seems to be on our activities, the path ahead looks bright, and we are healthy. We had our Finest of the Wheat annual board meeting this past week, and we were all giving thanks to God for His goodness and blessing over the last year.

But having acknowledged that, I also realize that I’ve reached a point of temporary burnout. It happens now and then, since I usually go nonstop, and I’ve learned through experience that it’s nothing that should raise alarm bells. Experience has also taught me that it’s rather futile to harness the remaining “fumes” of my willpower in order to “blast through.” In burnout times, the most fruitful response, yielding the quickest recovery time, is to listen to Jesus when He says, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).

My idea of a [continue reading…]

Margaret J. Harris
(1865-1919)

In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

Zechariah 13:1

When I saw the cleansing fountain
Open wide for all my sin,
I obeyed the Spirit’s wooing,
When He said, “Wilt thou be clean?”

Chorus:
I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
Praise the Lamb [continue reading…]

Face to Face with Christ, My Savior

Carrie E. Breck
(1855-1934)

Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me?

Chorus:
Face to face I shall [continue reading…]

Henry Ostrom
(1862-1941)

Jesus may come today,
Glad day, glad day!
And I would see my friend;
Dangers and troubles would end
If Jesus should come today.

Chorus:
Glad day, glad day!
Is it the [continue reading…]

Jesus Is Coming!

Daniel Webster Whittle
(1840-1901)

Jesus is coming! O sing the glad word!
Coming for those He redeemed by His blood,
Coming to reign as the glorified Lord!
Jesus is coming again!

Chorus:
Jesus is coming, is coming again!
Jesus is coming again!
Shout the [continue reading…]

Spring Training!

28 February 2021

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

1 Timothy 4:8-10 nkjv

Dear Friend,

Photo of a man and woman power-walking outdoorsPrepping for a new teaching season!1

My next-door neighbor, despite being Virginia born and bred, is a lifelong New York Yankees baseball fan. This morning he and his family left for Florida so that he can fulfill a long-held dream of watching the Yankees during their Spring-training camp. (Of course, there’s also the small matter of visiting a Florida-based great-grandchild — their first!)

My neighbor’s neighbors (that would be Denise and me) are in “spring training,” too, but it’s not nearly so glamorous as swinging bats, snagging line drives, and signing autographs for fans. Yes, assuming we can [continue reading…]

Pulling the Bible’s “Mnemonic Triggers”

Copyright © 20211

by
Jim Kerwin

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Title image for 'Pulling the Bible's 'Mnemonic Triggers'When you found that Old Testament quotation
in the New Testament this morning,
did you pull the “mnemonic trigger”?
If not, you probably missed a blessing!2

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that mnemonic3 isn’t an adjective that rolls off the tongue or that comes up in casual conversation. Neither is its related noun, mnemonics, which means a technique of improving memory. But I think I can promise that if we can understand these unfamiliar words, the concept of a “mnemonic trigger” will become a useful and powerful tool in our Scripture reading and Bible study.

It might help us fix these two unusual words in memory if we take a quick trip down Memory Lane to visit the name which gave birth to both words. The ancient [continue reading…]

I Once Was a Stranger

Alternate title:
Jehovah Tsidkenu

Robert Murray M’Cheyne
(1813-1843)

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
The LORD our righteousness
(יְהוָה צִדְקֵנוּ / Yahweh ṣidəqēnû / Jehovah Tsidkenu).’”

—Jeremiah 23:5-6 nasb

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah´s wild measure [continue reading…]

There Is a Name I Love to Hear

Frederick Whitfield
(1829-1904)

We love because He first loved us.
—1 John 4:19—

There is a name I love to hear,
I love to speak its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear,
The sweetest name on earth.

Chorus:1
O, how I love Jesus!
O, how I love Jesus!
O, how I love Jesus
Because He first loved me!

It tells me of a Savior’s love
Who died to set me free,
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.

It tells me of a Father’s smile [continue reading…]

Ebed-Melech

Amos R. Wells
(1862-1933)

10Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take thirty men from here under your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cistern before he dies.” 11So Ebed-melech took the men under his authority and went into the king's palace to a place beneath the storeroom and took from there worn-out clothes and worn-out rags and let them down by ropes into the cistern to Jeremiah. 12Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Now put these worn-out clothes and rags under your armpits under the ropes”; and Jeremiah did so.

Jeremiah 38:10-12 nasb

Hail to thoughtful Ebed-melech,
Ebed-melech, bold and kind —
Slave, well worthy to be freeman,
Royal heart and ready mind!
Where a cowardly king was feeble,
He was quick to dare and do,
Pitiful to Jeremiah,
Strong to [continue reading…]

Pedaling as Fast as I Can!

30 January 2021

Title image 'Pedaling as Fast as I Can!' using a photo of an old Volkswagen 'bug' in the backgroundIf “speed kills,” then VW bug owners should live a long time!1

Denise and I celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary yesterday, and I am reminded that when we got married we owned a high-mileage black 1965 VW “bug” as our first car. Though loved by economy-minded VW owners, that model more than deserved its nickname of “gutless wonder.” Did you ever get stuck on an uphill freeway on-ramp behind a “bug” that was reciting “I think I can, I think I can” as it strained up the incline? If you did, you probably got close enough to read the bumper sticker that only a VW bug owner could fully appreciate:

DON’T HONK!
I’M [continue reading…]