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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…]

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.1
— George Herbert —

Image of a construction sign that says, 'Work Zone.'“‘Work zone’? Didn't we use to call that
a dining-room table?”2

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”

[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, and smiling says,
“‘Tis better on before.”

When tempted to forsake his God
And give the contest o’er,
He hears a voice which says, “Look up!
‘Tis better on before.”

When stern affliction clouds his face,
And death stands at the door,
Hope cheers him with her happiest note,
“‘Tis better on before!”

And when on Jordan’s bank he stands,
And views the radiant shore,
Bright angels whisper, “Come away!
‘Tis better on before!”

And so it is, for high in Heaven
They never suffer more;
Eternal calm succeeds the storm—
‘Tis better on before!

 

Lyre and Wreath, used under license from www.123rf.com (santi0103/123RF Stock Photo)

To discover more hymns, visit our growing list of Powerful Poetry.

Image credit: Copyright: santi0103/123RF Stock Photo
Used under license

Tis Better on Before

J. C. Trott
(19th Century)

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…]

In the Hollow of His Hand

George Schuler
1882-1973
(Please see copyright notice below.)

And He arose, and rebuked the wind,
and said unto the sea, “Peace, be still.”
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

— Mark 4:39 —

Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
and meted out heaven with the span,
and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure,
and weighed the mountains in scales,
and the hills in a balance?

— Isaiah 40:12 —

Our God hath given promise,
And His grace for this hath planned:
His child shall rest securely
In the hollow of His hand.

Chorus:
Let come what may — or wave, or tempest—
“Peace, be still!” ‘tis His command;
My soul is held in peace eternal
In the hollow of His hand. [continue reading…]

The Time to Shine

Lanta Wilson Smith
(1856-1939)

When the gloomy shadows gather ‘round your way,
And the clouds of sorrow hide the sun’s bright ray,
Keep your faith unshaken, tho’ all ills combine;
When the days are darkest, that’s the time to shine.1

Chorus:
That’s the time to shine, that’s the time to shine,
Let your faith and courage glow with light divine;
That’s the time to shine, that’s the time to shine, [continue reading…]

Teach Me, My God and King

George Herbert1
(1593-1632)

The Elixir

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee.

To scorn the senses’ sway,
While still to Thee I tend,
In all I do be Thou the Way,
In all be Thou the End. [continue reading…]

Lord, I Have Shut the Door

William Runyan
(1870-1957)

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet,
and when thou hast shut thy door,
pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret
shall reward thee openly.

— Matthew 6:6 —

Lord, I have shut the door;
Speak now the word
Which in the din and throng
Could not be heard.
Hushed now my inner heart;
Whisper Thy will,
While I have come apart,
While all is still. [continue reading…]

Peace, Perfect Peace

Edward Bickersteth, Jr.
(1825-1906)

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest. [continue reading…]

There Is a Land of Pure Delight

Isaac Watts
(1674-1748)

There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign;
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.1

There everlasting Spring abides,
And never-withering flowers;
Death, like a narrow sea, divides [continue reading…]

Sweet Peace, the Gift of God’s Love

Peter Bilhorn
(1865-1936)

There comes to my heart one sweet strain,
A glad and a joyous refrain,
I sing it again and again:
Sweet peace, the gift of God’s love.

Chorus:
Peace, peace, sweet peace,
Wonderful gift [continue reading…]

The Eternal God and His Timing

The Passage of Time

22 August 2019

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime.1

Photo of a variety of clocks, all set at different times; image courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@jontysonThe Eternal One has His appointed times!2

Since the last newsletter, I celebrated the 51st anniversary of giving my life to Jesus. In the scope of eternity, 51 years isn’t even a blip on the radar scope. But such milestones provide a moment for reflection and thanksgiving for the goodness of God, and sober us when we consider the end of earthly life is approaching faster than we realized.

Part of preparing for eternity, as well as serving in the “now,” is in reviewing the things He has taught us. One thing I’ve learned in 51 years is that knowing the will of God for any given situation isn’t nearly as challenging as knowing God’s timing. It’s God’s marvelous timing I’d like to share about this month.

“My Times Are in Your Hand”

My times are in Your hand.
— Psalm 31:15 NASB — [continue reading…]

Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart

Edward Plumptre
(1821-1891)

Rejoice ye pure in heart,
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing!
Your glorious banner wave on high,
The cross of Christ your King.

Refrain:
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice,
Give thanks and sing!

Bright youth and snow-crowned age,
Strong men and maidens meek,
Raise high your free, exultant song, [continue reading…]

The Threads of God’s Peruvian Tapestry


Photo of a Peruvian weavingThis tapestry? Tourist stuff!
But God's tapestry is a weaving for eternity!1

16 July 2019

Normally I’d feel more than a bit frustrated getting this “June” newsletter out so late. Instead, with all the health challenges I’ve faced since returning from Perú, I’m very thankful to send this off at last! There’s at least one blessing in the delay: The “lost” time has afforded the opportunity to step back and get a better perspective of God’s artistry in bringing together so many different threads to make a rather intriguing Peruvian tapestry.

Threads of Unexpected Colors and Origins

[continue reading…]