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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…]

Hark, the Voice of Jesus Calling

Daniel March
(1816–1909)

Hark, the voice of Jesus calling,
“Who will go and work today?
Fields are ripe and harvests waiting,
Who will bear the sheaves away?”
Long and loud the Master calls us,
Rich reward He offers free;
Who will answer, gladly saying,
“Here am I, send me, send me”?

If you cannot [continue reading…]

Lord, Speak to Me

Original title:
A Worker’s Prayer

Frances Ridley Havergal
(1836-1879)

Lord, speak to me, that I may speak
In living echoes of Thy tone;
As Thou hast sought, so let me seek
Thy erring children, lost and lone.

O lead me, Lord, that I may lead [continue reading…]

Reading, Writing, and Reigning

Copyright © 2020, 20211

by
Jim Kerwin

Simple text title graphic for 'Reading, Writing, Reigning'

Several times a year I drive down a long stretch of highway in my home state of Virginia. While traveling westward on this road, I pass a church which hardly ever changes the message on its marquee. It nearly always proclaims that congregation’s motto:

Training for Reigning

Even though that probably doesn’t leave much to the imagination as to the typical content of their preaching and teaching (I’m guessing topics like prosperity, positive confession, and “living like a king’s kid”), it always makes me wonder if they teach anything about God’s minimum [continue reading…]

If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee

(a.k.a. If You Will Only Let God Guide You)

Georg Neumark
(1621-1681)
translated by
Catherine Winkworth
(1827-1878)

If thou but suffer God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that [continue reading…]

The Great Christmas Commission

19 December 2020

Dear Friend,

On December 25th we celebrate missions. Missions!? You probably thought I’d say, “Christmas” or “Jesus’ birth” or even “the Incarnation.” All of those are valid an­swers, of course. But have you ever thought about all of those as very im­por­tant sub-topics under the topic of mis­­sions, specifically the Great Com­­mission?

Title image showing earth's atmosphere from space, with the sky bearing the title 'The Great Christmas CommissionThe One who said, “Go” was sent.1

The Great Commission? Isn’t that the man­date Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 28:18-20? That’s when they became full-fledged apostles, right? “Apostle” — apóstolos in Greek — is just the noun form of the Greek verb apostéllō,2 to send some­one out, to send a message. So the word apostle means nothing more — and nothing less! — than [continue reading…]

A Song of Joy at Dawn

Paul Gerhardt
(1607-1676)
translated by
Catherine Winkworth
(1827-1878)

All my heart this night rejoices,
As I hear,
Far and near,
Sweetest angel voices;
“Christ is born,” their choirs are singing,
Till the air
Everywhere
Now with joy is ringing.

For it dawns — the promised morrow [continue reading…]

A Carol

Martin Luther
(1483-1546)
“Written for his little son Hans”
translated by
Catherine Winkworth
(1827-1878)

“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.”

Luke 2:10

The Angel’s Proclamation:

From heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing:

To you this night is born [continue reading…]

We Love Him for He First Loved Us

Gerhard Tersteegen
(1697-1769)
translated by
Catherine Winkworth
(1827-1878)

Thou fairest Child Divine,
In yonder manger laid,
In whom is God Himself well pleased,
By whom were all things made,
On me art Thou bestow’d;
How can such wonders be!
The dearest that the Father hath
He gives me here in Thee!

I was a foe to God,
I fought in Satan’s host,
I trifled [continue reading…]

God with Us

Paul Gerhardt
(1607-1676)
translated by
Catherine Winkworth
(1827-1878)

Blessèd Jesus! This
Thy lowly manger is
The Paradise where oft my soul would feed;
Here is the place, my Lord,
Where lies the Eternal Word
Clothed with our flesh, made like to us indeed.

For He whose mighty sway
The winds and seas obey, [continue reading…]

Forsaking All for the True Light

Laurentius Laurenti
(1660-1722)
translated by
Catherine Winkworth
(1827-1878)

Is thy heart athirst to know
That the King of heaven and earth
Deigns to dwell with man below,
Yea hath stoop’d to mortal birth?
Search the Word with ceaseless care
Till thou find this treasure there.

With the sages from afar [continue reading…]

“…From Whom All Blessings Flow…”

23 November 2020

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him all above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Dear Friend,

Man in rural NicaraguaOcotál, Nicaragua: Blessings flowed into this man’s life via that bag.1

Those words from the hymn which we call “the Doxology” actually represent the very last verse of a much longer hymn. It’s a summary, as it were, of Thomas Ken’s greater work Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun.

In the same way, a “summary” of God’s many blessings over the last six weeks is about all I can share in one newsletter. And the Latin American leaders have sent me so many photos that I can't share a tenth of them with you.

Blessing Should Flow [continue reading…]

With Grateful Heart My Thanks I Bring

Will­iam Brad­bu­ry
(1816-1868)

With grateful heart my thanks I bring,
Before the great Thy praise I sing.
I worship in Thy holy place
And praise Thee for Thy truth and grace,
For truth and grace together shine
In Thy most holy Word divine,
In Thy most holy Word divine.

I cried to Thee and Thou didst save;
Thy word of grace new courage gave.
The kings of earth [continue reading…]

The Year Is Swiftly Waning

William How
(1823-1897)


The year is swiftly waning,
The summer days are past;
And life, brief life, is speeding—
The end is nearing fast.

The ever changing seasons
In silence come and go;
But Thou, eternal Father, [continue reading…]