Monday, August 25, 2014

A Dream

  I have the most interesting dreams. The other night I had such an emotionally moving dream that I thought I would share it with you. I was in Grand Central Station in New York, seated on a bench. I was watching people as they walked by, and I could tell that I was actually looking for someone. I was obviously waiting, and as I was seated I was getting anxious. I kept looking at every person passing by, and the more that passed by, the greater sense of loneliness I would feel. As I was seated, suddenly a mist surrounded me, and then I found myself on a train. While in a dining car on the train, a young woman approached me and we began to talk. She was a stranger, but I recognized her as Marie, though at the time I did not actually know her as Marie, we began to talk. As we talked I began to realize that she was the person I had been waiting for, without knowing it. The more we spoke, the more anxious I got because I knew she was sent there on the journey to be with me. When that thought dawned on me, once again the mist began to cover me and the people who were in the car with us began to fade away. I suddenly grabbed Marie's face and kissed her, and drew her to me and began to cry because I knew that this moment would be over and I would lose her. She was the one I was lonely for, but she would be taken from me. As I held her, I began to sense that we were being separated, and I began crying and told her "Don't forget me! Don't forget me!" and she disappeared and immediately I found myself on the same bench in the train station. I was totally broken, once again watching people pass me by when a woman whose back was to me dropped something and bent down to pick it up. I got up from my bench and knelt down to pick up what she had dropped, and when I stood up to hand it to her, I saw that it was Marie. I then woke up and I must confess, I had tears in my eyes.
    I guess the reason why I took the time to write this out was to express openly how blessed I am that God gave Marie to me. She really is the "woman of my dreams!" and I am so terribly in love with her and thankful to God for giving me a woman who would travel faithfully with me on this journey of life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Great Story

Psalm24:3-6 (NLT) Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?  Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have right standing with God their Saviour. They alone may enter God’s presence and worship the God of Israel.

David Augsburger tells the true story of Lt. John Blanchard, a young soldier in basic training during World War II.

One evening he wandered into the Army library and found a book to read. As he worked his way through the book he became quite impressed with the notes penciled in the margins. The feminine handwriting showed insight and understanding as well as a touch of tenderness. He flipped to the front of the book and found the name of the previous owner, a Miss Hollis Maynell. Blanchard did some research and found out her address was in New York. He wrote a letter to her, and the next day he was shipped overseas.

For 13 months the two of them corresponded, and during that time they began to open their hearts to each other. It soon became apparent that they were falling in love. One time he asked her to send him a picture, but she refused, saying that if he really loved her it didn't matter what she looked like.

Finally the day came when they were to meet in Grand Central Station in New York. She told him, 'You'll recognize me by the red rose I'll be wearing on my lapel." At one minute till 7:00 the soldier straightened his uniform as people walked toward him, his heart pumping with anxiety and anticipation for the long awaited moment. 

In Blanchard's own words: "A young woman was coming toward me, her figure was tall and slim, her blond hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears, her eyes were blue as flowers, her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her entirely failing to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved in her direction, a small provocation smile curved her lips: 'Going my way, soldier?' she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I took another step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. 

She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump; her thick ankled feet were thrust into low-heeled shoes. But she wore a red rose on the rumpled brown lapel of her coat.

The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was being split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld me during the long months overseas. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped a small worn blue leather copy of the book which was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. 

"I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. "I'm Lt. John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me here; may I take you to dinner?' The woman's face broadened in a tolerant smile. 'I don't know what this is all about, son,' she answered, 'but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. She said if you were to ask me out to dinner I should tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test.'   

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Power of Love

This is from a devotion by D.L. Moody:

Love will rebuke evil, but will not rejoice in it. Love will be impatient of sin, but patient with the sinner. To form the habit of finding fault constantly, is very damaging to spiritual life; it is about the lowest and meanest position that a man can take. I never saw a man who was aiming to do the best work, but there could have been some improv...ement; I never did anything in my life, I never addressed an audience that I didn’t think I could have done better. And I have often upbraided myself that I had not done better; but to sit down and find fault with other people when we are doing nothing ourselves, not lifting our hands to save some one, is all wrong, and is the opposite of holy, patient, divine love.

Love is forbearance; and what we want is to get this spirit of criticism and fault finding out of the Church and out of our hearts; and let each one of us live as if we had to answer for ourselves, and not for the community, at the last day. If we are living according to the 13th chapter of Corinthians, we will not be all the time finding fault with other people. "Love suffereth long, and is kind." Love forgets itself, and don’t dwell upon itself. The woman who came to Christ with that alabaster box, I venture to say, never thought of herself. Little did she know what an act she was performing.

It was just her love for the Master.

She forgot the surroundings, she forgot everything else that was there; she broke that box and poured the ointment upon Him, and filled the house with its odor. The act, as a memorial, has come down these 1800 years. It is right here - the perfume of that box is in the world today. That ointment was worth $40 or $50; no small sum of those days for a poor woman. Judas sold the Son of God for about $15 or $20. But what this woman gave to Christ was everything that she had, and she became so occupied with Jesus Christ that she didn’t think what people were going to say. So when we act with a single eye for the glory of our lord, not finding fault with everything about us, but doing what we can in the power of this love, then will our deeds for God speak, and the world will acknowledge that we have been with Jesus, and that this glorious love has been shed abroad in our hearts.

If we don’t love the Church of God, I am afraid it won’t do us much good; if we don’t love the blessed Bible, it will not do us much good. What we want, then, is to have love for Christ, to have love for His Word, and to have love for the Church of God, and when we have love, and are living in that spirit, we will not be in the spirit of finding fault and working mischief.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

DL Moody: Peace Declared

When France and England were at war, a French vessel had gone off on a long voyage, a whaling voyage; and when they came back, the crew were short of water, and being now near and English port, they wanted to get water; but they were afraid that they would be taken if they went into that port.

Some people in the port saw them, saw their signal of distress, and sent word to them that they need not be afraid, that the war was over, and peace had been declared. But they couldn’t make those sailors believe it, and they didn’t dare to go into port, although they were out of water.

At last they made up their minds that they had better go in and surrender up their cargo and surrender up their lives to their enemies than to perish at sea without water; but when they got in, they found out that peace had been declared, and that what had been told them was true.

So there are a great many people who don’t believe the glad tiding that peace has been made.

Jesus Christ made peace on the Cross. He satisfied the claims of the law, and this law which condemns you and me has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. He has made peace, and now He wants us just to enjoy it, just to believe it.

Nor is there a thing to hinder us from doing it, if we will. We can enter into that blessing now, and have perfect peace. The promise is: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."

Now, as long as our mind is stayed on our dear selves, we will never have peace. Some people think more of themselves than of all the rest of the world. It is self in the morning, self at noon, and self at night. It is self when they wake up, and self when they go to bed; and they are all the time looking at themselves and thinking about themselves, instead of "looking unto Jesus".

Faith is an outward look. Faith does not look within; it looks without. It is not what I think, nor what I feel, nor what I have done, but it is what Jesus Christ is and has done, and so we should trust in Him who is our strength, and whose strength will never fail.

After Christ rose from the grave, three times, John tells us, He met His disciples and said unto them, "Peace be unto you". There is peace for the conscience through His blood, and peace for the heart in His love.