Summer 2016

 

 

How Can I Keep from Singing?

Attributed to “Pauline T.”, first published in 1868

My life goes on in endless song:
Above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the real, tho’ far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul —
How can I keep from singing?

What tho’ the tempest loudly roars?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What tho’ the darkness ’round me close?
Songs in the night He giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that Rock I’m clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

 

Psalm 101

A Psalm of David

1I will sing of lovingkindness and justice,
To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.

2I will give heed to the blameless way
When will You come to me?
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.

3I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not fasten its grip on me.

4A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will know no evil.

5Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy;
No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.

6My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.

7He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.

8Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land,
So as to cut off from the city of the LORD all those who do iniquity.

 

Religion

by Brother Lawrence

The whole substance of religion is faith, hope, and love….  All things are possible to him who believes, they are less difficult to him who hopes, they are more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.

 

Worship

by William Temple

Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God.  It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness, nourishment of mind by His truth, purifying of imagination by His beauty, opening of heart to His love, and submission of will to His purpose.  And all of this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of human expressions of which we are capable.

 

When God Wants a Man

by Angela Morgan, as adapted by Paul Billheimer

When God wants to drill a man
And thrill a man,
And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world will be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try his splendor out —
God knows what He’s about.

 

The Weight of Glory

by Clive Staples Lewis

There are no ordinary people.  You have never talked to a mere mortal.  Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.  But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.  This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn.  We must play.  But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously — no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.  And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner — no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.

 

The Mystery of Divine Personality

by James Stewart

He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet He spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God.

He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at His coming, yet He was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with Him and the little ones nestled in His arms.  His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.

No one was half so kind or compassionate to sinners, yet no one spoke such red hot scorching words about sin.  A bruised reed He would not break, His whole life was love, yet on one occasion He demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell.  He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our self-styled realists soundly beaten.  He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over each other in their mad rush to get away from the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.

He saved others, but at the last Himself He did not save.  There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels.  The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of Divine Personality.

 

The Paradoxical Commandments

© Copyright Dr. Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

 

Written on June 14, 2007

It was Hudson Taylor who said “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies.”  As we keep trusting God in the great tradition of men like Taylor, and Mueller, and Abraham before them, God has faithfully been meeting us in our moments of need.  “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me” – Psalm 50:15.  We want to maintain this spiritual perspective as we reconstitute the Board under a renewed commitment to the life of faith.  “But My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him” – Hebrews 10:38.  We will leave both our financial needs and our human resource needs in the hands of a faithful God and watch Him supply more than we could ever ask or think….  We will experience that rich blessing of the soul together as we devote ourselves more deliberately to prayer and to the ministry of the word.  -stk