15 December 2017


My Cardiologist had finished examining me during my annual checkup. He then said, “I will see you next year.” I was thankful that my heart seemed to be in good shape. When I entered the hall, I saw several of the ladies who worked in the building and I said to them, “He said that he would see me next year, but, he did not give me a guarantee.” It was then that my doctor walked up behind me, placed his arm around me and said, “You are a God man, has God ever given you a guarantee?” Though my Cardiologist is very religious, he is not a Christian; but, since 2001, when he put a stent in a 95 percent blocked artery that was across my heart, he has known that I am a gospel preacher.That is why he called me a “God man”. I replied that God has not promised me another year to live (James 4:13, 14). However, God has given to me, as well to all Christians who endeavor to live faithfully, several ‘guarantees’. I have chosen only a few ‘guarantees’ from God that are mentioned in the inspired writings of the apostle John. John 10:27-29: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” As long as we listen to the voice of our Good Shepherd and follow Him, there is no power on earth that can remove us from the hands and care of our Heavenly Father. John 11:25, 26: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” These words of Jesus Christ give comfort to children of God who trust in Him who died for our sins, and was resurrected from the tomb. 1 John 5:11-13: “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life....” Eternal life for the believer is to be found in the Son of God, and what He did for us on the cross of Calvary when He shed His precious blood. If we “walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7, 9). Revelation 14:13: “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” say the Spirit, “they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” These are God given ‘guarantees’ for Christians who “die in the Lord”. “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God; Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”

08 December 2017


The apostle Paul was in a Roman prison when he wrote the letter of second Timothy to his “son in the faith”, Timothy. This is the last recorded letter Paul ever wrote. In the 4th chapter, verses 9 and 21, there are two statements made by Paul that greatly encouraged the younger evangelist to make every effort possible to come see him before it was too late. Paul wrote, “be diligent to come to me quickly” (V 9); “Do your utmost to come before winter…” (12). There are two reasons implied in these statements for Timothy to make every effort to come to him as soon as possible. One is that winter would not be the time to travel by boat. The wintry storms made it very dangerous to travel on the seas. Paul had experienced shipwreck during that season of the year as recorded in Acts 27. No doubt, the most important reason for Timothy to make haste to come to him as quickly as possible is found in the words of Paul in verses 6-8: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.” Should Timothy tarry too long, it would be too late to see Paul alive for his “departure” was at hand, that, his death was imminent. In life, there are words we need to express and actions we should take before it is too late, that is, we should do them before “winter” comes. Husbands and wives should express daily their love for one another. There is always the possibility of a heart attack, a stroke or an accident that could take the life of your mate. The last words spoken to your husband/wife could be, “I love you”. Parents need to express their love to their children, regardless of their age. They need to know you care for them, not only by the physical and material you give them, but, a hug and ‘I love you’ will give assurance to them that you really do love them; and, that you desire they live for Jesus Christ so the family can be together with God in eternity. Children need to express their love and appreciation to their parents as well. They should respect and honor their parents (Ephesians 6:1, 2). Aged parents, especially, desire to hear from their adult children who live long distances from them. Siblings should stay in contact with one another. Efforts should be made to be together when possible. It is very difficult to give up a brother or sister to death. Wishing that you had expressed your love and care for one another after death has separated you from a loved one is of no avail. That is why you need to do it before “winter” comes, otherwise it will be too late. Also, brothers and sisters in Christ should express their love to one another. We are “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26). We are to love one another as Christ has loved us (John 14:12). We are the family of God. Those who have not given their lives to Christ and who have not obeyed the gospel (Romans 1:16; Acts 2:36-38) should no longer tarry because “winter” (death) might overtake them (Hebrews 9:27), and they would pass into eternity without God. “Winter” (death) is coming to us all. Now is the time for us to express our heartfelt feelings to our loved ones; and, to do what we can to help others while we have the time and opportunity (John 9:4, Galatians 6:10). The clock of life is wound but once And no man has the power To tell just when the hands will stop At late or early hour. Now is the only time you own Live, love toil with a will Place no faith in tomorrow For the hands may then be still. Kenneth L. Fielder

30 October 2017


There are two kinds of invitations to special events; one is very specific, that is, only a select group of people, normally family and friends, are invited to attend a gathering. Then, there is the general invitation to all who would be interested in attending a special occasion. An example would be an invitation placed in a church bulletin, inviting all to attend a wedding ceremony. In this brief article, I want to mention only three invitations offered by God. The first one is found in Isaiah 1:18. But you should read the first 17 verses of this chapter to understand the background of this gracious invitation by our Heavenly Father. His people had forgotten Him; they were hypocritical; God rejected their worship because their hands were full of blood, just to name a few of their sins. Yet, God, in His mercy and longsuffering, offered this invitation to His sinful people: “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool” (V.18). Please observe it was God who made the first move in this matter of preserving Judah and saving His people. God promised them that if they would be obedient, He would bless them (V.19). God gave man the ability to make choices, whether to respond in a positive or in a negative manner. The second invitation I have chosen to mention was made by God the Son, Jesus Christ. In Matthew, chapter 11, Jesus did “most of His mighty works” in the cities that were located on the northern end of the Sea of Galilee which were, Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. However, the inhabitants of these cities rejected Him as being the Son of God. Jesus said that it would be “more tolerable” for the “land of Sodom” and “Tyre and Sidon” in the “day of judgment” for these cities, because they would have repented had they seen “the mighty works” which He had done in their presence (11:22, 24). Because the Lord desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), He offered this invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” To everyone who accepts this invitation by faith in Jesus Christ, and obeys the commands of the gospel (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26, 27), the blood of Christ will wash your sins away (Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5). The most precious of all the invitations extended by God in the Holy Scriptures is found in Matthew 25:34 when “the King” will say to the saved ones on the judgment day, : “ Come, you blessed of My Father, “inherit the kingdom prepared for you for the foundation of the world…” After a life of faithfulness and service in the kingdom of God in this life, “an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Praise God for His infinite grace, His stedfast love and His tender mercies!!

29 October 2017


When was the last time you saw a person blush? I remember well the last time I saw someone blush. It happened to be following a Bible class conducted in the home of members of the church. After the class ended, we were enjoying eating snacks and enjoying being together. I asked this Christian lady to help me to hoe in my garden that was located on her property. She mentioned that she had asked some of the ladies present to assist me to do a certain job in my garden. The word she used to define that particular kind of labor was correct; however, when she said the word, it took on an entirely different meaning. When she realized what she had said, she ‘turned as red as a beet’ (which is an ancient saying). She was totally embarrassed! You could see the redness beginning in her neck and traveling up to engulf her face. She was embarrassed and she blushed!! That incident occurred back in the 1980s. Would you believe there was a time in the history of God’s chosen people that no one blushed? Read carefully the words found in Jeremiah 6:15: “Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD.” The priests, prophets and and many of the kings of Judah had led the people into idolatry and away from God. They were guilty of every kind of abominations, even to the offering of their sons to be burned in homage to a foreign god. It was a of time of immorality. Their consciences were ‘seared’. Did anyone feel ashamed of their wretched deeds? No! In fact, they did not even know how to blush! There are many of our young people who do not know the meaning of the word ‘blush’, because they have never seen anyone blush. Here is one definition found in the dictionary “A reddening of the face, especially from modesty, embarrassment, or shame.” This is not indictment against all, for there are morally conservative persons who would not be included in the following remarks. Generally speaking, we have been desensitized! The definition of the word is: “To make emotionally insensitive or unresponsive, as by long exposure...” We have come a very long way from the four letter word used in the movie “Gone With the Wind”, that appeared in 1939. Now, we hear swearing and every vulgar and ‘curse’ word imaginable on television and in the movies. We are not bothered by all the gory deaths we see on the silver screen. Children are now ‘sex-texting’ and sending nude pictures of themselves to others The swimwear used by many women reveal ninety percent of their bodies to be seen by all. There is no embarrassment, shame, and no one is blushing. However, there is a time when Christians should not blush. In the words of the song, AM I A SOLDIER OF THE CROSS, written by Isaac Watts (1721-24), and that is when we claim Jesus as our Savior. Here are the lyrics found in the first stanza: “Am I a soldier of the cross, A follower of the Lamb, And shall I fear to own His cause, Or blush to speak His name?” Of course, we are not to be ashamed of our Lord or His Word.

14 October 2017


"For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:14). Recently, we have learned of the deaths of several of friends of ours who were near our age (82). Just this morning, Friday, 10/13/17, a young friend in Opp announced the death of his father, and a good friend of ours. I think of of Psalm 90:10: "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." It makes us think more of our mortality. We have less years ahead of us than ever before. But it is not how long we live, but how we live while on this earth.That is why the Psalmist wrote, "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (90:12). We do not know the exact number of our days, but, the important thing is that we be prepared when life ends for us on this earth. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10). The Preacher wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." If we learn how to live, we will know how to die. I thank God often for the longevity of our lives (82), and the longevity of our marriage (62 years); however, we know of a certainty that we are nearer to heaven (by His Grace), than ever before. Remember that death is not a respecter of age. The old must die and the young do die. Please obey the will of Christ (Mark 16:15, 16);and the commands of the Holy Spirit as spoken by the apostle Peter (Acts 2:36-38).

30 September 2017


The physical act of kneeling is normally associated with an attitude of humility and a submissive will of the individual doing the kneeling. Normally, it is not done in protest. Often a person will knee and pray, asking God to heal his loved one who is critically ill. We have seen a grieving widow kneeling beside the flag covered casket containing the body of her husband who was killed during combat. Luke records in Acts 20:36 and Acts 21:5, when the apostle Paul “knelt down and prayed” before he left his brothers and sisters in Christ, and continued on his journey to Jerusalem. It must have been a very emotional scene as men, and perhaps others were weeping, thinking that they would not see the apostle again. Bible student are acutely aware of Stephen, the first martyr for Christ as recorded in Acts chapter seven. He was being stoned to death by those people who were opposed to the truth he was preaching. The last words recorded by Luke that was uttered by Stephen is found in Acts 7:60: “Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord do not charge them with this sin,” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” How merciful and forgiving was this servant of God, while kneeling, knowing his death was imminent! Jesus Christ, while in the Garden of Gethsemane, “knelt down and prayed.” Our Lord was a humble servant of His Father and He prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:41,41, NKJV). Jesus knew of the terrible suffering and death He was about to experience; but, He was submissive to His Father’s will, knowing that His death on Calvary’s cross would grant salvation to all who would surrender their lives to Him. In Hebrews 5:8, 9, we read: “(T)hough He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered, And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Our precious Savior suffered death that we might live - in Him. We all should kneel before the cross of Christ, being obedient to His will for us to do. In Romans 6:1-4, we learn that we should die to sin and be buried with Him in baptism, so that we can be resurrected to walk in newness of life. It is when we obey that form of doctrine (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) that we are freed from sin and become servants of righteousness (Romans 6:17, 18), In the hymn, ‘Kneel at the Cross’, we have these encouraging and comforting thoughts: “Kneel at the cross, Christ will meet you there, He intercedes for you; Lift up your voice, Leave with Him your care And begin life anew. Kneel at the cross, Leave every care. Kneel at the cross, Jesus will meet you there.”

17 August 2017


One who is 'peaceful', that is, one who is full of peace, may not, in fact, be a "peacemaker". A "peacemaker" denotes something we do and become. It is not just being passive, rather, it is something that is aggressive in nature. There is the understanding that the "peacemaker" makes every effort to reconcile people who are opposing one another. Disciples of Jesus Christ are to "pursue peace with all people." This can be a difficult task but it is rewarding. This world is full of 'peace-breakers'. It is evident in the church, in our community, in our state, in our nation and certainly in the world. There are times when a 'part' may represent the 'whole'; however, it not always the case that such is true. We can become judgemental when we conclude that it does. For example, extreme hate groups in our country are not representative of all the citizens of our great nation. Extremes begat extremes and often the "peacemakers" are found in the middle of the situations. And we must understand that true peace is to be sought without a compromise of truth. The "peacemaker" often receives criticism from both sides who are involved in the issues that separate the parties; nevertheless, the "peacemaker" has no choice but to pursue every effort to reconcile the people who manifest hatred and prejudice toward one another. The Messiah reconciled two groups, Jews and Gentiles and brought peace to those who hated one another by His death on Calvary. We will not always be successful in our efforts to reconcile individuals and groups; but, we should endeavor to do so by our attitudes and our actions. Love is the greatest force that exists in the world. A better world begins with me. Loving my neighbor is the beginning place for the true "peacemakers"

15 June 2017


One of life’s greatest blessings and challenges for a man is fatherhood. This relationship involves the greatest joys and demands the best one has to give and often will include many sorrows. A godly father loves his wife and is loyal to his marital vows (Ephesians 5:25). He desires the best for his children. A father is industrious. He labors to provide for his family and the needs of others who lack the material things of life (I Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 4:28). The greatest contribution a father can make to his family is leadership in spiritual matters. In every age, the head of the family has been required of God to provide the proper direction regarding religious training. Modern fathers are most likely to leave this responsibility to the wife and mother. However, Paul exhorted: “And you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:4). It is a tremendous requirement to make sure one’s children are taught of God but the rewards are everlasting. A Christian father may not be able to give very much materially to his children but the legacy of having a father who loved his family and the Lord, surpasses everything else. The greatest inheritance a Christian father can leave is one that is rich in faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We should never underestimate the love that a father possesses in his heart for his children. His emotions may not be as noticeable as the mother; yet, the feelings are just as deep. Most fathers would give their lives on behalf of their families. Their hearts are filled with deep gratitude when they witness their children succeeding in life. The Christian father rejoices greatly when his children obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. My father will be remembered for being a fine Christian gentleman. Also, the legacy of having a good name has meant more to me than all the riches of this world. It was the wise man of old who wrote: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1); and, “A good name is better than precious ointment…” (Ecclesiastes 7:1). Godly fathers are rare in this modern society. But, we should always be thankful for the ones who are. Truly, you are blessed indeed if you have/had a Christian father who placed Christ first in his life. His influence in your life and even in the lives of his grandchildren will be felt for many years to come. Say, have you hugged your father recently? DEAR OLD DAD “So often we praise our mothers here and merit all their ways. We so ignore the fact that Dad he, too, deserves some praise. Who strives to earn the daily bread? To keep all healthy—glad? Isn’t he that gets so little praise and that is dear old Dad. To praise our mothers, that is good (this they may deserve) Yet why so slack in praising Dad and keep in reserve? Let’s measure their equalities—give merits, praise, when due. Start pinning laurels on your Dad, He’s done a lot for you.” (Eva Gilbert Shaver) - Raymond Elliott

19 May 2017


“If you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1, 2). Remember as Christians, we are “pilgrims” in this life (1 Peter 1:1), traveling on our way to heaven where God and His Son reside. Paul instructed Timothy not to be entangled “with affairs of this life” (2 Timothy 2:4). We are not to be isolationists, but to be the “salt of the earth” and the “life of the world” (Matthew 5:13, 14). But we must “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). We are instructed to “pray for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 1:2). Let us not become so enthralled with the unrest in the political arena in our nation and in the world that we fail to trust in God who “rules in the kingdom of men”(Daniel 5:21); and, become complacent in the greatest work in this world, and that is to preach the “gospel to the every creature”, and, to “do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

16 March 2017


Recently I received a questionnaire from the investment company where I have my IRA. One section dealt with “Investment Time Horizon.” In other words, how many more years do I plan to live and invest in my IRA. The choices ranged from “0-2 years” to “more than 20 years.” First of all, I have not invested any monies in my IRA in several years. I have been doing the opposite. I have been receiving the much needed funds to supplement my Social Security income. Well, I am approaching my 82nd birthday, the Lord willing, in the month of May; so, how many years should I select, if I plan to do any investing in my IRA? By God’s grace, providence and “by reason of strength”, I have surpassed the “four score years” mentioned in Psalm 90:10. My cardiologist , at my last checkup, said, “I will see you next year.” But, he did not give me a guarantee when I asked him if he would. He then said, “Has God ever given you a guarantee?” When you consider the facts, as found in the Word of God, you know that death is no respecter of persons. “The living know that they shall die” (Ecclesiastes 9:5); “It is appointed for men to die once” (Hebrews 9:27); that life “is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). Furthermore, death is no respecter of age. During the month of February, 2017, two young men of my acquaintance died, unexpectedly. One friend was only forty-eight years old and a relative of mine died when he was fifty years old. Someone has said, ‘The old must die and the young do die’. Let it be understood, it is not the quantity of life that is important; rather, it is the quality of life that means so much because it affects our eternal destiny. A person who lives for Jesus Christ, will die in Christ and will be blessed eternally (Revelation 14:13). An individual who enjoys longevity of life but lives without God, will die without God in eternity. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (unprepared) (Hebrews 10:31). Are you interested in knowing what selection I chose relative to how long I might live should I decide to invest in my IRA? It is said that a positive attitude contributes to the longevity of one’s life, so, I selected the bracket, (6-10) years, but I did so, knowing that I have no assurance I will live another day. But I have this precious promise from the Lord Jesus Christ: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die, Do you believe this?” (John 11:25, 26). I do, because I trust in Him. If we know how to live (in Christ), we will know how to die. My heart’s desire is that every believer will “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” and the Lord will add you to His church of which He is the Savior (Acts 2:38, 47; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18).

10 March 2017


The late country singer, George Jones, recorded the song, “Choices”, which sounds like a confession regarding the bad ones he made in his life and that he was “living and dying” with those choices. The Lord God made man to be a free moral agent, that is, he possesses the ability to make choices in life, either good or bad. That has been true since the time Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden. Before his death, Moses, the great leader of the children of Israel, informed the people the following: “And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal” (Deuteronomy 11:29). God did lead them to the mountains: Mount Gerizim was the mountain of ‘blessing’ and Mount Ebal was the mountain of ‘curse’. Moses commanded six leaders from six tribes to stand on Mount Gerizim to pronounce the ‘blessings’ that would come upon the people ‘if’ they obeyed the commandments of God. He also commanded six leaders from six tribes to stand on Mount Ebal to pronounce the ‘curses’ that would come upon the people if they disobeyed the commandments of God (Deuteronomy 27:11- chapter 28) In Deuteronomy 30:15, 19, Moses said, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.” “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants my live” (Emphasis, re). The Lord God allowed the Israelites to choose between “life” or “death”. Jesus Christ gave the people of His day a choice that is applicable for all of mankind as long as time shall stand, as recorded in Matthew 7:13, 14: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (ESV). How sad indeed it is, that “many” will choose the “easy” way “that leads to destruction”! And, only a “few” will choose the way that is “hard that leads to life.” On the judgment day when Jesus Christ will sit on the “throne of His glory”, your eternal choice will not be yours, it will be His! You will either hear, “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”; or, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:34, 41). The decision you make presently will determine the direction you will follow in this life, and eventually, your eternal destiny. Please remember, you are “living and dying” with the choices you make in this life. Prayerfully, you will choose ‘life’ in Jesus Christ. If you do, you will “die in the Lord” and will be blessed in the eternal care of our Heavenly Father (Revelation 14:13).

09 March 2017


On Friday, March 2, 2012, our country was ravaged by an outburst of terrible tornadoes that brought death and destruction in at least 13 states. One tornado in the state of Kentucky stayed on the ground for 95 miles! Two others stayed on the ground for some 40 miles. At least one town was completely destroyed. Some forty plus persons lost their lives in a moment of time when their houses and other buildings fell on them. One infant was found critically injured in a field and later we learned that she died, as well as the rest of her family. Hearts were broken and heads were bowed down with grief and sorrow as people saw the destruction of properties and learned of the loss of lives. You are made to feel so small and insignificant when you consider the onslaught of nature’s forces. My wife and I prepared the best we could by getting into closets when the warning came for our county but even then we did not feel secure. It is only when the clear signal was given did we feel relieved.

In life we all experience storms of various kinds. Sometimes like the tornadoes, they come upon us so suddenly that we are overwhelmed. Please excuse the personal experience but one of the greatest encounters with the storms of life was the death of my ‘baby brother’ who only 35 years of age when he was killed while walking across a four lane highway in the state of Pennsylvania. I received the news by telephone at 1:00 A.M. the following morning. The next day I had the responsibility of identifying his body. I sought refuge under the sheltering wings of my Heavenly Father. And he was the second son of my mother who had been killed, the first in WWII at the age of 19.

I have been with families who have lost loved ones and have witnessed the tremendous grief they suffered; especially do I remember when close friends lost their teenage daughter in an automobile accident. Then there is a friend who has been greatly affected with the ‘Lou Gehrig’ disease. In but a short time she has become almost completely helpless. Individuals as ‘wage earners’ for their families have lost their jobs because of the economical situation in our nation. People like widows who are on a limited income have to make decisions as to whether to fill their much needed medicine or to buy groceries. Almost daily we learn of families who have lost their loved ones in a foreign country as they serve in the military.

There is the constant threat of war between Israel and Iran that would involve our nation, along with others. Even our schools are not safe because of the real threat of some students bent on killing their classmates. Evil is ever present in our society. Slowly, but surely, some of religious rights are being threatened by leaders on different levels of our government. We will all experience ‘storms of life’, especially if we live long enough that will bring us much sorrow and try our faith.

One of the basic reasons why I am thankful for the book of Psalm is because David suffered so much because of the ‘storms of life’. And that brings me to Psalm 57:1 which may have been written in a cave while he was hiding from King Saul who sought to kill him. Read carefully his words: “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.”

As Christians many our hymns bring comfort and solace to our troubled hearts in the time of storms that we experience. In 1958, Mosie Lister wrote both the lyrics and music to this beautiful song.

“Till the Storm Passes By”

In the dark of the midnight,
Have I oft hid my face;
While the storm howls above me,
And there's no hiding place;
'Mid the crash of the thunder,
Precious Lord, hear my cry;
"Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by."

Many times Satan whispers,
"There is no need to try;
For there's no end of sorrow,
There's no hope by and by";
But I know Thou art with me,
And tomorrow I'll rise;
Where the storms never darken the skies.

When the long night has ended,
And the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence.
On that bright, peaceful shore.
In that land where the tempest
Never comes, Lord may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

'Til the storm passes over,
'Til the thunder sounds no more;
'Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by.

Hold me fast, Let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by.
Till the storm passes by.

Postscript ~ You can click here to hear an acapella version of this beautiful hymn.

18 February 2017


Zechariah 13:1: “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.” The prophet Zechariah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned these words approximately  five hundred years before the coming of Jesus Christ. Because of the immediate context containing prophecies regarding Jesus Christ before and during His crucifixion, we can understand this passage as pertaining to His death. In chapter 9:9, the writer mentions that “Your King is coming you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey” (NKJV) This was fulfilled as found in Matthew 21:4, 5. In chapter 12:10, we read, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” This prophecy is fulfilled in John 19:37. Again, we find another prophecy regarding Christ in chapter 13:7, “...Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered.” The fulfillment of this prophecy is found in Matthew 26:31.

The location of the “fountain” in chapter 13:1 was to be in Jerusalem. A fountain is a source of fresh water that is gushing forth for the thirsty souls. However this “fountain” refers to that which flowed from the side of our Savior while he hung on Calvary’s cross. It was a Roman soldier who “pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out” (John 19:34). His precious blood was shed “for sin and for uncleanness”. When Jesus instructed His disciples to drink of the cup, He said, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:7: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” In Romans 6:3, 4, the apostle Paul explains that we come in contact with His blood that saves when we are “buried with Him through baptism”.

William Cowper, in 1772, wrote the lyrics of the moving and beautiful hymn, “There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood”, based on the words found in Zechariah 13:1. Here is the first stanza of the song:
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.
Praise God for His immeasurable love!

16 February 2017


In years past, I enjoyed going on dove shoots. There were times when I would carry at least a couple of boxes of shells, along with my Remington 1100 12 gauge shotgun with a improved cylinder. I was ready to harvest my limit of birds; however, there were times when the doves chose not to fly over the field. What a disappointment!

When teachers and preachers take the much needed time to prepare a lesson or a sermon in anticipation of the support of the membership of a congregation and hopefully, some visitors to be present for the class and/or the worship assembly, it is a great disappointment to the teacher and/or preacher when but a few members are present. Especially is this true when a congregation is small in number. The absent of just a few members will be quite evident. Of course the teacher/preacher will be greatly disappointed and discouraged. But consideration should be given first of all as to what our Lord Jesus Christ is thinking.

He knows what is in the heart of all men and women (John 2:24, 25). And He knows the difference when a member could attend the assemblies and don’t; and, the member who desires to attend but can’t because of circumstances beyond his control as in the case of illness. Brethren should get their priorities in order. The Lord should come first in all matters. While attendance for our assemblies is not the whole of Christianity, it is very important and needful. It was our Lord’s “custom” to be present for a worship assembly when he lived on this earth (Read carefully Luke 4:16). Our worship assemblies are meant to be, among other reasons, times to “stir up love and good works” and “exhorting one another” (Hebrews 10:24, 25). On the positive side of matters, I am always personally encouraged to see our aged saints (in spite of their ‘aches and pains’) to be present for our assemblies. I am very thankful for their examples of faithfulness. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9,NKJV).

05 January 2017


The great leader, Moses, had died and the Lord God had chosen the faithful warrior, Joshua, to be the leader of the children of Israel. They were encamped on the east side of the River of Jordan and the time had come for them to cross over the River of Jordan and into the land of ‘milk and honey’, the land of Canaan. God had assured Joshua several times that He would be with him as he was about to enter the promised land (Joshua 1:6-9).
In Joshua 3, the priest, carrying the ark of the covenant, were to lead the people across the River of Jordan and into the land that God had promised to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). Joshua, in  charging the people to follow the priest at a certain distance, said this to the people, “FOR YOU HAVE NOT PASSED THIS WAY BEFORE”. The children of Israel were about to enter a land they did not know.
As we enter this new year of 2017, it could also be said of us, “For you have not passed this way before.” We do not know what this new year will bring. It might be weal or woe, sadness or happiness, life or death, success or failure, etc. For the child of God, we should read what God said to Joshua and to know that basically He tells us the same: “Be strong and of good courage”, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6, 9). In Hebrews 13:5, we read, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Because we are children of God, this is the blessed assurance we have in our Lord. Here are some suggestions that will strengthen you as you enter the uncharted course in this new year of 2017:
  1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
  2. Love God with all your heart, soul and mind (Mark 12:30).
  3. Love your brethren and your neighbors (John 13:34, 35; Mark 12:30).
  4. Do good to all men and especially your brothers and sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:10).
  5. Attend the assemblies of the church to worship God and to exhort/edify/build up one another in the most holy faith (Hebrews 10:24, 25).
  6. Be steadfast in prayer (Romans 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
  7. Increase your knowledge of the Word of God by reading and studying it daily (Psalm 1:1-3;119:97; Matthew 4:4).
I close this article with the words of the apostle Peter as found in 2 Peter 1:10, 11: “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these thing you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”