Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Father's Love

I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye.
Fightin' was against the rules and it didn't matter why.
When dad got home I told that story just like I'd rehearsed.
And then stood there on those tremblin' knees and waited for the worst.
And he said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
He said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."
When I became a father in the spring of '81
There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my father's son.
And when I thought my patience had been tested to the end,
I took my daddy's secret and I passed it on to him.
And he said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
He said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."
Last night I dreamed I died and stood outside those pearly gates.
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake.
If they know half the things I've done, they'll never let me in.
And then somewhere from the other side I heard these words again.
And he said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
He said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."

George Strait

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Salvation


 

 

There is a small verse in Philippians 2:12. It is the last part of this verse which appeals to me for this afternoon: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." We could misunderstand this verse and read into it that we were to work out our own salvation, according to our own thoughts and opinions. That is not the thought in the mind of Paul when he wrote these words, to do it "with fear and trembling."

We have heard lots of good advice, inspiring and encouraging advice; correction, chastisement. And there has been healing here and every provision of God for all our needs. We have been sitting here for four days and some of us have been sitting longer. I am amazed that after all these Conventions, after hearing so much from the heart of God, that God still speaks to my heart, even in this meeting and, I dare say, in our last meeting this evening. It is amazing that God can still speak, having said so much these last few months while we have been sitting, pondering over the Word of God, praying in and out of the meetings, hearing about the Word of God.

The time has come to put into action what is written in this verse, "Work out your own salvation." The time is coming to leave this place and to go to work. "Work at our salvation" is the German translation. There is much work to be done, eternal, in our hearts and lives. We have received so much direction and light and material with which we can work when we go home. It's up to us to work at our salvation with definite thoughts in mind.

One young man had been spoken to at Convention. He felt, "There is so much to do that I don't know where to start." The best place to start is on your knees. In the place of prayer, in God's presence is the best place to start work at our salvation.

In Switzerland there was a little boy, a pre-school boy who showed wonderful signs of being very musical. He could play tunes that expressed his feelings. If he was a wee bit sad, it could be heard in the tunes and if he was happy and joyful, it could be heard in the tunes he played. He was almost a child prodigy with music. A real melody and a real harmony would come from his fingers; a gifted child with music.

Twenty-five years later, now, he has done almost nothing with that music. He could have reached the heights in the musical world, to a certain degree and yet he is doing something totally different. He never worked at it. He had the gift, the ability, all the right signs to make that career in music, but didn't do it, because he didn't have the perseverance to work at it down through the years. He can still play very nicely but he is limited, because he never worked at the gift given by human birth.

God has given us gifts of the Word of God, given us talents, some more than others and yet we can waste them all if we don't work at our salvation. We should not have a haphazard way of praying a bit and reading a bit. We need to have a real work plan, make special effort, really get down on our knees and start to work on all our weak points in this battle of faith. To work at our salvation means there is a big job to be done.

There was once a man near retiring age. He was a builder; built houses and now, it was getting near retirement years. His health was failing, arthritis was setting in so that, in pain, it was hard to get up in the morning, hard to go to work. It was the last year before his retirement.

His employer said, "I want you to build just one more house." The builder said, "I'm no longer a young man; the rain comes down. It's hard to go to work and then, I hardly have the strength to build one more house." The employer said, "Just one more. You build it as you wish, your own design. You choose the materials, the size of the house, the plan. There is the block of land. You build this house on that land."

The poor fellow thought, "I haven't got much strength." He took a lot of shortcuts in building the house, bought cheap material and built almost the smallest possible house, to finish quicker.

The day came when the house was finished. Along came the employer with the key to the front door of the house. He said, "This is your retirement gift." The builder said, "If I had known it would be my house I would have built a big house, with the best materials. I would have put the very best into this house if I'd known it was to be my house." He didn't know it.

The house we are building for eternity is to be our house. It pays to work on our house. It is for ourselves we are labouring and struggling and fighting and praying and sacrificing. It is for our own benefit and this house is for all eternity. It would be very sad, on the eternal shore, to be disappointed with the results. Have a definite plan of work, how and where to work and use only the best materials.

II Corinthians 5:1 says, "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." I sat in the meeting yesterday and my thoughts were running a wee bit to my own soul. This verse kept coming to mind, that this old life will come to an end. Sooner or later this old tent will be folded up, dissolved. The day of death will come for all of us.

When this day comes then, "we have a building of God, and house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Those few words seemed to strike a chord in my heart, that this house for all eternity is built not with human hands. There is nothing human in this work of salvation. There is no human element, no human intellect, no human intelligence, no human ability; nothing human to that which we are doing for eternity.

Built not with human hands but a building of God. That spoke to me very loudly. All that will be done in and through my life will be done, not with hands, not with human thoughts or human understanding, not with human logic or human intellect, but through the Spirit of God, through God Himself, not with human hands.

Just for example: Once David desired to bring back the Ark of the Covenant of Israel. It had been away. Through the whole time of Saul it wasn't there. It spoke of the presence of God, the grace and truth of God depicted in the Ark of the Covenant, God's presence. David said, "Let us bring back the Ark." He built a brand new cart, not something second hand; a very good one, strong and well-built. Perhaps it was the best they had in the country because it was to bring the Truth of God, the mercy seat, the presence of God, and they built a new cart.

On the journey the oxen stumbled. The road was rough, not paved like today, just a dirt track with stones and holes and ruts, obstacles on that road. The oxen stumbled and the ark began to wobble and it dare not fall to the ground. This was a Holy thing made of gold and wood, sanctified, and one man, Uzzah, put out his hand to stop the Ark from falling. He was struck down by God. He put out his hand. What a mess it would make of it fell to the ground! Understand this man's reactions. Without thinking he put out his hand.

God doesn't need the hand of man to hold His truth and righteousness upright. He doesn't need human intellect. He doesn't need human intelligence or human thoughts. The human element dare not enter into the work of the Gospel. The human element dare not enter into the labour of the servants of God, or into our prayer life, or into fellowship. The human element dare not have a place.

This was the hand of man trying to hold up God's Kingdom. That wasn't the whole story. David made the first mistake of building the new cart and putting the Ark on the new cart. This is a Holy thing. It was a good thought, "We will pay the price and build a good cart". But it wasn't God's way of carrying the Covenant.

It was to be carried on the shoulders of the tribe separated unto God's service, carried by two men, one in front and one behind and all those forty years through the wilderness, it was carried by those of that tribe.

It is still His way to carry God's presence into this world; God's mercy; God's grace; His compassion. It is still His way, His only way to carry His salvation into the world. It is carried in the lives of sacrificed people, set apart for this calling in life, to carry the Gospel to other people.

Here David made a mistake. He then went to the Bible. He said, "What have I done wrong? God has smitten this man. I have used human reasoning, human thoughts to bring back this Ark of the Kingdom back to Israel." This house is built not with man's hands. There are many illustrations in the Bible to underline or support these thoughts.

Abraham was a wonderful man in the Old Testament and God promised him and his wife Sarah a son, and God doesn't lie. He always tells the truth. God made this promise to this old couple. They weren't able to have children, humanly speaking. God said, "It is going to happen. This is My doing, nothing normal." This is the work of the Spirit of God and it will happen, in a certain sense, without the hand of man.

The years passed by. One year, five years, ten years passed and still not a sign of Sarah bringing forth a son to Abraham. So what do they do? Human reasoning, "God needs a bit of help. He promised a son and it is not happening. You take my maid Hagar and she can bear a son after all and it will be quite in order." Reasoning things out with human reasoning, they used the hand of man to build something eternal, but there was only trouble and only strife; upsets in that house because of Ishmael.

"His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him." Ishmael is just the same in the world today. They thought, "God needs a helping hand. He has promises but we will try to help." But it only brought pain and suffering and separation in Abraham's house. This house is built not with human hands.

When Saul was on the road to Damascus and saw that light, he "heard a voice and saw no man." I would long, in preaching the Gospel and having missions in my field of labour, that they would hear a voice and see no man. It is easy to bring the human element into it, use some human gift or human factor in preaching the Gospel, but it is just a great thing when folk can come and say, "That is from God. We hear the voice of God and see no man, nothing to appeal to the carnal side of the human being." Spiritually, the house is not built with the hand of man.

David was in the cave and there was Saul in the cave also. David's men said, "David, this is of God. Here's your chance! This Saul, your enemy, he tried to kill you. Here's a God-given chance. Take your sword. Strike it through his heart." It seemed to be true. It seemed to be good understanding, good reasoning. "This must be of God."

David knew, even though it seemed to be of God, it was not of God. It was just the hand of man. Sometimes we feel, "God is in it," but through the Spirit of God we realise, it is only the hand of man. We are building a home for our soul, a temple for all eternity, without the hand of man and may God help me in my feeble efforts, in my labours in the Gospel, to fight against the human factor, even against human methods to help people. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

There are a few little instances in the Bible about working. God spoke to Noah in the Old Testament. God spoke to Noah and Noah believed. He didn't doubt or question. He was convinced on the matter. God has spoken. He will destroy all flesh. "I believe it. It comes from the God of Heaven. What God has said, I am convinced about the matter. I believe God has spoken."

If he had just remained with that belief, what would have happened? He would have perished with all the rest if he had not worked on that building with all the care and labour to make the ark for his family and himself. It is a great thing, "I believe", but that wasn't sufficient to save himself and his family. He had to work for years and years at his salvation.

What Noah was building, I am sure folk who saw the ark and saw the shape of it and understood, it was going to be like a big ship, thought, "This is a most ridiculous thing. This is a great big ship on dry land." For those folk looking on, they would think, "This is the most worthless thing in the whole world; a white elephant; senseless; no value in it!"

There is this big ship, there on dry land, a worthless, useless thing, but the time came when this worthless thing was the most valuable thing in the whole world. When folk realised they were perishing in those cruel waters, they realised this most worthless, useless thing in the whole world, is the only way to be saved. The door is shut. It is too late! The world uses human reasoning and using human reasoning is a waste of time. Today, in this shed, in this heat, we would be better at Bondi Beach, but it is great to see you listening to the Word of God. Here is something of great worth; the most precious thing in the whole world, this salvation. We want to work at our salvation.

Imagine that we are in the desert and we are lost. But before we get to the desert, someone comes to us with a golden cup full of water. You can choose, have either the cup or the water. It's pure gold, that cup. A cup of water can be had anywhere, any time. You'd choose the cup of course. Change the scene; parched, dying of thirst, the sun beating down, life is ebbing away and the same person comes with the golden cup and water. What do you choose under those circumstances? You would say, "Keep your golden cup. Let's have the water." Oh to see as we will one day see! When the floods came, the most valuable thing was the ark.

I used to think of Noah working all day on the ark, but he had a wife and family and had to have a roof over their heads and food on their table. I suppose he was a farmer, to provide for his family. He could think, "This year I could plough up more land and sow more wheat and increase the size of my flocks. There is no law against it. With other folk working for me why not expand my borders, get more animals." Then the thought would come, "What's the use. In a few years the waters will rise on the face of the earth. The rain will come down and destroy all my animals, all my cattle and sheep. Is there any purpose in expanding my natural wealth when the day will come soon to destroy all my wealth?"

We live in days like never before in the world's history; flourishing like never before. I remember, after the war, our first motor car. We valued it. But today you have to have a car with power steering, power brakes, air conditioning; not just one car but two or three cars at the back door. These days of prosperity could be a big danger to us. The day will come and all will be taken from us. Have we worked at our salvation?

A man in Switzerland heard this Gospel as a young businessman. He was successful. He had a friend in the same business, the hotel business. Jack, who was a friend from the world, said to Charles, "Charles, times are booming and it's a time for tourism. Let's go and build a chain of hotels in many countries. Let's jump in first. There are possibilities there. Let's expand."

Charles said, "I'm sorry Jack. I can't. I'm here to work at my salvation. I want to put God first in my heart and life." Jack couldn't understand. Twenty years later and Jack, not yet sixty years old, was dying of lung cancer. He had been a heavy smoker. He said, "Charles, now I understand your choice of twenty years ago when you said, `No,' to expanding our business prospects. I realise that you have the best in life." Work at your salvation.

Noah was told to use a certain type of tree and just to use that. I venture to say, Noah would have chopped down the trees closest to home first; chopped them, took off the bark, the branches, the foliage and made beams of this gopher wood. After a few years he would travel a distance to find gopher wood trees and after thirty years would have quite a distance to travel.

Then further and further afield to find the same type of trees: until temptation came, "There are other types of trees here closer to home and why not use them? It is unreasonable to go so far to find gopher wood trees." No, when the door was shut, he would know, "We are safe from drowning." He would be so thankful that he went that long distance, even at the last, to find the same gopher wood trees. He didn't let human thoughts influence his working at his salvation.

My second year in the work, back in New Zealand, a family made their choice, father and mother and now the children have made their choice and some children are in the work. I remember the mother saying after Convention, "One thing I understand is that last year's sacrifice is not sufficient for this new year. There must be more sacrifice in this new year."

There was Noah, having to go further afield to find this wood. If we could visit Noah where he lived, where his ark was, what would we see in the whole countryside? Lots of tree stumps where there had been trees before, tree stumps dotted all round the countryside, lots of evidence that there had been lots of falling. To work at our salvation there has to be lots of falling, lots of taking the lowly place, cutting down in ourselves and really becoming humble in the sight of God.

Noah had the mind of Christ: no reputation, not striving for position: true humility. Lots of falling in the life of Noah. There is no salvation without humility, no salvation without falling. As long as the trees stood there was no material for the ark, no beams, no planks. They had to be felled.

Sometimes, when you try to fall a tree, the tree falls and falls against the neighbouring tree and gets stuck there and to get that tree down, it takes a lot of effort. Sometimes you need a tractor and chain to free it. It has fallen so far and no further and to get that tree down is quite a job, but there is no building material until that tree is down on the ground and the same thing applies to us spiritually speaking. Sometimes it is so hard to get really down, not just an appearance of humility. You may feel that an introvert is more humble than an extrovert. An extrovert can be just as humble as an introvert. Humility of heart is not having a long face or not specialising in humility. Get right down to ground level, just to be a servant, of no reputation, seeking no reputation for oneself.

There are other examples of working at our salvation. The treasure in the field in Matthew 13. This man found this field and sold everything he had to buy the field. He paid the highest price possible. He sold everything he had to buy the field. That is complete surrender, giving in completely, no reservations. "Here is my life, no claims. I my claim resign." We pay the price, give up everything to buy this field. Humanly speaking, he paid everything. His neighbours would say, "You have sold up your goods, your land, everything, just to buy one field?" It seemed so unreasonable, humanly speaking. He did it because he saw the treasure in the field and so often we only see the field and not the treasure in the field.

In every experience let us try and see the treasure. In every test, in every hard examination, in difficult circumstances, in dark days, in disappointment and in disillusion, let us try and see the treasure in the experience. In the way of God there is treasure in every field, light or darkness, joy or sorrow, in the will of God. There is treasure in every experience.

This man who sold everything to buy the field. He paid the full price, made the full surrender. Where was the treasure? He would've been a foolish man to sell everything to buy the field and afterwards have done nothing to extract the treasure. It would have been a waste. That is where you and I fall down. Some of us made a full surrender, but how has our work been since then, of extracting from the field? "We have this treasure in earthen vessels," in the heart, in the soul. I hope some of the treasure can be removed from the field and placed in the earthen vessel, in our heart, worked in the field to bring this treasure into this earthen vessel.

If we see a field anywhere and visit that field and see the soil, a few things growing there and see something gleaming in the sun. We realise that these are precious stones scattered over the field. What is the treasure in this field? You would all answer, "The jewels, the precious stones."

There is nothing more precious in a field than this dirt, the earth. You cannot plough up precious stones and plant apple trees. You have to have earth, this earth that dirties our clothes and our hands. This valuable thing, it could be swept out of the house and brushed off our sandals, but without this earth, there would be no life in the earth to plough and have food. It is a hidden treasure. Not the jewels, but that old earth is the treasure, humanly speaking. You cannot eat jewels but you can eat what comes from the earth.

I was in a third world country. The folk there are poverty-stricken and they are dying. The average life span is forty-seven years. Children die at a few weeks of age and they have no one to help them. What is worse, the inhabitants of the land have cut down the trees by the hundreds to make wood charcoal to cook at home. The rains have come, the tropical storms with strong, violent rains have come and swept all the soil off the hillside into the sea. There is nowhere to sow the seed , and for that reason, people are hungry. Earth is a hidden treasure and your heart and my heart, this little piece of earth, this field that we have, there we can let the Word of God be sown to bring forth fruit of the spirit for all eternity.

We heard this afternoon also, about the house built on the rock. There were two houses and one fell. There may have been a whole city there, but two houses are mentioned, one on the rock and one on the sand. Let's say there are all types of houses built. The storm came and the winds blew and at the end, only one was standing. All the rest were swept away, demolished; only one was left standing.

What is the house on the rock? Those who `Hear my words and do them." It is in hearing His words, not false doctrine, not men's ideas about salvation but in hearing the words of Jesus and doing them. The thought that comforts me is, could there have been a storm big enough to bring that house crashing down? The strongest storm wasn't able to bring that house crashing down because it was built on the rock. There is not a suffering, nor a pain, not a separation, not a disappointment; there is nothing that would be able to bring us crashing down if we are building on the rock, if we are hearing and doing the Word of God.

My brother lived in Wellington, windy Wellington, on the hilltop. One day there was a violent storm in the city. He stayed on the lee side of the house, sat and trembled. The house was shaken and great gusts of winds shook the building. They could hear corrugated iron flying by the window; a violent storm like never before. He thought, "What will happen to our house? Will we be injured. Will we be killed?" He sat with his wife and three boys, not knowing if the house would stand or not.

Here is our spiritual house that will stand in the greatest disappointment. We are sure that if we have been hearing the Word of God and doing it there is nothing that can destroy us. A promise, a guarantee for this life and all eternity. Work at our salvation, it is a very great gift.

The two houses in the story, were they similar? They may have looked the same. The difference was in the foundation. We are only as strong as our foundation. Our being, our tabernacle, what we are; we are not stronger than our foundation.

The place to start is on our knees. We are no stronger than when we are in the place of prayer. We have received very good material, heard wonderful things, received all we need and we must go home and work at our salvation
.
  G. Snow

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Lesson From Trees

I count it a great privilege since being in the North Land of NZ, to visit some of the kauri trees that grow here. I was very impressed when I saw them. 

In Psalm 24 we read, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein." I would like to remember that verse for the rest of my days: THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S. I cannot help but feel that all we possess on the earth man has only done it by what God has given him to work with. All we can lay our hands on, God has given us. We ourselves belong to God. He has created and has given us life and has set us in a very beautiful place, in very beautiful surroundings. We belong to Him. When we look at the trees, we see God's glory. He created them as He has created us perfectly, and that is what He wants to do with us today. 

In Psalm 8:4, we read, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" When we think of this beautiful world and realize how God has created man in its midst, we can truly think "What is man?" It is not what we are but it's what we can become. When we come to a place like this, God desires to show us what we are and how we stand before Him, in His sight. What are we naturally, that God is so mindful of us?  What do we have that causes God to visit us with His Gospel? Just what do we have? 

If we trust God - it is He who has created us, in such beautiful surroundings. We can trust Him and know that He is interested in us. I was glad when Les spoke about our hearts being tender and responsive. This is the condition God wants to create in our hearts and minds. 

We can think of the kauri trees, standing in their places where God has put them. It is good for us to stand in the place that God has put us, in that place He intends we remain, to stand and give Him glory, growing and being a faithful witness of His handiwork. We can all do this and more for others, but there is one thing we must all do, and that is to stand in our place, filling it as He has planned. We can allow God to create in us some of His glory. I feel glad for that one thought that whatever circumstance we are found in, we can be and do so gracefully. God is a gracious God, and He allows us to stand in our place. 

When I looked at some of those trees, I was told they had no merchantable timber value unless their base was four feet in diameter and rightly matured. Until the tree is like that, it is of no value because the timber is too small, the heart timber is just too small, and the tree is left to mature. God desires to create in us a big heart, a heart that goes out to others, a heart that's tender and responsive, and He wants to create in us a tender heart, because our heart has the most value to Him. It is the hearts of His people that have greatest value to Him. It's nice to think that our hearts, our thoughts and our cares have that desire created in them to go out and help others. These little acts of grace can help us help another. 

Perhaps we can all help each other materialistically, but isn't it much better to help each other have a closer walk with God?  This is the greater thing that has the greater value than just thinking of ourselves. It allows the borders of our hearts to increase. It's the heart's timber that is so important to the tree. While the tree is small, mosses and lichen begin growing and they suck out the life of the tree.  If the heart is larger, these things start to drop away.  It pleases God to create that kind of state in our lives, where the little hindrances drop away which spoil our walk with God. 

When we continued to look at some of the larger trees, we noticed some mosses and lichens and other clinging things had dropped off the trees and the trees stood clear and clean and upright and were a glory to God. They stood in majesty. 

There are some other things we might mention about these trees. It saddened me to see some whose branches were broken off by the storms and water had started to decay them.  As far as God is concerned, He has created our lives and wants us to be perfect so we might go on and withstand everything. It is sad, if through weakness our faith becomes weaker; or because of experiences, our faith becomes lessened. On the other hand, God wants to make us into something which gains His very best. Oftentimes, it's experiences, whatever they are, that brings us closer and enables us to reach out to God where He can foster more of the growth marks of His Son's life in us. Then we can reflect more of God's likeness, as His perfect workmanship. He has created us and is still re-creating us and He wants to see us perfect. He wants His Son's reflection seen in our lives. If God can re-create us like this, He creates in us a desire to become closer to Him, and get to know Him better. 

In another place, I stood looking at a place where a tree had once stood, and all that remained was the stump. The stump was nineteen feet in diameter and nearby, a few branches lay. The heart is the most valuable part of that tree and it had been taken away. All that remained was a few branches lying near the stump, the remains of what was once a beautiful tree. 

God wants to take from this earth its most valuable part, so all that remains is the testimony. If we are like the good kauri tree, God will take what is most valuable to Him and He leaves behind on the earth, our testimony, just the same as the tree. All that was left behind was the tree stump and its branches. 

We can look into the Scriptures and read of the testimonies of many who went on before. For example, we can read of Abraham, and it's nice to look into his life and see his faithfulness. God took the most valuable part of Abraham back to Him, and that's what He wants from us, our good testimony on the earth. I am glad He is able to take the most valuable part back to Himself. I am sure it's the desire of all here to be perfect, to have the qualities of worth, like Christ Jesus. When our time is finished on earth and God calls us, the most valuable part will return to Him. 

We sit here today and see the need of having the hand of God re-create us so all the darkness in our hearts will go out and will help shed those things that sap us. We want those experiences that bring us closer to Him. 

When our time comes to go hence, I hope God takes our most valuable part back to Himself. 

A Father's Love

I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye.
Fightin' was against the rules and it didn't matter why.
When dad got home I told that story just like I'd rehearsed.
And then stood there on those tremblin' knees and waited for the worst.

And he said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
He said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."

When I became a father in the spring of '81
There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my father's son.
And when I thought my patience had been tested to the end,
I took my daddy's secret and I passed it on to him.

And he said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
He said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."

Last night I dreamed I died and stood outside those pearly gates.
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake.
If they know half the things I've done, they'll never let me in.
And then somewhere from the other side I heard these words again.

And he said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
He said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."

George Strait

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Standing Alone

It was alone I took my stand strengthened by an unseen hand, 
Alone I started in the fight, left the darkness for the light.
Alone I face the foe today, The Lord of hosts is still my stay. 
I know I am so very weak so I must my Father seek.
It is alone that I must pray, the spirit helps me day by day, 
And through its help I get to see something in the word for me.
In times when I alone must be, The Lord stands by and strengthens me. 
When great decisions I must make, He from the throne doth undertake.
Its not what others do or say that really hinders progress in the way; 
But fear that fills my heart each day lest I should ever leave this way.
Many a time like Christ, and Paul, we stand alone, forsook by all; 
But this will help us to depend Upon Him as a faithful friend.
Fragments
Broken fragments, bits of clay strangely scattered in the way. 
Touch them gently, walk with care, Christ remembers spikenard there.
Shattered pitchers dot the field; here the conqueror's trumpet peaked. 
Christ remembers light held high where the broken fragments lie.
Near the fountain crushed and bruised lie the vessels Christ has used. 
Here let tenderness abound; Softly tread on Holy ground.
Though we sat not where “twas given," Though we fought not where “twas striven," God forbid that we despise Fragments of their sacrifice.
(composed for a worn out worker)
(Elma Wiebe)

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar


I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.
He handed me a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wasu, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.'
Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Wasu's Mission Statement:
To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.
This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.'
I said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.'
Wasu smiled and said, 'No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.'
Almost stuttering, I said, 'I'll take a Lassi.'
Handing me my drink, Wasu said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have The Hindu, Times of India, ET and India Today.'
As they were pulling away, Wasu handed me another laminated card, 'These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'
And as if that weren't enough, Wasu told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him.
Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he'd be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.
'Tell me, Wasu,' I was amazed and asked him, 'have you always served customers like this?'
Wasu smiled into the rear view mirror. 'No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about power of choice one day.'
'Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle.'
'If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining!'
'Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'
'That hit me right,' said Wasu.
'It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were
unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'
'I take it that has paid off for you,' I said.

'It sure has,' Wasu replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.'



Wasu made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.




Angel Rain Aragones