Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why Wait Until Tomorrow?

Another year is now over
And there's a new one on the way
With some fresh New Year's Resolutions
And bright promises to make.

So many things you wanted to do,
So many bad habits to throw away.
So many hopeful new horizons
Just waiting over the way.

All the could'ves, would'ves, should'ves
And all the things you wanted to say.
But - why wait until tomorrow,
When you can begin today?

Why wait for another year to pass by,
For twelve more months to fly away?
When God's mercies are new every morning.
He gives us a new beginning every day.

So why wait until tomorrow,
When you can begin anew today?

Praise the Lord for second chances and new beginnings!

January 1st, 2001
Jerry Bouey

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23

You may also appreciate these devotionals:
Eight Daily Blessings
What's New With You?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Wonder...

If my life were full of sunshine,
with never a rainy day,
I wonder how I'd treat my Lord
And just how much I'd pray.
If all were peace and happiness
With never a stormy sea,
I wonder if I'd live as close,
And could He speak to me?

If my heart were never broken
And never a tear I shed,
Would I search His Word for comfort
And let my soul be fed?
If through life I knew no sorrow
Or my body felt no pain,
Would I long for Heaven's glory
And Christ's return to reign?

But my Father knows the answer,
He all my weakness sees;
And perhaps He sends the storm clouds
To drive me to my knees.
So that I may learn to trust Him,
Feel secure from all that harms,
And that I may feel beneath me
His everlasting arms.

~Author Unknown~

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Needed The Quiet

I needed the quiet so He drew me aside,
Into the shadows where we could confide.
Away from the bustle where all the day long
I hurried and worried when active and strong.

I needed the quiet though at first I rebelled,
But gently, so gently, my cross He upheld,
And whispered so sweetly of spiritual things.
Though weakened in body, my spirit took wings
To heights never dreamed of when active and gay.
He loved me so greatly He drew me away.

I needed the quiet. No prison my bed,
But a beautiful valley of blessings instead -
A place to grow richer in Jesus to hide.
I needed the quiet so He drew me aside.

~Alice Hansche Mortenson~

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

God Moves In A Mysterious Way

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

~ William Cowper ~

I don't know if I had ever read the lyrics of this hymn before the last couple of days, but I have always appreciated the first stanza, since coming across it as a young believer. Reading the rest of the stanzas recently just reinforces to me the greatness of this hymn - one full of faith in God's plan, even in the midst of the dark times.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"The World's Bible"

Christ has no hands but our hands
To do His work today;
He has no feet but our feet
To lead men in His way;
He has no tongue but our tongue
To tell men how He died;
He has no help but our help
To bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible
The careless world will read;
We are the sinners gospel,
We are the scoffer's creed;
We are the Lord's last message,
Given in deed and word;
What if the type is crooked?
What if the print is blurred?

What if our hands are busy
With other work than His?
What if our feet are walking
Where sin's allurement is?
What if our tongues are speaking
Of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him
And hasten His return?

~Annie Johnson Flint~

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts,
known and read of all men:

2 Corinthians 3:2

Vessels Unto Honour

In a great house, there are vessels
Some of wood and some of clay
There are great ones and small ones
You can choose the ones you may.
Some for service, some for beauty,
Others bear refreshing wine.
Lord I care not how You use me,
Please just hear this prayer of mine.

Chorus:
Make me a vessel unto honour
The fame of this world, I refuse
Sanctify me, cleanse me and fill me
Meet for the Master’s own use.

Lord, my vessel is empty
It is purged from dross and sin
By your precious blood on Calvary,
It has cleansed me now within.
Tho’ unworthy for Your service,
Yet Your grace is mine today.
So I offer You my vessel
For your use and this I pray.

Chorus:
Make me a vessel unto honour
The fame of this world, I refuse
Sanctify me, cleanse me and fill me
Yes I’ll be meet, for the Master’s own use.

Words and Music by Julia Montoro

2 Timothy 2:20-21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

The Vessel

The Vessel

The Master was searching for a vessel to use;
On the shelf there were many - which one would He choose?
"Take me," cried the gold one, "I'm shiny and bright,
I'm of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and luster will outshine the rest
And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!"

The Master passed on with no word at all;
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;
"I'll serve You, dear Master, I'll pour out Your wine
And I'll be at Your table whenever You dine,
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,
And my silver will always compliment You."

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,
It was wide-mouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.
"Here! Here!" cried the vessel, "I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view."
"Look at me," called the goblet of crystal so clear,
"My transparency shows my contents so dear,
Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride,
And I'm sure I'll be happy in Your house to abide."

The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
"You may use me, dear Master," the wooden bowl said,
"But I'd rather You used me for fruit, not for bread!"

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

"Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all Mine.
I need not the vessel with pride of its self;
Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;
Nor the one who is big-mouthed and shallow and loud;
Nor one who displays his contents so proud;
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;
But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might."

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly. "There's work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you."

~Beulah V. Cornwall~

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2nd Corinthians 4:7

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Race

I have shared this for a devotion at the Gospel Mission, with the perspective of considering the father in the poem as your Heavenly Father. This is basically what I preached that day (with more references added this morning): Running The Race Of The Christian Life.

The Race

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”

But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.

As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”

He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.

He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”

So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”

So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.

Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.

But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.

For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

~Author Unknown~

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd, This I surely know.
He gently leads and guides me in the way that I should go.
He leads in green pastures by the water that is still,
Where I can lay down in peace, and know that He is real.

He leads in paths of righteousness, this is for His Name's sake,
The path is so wonderful, no other would I take.
Sometimes He leads in valleys where His face I cannot see.
But I will fear no evil for I know He's there with me.

His rod and staff - they comfort, I wonder what I would do
Without His Love and Mercy to bring me safely through?
When the enemy opresses hard - A table He doth spread,
He anoints me with fresh oil, I have not a thing to fear.

Sometimes my cup runneth over and I feel so compelled
To think of my Great Shepherd - and to others tell
Of His Goodness, Love and Mercy that will follow me all my life,
If I stay true and follow Him and keep my soul upright.

One day I'll dwell in the house that He has gone to prepare
But I will first find my Shepherd, Who helped me to get there.
Then I'll enjoy the splendor of that city so fair
Where we can rest in peace and not have a care.

~Aliene Sanchez~
(Used With Permission)

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
John 10:14

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
John 10:27

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Am Learning, Lord!

My life has taken many falls and tumbles along the way.
The many trials have left me in a sure state of dismay.
For with each trial, I tried alone to tend, and soothe, and mend,
Instead of giving them to God, and on Him just depend.

But, I am learning, Lord.

It seems that I was determined to carry all the load.
I longed for smoother pathways, yet, I walked a rocky road.
Little did I understand, God waited patiently
To pave a new beginning with a better life for me.

But, I am learning, Lord.

It took a real disaster to bring me to my knees;
To finally call upon the Lord and say, “God help me, please.”
He can, with no delaying, with strong arms that could hold,
The weight of all my burdens; He gladly took the load.

And, I am learning, Lord.

What a needless cross I carried, all because I could not see
What a friend I have in Jesus, and the love He has for me.
Peace I find when troubles hover, though the outcome is unknown.
For if yet the road is rocky, I won’t walk it all alone.

For, I am learning, Lord.

~Author Unknown~

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalms 46:1

Monday, October 06, 2008

Heaven and Hell: The Road to Paradise

I dare not speak, I cannot tell,
The way of man that leads to Hell.
The flames so fierce with such great woe,
To such a place why would one go?
In that wretched place there is no light,
'Tis forever trapped in eternal night.
Where one is bound with fetter and chain,
Engulfed in fire that brings such pain.
Where in the distance one may ream,
The undying mobs unending scream.

I dare to speak, I can but tell,
The way of man that leads to Hell.
The path of a man that leads this way,
Is a life of sin, many people say.
A life of murder, lies, and rape,
As a child of some prehistoric ape,
Of life like this surely one will pay,
But 'tis not all that leads this way!
But 'tis the path of a life that's trod,
Alone! Alone! Apart from God!

I dare to speak, I'm compelled to tell,
The way of man that leads from Hell.
A place called heaven with a golden shore,
To such a place with wonder galore.
In that great place 'tis forever light,
Where I'll see my Christ with perfect sight.
Where one is free from sickness and pain,
Engulfed in wonder and eternal gain.
Where one may hear throughout the days,
The undying saints unending praise.

I dare to speak, I'm compelled to tell,
The way of man that leads from Hell.
The path of a man that leads this way,
Is a life of goodness, many people say.
A life of service, love, and prayer,
A saintly life that's filled with care.
Of life like this surely one will thrive,
But will not cause us in Heaven to arrive.
But 'tis the path of a life that's trod,
Saved! Saved! With a trust in God!

~Nicholas Cardot~
(Used with permission)

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Even In This

I just read an encouraging post over at Christians With Cancer Weblog, entitled Finding The Light In Cancer's Shadow. I am so encouraged by Kate's desire to focus on the Lord even in this trial - she looks for His hand for strength and comfort, even in this trial. In light of losing my Mom and some friends through cancer, I always cringe inside and shy away when someone else tells me they have cancer or think it might be a possibility. Thank you, Sis Kate, for the reminder that the Lord is in control, even in this.

Even In This
(Dedicated to Kate Plourde)

Even in this, the Lord is in control;
Even in this, He is guarding my soul;
When I cannot imagine how I can cope
Even in this, I have reason for hope.

Even in this, this trial that I dread;
Even in this, I can still bow my head;
Praise my loving Father for being near;
Even in this, I have no need for fear.

Even in this, I have Your peace of mind;
Even in this, You are tender and kind;
Your touch, Your gentleness has made me great;
Even in this, You see my low estate.

Even in this, a trial I didn't plan;
Even in this, I see Your loving hand!
My heart has comfort that was sorely missed -
You fill my heart with joy - even in this.

Even in this.

October 6th/08
Jerry Bouey

Psalms 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Psalms 136:23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What God Hath Promised

God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

~Annie Johnson Flint~

Thy shoes shall be iron and brass;
and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.


Deuteronomy 33:25

Saturday, September 27, 2008

He's Still Got The Whole World In His Hands

He’s Still Got The Whole World In His Hands

I was worried and discouraged -
Life had me quite upset.
I was ready to give in and break down,
But a still small voice whispered, "Not yet."

I was reminded of God's love for me;
A gentle assurance brought me hope.
The Lord is not limited by my situations,
And that reminder helped me cope.

His Spirit lives within me,
And I know I have been born again.
Whatever happens to this old world
I know it is still held in His hands.

Yes, He's still got the whole world in His hands,
Though sometimes I may not see;
But Jesus reminds me from His Words of Life
That with those same gentle hands He still holds me.

I need not fear for my tomorrows,
And my past is all but gone,
But when I look toward my future,
His bright promises shine on!

July 29th, 2002
Jerry Bouey

John 10:28-30 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

For a Bible study on this theme of being held by God's hands, please read: Upheld By The Lord

Friday, September 26, 2008

So Send I You

So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing -
So send I you to toil for Me alone.

So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
O'er wand'ring souls to work, to weep, to wake,
To bear the burdens of a world aweary -
So send I you to suffer for My sake.

So send I you to loneliness and longing,
With heart ahung'ring for the loved and known,
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one -
So send I you to know My love alone.

So send I you to leave your life's ambition,
To die to dear desire, self-will resign,
To labor long, and love where men revile you -
So send I you to love your life in Mine.

So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho' it be blood, to spend and spare not -
So send I you to taste of Calvary.

~Margaret Clarkson~

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Acts 28:25-27 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Powerful poem! This poem was in my church bulletin this last Sunday, with these words as the introduction to it:

Margaret Clarkson, who was born in 1915, was a teacher in a gold-mining camp in northern Ontario, Canada. It was a lonely life for this woman, but she also knew that this is where God wanted her to serve Him. She had a great desire to be a missionary on a foreign field but because of her health was unable to go. One day she was reading again the verse John 20:21, "Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." While meditating on this verse she wrote the words to a hymn that has become a favorite during missionary conferences, "So Send I You." Maybe after reading the words to this hymn a person would fear the call to missions. But, what a person must understand is that when God calls, He gives such a great desire that all else is unsatisfying and empty.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The End Of The Fight

Please let me know what you think about this poem - click on the title to go to a page on Home Of The Real McCoy I made for it today. I wanted to encourage one of my friends at the Mission who has been getting tired of the struggle with the world, the flesh, and the Devil - and I wanted him to look beyond that to the rapture (when we will no longer struggle with our sinful human nature), and then to the changes that will happen in eternity.

The End Of The Fight
(Dedicated to my friend, Tim Groom
- one day the fight will be over!)


This world is getting darker;
The saints are in disarray;
The trials seem almost endless,
And we long for the break of day -
A time of no more struggles,
No more warring with this world,
No more wrestling with the darkness -
Into Hell, Satan will be hurled.

Chorus:
Oh, Jesus is coming again
To judge the children of men;
Then our Saviour will reign -
The King of kings from Jerusalem.
There'll be no more reason to fight;
No more need to lead to higher ground.
That's the end of the night;
The final division of lost and found.
Faith will be turned into sight,
And we can lay our armour down;
All the wrongs will be made right,
When God's people dwell safe and sound.

One day we will see that lightning flash,
Shining from the east to the west;
The trumpet will sound at last,
And weary Christians will be at rest;
We'll be caught up to meet our Lord
At that time - whether night or noon.
Keep looking up to the skies -
Our Redeemer is coming soon!

Chorus

Evil will be no longer;
All tears will be wiped away;
God will dwell among His people
On that bright and glorious day;
Eternity is approaching
Fast on the wings of the wind;
Jesus Christ is returning -
Are you ready to meet with Him?

There'll be no more reason to fight;
No more need to lead to higher ground.
That's the end of the night,
The final division of lost and found;
Faith will be turned into sight,
And we can lay our armour down;
All the wrongs will be made right,
When God's people dwell safe and sound.

September 21st/08
Jerry Bouey

Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Luke 21:27-28 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Revelation 21:1-5 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is The Cross You Wear Too Heavy To Bear?

Complainingly I told myself,
“This cross was too heavy to wear!”
And I wondered discontentedly
Why God gave it to me to bear.

I looked with envy at others
Whose crosses seemed lighter than mine,
And wished that I could change my cross
For one of a lighter design.

Then in a dream I beheld the cross
I impulsively wanted to wear...
It was fashioned of pearls and diamonds,
And gems that are precious and rare.

And when I hung it around my neck,
The weight of the jewels and the gold
Was much too heavy and cumbersome
For my small, slender neck to hold.

So I tossed it aside, and before my eyes
Was a cross of rose-red flowers;
And I said with delight as I put it on,
"This cross I can wear for hours."

For it was so dainty and fragile,
So lovely and light and thin;
But I had forgotten about the thorns
That started to pierce my skin.

Then in a dream I saw my cross ...
Rugged and old and plain;
The clumsy old cross I had looked upon
With discontented disdain.

And at last I knew that God had made
This special cross for me;
For God in His great wisdom
Knew what I before could not see...

That often the loveliest crosses
Are the heaviest crosses to bear;
For only God is wise enough
To choose the cross each can wear.

So never complain about your cross,
For your cross has been blessed;
God made it just for you to wear
And remember... God knows best.

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

(Note: this is not an endorsement of all this author has written, though I do appreciate this poem and several others.)

There seems to be several slightly different versions of this poem online. If anyone can email me a copy of this poem from a published book of her poems, I will edit this page to reflect the official version. Thank you.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Draw Me Nearer

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Refrain:
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

~Frances J. Crosby~

Does Jesus Care?

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

Refrain:
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?

Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?

Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

~Frank E. Graeff~

Grace Greater than Our Sin

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Refrain:
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

~Julia H. Johnston~

God In Heaven Hath A Treasure

God in heaven hath a treasure,
Riches none may count or tell;
Hath a deep eternal pleasure,
Christ, the Son, He loveth well.
God hath here on earth a treasure,
None but He its price may know—
Deep, unfathomable pleasure,
Christ revealed in saints below.

Christ, the Light that fills the heavens,
Shining forth on earth beneath,
Through His Spirit freely given,
Light of life ’midst shades of death.
Down from heav’n’s unclouded glory
God Himself the treasure brought,
Closing thus His love’s sweet story
With His sweetest, deepest thought.

God in tongues of fire descending,
Chosen vessels thus to fill
With the treasure never ending,
Ever spent — unfailing still.
Still unwasted, undiminished,
Though the days of dearth wear on,
Store eternally unfinished,
Fresh, as if but now begun.

Earthen vessels, marred, unsightly,
But the treasure as of old,
Fresh from glory, gleaming brightly,
Heav’n’s undimmed, unchanging gold.
God’s own hand the vessel filling
From the glory far above,
Longing hearts forever stilling
With those riches of His love.

Thus, through earthen vessels only,
Shining forth in ceaseless grace,
Reaching weary hearts and lonely,
Beams the light in Jesus’ face.
Vessels worthless, broken, bearing
Through the hungry ages on,
Riches giv’n with hand unsparing,
God’s great gift, His precious Son.

Thus though worn, and tried, and tempted,
Glorious calling, saint, is thine;
Let the Lord but find thee emptied,
Living branch in Christ the Vine!
Vessels of the world’s despising,
Vessels weak, and poor, and base;
Bearing wealth God’s heart is prizing,
Glory from Christ’s blessed face.

Oh, to be but emptier, lowlier,
Mean, unnoticed, and unknown,
And to God a vessel holier,
Filled with Christ, and Christ alone!
Naught of earth to cloud the glory,
Naught of self the light to dim,
Telling forth His wondrous story,
Emptied — to be filled with Him.

~Emma Frances Bevan~

Monday, August 18, 2008

Only God Is Able

I search out pearls of wisdom, and gladly them impart,
praying I will find the ones to touch a heart.
Words that tell of Jesus, the way, the truth, and life,
in whom we have redemption; his blood has paid the price.
I search out songs of praise, and gladly them impart,
praying I will sing the ones to touch a heart.
Songs about the Saviour, who intercedes above,
and calls us to repentance by his redeeming love.
I take what I discover, and lift them to the Lord,
praying he will use them as a mighty sword,
for only God is able to pierce the heart within,
and use his holy word to turn man from his sin.

~By Deb Bolack~
Used With Permission.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Psalms 45:1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Recently I came across Deb's website, Songs From My Journey, and have been tremendously blessed by her Scriptural poetry and songs. She recently also started a second blog to post recordings of her songs. It is called Songs Of Faith. This song of Deb's that I have posted above can be listened to by clicking on the appropriate title in the margin to the right of each page. I ordered the two books she has available on her website and have been reading through them the last couple of days as well. Stepping Stones Along My Journey is presented much like the entries on her blog, personal stories in her walk with the Lord, and poems or songs that she has written in response to those times of trial and growth. If you love Bible-based poetry and songs, why not stop by for a visit?

Recently Deb posted this on her blog:

"I'm going to give away three signed copies of my book, "Stepping Stones Along My Journey." To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post. To have your name entered twice, post about my giveaway on your blog, with a link back, then come and leave a second comment to let me know. Tell your readers to mention that they heard about the giveaway on your blog, and I will enter your name again each time you are mentioned by someone in a comment here. The person who's name or blog is mentioned most frequently will receive one of my music cds. You may post about the giveaway more than once to increase your chances of being mentioned."

The contest will run until September 9th. If you stop by her blog, make sure you leave a comment here, stating that you came from my blog.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Night Before Outreach

Twas the night before outreach and throughout the church walls
Not a creature was stirring to the preacher's altar calls.
The people were nestled all snug in their seats,
In the hopes that he'd finish, so they could go home and eat.
Outside a community on a straight road to hell,
Inside a community unwilling to tell
That Jesus has risen and all who are lost
Could come and have life, without money or cost.
But like walls on a prison that are heavy and stout,
The Christians stayed in and the lost stayed out.
"For who has built this inseparable wall?
And who is the one resisting the call,
To go to the fields where the harvest is white
And shine in the place where He made us light?"
While the preacher was pleading to get out of the pews,
And into the fields where we could be used,
All of a sudden, in the blink of an eye,
With the blast of a trumpet, the Lord appeared in the sky.
And all those who slumbered awoke with a fright,
And instead of rejoicing began to shrink from His sight.
As we rose to meet the Lord in the air,
We could see friends and neighbors left behind down there.
Suddenly reality hit with a shock,
That we never thought to stop and consider God's clock.
For all that time we had lived for ourselves,
God's spiritual watch read "one minute till twelve."
While a people at war had continued to sleep,
The second hand to midnight had continued to creep.
We cried, "If we'd known the time was so late,
We'd have warned those poor souls of their terrible fate."
But now in hindsight we finally see clear.
If we'd only stopped and realized the time was so near.
But now as we stand to recieve our reward,
Not much is being said about our communities and boards.
The emphasis now is on "Who did you tell?"
And, "How many souls did you keep out of hell?"
As I searched for a reason or a person to blame,
I could not find excuses or escape from my shame.
I could think of the people I had chances to win,
Whose fate was now sealed and would die in their sin.
And I hung my head and started to cry
As I thought of the thousands who would now surely die.
Then all of a sudden I awoke with a fright
And realized it had all been a dream in the night.
But like Scrooge who awoke to find Christmas day,
I rushed to my closet and started to pray;
"Lord, thank you for waking me out of my slumber,
For one day I know I'll be in that number.
And when I hear my name called by your Son,
I want Him to smile and tell me, "Well done."
So, People please listen before it's too late,
We must hurry, get busy for we don't know the date.
Let us determine that like never before,
To get back in the battle and fight all the more.
Let's determine that day will cause us no shame,
By heeding His warnings and promises claim.
And consider the worth of one single soul,
And get our priority and make it our goal
To win every soul with the life-changing news,
And go to the fields where we can be used.
And as the day nears when He will step through the door
We can say, "Lord, come quickly" and rejoice all the more.

Written by Loyd Baker, then, minister of education/administration Northport Baptist Church, Northport, Alabama - 1996 Sunday School Leader Magazine

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lord With Glowing Heart I’d Praise Thee

Lord, with glowing heart I’d praise Thee
For the bliss Thy love bestows,
For the pard’ning grace that saves me,
And the peace that from it flows:
Help, O God, my weak endeavor;
This dull soul to rapture raise;
Thou must light the flame, or never
Can my love be warmed to praise.

Praise, my soul, the God that sought thee,
Wretched wand’rer, far astray;
Found thee lost, and kindly brought thee
From the paths of death away:
Praise with love’s devoutest feeling,
Him who saw thy guiltborn fear,
And, the light of hope revealing,
Bade the blood-stained cross appear.

Praise thy Saviour God that drew thee
To that cross, new life to give,
Held a blood-sealed pardon to thee,
Bade thee look to Him and live:
Praise the grace whose threats alarmed thee,
Roused thee from thy fatal ease,
Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee,
Praise the grace that whispered peace.

Lord, this bosom’s ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express:
Low before Thy footstool kneeling,
Deign thy suppliant’s pray’r to bless:
Let Thy love, my soul’s chief treasure,
Love’s pure flame within me raise;
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth Thy praise. Amen.

Francis Scott Key

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Beautiful Symphony

A Beautiful Symphony

A musician needs all the keys
To play a symphony;
If he only used the white ones,
What beauty would there be?

The black keys make the music
Melodic to the ear;
If the pianist never used them,
What a different song we'd hear.

And just like that piano,
So it is with life;
It takes both light and dark to make
The music flow just right.

God uses trials and sorrows
Like the pianist uses keys;
He combines the light and dark to make
Life's music sound so sweet.

The song of life sounds better
When He uses all the keys;
For then He can turn a simple tune
Into a beautiful symphony.

Copyright ©1995 by Jan McIntosh
Used With Permission
(originally titled "Life's Music)

And we know that all things work together for good
to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Friday, June 20, 2008

Searching For Truth

I’m searching for answers from a heart that’s distraught,
Wondering at the truth of all I have been taught;
Does it line up with God’s Word – is it right after all?
So afraid of confusion and the danger I’ll fall.

Praying for wisdom, for perfect peace in my mind;
Tangled up by these threads, wanting them to unwind;
Desiring to do Your will, determined in my heart –
From Your Word, I can tell that’s the only place to start.

In the fear of the Lord, I have examined my way;
Vowing to seek Your wisdom at the start of each day;
Faced with all these choices, knowing I am but a youth;
I’m set apart for Your glory – I WILL buy the truth!

Walking in Jesus’ footsteps, clinging wholly to Your Word;
I want to be drawn ever closer to You, my Lord.
Searching the Scriptures daily, taking what applies to me;
Knowing that I have Your promise: the truth will make me free.

From my heart, I lift this earnest prayer up to You, Lord:
Grant me Your wisdom, that we may both be in one accord.
Open up Your Word to me – oh, help me to understand;
Enlighten me to the truth, and guide me by Your hand.

June 20th/08
Jerry Bouey

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

1 Kings 3:7-9 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Father Of The Fatherless

In light of Father's Day coming up, and several friends who lost their parents, I wanted to share this with you. The verses listed below show the passages where some of the phrases and names of God came from. This poem is dedicated to my friends and previous coworkers, Bill Hall and George Probek. I believe these Scriptural reminders of how God is our Heavenly Father would be a tremendous comfort to you, as they were to me.

The Father Of The Fatherless

In the Bible, God’s many names are there to be found:
He’s the God of all grace, and His grace abounds;
He’s the Father of mercies – I found mercy there;
He’s the Father of spirits - I rest in His care.

My Father is with me; He will never depart.
His names offer comfort - they reveal His heart.
One name can give me hope in my loneliness:
My Father is “the Father of the fatherless.”

Every good and perfect gift comes down from above;
In my grief and sorrow, I’m surrounded by Your love.
I know I’m not an orphan – I’m precious in Your sight,
Held securely in Your tender arms, Father of lights.

From everlasting to everlasting,
My Heavenly Father’s love stays the same;
Comforting me within His very presence,
Abba Father – Daddy - is more than a name.

You bind up my wounds and bring healing when the tears start.
You give me peace within that restores my broken heart.
You're the soothing comfort I need in my distress;
My Father, “the Father of the fatherless.”

June 8th/08
Jerry Bouey

Psalms 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

Psalms 68:5-6 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Hosea 14:3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Ephesians 1:15-19 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

This was my first poem written in about two years - the last one was A Song In The Night written in June 2006. I hope it is a blessing to you.

For those who are interested: I entered this poem in a poetry contest, and they are now publishing it in a book this fall, entitled Immortal Verses. Of course, I don't care much for books of poetry put together by the lost, but at least others would have more opportunity to see it and read it.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Himself

Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, now it is His Word;
Once His gifts I wanted, now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone.

Once 'twas painful trying, now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, now the uttermost;
Once 'twas ceaseless holding, now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting, now my anchor's cast.

Once 'twas busy planning, now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring, now He has the care;
Once 'twas what I wanted, now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking, now 'tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, now He uses me;
Once the power I wanted, now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, now for Him alone.

~A.B. Simpson~

Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Scar?

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land;
I hear them hail thy bright, ascendant star.
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers; spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned.
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me.
But thine are whole; can he have followed far
Who hast no wound or scar?

~Amy Carmichael~