Wednesday, November 20, 2013

THE APPLE OF YOUR EYE

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 7-8

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Jewish men and women pray at the Western Wall, the retaining wall of the Temple platform from Jesus' time in the Old City of Jerusalem. In yesterday's and today's reading, we find the words, "Bind them on your heart and your fingers," referring to your father's words and God's commands. This Orthodox Jew in the photo takes this literally and wraps a binding around his arm and fingers to emphasize his commitment. Notice the paper under the man's hand. He has a written prayer that he will leave in the cracks between the stones. I have written prayers given to me by blog readers with me here in Jerusalem which I will place there this coming Sabbath, God willing! This is not a shortcut to God, but it does emphasize the fervency of the prayers offered.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Proverbs 7:1-3

My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

 

Think just how we would react if we were about to get hit in the eye. That’s wisdom as to how we should respond to temptation to sin! Immediately, we must learn to put up our protective guard! The foolish young man described in our reading did not protect himself and the result is that he goes, “as an ox to the slaughter” (7:22a). What a graphic description of the end result of sin. There is physical pleasure that passes quickly, and there are severe and lasting consequences, even death! A New Testament reading is James 1:14-16.

Proverbs 8 speaks to us of wisdom personified. The lens through which we see with insight is the Person of Jesus! Jesus referred to Himself as, “the wisdom of God” (Luke 11:49). The Apostle Paul also refers to Jesus as “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). Unlike the seductive voice in the darkness, wisdom’s voice speaks out in the daylight in public places (for Crossroads it’s through various media outlets), because God does not want any to perish. God has given us the job of proclaiming Wisdom. He longs to fill our “treasuries.” The Word says that “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also!” (Luke 12:34 – Jesus, our Treasure).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for the Crossroads Family of Ministries, Dr. John Hull, Rev. Ron Mainse, Moira Brown, Dr. Jerry Johnston, and all who take their stand on the top of the high hill (TV transmitters, satellite uplinks, and the world wide web). Lord Jesus, they are representing You at the place where the paths meet, the “crossroads” (Proverbs 8:2). Help me to support them with my prayers, with my finances, and by my words of encouragement! In the Name of the One who is front and centre at “Crossroads,” the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

It was the Summer of 1954 and I was employed in the research lab at the Magnesium mine located at Haley’s Station, Ontario. A part of my job was to dispose of a red-hot core of thorium metal in the barrel marked for that purpose. As I did so the barrel exploded into my face. Someone had put titanium primary powder in the wrong barrel and it ignited. My eyebrows were burned off as was the front part of my hair. My gloves were blown off and my hands burned. My face was burned to the extent that I had to spend several days in hospital having burned skin peeled off my face and hands. My eyes, miraculously people agreed, were not damaged. The doctor said that my reaction to bring my hands in front of my eyes in a split second saved them. To me it was obvious that God had a plan for my life and my time was not up yet! I had just turned 18 a few days before the explosion. This experience comes to mind every time I read Proverbs 7:2!! I also pray often to the Lord to “Keep me as the apple of Your eye” (Psalm 17:8a).

Yours for being as quick and careful to obey God’s Word as we are to protect the apple of our eyes,

David

As I type this I’m at the Dead Sea in Israel. Yesterday, we visited the ruins of Bet She’an, the city where King Saul’s body was hung on the wall by the Philistines after Israel’s defeat. Saul was not careful to keep God’s commands and he paid the price for going his way instead of God’s way. In the photo below are eleven members of our family of pilgrims. From left to right…Foster and Jeannette of Aurora, Ontario – Catherine of Toronto – Vicky and Bryan of Toronto – Wendy of Cranbrook, British Columbia – Hilde of Unionville, Ontario – Maryke and Piebe of Chesterville, Ontario – Syd of Grand Prairie, Alberta – Elaine of Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A LAMP AND A LIGHT

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 6

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

On display at the Convent of the Sisters of Zion in the Old City of Jerusalem on the Via Delarosa are several oil lamps from ancient times. Today, here in Nazareth, every member of our group of 100 was given a lamp like the ones above by the people at the Nazareth Village. A wick came with the lamps, but we must fill the lamps with olive oil and light our lamps. Olive oil is the symbol of spiritual life! The Spirit of God is symbolized by fire. Let's be energetic in shining our lights in the darkness of this world!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Proverbs 6:6, 9

Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise…
How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?

 

Solomon encourages industry and hard work! He mocks the “sluggard” and tells us to learn from the “ant.” Discipline, diligence, perseverance and co-operation are all evident in the energetic work of an ant. The next person Solomon describes is one who is not slothful, but even worse. He devises evil. He busies himself with stirring up dissension and deception. Everything he does with his mouth, eyes, feet, and fingers (possibly referring to rude gestures) reflect the perversity of his heart. He sows discord and will reap calamity upon himself. God loves the sinner but hates sinful ways. Solomon lists these ways in the form of a numerical proverb. The six that are listed are a background for the seventh which is: “He sows discord!” The opposite of this is the prayer of Jesus found in John 17:20-26.

The oil and fire are a “Lamp” and a “Light” (Proverbs 6:23a)! God’s Spirit and His Word will keep us from the totally destructive activities of the last twelve verses of Proverbs chapter 6! Amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that by Your Spirit and by Your Word I will learn to not be slothful in the way I use my brief time here on earth. Grant the grace to me sufficient to keep me trusting You and obeying your Word! I pray for these mercies in the Name of the One who always obeyed You throughout eternity past, during His earthly life, and who will continue to obey You, Father God, throughout all eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!!! (Hebrews 5:7-9).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m in Israel as I type this blog. Here at 5 a.m. Tuesday it’s 10 p.m. Monday evening Toronto time. Israel is 7 hours ahead. For our British Columbia tour group members we’re 10 hours ahead. I’ve heard that when I travel, it will take one day for every hour of time change to re-orient my inner clock when I return home. That’s seven days. However, I have found that this has its benefits. Through the years, it has been easier for me because of this time change to, as our key verse says, “Rise from your [my] sleep.” The question is asked, “How long will you slumber?” In my final years as the daily host of the 100 Huntley Street daily live telecast, I would rise at 3:30 a.m. to prepare my heart and mind for the new day. Now at 4 a.m. I awake with no problem to read God’s Word, pray and write this blog. It is said that it takes two weeks of constant repetition to form a habit, good or bad, and less than that to break a habit.

Today, our group travels south from the Galilee following the Jordan River to stay tonight at a hotel on the Dead Sea shore. The political tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have lessened, and I expect that for the first time in several years we’ll be able to visit the world’s oldest city, Jericho.

Yours to help us all “RISE and SHINE!”

David

P.S. The photo below is at the Nazareth Village in front of a 430 year old olive tree with some more wonderful members of our tour group family. (left to right) Pam and Wilf from Niagara Falls, Ontario – Ken and Liz from Squamish, British Columbia – Darren and Margaret from Surrey, British Columbia – Milan and Vera from Toronto, Ontario – Lois from Simcoe, Ontario – Alice from Toronto, Ontario. The Nazareth Village is an effort to recreate life as it may have been at the time when Jesus was a Child, a Teenager, and a working Man until He was 30 years old and began His public ministry.

In Nazareth Village yesterday with a shepherd.

Monday, November 18, 2013

THE BLESSED WATERS

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 4-5

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Hierapolis, the "Sacred City," is located in present-day Pamukkale in south-central Turkey. In the first century it was part of the tri-city area of Laodicea, Colossae, and Hierapolis. This connection between the cities lies behind Paul's reference to Hierapolis and Laodicea in his epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4:13). Before AD 70, Phillip (either the apostle or the evangelist) moved to Hierapolis, where he was believed to have been martyred. The sun sets behind a tomb surrounded by a travertine hot spring fountain. Today's reading speaks to us of "running water" "streams" and "fountains." It's about keeping clean!!!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Proverbs 4:23

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

 

In Proverbs 4 Solomon details the influence of his father King David. David’s words were indeed retained in Solomon’s heart (4:4). When God asked Solomon what he wanted, he remembered his father’s words and asked for wisdom rather than riches, power, fame, etc. (1 Kings 4:29-30). We are in the midst of reading the proof that God gave Solomon his request, the “Book of Proverbs.” David had illustrated this gift of wisdom to his son by referring to the ancient practice in the marriage ceremony when the bride would put a wreath (crown of glory) upon the bridegroom’s head.

Proverbs 5 teaches divine wisdom in marriage faithfulness. Here is a strong warning to stay far from, and not even consider, sexual immorality. With an illustration of a fountain of water, Solomon shows that it is absolutely essential to remain faithful to one’s spouse. Lasting satisfaction and God’s blessing will come from honouring the marriage covenant. For a New Testament meditation see Matthew 15:15-20.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord God, I pray that my heart will be filled with Your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. I realize that whatever I put in my heart will affect every area of my life. May my heart be so full of You that there will be no room left for that which is not of You. I pray in the Name of the One “In Whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9)…Jesus. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As I sit at my laptop computer typing these words, I’m thinking of the modern proverb that arrived with the computer age, “garbage in – garbage out.” My former co-host on television from 1977 to 1992, Rev. Father Bob MacDougal, used to ask people if they had put their garbage out so that God could pick it up and dispose of it. He had practised as a clinical psychologist at one time in Toronto, so he knew, as a professional, the importance of getting the bad stuff out. The morning after I first heard him say this, I was driving about 4:30 a.m. north on Jarvis Street toward our studios at 100 Huntley Street. There in front of me, stopping every few feet, was Toronto garbage truck #100!! I got the message loudly and clearly from God, “David, get the garbage out! Furthermore, live in such a way that you don’t put garbage in your heart in the first place.” Amen!!! Amen!!!

Yours, knowing that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9),

David

P.S. Here’s a photo of the Jordan River and some members of our Holy Land tour group who were baptized Saturday afternoon in recognition of the fact that Jesus was baptized in this river by John the Baptist. Some were baptized for the first time in their lives and some were reconfirming their original baptism. What a happy time!!! Rev. Ron Mainse did the baptizing assisted by his son-in-law, Rev. Jason Patterson.

My granddaughter Elena (Stacey) Gilmour and her husband Justin Gilmour just after their baptism in the Jordan River.

 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

W – K – D – U

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 2-3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

New waterways are being cut in Israel at the Dead Sea to advance the production of mineral collection. The countries of Israel and Jordan are finding "hidden treasures" (Proverbs 2:4b) in the area of the Dead Sea. Let us dig daily into the Holy Scriptures with this "digger blog" for the treasures of "wisdom" and "understanding"!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

 

In today’s reading, the word “UNDERSTANDING” is repeated 9 times. When someone is teaching a class, he or she may speak with greater volume to make an important point. In teaching by a written message, repetition is a shout! Pay attention! Synonyms for “understanding” are “insight” “comprehension” “perception” “discernment” and “know-how.” It’s what we stand on for the foundation of our lives.

The title for this blog is “W” – wisdom, “K” – knowledge, “D” – discretion, “U” – understanding. Consider the word DISCRETION. The thesaurus gives 41 synonyms; here are some of them. (1) Foresight (2) Prudence (3) Tact (4) Circumspection (5) Vigilance (6) Judiciousness (7) Good Sense!!! Some of the antonyms are (1) Carelessness (2) Disregard (3) Ignorance (4) Negligence (5) Indifference (6) Neglect (7) Poor decisions!!! Proverbs 3:21 teaches us to “Keep sound wisdom and DISCRETION.” And everybody said, “AMEN!!!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for W – K – D – U. I acknowledge You in every area of my life. Thank You for Your powerful promise to guide my every step! I place You at the top spot in my priorities. I commit my ways to You so that my ways will line up with Your ways. I pray this in the Name and in the Power of the One who always did Your will and followed Your ways, Jesus, my Saviour and Lord! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

When my sons, David Reynold (our photographer for the photos up top) and Ronald Wesley (who took the below picture and formats this blog page so that I can fill in the blanks) were 15 and 17, I travelled to Alberta to visit them at the Circle Square Ranch where they were working. I announced that a genuine “Big Foot” had been found a few miles from the ranch. They hopped in the car and we proceeded to a quarry about 10 miles away. There was “Big Foot”…a giant digger with the capability to move in a walking motion on its two huge feet! (here is a photo of it I found online). O.K. I was teasing them, but at the same time I wanted them to experience what was then the biggest earth, gravel, and stone excavator on earth! When I saw the photo which Reynold had chosen to represent digging into God’s Word, I thought of that time! READY, SET, GO! Let’s dig!!!

Yours for daily digging into God’s Word and mining Treasures,

David

P.S. Here in Israel today we took a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Ten members of our tour group posed on the bow of the ship. They are left to right – Merle of Penticton, British Columbia – Laura and Marilyn of Edmonton, Alberta – Joyce of Maple Ridge, British Columbia – Danielle of Edmonton, Alberta – Linda of Vernon, B.C. – Leonard and Winona of Beiseker, Alberta – Justin and Elena of Burlington, Ontario (my granddaughter and grandson-in-law).

Saturday, November 16, 2013

WISDOM IN THE SQUARE

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 1

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

An Egyptian obelisk from ancient Heliopolis, Egypt, stands in the centre of the Piazza in Rome. Three sides of the obelisk were carved during the reign of Sety I and the fourth side under Rameses II. The obelisk, known as the Obelisk Flaminio, or the Popolo Obelisk, is the second oldest and one of the tallest obelisks in Rome (some 24 metres high, or 36 metres including its base platform). The obelisk was brought to Rome in 10 BC by order of Caesar Augustus. The book of Proverbs predates the erection of this obelisk by 1,000 years.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Proverbs 1:10, 33

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent…But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.

 

PROVERBS — A guide book for Living! A proverb is a short sentence that conveys a moral truth. The motto and theme of this book is “THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM!” Historical records credit King Solomon with composing 3,000 proverbs. Here we have about 800 of them.

The fool does not fear God and disobeys Him! The wise person has the greatest respect for God and obeys Him! The fool will listen to sinners! The wise person will listen to God! In our daily blogs we are paying close attention to what God is saying to us through His Word! In today’s reading Wisdom is portrayed as a person who appears as a woman. Wisdom calls out to three types of people: (1) The naive who can easily be swayed to sin, (2) The scorners who mock the righteous, and (3) Fools who hate the truth and anything that has to do with God. These people can be saved from destruction by turning to God. However, there is a point which one can pass where there is no hope of a turnaround!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I ask for wisdom to be constantly with me and in me. Through the man known as the brother of our Lord, James, I am assured that if I ask for wisdom, You will give it liberally and without reproach (James 1:5-7). I’m praying for this gift in the Name of the One “Who became for us Wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Norma-Jean and I did not know each other until she was 18 and I was 21, and we were raised in different Christian denominations, 300 miles apart. Nevertheless, we found that we had many things in common. We played tag, softball, attended a one-room public school, etc. We also had mothers who reminded us over and over of the serious negative consequences of being enticed by sinners to do the wrong thing. Both of our mothers died before we met. Mine of cancer when I was 12, and hers at the hand of a drunk driver when she was 17. We have vivid memories of our mothers quoting our first key verse from the old King James version, “If sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”

The wisdom of Proverbs was the DNA of our culture a lifetime ago. Timothy Eaton of the famous Eaton’s stores gave a special copy of the Book of Proverbs to each and every employee. New clerks, shippers, etc., were told, “This is our employee’s handbook. We live by these words.” No wonder one of the great Toronto Churches is called Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. The congregation always maintains a Bible-believing evangelical Pastor in the pulpit (click here for information on this great church).

Yours for WISDOM!!!

David

P.S. I’m typing this in our hotel room where I can look out the window and see the Sea of Galilee. Below is a picture of 10 more of our pilgrims standing on Mt. Carmel yesterday beneath the statue of Elijah, depicting his victory over the prophets of Baal at that location. From left to right we have Sandi and Dave of Victoria, British Columbia – Gloria of Edmonton, Alberta – John and Doreen of Stratford, Ontario – Alberta of Kelowna, British Columbia – Natalie of Hamilton, Ontario – Pat of Halifax, Nova Scotia – Cenny of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia – and Ruth of Renfrew, Ontario. We’re having the time of our lives walking through the pages of the book we’re reading daily with the encouragement of this blog!!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

BROTHER SLAVE!

Suggested Reading: Philemon

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Items displayed in an Israeli museum from the Roman occupation time period. Some of these items may have been used by a slave in serving his master. Slavery was a common social practice in the time of today's reading.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Philemon 15-16

For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave — a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

 

This was written as a personal letter in Paul’s own handwriting, a one-to-one letter to his friend Philemon whom he led to Christ several years before (19b). The letter had to do with a runaway slave named Onesimus, who had belonged to Philemon, perhaps before Philemon had become a believer in Jesus Christ. Now, Paul has found Onesimus in Rome and led him to receive Jesus as his Saviour and Lord.

The content of this short letter reveals that Paul had a great love for each of these men, master and slave. He knows that the love of Jesus, which changes everything, will alter their relationship forever. They are now linked in the Holy Spirit as true brothers! We learn from this letter that God’s love in Christ is the only means whereby we find true freedom, ultimate respect for each other, and genuine love! In another letter, not to an individual but to us all, Paul writes, “In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3b). This is truly revolutionary!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father God, I thank You for Jesus, Your Son and my Saviour and Lord! He, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, is continuing the revolution in my life. I pray for grace to love others as Paul loved Philemon and Onesimus. I know that this is only possible by Your indwelling Holy Spirit. Fill me again, Holy Spirit, with the love of God, I pray fervently in the Name of the Person who loved all of us with a perfect love, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Paul’s personal letter to Philemon has inspired me throughout the 50+ years of television ministry. The highest number of personal letters I wrote in any one day was 50. Most days I would average 10 letters. I would record them on what was called a dictaphone, and my secretary, Valerie James Battaglia (now these indispensable people are called assistants), would transcribe them; I would sign them, and then they would be mailed. For some of my letters she would take shorthand and then type them. Ron just calculated for me what may be true, that I’ve written over 100,000 personal letters through the years. Just to think of this makes me feel tired, but It also makes me feel very much fulfilled. One personal letter, the memory of which I cherish, was in answer to a 14-year-old boy named David Boyd from St. Catherines, Ontario. David wrote to me in the late sixties asking for our Crossroads Bible Correspondence Course, which we used to offer to new believers. I remember marking his examination paper and giving him 100%. Later, after years of study and ordination as a minister, he became Dean of Men at the Bible College from which I had graduated in 1959. He helped found a Bible College here in Israel, and much more. I’m typing this on day 3 of my 2013 visit to Israel. God willing, we’ll do this tour again next November! Why not join us for the trip of a lifetime? I’d love to spend two weeks with my fellow bloggers!

Yours for the joy of personal letters, phone calls, e-mails, texts, etc.,

David

P.S. I hope to place here pictures of our big family of tour members over the next two weeks. Here, in front of the world’s oldest city gate through which one can still walk, is a gate in the wall of a 4,000-year-old Canaanite city, Ashkelon. It dates to the time of Abraham. Here are 9 of our 100 members. From left to right, Lori from Penticton, B.C. – Pauline from Toronto, On. – Cleo from Ottawa, On. – Jean and Daniel from Ottawa, On. – Doug from Haliburton, On., – Allyn from Lethbridge, Alberta, – Ray and Janine from Sault Ste. Marie, On.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CHARACTER IN ACTION

Suggested Reading: TITUS 1-3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Corinth Canal passageway was finally cut through the mainland in 1893 after several attempts dating back 2700 years ago. This canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. The canal is 6.4 kilometres (4.0 mi) in length and only 21.4 metres (70 ft) wide at its base. Although the canal saves the 700-kilometre (430 mi) journey around the Peloponnese, it is too narrow for modern ocean freighters, as it can only accommodate ships of a width of up to 16.5 metres (54 ft) and a depth (bottom of ship) of 7.3 metres (24 ft).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Titus 3:1-2, 14

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men…And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful!

 

Titus was the pioneer pastor in the island of Crete. In order to start the church off in the right way, he needed to implant the true DNA of the Church of Jesus Christ!

Titus 1 – True Christianity was spreading throughout the land, but so was false teaching concerning the faith. Like weeds that encroach upon a newly ploughed garden, so heresy was spreading. Therefore, Titus was to carefully screen and appoint well-qualified leaders. He was to rebuke sharply any who might use their position for “dishonest gain,” and those who “profess to know God, but in works they deny Him.”

Titus 2 – We are taught to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

Titus 3 – We are reading the entire small book of Titus today. It’s all strong and challenging teaching. However, there is one word in Titus 3:14 that stands out as the key to living a life pleasing to God! It’s the word, “LEARN!” I’ve just checked the Oxford dictionary and it says that “LEARN” means to acquire knowledge and skill, to become competent, to grasp, to master, to absorb, to assimilate, to digest, to study, to read up on, to be taught, etc. O.K. Paul, we get the message you wanted Titus to share with the Cretan believers.

Now, we may want to read this little book once more without interruption, letting the words and thoughts soak into our characters!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will confess You before others, not only in my words, but in my every action. Teach me to say “NO” to all ungodliness, and may I learn to live an upright and godly life. Help me Lord, from minute to minute, to be consistent in the practical doing of Your word, loving not only in word but in deed. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Our son Ron and his wife Ann, along with their son-in law, Rev. Jason Patterson, are here with Norma-Jean and me in Israel (see photo below). We have 100 people in our tour group and in our leadership of the group, we’re doing our best to live up to the instructions found here in Titus. The dear people on our tour are becoming like family. As Paul taught, we truly seek to help with “every good work.” I’m particularly concerned about the Filipino people and their awful disaster. Paul said that we are “to meet urgent needs.” Dr. John Hull, Moira Brown, and the missions team are leading us in practical and very effective ways of helping these most needy people on earth at present. I urge all blog readers to send donations to Crossroads Relief and Development (the government of Canada through our taxes will match our donations dollar for dollar, so $100.00 becomes $200.00, and so on). You can write to Crossroads,1295 North Service Road, Burlington, Ontario, L7R 4M2. Or you can call with credit card in hand to 1-800-265-3100. Also, HERE is a link with more info and a way you can donate online. John Hull knows the Philippines very well and has a tried-and-proven partner organization on the ground there who will maximize the effectiveness of the gift Norma-Jean and I are sending. He’ll make sure all gifts do the job for God and for people. Right here in this land of Israel, Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you’ve done it unto the least of one of these, you’ve done it unto Me.”

Yours for being all God wants us to be and for doing all He wants us to do,

David

Here’s a picture I took here in Tel Aviv, Israel, at sunset last evening of Ron, Ann, and Jason. Behind them in the west is the Mediterranean Sea. It says to me that time is short and the darkness is coming. Jesus said, “The night is coming when no man can work” (John 9:4b). Let’s do our best now!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PRAISE THE LORD!

Suggested Reading: Psalms 148-150

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Joppa is a major port on the west coast of Israel, as it was during Biblical times. It was here that the Apostle Peter fell into a trance and saw a sheet being lowered down from Heaven. On the sheet were all kinds of creatures (Acts 10:12). According to today's reading, all creatures great and small are to "Praise the Lord!" We non-Jews got in on the blessings of Abraham and Jesus as a result of what happened to Peter. Jonah departed from this port on a whale of a trip! (Jonah 1:3).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 150:6

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

 

In Psalm 148, the crown of God’s creation — men and women — are mentioned last for emphasis! Regardless of status, age or sex, everyone is urged to “Praise the Lord!” We who are believers in Jesus may want to consider a New Testament reading which expands our reason to “Praise the Lord!” (Philippians 2:8-11).

Psalm 149 moves us into another dimension of praise. We are to praise Him for Who He is! For the ancient Israelite, the celebration of praise was often accompanied by singing, playing musical instruments and dancing!!!

Just in case we failed to get King David’s message, he writes, here in the final hymn in this, the temple hymnbook from which Jesus would have sung, the word “Praise” 13 times in six short verses!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

I praise You, O God! I lift up Your name to honour and glorify You! You alone are worthy! I magnify You with the words of my mouth and with my body language also! Glory! Glory! Glory! You are great and greatly to be praised! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

After reading today’s Psalms, I’ve decided to join Norma-Jean, just the two of us for now, in singing the doxology, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” accompanied by her “Omnichord.” It’s an electronic instrument somewhat like the “Autoharp” that my mother played at home prayer meetings. We first heard this instrument in the church on Mt. Nebo, the mountain from which Moses viewed the promised land. A group of pilgrims from the Philippine Islands were singing praises to God, accompanied by an omnichord (let’s keep praying for the precious people in the Philippines who have suffered the death of many in the recent storm). I don’t think that I’ve ever heard more beautiful praise to God! Norma-Jean bought one of these instruments immediately upon our return to Canada. She has her omnichord (or Q chord) with her here in Israel where we are right now, along with 98 others. 100 people make a beautiful choir and tour group. There are two busses to carry us. Ron and Ann travel on one bus and Norma-Jean and I on the other. Tomorrow we’ll trade busses so that we get to know more of our extended family. With breakfast, lunch and dinner together, as well as evening gatherings, we get to know each other. God willing, I’ll do my blog each day from the Holy Land. I’ve asked Ron to take a pictures of the people travelling with us as we stop in various Bible locations. I hope to share these photos here on the blog over the next two weeks. We arrive, God willing, back in Canada on November 26th.

Yours to encourage us all to “PRAISE THE LORD!”

David

P.S. Here is a beautiful rendition of “The Doxology” I found on Youtube, sung during a wedding ceremony (click HERE). Why not take a moment to praise God and sing along with these young men?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PRAISE IS BEAUTIFUL!

Suggested Reading: Psalms 147

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The sun burst over the unique sandstone topography in Timna Park in the Jordan Valley in Isreal. Such a scene should cause us to think of our Mighty Creator! It is most appropriate that the first and last words of today's reading would be, "PRAISE THE LORD!"

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 147:3-5

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite!

 

Our Creator not only created the stars, but He has a name for each one. Even with all our modern technology, astronomers have never been able to see all the stars and number them. Only our infinite God understands the vastness of the universe. Even though He is great in power, He is even greater in His care for His creation and, in particular, for us! He comes to us and heals the broken-hearted and binds up our wounds! We must remember that this Great Lord made us in His image, and therefore, He will not interfere unless invited to do so by those He put in charge of this world. That’s us! God chose the ancient Israelites to receive His Word for the entire human family, and through them we have been given the Word of God which we read every day. With this privilege comes an awesome responsibility…to do everything in our power to make sure the whole world would hear of the mercies and judgements of our holy and loving God.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

I am reminded, O God, in each Psalm I read that You are great! I marvel that You, the Creator of the universe, are so concerned about me as an individual. I pray for Your Spirit to so fill me that I will be able to effectively communicate Who You are to others. There is one person to whom I should speak today, and when the opportunity presents itself, may I be faithful and effective in sharing Your Word to that one, and others, by my words, my actions, and my giving. In the name of the One who did this 100% of the time, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I had the honour of appearing on the 100 Huntley Street telecast yesterday morning live at 9:30 a.m. eastern standard time on the Global TV Network. This telecast was repeated several times on CTS, the Crossroads Television System network. Also our websites 100huntley.com and Crossroads360.com website carry this show. I call this a “show” because we want to “show” the great God of the universe, who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” If anyone missed yesterday and wants to view that telecast, just click here (I was on in the last part of the program). We, as a human family, must understand that the majority of the inhabitants of earth have made it clear that they don’t want God involved in their lives. God is not a dictator. He is a lover! His great heart is broken! We’ve rejected His love. We’ve taken prayer and the Bible out of our public schools and much of the public square. Ever since our first human parents, we’ve separated ourselves from God and from His maintenance of creation over which he gave us dominion. Thus nature is left on its own, and the result is disaster after disaster. It’s our fault, not God’s. Therefore, we must respond. There is a crisis in the Philippines currently to which we can give our help! Our Crossroads Global CEO, Dr. John Hull, will likely have some suggestions for ways you can help. He will be co-hosting 100 Huntley Street for the rest of this week.

Yours for reaching out to others with God’s unending love,

David

P.S. Our former CEO, Don Simmonds, instructed Ron and Ann, my son and his wife, to accompany Norma-Jean and me in our annual trip to Israel. We leave from Toronto International Airport this evening. Don felt that with the illness with which I’ve been diagnosed, MDS acute leukemia, I needed help in leading the tour. Thank You Crossroads for helping provide the best of care for our fellow travellers. 100words.ca will originate daily from the Holy Land for the next two weeks, God willing! While we are away, we plan to send a couple of short video greetings to air on 100 Huntley Street. Be sure to watch as Moira and Dr. John Hull host the program. John was Pastor of The People’s Church, Toronto, for the final seven years of the 20th century. As such, he built, with God’s help, on the legacy of the great missionary visionary, Dr. Oswald J. Smith. In the first 13 years of the 21st century, John served as President and CEO of the ministry known as Equip. He joined Crossroads this past September, and if you missed seeing the announcement on 100 Huntley Street, click here for the interview Don Simmonds and I did with Dr. Hull. He has a great vision for reaching the world with the message found in today’s reading and with the Good News of Jesus!

Monday, November 11, 2013

REMEMBER

Suggested Reading: Psalms 145-146

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

In the Jordan Valley, King Herod built one of his palaces on the top of a mountain known as Masada, as it was the most defensible location in his domain. Herod was the most insecure of kings. He built several such fortress palaces. The Kingdom of the King of Kings is everlasting and His dominion endures throughout all generations and forever!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalms 145:3,13

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!…Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

 

Psalm 145 is another acrostic poem in the Hebrew language. It serves as an introduction to the final five hymns of praise and worship! The theme is in verse five. David extols, blesses, meditates, declares, speaks, and tells us all that every day he will make known with his mouth the praises of the Lord! Praising God not only involves private and public worship but let us never forget that it means telling others in the world around us, particularly teaching the next generation all about God and His mighty deeds!

In Psalm 146 the great king, David, makes a declaration. We are to praise the greatest King, the One Who is King of kings! David states that as long as he lives he will practice what he preaches to us. He ends the Psalm with another, “PRAISE THE LORD!!!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I know that You alone are the One in whom I can put total, ultimate trust. Therefore, I trust the One Who did as Psalm 146 says, “Opens the eyes of the blind,” “Raises those who are bowed down and loves the righteous” (remember He gives us His righteousness by faith), “Watches over the strangers,” “Relieves the fatherless and widow,” and “Turns upside down” (the wicked). In the Name of this One, the One Whose Name is Jesus, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

This day here in Canada is called “Remembrance Day.” I am remembering those who gave their lives to secure our peace and freedoms in this land. I think that I can best honour these who fell in battle by focusing on the death of the Lord Jesus Christ in the greatest war of all…the war against sin, death itself, the devil and his forces of evil. The other day I attended a Remembrance function. I sat at a table with a mother and father who had lost a son in the Afganistan war. Their son had a premonition of his death and made a videotape for his parents, a portion of which we hope to play on today’s 100 Huntley Street telecast. I’ve been invited to participate on air today. I ask for the prayers of my fellow bloggers. Thanks! O yes, I’ve just read again Psalm 146:5a. In yesterday’s reading there were two uses of the word, “Happy.” Here’s the third “Happy.” I slept last night in my “Happy, Happy, Happy” T-shirt pictured in yesterday’s blog. I am a happy person! Praise the Lord!!!

Yours for remembering to remember, not just once a year but daily!

David

P.S. There was a wedding yesterday afternoon in the Towne Square at the Crossroads Centre in Burlington. The number of guests were too many for the Chapel. Rev. Ray David Glenn, minister of St. Georges Anglican Network Church, a congregation that meets every Sunday in the Crossroads Centre, performed the marriage ceremony. Ray David’s precious former wife, the late Rhonda Glenn, was my co-host for several years on the 100 Huntley Street telecast. If blog readers have never visited the home of the Crossroads Family of Ministries, please do so and ask for a tour by my son Ron or a wonderful man by the name of Chuck! Call the Centre at 905-335-7100 to visit. Breakfast and lunch are served Mondays through Fridays.

 

A wedding that took place yesterday afternoon in the Towne Square at the Crossroads Centre in Burlington. Many weddings and receptions have been held here. I've performed a few of these weddings. I love participating in the lives of younger generations!