Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 23-25

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


Mike Martin, a missionary to Turkey, stands in the ruins of Laodicea. Earthquakes through the centuries have destroyed many historic regions of the world. The Lord said in Revelation 3:16 of the Laodicean church concerning their faith and works, "Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!"

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


Key Verse: Isaiah 25:8

He will swallow up death forever,

And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;

The rebuke of His people

He will take away from all the earth;

For the Lord has spoken.


Isaiah 23 pronounces judgement. Tyre, the hometown of Jezebel, daughter of the King of Tyre and the Queen who introduced Baal worship to Israel, is to be destroyed. Today the site of Tyre is a barren wasteland on the coast of Lebanon. There are no houses and no harbour for the ships of Tarshish (Spain). Sidon is a flourishing city today.

Isaiah 24 gives us a description of some of the results of the separation of creation from its Creator because of the rebellion of men and women to whom God gave responsibility for the care of the earth. Isaiah 24:19-20 describes a scene like the one in the photograph above. “The earth is violently broken…the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard.”

Isaiah 25 is filled with hope for mankind. God is never left without a plan for restoration. He is our strength, our refuge from the storm, and our shade! “The Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces!” How gentle and caring He is to those who “have waited for Him” (25:8-9)!


Lord God, rebellious people and nations have brought disaster upon themselves, but as for me, I wait for You and You have promised Your help in time of trouble. I pray for the grace of waiting patiently for You! I ask this in and through the Name of Your Son and my Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!


I’ve walked over the barren rocks where proud Tyre once stood. I’ve walked through the streets of Sidon and laughed with the children playing out in front of high-rise apartment buildings. The tragedy was that the terrorists stored their bombs in the basements of these buildings, knowing that the Israelis would never deliberately bomb childen. It’s all so very sad. The tears God will wipe away are not from self pity, but from the tragedy of human cruelty. May God have mercy on us all!

In the photo below, my son David Reynold, an ordained Minister and our professional photographer, is showing a minor example of Isaiah 24:19, “The earth split open!” Click here for one of Reynold’s reports after returning from Haiti following the earthquake.

Yours for shedding tears and giving sacrificially!


On January 12th, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude quake struck Haiti. Reynold, who had served the people of Haiti previously, was sent there by the Board of Directors of Crossroads to asses how best to assist. Through the 100 Huntley Street television program and its relief and development arm, viewers and supporters of Crossroads/100 Huntley Street poured over $1,000,000 into aid for Haiti.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 20-22

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


In Nazareth Village, a recreation of what 1st century life may have resembled, a 21st century actor playing a watchman stands guard, watching over his livestock and property from a watchtower. Five times in today's reading we read the word "watchman."

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


Key Verses: Isaiah 21:11b-12

…”Watchman, what of the night?

Watchman, what of the night?”

The watchman said,

“The morning comes, and also the night.

If you will inquire, inquire;

Return! Come back!”


In Chapter 20, Isaiah, naked while he preaches his message, will surely guarantee that he gets attention! (wearing a small loin cloth was also considered being naked). It’s often not enough to merely speak our message. Our words are useless unless people stop and listen. The new year of 2014 is not on Isaiah’s WATCH! It’s on our “WATCH!”

In Chapter 21 our key verses sum up the message to which Isaiah wants people to pay attention: “INQUIRE”…”RETURN”…”COME BACK!” Let us diligently watch for the moment of a turn-around decision in people’s lives. Let us keep a sharp eye out for that time when our family members and others with whom we come into contact are ready to inquire, return, and come back to God! We must not miss those opportunities; they may come only once!

In Chapter 22 Jerusalem is the focus. The Tyropean Valley is in the very heart of the city between Mount Zion and Mount Moriah. Today, it is filled with the rubble from the destructions caused by numerous invading armies. This filled-up valley is paved over now and forms the area in front of the famous Wailing Wall, where Jews pray fervently for the restoration of the Temple of God and for His coming Kingdom. It may have been in this valley that Isaiah received his visions of the future.


Lord God, I pray that I may be wide awake, watching carefully so as not to miss the moment of decision in precious lives. At that precise instant, may I get attention not for myself but to call for a decision for Christ! I pray for wisdom, because You said, “He [or she] who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). I pray this in the Name of the One Who never missed and opportunity to call people to “inquire, return, and come back” to God, the Lord Jesus Himself! Amen!!!


For one Bible College year, my roommate was Maurice Fostrey. “Mo,” as we called him, had rebuilt a ’32 Ford coupe. It had an open engine space with shiny chrome heads and the most magnificent maroon paint job. One Saturday evening we drove 21 miles from Chalk River to the city of Pembroke, parked on the busy main street, and proceeded to preach the Gospel to the crowd of admirers that gathered around the car. Mo’s car got attention and drew a crowd. Whatever it takes to get a hearing for the Good News of Jesus, let’s just do it!!! It was there in Pembroke that I first gave the message of Jesus on TV (1962). There was only one TV signal people could receive and Crossroads was there at 11:30 Saturday nights. People paid attention and some inquired, turned to Jesus and were saved. Just prior to this, Syd Healey, a Pembroke businessman, had pushed a cheque for $300.00 across his desk to pay for the start-up of the Crossroads TV ministry. He surely got my attention! I knew for sure that God wanted to use television for His message to all people. I’m very thankful that God did not ask me to do what He asked Isaiah to do in order to draw attention to the message!!!

Yours for making sure we have people’s attention and then for driving home the message of Jesus!!!


P.S. Billions of precious people are watching television, their computer screens, laptops, iPads, smart phones, etc. Crossroads is all over the world in effective attention-getting ways. It’s our “WATCH!”

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 17-19

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


Looking from Israel towards the East, a highway leads down to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea, which you can see in the distance with the mountains of Moab and Mount Nebo, Jordan, further behind. Today's reading tells us about a "Highway." This was a steep gravel road when my parents were here in 1924 on their honeymoon. They had to back up this hill because otherwise their 1914 model T Ford, with gravity feed for the gas, would run out of gas.

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


Key Verses: Isaiah 19:20, 23, 25b

And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them…In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians… Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.

Our key verses about Egypt, Assyria, and Israel are most surprising! Isaiah, the prophet of Judah, could be accused of aiding and abetting the mortal enemies of Israel. Assyria had destroyed the northern ten tribes, and Judah had been invaded and harassed again and again by Egypt. Yet here, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Isaiah looks beyond the past and present to a glorious future when people from every nation would be called, “The people of God.” That’s true today, and someday soon, the nations themselves will acknowledge the God of Israel, His Son and our Saviour and Lord!!! For a New Testament reading concerning people of all nations, check out Ephesians 2:11-19 and Matthew 25:31-34!!!


Lord God, Isaiah carried a deep concern for all people and nations. I pray for a greater concern for their well being. May I have a greater heart for world missions, and may I pray and give more sacrificially than ever before! I even state in Your presence, as Isaiah did, “Here am I, send me!” I pray this in the Name of the One Who gave Himself to all people and to the whole world, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!!!


I read the key verses several times when I served as an accredited reporter to President Jimmy Carter’s last and most crucial visit to Jerusalem. In my mind’s eye I could envision the highway from Egypt to Assyria when I heard President Carter say to the Israeli Parliament, “The people want peace!” I won’t tell the whole story here, but it is sufficient to say that for the only time in my life, when I was approached by live radio hosts in both the Hebrew and Arabic languages for a interview, I believe I experienced a prophetic word such as Isaiah received. I encourage everybody to get my latest book entitled, This far by Faith, and find this story on page 48 (click here for information on how to get one of these books). Crossroads Christian Communications is reaching all peoples and nations in various ways under the inspired leadership of Dr. John Hull, a true missionary statesman. As the Global Chief Executive Officer of our ministry, John, who served as Pastor of the People’s Church, Toronto, in the footsteps of that other great missionary statesman, Dr. Oswald J. Smith, is my leader in fulfilling the Great Commission given by Jesus, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature!” John was only 35 years old when Dr. Paul B. Smith found him in a local church pastorate and sensed John’s burning passion to reach the world for Christ. Now at 55, John is equipped in heart, mind, experience and total commitment to reach the world for Jesus using all the amazing tools of 21st century communications. I guess it’s obvious that I’m excited, as is my family, about the future of Crossroads. Norma-Jean and I are committed to praying more and giving more than ever.

Yours for the highway, not just between Egypt and Assyria, through Israel, but to the east, the west, the north and the south, into all nations!


P.S. Help us build highways which allow us to communicate the message of Jesus by praying and giving special offerings before the year end. The offerings tucked in envelopes which are mailed and postmarked before midnight, December 31st, will qualify for tax deductions for 2013 in both Canada and in the U.S.A.

P.P.S. The photos below were taken by my son Ron through a helicopter window above the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario (a good friend of the ministry, Tony Ketalaars, took Ron for a flight over the city a while back). Next to our building, the one closest to the the highway, you can see the busy intersection of three major highways…403, 407, and the Q.E.W. From here at this crossroads, the Word of the Lord goes out to the whole world. Your prayers and support puts in the fuel, not in a model T ford, but in the most futuristic means of moving throughout the whole world! Thanks for helping to keep our gas tanks full! Amen!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 14-16

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 Kidron Valley at the base of the Mount of Olives are several Ancient tombs. In this photo you can see the backside of the Tomb of Zechariah and in the distance the Eastern Wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. Zechariah and Isaiah both made prophecies that could only find fulfillment in Jesus, Messiah/Christ.

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


Key Verses: Isaiah 14:24, 27

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying,

“Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,

And as I have purposed, so it shall stand.

…For the Lord of hosts has purposed,

And who will annul it?

His hand is stretched out,

And who will turn it back?”


When Isaiah wrote the words in chapter 14, Babylon was not yet a world power. However, Lucifer (Satan, the devil), who had deceived the original people of Babel (Genesis 11), was still their god! He is called, “The god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NKJV – other translations call him “The god of this world”). Isaiah contrasts Lucifer with the God, the Lord of hosts! Satan, filled with pride and in rebellion against Almighty God, says, “I will” five times. The Bible points us (four times) to the One called, “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Ephesians 1:3, Colossians 1:3, and twice in 2 Corinthians 1:3 & 11:31). The god of any religion who says, “God has no Son” (i.e. Islam), does not believe in or pray to the same God as Christians do. Jesus had the opposite approach to His Father God. He said, as He prayed before His arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection, “Father… not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). On one occasion Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from Heaven” (Luke 10:18). Be assured that the purposes of Almighty God, the only true God, will not be thwarted. Our key verse makes that clear!!!

Chapters 15 and 16 contain Isaiah’s lament over Moab. He has some comfort for them in that a remnant will not be destroyed, possibly because of Ruth of Moab, great-grandmother of King David. The throne of David, eternally established in David’s offspring, Jesus, is a throne of “Mercy” and “Justice” (Isaiah 16:5).


Lord God, Your throne is forever established in Jesus, Messiah. Therefore, I (we) “Come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). I have one cry several times every day: “HELP!” I pray to God Who is “Our refuge and strength, a very present HELP in trouble!” Amen!!!


Daily in the news I read, hear, and see the same countries, Assyria, Babylon, Persia (known today as Syria), Iraq and Iran, as the centre of world violence, confusion, and constant war. Not much has changed. Could it be that it is because Lucifer, the god of this world, is the god to whom most of these people still bow down? How thankful I am that the founders of my country, Canada, declared Psalm 72:8 in our founding documents. It’s found in our coat of arms as our official motto. It’s engraved in stone over the entrance to the centre block of our Parliament Buildings, “He shall have dominion [Dominus – Lord] from sea to sea and from the river [St. Lawrence] to the ends of the earth” [North Pole]. That’s a geographical description of Canada. King David wrote these words about the God he served. The prophet Zechariah said the same words in Zechariah 9:10. I’ve just read from Zechariah, who, as a true prophet, speaks for the God and Father of Jesus Christ. I know it’s Jesus to whom he refers because of Zechariah 9:9-10; 12:10 through 13:1-6; 14:4-8. I’ve just read these scriptures and am very encouraged that “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, ‘Surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand!'”

Yours with total 100% confidence in the Word of God as communicated through Isaiah, David, Zechariah, Jesus and Paul!!!


P.S. In one way I’m sorry to bring this up, but here it is. The people who attack Jerusalem for the last time bring this upon themselves (read Zechariah 14:11-12). The people of Jerusalem will be safe, but what of the attackers? Back in the 1950s I worked for Atomic Energy of Canada, and I learned from government documents of the effects of close-up (a mile or so) atomic weapon explosions. Here, Zechariah could not have more accurately described the disastrous effects on the human body. As I said, I’m sorry to bring such awful news, but I believe at some future time there will be an exchange of atomic weapons in the middle east.

This is the ancient mosaic floor in the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George, located in the ancient Moabite city of Madaba. It is the oldest map of Jerusalem and Biblical locations. Madaba is a Christian city today, located just east of Mt. Nebo in the country of Jordan. This is the area occupied by Israel before their conquest of Canaan. The Bible spelling of this name is Medeba (1 Chronicles 19: 7) and this city is also one from which Moses viewed the promised land.

The interior of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George in Medeba, Moab, described in the photo caption above.

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

Friday, December 27, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 11-13

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


Jacob's Well, also known as Jacob's Fountain or Well of Sychar, is a deep well hewn of solid rock. It is situated a short distance from the archaeological site of Tell Balata, which is thought to be the site of Biblical Shechem. It is quite certain that this is the well mentioned in John 4. Here Jesus gave water from the "Wells of Salvation" to the woman who had had 5 husbands and was currently living with a man who was not her husband. Isaiah 12:3 says, "Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." The assurance of salvation should be for sure in everyone's "Bucket list!"

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


Key Verses: Isaiah 11:2 & 12:5a

“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,

The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The Spirit of counsel and might,

The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

…Sing to the Lord for He has done excellent things!


Chapter 11 is a prophecy of the coming Messiah/Christ! He will be born from the line of Jesse, King David’s father. The work He does will be as a Man upon Whom the Spirit of the Lord rests! In His full authority, at a time yet to come, even the effects of the curse on the earth, with us since our first parents separated themselves from God, will be reversed.

Chapter 12 is a very big encouragement! Surely “He has done excellent things!” We have every reason to “Sing to the Lord!” Dip the bucket into the well and bring it up full and overflowing and drink until we thirst no more for the things of this world which are opposed to God’s will for each one of us. In John 4:15 the woman said to Jesus, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

Chapter 13 sounds like the terrorists wars of our present times. It is impossible that sin and evil would go unpunished. For believers in the Cross of Jesus, His extremely violent suffering and death was in our place. We do not fear “The day of the Lord!” We rejoice in the fact of Messiah’s coming to make all wrongs right and to cleanse the earth of evil! For a New Testament reading check out Romans 8:18-25.


Lord God, I drink deeply of Your Word. With joy I am drawing water from the wells of Salvation. My spiritual thirst is satisfied in You! I pray that I will dip the bucket of my life into You and Your Word each day without fail until the day when I drink from “the pure river of water of life, clear as crystal [literally], which flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1). I pray this in the Name of the One who cried out these words, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink,” Jesus Himself! (John 7:37-39) Amen!!!


My Dad, Rev. R. L. Mainse, took on responsibility for two country churches in the Ottawa Valley. I was ages 12-14 when we lived in the parsonage there. One of my jobs was to keep our home supplied with water from the well. I remember lowering my bucket down by a rope attached to the handle. Sometimes I would have to place a rock in the bucket so it would be heavy enough to break the ice formed overnight. Those chunks of ice that were floating in the pail made it taste delicious when I put the dipper in for a drink. This running for water (we had no running water and no electricity at first, so no refrigerator and no faucets) was like this blog – every morning and sometimes every evening! There were no excuses and no days off!

Some days ago my cousin, Allan Kenny, who owns and operates a paint store with his wife in Gananoque, Ontario, attached a video of my Dad’s Sister, Allan’s grandmother, to his blog response. My memories of her prayers are many. I believe she was born in 1890. Myrtle Mainse Kenny definitely drank from the wells of Salvation. Here she is praying out loud at a service in the “Pine Grove Church” in 1985 (click here). I’ve watched this several times, and each time I dipped into her bucket of faith and fervency for a refreshing drink. It tastes so good to me!!!

Yours for drinking daily of Jesus, the living water of life!


The "Woman at the Well" (John 4:1-42) is depicted on the ceiling of The Church of Jacob's Well.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 9-10

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


Here again is one of David Reynold’s photos from Nazareth Village. Just imagine what was going through the minds of Mary and Joseph as they gazed upon the little one of whom it was written, “Unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6).

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


Key Verses: Isaiah 9:2, 6

The people who walked in darkness

Have seen a great light;

Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,

Upon them a light has shined.

…For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


The border between Zebulon and Naphtali (Isaiah 9:1) is exactly at the town of Capernaum, the place where Jesus lived, taught, and did many miracles for most of the years of His public ministry. Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew lived there. Truly these people saw “a great light!” (read Matthew 4:12-17).

Consider the names of Mary and Joseph’s Child and God’s Son. (1) “Wonderful!” In the Hebrew language this name means, “That which is miraculously accomplished by God.” (2) “Counsellor!” His counsel reveals the heart, mind and will of God. (3) “Mighty God!” No wonder that thousands of Jews, including some of the priests and rulers who believed Isaiah’s prophesies, believed that Jesus is fully God. (4) “Everlasting Father!” Jesus is the Giver of eternal life and is One with the Father (John 10:27-38). (5) “Prince of Peace!” Paul writes of Jesus, “He, Himself is our Peace!” (read Ephesians 2:14-17). Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). And in Isaiah 10:17, in the midst of prophesies of judgement, Isaiah declares that there is hope in “The Light of Israel!”


Lord God, I thank You for the Child, and thank You for the gift of Your only begotten Son! All glory to You for the One who is 100% human and 100% God! Grant me, I pray, all the grace I need in order to enter more fully into His provisions for me, so that I will glorify You all the more. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!!!


Here, on the day after Christmas, it’s good to reflect on Jesus’ birth. Some of our blog partners have mentioned that December 25 is probably not the correct date of His birthday. However, I believe that it’s still a great celebration day. The world does pay attention, in spite of all the trappings of a traditional Christmas, to the fact that Jesus did come to live on the earth. There’s got to be an influence when we hear, as I did in a local mall, the words being sung, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come…born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.” I read that Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, was in the line of Abijah, one of the priestly families who served in the Temple for the month of March (approximately). If Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant immediately after Zechariah’s return home from the Temple, and we know that she was six months along when Mary arrived, then adding Mary’s nine months to Elizabeth’s six months, it would mean that Jesus was born 15 months later. The Shepherds did not pass on the date, neither did Mary and Joseph. The world’s most popular song, “Happy Birthday” had not yet been composed. I think that the message to us is not the date, but the fact that He was “born” and “given!” Let us rejoice and keep celebrating for the next 365 days. That way we’ll be sure to hit the right date. By the way, our friends from the Orthodox Churches celebrate January 6th, and the Armenian Church celebrates January 9th. I’ve just turned to Philippians 4:4 and read, “REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS! AGAIN I WILL SAY, REJOICE!” I refuse to dampen my celebration in any way because of a confusion over dates.

Yours for celebration anyway and just because!


P.S. Below is a photo of how some of my family kept warm after their power went out from the ice storm. There are some benefits to living in a high rise apartment along with hundreds of other people. We made room in”The inn” for at least 20 people, children and adults, from time to time in our 1100 square foot apartment. Can you imagine how good a hot tub experience would’ve felt to Mary and Joseph? Left to right – yours truly, David Reynold, our photographer (top picture), Jason Patterson, Ron’s son-in-law, and Adam, Ron’s son. My son Ron is taking the picture. I miss our home north of Kingston, but not too much when I’m soaking in the hot tub. On Christmas day, some of you who receive this by e-mail, received a repeat of the blog from the previous day. I apologize and by 11 a.m. the Christmas day blog was sent out again to all who’ve signed up. Just click on the second “100words.ca” for Dec. 25th.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 6-8

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


Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: "Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His Name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). In our photograph, the believers of the Nazareth Village are doing a superb job telling the story. God has placed something in every human heart, believer or not, that causes a desire to celebrate at this time of year! Merry Christmas!!!

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


Key Verses: Isaiah 6:3; 7:9b,14

And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”… If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established…Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

In the Gospel of John 12:41, John speaks of Jesus when he says, “These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.” John was with Jesus for over three years and John began his record of Jesus by writing, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1)… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His Glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth!” (John 1:14). As a result of his vision of Jesus, Isaiah was transformed; First in his CONFESSION (Isaiah 6:5), second in his CONFIRMATION of forgiveness (Isaiah 6:7), and third in his COMMISSION (Isaiah 6:8). Isaiah believed and his life and ministry were established.

Those who do not want to believe in the virgin birth of Jesus will often say that the word translated “virgin” in 7:14 can also be translated “young woman.” Of course Mary was a very young woman, perhaps 13,14 or 15 years old. Be assured that in that culture and at that time, the entire tiny community of Nazareth, besides parents, guaranteed that all young women would be virgins. Early Hebrew scholars, as well as the early Church leaders, never doubted that the young woman referred to here would be a virgin. Otherwise this would be a normal conception and in no way would this be a miraculous sign from God to King Ahaz (Isaiah 7:11). We need to use our minds to do as the Lord said to Isaiah, “Let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18a).


Lord God, I say with all my heart along with Isaiah, “Here am I, send me!” I pray that my 100% commitment to You will not waver in any way. Grant that I may “behold Your glory,” seeing with fresh insight the Person and work of Jesus Christ in Whose Name I pray. Amen!!!


Actually, as I type this at 5:25 a.m., I am overwhelmed with emotion. I’m having trouble seeing the keys on my laptop. I must stop and worship!!! Hallelujah!!! I need to be quiet. People are sleeping here because some of my family are still without electricity due to the ice storm. My grandson, David Peter Mainse, is awake and trying to get back to sleep. This 19 year old is lying on the couch cushions about 15 feet away. Inside my heart and mind I’m shouting with the Seraphim Angels, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD OF HOSTS; THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY!!!!!” (Isaiah 6:3). The picture below was taken November 25th, just a month ago. I’m on the edge of the mountain called Herodian. Bethlehem is seen behind me on the horizon. King Herod was probably on this mountain in his fortress for safety from an uprising of the people after he had ordered the killing of the boy babies two years old and under in Bethlehem. (Matthew 2:16) Bethlehem was a small village then with perhaps 300 people. In such a community there may have been a dozen babies. Herod had murdered his wife and two of his sons along with many others. Infanticide was common throughout the Roman Empire, so the death of these children would not have created much of a stir in the rest of the country. Because of the birth of Jesus, I have complete confidence in the fact that I will meet these murdered babies in Heaven soon. Christmas gives me such wonderful hope! What would I celebrate today if Jesus had not come as “Immanuel?” “God with us!” Amen!!!

Yours for a glorious celebration of “HIS GLORY” today,


P.S. Here is a link to episode #5 in the TV series for Christmas, which I taped this past November in Bethlehem. Episode #3 will be on CTS television at 9:30 tonight, with 4 & 5 on Thursday and Friday nights. CTS is “Canada’s Christmas Channel.” Check out the Christmas schedule here. MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM MY PERCH OVERLOOKING BETHLEHEM!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 3-5

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


This is a great picture for Christmas Eve! The actors of Nazareth Village do their best to bring the Gospels to life. Their motive is that all who visit will believe in Jesus as did the Shepherds. Let us come to worship Him too. The "Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious!" (Isaiah 4:2). The Baby is "The Branch." The original meaning of the word translated "Branch" may have been "Bud." A bud is a baby branch. Merry Christmas!!!

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


Key Verses: Isaiah 4:2

In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.

Isaiah 3 could be depressing if not for the promise of our key verse. The actual destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians was still over 100 years away, but on the road to destruction (the people’s fault, not God’s) there would be famine, incompetent and corrupt leaders, chaos and gross sin.

The warnings in Chapter 4 give way to messages of hope. At some future time, Zion will prosper under the beautiful reign of “The Branch.” This is a term which refers to the rule of the “Messiah.” As Christians, we believe that “Branch-Messiah” is Jesus, whose birth we celebrate!!!

In Chapter 5 the word “woe” is repeated 6 times. The “woe” of “intoxicating drink” is referenced twice! Let’s pay attention to that one and act accordingly this Christmas. Other woes are selfishness, greed, materialism, the reversing of standards of behaviour, pride and injustice. “Woe” is the result of rejecting the Covenant, a most solemn and binding legal agreement, made between God and the human family. Jesus was born to turn “woe” into something “beautiful, glorious…excellent and appealing!” (Isaiah 4:2). God came to us, as Elizabeth, the cousin of the Virgin Mary said, “to take away my reproach!” (Luke 1:25). Click here to read Luke, chapters 1 & 2 on Christmas Eve.


Lord God, may I perceive the beauty and glory of “The Branch of the Lord” in all the fulness of His Person. May I, because of Your redemption, make the fruit of the earth, the redeemed of the Lord, more beautiful and appealing to others. Through Jesus Christ, I pray that I will daily run farther and farther away from sin, escaping forever from its clutches! In Your all-powerful Name I pray, Amen!!!


In Isaiah 5:1 the prophet gives some personal words from God! “Let Me sing for My well-beloved a love song.” As I type these words, Norma-Jean is still sleeping, but when she awakes I’m inspired to sing her a love song. It will be our favourite called, “Unforgetable.” Singer Nat King Cole sang it so beautifully, and I’ll be a poor excuse for his voice, but It’s the thought that counts.

All four of our children have lost electricity in their homes as a result of the ice storm which has hit us. They have wood or gas stoves to help keep them warm, and their homes are lit with candles or lamps. That may be more romantic than the electric lights that Norma-Jean and I have on here in our Burlington apartment.

As a boy, I lived for six years in an addition to our Aunt’s farmhouse where we did not have electricity. My Dad was overseas. Norma-Jean’s childhood home did not have electricity either. Somehow we managed. I still have such warm thoughts of the wood fire in the box stove and the little candles clipped on the freshly cut Christmas tree branches which gave light in the parlour. Yes, the flames near the branches could’ve been dangerous, but the tree was fresh and we were careful. We’ve proven that we can, if necessary, get along without electricity, but we know for sure that we cannot get along without the One born in Bethlehem, whose birth we celebrate this evening. He is “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles.” I’m one of them! He is my “Light!” (Luke 2:32a).

Yours in “beautiful and glorious” celebration of Christ’s birth!


P.S. In the picture below, I’m on the roof of the Bethlehem City Hall. We’re overlooking Manger Square. What is perhaps the world’s tallest (artificial) Christmas tree was in the process of being decorated when we took this photo on November 25th. Directly over the top of the tree is the Church of the Nativity. The cave/stable where Jesus was born is just underneath the church. The continuity of the families of the shepherds and the relatives of Joseph make this spot believable. Do you see the red roof next door to the Nativity Church? That’s St. Catherine’s Church. You may see today the midnight Mass from there, which is carried every year around the world on TV. Also, click here for #4 in the TV specials I hosted from Bethlehem. They are being carried on CTS Monday through Friday this week at 9:30 p.m.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Suggested Reading: Isaiah 1-2

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

In Isaiah 2:19, we find the words, “Shake mightily.” The ruins of Beit She’an were caused by a great earthquake. In Isaiah 1:7 we read of a desolate city and a desolate land. In 2:12b we are told, “Everything lifted up shall be brought low.” And in 2:17, “The haughtiness of men shall be brought low.” The cause is rebellion. God is not welcome. He is hurt and withdraws. People are left on their own. Disaster results from natural causes or war. We need God!!!

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


Key Verses: Isaiah 1:18

Come now, and let us reason together together,” says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.


Isaiah chapter one graphically depicts the sinful condition of the people of Judah (southern part of Israel). Their brothers in Northern Israel had done the same and been destroyed, ethnic cleansing scattering them throughout the world. Now the people of Judah are full of putrefying sicknesses (from God’s viewpoint) and have not sought God’s healing treatment (1:6). Isaiah explains that if it had not been for a faithful remnant in Judah, they too would have already been destroyed (1:9). God has not given up on the people of Judah and on Isaiah’s home city, Jerusalem. God says to them, “Wash yourselves…cease to do evil, learn to do good…seek justice…” Then comes the most gracious invitation of our key verse, “Come now…” God’s desire is not to destroy but to restore, rebuild, and provide for His people “the good of the land” (1:19).

In chapter two Isaiah prophesies a glorious future for the latter days of Judah and Jerusalem. We may want to read again Isaiah 2:1-5 for our encouragement. “Reason” does not ignore the downside of the people’s present condition, which would shortly result in their captivity in Babylon (present day Iraq). Even in the midst of such a mess, God’s invitation, “come,” was available. Like the father in the story Jesus told of the prodigal son, God waits with open arms for the return of His people (Luke 15:11-32).


Lord God, I say, “Yes” to Your invitation to “come” and to “reason together.” Lord, I have heard You give Your reasons as to why I should come to You, and I realize that it would be foolish and unreasonable for me to do otherwise. Therefore, I come to You daily, check up on how close to You I am, and move as close as possible. I pray that You will hold me in Your everlasting arms. In the Name of the One who made such closeness possible, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!


My prayer of faith, when at sixteen years old I made my lifetime forever commitment to Christ, was based on Jesus’ promise found in John 6:37, “The one comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” My reasoning told me that God cannot lie and because I came to Him, He received me. I chose to believe God (reasonable). I’ve never doubted since that day that I am His and He is mine forever!

The words of Isaiah 2:2 (read Micah 4:1-3) became reasonable to me when In October, 2000, our live television signal uplink switched from Hanover, Germany (Expo 2000), to Jerusalem. There, my granddaughter, Sarah Shaheen (then 16) read these words from Isaiah and Micah live around the world, including live on the 100 Huntley Street telecast, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (2:3b). From that moment until midnight, December 31st, 2000, young people, non-stop, read the Jerusalem Scriptures, including the book of Isaiah, several times. We originated from a location directly across the valley from the closed eastern gate of Jerusalem, in the home where the German Lutheran “Sisters of Mary” had been in a prayer of repentance 24/7 for 50 years because of the holocaust which destroyed 6,000,000 Jews in Europe. They had just closed down when God allowed me to rent the house of prayer. The details of this arrangement were truly put into place by God. I believe that victories were won against the rulers of the darkness of this world and the one who styles himself as “the prince and power of the air,” Satan, by the reading of the Scriptures out loud on three international communications satellites for the remainder of the year 2000. Be exalted, O God of Heaven and Earth, GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!

Yours for spending time with God’s powerful and reasonable Word,


P.S. The photo below was taken in Bethlehem in what is a shopping plaza. Christmas shopping, encouraged by St. Nicolas (“sant-ni-clause”), was in full swing. This man was Bishop of Smyrna when he visited Bethlehem approximately 1700 years ago. As promised, here is episode # 3 in the Christmas series from Bethlehem (click here). If possible, let’s all get our families and friends to watch all five shows at 9:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, on the CTS TV Network (cable 9 Toronto, and other channels on other cable and satellite services). It’s over the air across Ontario, parts of Quebec, and Alberta.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Suggested Reading: Hebrews 12-13

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


A statue of Peter stands at the entrance of the ancient ruins of Capernaum where he once lived with his family. You can see the depiction of the Key to the church that he holds in his right hand. The fish at his feet represents that he was a fisherman...of both fish and man. Peter considered Christ Jesus and decided to follow Him. The result was that his life and the world was changed forever!

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


Key Verses: Hebrews 12:3, 13:8

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart…Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


Back in Hebrews 3:1, we are invited to “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.” Now we are again asked to “consider Him!” Why does He endure such opposition from sinners? Before we answer this question, let us remember that the Apostle John teaches us that “if we say we have (present tense) no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us!” (1 John 1:8). Also note, just in case our human pride or a misunderstanding of Scripture makes us want to claim to be sinless, John included himself in using the word “we!” “We,” you and I, stand in opposition to Christ! Sin is anything less than the perfection of a holy God as revealed in Jesus! To the extent that we come short of God’s glory, purity, and holiness, Jesus is enduring “opposition from sinners.” We are called, not just to a one-time action called “repentance” (a godly sorrow for sin, such as causes us to quit the sin for which we are asking forgiveness), but to live in an attitude of constant repentance. 1 John 1:7b teaches us that “the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” The word, “cleanses” indicates a constant 24/7 cleansing!!! Day by day, as we grow into the likeness of Jesus, we are less and less in “opposition” to Him and more and more living a life pleasing to him!

Now, why “Opposition?” It’s because we, the human family, are sinners. We need to acknowledge this and move on to “consider…Christ Jesus!” What will be the results of considering Him every day? (this blog should help). Instead of becoming “weary and discouraged” in our souls (the persons we really are), we will continue becoming the opposite to “weary and discouraged,” full of life and encouraged!!! To “consider” Jesus will definitely do for us as Hebrews 1:12 says, “Strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, etc.”


Lord Jesus, I pray that more and more I will consider You, read of You, meditate on You, dwell in the consciousness of Your presence, praying without ceasing, and in everything giving thanks! Therefore, my hands are not hanging down in discouragement, but they are raised in praise to You, and I do not have weak knees! I am strong in Christ!!! Amen!!!


Last Friday I received a response to my blog for the first time from my first cousin, Rev. Roy C. Kenny. Here’s what he wrote…Your blog is so well done. Your insights helpful. You are a great student of Scripture, bringing out insights not often mentioned. I’m reminded I was named after your Dad and Rev. J. Caldwell Black. -Roy

Roy served as a missionary to Haiti and Brazil during most of his years. God gave him a great harvest of precious souls as he planted several churches. Roy’s mother, my Dad’s older sister, my aunt Myrtle, was a great woman of prayer, and in my mind she exemplified the person who “prays without ceasing,” a person who constantly considered Christ Jesus, and as a result her hands were strengthened and her knees were not feeble. If Aunt Myrtle were here on earth today she would be 125 years old, as it is she is now ageless! I called Roy yesterday to say Hello and to thank him for his kind response. He gave me a powerful insight into Jesus words to Peter, “Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.” He said that at 82 years old he faces big challenges as he follows Jesus, but that to “follow” means that Jesus has gone before him and his wife Doris, and therefore Jesus has worked it all out. In effect he was saying that there is no need to worry, just follow! That’s a powerful thought that has ministered to me over the past few hours.

Yours to “consider” and “follow!”


P.S. On Christmas Day, God willing, at 9:30 p.m. on the Crossroads Television Network we’ll visit the shepherds fields near Bethlehem, where I’m standing in the picture below. Beginning tomorrow night, right after 100 Huntley Street, the first of five shows I hosted last month from Bethlehem will go to air. But just for us on this blog, click here for #2 of those five Christmas shows. For those who received yesterday’s e-mail of the blog, you may want to click here to watch the christmas show I intended to post as the first release of the five. Sorry and thanks.