Thursday, April 30, 2015


Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 8

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


This replica of the Ark of the Covenant is in the Quick Study TV studios in Orangeville, Ontario. Here host Rod Hembree and his team bring a daily through-the-Bible teaching.

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


Key Verse: 1 Kings 8:11

…so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

Solomon’s Temple was undoubtedly one of the wonders of the world. It was to stand for 500 years until its destruction by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. The glory of this magnificent building faded into insignificance when the people were confronted by the One Who is worthy of all glory, honour and power. The Presence of God so filled this place that those in the building collapsed to the floor, unable to stand.
The Ark of the Covenant was brought to the Temple from the place where it had been housed in a tent in David’s city, located on the southern slope of Mt. Moriah, the hill where (Jeru) Salem, the city of Melchisedek, was located (Genesis 14:18-20). It is also where Abraham brought his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:1-14). What a glorious celebration! Let us celebrate today that God, Himself, is present with us. While it would’ve been an amazing experience to be in Jerusalem on the occasion of the dedication of the Temple, it’s so very much greater to be in God’s presence right here, right now!


Lord God, I bow in Your holy presence. I ask that You will reveal Your glory to me in whatever way You think is best. I know that You are revealed in all Your fullness in Jesus. Of Him, John wrote, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Dear Jesus, be Lord of my life now and forever. Amen!


My friend, Rod Hembree of Orangeville, Ontario, was our senior producer for the 100 Huntley Street telecast for several years. His dad, Rev. Ron Hembree, who has gone ahead of us to Heaven, often hosted 100 Huntley Street in my absence. Check out Rod’s video teaching series “Quick Study” here. I find it interesting that Rod has a replica of the “Ark” pictured above.

Crossroads played a major role in famine relief in Ethiopia back in the eighties. The Ethiopian Orthodox Churches all have a replica of the Ark of the Covenant behind the altar. They have a tradition that the original Ark is hidden in their country. They confirm that the only items in the Ark are the tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments are written. Our reading today also confirms that the Ark no longer contains the pot of manna, and Aaron’s wooden rod that budded. Stephen Mengesha, heir to the throne of Halle Selassie of Ethiopia, (all other male members of the ruling family were executed in a communist coup. Stephen was studying in Toronto at the time) says that only one priest and the reigning Emperor are allowed to see the Ark. There’s more about Crossroads’ exciting and challenging involvement in my book, “This Far By Faith.” We’d love to send blog readers a copy. I contains my heart on many subjects (to order a copy of the book, call 1-800-265-3100).

Yours for the ongoing presence of God,



Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 7

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 view that many Bible characters would have seen as they looked east toward the Mount of Olives from the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. On the top left in the wall you can vaguely see the blocked up Triple Gate that was one of the entrances to the Temple.

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


Key Verse: 1 Kings 7:51

So all the work that King Solomon had done for the house of the Lord was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and the furnishings. He put them in the treasuries of the house of the Lord.

At this time of King Solomon’s life, God was in His rightful place…FIRST PLACE! Only one wife is mentioned, the daughter of the ruler of Egypt. Solomon’s full attention was on the rule of his kingdom and on the task of building God’s Temple (here is a link to a good illustration of how the Temple may have looked). This building project was a job left for Solomon by his father, David. Later in his life, Solomon married many other wives, built temples to their gods, and his attention was not on the Lord God of Israel. It’s sad but true.
Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). May this be the case throughout all the periods of our lives, not just for the first few years. As we read in today’s reading about the intricate details of the construction projects, let us recognize that God did indeed add “all these things” to Solomon and the Kingdom of Israel. As we will see, the Kingdom of God became diminished and the kingdom of Solomon increased. The end result will not be glorious. The country will be torn apart. Eventually the Temple will be destroyed and all the beautiful vessels in the Temple taken by a foreign invader. However, in the intervening period of God’s blessing, we can also be blessed as we read ahead.


Lord God, grant me even more wisdom than You gave Solomon. I ask for enough wisdom to last me an entire lifetime, not for just the first few years. I need You 24/7! In the Name of another descendant of King David, Jesus, my Saviour and Lord, Amen!


For some reason I’m thinking of building projects in which I have been involved in a leadership role. The first was a new roof on a little church building in Castleton, Ontario. The next was a new church building in Deep River, Ontario. Then there was the construction of another church building in Sudbury. All these projects were built under budget and paid for in short order. But then 25 years later came the necessity of building a new 143,000 square foot studio and office building for Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. I was confident that we could once again build for less than the estimated costs, but the project went considerably over cost. It took lots and lots of fervent prayer, much sacrificial giving, and the daily pressures of also paying regular operating costs in order to prevail. There was no overlay of gold, just drywall, brick, and the most reasonable materials available. Nevertheless, the former Chairman of Canada’s Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, Keith Spicer, did pronounce the Crossroads Centre in Burlington the finest TV production facility in Canada. Every day, we sought to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” And through the amazing investment of God’s people in the purchase of mortgage certificates and in giving so very generously, the charity, Crossroads, became free of debt in ten years. It may seem foolish to draw any comparison to the Temple of Solomon, but it seems to me the same principles are involved, i.e. putting God first!

Yours for God’s blessing on the new, God-called leadership at Crossroads. Greater challenges than ever face our Board, our Global CEO, John Hull, and our Chief Ministry Officer, Ron Mainse, and the entire Crossroads team,


P.S. This week Ron and Ann are in Oklahoma city with daughter Andrea and family, and 100 Huntley Street daily TV continues with John Hull and Michael Coren. Please click HERE for essential knowledge called “Defying Isis” and HERE to request the book by Johnnie Moore. Your brothers and sisters in Christ are being killed by the thousands because they refuse to deny their faith. (For a full episode of 100 Huntley Street from yesterday, click HERE).

Dr. John Hull on "100 Huntley Street" with this week's co-host Michael Coren, dealing with the topic of the horrific Christian persecution at the hands of ISIS.

Dr. John Hull on “100 Huntley Street” with this week’s co-host Michael Coren, dealing with the topic of the horrific Christian persecution at the hands of ISIS.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 5-6

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


The Western Wall Tunnel is an underground tunnel exposing the full length of the Western Wall and is located under the buildings of the Old City of Jerusalem. While the open-air portion of the Western Wall is approximately 60 metres (200 ft) long, the majority of its original length is hidden underground. The tunnel allows access to an additional 485 metres (1,591 ft) of the wall.

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


Key Verse: 1 Kings 6:12

Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David.

Solomon had almost finished building the Temple when the Word of the Lord came to him once again. God had given Solomon wisdom and all the benefits that came as a result. Now comes the pinnacle promise: “I will perform My Word with you.” God has given us many promises in His Word. The timing for their fulfillment is in His timing, not ours. This restatement of the promise God had given to David came approximately 10 years after Solomon became king. When we read a promise that God has made to us as His children, we have a very human tendency, like little children, to want gratification right away. We must avoid trying to manipulate God’s action by His promises. He will do what He will do when He decides to do it. This is why we are exhorted to “wait on the Lord.” In Psalm 27:13-14 David tells us twice to “wait.” We can draw great encouragement from verse 13: “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” No doubt Solomon read his father’s writings. He may even have sung these words as a boy while David played his harp. Let’s make God’s promises our DNA instructions for living. Amen!


Lord God, I pray for greater growth in the Fruit of the Spirit. Patience, and all the other flavours of the Fruit of the Spirit is absolutely essential. Therefore, I’m waiting on Your timing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!


Back in 1972 we produced and released something called “The Grey Cup Christian Celebration.” Our Crossroads offices were in Hamilton, and the Grey Cup Championship of the Canadian Football League was to be in our home stadium. I became convinced we needed to use the occasion for a testimony for Christ. On the Saturday before the game, we did two services in the McMaster gymnasium-auditorium complex. We brought in big name football players from the NFL, as well as Canadian football stars. Dale Evans was there. Art Linkletter was there. The Imperials sang. Astronaut Jim Irwin, who was just back from the moon, was also there. All testified to their faith in Christ. Prime time television was purchased all across Canada for the one-hour TV special. It was a first for Canadian TV. Everything was going very well until it came time to pay the bills. The bank loaned us the money we needed, but then came the payments to the bank. I wrote out one of God’s promises in large handwriting and placed the paper in my middle desk drawer on top of everything else. Every day (sometimes several times) I would open the drawer and read, “MY GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS” (Philippians 4:19). It took two years to pay off the debt. In God’s time it was accomplished. I was learning lessons that would be a big help to my faith in the years to come.

Yours for God’s timing,


The biggest stone in the Western Wall, often called the Western Stone, is also revealed within the tunnel and ranks as one of the heaviest objects ever lifted by human beings without powered machinery. The stone has a length of 13.6 metres (45 ft), height of 3 metres (9.8 ft), and an estimated width of between 3.5 metres (11 ft) and 4.5 metres (15 ft). Estimates place its weight at 570 short tons (510 long tons).


This portion of the wall where you see a walkway is now underground in Jerusalem. To the right you can see where today visitors can go up to the Western Wall.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 3-4

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


Zedekiah’s Cave, also known as King Solomon’s Quarries, is a 5-acre underground limestone quarry that runs the length of five city blocks under the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It was carved over a period of several thousand years and is a remnant of the largest quarry in Jerusalem. Seen in this photo is the largest room in the quarry. The stones for Solomon’s Temple may have been hewn and taken from this quarry around 970 BC (1 Kings 6:1, 5:15-18).

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


Key Verse: 1 Kings 3:9

Therefore, give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?

Solomon had a great start to his reign, but he did not finish well. We’ll cover his failures in a later reading, but for now, there are good choices to consider. One of the most important requests that anyone could make of God was made by Solomon. God offered him anything he desired. He could have chosen wealth, fame or long life, but instead he asked for that which would be best for others. He asked for wisdom. Solomon’s deep love for God is evident. He deeply appreciated the fact that his father David, for most of his life, had served the Lord God faithfully. We need to check up on our lives, asking ourselves, “How would we respond given a similar opportunity by God?” Because Solomon asked selflessly, God was not only pleased to fulfill his request but also to give him the other blessings he had not requested.


Dear Lord God, because of Your love for me, You have offered me, in the promises I find everywhere in the Bible, many blessings. Grant me a selfless attitude, an outlook on life that is “others” centred. May I focus on Your will and not mine. I pray these mercies in Jesus’ Name. Amen!


I would like to simply rejoice with Solomon, but I know what is coming later in his life. It could have been so different if he had made the right choices consistently. The last book in our readings was the Apostle Paul’s letter to the people of Galatia. I’m reminded of a very sad comment Paul made about those people. Paul wrote, “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7). God has blessed me greatly with His Salvation in Jesus Christ, with a wonderful family, and with many ministry opportunities. I must be so very careful to make wise decisions in my old age. It would be so easy to sit on the couch watching TV (other than 100 Huntley Street, the news and some other wholesome programs) and be inundated by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Oh, it wouldn’t be deliberate on my part, but ever so gradually, spiritual strength would drain away, leaving me weak and almost helpless in the face of life’s challenges. I am more determined than ever to make the right choices, to pray fervently each day, to read God’s Word each day, and to share Jesus, as the opportunity arises. By having a Christian will, my wife and I do not intend to leave anything to the government. Yes, we are remembering our children, but God’s work is a priority. We want those causes that God has called us to support to continue to prosper. It would be fine if my epitaph read, “He ran well, and he kept on running well!”

Yours for doing well and finishing well,


P.S. May I suggest an extra reading of one of Solomon’s wise writings: Proverbs 3.

Walking into the depths of King Solomon’s Quarries.

Here is an entrance to the quarry. It is cut into the bedrock below the city walls of Jerusalem.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 2

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


King David’s Tomb is a site traditionally viewed as the burial place of David, King of Israel. It is located on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, near the Hagia Maria Sion Abbey.

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


Key Verse: 1 Kings 2:3

And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.

King David’s final words to his son Solomon resembles those spoken by Moses to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:7-13). Two towering historical people, Moses and David, make for interesting character studies. Great care was taken by the writers of Scripture to be accurate. Most histories written about an absolute ruler are coloured to make the monarch look much better than reality, but not the Bible. It tells it like it really was.
David had a good idea what it will take for his son to have a successful reign. The twelve tribes were filled with people who would be extremely difficult to rule. This was 500 years before democracy arose in Greece. Since Israel had rejected God’s rule through judges, who would be recognized as leaders only when needed, the prediction of Samuel as to the actions of kings was now a reality. The often-quoted statement, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” will be shown to be true as we move through the sad history of the next 500 years. Some of what David says is good advice for us too: “Keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways.” Amen!!!


Lord God, I pray for grace to obey Your instructions in all matters. With all my heart and mind, I desire to walk in Your ways. In the Name of Jesus, the only One who ever walked 100% of the time in Your ways, I ask this request. Amen!!!


My son, Ron, on the 100 Huntley Street telecast has mentioned that five of the Circle Square Ranches were given by Crossroads four years ago to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to join with their already very successful Pioneer Camps. The other ranches are now operated by other worthy ministries. It’s time to register our children and our teens at a Christian summer camp. Check out the camp nearest you, run by various Christian organizations across Canada…click here. Or if you’re in the USA, click here. When I first received the vision from God for the Circle Square Ranch ministry, I became convinced that an in-depth work of God’s Spirit and His Word could be accomplished in one week at a Bible camp, more than in any other way, such as seven Sundays in Sunday School. Don’t get me wrong. I’m the biggest fan of faithful Sunday School attendance. But that concentrated week, day and night, at camp is very, very effective. Because of the television opportunities we enjoyed, our registration records showed approximately 60% of the campers came from homes where the children had no church background. From 1978 to 2010, Circle Square Ranches hosted approximately 250,000 children and teens for at least a week each. It has been estimated that as many as 100,000 of these infinitely precious souls made first-time decisions to give their lives to Jesus. I’m praying fervently for a great response this summer at every camp which is committed to serving Jesus.

Yours for future generations of followers of Christ. “Indeed, [One] greater than Solomon is here” (Luke 11:31b),


P.S. Speaking of “future generations of followers of Christ,” I had the privilege of attending my grandson’s Bible College graduation yesterday. Congratulations to Eric David Mainse and his wife Kara on their graduation from Master’s College and Seminary (formerly Eastern Pentecostal Bible College, from which I graduated 56 years ago!). Below is a photo of me with the grads.

With my grandson Eric Mainse (Ron & Ann's son) and his wife Kara after their graduation ceremony, April 25, 2015.

With my grandson Eric Mainse (Ron & Ann’s son) and his wife Kara after their graduation ceremony, April 25, 2015.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 1

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


Jesus would have walked on this now crumpled road that runs along the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. You see on the left openings where shops once were, and it was also the support structure for the walkway that led up into the Temple Mount. On the wall near the top you can see where the base of the walkway was. It is called Robinson’s Arch, after Biblical scholar Edward Robinson who identified its remnants in 1838 (see extra photos below for some close-up views).

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


Key Verse: 1 Kings 1:48

Also the king said thus, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, while my eyes see it!”

Thank God for a peaceful transition from King David’s rule to that of Solomon. No precedent had been established in Israel to determine succession to the throne. Saul, and then David, had been chosen by popular demand (although God did the real choosing). It was not public knowledge, but David had earlier chosen Solomon to succeed him. With the reminder from Bathsheba, and the support of Zadok and Nathan, David moved decisively to avoid civil war and another family tragedy. The godly counsel of the priest and the prophet were key to a smooth transition of power. Within our homes, our churches, and our countries, tragedy will strike when struggles about authority and leadership arise. Blessed and peaceful are the families, the congregations, and the nations that allow God to influence decisions and pray for God’s will to be done. Solomon learned from God, Nathan, Zadok, and his father David. We may want to read what Solomon wrote in Psalm 72:1-17. It’s no wonder that a long period of peace came to Israel and its neighbours.


Dear Lord Jesus, have dominion over my life, my family, the church worldwide, as well as my local congregation. May Your influence be strong in the governing of our land and other lands. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and the other Arab states. I pray for Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, China and the Koreas. Please raise up people in those and in other states to call upon You, Lord God. Amen!


The tragedy of the slaughter of the innocents in abortion with no protection whatsoever in Canadian law came about in the seventies. However, I thought that all was not lost in regard to the protection of these little ones when our government changed the words of our national anthem to include “God Keep Our Land.” These words are belted out at every hockey game, baseball game, football game, etc. For many who sing them, it may only be lip service, but for me it’s a fervent prayer. The other thing that encouraged me was that God was recognized in our new constitution in the early eighties. I was so hopeful when the Minister of Health, the Hon. Jake Epp, presented a bill to Parliament in the mid-eighties, which would have protected the lives of some precious ones still in the womb. This bill passed with the votes of the elected members of the House of Commons but failed by one vote in the Senate. These people, most of whom were appointed by a previous government, overturned the will of the people as expressed by the elected members of the House. God takes most seriously, I believe, the commitment of Canada’s founders, who made Psalm 72:8 the motto of our Land: “He shall have dominion from sea to sea” is carved in stone at the entrance to our Houses of Parliament. Therefore, I haven’t given up hope that somehow our representatives will all come to their senses and do something to stop these little bodies from being poisoned or torn apart in their mothers’ wombs. While Jake Epp’s bill would not have stopped all abortions, it is apparent that at least 100,000 Canadians are with us today as a result of the threat of passing that bill, which stopped many hospitals from performing abortions for a brief time. May God have mercy on us!

Yours for decisions that will please God in every area of human life,


Here is an up-close view of the shops and support structure that led up to the Temple Mount.

Robinson’s Arch

Robinson’s Arch and Temple Mount at the time of Jesus.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Today’s Reading: Galatians 5-6

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


Ruins of the theatre of ancient Pergamos, one of the seven cities of Revelation (Rev. 2:12-17), located in north-western Turkey. Galatia is not far from here.

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


Key Verse: Galatians 5:6

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.


The word “circumcision” is used in one form or another 10 times in today’s reading. I think Paul wants us to pay attention! The practise of circumcision was the most unique demand of the Law. The Jewish man was set aside in this way from all other men. Paul, himself, would have been circumcised, as was Jesus, on the eighth day after His birth. Dr. Nelles Silverthorne, renowned pediatrician, said on a 100 Huntley Street telecast that on the eighth day of a child’s life, the blood congeals more quickly than at any other time. God, who initiated this practise, chose the right day of a boy’s life. Those who wanted to convert non-Jewish believers in Jesus into Jews were insisting that men, whether they be 30 or 70, must go through this practise in order to be saved. This is why Paul, the Apostle of Jesus, made such a strong statement: “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). Both Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Jesus are a new creation. Jesus has changed lives and practises dramatically! What a glorious difference He makes!


Lord Jesus, I thank You for the liberty You bring. It’s fine for a non-Jew to remain as they are in terms of the outward physical sign of circumcision. I need Your Life in me to produce the outward manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit. This is Your new law! Help me to “through love serve one another,” and to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Thank You for reminding me through Paul that “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this, you shall love your neighbour as yourself, but if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:14-15). I pray that I will learn these lessons well. Amen!


It’s amazing to me that the same kind of people who sought to put the Galatian men into bondage are still at it today. One of my grandsons, David Shaheen, once worked in a warehouse where he unloaded trucks from suppliers and then loads other trucks for distribution to the big box stores. His co-worker, a man in his 30’s, came in one day in great discomfort. He was obviously in some pain, and my grandson had to do work which had been shared between them in the past. Finally, my grandson learned the truth. This man from Latin America was in a cult that demanded men, non-Jews, to be circumcised in order to fulfill the Law. I wonder what Paul meant in Galatians 5:12 where he wrote, “I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!” Paul used very strong language to make his point absolutely clear.

Yours to encourage us to “stand fast, therefore, in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,”


Thursday, April 23, 2015


Today’s Reading: Galatians 3-4

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


Looking up the stairs from the Chapel of Saint Helen in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, you can see hundreds of crosses that have been carved into the stone walls.

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


Key Verse: Galatians 4:6

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

What a great change! We were enemies of God, but have become His friends…and more than friends, we have become children of God. As His enemies, we deserved His wrath. Instead, He has shown us His infinite love. We deserved to be punished, separated from Him forever. Because of His initiative, the opposite has happened. We are welcomed into His Kingdom as members of His family.
In these chapters, Paul explains an astounding change. The Galatian believers have come from being slaves — slaves to sin and from trying to obey God out of a sense of duty — to being heirs of God. In reality, they have the rights, privileges and freedoms of sons and daughters of the King. We have these same rights. Therefore, we can call God “ABBA, DADDY!” If we struggle with this, consider praying the prayer written in our Prayer for Today…


Father God, I pray for the Spirit of Your Son to fill me now. I pray in faith believing that You are now keeping Your promise to me. The promise of the Spirit was given to me by Jesus, Himself, when He said, “How much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:11-13). I’m asking, Abba Father, and You are more willing to give of Your Spirit than I am to receive. Therefore, I am receiving the Holy Spirit at this very moment. I praise You! I thank You! I worship You! Hallelujah! Glory to Your Holy Name! Amen!


As a child and in my early teens, I would go forward to the altar at church from time to time, asking Jesus to come into my heart and to write my name down in His “Book of Life.” I was confident that He did this at the time. However, when I did something that I knew was wrong, that confidence was gone, and I would give up until the next time I came forward to kneel at the front. We called the bench in front of the pulpit “the penitent form.” Sometimes it was called “the mourners’ bench.” Of course, I knew I was to be “penitent” and I was to “mourn” over my sins. It was not until I was 16 that I realized that I truly am a child of God by faith and faith alone. I believed that even as my human father would not ever cease to be my father, even so God, my Father, my Abba, would not ever take an eraser and rub my name out of His Book. The day after I fully believed that, I went down to the creek behind my sister’s house at Shady Nook, just outside of Pembroke, Ontario, and quoted over and over John 6:37. Jesus said, “The one who comes to Me, I will by no means cast out.” I came to Him! He does not lie! Therefore, He does not cast me out. He receives me! What freedom and confidence that fact has given me right up to this day over 62 years later.

Yours for believing Ephesians 2:8-9 (our next New Testament book after we read 1 & 2 Kings): “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast,”


Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Today’s Reading: Galatians 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 today’s reading, Paul refers to Antioch (Galatians 2:11), which was the base for Paul’s missionary journeys, and where Jesus’ followers were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). This photo shows an overview of the modern city of Antakya, Turkey, which is in the area of ancient Antioch.

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


Key Verse: Galatians 1:6

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.


As believers in Jesus, can we recall the first days of our lives as Christians…days of enormous joy and peace? This should be particularly memorable if we came to faith in our late teens or older. There is an immense freedom we felt when we realized that Jesus loves us just as we are. We need to ask ourselves, “Am I still full of that joy, peace, freedom and sense of acceptance?” For many Christians, these important things quickly fade as the enemy sneaks in like a thief and steals these precious gifts from God.

This is what happened to the Galatian Christians. They had discovered the freedom that was available in Christ, but soon turned to “another gospel,” which was no gospel (“good news”) at all. They started out well and wanted to please God, but they became joyless legalists as their lives became focused on merely following a set of rules. Paul wrote some very hard words to these brothers and sisters in Christ. He told them, clearly and directly, that they were wrong. He called them back to the freedom that was theirs in Christ, to the joy of serving Jesus, not because of bondage to duty, but because of the love of God and the power of the Spirit.


Lord Jesus, I pray for a daily renewal of Your life, Your joy, Your peace, and Your love! I need You, Lord. Thank You for Your promise of Your presence! Amen!


At 13 years old I joined the Church. I tried to live in a way that was pleasing to God, but by the time I was 15, I gave up. It was too hard to always do what was right. I was placed in a Christian boarding school for my Grade 11 high school. I really messed up, sufficiently enough to have me removed from the school. Therefore, I had no alternative but to move in with my sister Willa and her husband Harold Hodgins. I enrolled at the Pembroke Collegiate, and this was destiny for me. There were four Christian teenagers in my class, one Baptist and three Pentecostals. I watched them closely for three months, and then came my night of decision. I understood clearly for the first time that my salvation was totally the work of Jesus and not by my behaviour. My first public confession of faith was at a Youth For Christ rally in the high school auditorium. It consisted of one sentence from the Bible, words which have reinforced my faith ever since. Paul’s letter to Titus, chapter 3, verse 5: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us.”

Yours for learning the lessons which the Apostle Paul taught,


P.S. Two years ago yesterday I had the honour of attending the glorious home-going celebration for George Beverly Shea. At 104 years old, God called him home. He and I had similar backgrounds. We’ve compared notes several times. I hosted a documentary on the life of this man who has sung in person to more people than Elvis, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and The Rolling Stones combined! He served for 60 years as Billy Graham’s soloist, and much more. For a 2013 video of Will Graham and I showing clips from the documentary, click HERE. It is available from our Crossroads e-store HERE. As a Canadian, George was honoured at his funeral by a representative of one of Canada’s finest. I’ve put on 40 pounds since the picture below.

At Bev Shea’s homegoing celebration with Chief Superintendent Ronald G. Mostrey, commanding officer of the National Headquarters of the RCMP in Ottawa.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 24

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


Mount Tabor is located in Lower Galilee, Israel, at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee. It was the site of the Mount Tabor battle between Barak, under the leadership of the Israelite judge Deborah, and the army of Jabin, commanded by Sisera, in the mid 14th century BC. It is believed by many Christians to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Here in the mosaic dome above the altar, where as recorded in Mathew 17, Jesus is transfigured with Moses and Elijah on either side, with Peter, James and John looking on.

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


Key Verse: 2 Samuel 24:24

Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

In today’s reading, the people bore the judgment of God. Pictured above is the place where Jesus prepared to bear God’s judgment in place of the people. It may be that Moses and Elijah were there to encourage Jesus in His greatest of all sacrifices, bearing all our sins. Comparing 2 Samuel 24 with 1 Chronicles 21, it appears to be the same event. In the latter account, God decided to test His people by allowing Satan to tempt them to sin. Yes, David sinned, but so did the people. This shows the widespread effect of sin. Our sins do not only impact our lives, but others around us as well. Our key verse should inspire us to think about our level of sacrifice. The final words, verse 25 of 2 Samuel 24, should encourage us. It tells us that “The Lord heeded the prayers for the land.” Let us determine to be fervent and constant in our prayer life.


Lord God, the way I live my life will inevitably have an effect on others. I pray for Your grace and power in my life to be obedient to You 100% of the time. Please forgive my sin and bring healing to those who have been hurt in any way because of my sin. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!


I often heard my Dad pray in our family prayers as we knelt at our chairs after supper, “O God, may the smile of Your approval be on our lives.” I knew my parents would tend to smile when I was obedient and did something good, and I feared their frowns when I did the opposite. I knew that punishment was to follow on the heels of my transgression.

Tomorrow, God willing, I will read, with my blog partners, Galatians, chapters 1 & 2. I’m so thankful that because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, I am now, on the basis of faith, not of works, free to enjoy freedom from sin and its power over my life. Judaism, the expression of the faith revealed in the Old Testament, is often called the cradle of the Christian faith. In Galatians, we will learn that the practice of Judaism almost became the grave of Christianity. I’m excited at the prospect of moving from King David to his descendant, King Jesus!

Yours for victory over sin, and for healing from sin’s effects through the Lord Jesus Christ,