Thursday, July 24, 2008

Does Jesus Care?

On the sidebar you will see a feature I've had for a while now, called "A Post That Will Touch You." I do hope that you have the time to check out the post called "Hello, Little One" by a very close friend of mine. These posts are self-explanatory. Since she's been making updates after I started writing this a couple of days ago, maybe you might want a link to the blog itself, where you will surely be blessed by this young mother's letters to her unborn child. Pray for my friends Mark and Beka, please. Some time ago I posted a poem that Beka wrote and many of you who come here are familiar with her blog.

Also, our church is currently trying to minister to a family which recently started attending our services. They are a dear family, who have quickly become comfortable with our people and with our ministry. This week Mr. A. went to his mother's home and found her dead--she had died a couple of days before. Needless to say, this sudden death is a shock to him and his wife and their children. They, too, are seeing dark days right now and need prayer. Pray for our congregation as many of us have to drop other less important things to try to help them conduct a funeral service.

I wanted to dedicate something to these two families today, so I looked for a hymn. The following is the one that spoke to me as the one I should give them. What are you going through today, dear reader? Whatever it may be, if you are a child of God through faith in His Son, Jesus, these words hold true for you, too:

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

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

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

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

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

~Frank E. Graeff

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Invasion of Maggie

Who points the clouds their course,
When winds and seas obey,
He shall direct thy wand'ring feet,
He shall prepare the way.
~~P. Gerhardt

A young man whom I know pretty well is going through hard times of loneliness and uncertainty. A few months ago, his engagement was broken off by his fiance. This was a situation where wedding plans were well under way--invitations hadn't been sent yet, but a wedding that was to take place in June was called off in March, so you can imagine how far along in the preparations they had gone. I don't know many details, and I don't need to know them, but it's quite obvious to most of his family and friends that it has been, and still is, a painful experience.

He's been reaching out to a few of us, almost like a wounded animal, but it's hard to know how to apply the healing ointment needed in his case. Actually, Christ must do that. He's a Christian young man, so we try to minister first from the Word of God.

Once again, it's been a long interval since my last post on Aunt Jane's Hero. It seemed appropriate to bring in a bit of a correlation between the loneliness that Horace felt after many unfortunate events in his life and the struggles of my friend. But in Chapter 7, as in Chapter 6, I once again see Providence accomplishing the will of God in the life of the story's hero. It was the Almighty who intruded Horace's life, even invading his mind on the way to the heart. God was at work providing for his need. Mrs. Prentiss skillfully relayed the employments of the heart of her fictional character, but our real God can do the same in the life of a real young man. I hope the day comes when He does this for our needy friend.

I love this chapter. God weaving His purposes into the affections of Horace is a precious thing. I still say this book is a masterpiece and a must read for not only young single women in the later teen years and up, but a sure benefit for many a single guy. I don't have the nerve to recommend it to my friend yet, but maybe someday I will.

Hopefully, I'll do my usual digging into the narrative next time. This time I just wanted to reflect on these things.

Monday, July 7, 2008



Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16

As the Chinese government prepares for the arrival of athletes from all over the world, they are apparently on a campaign to make sure that "troublemakers" are kept away. At the VOM Persecution Blog, you can gather more information about these troublemakers and how they are being dealt with in order to keep them as far from the games as possible. This is just another face of the persecution poured out on believers of the Lord Jesus throughout all time. More pain, suffering, and tears for the people of God.

God's people have always been "troublemakers" to one group of people or another. This is very clear as I read the daily entries in the book The One Year Christian History that I was privileged to receive this Christmas. The afflictions suffered take on various forms, but it has been and continues to be a part of the Christian faith.

Troublemakers tend to get into fights. Is the Christian life a fight? What do you think? I say it is. It's a fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. I've often spoken of this--that we're soldiers and that this is warfare. We make trouble for those who hold the banner of error and falsehood. We make trouble by preaching and teaching truth. A sharp sword indeed. Put on all your armor, you troublemakers! Got on your shield? You really do need it in this day of battle! The brethren in China are wearing theirs, are you wearing yours?

Would anyone fight the fight of a Christian soldier successfully and prosperously? Let him pray for a continual increase of faith. Let him abide in Christ, get closer to Christ, tighten his hold on Christ every day that he lives. Let his daily prayer be that of the disciples: 'Lord, increase my faith' (Luke 17:5). Watch jealously over your faith, if you have any. It is the citadel of the Christian character, on which the safety of the whole fortress depends. It is the point which Satan loves to assail. All lies at his mercy if faith is overthrown. . . J. C. Ryle

I'm in a fight and I have my shield. I guess that makes me a troublemaker.