Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And another….

Dear Little Green Eyes,

I still remember the first time I saw my little Nina Marie so tiny and small. I wasn’t expecting Christmas so early that year. How we rushed out to find bottles and blankets and other little girl things pretty and pink…things to fill our empty room. And as the days lengthened, I remember holding you long into the night.

Do you remember that “big beautiful white swan” that sweep through your window just as the sun was setting, just as my story was ending? And as your big green eyes were blinking, remember how that soft white bird carried you into “pink cotton candy clouds” that graced the evening. And do you remember that little duck you and your sister named “Peepers” that the snow white bird must have sent your way that day.

You haven’t forgotten that summer tea party in your little playhouse with your friends and favorite “maid”? Or the mountains of autumn leaves and the acorns that fall in the night? Or how I pulled you faster than the wind through the new fallen snow? Or when I taught you how to fly?

When you were small, remember how I threw you high into the air and never let you fall, but you are a woman now so wise and straight and tall. A woman who honors me by honoring Him in all she thinks and says and does.

I am happy, but yet so sad. The lord gives, but ever so slowly is taking away. My little “Sweet Sixteen” is going away today.


An Old Letter….

Cleaning up my study today, I found some old letters. Letters, the essence of remembrance:

Dear Little Blue Eyes,

I remember the first time I saw you, your passion hasn’t changed. How the nurses tried and tried to get you to take your bottle, and how I finally taught you to suckle.

Night after night I would get up at three and take you to your mother, I even learned to do that “dastardly diaper” thing. As you grew, your determination seemed so out of place in such a little girl body, with big blue eyes and cascading tendrils of curly hair.

It seems like yesterday when the three of us walked on misty summer mornings, through the graveyard and across that ancient bridge that spanned our lazy river. Remember how we would always stop by the pastry shop in that little polish village before the farmers market?

Please tell me that you loved your not so little playhouse. The one with desk and closets and table and chairs and loft and balcony and stain glass windows… and how a thousand pieces of glass cast their dispersions in the afternoon sun as the two of you were dressing up and pretending, or just having fun.

I am sure you remember that special summer with you, your sister, the neighbor kids, and Peepers. How you all ran round and round the house and just wouldn’t wait for that little short-legged fellow.

Remember that wonderful midnight on grandpa’s farm as we glided across fragrant fields of new mown hay? Do you remember the phosphorescent glow of that multitude of fireflies so bright they eclipsed the stars that moon lit summer night?

I can’t help but reminisce about your first day of school, and about oak trees that changed to every conceivable hue. About towering heaps of fragrant autumn leaves and how you would hide and romp and roll among them and how they would dangle, adorning your auburn hair.

But one melancholy day we walked from room to “empty echoing” room. You took one final backward glance to where the “big beautiful white swan” once alighted upon you bed. And as we all loaded into the van, right in front of us the all so familiar but solitary swing remained. And as we drove away, we each realized that some things would just have to stay.

It’s been four years now and you have made me so proud. You are taller and more beautiful than before, but in a different way. And you always seem to know just what to say. But something else is different; it’s so hard to explain.

When you were little, there was for a time a nest just outside our window. At first, two robin-blue eggs, then two naked and helpless bobbing heads. Mother and father continually flew back and forth bearing food. So quickly they grew. And then one day the first feathered fledgling ventured to nest edge. On the next, to the furthest branch, and on the third day she flew. But just under her, father gently nudging her away from the cat-patrolled ground, and just a wing span ahead, mother leading the way to the safest branch of a familiar tree. The second fledgling in similar fashion soon followed. Then day after day we would watch as they lingered and learned and became indistinguishable from their parents... and then they were gone.

Your daddy for just a little bit longer

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Israel’s Messiah

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Sacred Ground of Smithfield

London, “amazing”? Yes, but did you see the sacred ground of Smithfield where our brothers and sisters in Him did suffer?

“Shortly after, an order from the court came to the sheriff or bailiff of London, that he should execute the oldest two, according to their sentence. One of them named Jan Pieterss, was a poor man, more than fifty years of age, with nine children. His first wife had previously likewise been burnt for her religion, here in Ghent in Flanders. And he was now married to a woman whose husband had also previously been burnt at Ghent for his religion. Hence both, on account of persecution, had fled to England, thinking that they should be able to live there without peril in the liberty of their conscience. All this he stated to the bishop, and asked for mercy to leave the country with his wife and children; but it was not granted him. The other, named Hendrick Terwoort, was a handsome, wealthy man of thirty-five or six years, a goldsmith by trade, and had only been married eight or ten weeks previous to his apprehension. These two, as no disputing of the Dutch and French preachers could move them to subscribe the articles, but were much rather confirmed in their views through the cruelty and unchristian proceeding of those who boast themselves of the Gospel and the true faith, notwithstanding that many Englishmen as well as Dutchmen solicited pardon for them, were, nevertheless, the 22d of July, at six o'clock in the morning; in Smithfield (where they formerly used to burn persons belonging to our religion) most miserably burnt alive at a stake, till consumed to ashes….” (Martyrs Mirror, T. J. van Braght, 1660).

“The places of the world, though very large, are nevertheless very small and narrow for the pious. The holy confessors of Jesus, who seek to live according to the Gospel, find no rest anywhere. It seems that the earth, which ought properly to be a dwelling place for the good, is possessed only by the rocked. Is it not a matter of astonishment, and not less to be lamented: England,* which of old has been supposed to have derived her name from the good angels of heaven, is now found to be a pool of infernal and wicked spirits; for the saints of God are cruelly put to death there; to which Smithfield, at London, the murderous prison at Saltwoden, and the place of execution at Norwich, can bear testimony” (Martyrs Mirror, T. J. van Braght, 1660).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If the Foundations be Destroyed….

In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright” (Psalms 11).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rosh Hashanah, Today?

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets” (Leviticus 23:23-24).

There is mystery surrounding what is commonly called Rosh Hashanah (The Feast of Trumpets). Unlike the other six Messianic feasts, it has no name in Scripture. It is simply referred to as Yom Teruah (תְּרוּעָה: Day of alarm, or shouting, or trumpet blast). It is a memorial, but what is being memorialized is uncertain. Jewish liturgy describes it as Yom HaDin (Day of Judgment). Although it is to be on the first day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Hebrew year, ascertaining the day is dependent on atmospheric conditions that could obscure the delicate crescent of the new moon. It could be said: “of that day and hour knoweth no man.”

Paul writes of another trumpet blast in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

And again in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Offering of the Poor

“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons [the poor were often unable to bring a lamb]” (Luke 2:21 – 24).

He returned 30 years later and “made a scourge… He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen.” But unto them that sold doves and young pigeons, He addressed in a more amiable manner (cf. John 2:15-16).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Dove

Many days after the total destruction of a world “filled with violence,” Noah sent forth a dove “to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground.” She “found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him.” And “he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” And yet “other seven days” he sent her forth again and she “came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf… the waters were abated from off the earth… And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent” her forth. And she “returned not again unto him any more” (cf. Genesis 8).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thou Shalt not Covet

Was recently reminded of the trepidation of “tailgating.” A young man followed another car, perhaps just a bit too close, as he approached an intersection. A cross traffic bus ran a red light. The woman ahead hit her brakes. He promptly responded in hitting his. However, the driver behind was not as alert, and the impact propelled the second car into the first. Consequently, by some rationalization, the young man was determined to be at fault.

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s” (Exodus 20:17).

Or that car length between he and thee!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Prayer of Jabez

Dear Berit,

My wife recently attended your Sunday School conference presentation and just e-mailed me your WEB site URL. It looks great, at least the article on “The Prayer of Jabez” (, this is the only one I have had a chance to read, and that only briefly. I can’t understand why “Christians” don’t realize that this is just a take off on the “prosperity” gospel.

However, while I think that your article is great, I believe that the Bible implies the reason for his protection and blessing.

1 Chr 2:55 And the families of scribes who lived at Jabez were the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. Those are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.

In answer to Jabez’s “honorable” prayer, God apparently enlarged his borders and protected him from harm as he wrestled, “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

For Jabez founded a city, a city of scribes who would forge the weapon that would ultimately destroy “the prince of the power of the air”…They forged THE WORD OF GOD!



My wife indicates that you also share my concerns about Tolkien and his best friend.

Just “Once”

Should a friend ever disclose the intent to do something just “once,” perhaps involving drinking, smoking, drugs, or things of a sexual nature, please discourage the thought that it can be done but once. The second time is always easier, and the third, easier still!

Remind them of the snare of wine:
”Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Proverbs 23:29-32).

But be forewarned that Scripture seems to “encourage” strong drink: for those who are “ready to perish,” and for those who are “appointed to destruction.”

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction” (Proverbs 31:6-8).