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Showing posts from May 4, 2012


THE VERSES we are about to consider supply another illustration of how the apostle was wont to mingle prayer with instruction. He had just issued some practical exhortations; then he breathed a petition to God that He would make the same effectual. In order to enter into the spirit of this prayer it will be necessary to attend closely to its setting: the more so because not a few are very confused about the present-day bearing of the context. The section in which this passage is found begins at 14:1 and terminates at 15:13. In it the apostle gave directions relating to the maintenance of Christian fellowship and the mutual respect with which believers are to be regarded and treat one another, even where they are not entirely of one accord in matters pertaining to minor points of faith and practice. Those who do not see eye to eye with each other on things where no doctrine or principle is involved are to dwell together in unity, bearing and…
May 4

Henry van Dyke, 1852–1933
  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy … against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22)
While gazing at the magnificent Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts, Henry van Dyke described in “Joyful, Joyful,” the many aspects of life that should bring us joy. He insisted that his text, written in 1911, be sung to the music of “Hymn of Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. This combination of words and great music makes “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” one of the most joyous expressions of any hymn in the English language.
One of the forceful ideas expressed by van Dyke is that God’s gracious love for us should create a greater “brother love” for our fellow man. With God’s help we can become victorious over strife and be “lifted to the joy divine” as we daily show more love to others.
Henry van Dyke was a distinguished Presbyterian minister who served as a moderator of his denomination for a time and as a Navy Chaplain…
“Least of These”

When life jack-hammers our souls into pulp, it is easy to lose perspective and sneak into a self-absorbed cocoon, isolated from other’s pain, joy, happiness, and suffering. Perhaps we think our emotional cocoon is a safe place-where no one can hurt us. Or, we believe it is a healing place where we can recover from the blunt traumas we’ve endured, but in reality it becomes a barrier that keeps us from the one place we can regain our equilibrium-community.

Like the urge to scratch a mosquito bite, we are often compelled to do irreparable damage to ourselves and others when we are hurting. Coming out of spiritual isolation can seem impossible to those who find comfort in their solitude. Destructive patterns become familiar, even comfortable, but they must be broken.

We walk into His house of worship longing for His touch, needing His comfort and pleading with Him to notice our problems. We strain to hear, but are deafened by the silence. Where is He? Why won’t He answer…