Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Depression and Acceptance

I remember when I was first diagnosed with major depression. I was deeply depressed, obsessed and having panic attacks. I began to question why I had to become mentally ill. My father-in-law said to me, “Son, you have to play the hand that’s been dealt to you.” After this, I began to realize that though I was so very disappointed about losing the pastorate, I knew that God had ordered my steps. I also later read what George Muller said, “Not only the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, but also the stops are His doing.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh Love that will not let me go

The song title above was written by George Matheson a blind Scottish preacher, George Matheson. Born with poor vi­sion, Ma­the­son’s eye­sight grad­ual­ly wors­ened un­til he was al­most to­tal­ly blind. How­ev­er, he was aca­dem­ic­al­ly gift­ed, and his sis­ters learned La­tin, Greek, and He­brew to help him stu­dy. He grad­u­at­ed from the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Edin­burgh (MA 1862), then be­came a min­is­ter in the Church of Scot­land. He pa­stored in the re­sort town of In­ne­lan for 18 years; due to his abil­i­ty to mem­o­rize serm­ons and en­tire sec­tions of the Bi­ble, lis­ten­ers were of­ten un­a­ware he was blind. In 1886, Matheson be­came pas­tor of St. Ber­nard’s Church in Edin­burgh, where he served 13 years. He spent the re­main­ing years of his life in lit­er­ary ef­forts.
This song has meant very much to me as I have traveled the road of suffering and glory to be with the Lord Jesus forever.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christ's love for His vineyard

As of late, due to financial pressures and other trials, I have tended to minimize what it means to be loved and cared for by our gracious God and Savior. A couple of years ago, I began to read through Baker’s Encyclopedia of Spurgeon’s sermons and found them to be a great help.
This particular sermon, Christ’s love for His Vineyard has proven to be a great blessing, to me. Spurgeon's text was “My vineyard, which is mine, is before me,”Song of Solomon 8:12

“There is a sweet thought here for all who love the Savior. You, as His Church, and each one of you who are His people, are specially preserved by Him. Then, ‘why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?’

I tell you, soul, that He sees you as much as if there no others for His eyes to look upon; and He cares for you as infinitely, and with as undivided a heart, as if you were the only soul that He ever bought with his blood. If you were His only elect one, His only redeemed one, His only loved one, He could not deal with you more tenderly and more lovingly than He is dealing with you now.

If you are Christ’s, you are never behind His back, you are always before Him. He can always see you, though you cannot always see Him. When the eye of your faith is dim the eye of His care is not. When your heart seems dead and cold, His heart is still hot with infinite affection; and when you say, ‘My God has ceased to be gracious,’ you misrepresent Him, and slander Him. He is really manifesting His graciousness in another fashion.

He has changed the manifestation of His purpose of love and mercy; but His purpose is the same as ever,----to drench you with floods of mercy, to wash you with streams of grace, and to fertilize you until you shall be like that Eshcol ‘branch with one cluster of grapes,’ which was so large and weighty that, ‘they bore it between two upon a staff;’---- no, more, until the great Husbandmen will make of you such a vine as earth has scarcely seen as yet, and will, therefore, have to transplant you to a better vineyard, even to the hill- top of glory.”

Spurgeon’s Expository Encyclopedia, Volume 4 (1984) Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, Page 61.Editor: There are minor changes such as thou to you that take nothing away from the text but make it more readable, in present English.