Friday, December 30, 2011


Image of God
Image of God (Wells/Witt)
Bare feet stepping on glass
We break along life’s paths
Our fear and loss, we bring it all to you
Soul-breather, making all things new
You’re making all things new

We come in pieces
We come in fragments
We come discolored
To the foot of the cross

Our Maker sees us
All that we have been
Bonds us together
The Image of God

Clay vessels molded for His own
Shall we question him who holds
And shapes us, for His perfect use
Soul-breather, making all things new
You’re making all things new


Soil breaking for the seed
Seed breaking for the life
His life broken for the soul
We are remade whole, remade whole

Set Free  (Wells/Witt)
Brothers and sisters,
We’re all saints and sinners
Why do we live like enemies
Let’s leave our anger
Forgive our debtors
Live like a people set free

Set free, oh-oh-oh-oh free
The let-my-people-go kind of set free
Set free, oh,  free
By the love that came and died, rose again so we could be
Set free

We know the truth now
His spirit moves now
We are no longer slave to fear
Go and serve your neighbor
Make love your labour
Listen up my friends, oh, don’t you hear (we’re)
Let them know us by our love,
Let them see our life in Him
Let them sing , let them sing
“we have been”

Dawn of Grace (Wells/Witt/Wood)
Oh, the law I cannot keep
Brings me breathless to my knees
And there I learn to let the gospel be
The sum of what I know
Like rays of rising hope
Oh, dawn of grace upon my soul
The sweetest day my heart has known
And once I looked on Jesus’ face
It was the dawn of grace

All my striving is in vain
All my pride a losing game
And all of my best efforts, simply chains
My Savior steals me from the night
Leads me into love and light

Lay Us Low (Wells/Witt)
Father we confess
Oh we confess
we have loved you less than ourselves
Father we confess
Oh we confess
All the idols we’ve built
We are betrayed by what we say
By what we do
And what we claim
We want to be famous
Take us down and lay us low
Leave ashes in place of gold
Life-giver sustainer
Let nothing remain of our pride
From your mountain on high
Lay us low
Father, we forget
Oh how we forget
To forgive like you forgive us
Oh, how we pretend
Oh we pretend
We are wise and we are just
We are betrayed by what we say
By what we do
And what we claim
We’ve declared our own agendas

Pray (C.Wells)
Father which art in heaven
Holy is your name
Let your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Father, give us our daily bread
And father, forgive our debts
As we forgive our debtors
Teach us to pray
Teach us to pray
Teach us to pray
Father which art in heaven
Holy is your name
Let your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Father, deliver us from evil
For yours is the kingdom
And the power and the glory forever
Teach us to pray
Teach us to pray
Teach us to pray
Teach us to pray, teach us to pray, teach us to pray

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Father

Andrea Bocelli sings with the voice the Lord has given him.

Denise Sproul is now rejoicing in the presence of the Lord, and she knows firsthand that His indeed is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever.  Amen.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Thanksgiving Lesson

The Thanksgiving Lesson
by J. R. Miller, 1912
Gladness may not be thanksgiving. It certainly is not all of thanksgiving. One may have a heart bubbling with joy, without a note of thanksgiving. The task of happiness is one to which we should all firmly set ourselves. To be miserable in this glorious world, is most unfit. We should cultivate joyousness. But our present lesson is a larger and deeper one. Thanksgiving implies thought of God. One may be glad all the day—and never think of God. Thanksgiving looks up with every breath, and sees God as Father from whom all blessings come. Thanksgiving is praise. The heart is full of gratitude. Every moment has something in it to inspire love. The lilies made Jesus think of his Father, for it was he who clothed them in beauty. The providence of our lives, if we think rightly of it, is simply God caring for us. Our circumstances may sometimes be hard, our experiences painful, and we may see nothing in them to make us glad. But faith teaches us that God is always good and always kind, whatever the present events may be. We may be thankful, therefore, even when we cannot be glad. Our hearts may be grateful, knowing that good will come to us even out of pain and loss.

This is the secret of true thanksgiving. It thinks always of God and praises him for everything. The song never dies out in the heart, however little there may be in the circumstances of life to make us glad. Thanksgiving is a quality of all noble and unselfish life. No man is so unworthy, as he who never cherishes the sentiment of gratitude, who receives life's gifts and favors—and never gives back anything in return for all he gets.

Until we think seriously of it, we do not begin to realize what we are receiving continually from those about us. None may give us money, or do for us things which the world counts gifts or favors, but these are not the best things. Our teachers are ever enriching us by the lessons they give us. Those who require hard tasks of us and severely demand of us the best we can do, are our truest benefactors.

Sometimes we complain of the hardness of our lives, that we have had so little of ease and luxury, that we have had to work so hard, bear so many burdens, and sometimes we let ourselves grow bitter and unthankful as we think of the severity of our experience. But of all times—it has been in these very severities that we have got the richest qualities in our character. If we are living truly, serving God and following Christ, there is no event or experience for which we may not be thankful. Every voice of our lips should be praise. Every day of our years should be a thanksgiving day. He who has learned the Thanksgiving lesson, well has found the secret of a beautiful life.

"Praise is lovely," says the Hebrew Psalmist. Lovely means fit, graceful, pleasing, attractive. Ingratitude is never lovely. The life that is always thankful is winsome, ever a joy to all who know it.

The influence of an ever-praising life on those it touches, is almost divine. The way to make others good—is to be good yourself. The way to diffuse a spirit of thanksgiving—is to be thankful yourself. A complaining spirit makes unhappiness everywhere.

How may we learn this thanksgiving lesson? It comes not merely through a glad natural disposition. There are some favored people who were born cheerful. They have in them a spirit of happiness which nothing ever quenches. They always see the bright side of things. They are naturally optimistic. But the true thanksgiving spirit is more than this. It is something which can take even an unhappy and an ungrateful spirit—and make it new in its sweetness and beauty. It is something which can change discontent and complaining into praise; ingratitude into grateful, joyful trust.

Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart, transforming the disposition and the whole character. Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality. An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy—will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always. This lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful. When we can see no reason for praise—we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness. Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.

We may call one day in the year Thanksgiving Day, and fill it with song and gladness, remembering all the happy things we have enjoyed, all the pleasant events, all the blessings of our friendships, all our prosperities. But we cannot gather all our year's thanksgivings into any brightest day. We cannot leave today without thanks, and then thank God tomorrow for today and tomorrow both. Today's sunshine will not light tomorrow's skies. Every day must be a thanksgiving day for itself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ray Arthur Matthews

My brother, Lawrence Matthews, sent me this information regarding my Uncle Ray Matthews:

Pilot Officer Ray Arthur Matthews (RCAF Special Reserve) was killed in action on active duty on May 28, 1943 over Tripoli, Capital of Libya. He is buried in Lot 6, Grave 3 at the British Cemetary in Castel Benito, 15 miles due south of Tripoli. Memorial service was held at St. James Church in Lake Beauport.

Grandad wrote the following on June 5th, 1943:

One night alone, he flew away
To meet the enemy, come what may.
Far across the desert sand
Flying and fighting, life in hand.
Thoughts of home and love ones dear
His only comfort at night to cheer
A lonely vigil through star lit sky
His thoughts of home and his last "Good-by".
Suddenly from out of dawn
No friendly hand of danger to warn,
A shattering blast of gun shot fire
A few days later, a brief cold wire.
"KILLED IN ACTION, the sad news said"
"Your brave son reported DEAD".
Anguish mingled with joyful tears.
A Heros end he had no fears.
So passed into that glorious sphere
Our brave boy, we love so dear.
God bless you son. God speed your way
Happy United we shall meet some day.
                       - Arthur H. Matthews

Ray was also a member of the Late Arrivals Club. As a Flight Sergeant assigned to RAF 260 Squadron he engaged in what he wrote was a "stuka party" and was "shot up and down". As near as I can figure he was in a hospital somewhere over the summer, refused the offer to return to Canada and signed up as a test pilot and re-started active duty in September 1942. For quite a few months he was test pilot for a wide variety of different planes. His last entry in the log book was May 21st, 1943, after having been reassigned to a forward base near Castel Benito a week earlier.

Air Marshal H.Edwards sent condolences to the Matthews family informing them of the sad news. Followed by Charles Power, Minister of National Defence for Air, as well as a note from King George at Buckingham Palace, that said "The Queen and I offer you our heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow. We pray your country's gratitude for a life so nobly given in its service may bring you some measure of consolation."

His Pilot's Log Book was declassified and sent to the family on March 4th, 1948. Looking at the log book, as near as I can figure he probably just missed being declared an "Ace", where you need 5 confirmed "kills" (downing an enemy plane) and he had 4, plus a number of probables.

But he'll always be an Ace in my book. Uncle Ray seemed like he would have been a great guy, I wish I had met him. Aunt Ruth also said he was a top of his class at Quebec High in academics and an excellent boxer.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 28 - He is Your Strength

Okay.  We know.  We're weak.

It's very easy for us to fall into sin.  It's very easy for us to be tempted.  Linda writes about it here.

We acknowledge we are utterly weak, but we often try to forget it.  God wants us to remember our weakness, and to feel it deeply.

We tend to mourn over it, believing our weakness is a hindrance to all-out service to the God we love.  Yet Christ teaches us to be content with the truth that we are very weak.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

Here's a secret:

Our weakness is actually the secret of strength and success.

The Christian's life work is to testify concerning Jesus, either by living a holy life or by speaking in His name. But how are we to do this?  By abiding in Christ, and by yielding to Him as His power works through us.

Christ gives His power in us by giving His life to us.  He does not take our frail lives and impart a little strength to help us in our frailty.  He goes the WHOLE WAY.  He gives His own life to us, and gives us His own power.

Instead of taking away our sense of weakness and giving in its place a feeling of strength, our Saviour leaves and even increases the sense we have of utter impotence.  At the same time, He increases our consciousness of strength in HIM.

"The weakness and the strength are side by side; as the one grows, the other does, too, until his disciples understand the saying, "when I am weak, then am I strong; I boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." ~ p. 172, Andrew Murray, Abiding in Christ

Believer, look to Christ.  Look to His beauty, His power, His ability to always do the right thing in every situation.   Remember that He is never tempted to sin, and never without strength to accomplish what His Father has willed.  Look to Jesus.

The believer who longs for holiness and power to do the Heavenly Father's work confidently remembers the power of Christ in him.

"He lives a truly joyous and blessed life, not because he is no longer weak, but because, being utterly helpless, he consents and expects to have the mighty Saviour work in him."~p. 173

Practical Lessons

  1. All our strength is in Christ.  He has all authority in heaven and on earth and is able to meet every need.  
  2. The power of Christ flows into us as we abide in close union with Him.  "When the union is weak, undervalued, or undercultivated, the inflow of strength will be weak."  But when we abide in Him, His power works through us.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Our one care is to abide in Christ as our strength.

Our one duty is to be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS MIGHT.  

The Lord is my strength and my song.  Isaiah 12:2

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Phil 4:13

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I've really been enjoying the book, Abiding in Christ, by Andrew Murray.  You can read the original version of the book online here.

The biggest benefit to me is that I have learned how to abide more faithfully, more deeply, and more consistently.  I have learned what it is to die to self, and to acknowledge the depravity of my heart and the neediness of my soul.  I am never able to live the Christian life in a godly manner on my own steam, and I know it.  I also know that Christ lives in me, and He is able to keep me and use me for His own glory.

So, in all of my learning and leaning on Christ, I began to feel sorry for those who do not yet know what it is to abide in Christ.  And in so doing, I became a bit smug, and a wee bit "holier than thou".

So, God smacked me a bit with a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.  My pain level was high from the gardening I did the other day.  I received a notice in the mail that my chiropractic assessment did not go as I desired, so I will receive no more compensation for chiropractic adjustments at this time.  I had a run-in with a couple of my kids, and I worried a lot about my husband, who is wearing a monitor to figure out what is going on with his heart.  Bills came in the mail and the phone rang with people looking for their money.  Physical pain, relational pain, marital pain, financial pain... all rolled into one day.

The good news?  It drove me to my God.  It reminded me that I only live a godly life when I am resting in Jesus, moment by moment, day by day.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.         2 Corinthians 12:9-10                                                               

I am content to know that I am weak, for the grace of my God is sufficient for me.  I am content with insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities, for I know that Christ is in me and is working through me for His own glory.

  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.~2 Corinthians 13:14