Ask God for a Stronger Hope

November 30, 2010 at 9:55 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). God is the God of hope; not only of the first seed but also of the whole growth and harvest of it in us. He does not give a saint the first grace of conversion and then leave the completion of it wholly to his human skill.

Be sure you humbly acknowledge God by constantly waiting on Him for your spiritual growth. “The young lions” are said to “seek their meat from God” (Psalm 104:21). God has taught them to express their wants when they are hungry; and by this they have learned that their Maker is also their Supplier. At first a baby expresses his needs only by crying’ but as soon as he knows who his mother is, he directs his cries to her.

The Father can always find you, Christian. He knows what you want but He waits to supply you until you cry to Him. Does God care for the beasts in the field? Then surely He will care for you, His child in His house. You might pray for more riches and be denied; but a prayer for more grace is sure to be answered quickly.

Love has a secret yet powerful influence in hope. Moses befriended the Israelite when he killed the Egyptian who fought with him. And love kills slavish fear – one of the worst enemies hope has – and thereby strengthens hope’s hand. Whoever pulls up the weeds helps the corn to grow. It is fear that oppresses the Christian’s spirit so that he cannot act or hope strongly. “Perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). The freewoman will cast out the bondwoman. Fear is one of Hagar’s breed – an affection that keeps everyone in bondage who partakes of it.

Love cannot tolerate fear. The loving soul asks, “Can I fear that the One who loves me most will ever hurt me? Fear and doubt, away with you! There is no room for you in my heart.” Charity “thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, November 29. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers edition, 1994.

Count Your Blessings

November 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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Count Your Blessings

by Johnson Oatman, Jr. – sung in 2/4 time

1.      When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

(Refrain) Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done. Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

2.      Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings; every doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by.

(Refrain)

3.      When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings; money cannot buy Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.

(Refrain)

4.      So amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged; God is over all. Count your many blessings; angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

(Refrain)

Prais be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. The holidays can be a stressed filled time too. Hopefully this great old hymn is a good reminder to thank God for the wonderful blessings He has put in your life now and for the blessings yet to come.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 138:1-8

Be Thankful for this Unspeakable Gift

November 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

I do not believe you have it if your heart is not thankful for it. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope….. to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 1:3-4). Do you have heaven in hope? It is more than if the whole world were in your hand. Earth’s greatest king would be glad to change his crown for your helmet at his dying hour. His crown will not get him this helmet, but your helmet will bring you a crown, a crown not of gold, but of glory, which once on will never be taken off.

Remember, Christian, it has not been long since you had only a fearful expectation of hell instead of a hope of salvation. But God took away the chains of guilt which weighed your soul down in despair and gave you favor in His celestial court. Of all men in the world, you are the most indebted to God’s mercy. If you thank Him for crust and rags – food and clothing – how much more should thank Him for your crown?

After you have praised Him with your spirit, you should collect the praises to God of your friends too – and then, in heaven, continue thanking Him throughout eternity for your helmet of salvation. It will be a debt you will never be able fully to pay.

Live up to your hopes. Let there be a suitable agreement between your principles and your practices – your hope of heaven and your walk on earth. As you look for salvation, walk the way your eye is looking. If the Christian fails to walk in the worthiness of his calling, he betrays God’s hope for him. And the Word emphasizes the necessity of this walk. It stirs up to act “as becometh saints” (Romans 16:2) and as “it becometh the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, November 23. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody 1Publishers Edition, 1994.

Coffee Review: Specialty Java’s New York New York Blend

November 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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We still look forward to getting coffee in the mail. It’s like getting a birthday or Christmas present and opening the package. We like to squeeze the bag and smell the aroma. Then we like to open the bag and look at the beans and move them around a little and smell the aroma again. We thought they had a little bit of a chocolate aroma. Kim likes to taste a bean to get some of the flavor. She thought the dark bean in this blend was bittersweet and the light bean had a little spice and herb flavor.

After all of that we were looking forward to trying this New York New York Blend from Specialty Java (www.specialtyjava.com). It is described as a medium-dark roast combining SHB Central American, South American and Indonesian beans to create a truly unique, high impact cup. They also put the roast date on the package which we appreciate. This helps you to know how fresh the coffee is and this coffee was fresh when we received it.

First up was the auto-drip and there is a nice aroma from the brewed coffee. We like to use the auto-drip for reviews and convenience because the majority of coffee drinkers only use an auto-drip. It has a good dark color in the pot. It has somewhat of a bright, tart aftertaste and a medium body. We were looking forward to having more of this coffee.

Next up was the French Press and the ground beans have a good aroma. It seems to have a darker earthy taste and slightly fuller body. The aftertaste seems to hit the front half of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. With each sip you want a little more.

The third brewer we used was the Chemex coffee maker and here the distinct flavors of this blend came out. There was a mildly sweet aroma as we poured the dark coffee into our cups. The flavor seems to hit the tip of the tongue and then roll over the sides leaving you with an earthy, slightly smoky taste. The bright tart finish was very pleasing. This was a very enjoyable cup of coffee.

Kim thought it paired well with chocolate and good with lemon, cinnamon peanuts and dates. It was o.k. with vanilla and almonds. This New York New York Blend was good in the morning and afternoon and with desert. It is a good all around coffee that everyone enjoyed drinking.

If you are looking for a new roaster to try during the holidays we encourage you to try this New York New York Blend from Specialty Java. We think you will enjoy it. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10)

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

November 21, 2010 at 9:33 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Hymn

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

By Henry Alford; sung to 4/4 time

1.      Come, ye thankful people, come; Raise the song of harvest home;

All is safely gathered in Ere the winter storms begin.

God, our Maker, doth provide For our wants to be supplied.

Come to God’s own temple, come; Raise the song of harvest home.

 2.      All the world is God’s own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield;

Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown.

First the blade, and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear;

Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.

 3.      For the Lord our God shall come, And shall take His harvest home;

From His field shall in that day All offenses purge away.

Give His angels charge at last In the fire the tares to cast,

But the fruitful ears to store In His garner evermore.

 4.      Even so, Lord, quickly come To Thy final harvest home;

Gather Thou Thy people in, Free from sorrow, free from sin.

There forever purified, In Thy presence to abide.

Come, with all Thine angels come; Raise the glorious harvest home.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. Be safe and enjoy your family and friends. Be sure to give God all the praise and glory you possibly can. Remember, Jesus is coming again, it may be soon, or it may be far away; but it is a sure thing! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; 1 John 3:1-3

Coffee Review: Cafe Volio Founder’s Blend

November 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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I started to tell you about our trip to the West Side Market. If you are ever in or near Cleveland, Ohio it is well worth your time to stop there. The Café Volio coffee shop is tucked in the produce section of the market. We met one of the representatives of Café Volio and talked with him.

They only roast and sell Costa Rican coffee. They have been in business since 1938 and you can learn more about them at: www.cafevolio.com. At their stand they have a little machine and they give away free samples. Let me tell you that coffee is good, real good. It was a cool day and that little cup of coffee started our visit at the market in a good way.

We were drinking the Founder’s Blend and it comes in both whole bean and ground. It is a medium-dark roast with a deep dark color. Our first brew was in the auto-drip. There is a deep dark color to this coffee, but it is not over roasted. It has a smooth taste with some bittersweet chocolate undertones. There’s also a hint of tartness.

We then tried the coffee brewed in the Chemex coffee maker. You see this deep dark color and yet the aroma is somewhat mild. It has a smooth, full body and it tasted bright on the sides of the tongue and the front of the palette. Along with the bittersweet chocolate we thought we noticed a little spiciness too.

The French Press was up last and the bittersweet flavor stands out. The color of the brewed coffee is so dark that we were surprised at how smooth it tasted. The mixture of bittersweet chocolate, spices and tartness is a very good combination. Kim thought it paired well with chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon.

If you have read any of our reviews you know we like to share coffee with our friends. Sometimes we give beans away and sometimes we grind the beans and give the ground coffee away. Other times we have friends over to drink coffee and sometimes we take coffee and a brewer to a party to share it. Usually we ask friends if they would like to take some coffee home. Each of our friends that tried this coffee liked it.

If you have never tried Costa Rican coffee before or want to try a different coffee we suggest you try the Founder’s Blend from Café Volio. We think you will like it. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time, remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

DVD Review: Little Town of Bethlehem

November 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Posted in cross-cultural | Leave a comment
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Bethlehem, today, as seen through the eyes and life of three men, a Jew, a Palestinian Christian and a Palestinian Muslim is the premise for this DVD. It follows some events from their lives and how they each got to the point of being involved in non-violent protest of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. At times the story moves along very slowly. But it is worth watching.

The documentary uses a mixture of black and white film and color film to tell its story. The use of historical film clips alone is worth the time to watch this movie. There is some good history presented here. The present day clips attempt to show what life is currently like in the Middle East. Almost every American that views this would have no idea of what life is like in a war zone. Watching this aspect of the film is a good learning experience.

The three men are the main characters and the movie moves through different parts of their lives. It is interesting to watch the dramatic reenactments of what they have gone through. When viewed as current events and history it is interesting. Each of the men has some kind of personal struggle and difficulty they have to work through.

One of the difficulties for me was how slow the story progressed at times. I also did not care for the way the closing song was performed. There did not seem to be much of a solution for the problem in the Middle East presented either. But my personal view is there will be no peace in the Middle East until the Prince of Peace, Jesus, returns to establish His Kingdom. Putting all of that aside it was an interesting documentary.

Through the use of film, pictures and words it showed what daily life may be like in the Middle East. That alone should motivate us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The documentary is produced by EthnoGraphic Media. I received this DVD for free to review and offer objective feedback.

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill

(Romans 15:13; Micah 7:14-20)

Diligence in the Smallest Service

November 16, 2010 at 10:25 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

God sets some men on the high places of the earth and appoints them to exciting challenges. But He orders others to pitch their tents on lower ground and not be ashamed of their assignment, no matter how inferior it seems. Now to encourage every Christian to be faithful in his particular place, God has made promises which apply to them all. And His promises are like the beams of the sun: they shine as freely though the window of the poor man’s cottage as through the prince’s palace.

God’s promises strengthen our hands and hearts against the discouragement that is most likely to weaken us in His service. They support and guard us against the furious opposition of an angry world: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage” (Joshua 1:5-6). This was a promise God gave to Israel’s chief magistrate. And the minister’s promise agrees with it, having generally the same trials, enemies, and discouragements: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…… and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).

The temptation which usually troubles those in lower callings is envy to see themselves on the floor and their brothers elevated to higher service. Sometimes these temptations produce dejection when the believers feel like eunuchs who bring no glory to God, dry trees which are unprofitable in His kingdom.

To arm the Christian against discontent and discouragement, God promises as a great a reward for faithfulness in the most menial service as He gives in more honorable service. Is anything more degrading than the role of a slave? Yet nothing less than heaven itself is promised to the faithful servant: “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, November 16. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers Edition, 1994.

A Warrior’s Prayer

November 11, 2010 at 8:22 am | Posted in Veterans, warriors | Leave a comment
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In honor of Veterans Day I wanted to re-post one of my earlier articles. It has been one of my most read posts and the prayer still gets viewed. *Remember to tell a Veteran “thank you for serving our country” today. You and I have the freedoms we do because those Veterans served before or are serving today and tomorrow. My wife and I offer our thanks to you Vets and appreciate your service and sacrifice. God bless you.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill

Romans 15:13

 

Pray for Veterans, part 5

May 28, 2010

This Friday prayer reminder I thought I would let a veteran speak to us. Even though Lacy has gone on to be with the Lord his words still speak strongly. I found this on this story and prayer back in April and I hope I have give proper credit to www.jdwetterling.com because I found this on his site. Remember to thank a veteran this weekend for their sacrificial service to our country. Remember to pray for a veteran and his family too. Take time to go watch a Memorial Day parade out of respect to the veterans who have died in service to their country.

You can go back and read any of the four previous Pray for Veterans posts for an idea of how to pray. I hope you and your family and friends have a good Memorial Day weekend. I also hope the words of this testimony and prayer bless you and encourage you like they did for me.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 138:1-3

Lacy Veach was my friend and roommate in a tiny trailer on skids parked among lots of trailers on the beach of the South China Sea at Tuy Hoa Airbase, South Vietnam, in 1968-69. He died October 3, 1995, when cancer attacked his brilliant mind. Lacy did it all in his short life. He was a USAF Academy graduate, F-100 pilot, Misty FAC (the bravest of the brave), F-105 Wild Weasel pilot (just brave), solo pilot with the USAF Thunderbirds, astronaut, husband, father and born again child of God. I flew top cover for his rescue when he was shot down over the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos. On October 22, 1992 I watched him blast into space aboard the Columbia (STS 52) on a clear Florida day from my backyard in Tampa. His voice coming over my TV as he rode that rocket into the wild blue was a couple octaves lower than it was the day he hung from his parachute atop a tall tree in Laos, calling for help. If Lacy knew the Lord back then he kept it a secret from me (he probably thought the same about my faith), but his dying prayer below removes all doubt in my mind. Every fighter pilot considers himself the world’s greatest fighter pilot, but I’ll confess now, 35 years later, that Lacy was a better “stick” than I. A few weeks before he succumbed to cancer he wrote the following prayer with the help of Kathleen Golgin Ph.D. At his request, his space shuttle commander and good friend, Astronaut Mike Coats, read it at his funeral. His ashes were dropped from a plane over home state of Hawaii.

My friend for eternity, Lacy Veach, speaks for me from heaven this Veterans Day, 2004.

May God continue to have mercy on America.

JD Wetterling

The Warrior’s Prayer

Lord, I am a warrior…

My education began early in life. I studied the ancient civilizations and learned of modern politics. Mankind’s history, I discovered, swelled and ebbed with the seemingly perpetual tides of war. Military campaigns and strategies, past and present, were made familiar to me, as were expert soldiers who fought for justice and those who did not.

From the passionately fierce and ruthless Attila, who assailed and subdued the Roman Empire, I remembered a shameless declaration which, nevertheless captured his fighting spirit’s uncompromising singularity of purpose:

“Nothing brings greater joy to my heart,” Attila cried, “than to murder my enemies and pillage his flocks and fields.”

Here for all time was the clear and unromanticized reality of war.

From Scottish warrior Robert Bruce, who freed Scotland from English rule, emerged, for me, one of the justifications for taking up arms. Declared Bruce:

“We fight not for honor, nor glory, nor for wealth. But only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life.”

To fight in the defense of freedom, in the defense of justice, in defense of eternal principals of morality transcendentally ordained. To fight against oppression and wickedness. To fight what Milton would call, “The Adversary of God and Man.” For these reasons I am a warrior, Lord.

It was to establish justice and forge freedom that I was once locked in a battle to survive, to survive in a sky thundering with gunfire and clouded by the smoke of exploding rockets. Lord, in those moments, I knew what it was to implore Your protection….to be shielded by Your mercy.

I am an old warrior now, Lord, and, as the saying goes, perhaps “a wiser one.” And, I now know of a war waged between Time and Eternity. A war, which if lost makes empty the victory of all others. A war which, if finally fought and won, would make all other wars unnecessary, indeed, impossible.

In this siege I need no spears or scimitars, no ballistics or gunners.

            I NEED ONLY THE LIGHT OF YOUR LOVE

            I NEED ONLY THE SPLENDOR OF YOUR WISDOM

            IN NEED ONLY THE GUIDANCE OF YOUR WORD

In this war, the strategy is as simple as it is profound. For this is a Crusade of the Soul. And in this Crusade, the battle cry is clear:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all Thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Upon these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Let my warrior’s life begin with end. Lord, I pray when You crack the sky, that You will find me….find me faithful.

            I AM A WARRIOR, LORD.

            NO….I AM YOUR WARRIOR, LORD.

Lacy Veach

Excerpted from MISTY, edited by Maj. Gen. Don Shepperd, USAF (Ret.)

I got this information from www.jdwetterling.com

Read his article: Still the Noblest Calling

Coffee Review: Kicking Horse Coffee’s Three Sisters Blend

November 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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We have been doing some traveling and have been able to try some pretty good coffee and visit some good coffee shops. Trying new coffee and visiting new shops doesn’t get old for us. We were looking forward to trying this Three Sisters Blend from Kicking Horse Coffee (www.kickinghorsecoffee.com). It is our first coffee from a Canadian roaster and hopefully not our last. No, we didn’t make it out to British Columbia but we would like to visit there. Especially during hockey season.

Three Sisters Blend is described as a triple punch of light, medium and dark flavors. They use a medley of Indonesian, Central and South American beans to make up the blend. It is a fair trade, shade grown organic coffee. It comes in a can made of recycled steel. If you live near Kicking Horse you can get the can refilled. They offer a lot of other good sounding coffees and teas.

We started with our trusty old auto-drip and there is a sweet, somewhat acidic aroma. I thought it was interesting. There is a spicy taste, almost like pepper to me that hits the front and sides of the tongue. This coffee made me think and I was looking forward to the other brewers.

The Chemex coffee maker cleaned up the taste and brought out more of a chocolate undertone. It also toned down or smoothed out the tartness. The coffee seemed less spicy and it tasted better as it cooled. We have started making some extra coffee and letting it cool to taste the flavor profile.

The French Press brought out more of the roast flavor and a good aftertaste. That spicy flavor is there, but not so much pepper. It is an interesting taste in this coffee. It had a heavier feel in the mouth but we still think it has a medium body.

I tried it a couple of times in the Clever Coffee Dripper and enjoyed each cup. Kim thought it went well with chocolate, cherries and dates and was o.k. with vanilla, cinnamon and almonds. She didn’t like it paired with lemon because it made it too tart. Overall we and our friends liked this Three Sisters Blend. If you are adventurous want to try an intriguing coffee from a Canadian roaster we encourage you to give this one a try. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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