Thursday, October 5, 2017

Death Does Not Change Character

       When corn is cut down and is lying on the ground, and is afterward put into the granary, it is the very same corn as had grown up to full maturity in the earth. So also souls in the granary above are the very same souls as had grown up to maturity in heaven on earth. When they are transferred to heaven above, they are not tares which had been cut down on earth, and which somehow in the process of cutting had been transformed into corn or wheat. Unless wheat will grow up as wheat in the earth, and be harvested as wheat, it will not turn into wheat in the act of cutting, or while it is being removed to the granary. -- Alexander Miller, "Heaven and Hell Here."

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

God Spelling Himself Out in Jesus

       Jesus is God spelling Himself out in language that man can understand. God and man used to talk together freely. But one day man went away from God. And then he went farther away. He left home. He left his native land, Eden, where he lived with God. He emigrated from God. And through going away he lost his mother-tongue.
       A language always changes away from its native land. Through going away from his native land man lost his native speech. Through not hearing God speak he forgot the sounds of the words. His ears grew dull and then deaf. Through lack of use he lost the power of speaking the old words. His tongue grew thick. It lost its cunning. And so gradually almost all the old meanings were lost.
       God has always been eager to get to talking with man again. The silence is hard on Him. He is hungry to be on intimate terms again with his old friend. Of course he had to use a language that man could understand. Jesus is God spelling Himself out so man can understand. He is the A and the Z, and all between, of the Old Eden language of love.
       Naturally enough man had a good bit of bother in spelling Jesus out. This Jesus was something quite new. When His life spoke the simple language of Eden again, the human heart with selfishness ingrained said, "That sounds good, but of course He has some selfish scheme behind it all. This purity and simplicity and gentleness can't be genuine. "Nobody yet seems to have spelled Him out fully, though they're all trying: All on the spelling bench. That is, all that have heard. Great numbers haven't heard about Him yet. But many, ah! many could get enough, yes, can get enough to bring His purity into their lives and sweet peace into their hearts.
       But there were in His days upon earth some sticklers for the old spelling forms. Not the oldest, mind you. Jesus alone stands for that. This Jesus didn't observe the idioms that had grown up outside of Eden. These people had decided that these old forms were the only ones acceptable. And so they disliked Him from the beginning, and quarreled with Him. These idioms were dearer to them than life that is, than His life. So having quarreled, they did worse, and then-softly-worst. But even in their worst, Jesus was God spelling Himself out in the old simple language of Eden. His best came out in their worst.
       Some of the great nouns of the Eden tongue, the God tongue -He spelled out big. He spelled out purity, the natural life of Eden; and obedience, the rhythmic harmony of Eden; and peace, the sweet music of Eden; and power, the mastery and dominion of Eden; and love, the throbbing heart of Eden. It was in biggest, brightest letters that love was spelled out. He used the biggest capitals ever known, and traced each in a deep dripping red, with a new spelling, s-a-c-r-i-f-i-c-e. Gordon

 Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling.

Acquiescence to Providence

       Each branch of a vine is bound to a certain point of its wall or its conservatory. It is not growing just where and how it would spontaneously and naturally choose, but is affixt there contrary to its natural bent, in order that it may catch the sunbeams at that point and cover that spot with beautiful foliage and luscious fruit.
       Sorrow is like the nail that compels the branch to grow in that direction; inevitable circumstance is like the rough strip of fiber which bends the branch, and pain is like the restraint which is suffered by the branch which would have liked to wander at its own will. We are not to murmur or repine at our lot in life, but are to remember that God has appointed it and placed us there.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fruit And Soil

       A choice variety of plum was purchased and set out in a certain garden. When the tree came to maturity, to the keen disappointment of the owner, there was no fruit on its branches. Investigation showed that the fault was not in the tree. The land in which it was planted proved to be barren and lacking in proper nourishment.
       A tree growing in poor soil can not bear, because it requires all the strength it can extract from the soil to barely sustain its life. It takes all the virtue there is in the soil to support the head and foliage so that the fruit is literally starved out.

       There are church-members who branch into Christian profession but who are rooted in the world. Such will bring forth nothing but leaves. (Text)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What Am I?

What an I, whence produced, and for what end?
Whence drew I being, to what period tend?
Am I th' abandon'd orphan of blind chance,
Dropp'd by wild atoms in disordered dance?
Or, from an endless chain of causes wrought,
And of unthinking substance, born with thought?
Am I but what I seem, mere felsh and blood,
A branching channel with a mazy flood?
The purple stream that through my vessels glides,
Dull and unconscious flows, like common tides,
The pipes, through which the circling juices stray,
Are not that thinking I, no more than they;
This frame, compacted with transcendent skill,
Of moving joints, obedient to my will;
Nursed from the fruitful glebe, like yonder tree,
Waxes and wastes, -- I call it mine, not me,
New matter still the mould'ring mass sustains;
The mansion chang'd, the tenant still remains;
And, from the fleeting stream, repair'd by food,
Distinct, as is the swimmer from the flood.

by Dr. Arbuthnot

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spiritual Flood-Tide

      "I stood on the coast of England, and looked out over a stretch of oozy slime and ill-smelling mud. There were the barges high and dry, lying on their side–no matter what cargo they carried or how skillful the captain, they were on the mud. It would have availed them nothing to heave the anchor or hoist the sail. And I thought, What is the remedy? Were it any use for the corporation to pass a by-law that every citizen should bring kettles filled with water, and pour it out upon the stretch of mud? 
      But as I watched I saw the remedy. God turned the tide. In swept the waters of the sea, and buried the mud, and then came the breath of sweetness and life. And it flowed in about the barges, and instantly all was activity. Then heave-ho with the anchor, then hoist the sails, then forth upon some errand of good. So it is that we stand looking out upon many a dreadful evil which fills us with dismay–drunkenness, gambling, sexual impurity. Is there any remedy? And the churches, so very respectable, but, alas, high and dry on the muddy beach–for these too, what is the remedy? We want the flood-tide–the gracious outpouring of the Spirit; then must come the roused and quickened churches, the Christians transformed into Christ-like men and women who shall demand righteousness."  Mark Guy Pearce

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Present, Past and Future

      It is noble faculty of our nature which enables us to connect to our thoughts, our sympathies, and our happiness, with what is distant in place or time; and, looking before and after, to hold communion at once with our ancestors and our posterity. Human and mortal although we are, we are nevertheless not mere insulated beings, without relation to the past or the future. Neither the point of time, nor the spot of earth, in which we physically live, bounds our rational and intellectual enjoyments. We live in the past by a knowledge of its history; and in the future by hope and anticipation.
      As it is not a vain and false, but an exalted and religious imagination, which leads us to raise our thoughts from the orb, which, amid this universe of worlds, the Creator has given us to inhabit, and to send them with something of the feeling which nature prompts, and teaches to be proper among children of the same Eternal Parent, to the contemplation of the myrids of fellow-beings, with which His goodness has peopled the infinite space--so neither is it false or vain to consider ourselves as interested and connected with our whole race, through all time; allied to our ancestors; allied to our posterity; closely compacted on all sides with others; ourselves being but links in the great chain of being, which begins with the origin of our race, runs onward through its successive generations, binding together the past, the present and the future, and terminating at last with the consummation of all things earthly, at the throne of God. Daniel Webster

Friday, April 10, 2015

Springtime

      Springtime has come, and as we go out into nature, we receive on every hand evidences of a new life: the flowers and the trees with their sweet fragrance and fresh, exuberant verdure: the balmy breezes about you; the rippling brooklet at your feet; the music of the feathered concert overhead. All bear testimony, in a language without words, yet none the less forceful, that spring, the happiest season of the year, has come, and with it new life and new hopes.
      But there is one thing we must not overlook in these our observations of nature, and that is the thankfulness for this new life that goes up from all these creatures of nature, animate and inanimate, to God, their Maker. We can read it in the sweet, blushing petals of the flower, the merry rippling of the brook, the early morning hymn of praise from the birds in the thicket. Again, when the hungry throat of the little nestling is filled by the mouthful of food the mother-bird brings, and the excited chirping at once ceases, and quite satisfaction takes its place, can we not again see a thanksgiving to Him who clothes the lilies of the field, and without whose will no sparrow falls to the earth?
      Now, dear reader, there is a lesson to draw from this. You may be a young man or a young woman, and consequently in the springtime of your life. And as you have enjoyed to the fullest extent, during these balmy days, the beauties of nature, you have found your own being throbbing with new life, and you have been thrilled at the thought of that life’s possibilities. But have you stopped to ask yourself whether or not you, like all these creatures of nature, have returned thanks to your Maker for the new life, hopes and possibilities that are yours? says David. May that be the lesson that springtime brings us! Sermon by Rev. Carl J. Segerhammer.

More Sermons by Segerhammer:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

God Shines His Gift of Light On All

American / Israeli singer Joshua Aaron shares one of the world's most popular, beloved Christian worship songs "How Great is our God" in Hebrew (lyrics below). Filmed in Jerusalem, Israel... featuring Israeli musician Yaron Yerahmiel Cherniak on the Persian Tar. Available at: http://www.Joshua-Aaron.com

      Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11

Life A Stream

      Life bears us on like the stream of a mighty river. Our boat at first glides down the narrow channel, through the playful murmuring of the little brook and the winding of its grassy boarders. The trees shed their blossoms over young heads: the flowers on the brink seem to offer themselves to the young hands. We are happy in hope, and we grasp eagerly at the beauties around us; but the stream hurries on, and still our hands are empty. Our course in youth and manhood is along a wider and deeper flood, amid objects more striking and magnificent. We are animated at the moving pictures, and enjoyments and industry passing us; we are excited at some short-lived disappointment. The stream bears us on; and our joys and griefs are alike left behind us. We may be shipwrecked; but we cannot be delayed. Whether rough or smooth, the river hastens to its home, till the roar of the ocean is in our ears, and the tossing of the waves is beneath our feet, and the land lessens from our eyes, and the floods are lifted up around us; and we take our leave of earth and its inhabitants until, of our future voyage, there is no witness save the Infinite and Eternal. Bishop Herber

Things That Never Die

The pure, the bright, the beautiful,
That stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulse to a wordless prayer,
The dreams of love and truth;
The longings after something lost,
The spirit's yearning cry,
The strivings after better hopes--
These things can never die.
The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need,
The kindly word in grief's dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy gently breathed
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart--
These things shall never die.
The memory of a clasping hand,
The pressure of a kiss,
And all the trifles, sweet and frail,
That make up love's first bliss;
If with a firm unchanging faith,
And holy trust on high,
Those hands have clasped, those lips have met--
These things shall never die.
The cruel and the bitter word
That wounded as it fell;
The chilling want of sympathy
We feel but never tell;
The hard repulse that grieves the heart
Whose hopes were bounding high
In an unfading record kept--
These things shall never die.
Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do;
Lose not a chance to waken love--
Be firm, and just, and true:
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee--
"These things shall never die."

by Sarah Doudney

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Faith Taught by Nature

      Faith bids us be of good cheer. Long ago, that old Greek studied the mental operations of a bee, with brain not as large as a pin-head. Here is a little bee, that organizes a city, that builds ten thousand cells for honey, twelve thousand cells for larvae, a holy of holies for the mother queen; a little bee that observes the increasing heat and when the wax may melt and the honey be lost, organizes the swarm into squads, puts sentinels at the entrances, glues the feet down, and then with flying wings, creates a system of ventilation to cool the honey, that makes an electric fan seem tawdry– a little honey-bee that will include twenty square miles in the field over whose flowers it has oversight. But if a tiny brain in a bee performs such wonders providential, who are you, that you should question the guidance of God? Lift up your eyes, and behold the hand that supports these stars, without pillars, the God who guides the planets without collision. Away with fear! -N. D. Hillis.