Archive for the ‘Oswald Chambers’ Tag

Can we be deceived?   7 comments

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“Can our eyes deceive us?” Photo by Susanne Schuberth

This is from the blog Entering the Promised Land:

I recalled having read a certain quote by Oswald Chambers quite some time ago. However, whenever I tried to find it again, I failed, since I could not remember the exact wording. Just today as I was searching the net for mystical experiences by Christians, I would find some criticism about the very word “mysticism” by T.A. Sparks and A.W. Tozer instead. Of course, there has been false mysticism in Christianity too, but not all mystical experiences were wrong. As long as one gets closer and closer to the Living God, I would never dare to say that mysticism was a bad thing. The false mystical experience might get obvious to us when we realize that it has caused the believer to get more and more focused on his own person and “ministry” than on the person of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Pride about knowing more than others, arrogance toward not-so-spiritual believers, and sometimes even a sort of megalomania (about what God would be able to do through the little “ME”) go hand in hand with Satan’s spiritual suggestions.

Later I also found another writing on the internet by a man who tried to prove Oswald Chambers and Watchman Nee wrong. Reading his deliberations, it got more and more clear to me that the carnal mind can never understand what the spiritual mind already knows due to its experiences with God and Jesus. The skilled theologian might find countless Scriptures to support his theories and thoughts about Christian mystics being deceived, however, what he does not know, it seems, is that our reason and logic cannot but understand the very surface of what was written in the Bible. The very depth of Scripture, albeit, reveals itself only through the Holy Spirit that indwells the believer and continually teaches him subliminally what is true and what is not true, even according to the Scriptures. The apostle Paul told us,

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:14-16 ESV)

And the apostle John wrote,

“I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” (1 Jn 2:26-27 ESV)

Reading this Scripture, it dawned on me that we can only be deceived if we have not received the anointing of the Holy Spirit yet or, when we have received it, we stop abiding in Him and His love. There is a common “deception” I would like to point out here, which has to do with the Chambers’ quote I had been looking for. Although it is not a real deception, it is rather a saddening sort of confusion that has grieved so many believers because they were taught wrongly about salvation. Eventually, here is not only the Oswald Chambers’ quote (which I highlighted in bold letters), but his whole devotional.

The Staggering Question

June 1, 2015

He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” —Ezekiel 37:3

Can a sinner be turned into a saint? Can a twisted life be made right? There is only one appropriate answer— “O Lord God, You know” (Ezekiel 37:3). Never forge ahead with your religious common sense and say, “Oh, yes, with just a little more Bible reading, devotional time, and prayer, I see how it can be done.”

It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers with God, yet so many people working for God. We would much rather work for God than believe in Him. Do I really believe that God will do in me what I cannot do? The degree of hopelessness I have for others comes from never realizing that God has done anything for me. Is my own personal experience such a wonderful realization of God’s power and might that I can never have a sense of hopelessness for anyone else I see? Has any spiritual work been accomplished in me at all? The degree of panic activity in my life is equal to the degree of my lack of personal spiritual experience.

“Behold, O My people, I will open your graves…” (Ezekiel 37:12). When God wants to show you what human nature is like separated from Himself, He shows it to you in yourself. If the Spirit of God has ever given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God (and He will only do this when His Spirit is at work in you), then you know that in reality there is no criminal half as bad as you yourself could be without His grace. My “grave” has been opened by God and “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18). God’s Spirit continually reveals to His children what human nature is like apart from His grace.

http://utmost.org/the-staggering-question/

In closing, I dare to raise two additional, maybe challenging questions.

“Do we believe that others will be saved because of our witness or because Christ is Savior? Can we trust Him and His unconditional love so much that we are convinced He loves our neighbors/loved ones/co-workers just as much as He loves us?”

Obedience, Fasting and Prayer   4 comments

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This quote is from my book The First Time I Rode a Freight Train & other hitchhiking stories, page 51:

“‘The monastic way is very different. Obedience, fasting and prayer are laughed at, yet only through them lies the way to real, true freedom. I cut off my superfluous and unnecessary desires, I subdue my proud and wanton will and chastise it with obedience, and with God’s help I attain freedom of spirit and with it spiritual joy.'”

[excerpt from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Book VI, “The Russian Monk”]

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“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.

“Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.”

― Oswald Chambers

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“Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.”

― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

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“It is possible to know all about doctrine and still not know Jesus.  A person’s soul is in grave danger when the knowledge of doctrine surpasses Jesus, avoiding intimate touch with Him.”

–Oswald Chambers

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Missionary Quotations: Hudson Taylor
Where Have All the Monks Gone
New Testament Circumcision
Paga (Intercession)
Obedience: The Bondage Breaker

Readiness   7 comments

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Moses and the Burning Bush

This is from the blog Three Iron Nails:
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“God called unto him … and he said, Here am I.” – Exodus 3:4
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“When God speaks, many of us are like men in a fog, we give no answer. Moses’ reply revealed that he was somewhere. Readiness means a right relationship to God and a knowledge of where we are at present. We are so busy telling God where we would like to go. The man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who carries off the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea of some great opportunity, something sensational, and when it comes we are quick to cry – ‘Here am I.’ Whenever Jesus Christ is in the ascendant, we are there, but we are not ready for an obscure duty.

“Readiness for God means that we are ready to do the tiniest little thing or the great big thing, it makes no difference. We have no choice in what we want to do, whatever God’s programme may be we are there, ready. When any duty presents itself we hear God’s voice as Our Lord heard His Father’s voice, and we are ready for it with all the alertness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us as His Father did with Him. He can put us where He likes, in pleasant duties or in mean duties, because the union is that of the Father and Himself. ‘That they may be one, even as We are one.’

“Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready when God has called! The burning bush is a symbol of everything that surrounds the ready soul, it is ablaze with the presence of God.”

–Oswald Chambers

Contrary to Common Sense   9 comments

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Oswald Chambers, 1874-1817

“We hear it said that Jesus Christ taught nothing contrary to common sense: everything Jesus Christ taught was contrary to common sense. Not one thing in the Sermon on the Mount is common sense. The basis of Christianity is neither common sense nor rationalism; it springs from another centre, viz. a personal relationship to God in Christ Jesus in which everything is ventured on from a basis that is not seen.”

–Oswald Chambers

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“One must be a great man indeed to be able to hold out even against common sense.”
“Or else a fool.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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“The warrior of God is not the man of muscle and a strong jaw, but the man of un-utterable weakness, the man who knows he has not any power; Jacob is no longer strong in himself, he is strong only in God, his life is no longer marked by striving, but by reliance on God. You cannot imitate reliance on God.”

–Oswald Chambers

The Art of War   4 comments

Dreams from the LORD 2011-2014
1 February 2014

Last night I had a dream where I was with some friends driving down this highway.  We then saw this hitchhiker on the side of the road.  He was dressed in green camo—he looked like he was in the Special Forces.  We picked him up and drove him to this military training camp.

The next scene:  I was sitting at this table wearing green camo; I was at that same military training camp.  It looked like we were in a jungle setting—like Vietnam.  I was there training the Special Forces soldiers.  There was more to the dream, but it is gone from me now.

This dream is confirmation on the work that I do for the Lord:  intercession/spiritual warfare.

II Timothy 2: 4:  “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

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A few years ago, I was at a friend’s place and he had a copy of Sun Tzu’s classic The Art of War.  I read half of the book and then the Lord told me to stop reading it.  The Lord showed me that the man who obeys the Lord defeats Sun Tzu every time.

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“Life without war is impossible either in nature or in grace. The basis of physical, mental, moral, and spiritual life is antagonism. This is the open fact of life.”

–Oswald Chambers

Intercession
Beat plowshares in swords
GUNS UP!
spiritualwarzone
A Parable About Lukewarm, American Christianity
A Dream about General George S. Patton
War in the Heavenlies
The World is the Battleground
What Can’t Kill You Will Only Make You Stronger
The Lord Is A Man Of War
Alexander the Great:  “An army of sheep”

Intercession   23 comments

morning-prayer

Old Testament Intercession:

Judges 14: 5-6: “Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.”

I Samuel 25: 7: “And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.”

I Samuel 25: 15-16: “But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields. They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.”

I Samuel 25: 23-26: “And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the @#!*% , and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid. Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.”

I Samuel 25: 28: “I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my Lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.”

II Kings 1: 9-10: “Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down. And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.”

Job 42: 10: “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.”

New Testament Intercession:

Romans 8: 18-19: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory [glorification, rapture, Holy Fire] which shall be REVEALED IN US. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

Romans 8: 26-27: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but THE SPIRIT ITSELF MAKETH INTERCESSION FOR US with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Matthew 3: 11-12: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND WITH FIRE: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but HE WILL BURN UP THE CHAFF WITH UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.”

John 17: 9-11: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.”

John 17: 15-16: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

John 17: 20-22: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.”

Ephesians 6: 18: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

II Thessalonians 1: 7-10: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”

II Thessalonians 2: 8: “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”

Hebrews 7: 25: “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

James 5: 16: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Revelation 1: 14-16: “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”

Revelation 19: 12-15: “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

Revelation 19: 21: “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

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“I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.”
–Mary Queen of Scots

“A man with God is the majority.”
–Last words of John Knox

“With the jawbone of an @#!*% , heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an @#!*% have I slain a thousand men.”
–Samson at Ramath-lehi

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“Identification is the key to intercession, and whenever we stop being identified with God, it is by sympathy, not sin.”

“Vicarious intercession* means that we deliberately substitute God’s interests in others for our natural sympathy with them.”

[*Vicarious: “Performed or suffered by one person as a substitute or to the benefit or advantage of another: SUBSTITUTIONARY: .” —Webster’s Third New International Dictionary]

“Am I fulfilling the ministry of the interior? There is no snare or any danger of infatuation or pride in intercession, it is a hidden ministry that brings forth fruit whereby the Father is glorified . . .The disciple who abides in Jesus is the will of God, and his apparently free choices are God’s fore-ordained decrees. Mysterious? Logically contradictory and absurd? Yes, but a glorious truth to a saint.”

“The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you cannot understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God is bringing you into places and among people and into conditions in order that the intercession of the Spirit in you may take a particular line. Never put your hand in front of the circumstances and say–I am going to be my own providence here, I must watch this, and guard that. All your circumstances are in the hand of God, therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in. Your part in intercessory prayer is not to enter into the agony of intercession, but to utilize the common-sense circumstances God puts you in, and the common-sense people He puts you amongst by His providence, to bring them before God’s throne and give the Spirit in you a chance to intercede for them. In this way God is going to sweep the whole world with His saints.

“Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being indefinite, or by trying to do His work for Him? I must do the human side of intercession, and the human side is the circumstances I am in and the people I am in contact with. I have to keep my conscious life as a shrine of the Holy Ghost, then as I bring the different ones before God, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for them.

“Your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, but the Holy Ghost makes intercession in our particular lives, without which intercession someone will be impoverished.”

–Oswald Chambers

Two Emails (Intercession)
Paga (Intercession)
Samson: A One-Man Wrecking Crew
Obedience: The Bondage Breaker

Holy Ghost Fire
Intercession
The Fifth Element
The Wisdom and Weapon of Silence
Spiritualwarzone
Prophetic Intercession
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Fighting Battles

Broken Bread and Poured-Out Wine   6 comments

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
8 March 2005

Broken bread and poured-out wine. I first heard of this phrase while reading Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest. The Lord cannot work through prideful, self-willed Christians. We must be broken of self-will. Before a man can eat a loaf of bread, he must break it (or slice it) first–especially if he is going to feed others. A broken and contrite heart, Oh, Lord, thou shalt not despise. The Holy Ghost flows much more freely through a broken vessel than a vessel that is all blocked-up because of self-will.

Poured-out wine. If the Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us, then we must sacrifice our lives for others. Wine was never meant to stay in the cup. Take this and drink. Partake of My Blood. Partake of His Life. The life is in the blood. Leviticus 17: 11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life.” Luke 22: 20: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

When we obey the Lord, self-will can only die. It doesn’t die overnight–it is gradual, it takes time. Reno, Nevada wasn’t built in one day. We are conceived in sin, and before we are born-again, we are raised in the world system (The Matrix) and by the world system to be conformed to the world system. It is a type of brainwashing. When we decide to follow Christ, we must continue to abide in Him to fight against the desire to be what we once were–conformed to this world and dead in our trespasses and sins. If a Christian has been saved for a number of years and is still conformed to this world, then I have a real problem with his salvation. If Jesus was whipped to shreds and then hung out to dry and bleed to death on the cross, then why should we treat His blood and His grace so cheaply? Hebrews 10: 26-29: “For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. A man who has violated the Law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?”

Life is precious; blood is precious. The life is in the blood. Jesus is precious; His blood is absolutely precious. We should be about our Father’s business or go home and go back to bed. We must be about our Father’s business and quit chasing our selfish desires and then calling it Christianity. We who are born-again are vessels created for our Father’s service. When we obey Him, our lives are poured-out wine for others who are thirsting for something eternal and substantial.

John 15: 1-2: “‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.'”

John 15: 4-8: “‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.'”

“‘Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away.'” “‘If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.'” Sounds like that branch lost his salvation. What are we to think of a Christian who bears dead fruit, who is conformed to the world and resists the Holy Ghost? “For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment.”

“Abide in me”: this could also mean, “obey me” or “remain under my covering”. Having knowledge in your head about the Gospel doesn’t cut it. Jesus didn’t die on the Cross so that we could become worthless aesthetes or hair-splitting theologians. He doesn’t want us to treat Him like an object of idolatry or an object of man-made religion. The Lord wants us to abide in Him, the True Vine, so that His Holy Sap will flow into us and sustain us, so we can grow stronger and bear much fruit. We do not abide in Him in thought (through dead reason); we abide in Him in revelation through faith.

Faith is what moves mountains in the spiritual realm; faith is what keeps the sap flowing from the True Vine into the branches. When we act in faith, our lives are blessed and the Lord gives us fresh revelation. Do you want to live on the shores of the Dead Sea or do you want to live by a fresh, fast-moving, clear mountain stream? Abide in Christ everyday in faith, obey what He reveals to you and see how refreshed you are and how refreshing your life is to others.

Reason by itself is idolatry; reason inspired by the Holy Ghost can only be beautiful. What good is an IQ of 200 if you are not born-again? What good are multiple college degrees and you reject Christ? What good is a forest of trees without rain or a field of wheat without irrigation? It will all wither and become chaff for the fire. I have heard more wisdom come out of the mouths of children who abide in Christ than from university professors who abide in nothing.

“Abiding in” separates the men from the boys. “Abiding in” separates the living from the dead. There is living, “abiding in” fruit and there is fruit that lies on the ground, rotten and stinking. Did Jesus die on the Cross so that we could become a stench that rises up to Heaven or did He die so that we could die to self and be a sweet-smelling savour of life unto life. Our lives should be a sweet-smelling sacrifice unto the Lord.

Genesis 4: 4: “and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering.” Abel’s offering points towards the First-born-among-many: the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“And the Lord had regard for Abel.”

“This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.”

“Draw nigh to me and I will draw nigh to you.”

“A savour of life unto life.”

“Abide in me.”

Living Bread
The Blood of the Lamb
Everything that “I Am” (Part One)
Feeding Others
Broken Bread, Poured Out Wine

Posted September 2, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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