the fundamental matter – the existence of God.
How did those fishermen and artisans, those tradesmen and tax-gatherers,
become so superbly God-conscious, so magnificently sure that eternal love was
on the throne? It was the product of the
impact made upon them, day in, day out, by the personality of Jesus. This they
came to realize, as they lived with
Him and saw His matchless grace and truth, was what all life was meant to
be. This was a disclosure of what must lie
at the very heart and center of the universe.
In other words, this was God encountering them. You want to be sure of
God? Can you not make the same personal experiment
still? Believe me, you can. By
prayer, by steeping yourself in the
Gospels, by facing life with Christ, you can pass beyond the religion of rumor
and report and inherited tradition, and meet God face to face.” James
S. Stewart in a sermon, “No Borrowed Creed”.
Ample rainfall has turned our Shenandoah Valley green
again transforming our world with magic.
Country roadsides hereabout are decorated with sky-blue chicory and
delicate crocheted Queen Anne’s lace fit for a wedding bouquet. Mockingbirds
making their summer pilgrimage
through these precincts are singing their oratorios free for anyone who will be
still and savor their melodies. Assorted
butterflies make their way to my
flower garden from distant places enroute to destinies unknown, adding mystery
day trip to Strasburg via old US Route 42 found me winding my way through the
Alleghenies along a route with reminders of Austria and scenes like the one in
this photo. Abandoned houses and barns
dot the landscape, including one magnificent stone edifice that dates to the
mid -1700s. Cemeteries along the route
are reminders that life is ephemeral.
The journey northward from Bridgewater to Woodstock is an essay in the
history of America’s beginnings to modern times and a commentary on how those
who settled here lived their lives. Old
steepled churches with bell towers declare
their faith. In his book, The Gates of
New Life, James S. Stewart ponders the words of Jesus in Mark’s gospel: “What
therefore God hath joined together, let
not man put asunder.’ “Like so many of
the Master’s sayings,” wrote Stewart, “its application goes far beyond the original
intention...A moment’s pondering will reveal to you the unsuspected width and
range of that remark.” Stewart asks this
question: “Has not God joined these
together, intending them from all eternity for each other – the soul of man and
Christ? Yes, deep down in every heart
that lives, even in the poorest and shabbiest and most sinful, there is an
instinctive kinship with the Man of Nazareth.
That kinship is the world’s one hope; and it is God’s doing, who at
Bethlehem brought the human soul and Jesus very near, and at Calvary betrothed them
together forever and forever....God has made Christ and you for each
other. He made the gospel of Christ to
suit your very need. Do not
hesitate. Get hold of Jesus by any point
you can. If it is the teaching of Jesus
that appeals to you, get hold of Him by that.
If it is His grace or winsomeness or valor, get hold of Him by
that. If it is His tenderness, get hold
of Him by that. If it is the amazing
death He died, get hold of Him by that.
It does not matter where you grasp Him for a beginning, so long as you
do get hold of Him. You are meant for
each other, you and Jesus. Give Him your
love and loyalty now: and those whom God
thus joins together – your soul and Jesus—nothing, no, not death itself when
death comes to you one day, shall ever put asunder.”
Chicory and Rudabekia [Black-eyed Susans
violinist Fritz Chrysler had a Stradivarius violin that at one time belonged to
an old Englishman. Chrysler offered to buy it, but the old man told him that
the violin was not for sale. One day he ventured to the old man's house and
asked if he could touch it. The old man invited Chrysler in. He tucked it under
his chin and began to draw the bow across the strings. Great tears began to
well up in the old Englishman's eyes. Chrysler saw the man's face and said,
"I'm sorry, but I would so much like to buy this instrument." The old
Englishman said, "It is not for sale, but it is yours. You are the master.
You alone are worthy of it." When we call God Adonay, we are saying that
He is the Master. He alone is worthy, nothing and no one else. He
is worth all that we have and all that we
are. Adrian Rogers
in Names of God.