They speak of loss
What I’ll regret
Some friends do leave
But hope shines yet
Never loved so full
Never known so deep
And each loving phrase
I’ll forever keep
Lord your Book leads on
Seeming fresh each day
And the prayers just flow
On this upward way
Surely not deserved
All the peace within
While you’ve drowned so deep
All my former sin
Oh some folks will grouse
That I’ve left their games
Though I often bear
On my heart their names
Thank you Christ I sing
Whate’er skies may send
What a thrill to think
This song has no end.


Church Mouse

Call me a church mouse

Yep, generations of ’em

Here, under the oaken arches

And that golden and blue glass.

Long quiet pause

Day after day

We like that

Place all to ourselves

Except for one singing woman

With a mop

And a quiet man in black

Sits on a bench with open book

Drops to his knees often

Down where we are.

Couple a’ times he near

Squashed me

But he didn’t know.

Seems gentle and trustworthy

Others before him

Mostly the same, my folks tell me.

…No, I take that back!

Couple of them struck real fear

Into some of the women and kids.

Those few with the nasty smirk

Never looked at the picture windows

Never sat in the bench

To get real quiet.

Sometimes I climbed

All the way up to that

One picture with those fluffy critters

And the kindly man with the staff

(Bearing subscription Ezekiel 34).

Did it twice when

The place was crowded.

Loud sounds, blended voices

Clapping hands, fun apparently.

Then all got real quiet

And the man with the black coat

Spoke, spoke long

And hard, and raised up that Book.

My siblings were busy out back

Sampling the cakes and fruit.

But I had the better portion

In this lovely quiet and focus

And that Book seemed to be

So very important.

He even pointed up

To the glass picture behind me

Thought I might get noticed.

Crouched down real low.

Nice people, mostly.

Somewhat confused.

They might come more often

If you ask me.

(Video graphics and narration by good friends Jody Squallace and Anthony Gomez)


Healing: So What Gives Blair?

“You applaud the messages of A. A. Allan, R. W. Schambach and Oral Roberts. You post videos on You Tube with readings from John G. Lake (he said medicine was God’s sad second best). But then you post a reading from F. B. Meyer that is all about meek submission and acceptance? Are you sucking and blowing at the same time?”

Answer: I have ongoing health issues; so does Hilary. There have been prayers, laying on of hands, scripture promises recited. Little change for some of the things. I believe that we must pay due respect to God’s Sovereign Larger Plan and issues of chastening (Hebrews 12 and 2 Corinthians 11) and Providence.

A friend of mine has experienced extreme pain and torment but sees it all working out now to the feeding and healing of other sufferers who throw up their fists asking, “Why God?”

The life story of India missionary/poet Amy Carmichael speaks for itself. So does the final trek of malaria ridden Doctor of Africa David Livingstone.

Let me add one more story here. James Robison of the Life Today broadcast. Integrity. Clarity of message. Feeding the hungry. The real deal-you bet. Early in his ministry; essentially an orphaned boy preacher going around to high schools and construction sites with messages of faith, power and surprising results. In the early months add an anointing for healing by faith. Things happened. Crowds came. Billy Graham said “this is the next one”.

But then the healings stopped. Completely. James was baffled and prayed repeatedly “Why God?”

One day at an appointment in a high-rise office tower, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to James. “Those healings Son. If they were to continue you could not bear the fawning and adulation. People would climb up the very walls of this tower to get to YOU. But it wouldn’t be to get to Jesus. I promise you, the day will come when you will do more for my Glory and my Church by just sitting in a lounge chair and speaking plainly to my people.”

Part of God’s Greater Plan. Get it?

But you should also keep pleading those promises (Isaiah 53, 1 Peter 2). The just shall LIVE by faith.

House of Prayer

Those who keep my Sabbath
And fear my holy law
And look for real compassion
Through the mist
Find a Temple waiting
And peace and calm inside
And praise and meditation
The eunuch begets “children”
And multiplies Good News.
The stranger finds
A welcome from the fray.
And Israel grows
In leaps and bounds
As Gentiles come on board.
They too have privileged
Quarters here to pray.
But Jesus comes this morning
And finds the hucksters’ game
At every stall and seat
That meets His view.
And eager pilgrims
As shepherds fleece the flock.
He drives them forth.
His cries and whips subdue.
Now settle children
In His peace and presence
The rendezvous
Will touch your inner heart
Let silence calm the ennui
With loving friends beside
And wait…
The True Vine’s  life He will impart.
Isaiah 56
Mark 11: 15-17

So Unworthy

Awake and right early
Now why should that be?
Today is demanding
Are you calling me?
To prayer when I’m sleepy
To prayer when I ache
I hear you…I’m coming
This is no mistake.
I thank you for mercies
I lift up some friends
I ask now for guidance
To deal with loose ends.
My mind, still it’s wandering
My focus is weak
I want to break through now
Oh Lord would you speak?
And then comes a pausing
And Majesty’s smile
“I love your crude ramblings
Come closer awhile.
I chose you and drew you
And brought you the light
A precious adoption
You’re gold in my sight.
And you need this comfort
Though early it seems
And Child take my courage
Much better than dreams.”


Say One For Me

So many Saturdays the scene at the grocery store was the same. The part-timer was back in the dairy corner, on his knees and stacking the bags of milk or cartons of eggs. He had enjoyed occasional conversations with the customers, particularly the elderly. They wanted so much to engage in a society which was becoming more and more “hands off”.

Frequently while he was down there he would hear the remark, “While you’re at it, say one for me”.
There would be something awkward or perhaps condescending in the tone. Or maybe just the application of gentle humour, when in fact the prayer needs were there.
Without hesitation or embarrassment, the big fellow, still stooping, would respond, “Always happy to pray. Is there something specific?” No response. Perhaps some awkwardness from the other. Mentioning prayer and its power and relevance in a public place and amidst the general shuffle. Humanity all around. Some sad, happy, rushed, lonely, worried, pre-occupied, tight for cash, in pain. Who knows what else?
The Apostle said that we are to be “instant in prayer, in season, out of season”. End of sermon.

Trade-Off Extraordinaire

by artist James Tissot

That day

The greatest Soul

Who walked this orb

In loving deeds

Was hung up high

A spectacle

For fools to mock

“He moans. He bleeds!”

And like a lamb

Unmarked and pure

He hung in sin’s dread place

That Holiness

Saw justice done

To cleanse a needy race.

As sin

The Christ knew grief

Without compare

As sin

He bore the curse

His Father’s tears

A sight so rare.

And we

Are told “Rejoice.

Set free”

In this transaction odd.

And we

Are left amazed

Transformed, the righteousness

Of God.


2 Corinthians 5:18-21

Note: Believer, you are the righteousness of God. Get this fixed in your consciousness from one of the richest of New Testament chapters. Stand in the thankful assurance of it when someone mocks your moderation or transformed tongue; when someone in terrible need asks for prayer; when someone rants that faith is just a crutch for losers; when someone humbled appears ready to hear the Good News.


Prayers Would Follow

Kathleen knew

The prayers would follow

Mum tucked in

A bit of the Front Page discussed

Peck on the cheek

And lights out.

There were two essays downstairs

Needing typing

Students would drop by

Tomorrow at four

Little darlings are up

To their eyeballs.

She had foregone three weeks

Of piano lessons

For the little ones

McMaster University just too busy

In the final term.

Kept her occupied though

And left time for Mum.

Six years now since Kathleen

Had taught for the Separate Board

But there were still visits

And Holiday cards

And a couple of the most promising ones

Sometimes attended the Cathedral.

Mum was so confused

So much unlike that stylish clerk

Of the Eaton’s Women’s Department.

Working with a smile and a friendly word

While Kathleen studied

And started out with the classes.

(Her beloved Music and English Lit.)

Yes the prayers would follow

Students. Faces.

Now grown. Married. Some Divorced.

Her children of sorts.

Her prayer platform.

Once the glorious images

Of a strengthening Saviour

Moved over to one side.

And His precious whisperings concluded.