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1) Precious Guest
Not all who come are precious guests. There
are both bad fish and good caught in the Kingdom's net and the
bad must necessarily be thrown away. There are those who enter
in to feast with the saints who do not have on a wedding garment.
These too must be thrown out.
The precious guest, not known by appearance,
is the one whom the Lord has brought into our midst to become
one with us in Him. That guest may not be treated as a guest
in worldly terms of hospitality and politeness. He may indeed
be reproved and rebuked, told the truth, unpleasant to him as
it may seem but by the grace of God, he will believe, respond
and discover he is indeed a precious guest, beloved among the
You have come not only because
You have chosen to do so
But you have been brought here
To rest and to be comforted,
To hear a word in due season,
A good word,
Whether it soothes or hurts,
Whether it heals or cuts,
But the truth will make you free
You have here a shelter from the storm,
A haven of sweet rest,
If you receive it as such.
Bring in your peace with you
If you wish it to be returned,
And forsake everything unclean.
Take off your shoes
And rest awhile.
May you be blessed and nourished,
Strengthened and healed,
Prepared to continue your journey
In an alien world,
In an hostile environment
Because you are His.
We hope you'll be washed of this world's dust,
Bathed in the Word of God;
We hope you'll take on
A fresh change of clothes
And armour for trials ahead.
Fellowship with us,
And know our home is yours,
If you are His,
Because this home is His
And what is His is yours.
Lethbridge, Oct. 1, 1984
2) The Call
Little did I know when the Lord told me
He would show me His people through His eyes that I was one of
those people, that I would be shown not only by seeing as an observer
but as partaker as well. And He too is a partaker of the sufferings
of His people. "I am hurting, I am hurting!" He said to me.
I know too well the pain, the death and hell we must all face,
the iniquity we must be shown in ourselves and be purged of by
fires. I have identified and do identify with His people. I just
did not think, though I surely believed I was His, that I was,
by nature, a partaker of all the sins and vanities of His people
and therefore a partaker of the fruits of them as well.
When the Lord shows one something, He shows
him not by mere observation but subjection. Only then do we
know and understand and relate.
One day while praying quite dignified, I was forced
to be relieved,
And in an old cabin the Lord signified what in
me He had conceived.
I will show you My people by My eyes, their suffering
and sorrow you'll see;
They live in weeping and gnashing and cries but
proclaim that they are free.
In their stoves burns no fire to give them heat,
the wind blows through the walls;
From broken glasses and plates they eat, and off
its hinges the front door falls.
Their power is void while idols abound; vain professions
are on their tongue;
No floor 'neath their feet covers the ground,
their possessions are no more than dung.
These are His people the Lord lets me see, people
for whom He does hurt;
His desire for them is that they be free, raised
up to the sky from the dirt.
"A critic you are," said one man to me; I
didn't like the thought,
But now a critic I know I must be though for this
I have not sought.
Truth I desire in my innermost being, not only
for me but for others,
But Satan comes and keeps them from seeing and
life in their hearts he smothers.
Yet one day will come when all evil will fail
from this world in Christ;
The righteous will be the head, not the tail,
when they've come to their sacred tryst.
Prince Albert, 1976
3) A New Creation
To his dying day, my father refused to believe
me and could not and would not understand that what had been
done in me by God made an irreconcilable difference between him
and me not only in terms of thought and way of life but very
He lingered for the old Victor he was once
the father of, not willing to accept that I had died. He went
to his grave lingering at mine. If only he had desired not the
grave for the two of us but the resurrection. What man in his
right mind would trade the skies and birds for the underground
and worms? So, in all sadness, I turned my back on him, but do not
regret it, no,
not for a moment.
You linger at my grave, longing for your son;
I've left the darkness for the light and what
is done is done.
The change in me is not perceived by frail human
And so you think that I am wrong and you are surely
Reason fails to comprehend the things in my new
Explanations will not do, they only lead to strife.
People, habits, memories call but I've traded
old for new;
I've traded all that's bad and false for all that's
good and true.
I'm a stranger in this world whom you have never
I've only kept this outer shell on which your
hearts are set.
My life is hid in Jesus Christ; believe me you
Your hearts are very hard and cold, for truth
you have not sought.
I'd rather walk on foreign soil than to this evil
world be loyal,
And trade the rags of dirt and toil for robes
magnificent and royal.
Kingly blood flows through my veins as I am led
down holy lanes;
I've left the world of sorrow and pains, and climb
the heights for greater gains.
Some day I know I will return for others who will
And each man will, in his own time, 'til all are
in the sum.
Great and glorious will be the day when all men
drop the sword
And raise their hands in harmony to praise our
Dauphin, 1978, 79
4) Fear of Man
What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place
on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us.
- Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw
it off and are greatly relieved until a day comes when we find it
had somehow grown on our backs once more to torment us, increasingly
so. We must make a choice between praise of man and praise of
How sweet the deliverance from chains that bind
A man to many lords,
As peace and rest come to his soul
Which he has not known before!
The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions,
Bedraggled with doubt and confusion,
Struggles to know the answer at hand
Which seems to be but an illusion.
How fruitless the concentration on
Opinions of other people!
How taxing the consternation
About all their thoughts and actions!
To the extent one values their words
And seeks to be praised of men,
To this extent are they his lords
And idols are they within.
Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong;
Seek not to prove you are right,
But speak the truth both gently and wisely
And leave it without a fight.
Fear no man but fear only God,
For once all is said and done,
To God will we answer
And He is the Judge
Of all things under the sun.
All things that are hidden
Will come to the light
In due time, whether good or bad,
And when His plan is fully complete,
Then all will receive praise of God.
Dauphin, 1978, 79
5) The Unsearchable Ways of God
Not His ways so much as Him! Yet "theologians"
or "studiers of God" presume otherwise.
And how ingrained it is in our very carnal
natures the thought or belief that somehow we are in control
to some extent of our destinies and the destinies of others.
How frustrated we get at our failures and at the failures of others
when we do not understand that all things, great and small, good
and evil, obviously and otherwise are indeed in His hands, that
He rules over all. How unforgiving we can be toward others for
the evil the Lord has sent our way by them for our good, and
toward ourselves for the evil He sent to others by us for their
good, not that we can justify ourselves.
We seek to do good as we learn. But we must
also learn that even our mistakes and evils have served in their
place for the time and though these things are to be repented
of, they are also to be recognized as purposeful and to be forgotten
in the sense of continual regret.
And how fretful we are when we find certain
circumstances and events are entirely in disagreement to us
and beyond our control. But if we know the Lord, and if we know
that He is in full control of all and that all He does is for
our good, we can indeed forgive, forget and rest.
The wisdom of God is unsearchable, His ways past
His thoughts and His actions high above ours,
we don't know what He's about.
Moses He sends to save Israel and Pharaoh's heart
And both are found faithful in doing His bidding,
both by His Son He pardons.
Nebuchadnezzar, a heathen king, was known as a
servant of God,
Who was instrumental in binding God's children,
and removing them from their sod.
We hate the name of Babylon, for all that it is
Yet the Almighty Father, the Sovereign Supreme,
is Maker and Breaker of lands.
The nation of Israel is cast away so that the
road for the Gentiles is paved,
Then after the Jews have killed their Messiah,
God declares all Israel saved.
Among the faithful there must needs be heresies,
Satan is loosed for a time;
Samson slays 3000 in blindness, tasting honey
from the corpse of a lion.
We think God cast Satan to Hell but we read that
he came to His throne
And received God's permission to take on a mission
Of destroying the kingdom of Job.
When we are purged of our thinking, receiving
the mind of the Lord,
We discover all things are with purpose...even
famine, and sickness and sword.
To the pure are all things pure and to God we
give thanks in all things,
And know that the negative develops the positive,
the evil goodness brings.
Rejoice all those who have the light, let joy
reign in your heart!
For nothing in this entire universe can force
us from God to part!
Closed doors to what we've had, open doors to
better things still;
This is a law which one cannot break any more
than stopping God's will.
All things work together for good though at first
we don't understand,
But one truth must be understood: Our lives are
in His hand.
Dauphin, 1978, 79
6) The Desert
This was written at a time when we lived
in a literal desert in Israel and I could feel all the things
expressed, within my soul, because we were also in a desert in
our spiritual lives, a desert through which all pilgrims on the journey
to the city of God must pass.
This writing was also prophetic of events
that would shortly come to pass as we spoke the Word of God
to Paul, whom the Lord had given us to be our friend. As a matter
of coincidental fact, the day of this introductory writing (Oct.
9) is, I believe, the very anniversary almost to the hour, of
Paul forsaking his wife in obedience to the Lord, to walk in
the Way of Life.
The desert is dry and parched, and I am hot and
We two have been matched as partners in this stretch
of our history.
The sun's scorching face is forceful enough; from
it I can find no escape,
No shade, no water, no nightfall to comfort my
soul in its wearisome journey.
Miles and miles of burning sand, I scarcely know
where it began...
It started with greenery, then greenery and sand,
and now it is sand upon sand.
Yet after some miles I've trodden and feel I can
go no farther,
A trickle of water comes out of a rock, destined
for that very hour.
With leanness of soul and hungering for life,
not a soul for months have I seen,
And all my possessions have slowly been lost,
'til much lighter my journey has been.
It's strange how the harder the trials, the sweeter
the life becomes;
The easier the life filled with comforts, the
more ensnared in this wild.
Many storms form on the horizon, threatening I
know not what,
And only the odd one materializes to give me the
wisdom I've sought.
With serpents quite often threatening my life,
and insects disturbing my peace,
I travel over jagged and treacherous rocks and
long from this desert, release.
Many mirages have promised me life and so fair
they are at a distance,
But somehow I'm learning the difference between
what appears to be real and what is.
I cannot tell how much longer my wilderness journey
I know only this: that I cannot turn back, not
while I have yet to be free.
Methinks I have seen circling above, those wretched
birds of prey,
Who hover and wait so endlessly, for their opportune
But I believe in the One Who has promised to keep
me until that day,
And when it comes, it'll be by His choosing, and
with Him I'll arrive to stay.
Israel, Sept. 79
In my striving to be conscious of God and
to hear His voice and walk with Him, I slowly learned that I
do not get the Lord to speak simply by striving to listen. Nor
is He always speaking and I hear or get to hear bits and pieces
only as I succeed in efforts to "tune in" like a ham operator
trying to pick up a frequency. No, the Lord speaks when it pleases
Him, and when He speaks, He is fully capable of making Himself
heard with or without any help or hindrance from us.
Until we are humbled and repent of our arrogance,
we will neither understand nor rest.
Standing atop a mountain peak,
I could not hear a sound.
In vain I strained my ears to hear
But nothing came except a tear
Because I could not hear.
Cold it grew and I withdrew
To lower levels not by choice,
And there I felt more comforted
But silence remained the only voice
And still I could not hear.
"Am I dead?" in pain I asked myself,
"Is there something wrong with me?
I should think that on these wondrous heights
Is where hearing and seeing ought to be."
And down I came again.
Lower and lower and lower still,
Not even ground level was to be my fill,
But lower and lower and lower 'til
The darkness smothered me out of sight
And my only friends were sorrow and fright.
But I was not alone.
For in the nether of darkness and tether,
Down where I had made my bed,
And where I resigned to live and sleep,
I heard the Voice instead:
"Come up!" It said, "and into the Light.
Rejoice now with new hearing and sight.
I'll take away your tether and fright
And you'll be My servant instead."
Albuquerque, Spring, 1984
8) War Games
The incomprehensible frivolity of those
who deem it enjoyable and sporting to make a game of killing and
Such acts and attitudes are symptoms of
a horridly sick society indeed. To make a sport of the tragedies
of mankind is to demonstrate a madness of the vilest kind on
earth, worse than that which we find in asylums because those
out and about, free to do as they please, are pleased to mimic
the worst there is, though they are judged by the rest of society
to be sane and responsible. The judges are as ill as the judged,
if they find no fault or harm in such behavior.
War games? War games? War games!
Play, everybody, play!
And play the dreaded things that one never plays
When the real appears.
In all its horror and confusion,
The incredible, the imagined takes its form from
But not from nothing.
Frolicking souls, restless souls, selfish souls,
Dull, simple, foolish and ghoulish;
Shoot and kill! Play the game without the blood
Though the blood already gushes forth
With its life spilled to the ground.
While they play and rejoice in mock victories,
Storm clouds swiftly creep.
Even the rain spatters to warn but none take care
And none suspect that the rain is red.
Now they say, "Better red than dead" until
"I wish I were dead."
Now they only pretend, like children,
Running and laughing, not watching,
Until they fall into the strong hands of a stranger,
One of whom they have heard,
One of whom they have talked and laughed.
Suddenly, the reality.
Children, play your games.
Soon there'll be no games to play, and
The memory of them will willingly fade away,
But the reality of them will stay
To exact the price for playing. (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10)
IF YOU CANNOT TAKE SOCIETY NOW, HOW WILL YOU COPE
WHEN IT TAKES YOU?
Lethbridge, July 20, 1984
Who is going to do it - I or God? Who will
initiate - the one led or the One leading? Do we help Him? Does
He need our help? Were we around to help Him start it all? Do
we think we must at least be around to help Him finish it? Do
we have any understanding as to what the finish should be?
Either I reign or God reigns. Either I call
the shots or He does. And every soul is in damnation until it
learns to put its trust entirely in Him. As one has already put
it, "Let go and let God."
Grab a hold! Grab with all you've got!
Grab? Grab what?
I have grabbed and grabbed and grabbed.
I now find nothing to grab, and if I did,
I would be too exhausted to grab.
I once sat and waited.
I waited. I waited to see. I waited to hear and
Nothing came for me to grab.
But then nothing grabbed me and I could wait no
I went out to grab, finding something to grab.
Now I grab instead of wait.
And I hurt for grabbing.
I grab again and the pain grows intense, intolerable.
Then I remember.............no more grabbing!
So I wait until I am grabbed again by the One
Who already holds me and Who teaches me not to
But to rest and to be grabbed.
Lethbridge, July 20, 1984