Christmas 1881..

by Anonymous


Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.
 
It was Christmas Eve, 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. ...

I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.   Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. 

"Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight."

I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.

We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house Something was up, but I didn't know what.
 
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy.

When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been abigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.
 
After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?

Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" "You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?

Yeah," I said, "Why?"
 
"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.
 
Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.

We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.
 
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door.We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?"

"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt... could we come in for a bit?"

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out, one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children, sturdy shoes, the best... shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.
 
"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up"

I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
 
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."
 
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it, I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
 
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit, and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord, that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
 
Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. ... They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.
 
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell."

I was the youngest... my two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away
 
Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, may the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your Ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough.

Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny
sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."
 
I understood alright... and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.
 
For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.
 
Don't be too busy today... share this inspiring message. Merry Christmas and God bless you!

 





Reprinted for the season from the Old Eponymn site.


America's Democracy is Slipping Away...

by Gerald Weston


My father used to tell me that the United States would not be a democracy within 50 years. Before he died he said he wouldn’t give it 20 years. That was ten years ago. Today we see a United States no longer united. Jesus tells us, “And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25). For sure there have been difficult times in the past. The American Civil War saw brother against brother, and the death toll was greater than the combined total number of deaths from all other wars in which Americans have fought put together!

Yet we live in a very different age. The United States is the undisputed superpower and policeman of the world. Oceans no longer provide the level of security they once did due to modern transportation, technologies and weapons of war. This crisis descending on America is different. Those who cheer the fall of the United States, and those anarchists who are trying to bring it about, would do well to reconsider lest they gain what they hope for.

My father saw things from a secular perspective. He looked at history, and while he did not share my biblical perspective, he could see that our post-modern–world lifestyles would eventually bring us down. As he would say, “Our freedoms [to do anything without responsibility] will destroy us.”

But a man by the name of Herbert W. Armstrong was warning about the downfall of America and the British-descended peoples of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the democratic countries of Northwestern Europe long before I heard any of this from my father. Mr. Armstrong was seeing the world through the lens of biblical prophecy and an understanding of the KEY to those prophecies—the biblical identity of modern nations! Even when Germany was lying in rubble following the Second World War, he predicted it would rise again to challenge the Israelite- descended peoples. And now, from German-Foreign-Policy.com we read the following:  “The weekly ‘Die Zeit,’ once considered a liberal journal, carried an article on Chancellor Merkel entitled, ‘Leader of the Free World? Of Course!’ claiming the German Chancellor could even become ‘the savior of the free world’. . . major German media organs again depicted Merkel as ‘US President Trump’s adversary’” (2017/01/26).

Dr. Roderick C. Meredith was an early student of Mr. Armstrong, and he has continued to proclaim the same message:  if our modern Israelite nations do not repent, we will be overthrown and go into captivity! Once you understand the identity of modern-day Israel, not merely the tiny Middle Eastern country called Israel, but the descendants of Joseph who were given great promises of incredible prosperity and power at the end of the age, the world suddenly comes into clear focus. As a man from Colombia once passionately told me after reading our booklet, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, “Finally something makes sense. I’ve always known you guys were not smarter than us!”

I was not offended. He was correct. God tells us in His word that HE is the One who gives wealth and strength. Notice some of these statements concerning Israel, especially Joseph, at the end of the age. In 1 Chronicles 5:2, we learn about the promises that began with Abraham:  “Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a ruler [grace through Christ], although the birthright [national wealth and power] was Joseph’s.”

These birthright blessings are spelled out in a number of passages, giving ample evidence of their certainty. “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you” (Genesis 17:5-6). These promises were expanded to include control over the gates of their enemies (Genesis 22:17). In ancient times of city-states, controlling a city’s gate meant control over the whole city, but prophecy is dual and in modern times, instead of city-states, we have nations; and the control of nations is determined by controlling strategic geographical choke points, such as Panama, Gibraltar, Suez, the Khyber Pass, Hong Kong, and others that were once controlled by the British and Americans.

These amazing promises are found throughout the book of Genesis, as they are passed from one generation to another and expanded in the process. We read in Genesis 35:10 that God gave Jacob a new name (Israel) and told him that from him would eventually come a nation and a company of nations (verse 11). We see the identity of this nation and company of nations at the end of Genesis. Israel first adopted Joseph’s two sons:  Ephraim and Manasseh. We then learn the following:  “And Joseph said to his father, ‘Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.’ But his father refused and said, ‘I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations’” (Genesis 48:18-19).

Ephraim was to become a great company (commonwealth) of nations and Manasseh a single great nation. We often refer to Britain and America as cousins. In truth, they are brothers! Right after this was spelled out, we read how Jacob (Israel) called together all his sons and prophesied what they would become “in the last days” (Genesis 49:1). To Joseph, and by extension, his two sons, he proclaimed:  “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob. . . by the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills” (Genesis 49:22-26).

Yes, it is God who has given us these many physical blessings and it is by HIS HAND that we’ve been made strong in a dangerous world. But today the sons of Joseph, as well as the other tribes of Israel, have forgotten our Creator. We have become filled with pride, thinking we have done all these things by our own strength and wit. This is true whether talking of the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia or New Zealand. It’s also true of certain northwestern European countries and Scandinavia. God warned us NOT to take all this for granted.

“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,  lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. . . then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish” (Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 17-19).

We have become fat and satisfied! We have not only forgotten God; we have arrogantly rejected Him. As a people, we can no longer connect the dots between the rejection of God and the terror that will descend upon us. “But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you:  I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it” (Leviticus 26:14-16).

It is no longer politically correct to speak in public discourse of husbands and wives. Instead it is the generic partner, because we must not assume that two people are married. We almost assume they are NOT married, especially if they’re celebrities! We cannot even assume the partnership is made up of a man and a woman! Pronouns such as he or she are being replaced by ze, hir, and other strange pronouns. Murder of the most innocent is now referred to as a choice. All of this carefully crafted discourse is promoted by an elitist class that hates the traditional rules of behavior and promotes moral anarchy.

Dr. Meredith, the Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God, has for more than 64 years fearlessly and powerfully warned where we are heading.  However, he put in place a fine team of men and women to continue this warning, as well as to proclaim the wonderful news of the coming Kingdom of God, the time when Jesus Christ will return to straighten out this mess. That is the time when the true servants of God will be resurrected to assist in solving mankind’s fundamental problems.

This Work will continue with that mission.

God is incredibly patient, and He gives mankind more time than we deserve, but time IS running out. Even though my father foresaw the coming downfall, I doubt that he understood just how morally degraded we have become. Storm clouds are on the horizon for any who have eyes to see. A time of darkness is coming and our time to finish this Work is limited. Please pray that God will open the doors and give us the strength and the courage to walk through them.

May God the Father and Jesus Christ be with us to finish the Work He has commissioned us to do!



The Drawing Of The Father

by Oswald Chambers

To be an Uncommon Believer….Let the “First Voice” You Hear in the Morning…. Be the Voice of the LORD


“Never forget that our capacity in spiritual matters is measured by the promises of God. Is God able to fulfil His promises? Our answer depends on whether we have received the Holy Spirit.”

"No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him." John 6:44


When God draws me, the issue of my will comes in at once - will I react on the revelation which God gives - will I come to Him? Discussion on spiritual matters is an impertinence. Never discuss with anyone when God speaks. Belief is not an intellectual act; belief is a moral act whereby I deliberately commit myself. Will I dump myself down absolutely on God and transact on what He says? If I will, I shall find I am based on Reality that is as sure as God's throne.

In preaching the gospel, always push an issue of will.  Belief must be the will to believe. There must be a surrender of the will, not a surrender to persuasive power, a deliberate launching forth on God and on what He says until I am no longer confident in what I have done, I am confident only in God. The hindrance is that I will not trust God, but only my mental understanding. As far as feelings go, I must stake all blindly. I must will to believe, and this can never be done without a violent effort on my part to disassociate myself from my old ways of looking at things, and by putting myself right over on to Him.

Every man is made to reach out beyond his grasp. It is God who draws me, and my relationship to Him in the first place is a personal one, not an intellectual one. I am introduced into the relationship by the miracle of God and my own will to believe, then I begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transaction.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for strengthening my inner man with the power and might of Your Spirit. Thank You for dwelling in my heart by faith. Daily, through the work of the Holy Spirit, I am being rooted and grounded more deeply in Your love. It’s Your love that makes every other area of life function to the maximum potentnial. Teach me Your ways of love in dealing with all people, Lord – whether it’s with the heathen, my brothers and sisters in the Lord or natural, my parents, mate, or children, spiritual or natural leaders, or kings, presidents and world leaders. Thank You!” Ephesians 3:16-21.





Approved Unto God

by Oswald Chambers

ISAIAH 50: 4 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.  5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.


To be an Uncommon Believer….

Let the “First Voice” You Hear in the Morning…. Be the Voice of the LORD


"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

“The majority of present day preachers understand only the blessings that come to us from the Cross, they are apt to be devoted to certain doctrines which flow from the Cross. Paul preached one thing only: the crucified Christ, “Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can. If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life. Struggle to re-express some truth of God to yourself, and God will use that expression to someone else. Go through the winepress of God where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle to get expression experimentally, then there will come a time when that expression will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else; but if you say lazily - "I am not going to struggle to express this thing for myself, I will borrow what I say," the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone. Try to state to yourself what you feel implicitly to be God's truth, and you give God a chance to pass it on to someone else through you. 

Always make a practice of provoking your own mind to think out what it accepts easily. Our position is not ours until we make it ours by suffering. The author who benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been dumbly struggling in you for utterance.