2.03.2013

What Are You Waiting For?

What are you waiting for?

For what purpose do we sit silently with closed eyes & bowed heads? Do we wait for time to pass that we might get to the next thing on our agenda? Do we wait for someone in the room to speak? The prophets of old would step aside to wait for the Word of God to guide them. Jesus himself spent what time He could alone in the quiet to be with God. Jesus told us to learn to recognize His voice. We are told that that voice does not come in wind or fire, but as a still small voice. Is it the strength of the Lord, that peace beyond understanding, for which you wait? 
"I will stand upon my watch, and sit upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. The Lord answered me, and said, write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."
Habakkuk 2:1-3



Last week, during our combined meeting at Salem, about 18 students from Malone College worshiped with us. The worship seemed to be covered with a Holy covering.

1.17.2013

Sounds of Silence




"It is God who works in you, both to will & to do of his good pleasure."Philippians 2:13… "Do this because we live in an important time. It is now time for you to wake up from your sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost finished, and the day is almost here. So we should stop doing things that belong to darkness and take up the weapons used for fighting in the light. Let us live in a right way, like people who belong to the day. We should not have wild parties or get drunk. There should be no sexual sins of any kind, no fighting or jealousy. But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus, and forget about satisfying your sinful self." Romans 13:11-14
Our meetings for worship have been blessed these past few weeks. We gather upstairs, in the southeast room of our meetinghouse. There is an electric  warming heater that gives the room that extra cozy feeling, as the snow & cold prevail outside. Last month we enjoyed a brief visit by interested Friends from Vermont, Meg & Judith. Meg is particularly interested in the worship of Conservative Friends. She raises sheep on her farm in Vermont. It was our special pleasure to meet & fellowship with these Christ lovers from New England.
Today I was reminded of a story Harvey Newlin used to tell us. He was a Conservative Friend in North Carolina. On his way to meeting he would see a neighbor sitting on his front porch. Harvey would invite the man to meeting. The neighbor refused, until one day he told Harvey he would accompany him. So the man sat in the silent meeting with Friends at……. After Meeting Harvey asked the neighbor how he liked meeting. The man replied brusquely, "Didn't like it." Harvey asked what about it he didn't like. The visitor replied, "I thought of every wrong thing I ever done." So, Harvey concluded his story with the comment that he thought the Lord had done some useful work within the visitor.
Our waiting worship may seem more difficult. Each member has responsibility for the life of our worship. How we live & relate to our Heavenly Father each day as well as how we submit to the Holy Spirit during worship is what keeps the lamp burning in our hearts as we worship.
We celebrated the life of our beloved Mary Eva Guindon (Meg) Stanley this past month. She was 86. A recognized overseer, she will be remembered as one of our kindest, most compassionate members, always holding up her faith in Christ Jesus & His way of righteousness.

11.13.2012

80th Celebration


We celebrated Lois' (our clerk) 80th birthday after meeting on First Day. Her son Mark decorated the downstairs dining area. It was a total surprise for her & great fun for all of us.

Salem Quarterly Meeting was held last Seventh Day. It was a blessed meeting. I have written below the gifts of ministry that were shared during worship.
Open thy heart to the shaft of Light that dispels hurt, fear, shame. May we be entirely open, laying all things before Him. Our Lord does & will speak directly to each one of us.
 Why does it matter how we live here on earth? Didn't Christ Jesus do all the work for us? God is pure, He will always be pure. If it is our desire to one day become united with God, as individuals & as a people we must become free from sin. Jesus did not say He came to free us from punishment, but to "save us from sin. "Silver mixed with tin is not pure. It is made pure by washing 7 times in a fire. This is much like our hands which need to be washed often to be kept clean. It is also the way that our God works within us as we submit ourselves to the cross of Christ, by putting aside own wills to abide in His. Some things are uncomfortable to have removed. As His Church we need to let some things go in order to purify, for God's pleasure, rather than what is pleasing in our own eyes. 
The Apostle Paul wrote, "All things are allowed, but all things are not expedient." A prophet of old time took a path that he was not shown. Even though he had clear messages from God as to what was right. In his state of self-will he could not see the sword  of death drawn to take his life. In this same way we do not immediately see the angel of death in the times we choose our own paths. 

11.04.2012

Salem & Quote

Last First Day (Sunday) a few of us from Salem Quarter gathered for worship at the Salem Meeting house for the fourth First Day combined worship. The gathered group was smaller than usual, but the worship covered by the God of Peace. (Photo taken during announcements following worship)



We have been reading the letters & memoranda of Elwood Dean in our pre-meeting sessions. I will copy a section of a letter he wrote following the Ohio Yearly Meeting of 1887.
…"The trials of our day are so great. The spirit that has been permitted to set in upon us is a delusive one. It's plausibility, it's adaptiveness to our carnal propensities, in seeking some easier way to the kingdom; its glitter and show are captivating, and will, perhaps try the foundations of everyone. But, there is an ark of safety: 'The foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.' Dear friend, does not the day call for suffering? 'Fill ye up, therefore, your measure of the cup of suffering for His body's sake, which is the Church' If we suffer (with Christ) we shall also reign with Him.' "…

10.24.2012

Gone with the wind?


"The wind blows where it will. Thou hears the sound there of, but cannot tell from whence it comes nor where it goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." John 3:5-8
All humans develop in the womb surrounded by water, hence we are all born of water in the fleshly sense. Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again in order to see, or to know the Kingdom of Heaven. No amount of human reasoning can reveal the nature of God. "Thou hearest the sound thereof, but, knows not" the source. Belief in Jesus as the Christ/Saviour is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. Some may look at such belief as archaic, even mythical. 
Check thy spirit, like the wind, Spirit speaks to spirit, bending or influencing thoughts. When these bodies of flesh have lived their term, will Jesus recognize thee as His Friend? He has said, "Thou art my Friend if thou does whatsoever I have commanded you." John 3:14 He has also said, "Today if ye will hear my voice, harden not your heart." Hebrews 3:7 How blows the wind of Christ in thy heart? 





10.09.2012

The Invisible God



"There is no Speech nor language where their voice is not heard. ......moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them is great reward." psalm 19 "But I say, have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.......All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient & gainsaying (stubborn) people" Romans 10 "Blessed be the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead......That the trial of your faith, being more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise & honor & glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable & full of glory: receiving the end (outcome) of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." I Peter 1 "It is written in the prophets, & they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, cometh unto me." 
John 6:45 spoken by Jesus 

9.25.2012

Our God is a Consuming Fire


Dear Lord Jesus, we pray that all the doors within us be opened to thee, let no door be kept shut from thee, that thy Light will sweep through us, cleansing us of every particle that is unclean. Would that we be clear of walking contrary to thy desire for us in any way. We would be free to walk as examples that others around us know Christ is the source of cleansing. (This is some essence of a spoken prayer given in our meeting for worship)
These past two weeks our worship (both quietly & vocally) called us to a purer walk as Christians. The Psalmist wrote, "A fire goeth before him and burneth up His enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world; the earth saw, and trembled." 97:3,4 The fire as purifier is sent sent from above to destroy the enemy to our souls.
Malachi prophesied, "For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." 4:1,2
Peter wrote in his second epistle; "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."…... "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever, Amen"  3:10, 18