Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Man In The Glory (poem)

I wake in the morning with thoughts of His love
Who is living for me in the glory above,
Ev'ry minute expecting He'll call me away,
And that keeps me bright all the rest of the day.

But the moments speed forward, and on comes the noon
Yet still I am singing: "He'll come very soon;"
And thus I am watching from morning till night
And pluming my wings to be ready for flight.

There's a Man in the glory I know very well
I have known Him for years, and His goodness can tell:
One day in His mercy He knock'd at my door,
And seeking admission, knock'd many times o'er.

But when I went to Him, and stood face to face,
And listen'd awhile to His story of grace,
How He suffer'd for sinners, and put away sin,
I heartily, thankfully welcomed Him in.

We have lived on together a number of years,
And that's why I neither have doubtings nor fears,
For my sins are all hid in the depths of the sea,
They were carried down there by the Man on the tree.

I am often surprised why the lip should be curl'd,
When I speak of my Lord to the man of the world;
And notice with sorrow his look of disdain,
When I tell him that Jesus is coming again.

He seems so content with his houses and gold,
While despising the ark, like the people of old,
And yet at His coming I'm sure he would flee,
Like the man in the garden, who ate of the tree.

I cannot but think it is foolish of souls
To put all their money "in bags which have holes",
To find in the day that is coming apace,
How lightly they valued the "riches of grace".

As fond as I am of His work in the field,
I would let go the plough, I would lay down the shield:
The weapons of service I'd put on the shelf,
And the sword in its scabbard, to be with Himself.

But I'll work on with pleasure, while keeping my eyes
On the end of the field where standeth the prize.
I would work for His glory, that when we shall meet
I may have a large sheaf to lay down at His feet;

That He too, with pleasure His fruit may review:
Is the Man in the glory a stranger to you?
A stranger to Jesus, what, do you know
He is washing poor sinners much whiter than snow?

Have you lived in a land where the Bible's unknown,
That you don't know the Man who is now on the throne?
Ah, did you but know half His beauty and power
You would not be a stranger another half–hour.

I have known Him so long that I'm able to say,
The very worst sinner He'll not turn away.
The question of sin, I adoringly see,
The Man in the glory has settled for me.

And as to my footsteps whatever the scene,
The Man in the glory is keeping me clean;
And therefore I'm singing from morning till night
The Man in the glory is all my delight.

                     —George Cutting

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Baklava Recipe

This recipe is amazing! I made this for Thanksgiving, and though it was a little tedious, it was simple and well worth it. For the printable directions, click here.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Believer's Heritage- Charles Journeycake

There was a tribe of Indians known as the Delaware. They lived on the land between the Hudson and the Potomac Rivers, and the area going far inland. When the first ship was anchored off New York Island in 1609 they were said to be standing on the river banks claiming "Behold, the gods have come to visit us".
These visitors came in great numbers, and the Delaware had to move from Pennsylvania West to Ohio around 1768. The Delaware who became Christians under the moravians were peaceful Indians. But, abuses from both the white man and other Indian tribes caused them to turn their backs on the religion and forbid missionaries from coming to them.
Just North of Philadelphia, William Penn addressed the Delaware Indians. It was with this tribe that the first was made by the Continental Congress, signed at Fort Pitt in 1778. They were to be part of the United States, and to have representation in Congress. Times were tough for the Delaware tribe, and many of the people fled to Canada for protection from the white man, which where many of their descendants reside today.
It was during these unsettling times that Charles Ne Sha Pa Na Cumin Journeycake was born on December 16, 1817 to Sally Williams and Solomon Journeycake, chief of the Delaware tribe. His maternal grandmother, Mary Sarah Castleman, was a white woman who had been captured and was married off to a partial Wyandotte Indian named Abraham Williams.
In 1828, the Journeycake family left their home in upper Sandusky River of Ohio by order of the government to travel to travel to their new home in Missouri; and then later, to NorthEastern Kansas, which was given to the Delaware tribe by treaty, but would later be reneged after the Civil War. Sally Journeycake was the Delaware Indian's interpreter for the Moravian missionaries of Kansas in 1829. She was instrumental in establishing the first Indian mission.
It was during her time as a translator that she learned many Scripture verses and hymns. She became deathly ill in 1827,  and was even thought to be dead for many hours. She awoke from this state and immediately began praising God. This was the first convert among the Delaware Indians since the ban of missionaries. It's been said that through all their hardships she remained strong in the faith of her Savior, and this had a great impact on Charles life.
Charles was saved and baptized in 1833. At that time, he and his mother were the only Christians in the Delaware tribe. As a young man, he would go around preaching Christ to not only his tribe, but also to other tribes around. He could speak in Delaware, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Seneca, and Ottawa dialects. Though, he didn't become an ordained Baptist preacher until September 23, 1872.
He would see his father's salvation only two years after his own conversion.
Charles would marry Jane Sosha in 1837. They would have a happy marriage of 56 years, and raise 10 children together. Their 2 sons would die in infancy, but all 8 of their daughters would go on to accept Christ as their Savior, and work in the Delaware Baptist Association or in his church.
Charles Journeycake enjoyed hunting, and he was good at it. In the fall of 1839, he was approached by his tribesmen and asked to lead a trapping expedition. He agreed on the condition that all would agree to attend prayers at camp every night and morning, and to bring their traps in Saturday evening and spend the Sabbath in rest and religious exercise.
Journeycake was elected Wolf Gang chief in 1855, and principal chief of the tribe in 1871. He would be the last chief of the Delaware Indians. As a tribal leader, Charles watched as his people were killed trying to protect their farms and homes from white settlers. In 1867, the tribe was able to purchase land from the Cherokee nation, and they moved to  the Indian territory of Cooweescoowee in Oklahoma. This was the sixth time the once mighty Delaware nation had been relocated. Charles gave up his title as chief and his people became part of the Cherokee nation.
This was again a hard time for his people. The Cherokee weren't happy that the white man had placed another tribe on their land, and there was blood shed on both sides. The American government claimed they would protect the Indians from attacks from the white settlers, but they had no jurisdiction to help with abuse from another Indian tribe. He lost one of his brothers to an assassination by an Indian renegade, and had at least one attempt on his own life.
Charles was one of the few literate Indians, and he had a large library at his home, which included books, periodicals, and musical instruments. He wanted others to be able to learn so he donated his time and money to the college at Muskogee. Even his daughters were considered cultured and well educated.
He also ministered at Delaware Baptist Church which was located near his home along Lightening Creek. The day of the church's dedication, it was filled with Indians, three white missionaries, and one white man. After three days of preaching, 15 people were saved. The church started out small with 11 members, 7 being his own family. Ten years of faithful preaching and the membership would become 266.
He was said to have had a vision, or dream, of a sheet of paper spread across the sky with names written on it, including his. He heard a voice say, "We must lengthen this life." as a form stretched his name. Charles believed that it was the Lord who had sent him a message not to fear for he would have a long life in service to Christ to his people.
He was always trying. to make life better for his people. He advocated for them around 24 times in Washington D.C. during his lifetime in hopes to gain legal rights and economic opportunities. Though  he was no longer chief, he acted as chief counsellor to his tribe. He established the first trading post and post office in his town of Alluwe.
The mindset of Charles Journeycake is best summed up in his speech to the Indian Defense Association in 1886, which is now carved into the NorthWest corner of Barcone College Chapel.
"We have been broken up and moved six times. We have been despoiled of our property. We thought when we moved across the Missouri River, and had paid for our homes in Kansas we were safe. But in few years the white man wanted our country. We had made good farms, built comfortable houses and big barns. We had schools for our children and churches where we listened to the same gospel the white man listened to. We had a great many cattle and horses. The white man came into our country from Missouri and drove our cattle and horses away across the river. If our people followed them they got killed. We try to forget these things, but we would not forget that the white man brought us the blessed gospel of Christ, the Christian's hope. This more than pays for all we have suffered."
He helped encourage the organization of the Delaware Baptist Association in 1891, and also translated the four gospels into the Delaware language.
He died on January 3, 1894. His body was buried near Alluwe, but was later relocated to Nowata,  now known as Armstrong Cemetery, because of the Oolagah dam and reservoir.
He is buried with his wife who preceded him in death in 1893. His tombstone reads 'A kind and loving father and a friend to the needy; he died as he lived, a pure and upright man, after many years of faithful service in the ministry and as chief adviser of his people, the Delawares'. His wife's inscription was simple 'None knew her but to love her'.
The next man to fill the Pastor's position at Delaware Baptist Church, S. H. Mitchell, would write a memoir entitled The Indian Chief, Journeycake, published in 1895. The full transcript can be read here.
In 1933, his grandchildren placed a marker along Oklahoma Highway 28 which reads '1200 feet East and 300 feet North stands the residence built in 1867, former home of Reverend Charles Journeycake and his wife, Jane Sosha Journeycake. He was the last tribal chief of the Delaware and pastor of the first Delaware Baptist Church in Indian Territory'.

Friday, December 2, 2016

How the Grinch Stole Thanksgiving (video sermon)

It seems like now-a-days you go from October Halloween straight to December Christmas. The stores no sooner put the Halloween candy on sale when they start putting out the Christmas decorations. Black Friday has become a crazy frenzy of greed which people focus on, and they over look the day before which is suppose to remind us to be thankful for what we have!
Thanksgiving is the time in America where we are suppose to give thanks to God for the things that we have, the people we love, and the blessings that God has given us. Paul says in I Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." The verses around it tell you to rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.
Why is there rioting? Because people aren't thankful. Humankind isn't naturally thankful for the blessings they have. We have one day which we are suppose to remember to give thanks, but there are 364 days a year where all we think about is what we want that we don't have!
Until we go through real trials, we don't truly understand how to be thankful. The Apostle Paul went through some things that gave him the ability to be content despite the circumstances that were going on around him.
We live in country where no one is thankful. They sit around with their hands out yelling "Give me...". This election really brought it out! They want free college, free housing, free groceries, free citizenry, etc. They aren't happy with what they have, no matter how good.
Being thankful can be very hard when things are going wrong, when we aren't getting our way, when the prognosis comes back bad. But, God's will is for us to be thankful in everything because what we go through is His will in Christ Jesus concerning us. Why? Because He has promised that it will work together for good! If you love God, if you are called according to His purpose, you can bank on that!
Every trial, blessing, hardship, struggle, joy, etc. mold you into what God wants you to be. These things change us to enable us to help others who are going through troubles. They help us to have compassion on those who are struggling. It's during those times that others see Christ in us!
So, how do we keep from being the Grinch that stole Thanksgiving- the person that isn't thankful?
First, you've got to get doubt out of your life. Don't doubt God. He is what He is. IF you doubt His Word, His truth, His power, His love, etc. then you won't be thankful.
Secondly, you've got to get selfishness out of your life. Selfishness is a form of pride- I deserve better.
Third, you need to get worldliness out of your life. Worldly people dwell on things, possessions. God says with food and raiment to be content- that's really all you need according to God!
Fourth, you need to do away with the critical spirit. Most people today criticize everything! They can find something wrong with everybody and everything. Start looking for the blessing that only God can point out. You can't be thankful when you're being bitter about everything.
Fifth, you need to be patient. Impatience keeps us from recognizing God's hand in His time. God waits until the last minute. Satan offers things instantly, immediately. God has a time table, and you need to learn to wait on Him.
Sixth, you need to get rid of coldness. A cold, indifferent heart will keep us from being thankful.
Lastly, you must get rid of rebellion. A stubborn spirit that tells God, "I don't care what you say or what you want. I'm doing it my way!"
God didn't make you an unthankful spirit! You weren't born a grinch. But, you can become that way by not getting rid of these things in your heart and in your life. Don't be the Thanksgiving grinch. Remember to be thankful for what God has blessed you with!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

More Excellent Things

There are some pretty great things in life! Some times I get annoyed when I see a label that claims something is new and improved when I thought the old one was perfect! But, there are times when things can seem perfect, and yet they can get even better.
When I was young, I thought life was pretty good. Then I learned I was a sinner on my way to hell. I accepted Christ's offer of salvation and found that life became great! But, the more I study the Scriptures the more I realize that great can become excellent if I allow it.
Romans 2:18- And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
Paul told the Romans that there were more excellent things out there. He knew that once they realized what these things were that they would approve of them. These more excellent things are part of God's will for our lives, and they are found in the Bible.
So, what are these more excellent things?
The first is salvation. All the others hinge on this one! Salvation is the lynchpin to the more excellent things available to a Christian.
Religion tells us that we have to work for our salvation. We are to sacrifice our desires and try to be as good as we can and maybe we can earn our salvation. But, I just couldn't be good enough.
The Old Testament gives us a whole list of commandments, and sacrifices that had to be brought when one of these many commandments were violated. But, the blood of those animals couldn't do away with my sins- it only covered them.
Hebrews 11:4- By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
But, I found a more excellent sacrifice! Christ died for my sins, and his payment not only covered my sins, it washed them away! I don't have to look for another sacrifice each time I mess up! I've found a more excellent thing!
The next one that I found was a more excellent name.
Hebrews 1:4- Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Christ was around when the world was created. He was known as the Word in John 1. But, it wasn't until He became flesh, dwelt among us, died for our sins, and rose again that He obtained a more excellent name- the Lord Jesus Christ!
We, too, have the chance to inherit a more excellent name. I was born as a son of Adam, but when I asked Christ to save my soul I became a son of God!
Son of Adam was condemned to die. He was born with only path- the wages of sin which is death; eternal damnation in hell.
But, the Son of God was born to live! His path is infinite- to stand unspotted before God; to rule with Christ; to live forever in New Jerusalem as a child of the King of Kings.
My name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life- that is truly a more excellent thing than I was originally born with!
After my Christian rebirth, I found a more excellent ministry.
Hebrews 8:6- But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
The Old Testament priests were the only ones who could go before God. And, even then, they couldn't really approach Him. They could minister to the people by offering sacrifices, and other things, but no one could stand before God and request or plead a cause.
Until Christ opened that door!
Now, I have a more excellent ministry than the priests of the Old Testament. I can tell others about Christ, I can approach His throne boldly with my requests, I can intercede in prayer on behalf of those around me. I have the chance to change the destiny of every man, woman, or child that I come in contact with!
My ministry far exceeds what the priests and prophets of past times could do. My ministry is a more excellent thing that isn't limited by my sinful nature or God's unapproachable Holiness.
While working the ministry I've been called to, I found was a more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 12:31- But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
The Corinthians were all about spiritual gifts. They wanted to have the special abilities that made them appear more spiritual to those around them. Paul wanted them to understand that there was a more excellent way.
The body is made up of many parts. When one part is lacking, or there are extra parts, the body is considered marred. The Corinthians couldn't understand that each person had a specific purpose in the body. Not everyone was meant to be an apostle who could heal. Not everyone was meant to be a prophet working miracles.
There are some people who are meant to be just the hands or the feet. It's truly selfish of us to want to be something other than what God created us to be. There are some people who won't be reached by the apostle or the prophet. There are some people who won't be converted by the miracles.
It doesn't seem very flattering until you realize that being what God designed you for is the more excellent way of living! Paul says in the next chapter that the best gift is Charity (not miracles, not speaking in tongues, not even being a missionary).
A helping hand. A kind word. A generous spirit. A loving heart. A gentle soul. Charity is what makes us different from the world. It's what catches the unsaved man's attention and makes him want to be different. His desire to understand what you have will open the door for you to witness to him.
Charity in a christian is the more excellent thing!
Throughout the ages, mankind has found some pretty great things. But, there are spiritual riches out there for us to strive for. Until we get into the Bible and learn all that Christ has for us, we won't see the opportunity to acquire the more excellent things.