November 27, 2013

Abide With Me

The following is a prayer sent from Margaret and Henk.  It is a beautiful rendition of the hymn Abide With Me.  

Posted with permission from my Dad.


November 21, 2013

It Goes Without Saying....

Yet I feel it needs to be said. Lena, my wife for 37 years, is my primary care giver. She has been with me, by my side on this ALS journey these past 2 and a half years. My life has drastically changed, and hers has as well. 

It is difficult for me to be a husband to her and to communicate with her. She misses that most of all. Taking care of me takes a mental, emotional and physical toll on her. I pray for her every day that the Lord would strengthen her for this task. Needless to say, I love her very much. 

The road ahead is going to be more difficult, but God is faithful to His Word and promises never to leave us or forsake us.


November 7, 2013

Abiding In the Vine

John's gospel contains seven "I am" metaphors used by the Lord Himself: I am the door, the good shepherd, the bread of life, the living water, the true vine, etc. Continuing on with the theme of the vine, Jesus says "I am the vine, ye are the branches" (John 15:5a). Christ Jesus is the vine, and believers are the branches drawing nourishment from the vine.

When the branches are separated from the vine, they will quickly dry up and will not bear any fruit. So it is vitally important for the branches to "abide in the vine" (John 15:5b). "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me" (John 15:4).

This begs the question: What does it mean for believers to abide in Christ? Union with Christ and communion with Christ means to have a relationship with Christ. A relationship involves communication. How do we communicate with Christ and how does He communicate with us?

John answers the question in verse 7:"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7) He speaks to us through His Word, and we speak to Him in prayer. Read and pray, that is how we abide in Christ. Now we know what our duty as believers should be: read His Word and pray.

The pulpit in the new church in Vineland has a carving of a grape vine and two branches bearing a cluster of grapes. The words "I am the true vine" are engraved above. The visual lesson is obvious: if you want to be fruitful and enjoy union and communion with Christ, you need to abide in the vine.