Through the Storm, through the Night…

Romans 8:28 “And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good,

even to them that are called according to his purpose.”

Through the Storm, through the Night…

Back in 1932 I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My
wife, Nettie, and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s South Side.

One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis, where I was
to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn’t want to
go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But
a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis.

I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A
and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at
leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully.

I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to
stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I
shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.


The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd
called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a
messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram.


I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet were the


People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could
hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home.


All I could hear on the other end was “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.”


When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy.
I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died.


I buried Nettie and our little boy, both together, in the same
casket. Then I fell apart.


For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an
injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him any more or write gospel songs. I
just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well.


But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first
sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something
kept telling me to stay with Nettie.


Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him
that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.


From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But
still I was lost in grief.


Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor Fry, who
seemed to know what I needed. On the following Saturday evening he took
me up to Malone’s Poro College, a neighborhood music school.


It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.

Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as
though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody,
one into my head-they just seemed to fall into place:

Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
Through the storm, through the night
lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

As the Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my
spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel
farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open
to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that
day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

Tommy Dorsey/ “The Birth of ” Precious Lord

Neil and Rosemary Merckens

“Be still and know that I am God” ~Psalm 46


The Real Spiritual Cold War is on….

The Real Spiritual Cold War is on…

Yes there is a Cold War going on right now. It is an invisible one so we cannot see it.  There is a group of books authored by God that keeps us informed. Listen up!

 Job 2:2 “And the Lord said unto Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So satan answered the Lord and said, ‘ From going to and fro on the earth and from walking back and forth on it.’

The warning and the solution to battling it.

I Pet 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.”

The main weapon of war in a spiritual cold war!

James 4:7 “SUBMITT yourselves therefore unto God, RESIST the devil and he will flee from you.”

 All those proclaiming to be from God are not!! The word Christian has a different definition in our world than in the Bible. Some supposed men and women of God proclaim a Gospel of health, wealth and prosperity and teach many different ways to get to heaven and they sound so good. So how can we tell the difference??

II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. “

II Cor. 11:14-15 “And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” 

 John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 Protection comes from!”

Ephes. 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. “

Have a great day and don’t forget the greatest book ever written provides you with the Armor needed to do battle. Apart from God’s power you are helpless to do battle!

James 4:7″ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Pride, a Very Dangerous thing…

Pride…a Very Dangerous thing…

Pride is something our world says is very good for us. We are taught by our world that by ourselves we are special and that we deserve all we can get. That thought process is very spiritually dangerous. Listen to how God would have us to view pride.

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Proverbs 25:6,7 “Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men; For it is better that he say to you, ‘Come up here’, than that you should be put lower in
the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.”

Fill in the blank. I can do all things through _________ who strengthens me.

The answer from scripture is, Christ.

It’s a very tough thing to recognize your unworthiness while a very easy thing to see yourself as worthy of all things. It requires we be honest with the evaluation of ourselves. Humility is not natural to us. Unfortunately, neither is honesty.

To be lifted up by our Lord and Savior is the ultimate compliment and encouragement. And when Jesus lifts you up you truly feel special.

I Pet5:6,7 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.”

Remember you are special because of Jesus and not because of you! That attitude changes all our priorities. It’s ok to feel special when Jesus is the reason you are!

Tips for Daily Living in the New Year….

Tips for Daily Living in the New Year…..

If you want to get the most out of today, try these things:

  1. Focus on your responsibilities, not your rights. It’s an imperfect world and you won’t always be treated fairly. If you want to go far, travel light. Unload your resentments! Scripture says, “. . . you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst . . . “(Phil 4:8)
  2. Associate with positive people. The only difference in what you are now and what you’ll be five years from now is the books you read, the company you keep and most importantly the God you serve. Henry Ford once said, “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”

What do your friends bring out in you? Solomon said, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Mat 6:33, Prov 13:20)

  1. Make today the best day of your life. When Shirley Temple asked her mother what the happiest moment in her life was, she replied, “Right now.” “But what about the day you were married?”

Shirley asked. Her mum said, “My happiest moment then was then, but my happiest moment now is now. You see, you can live only in the moment you’re in, so to me that’s the happiest moment.” Lasting happiness and contentment comes when you know Jesus as Lord and Savior! So be content and happy!  (Phil 4:11, Isa 52:7)

  1. Present yourself to God’s service. It is the one priority in life with eternal meaning that pleases God. He desires it and I need it. Rom 12:1, 2

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice…” & Heb 12:1, 2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and Finisher of our faith…”

  1. Start each day by reading, praying and meditating on Gods truths for your life. 2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

So, “How are your morning devotions”?

  1. The best daily tip of all is; seek out the One Who made you, loves you and sent His only begotten Son to restore you…..(John 3:16, I John 5:11-13)

What great priorities! If His mercies are “new every morning,”

(Lam 3:23) and He “daily loadeth us with benefits” (Ps 68:19), then you

should get up every day and announce, “This is the day the Lord has

made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

And of course scripture has many more tips for daily living.

If we put #5 into action those tips will reveal themselves.


Happy hunting……….

New Year’s Resolution…

New Year’s Resolution…

We have all heard that it’s good to make a New Year’s Resolution and then to even keep it which most of us struggle with. There is one resolution that has eternal consequences if we do not make it. And the beauty of it is that once you make it you do not need any of your efforts to have it be effective. That resolution is to ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord of your life. And for those who have already been ‘born again’ you too can make a resolution for the New Year in regards to your serving Jesus. You see, we all will serve either self and this world or Jesus. Yes, ‘born again’ CHRISTians run the risk of serving self and the world also so do not think you are immune to it.

For all of us whether we are ‘born again’ or not we struggle with the pace of this world controlling us. “Haste makes waste” is not a verse of scripture but it does include some biblical wisdom. I am convinced that one of satans ways of distracting us and keeping us from thinking about God is to make us so busy we think we do not have time for a relationship with our heavenly Father. Especially in the fast paced age we live in. For our days to be spiritually complete we must start them with the One who can accomplish that in our lives. Our God designed us to be busy so not working or having a full schedule is not the answer. The question becomes what are my priorities today and which priority do I start my day with. Now that we have touched on one problem let’s see what the solution is.

II Thes 3:10, 11 “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this; If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.”

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”

When it comes to where you will spend eternity you must make sure that speed or complacency are not involved in the decision. When you’re moving too fast you tend to make a lot of mistakes. At least that is my experience. My many experiences. And you can end up going very fast – but in the wrong direction!

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”

For those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior there is a need to find your way. And it must be at the top of our priority planning list.

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come unto the Father but by Me.”

So slow down today and…….

Hebrews 12:1-2 ” Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

You may have just found the one New Year’s resolution that makes sense for eternity.

For those who are ‘born again’ here is a great New Year’s resolution.

Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.


Commitment is measured by Attitude…

Commitment is measured by Attitude!

Mat 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he
will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be
loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve
God and money.”


Isn’t it strange how a 20 dollar bill
seems like such a large amount when
you donate it to church, but such a
small amount when you go shopping?

Isn’t it strange how endless an
hour seems when we are serving God,
but how short it is when we watch a
basketball game for  2-3 hours ?

Isn’t it strange how 2 hours seem so
long when you’re at church, and how short
they seem when you’re watching a good movie?

Isn’t it strange that you can’t find the
words to say when you’re praying,
but you have no trouble thinking what
to talk about with a friend?

Isn’t it strange how difficult and
boring it is to read one chapter of
the Bible, but how easy it is to
read 100 pages of a popular novel?

Isn’t it strange how everyone wants
front-row-tickets to concerts or games,
but they do whatever is possible to sit
at the last row in Church?

Isn’t it strange how we need to know
about an event for Church 2-3 weeks
before the day so we can include it in
our agenda, but we can adjust it for
other events in the last minute?

Isn’t it strange how difficult it is
to learn a fact about God to share it
with others, but how easy it is to
learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

Isn’t it strange how we believe everything
that magazines and newspapers say, but we
question the words in the Bible?

Isn’t it strange how everyone wants a
place in heaven, but they don’t want to
believe in Jesus to get there?

Isn’t it strange how we send jokes
in e-mails and they are forwarded right
away, but when we are going to send
messages about God, we think about it
twice before we share it with others?


Mat 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.”

America needs Israel and God…

America needs Israel and God

Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

There is a movement in our country and in our world to turn our backs on Israel and in some countries to eliminate them forever. When you look at scripture you find that it is a very dangerous path. God made an eternal covenant with the Jewish nation so to think that some nation or group of nations or group of Christians could ever change that is spiritual suicide. Also to abandon them would be to commit the same.

Israel is the one nation in our world created by God and has a covenant with God. A covenant like this is one that God will keep because God always keeps His word. Circumcision for the Jew is a sign of that covenant.

Gen 17:7-10 “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;”

As long as we see the sun and the moon the covenant with Israel exists.

Psalms 89”30-37 “If his sons forsake My law and do not walk in My judgments, If they break My statutes And do not keep My commandments, Then I will punish their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My loving kindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.”

Both the Christian Church and Israel have covenants with our Savior. One does not replace the other. And some Jews and some Christians have chosen to reject God’s covenant with them but that does not make it obsolete. The following are reasons why the Church does not replace Israel and the covenant God made with it.

1. Romans 9, 10, 11 talk of Israel not a cast away.
a. Rom 11:1 “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying…”
2. Rom 11:17,18 Some of the Jewish people just like the Gentiles rejected God’s truths and paid the penalty for that rejection but it was not the whole Jewish nation. Check out the 7 churches in Revelation 1-3 and see how many believers fall short and did the same. The covenant is made new and not disbanded.
a. Heb 8:7-13 “ For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah– not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
3. Israel was blinded for a moment in time so that we Gentiles would have the opportunity to be saved. That truth does not reflect a covenant disbanded. Israel will be blessed for their function in our salvation.
a. Rom 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
b. Rom 11:26, 17 “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
4. In Revelation 7 we see the 144,000 evangelists during the tribulation. They come from the tribes or families of Jacob and Israel. If the covenant was disbanded than this would not make sense.

The Church does have a responsibility to Israel;
• Psalm 122:6 Pray for Israel
• Isa 40:1 Bring comfort to Israel
• Isa 62:1 Speak out in defense of Israel
• Gen 12:3 Bless Israel or you or your nation will be cursed if you curse them
• Rom 15:27 God will bless those who bless Israel. America has reaped this promise and unfortunately is close to abandoning it.
• From Israel we obtained the;
o Jesus
o Mary, Joseph, Moses, Isaiah, David, Joshua, Matthew, Mark, John, Peter, Paul, etc
o The Prophets
o The Scriptures
o The Patriarchs
o John 4:22 Salvation is of the Jews
o Israel the small postage stamp of a nation has always been the focus of our world and will continue to be until Jesus returns to put an end to sin and satan.

The conclusion is simple. God loves both the Jew and the Gentile and for that I am eternally grateful and I for one will never turn my back on God’s covenants with either group.