Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Have Moved to Wordpress

This will be my last post on this site.

I have started on new site called: "Pray for Revival!"

Thank you for praying for spiritual revival!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Link's Player Devotional on the Use of Our Eyes...


The Links Daily Devotional is available at this site Monday through Friday each week. The devotional is also available via e-mail, where it is sent right to your e-mail Inbox. To receive the Links Daily Devotional via e-mail, please subscribe at the right.

Monday’s devotion (9/7/2009)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I will set before my eyes no vile thing. (Psalm 101:3, NIV)

Not too many people follow a shank with their eyes. Rather, the moment the ball comes off the club, they drop their head and wince. It’s just too hard to look at something that ugly!

If only we could control our eyes in all circumstances like this.

When David wrote that he would set his eyes on no vile thing, his context was simple: he wanted his house to be a blameless one. And he wanted to be the leader of that blamelessness. This means he had to be prepared to deny access to anything that would defile his home.

Certainly we make every attempt to do this against those who would steal our possessions or do us physical harm. Some folks install elaborate alarm systems; others keep a gun available for self-defense. Our doors have peepholes that allow us to see who is on the other side before we throw those doors open to potentially harmful strangers. Some live in gated communities, where a guard in the shack keeps an extra eye on things. In so many ways, we employ protection.

And yet, we often forget to be so diligent with our souls. What enters our minds can enter our souls quite quickly if our defenses are not in place. And what enters our minds comes through only two avenues: our eyes and our ears.

Which makes it imperative that we ask two questions with great regularity:

- What am I allowing my eyes to see?

- What am I permitting my ears to hear?

A psalmist wrote elsewhere of lifting his eyes to the hills, seeking the help of the Lord (Psalm 121:1). It is a powerful suggestion, that God’s beauty leads us to God. Our normal mode of operation is to let our eyes wander through the world with little discernment, figuring that God can win out over any trash that “happens” to make its way into our brain.

This is not the choice David was seeking to make in his own life. He wanted to establish a proactive defense against the things that would threaten his soul and the souls in his care. We know, sadly, that David was not always successful in this defense, and that he paid a dear price for his unguarded moments. But that is all the more reason to learn from his example, both in its positive and negative aspects.

We cannot always govern what comes knocking on the door of our mind—but we can make the decision now to shut our eyes and our ears from things that would tear us from right relationship with God.


Jeff Hopper

September 8, 2009

Copyright 2009 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Prayer Book

The Love of Christ is my prayer book

Gerhard Tersteegen (quoted in The Hidden Life of Prayerby D.M. M'Intyre

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Expository Preaching is Crucial for Revival

Desiring God Blog

God’s Word, Good Exposition, Great Joy, Much Strength

Posted: 15 Aug 2009 11:03 PM PDT

(Author: John Piper)

Here's another reason I am joyfully committed to expository exultation, that is, preaching.

Look at this amazing statement of what biblical exposition is like when it's done well—in the power of God's Spirit and riveted on biblical texts.

Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people.... [T]he Levites helped the people to understand the Law.... They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.... And all the people went their way...to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them. (Nehemiah 8:5-8,12)

First, there was a reader of the word of God. Then there were those who explained the words. Then there was true understanding in the minds of the people. Then there was great rejoicing "because they hand understood the words."

It is astonishing to me how many pastors apparently don't believe in pursuing the joy of their people in this way. Evidently they think it doesn't work. I'm sure there are many reasons for this abandonment of biblical exposition.

But I simply want to wave the flag and say: There was joy then. And there is joy today when God's people see real, divine meaning in texts that they had not seen before.

If you want to see a strong church, keep in mind that it is no accident that in this very context the writer says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).

What joy? The joy of verse 12: "All the people went their way...to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them."

God's truth followed by faithful, Spirit-anointed exposition, leads to great joy, which is the strength of God's people. So give the sense, brothers. Give the sense!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

David Livingstone Died on His Knees

Worldwide Missions
Missionary Biographies

David Livingstone
Africa's Great Missionary and Explorer
by Galen B. Royer

Born at Blantyre, Scotland, March 19, 1813.
Died at Ilala, Africa, May 1, 1873.

1. Parents. Niel Livingstone, whose ancestry came from Ulfa Island, of the Staffa group of Great Britain, first as a tailor and then as a tea merchant, made a moderate living in Blantyre. Quick temper, warm and tender heart, deep and noble convictions; a great reader of good books, a member of the Congregational Church; family worship morning and evening, regular attendance at church and strict observance of the Sabbath, were marked characteristics of his life and home. His wife, Agnes Hunter, to whom he was married in 1810, shared fully in the high ideals of her husband. To them were born five sons and two daughters, two sons dying in infancy.

David Livingstone2. Early Life. David, the second son, was born on March 19, 1813. From childhood he showed unusual love for nature, and through great perseverance, which always characterized his life, gained prizes and excelled his playmates in many ways. At ten he made his own living in the cotton mills while spending his evenings in night school. Through reading Dick's "Philosophy of the Future State" he was led to confess Christ; the life of Henry Martyn, first modern missionary to Mohammedans, and Charles Gutslaff, medical missionary to China, fixed his life purpose. "It is my desire to show my attachment to the cause of Him Who died for me by devoting my life to His service." Contact with Robert Moffat, pioneer missionary to Africa, prompted Livingstone to offer his services to this needy field. Ordained as a missionary in Albion Street Chapel, London, on November 8, 1840; only one night's visit home and that an all night's conference about missions, closed in the morning by David reading Psalms 121 and 135 at family worship, and this future missionary and explorer was walking towards Glasgow on his way to Africa. He was accompanied by his father to Broomiclaw, where they parted; never to meet again.

3. First Experiences in Africa. On December 8, 1840, Livingstone sailed for Africa. Going by Cape Town and Algoa Bay he was soon in the interior where Moffat was at work in the Bechuana territory. On the way thither he was incensed at the unkind treatment of the natives by Europeans. Mingling freely among them, healing their diseases, disarming their hostilities by interesting them in something unusual, he soon reached the conclusion that a noble and true heart was a better mainspring to overcome and direct raw natives than the abuse heretofore given them. His intense desire that all natives should have an opportunity to embrace Christianity, and his decided preference to labor where no white man had worked, led him to locate at Mabotsa, northward in the interior. This locality was infested by lions; and one day one which the natives had wounded sprang out of the bushes, seized Livingstone at the shoulder, tore his flesh and broke his arm. Ever after he could not raise his gun to shoot without great pain.

4. Marriage. In 1844 he was united in marriage to Mary Moffat, oldest daughter of Robert and Mary Moffat. To them six children were born, one dying in infancy. Few couples enjoyed living together better than this one; but for the sake of Africa they deprived each other of association a great part of their lives. Thoughtless and unfriendly remarks about their separation caused them much heartache.

5. First Explorations. In 1845 the Livingstones moved to Chonuane, and later to Kolebeng, where Sechele, the chief of the tribes, became his first convert. These moves were but the first steps of this daring man's life. Each letter home ended with the words, "Who will penetrate the heart of Africa?" He sickened at heart when he heard of well-fed Christians at home engaged in hair-splitting discussions over doctrinal themes when millions were dying without the Gospel where he was. At last he began a tour, passed over Kalahari Desert, where for days no water could be found, and overcoming almost insurmountable difficulties, discovered Lake 'Ngami. The chief, Sevituane, welcomed him, but on account of the unhealthy conditions the country thus found did not prove suitable for a mission station.

6. Self-Denial and Losses. Livingstone conceived the idea that, if a way were opened from the interior to the coast, Christianity, civilization and commerce would move freely to these benighted people. But the undertaking involved fearful hardships and much self-denial. It was about this time that he wrote, "I place no value on anything I have or possess except in relation to the kingdom of Christ." Taking his wife and children to Cape Town, where amidst many tears and heart struggles he saw them sail for England on April 23, 1852, he set his face to this new purpose. But he found many obstacles. The Dutch Boers, who had robbed and subjected the natives to the worst slavery, opposed his efforts to the extent of destroying his home and carrying away his household goods. Undaunted, however, by any opposition, exploring the regions round about preparatory to the greater task of reaching the coast, preaching, teaching and healing, -- making notes and observations of a geographical and scientific nature and forwarding the same to England, -- thus he sought to do the Father's will as he wrote, "As for me, I am determined to open up Africa or perish."

7. The Horrors of the Interior. About the middle of 1853 Livingstone reached Linyanti, on the Zambesi. Here Chief Sekeletu rendered him all the aid he had for the journey, and the missionary explorer, with a few tusks, coffee, beads, etc., and accompanied with twenty-seven Barotse men and some oxen, threw himself into the heart of Africa on November 11, 1853, and after seven months of untold hardship, reached St. Paul de Loanda, on the west coast. During the journey he had thirty-one attacks of intermittent fever; towards its close these were accompanied by dysentery of the most painful type. Often he was destitute of food and especially of the kind needed for his condition. The horrors of polygamy, incest and cannibalism were appalling. The cruelties of slavery, seen in families broken up, gangs chained, bodies of those that perished from indescribable brutalities, lying by the wayside or their skeletons hanging from trees, while others were floating in the river until at night they interfered with the paddles of his boat,--such manifestations of the infamous slave trade constantly drew mightily on the tender heart of the noble missionary.

8. An Heroic Return. At St. Paul de Loanda, because no one expected him to arrive, there was no mail. A boat offered him passage to England; but though needing to rest and regain his health he started for the interior with his men after a short rest, because he had promised to return them to their chief, Sekeletu. When the news that he was alive reached England, astonishment and admiration filled the minds of the people. The Royal Geographical Society awarded him its highest honors, a gold medal.

9. New Discoveries. A journey of two thousand miles was before Livingstone as he began his return trip from the west coast eastward on September 24, 1854. Many hostile tribes had to be met and tactfully handled; many dangers were found in the way. After arriving at Linyanti on September 11, 1855, he went down the Zambesi River and discovered the famous, beautiful Victoria Falls and two longitudinal elevations where Europeans could live free from fever and the fly. His map and observations were of greatest value to the Royal Geographical Society. On May 20, 1856, he reached Quilimane on the east coast and thus covered a territory never before traversed by a white man.

10. First Visit Home. After sixteen years of absence Livingstone made his first visit to England, arriving December 9, 1856. Had he risen from the grave he could not have been looked upon with more interest or loaded with more honors. Societies, colleges and others vied with each other in doing him honor. Mrs. Livingstone, who had heard the unfriendly criticism about their prolonged separation and her husband's exploring instead of doing regular missionary work, and who had endured the long, lonely months of waiting, stood by his side through all this flood of honor. Lord Shaftesbury on one occasion "paid her equal tribute with her husband and all England said 'Amen.'"

11. Results in England. While at home, Livingstone wrote his first book, "Missionary Travels," a great success in sales and awakening interest in Africa. On this trip a very serious matter, which had absorbed the attention of those interested, was settled. The London Missionary Society which sent him out felt that it was not right to use his time in exploring the country. Livingstone had a strong conviction that "the end of the exploration is the beginning of the enterprise." At last, because so many looked upon his work as not missionary, he withdrew from the Board and engaged with the Royal Geographical Society and went out as the Queen's consul.

12. Extensive Explorations. On March 10, 1858, Dr. and Mrs. Livingstone, with their son Oswell, sailed from England. At Cape Town Mrs. Livingstone became so ill that she had to remain behind, and did not rejoin her husband till several years after. He explored the mouth of the Zambesi, made three trips on the Shire River and at last discovered Lake Nyassa. In 1860 he visited his old friend, Sekeletu; in 1861 he explored the river Rovuma and assisted in establishing the Universities Mission. Through all these years he was establishing sites for missions, preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, and contributing religious and scientific articles to periodicals in England. His accounts of the atrocities of the slave-trade stirred the whole world.

13. Mrs. Livingstone Dies. After spending a year at the Cape, Mrs. Livingstone returned to England and placed her children in school. In 1862 she joined her husband in Africa, but was not with him over three months when, from the banks of the Shire, she went to be with her Lord. In all of life's hardships and trials nothing called forth words from our hero like these, -- "For the first time in my life I want to die."

14. Last Visit to England. The following year, while exploring the region about Lake Nyassa, he was asked home by the government. He returned with the purpose of exposing the slave-trade and to obtain means to open a mission north of the Portuguese territory. His new book, "The Zambesi and Its Tributaries," 4,800 copies of which sold the first evening it was on the market, awakened deep interest in Africa and stirred up great indignation against the Portuguese because of its revelations of their treatment of the natives.

While at home, Livingstone with his aged mother and his children, save one, had a family reunion. Robert, the absent one, had first gone to Africa to find his father. Failing, he sailed for America, enlisted in the Federal army, was wounded, taken prisoner, died in a hospital, and was buried in the National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Thus, while the father was giving his life for the liberty of the black man in Africa, the son gave his life for the freedom of the same race in America.

Livingstone declined to return to Africa at the direction of the Royal Geographical Society simply to determine the watershed of the continent, though every inducement was offered him, and to accomplish this would have been the crowning achievement of his explorations. To preach, heal and help the African, and not to give up his missionary purposes, was still the impelling motive of all his efforts.

15. Reverses. His equipment upon his return to Africa by way of Bombay was not as good as it should have been. Many reverses met him. His helpers proved of little help; some of his people were ill behaved, and had to be dismissed; old scenes about Lake Nyassa haunted him and disappointed hopes preyed on his mind; the inhuman cruelties of the slave trade were a constant nightmare to him. For a time he turned his attention to the watershed question, but found many hindrances. It was at this time that Musa, with some followers, forsook him and reported the explorer dead. In spite of all this he pressed forward. His medicine chest, so essential to him, disappeared; he reached Lake Tanganyika; discovered Lake Moero; afterwards Lake Bangweolo; suffered greatly from sickness, and returned to Ujiji to find his goods all gone.

16. Hardships Indeed. The next two years, July, 1869, to October, 1871, were spent in a journey from Ujiji to the river Lealaba and return, and were perhaps the saddest years of his life. He beheld the thousand villages about which Moffat told, and which caused him to give his life to Africa. He, himself, preached to thousands and tens of thousands of natives. But his strength failed him in 1871. Feet sore from ulcers; teeth falling out through sickness; weary of body and sick of heart, he lay in his hut for eighty days, longing for home, now far beyond his reach. His sole comfort and help was his Bible, which he read through four times during this period, and upon the flyleaf of which he wrote these significant words: "No letters for three years. I have a sore longing to finish and go home, if God wills." Supplies and letters had been sent, but were intercepted by the Portuguese. The Royal Geographical Society had sent out a search, but found him not.

17. The Discoverer Discovered. Just at this moment of mystery about Livingstone's whereabouts, James Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald, sent Henry M. Stanley to locate the explorer "at any cost." Almost marvelous was Stanley's effort. Once he wrote, "No living man shall stop me. Only death can prevent me; but death, -- not even this. I shall not die; I will not die; I cannot die. Something tells me that I shall find him. And I write it larger, find him, FIND HIM." At last after forced marches he met Susi, who came to meet Stanley, and then soon the explorer himself. "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" said Stanley, as he lifted his hat. "Yes," replied the pale, weary, grey-haired missionary. "I thank my God I am permitted to see you," said Stanley; and to this came the reply, "I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you."

18. Overjoy. It was a glad day for Livingstone. Letters and supplies were abundant and appreciated. He forgot his ailments and became overjoyed in this Good Samaritan act. Together the men spent four months exploring Lake Tanganyika. Stanley became a hero worshipper of his companion. Once he wrote, "I challenge any man to find a fault in his character... The secret is that his religion is a constant, earnest and sincere practice."

19. "Forward." Once in his early life Livingstone said, "Anywhere, providing it is forward." Thus he was impelled even in old age. For, instead of returning with Stanley, as he well might have done and was urged to do, he made new resolve to locate the watersheds, secured new men and pressed into the interior. On March 19, 1872, when fifty-nine years old he wrote, "My birthday! My Jesus, my King, my Life, my All. I again dedicate my whole self to Thee." But the grey-haired, footsore explorer and missionary this time went forward thru swollen rivers and dismal swamps, every day of the march being marked with dysentery and most excruciating pains. At every convenient place he would have his carriers stop and let him rest. April 29 was his last day of travel. He had reached the village of Chitambo, in Ilala, on Lake Bangweolo. Here, sick unto death, he made observations, carefully brought his journal up to date, drew maps and gave orders. How heroic was the spirit in him to the last!

20. Victory. He rested quietly on the 30th; but at four on the morning of May 1,1873, the boy who slept at Livingstone's door wakened, beheld his master, and fearing death, called Susi. "By the candle still burning they saw him, not in bed; but kneeling at the bedside, with his head buried in his hands upon the pillow. The sad, yet not unexpected truth soon became evident; he had passed away on the furthest of all his journeys, and without a single attendant. But he had died in the act of prayer, -- prayer offered in that reverent attitude about which he was always so particular; commending his own spirit, with all his dear ones as he was wont, into the hands of his Savior; and commending Africa, his own dear Africa, with all her woes and sins and wrongs, to the Avenger of the oppressed and the Redeemer of the lost."

Words can never do justice to the noble course which his faithful servants, led by Susi, now took. They removed the heart from the body of their dead leader and buried it under a tree near where he died. They dried the body in the sun, tied it to a pole and after nine months' march reached the coast and shipped it to England. On April 18, 1874, the remains were laid to rest, amidst greatest honors, in Westminster Abbey, London.

21. Some Results. The news of Livingstone's death quickened the pulse-beat of the world and roused many thousands to accept his interpretation of his own efforts, "the end of the exploration is the beginning of the enterprise." Africa became at once the favored field for missionary enterprise of almost every denomination. The Congo Free State, through the efforts of Stanley, upon whom Livingstone's mantle fell, was agreed to by hundreds of native chiefs, and the "Great Powers at Berlin framed and ratified a constitution for the Free State, carrying out almost every principle for which Livingstone had contended."
Chronology of Events in Livingstone's Life
1813 Born at Blantyre, in Lanarkshire, Scotland, March 19.
1833 Real conversion took place in his life.
1836 Entered school in Glasgow.
1838 Accepted by London Missionary Society, September.
1840 Ordained missionary in Albion St. Chapel, November 20
Sailed on H.M. Ship "George" for Africa, December 8.
1841 Arrived at Kuruman, July 31.
1842 Extended tour of Bechuana country begun February 10.
1843 Located at Mabotsa, August.
1844 Marriage to Mary Moffat of Kuruman.
1846 Located at Chonuane with Chief Sechele.
1847 Moved to Kolobeng.
1848 Sechele, first convert, baptized, October 1.
1849 Lake 'Ngami discovered, August 1.
1850 Royal Geographical Society awarded royal donation, 25 guineas.
1851 Discovered the upper Zambesi August 3.
1852 Mrs. Livingstone and four children sailed from Cape Town April 23.
1853 Journey from Linyanti to west coast, November 11 to May 31, 1854.
1854 French Geographical Society awarded silver medal;
University of Glasgow conferred degree LL.D.;
Journey from west coast back to Linyanti, September 24 to September 11, 1855.
1855 Journey from Linyanti to Quilimane on east coast, November 3 to May 20, 1856;
Royal Geographical Society awarded Patron's Gold Medal.
1856 Arrived in London on first visit home, December 9.
1857 Freedom of cities of London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and many other towns; Corresponding Member of American Geographical and Statistical Society, New York; Royal Geographical Society, London; Geographical Society of Paris; K.K. Geographical Society of Vienna; Honorary Fellow of Faculty and Physicians of Glasgow; Degree of D.C.L. by University of Oxford; elected F.H.S.; appointed Commander of Zambesi Expedition and her Majesty's Consul at Tette, Quilimane, Senna
1858 Returned with Mrs. Livingstone to Africa, March 10.
1859 River Shire explored and Lake Nyassa discovered, September 16.
1862 Mrs. Livingstone died at Shupanga, April 27;
Explored the Yovuma River.
1864 Arrived in Bombay, June 13; London, July 23.
1866 Arrived at Zanzibar, January 28.
1867 Discovered Lake Tanganyika April.
1868 Discovered Lake Bangweolo, July 18.
1869 Arrived at Ujiji, March 14.
1871 Reached Nyangwe, March 29; returned to Ujiji a "living skeleton," October 23.
Henry M. Stanley found him October 28.
1872 Gold Medal by Italian Geographical Society.
1873 Died in his tent at Ilala, May 1.
1874 Body buried with honors in Westminster Abbey, London, April 18.

Copied by Stephen Ross for WholesomeWords.org from Christian Heroism in Heathen Lands by Galen B. Royer. Elgin, Ill.: Brethren Publishing House, 1915.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Should We Pray For Revival? By Jay West

Should we pray for revival, look for revival, anticipate revival, live for revival, journal for revival, read about revival or just plain let it happen - can we step out in faith and go for revival in our churches and see what might happen - if God might show up -or do we have to take a passive stance and wait - is it faith to wait or faith to step out and begin having revival services and see what the Lord might do? I have often thought that if a pastor would just step out and say - we are going three nights or five nights and then see what God might think or how He might respond - would God honor that and demonstrate himself strong and would those who are there experience a fresh touch and His manifested presence - I believe He would and that they could -

I so long and hunger for revival and transformation - something that brings people to Jesus - and demonstrates the power of the Kingdom, and also is not centered on one individual, but has a pluralistic aspect of leadership to it, in other words something that is not personality driven and also something that intentionally reaches out and touches lives outside of the church building where the revival may be happening - where ministry happens in the street - and at the marketplace, in schools and government - steadier than even what we hear from Bill Johnson's church, and something that is much more frequent - where people experience the supernatural power and presence of God in public places -

But also where the ministry of helps is extended so that food, clothing, supplies, are provided for along with houses being painted, cars repaired, yards spruced up, and people's lives are repaired and strangers are genuinely helped- much like in the book of Acts where they sold their possessions and shared with those who had a need -where marriages are restored, and children come home, and adults get off drugs and other addictions, multitudes of folks get right with God, and abuse drops significantly because Jesus has walked into their lives - through the personal touch of folks like you and me.

And as a result the Kingdom is advanced, the enemy is pushed way back, crime goes down, poverty goes down, education improves, social problems decline, unwed mothers is a foreign term, abortions won't be performed, primarily because there isn't a demand, many clubs and bars close but those who owned them are now gainfully employed elsewhere with business activity that assists, promotes and helps others for the common good,...

And a city and an area begin to change and the real deal of the Gospel comes out and not only does the city change, but people in political realms take notice, and begin to search out what is happening, and local leadership challenges state leadership, and state leadership challenges national leadership - and people begin to link arms instead of packing a side arm wondering who they might hurt next - and they actually begin to minister without even knowing what they are doing...

so much so that what they previously thought was normal is now outdated and reorganized by an anointed move of God - and the church in that town or city which was once barely tolerated is now so appreciated that the public sector would gainfully use the church in many major decisions and the media which previously gave the church perhaps 30 seconds of news, would now spend the majority of it's broadcasts dealing with issues that God was influencing through the lives of His people who are on fire and experiencing personal revival.

Prayer moves to the forefront, and arguments are dropped, the complainers and whiners begin to change their confession to one of positive reinforcement as they encounter Jesus and the Kingdom of God no longer takes a back seat, but like Rosa Parks, the Kingdom moves to the front of the bus - and the Holy Spirit is now the driver and all who are on the bus go where the Holy Spirit takes us - not caring anymore about personal belongings, or having our name on a plaque or seeing our name in the newspaper, but now denying themselves and taking up their cross and daily following Jesus while recognizing and working towards a unified goal of simply lifting up the name of Jesus so that He can and will draw all people to himself.

That's what I am looking for - Please don't tell me it can't be done - my bible says that all things are possible with God and that we can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens us - and that those who know their God will do great exploits and take great action -

and so I am counting on Jesus to influence a pastoral leader who will say - lets go a few nights and see what God might do.

Jay W. West
Anointed 2 GO MdM
Seek first the Kingdom of God
I don't want to miss out - how about you?

"And so after he had patiently endured,
he obtained the promise"
Hebrews 6:15

Wednesday, July 29, 2009