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Lowell Brueckner

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January 1 - 7 Daily Meditations in the Psalms

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                                     For the biblical text, the old King James Version is used, because
its literary beauty is unsurpassed in this most poetic of all scripture.

     The book of Psalms is the Hebrew’s hymn book. It was also a prayer book, because the Hebrew often sang his prayers. Therefore, we can learn much about prayer from the Psalms. Of course, they are inspired writings by holy men of God, writing under the authorship of the Holy Spirit. 

     The first chapter is an introduction. It describes the worthy reader; that is, one who is drawn to the Word of God to pore long over its pages. He has two qualifying characteristics: He has a thirst for God and he trusts Him. He longs after God and looks to him alone to quench his thirst and to be his shepherd, as the most famous of these songs depict.

     We could think of the Psalms as a long trip, filled with  experiences, revelations and prayers, for the one who, “walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful”. This journey promotes spiritual growth in an individual life, and the chapters end, as our days should, with an overflow of gushing, heartfelt praise. 

     To each text from the Psalms, short, daily meditations follow, as aids to help the reader pray as Jesus taught us; that is, “according to His will”. The theme of the Psalms is our relationship with God, which is also the basis of our devotional life. They are part of the Hebrew tree, into which every believer in Christ has been grafted, and so they also become his song and prayer book.

A Word to those with Background in Substance Dependency

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Let me address specifically those who have backgrounds in drugs, alcohol and other destructive and addictive substances. There came a time in many of your lives, when you awoke from the deep deception that this drug was something to be desired and brought pleasure and thrills into your body. You discovered that you were sinning against yourself and destroying yourself. If no steps were taken, you saw that this path would end in death, therefore you went for help. I think you can recognize that your motives were basically selfish. You wanted out! You wanted to live a normal life.

That is as far as some of you have come and it’s not far enough. You can be free from drugs by calling on God for deliverance, but you cannot be saved from eternal punishment, if that is as far as your revelation has brought you. My friend, you who are involved with drug rehabilitation, is this as far as your work takes you? If so, you are a good humanitarian, but you are actually making people two-fold more the children of hell, and you are useless as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned. You need to be more preoccupied with the principle that brought this person into this condition more than the condition itself. You may be helping someone into a state, in which he will think that he needs God less than he needed Him before. I am convinced that many former drug addicts are precisely in that spiritual condition.

December 25 - 31 Daily Meditations in the Psalms

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December 25

Psalms 145

1.  I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
2.  Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
3.  Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
4.  One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. 
5.  I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
6.  And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.
7.  They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
8.  The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
9.  The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
10.  All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
11.  They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;
12.  To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
13.  Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
14.  The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
15.  The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
16.  Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
17.  The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
18.  The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
19.  He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
20.  The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
21.  My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Seeking the Truth of the Kingdom, chapter three

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I would strongly recommend that you read the four paragraphs that I wrote at the head of chapter two before studying this chapter. When I confessed to my prejudices and the difficulty in overcoming them, I wrote also with the intention of calling the reader’s attention to the probability that he also holds some prejudices in biblical interpretation.
This chapter is part of
the book pictured above


You will find that many commentators hold to a different interpretation to this parable from the one that I present. Their view was my former view, but when I heard and read teaching by many other Bible teachers who held to the following point-of-view, I was convinced, after a good deal of study on my own, that they were right. It seemed to me that it was much more consistent with Scripture and also history records that this view actually prophesied what actually happened in the church. It became a political and financial power and great numbers of insincere people, who had never been reborn, flocked into it and often controlled it. 

3. A TRUE FAITH AND
AN UNWANTED GROWTH

“He presented another parable to them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)

Seeking the Truth of the Kingdom, chapter two

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Notice that the title of this book is “Seeking the Truth of the Kingdom”, not “This is the Truth of the Kingdom”. You can find many commentators, who will disagree with what I have written. I do not claim that these are the absolutely correct interpretations for the parables. Quite the opposite, I am inviting people to examine them, compare them with other interpretations, and try to ascertain, which seems to be the most consistent with the whole tenor of Scripture. That is the way that I have arrived at these conclusions and, in more than one case, I have had to leave former opinions behind.

By the way, none of these interpretations are original with me. It has been a principle in my ministry to discard anything, to which I cannot find a confirmation in the writings of men of God or in the lessons of history throughout the church age. New doctrines and strictly personal “revelations” are false! Truth is ancient; make no mistake about that. However, God has very original and personal ways to help us arrive at the ancient truth that the genuine people of God have always believed.   

I intend that this book might be a help to people, as to the way to approach the Scripture. With that purpose in mind, I have specifically chosen the parables, because I think they best illustrate the manner, in which we must do that. They demand that we be Spirit-taught, because they show us the inadequacy of human intellect in that which pertains to God. They also insist that we do a thorough study of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, in order to obtain an understanding of the ways of God. In other words, what God is teaching us in these parables is nothing different than the principles he has taught throughout His Word.

Finally, let me make a personal confession. Some of the most difficult things that I have had to overcome over the years are prejudices concerning things that I had previously been taught or ideas that I had gotten hold of in one way or another. It is much easier to learn the things of God as a new disciple, than to have to have something forced from our hands, to which we have been holding tightly for years. For me, they have been pried free as I have been confronted with truth that I finally found impossible to deny.   
This chapter is taken from this book

2. APPARENTLY SIMILAR, ESSENTIALLY DIFFERENT

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in our field? How then does it have tares?’ And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn”’” (Matthew 13:24-30).

December 18 - 24 Daily Meditations in the Psalms

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December 18

Psalms 139:1-18

1.  O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2.  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5.  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7.  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8.  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10.  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11.  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12.  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13.  For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17.  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18.  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

     Nothing on this earth is more satisfying than knowing the sovereign dealings of God in our lives. God only recognizes what He has done, therefore for us to be known of God, means that we must be a product of His creative work. The Lord holds infinite interests in His holdings. He watches over every activity, word and motive. He keeps His hand upon our lives and there is no escape from Him. I am possessed by God! That is an awesome thought and no language can express the wonder of it. The new creation is a miracle that began in the foreknowledge of God. We are incapable of the first move in His direction without His aid. May we fill our soul with the nourishment of this Psalm and let it live in us, thinking these precious thoughts. That is the purpose for which they were written.

Report on Trip to India

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(click on any photo to enlarge)

India, 2013

Daniela & Paul on trip to Orissa
There was plenty of room in the Airbus 330 as it lifted off the runway in Barcelona and turned southeast to cross Eastern Africa, heading for Doha, Qatar. The night before I shared what has been on my heart from 2 Peter 1:1-4 at the RETO Center and I continued to text the leaders, who promised to pray for my journey.  The eight seats in my row were nearly empty and I moved from my seat in the middle section to a window seat. We were approaching the Nile River and the sky was cloudless. Soon we crossed the Red Sea on dry air (as I mentioned in the next text message) and then we were over the arid Sinai Peninsula. The route offered much food for meditation.

From Qatar, a new Boeing 787 took me to Delhi, and then an Air India plane landed me in Patna, where Paul was waiting. Paul came to the Lord in a camp in Romania, when I was speaker years ago and I also know his bride from camps and meetings in Bucharest. I spoke at their wedding earlier this year. They were my hosts, who planned the trip and accompanied me throughout.

December 11 - 17 Meditations in the Psalms

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December 11

Psalms 134

1.  Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
2.  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
3.  The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

    Blessing to the Lord should never cease. Blessed are those who have the night shift. He, who never sleeps, should be blessed at all times. The daytime worshippers come at their convenience; the nighttime worshippers come at His.
    This Psalm ends the songs of ascents that direct the pilgrims into the house of the Lord for holy worship and service. Lead us, Lord, into it. Let all, who need the Lord and His deliverance, approach, viewing at first the surrounding mountains and the city. Let them then climb Mt. Zion, approach the sanctuary and enter in unity with uplifted hands. It is time to experience the full benefit for their efforts and God ultimately reaps the blessing of His people.

Seeking the Truth of the Kingdom, chapter one

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Greetings from Orissa, India. Running water has just been restored after the recent cyclone. Here there was great persecution in 2008.
 

1.     THE KEY PARABLE

 

“Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” (Matthew 13:3-8).

 

TRUTHS CONCERNING HARVEST

Before we consider one-by-one the different conditions of the soil, first let’s talk about some of the basic truths concerning harvest, which we must understand correctly. The most basic principle of all is that a sower sows in order to reap. The whole purpose of agriculture points to harvest. If there is no fruit, then the plan, effort and money invested are in vain. Nothing is worthwhile, if there is not a satisfactory end, and that which ends well, must begin well. The success of harvest depends much on the preparation of the soil.  

In the work of evangelism, the ministry of John the Baptist is absolutely necessary. His work was, precisely, to prepare the soil. “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!” (Mt. 3:3). The great majority of evangelistic efforts ignore this cry completely. They announce the good news with words such as, “Jesus loves you and wants to save you”, without taking into account at all the condition of the soil, which is to say, the condition of the heart of the listener. It was not that way in New Testament times or at any period in the history of the church among those that had true success in the harvest of souls.  

The only sowing that is worthwhile is that which falls on soil prepared by God. What do these words of Jesus mean? “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (Jn. 6:44), “He who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (Jn. 3:21), and “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (Jn. 18:37). All these verses point to a work of preparation before receiving Christ and those of us, who proclaim the gospel, have to collaborate with it.

 

What Our Hands Have Handled, Last chapter

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CHAPTER 12


THE 75-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Pastor Jim Jensen with one of the church veterans
From the beautiful sanctuary of the Faith Alliance Church in Chilton, Wisconsin, Pastor Jim Jensen  announced the first song on Sunday morning, September 19th, 2010. It was the always-appropriate hymn of praise, “To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done”, including the soul-stirring words, “Great things He has taught us, great things He has done, and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son”. The next hymn was “Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer” and the song service ended with a more contemporary song, “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart”.

It was the 75th anniversary and thanksgiving celebration of the Quinney Chapel/Faith Alliance Church. The pastor gave a brief account of the early history of the church and continued telling of the struggles and battles, when the congregation moved from the very small village of Quinney to the town of Chilton. He shared a little of his own calling to that congregation 37 years before, but insisted, “This is not my church! It has never been my church! Jesus is the Head of this church!” He gave the reason for its existence, “God wanted to reach out and draw people to Himself.” He told how lost souls were drawn to the church both in Quinney and Chilton, and then mentioned how the little congregation in its infancy, during the difficult economic years of the 1930’s, managed to give over $400 to foreign missions. Remember, also, that the dollar had much more value those days. That amount, of course, increased significantly in the years following.

November 23 - December 10 Daily Meditations in the Psalms

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Because I will not be home until December 10, I am posting all the meditations up until and including that date. 

 

November 23
Psalms 119

Resh

153.  Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.
154.  Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.
155.  Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.
156.  Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments.
157.  Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.
158.  I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.
159.  Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.
160.  Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

     Verse 155 is a powerful message to the careless sinner. He is without hope and without God. Hope begins when he begins to pay attention to God’s word, as “to a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn and the daystar arise in the heart.” God’s mercy, manifested in His word to mankind, is great and tender, but is most often trampled underfoot. Much is said these days about hurting for other people, but God is looking for grieving people who feel His heart. The Psalms are swamped with grief for God. I wonder if we know what the term godly sorrow means. Do not look to popular trends, public opinion, or peer pressure, regardless of how it influences the church. The status quo does not determine righteousness. That which is from the beginning will endure forever, though it is strange to modern ears.

Notes on a vital message by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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 To me, no one can be a great theologian, unless he is anointed and filled with the Spirit. There are many with intellectual powers, but it is not hard to tell the difference between them and those who are God-taught. Therefore, I am a fan of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a true man of God, and certainly, at the same time, a very intelligent person.

I have taken notes from a key audio message of his, preached in 1969 in Florida. Our son-in-law, Sammy, brought it to my attention and I have the firm conviction that it is a message that must be shared. It is a soul-disturbing word that speaks more to our generation than to his. I want you to have a chance to peruse the main points…
                                                                                                         
Dr. M. Lloyd-Jones, pastor of Westminster Chapel,
London. Died, March 1, 1981.
     The Problem of Evangelism         
 1 Thessalonians 1:5a, then v. 6 -10

 (notes taken from an audio recording of  Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

The term, which is used these days is “the problem of communication” or “how to articulate the gospel”. We fool ourselves by changing terms, but really we are talking about evangelism or preaching the gospel. The Christian church is failing to get her message across, so now there is discussion about how better to communicate the gospel to the world outside. We believe that the gospel is what is needed in men’s lives, but the question is… How do we get this message across?


We are living, it is said, in the post-Christian era, in the scientific age, and there is no use doing things as the church has done over the centuries. We must have some new way to communicate the gospel.

Some think that we need a new message. We cannot expect modern man with scientific knowledge to believe what his forefathers believed.  He cannot accept the miraculous or the supernatural, such as the virgin birth and the miracles done by the apostles. We must “de-mythologize” the gospel for man has come of age; he has grown up.

Waiting for Him

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T
o many people, who call themselves biblical Christians, Christ’s coming is not convenient. They have too much invested in this age and have gotten comfortable on this planet. They have invested in homes and lands, vacation retreats by the sea or in the mountains, and comfortable vehicles to get them there. They possess every form of entertainment and recreational equipment.

     Are we thinking about our heavenly, eternal home? Are we waiting for the skies to split and for Jesus to descend to take away his bride? Have we searched the end-time prophecies with the passion of the Old Testament sages, who inquired diligently into the timing and details of the first coming of Christ? (1 Peter 1:10)

His first coming
     There were those who were waiting, when He came the first time. Simeon was “looking for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). Anna waited in the temple. Their faith was not based only upon personal revelation. Holy Spirit-teaching always begins in the Scripture.  They were certain that the hundreds of Old Testament predictions would come to pass. Anna surely had read the last of the prophets, who referred specifically to John Baptist and the Christ who was to follow: “I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, He is coming ...” (Malachi 3:1) As the time drew near, she was reluctant to leave the temple, lest He suddenly come and she miss the event. She and Simeon knew that the time was at hand. They surely were familiar with the prophecy of Daniel (9:26) that the Messiah’s life would be cut off 483 years after the command was given to rebuild Jerusalem. A peek into the history of the Jews in Persia (Nehemiah gives the date – Neh. 2:1) told them that they were approaching the 450th year. The time was close at hand and they were waiting! They were not the only ones. Anna spoke at that moment to “those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter eleven

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The apostles knew very well that the believers belonged only to the Lord, who bought them. They were shepherds that guided them, bishops that watched out for them and elders, who set the example for them, but they were never bosses that manipulated, controlled, or commanded them. Consider Acts 20:28 – “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock among which (not over which) the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood”… 1 Peter 5:1-3 – I exhort the elders among (not over) you, as your fellow elder… shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight… nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.”

They are Christ’s, by blood redemption and by a relationship directly with Him: “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name… he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers” (Jn.10:3-5).  “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me (v.14)… I have other sheep… and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd (v.16).” Then finally, verses 27-29: “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow me, and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

CHAPTER 11


RETURN TO LA COSTA CHICA
Our twins, Dan & Dave
 One of the significant breakthroughs for us in La Costa Chica came through our children. Shortly after arriving, we made contact with a wonderful Christian doctor, an American, in the neighboring State of Guerrero. Because of the condition of the roads between our home and his hospital, he suggested that Margaret should come on April 1st to stay with his wife and himself during the last days of her pregnancy. What he didn’t tell us was that Margaret was carrying twins and that they might arrive well before schedule, but that was exactly what happened. Very early in the morning on March 23rd, 1967, the birth process began.

November 16 - 22 Daily Meditations in the Psalms

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November 16
Psalms 119

Lamed

89.  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
90.  Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
91.  They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.
92.  Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
93.  I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.
94.  I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.
95.  The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.
96.  I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

     This Psalm contains a great promise for people in any generation. The word of the Lord is settled in an unchanging heaven and it is unshakeable on earth. The Psalmist banked on the word of God. Look at the solid results produced by His word and notice the verbs that define them: “Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue..” It is our guarantee of permanence: “Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished...but, Thou has quickened me.” The things that are seen are temporal. “All flesh is as grass and the glory of man is as the flower of grass,” Peter said. God’s commandment is without limits, touching everything on earth and extending into eternity. Today, in a fragile existence, shaky atmosphere and a rapidly changing world, the believer can hold fast to the eternal and unchanging. Stick with the word, no matter what men may say. Remember that the law, commandments, precepts, ordinances, and testimonies are expressions of the unchanging nature of God Himself. “And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.” “His name is called the Word of God.”

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter ten

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CHAPTER 10

 

 

GOD’S WORK WITH GOD’S POWER AND SUPPLY

 

Lowell Brueckner family
I was fourteen-years-old when three friends dropped in to visit us in our home in Jacksonville, Florida. There was a married couple - the husband was a graduate of the Mokahum Indian Bible School near Cass Lake, Minnesota, where my dad had been principal. The graduate married one of his ex-teachers. Traveling with the couple was the former Dean of Women of the school. Because it was New Year’s Eve, these three, Dad and Mom took time to pray together and seek the Lord. I was also present.

Most of the words and events of that night are foggy in my memory, but I do recall the former student praying for me. What transpired took me totally by surprise. I had an experience, which seemed, if not as mighty, to be similar in kind to that described by Charles Finney in his autobiography: “The Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed, it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love; for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God.” The former Dean of Women, a quiet, unassuming individual, said that at that moment, she had a revelation of me singing and playing my guitar before dark-skinned people.

November 9 - 15 Daily Meditations in the Psalms

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November 9

Psalms 119  


                                        Aleph


1.  Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

2.  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

3.  They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

4.  Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

5.  O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

6.  Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

7.  I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

8.  I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

 

     The length of this Psalm has kept the less diligent from some of the most precious treasures in the storehouse of God’s word. The Holy Spirit is behind such tactics, in order to ward off those who seek with less than their whole heart. Do not hurry through this Psalm. Meditate upon it. It contains some of the most quoted and well-known promises. The Psalm has been kindly broken into sections alphabetically, so as not to be overtaxing. Take them one at a time and be enriched. They concern the law of the Lord, the full counsel of God and the worth of the statutes and testimonies, which the Lord has placed at our disposal. Learn appreciation and go on to love the word of God.

     So much of the Psalms concerns walking along a certain way - the Lord’s way. It runs opposite to man’s way and demands a separation from his, in order to give oneself entirely to keeping God’s. There is no place for halfway-ism in the scripture. This Psalm is for the undivided heart, which seeks to be undefiled, is diligent, and has a heart-cry, “O that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes”. Come into the classroom of the Holy Spirit. There is a way of walking that is undefiled and there is a way of ministering praise from an upright heart. There are commandments, to which we pay little attention. Learn respect for all of them. Change your ways to His ways. Make a commitment of the will and then beg God not to abandon you in your quest.

 

The Voice from Heaven by Dave Brueckner

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Dave has shared gems from the Word of God for many
years, in Ireland and in the USA.

“I, John…..was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus.  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…”      Rev. 1:9-10  

R
ecently, while reading through Revelation, I noticed that heaven is not quiet at all.  John made special mention of a time, when heaven was silent for a half hour, because that was an unusual state of affairs.  In fact, I read about “a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice  (5:2). John sees ten thousands of angels and hears  “in a loud voice they sang” (5:12). Souls under heaven’s altar “called out in a loud voice(6:10). When Babylon fell, there was a sound in heaven “like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: Hallelujah!” (19:6). I mention a few instances, but you can search for yourself and find many more.  Heaven is not a monastic site, where everyone is silently floating around on fluffy white clouds. 

Hearing heavenly voices
   Though the voice from heaven is loud and clear, it is rarely received, because of the dullness of human hearing.    That is why we read repeatedly in chapters two and three, “He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  Jesus spoke in parables in order to discover the ones, who wanted to fine-tune their receptors to eternal words.  Those who lingered, after most of the people left, conversed with him about things they did not digest the first time they heard them from his lips. Biblical hearing does not come cheaply, but must be given time and effort.

November 2 - 8 Daily Meditations in the Psalms

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November 2

Psalms 114

1.  When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
2.  Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.
3.  The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.
4.  The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
5.  What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
6.  Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?
7.  Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
8.  Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

     It is no wonder that Moses determined not to go anywhere, unless the Lord would go with them. It was His presence that distinguished the people of God from all the nations on the earth. God’s preoccupation is with His people. All of creation cooperates with God’s leadings and dealings with them. Rivers, seas, and mountains become tools, through which He manifests His presence. For them, rocks turned to liquid and the earth trembled. The Egyptian Red Sea and the Canaanite Jordan responded in like fashion. Wherever He leads and accompanies us, however far from home it may be, mountains will shake, the seas will be stilled, rocks will break, bread will be multiplied, fish will pay taxes, and the fowls of the air will feed.

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter nine

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Just married, Margaret and I went to live in Cacahuatepec, Oaxaca, in October of 1966. Right away, we began to go house-to-house, explaining our reason for coming to the town and also shared the gospel with the inhabitants. Then, we began to visit the next town, called Amuzgos, to the north. The letter on the right is one of three that we received from people in Amuzgos in November, 47 years ago, threatening us not to return. It states: "Amuzgos, Putla, Oaxaca, November 22, 1966. Señor Pastor, Very esteemed sir. We ask, in the most attentive manner, that you not return to this place to disturb our people, because we will not be responsable for what happens to you. With nothing else to say..." I kept going, anyway, because there were individuals, who asked for prayer. One day, a group was waiting in front of my pick-up with buckets of water, with which they soaked me. Oh well, it was a hot day!

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter eight

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Success in Christian service is not measured by large churches or stadiums filled with people. The only true confirmation to a godly calling, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is by that which will someday walk on streets of gold.


CHAPTER 8


FRUIT THAT REMAINS

“Lord, if you don’t give me much fruit, give me fruit that remains.” There are prayers that express our highest aspirations. They are not one-time requests, but are carried in the heart and uttered frequently over the years. One of Erwin Brueckner’s perennial petitions, quoted above, was for lasting fruit.

It seemed apparent that God’s plan for his life did not include pastoring large congregations. The attendance at Quinney Chapel for Sunday morning worship seldom exceeded fifty people. On Sunday evenings, the meetings in small Indian homes in Oneida, Wisconsin, were significantly larger, with upwards of eighty people crowding into a single room. At the close of each meeting, someone would offer his house for the following service. In this way, the gospel spread to various neighborhoods in the area. We also must mention home Bible studies in the city of Fond du lac and in the village of Potter, which Erwin conducted on weeknights. Different people attended in each place, but the total number sitting under my dad’s ministry, at any point in his life, was anything but impressive.

Ruth, shortly before she went to
heaven, and  Marshall, who has
celebrated his 90th birthday.
What are more significant are the people, who were challenged through Dad to become fully involved in God’s business. Marshall Averbeck, son of the Quinney Sunday school superintendent, attended St. Paul Bible Institute (now Crown College near Minneapolis) and spent the rest of his life as a pastor. He also married Ruth, my oldest sister, and they are now retired after forty years of ministry. Craig Hendrickson, who grew up in one of their churches and found the Lord under their guidance, made his way to the Philippines as a missionary.

Several years ago, Eddie Burg, who was in the teenage boys’ Sunday school class at Quinney, spent a night in our home in Germany, along with his wife. They now have three sons. Two are pastors and the other son and his family were traveling with them. They had been receiving missionary training in France and today serve in Africa. The son of a butcher in the Quinney congregation, Ken Huber, became a missionary to South America.

October 26 - November 1 Daily Meditations in the Psalms

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October 26

Psalms 108:6-9

6.  That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.
7.  God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
8.  Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
9.  Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over
Philistia will I triumph.
10.  Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
11.  Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?
12.  Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
13.  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

     David turns to petition, interjected after a season of exaltation. He is beloved by this mighty God with a love that surpasses the earth and heavens. David wants to pray down a manifestation of the right hand of God upon the earth. He knows that the Lord does not begrudge fulfilling his word, but rejoices in it. However, His word never compromises His holiness. David has received a “clean” promise, which will benefit God’s kingdom, give back to God what belongs to Him and defeat His enemies. David is part and parcel of that kingdom and his victories are God’s.
     Let the same be said of us. The God, who casts off men because of ungodliness, has spoken in His holiness that He will accompany our armies. When the help of man is cast aside and a God-consciousness prevails, with that comes a sense of victory.