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Lowell Brueckner

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Pepper and Salt 2


How different are the words and counsel of Vance Havner from the trends of our day! The most deceived are those who try to make both right. Both cannot be right; a choice must be made. Are you on the side of the popular preaching of our day, or can you see that it is taking us in the wrong direction? I feel sorry for you if you can’t.

The difficulty of discipleship

Our Lord’s attitude toward prospective disciples was exactly the opposite or our approach today. We dare not mention the cost of discipleship for fear we shall scare away prospects. He did not encourage cheap dedication. He seemed to dash cold water on the enthusiasm of would-be disciples (Lk. 9:57-62). He gave the rich young ruler a shock treatment, not a massage. Alexander McLaren says, “The best way to deepen and confirm good resolutions too swiftly formed is to state very plainly the difficulty in keeping them.” This is utterly different from our psychology, but it is Scriptural to challenge cheap consecration. Let us never forget our Lord’s description of those who hear the Word and receive it with joy but have no root in themselves, and the son who said, “I go, sir,” but went not.

An Easter Message


“Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered,
 and let those who hate Him flee before Him”  Psalms 68:1

David’s battle cry

David’s army was like no other that the world had ever known and there has arisen none since. Goliath’s killer was a young man without armor, bearing only a sling and five stones. His battle qualifications rested in the fact that, as a shepherd keeping his father’s sheep, he had killed a bear and a lion with his bare hands. 

When he became an army general, this was his testimony: “By You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall… The God who girds me with strength… He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze… You have girded me with strength for battle” (Ps.18:29,32-34,39).

He taught his soldiers the ways of God’s warfare and they learned them well. Adino slew 800 men at one time and Eleazar struck the Philistines until his hand clung to the sword. Shammah stood alone against the Philistines and defended a plot of land. Three soldiers went through the files of the Philistines just to draw water from the well of Bethlehem, then returned and gave it to David. Abishai killed three hundred with a spear and Benaiah killed two Moabite heroes, then went into a pit to face and destroy a lion. He went unarmed against an Egyptian with a spear, snatched it from him and killed him with it. These learned David’s battle cry, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered!” (see 2 Sam.23:8-21).

He Poured Out His Soul to Death


Taken from the third chapter of the book, We Have an Altar... THE SUPREME SUFFERING OF CHRIST

He poured out His soul to death

A book about the cross
Good Friday was a day for demons that delighted in inciting men to do their absolute worst to inflict all the punishment possible on the Son of God. The demons were surely present in the unseen world around the cross. In his inspired prophecy, David wrote, “Many bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me” (Ps.22:12) and “dogs have surrounded me” (v.16). A few verses later he speaks of “the paws of the dog… the lion’s mouth… the horns of the wild oxen…” He was not speaking of literal animals, but of spiritual beasts, which attacked His soul. This battled raged, in addition to the physical suffering. Jesus fought them in the spirit and triumphed in the cross. He foretold it in John 12:31, “The ruler of this world will be cast out.” Paul stated (I quote from the Amplified Version, Col.2:15), [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]”.

Please allow me - I think it is worthwhile to get some confirmation and some excellent observations from leading commentators: Warren Wiersbe says: “The death of Christ on the cross looked like a great victory for Satan, but it turned out to be a great defeat from which Satan cannot recover… He ‘disarmed the powers and authorities’.” Albert Barnes: “There can be no doubt, I think, that the apostle refers to the ranks of fallen, evil spirits which had usurped a dominion over the world… Satan and his legions had invaded the earth and drawn its inhabitants into captivity, and subjected them to their evil reign. Christ, by his death subdues the invaders and recaptures those whom they had subdued… Paul says that this was now done ‘openly’ - that is, it was in the face of the whole universe - a grand victory; a glorious triumph over all the powers of hell.” Matthew Henry: “The Redeemer conquered by dying… Never had the devil's kingdom such a mortal blow given to it as was given by the Lord Jesus…” And John Wesley: “And having spoiled the principalities and powers - The evil angels, of their usurped dominion, He - God the Father, exposed them openly - Before all the hosts of hell and heaven. Triumphing over them in or by him - By Christ.”

Update 2016: Articles Most Read

 I want to update you concerning visits to this Call to Commitment blog. As of yesterday, we have had 43,906 visits since our grandson, John, got us started in 2011. On both the Spanish and English blogs, we have had 122,557 visits. This past year, on the English CTC we have had 11,762 visits.  I am thankful to God, because I know and I am completely convinced that without Christ, we can do nothing. He is the One who enlightens us concerning His word and He is the One who draws people to read and receive edification. There are visits from all parts of the world, including places that I have never visited and from which, I know no one. I have this mandate from the Lord: “Feed My lambs and My sheep!” 

Last year, on March 17, I made a list of the 10 articles most read since our grandson set up the blogspot. For anyone who would like to see them, they are listed below along with the link, so that you can easily find them. Below these, you will find the most read articles over the last 12 months:

Babylon’s Destruction


15. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 13

I am impressed by Isaiah’s knowledge, not only of his own country’s history and social condition, but also that of the countries around about Israel. It extends to Babylon, of which he also has heard much from the Lord. Of course, the history of Babylon goes back to the book of Genesis 10, where Nimrod is shown as the grandson of Noah. He founded Babel and in chapter 11, we read of the infamous Tower of Babel and the language confusion that followed. Babylon is particularly known as the mother of many pagan religious beliefs and deities. In Revelation she is called the mother of harlots.

International prophecies

Isaiah’s knowledge of things to come reflects upon his personal relationship with God. He speaks in this chapter of a destructive power, not giving its name until verse 17, but is the Medio-Persian Empire that will arise against Babylon.

In this and the following chapters, thirteen through twenty-three, Isaiah looks outside Israel and prophesies of the future of other nations. He shows us the Lord’s concern for all of creation, sending His Word to the people in those nations, who have a fear of God. He has done this since the time that Israel was in Egypt and Egyptians, who had learned to fear God through Moses, took warning and made proper preparations for the disasters that were to come (Ex.9:19-20).

In Old Testament times, while God favored His people Israel, he also showed his mercy towards the heathen. The stories are too many to tell in this space, but just for example, the book of Jonah gives the account of His kindness towards Nineveh, which was actually Israel’s enemy! It is at the end of that story that He opens his heart to Jonah and to us, as we read: “Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals? (Jon.4:11). You may also remember the story of the Syrian enemy’s commander, Naaman, who came to Israel for healing and was cleansed of his leprosy.

A Song of Thanksgiving


14. An expository study in Isaiah, chapter 12

I used to sing a song taken from this text; in fact, we recorded it on an “LP”. Many of you, possibly, will not know what an LP is. LP stands for long-play and it was a flat disk that turned 33 1/3 revolutions per minute. Someone notified me that they saw one of my LPs for sale on the internet for $60 as an antique. I used to sell them for $3. Welcome to the blog of an antique J!

Many Christians seem to have forgotten that anger is an attribute of God. In arranging a new hymnal, Presbyterians asked Keith Getty for permission to publish his great song, The Power of the Cross, concerning Christ’s suffering, but omitting the words, “bore the wrath”, that is, the wrath of God. Much to his credit, he refused. One Spanish preacher went so far as to say, “To speak of the wrath of God in New Testament times is unbiblical and diabolical!” I beg to differ and, in fact, that difference between the gospel of my generation and that of today is one of the matters that wears at my soul. I cannot escape the conviction that part of my Christian duty is to speak out faithfully in favor of the God, who has been largely denied these days. Francis Chan said something similar to the following: “We apologize to people, if we mention the wrath of God. We ought to apologize to God for not declaring his wrath to people.  

Havner´s Pepper 'n' Salt I


Vance Havner
You're going to like this! A niece posted a quote from Vance Havner a few days ago and that gave me the idea of also posting some of my underlined portions of his book, Pepper 'n' Salt. I have no idea, if it is still in print, but the copy I have is from Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506. Vance Havner was a simple Southern Baptist preacher, who died sometime late in the 20th Century. He had a rural background and his love for the simple life is very evident. He also had a wonderful sense of humor and he was in demand as a special speaker across the country. Over all the wonderful traits of his personality, Havner was a man who loved God and that is most evident in his writing. I will be presenting more of Havner in the future. Please enjoy these kind of quotes, as stated in the Preface of the book mentioned above... What is written in this volume is intended to stir and stimulate readers who may disagree but may at least think. And anything is better than nothing! 

Pepper 'n' Salt

Spiritual health comes before happiness...

The business of a doctor is not to make sick people happy but to make them well. When they are well, they will be happy. Christ came to earth not primarily to make everybody happy but to save us from our sins. When we have been healed, we shall be happy. Moreover, getting sick people to act as if they were well does not cure them of their infirmity. We must deal with the trouble itself.

Obedient discipleship is in bold print...

What our Lord said about cross-bearing and obedience is not in fine print. It is in bold print on the face of the contract. We have put the demands of discipleship in fine print for fear we will chase away "prospects".