Never Two Without Three

As a (completely forgotten until now) follow-up to my second-to-last post, where I had an excerpt from a sermon by A.B. Simpson, I just want to make a sort of journal entry here to remember how it was that I found out about him.

1)  Sometime last year I came across a Christian minister by the name of A.W. Tozer (Aiden Wilson) through some of his sermons that have been posted to YouTube.  According to what I read on Wikipedia, he was born in Pennsylvania (1897-1963) and was a minister for some forty-four years with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (Protestant evangelical).  He pastored churches in the U.S. and Canada, his last church being Avenue Road Church in Toronto, Ontario.  As I listened to some of his sermons, I had the feeling that there was somewhat of the mystic/contemplative about him, and quite often, as I listened, I wondered if this had caused him any difficulties in the Protestant community at that time.

2)  A few months later, I picked up a wonderful book (at the Salvation Army, my primary resource for second-hand books) entitled “Meditation Moments” by Millie Stamm.  It has a reflection for each day of the year, and as I read, I was deeply touched by her prayerfulness, her insights, and here too, I felt an underlying mystical/contemplative quality to her writing/prayers – she felt very much a kindred spirit.  I haven’t been able to find out much about her online, so I don’t know which Protestant denomination she may have been associated with, but she was very active with Christian women’s groups and clubs.  It was in her book that I discovered A.B. Simpson, because she quoted him in her entry for January 14th:  “There is in the deepest center of the believer’s soul a chamber of peace where God dwells and where, if we will only enter in and hush every other sound, we can hear His still voice.”  Of course, after reading this, I was then on the search for A.B. Simpson to find out more about him.

3)  So, according to Wikipedia, it turns out that A.B. Simpson (Canadian, born in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, 1843-1919) was the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  There is too much to his life and background and what denominations he was raised in, how he changed and developed, etc., to get into here, but there’s much information available online.  Fascinating man and life.

4)  And guess who wrote a biography of A.B. Simpson, entitled “Wingspread”???  That’s right – A.W. Tozer.

In Memoriam

I do have a Part II to my previous post, which I hope will be up before long.  But I want to take this moment to say goodbye to our dear friend and fellow-blogger, Terry.  I had this picture (not a good one) of his former site, which I used in the video I made about three years ago in honour of my blogger friendships.  I’m so glad I saved the photos I used.

The Road to Kingdom Come

I would also like to share a beautiful poem by Kate Marshall Flaherty.  Peace be with you, Terry.  You were very loved.

Rooted and Bound

Banyan Tree

So the banyan tree grows. First its trunk and branches shoot up to heaven, and then the branches grow down into the ground and become rooted in the earth, and by and by there are a hundred branches interwoven and interlaced from the ground so that the storm and the winds cannot disturb it, and even the simoon of the Indian Ocean cannot tear it up. It is rooted and bound together by hundreds of interlacing roots and branches. And so when God saves a soul He plants one branch; but when He comes to fill and sanctify and help in your difficulties, each is another branch; and thus your life becomes rooted and bound to God by a hundred fibres, and all the power of hell cannot break that fellowship or separate you from His love.

[Excerpt from a sermon by A.B. Simpson] More info will be provided in my next post.

Blessed are You

I happened upon a quote today from Krishna Muhrti (whom I am not familiar with), but it  “resonated with me”, as people have put it in the past few years… although, more truthfully, it felt like someone had punched me in the gut or smacked me upside the head.  It’s not anything that any reader of the Book of Wisdom wouldn’t have grappled with and come to accept.  And it’s not anything that we haven’t come to experience in our faith walk.  As one of my beloved priests of years gone by used to say, Catholics are counter-cultural, or they’re not really practising their faith.  So, without further ado, here is the quote:

“It’s no achievement to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

Ain’t that the Truth.  Blessed are you, misfits, losers and outcasts.  Jesus loves you.

Rise Up and Dance

Are you feeling confused, depressed or fearful at what seems to be, more and more, the emptiness of life here… (they must have felt the same way when they saw the empty tomb).  Are you more and more afraid to go anywhere, do anything, be with strangers in crowds… (they locked themselves in the Upper Room too, didn’t they.)  Well, we can be blown to smithereens, or die slowly from chemtrails; be so filled with dread we don’t want to go to work, or poison ourselves with genetically modified foods; we can live in terror of the unknown, or live in terror of the known, as we watch our children’s lives disintegrate before our eyes.  Or we can remember.  Remember that Jesus blew death to smithereens on the Cross.  Remember Easter.

And keep preparing for the Wedding. You will be at the Wedding Feast, as part of the Bride of Christ. Breathe now, get up and dance now. Raise your voices in song.

O Croix Dressée Sur le Monde

If you click on this link you will find two versions (I like the 2nd version) of something we sing at the Good Friday service at many French parishes.  Of course, the online version is very orchestrated, but this hymn is also very moving when sung by ordinary parishioners whose hearts are focused on Jesus and the Cross.  (Please note, a few words have been changed in the first verse, and the third verse isn’t sung on the recording sample).

Ô Croix Dressée Sur le Monde

1. O Croix dressée sur le monde (bis)
O Croix de Jésus Christ! (bis)

Fleuve dont l’eau féconde
Du cœur ouvert a jailli.
Par toi la vie surabonde,
O Croix de Jésus Christ!

2. O Croix sublime folie, (bis)
O Croix de Jésus Christ! (bis)

Dieu rend par toi la vie
Et nous rachète à grand prix:
L’amour de Dieu est folie,
O Croix de Jésus Christ!

3. O Croix sagesse suprême, (bis)
O Croix de Jésus Christ! (bis)

Le Fils de Dieu lui-même
Jusqu’à sa mort obéit;
Ton dénuement est extrême,
O Croix de Jésus Christ!

4. O Croix victoire éclatante, (bis)
O Croix de Jésus Christ! (bis)

Tu jugeras le monde,
Au jour que Dieu s’est choisi,
Croix à jamais triomphante
O Croix de Jésus Christ!

The Crucifixion
The Met Museum for more information regarding this artwork.