Wednesday, October 26, 2011


                                                TROUBLES AND BLESSINGS
                                                                            by W. F. Bell

I just read about a father who kept a pickle jar in his bedroom to save coins in for his son to get to go to college.  I will not relate that story here, but some quotes at the end of the story I will share, plus a few others.  May we be reminded of how blessed we are in America.  For those of us who have visited other countries not as blessed as ours -- after staying with foreign people in their homes -- we realize we should never complain again!  Think about that, and here are the quotes:

"Sometimes we are so busy adding  up our troubles, that we forget to count our blessings."

 "Never underestimate the power of your actions.  With one small gesture you can change a person's life, for better or for worse."

"God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some small way."

"You may now be passing through the furnace; you may now be draining adversity's bitter cup; friends unkind, the world empty, every thing earthly failing, faith weak, corruptions strong; but still your omnipresent Christ is with you!  Do not be cast down!"  (Octavius Winslow)

"It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us.  Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree, and those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way.  So the Christian is made strong, and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life."  (Charles Spurgeon)

             "For He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

I pray that this "small gesture" sent your way today may bless you and change you "for better," to God's glory.

                                     CHURCH BULLETIN BOARDS
Signs we often see on church bulletin boards, how true are they? I suppose most have at least an element of truth. Some only need a little exposition such as:
“Prayer Changes Things”- It certainly does for the pray-er. That is, from our earthly point of view it does. From God’s heavenly point of view it does not. We do not change God’s mind, or anything about Him. “I am the Lord, I change not--- “(Malachi 3:6a) “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s willingness.” Arthur W. Pink

“Jesus Saves”- You can bank on it! There has never been a sinner who really wanted to be saved, that cannot be saved. What about someone who has committed the unpardonable sin? Such a person that attributes the working of the Holy Spirit to Satan (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit), cannot be saved, and does not want to be saved. Jesus said: “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me, and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)  “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”(Acts 2:21)

“Make Jesus Lord of your life”- This is a good thing, but YOU can’t do it! As the late Rolfe Barnard used to say, “God has beat you to it.” He has already been made Lord. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) All any of us can do as lost sinners, is come to Him and confess Him as Lord. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (lit. Jesus as Lord), and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

“God is My Co-Pilot- Change Seats!”- That last part of the phrase is an improvement over the slogan from the old World War Two movie from 1945 “God is My Co-Pilot.” Actually in reality God IS the pilot of life’s journey for us all. “In whom also we have obtained and inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Ephesians 1:11)

“No God- No Peace: Know God- Know Peace” A lot of truth here. “There is no peace saith my God to the wicked.”(Isaiah 57:21) In contrast: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“Come on In, It’s Cool Inside.” Sounds like a good idea in this hot weather, but you should be careful about what kind of church you get involved with. The gospel is NOT preached in a lot of them. I’d rather pick up a live rattlesnake than go in some of them. On second thought- they have some churches around here that will provide the live rattler!  (compiled by Charles Woodruff)

                                 TAKE GOOD ADVICE FROM PAST LEADERS
         In perilous times such as these, we might do well to read the                                   words of two past leaders of our country. 

         "There are great problems before the American people.There are problems which            will need purity of spirit and an integrity of purpose such as have never been            called for before in the history of this country."
 "I should be afraid to go forward if I did not believe that there lay at the foundation of all our schooling and of all our thought this incomparable and unimpeachable Word of God."
"If we cannot derive our strength thence, there is no source from which we can derive it, and so I would bid you go from this place, if I may, inspired once more with the feeling that the Providence of God is the foundation of affairs, and that only those can guide, and only those can follow, who take this Providence of God from the sources where it is authentically interpreted."
"I beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God, I ascribe to Bible study the help and strength which I have had from God to pass in peace through deeper trials, in various ways, than I had ever had before; and after having now above fourteen years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it."
"A soul that has been refreshed and made happy early in the morning meets the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day with a power how different from that of one that has had no "spiritual preparation.”
-Woodrow Wilson- from a booklet published in 1918

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if one sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

-Part of a statement by Benjamin Franklin at the framing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia, June 28, 1787.

                                  WHAT IF I FIND HYPOCRISY IN ME?   
                                  By Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

WELL, dear friends, if our hearts condemn us not, then have we peace towards God; but if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knoweth all things (1John 3:20). Let us confess to Him all past failures. And though we may not be conscious of hypocrisy, yet, let us say, "Lord, search and try me, and know my ways; see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:24)... .I have great confidence in the sincerity of any Christian man who says habitually and truthfully, "Lord, let me know the very worst of my case, whatever it is; even if all my fair prospects and bright ideals should be but dreams, the fabric of a vision... so be it; only let me know the truth. Lead me in a plain path; let me be sincere before thee, 0h thou heart-searching, rein-trying God!" Let us with such frank candor, such ingenuous simplicity come before the Lord. Let as many of us as fear the Lord and distrust ourselves take refuge in His omniscience against the jealousies and suspicions which haunt our own breasts. 

And let us do better still: let us hasten anew to the cross of Jesus and thus end our difficulties by accepting afresh the sinners' Savior. When I have a knot to untie as to my evidence of being a child of God, and I cannot untie it, I usually follow Alexander [the Great's] example with the Gordian knot and cut it. How cut it? Why, in this way: "Thou sayest, 0h conscience, this is wrong, and thus is wrong. Thou sayest, 0h Satan, thy faith is a delusion, thy experience a fiction, thy profession a lie. Be it so then, I will not dispute it, I end that matter. If I am no saint, I am a sinner; there can be no doubt about that! The devil himself is defied to question that.  

Then it is written that 'Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners,' and to sinners is the Gospel preached. 'He that believeth on him is not condemned.' I do believe on Him. If I never did before, I will now; and all my transgressions are therefore blotted out! And now, Lord, grant me grace to begin again; and from this time forth let me live the life of faith, the life of prayer. Let me be one of those who will pray always, let me be one of those who will pray when they are dying, having prayed all their lives." Prayer is our very life: ceasing prayer we cease to live. As long as we are here preserved in spiritual life, we must pray. Lord, grant it may be so with each one here present, through the power of Thy Spirit and the merit of Jesus' blood. Amen and Amen!!

      (Compiled by Charles Woodruff------oursong2000@yahoo.Com)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


                                 AMUSING THE GOATS
C. H. Spurgeon is often quoted by Christians of all denominations. Here are some thoughts by Mr. Spurgeon on the subject of entertainment in the Church, which may not be too liked. Judge for yourself.

"The devil has seldom done a more clever thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them."

He then relates how entertainment and amusement in the Church was once viewed: First, "spoken against, then toned down." Secondly, it was "winked at, then excused." Thirdly, it was "tolerated, then adopted." Is this not the same downward trend we see today?

Spurgeon again: "My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in Scripture as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.' That is clear enough. And it would have been added, 'and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.' No such words, however, are to be found."

"Then again, 'He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry.' Where do the entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people?"

"Providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all of his apostles. Short and sharp was the utterance, 'Let the dead bury their dead.' He was in awful earnestness!"

Let us hear loudly Spurgeon's prayer (and start praying it ourselves): "Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods."

As Thomas Brooks said about zeal, we would say about entertainment: "Zeal is like fire; in the chimney it is one of the best servants; but out of the chimney it is one of the worst masters." Entertainment may have its place in the world, but it is a terrible master in the Church.

Compiled by W.F. Bell 12/7/2006
                                                   YOUR REFLECTION
Malachi 3:3 says; 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.' This verse puzzled some womenin a bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week; the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away
all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire... If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?' He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His IMAGE IN YOU.
(The source of this little illustration is unknown)

                                                       CHRIST’S LOVE
The Church of God needs to remember that fellowship with the Father necessitates separation from those who fail to fulfill the responsibility of fellowship in light. We are not only to yield to love; we are to guard holiness. It is possible to be led astray from the activity of true love by yielding to a false charity. At the very center of love is light. That is not true love which sacrifices doctrine and principle. God has never acted in love at the expense of light. -- William Graham Scroggie

                             THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I
On seeing several criminals being led to the scaffold in the 16th century, English Protestant martyr John Bradford remarked, 'There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.' His words, without his name, are still very common ones today for expressing one's blessings compared to the fate of another. Bradford was later burned at the stake as a heretic.
From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson, Facts on File, New York, 1997.

                              WARNING! THE GOSPEL DOESN’T CHANGE
This is a warning I hope we all take to heart. As people of The Word, we have to ask ourselves how we can really expect to improve on a perfect model. Cautiously I will say that some new ways of applying the unchanging biblical principles are fine...we need to be able to communicate with 21st Century culture, but we must not abandon the heart of the Gospel and basics of authentic discipleship in the process. Charles Woodruff

Monday, October 10, 2011


Have you thought about how the gospel is presented in the Old Testament, as well as the New? It would seem that God did this on purpose, to clearly illustrate the availability of the gospel. Isaiah 55 simply says Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). In our day not many believe that He is near! Most people are living like they know nothing about God. I am not a real old man. I am not 70 years old yet, but I have been a Christian since 1963, and I have seen many things change in 47 years. There was much more interest in God’s word then than there is now. Oh, I know there are still some people being saved here and there, but so many have no desire to hear God’s word. It is sad that they don’t.

Let’s look at our text with a godly desire to understand it. The prophet says “Seek ye the LORD.” Can we understand Isaiah here? He is saying you should seek the LORD. You see, Isaiah did not write only for Israel. It is plain that he was given a burden for all of us. He was given a message for the world. Remember the recent messages where I asked “What is the gospel?” In that message I pointed out that Isaiah clearly, plain as day, presented the gospel. Not only these words I have chosen here, but this entire chapter is a message wooing us to the savior. It did not matter that He had not yet been born. It did not matter, because even then, nearly 2800 years ago, the need for the redeemer was there as much as now. This was because man had already sinned, and brought God’s judgment on the entire world. God made it clear in Genesis that sin was a failure that was bringing misery and destruction on the world. When Adam and Eve sinned, it tainted us all. There was no exemption. All men were now sinners. There was no escape provided! The entire unborn human race was under judgment. Adam and Eve were forced out of the garden. We all fell with them! All of us! No exceptions! Yet, God doesn’t just give up! He says “Seek ye the Lord”.

Can we grasp that really? God has made a way to overcome sin. God has a people He is saving for His glory. This is so awesome! He could have sent the entire world to hell, but He has made a way for “whosoever will”. In John 3:16 Jesus said “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That way is the Lord; the Son of God, who gave His sinless life for we who are sinners. Just think how gracious that is! Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, not for his crimes, but ours!

      Perhaps after hearing all this you are face to face with your own sin and wickedness. Maybe you want to know “how can I obtain mercy?” Well, I have good news for you. That is what the gospel is; good news. The good news is in these words I have been pointing to-- Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” You see, it is so simple. Don’t make it complex! God has made a way for you. If you will call upon Him while He is near; if you will receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior; if you will obey the word in Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The key to this is in the next verses “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
      For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:10-11)
      There is that great word whosoever again. I told you God has said “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17b) This is the truth from God!
      Can’t you see that these promises are yours? I know our main verse is OT, but it is repeated over and over again throughout God’s word. It is for you and me. One place that tells you this is there in Romans in the NT. Our very next verse says “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” (Romans 10:12) There isn’t a difference in the salvation of the Jew, and the Gentile.The same Lord does the work on all.

There is so much more regarding salvation in this chapter of Isaiah. It is no wonder that Isaiah is called by some people the gospel of Isaiah. Note the language given in Isaiah 55:1-3 “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.  Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”

      It reminds me so much of our Lord Jesus’ words to the woman in John 4:10 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” In both testaments the language is similar; salvation is God’s living water for the sinner. In both testaments He tells the unsaved to hear the truth of the gospel, and become a recipient of the everlasting covenant. God’s sure mercies are still available in our day, in this 21st century. His call is still real! His earnest provision is still real! The sacrifice has been made! All you have to do is receive it freely. Then, when you do, your life is changed. A new life begins that will continue on even after death.

      “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7) The change in your life will be not only abundant, but super-abundant. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. (2 Corinthians 5:17) It is a new life that you cannot even imagine now. All your sin is forgiven and removed. Afterward if you study the Bible, and hear the true word preached, you will become strong, and strive to be holy, and serve God gladly. I suggest you read Isaiah 55, and meditate on it for a couple of days. There is so much here for the new believer. God is so different from everything in this sin-cursed world. He even says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8)

      My friends, I have been on both sides of the line, and there is so much difference it cannot be fathomed by the mortal mind. God is faithful to those He calls. He cares for them. I can tell you that I have failed Him many times in 47 years, but He has never failed me. He is a good God! I believe if you will seek Him while He may be found, that you will find Him. If you ask His forgiveness, you will receive it, and receive eternal life and forgiveness. Please, seek Him now!

      Published by Charles Woodruff- email:

Saturday, October 01, 2011


After a brutal summer, with temperatures over 90 degrees for a total of 90 days, today is the first day of autumn. During the summertime we had very little rain, especially in September. Many in our area were quite frustrated about the summer, and are certainly ready for fall. We humans often complain about the weather, one way or another. The weather people often reflect a humanist philosophy that the weather is just patterns and routine changes. They will frequently attribute weather changes they didn’t expect to “mother nature”.

To some extent, they are right about weather patterns and routine changes. God has set up the normal functions that move the universe day by day. He has decreed that the universe will function onward as He has programmed it. Scripture tells us of this normal function that God has set. “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) This is in normal times. Even in our history we have seen that there are abnormal disruptions to these day by day events.
     But, what of abnormal times. Throughout history there have been disruptions of the daily patterns. They do not always reflect biblical changes, at least as far as we can tell. But, God has given us details of weather events that are involved in prophecy. For instance Jesus said in Luke 21:10, 11 “Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” This is speaking of events that shall take place just before He returns to earth for His children. I am not a prophecy expert by any means, but I do know that Jesus, the resurrected one, is to return to earth one day. He said so, the angels said so; the Bible says so. He is going to return! I am as sure of that as I am of anything. Since it has been almost 2000 years since Christ was here, and all that history has passed, we can be sure it will not be long. As wicked as this world is, and with so many denying God, we know the hour is late. We all remember recently the preacher who had predicted the actual day He would return. He had done that one other time, and was wrong both times! He has rescheduled his prediction. Poor man!

      Who is it that told us that Christ would return? First of all the prophets told us. Then in the New Testament, Matthew tells us many things about His return. This stands out “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14) That particular prophecy has largely been fulfilled. Most of the world we can say has heard the gospel at some time, at least one time. It doesn’t say that all will believe, but that it will be preached. Now we ought to continue to preach everywhere until His return, because we have been commanded to do so. We do not know who the elect are. We must preach to every creature. It is an obligation we have to declare the gospel to all men and women.

Next in Mark we have a great prediction from Christ Himself of His return in reply to a question.  “But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:61, 62) Jesus was painting a picture of His return for the high priest (Caiaphas). He was making it clear that even though they would kill Him, He would not be held by death. He was going to triumph over the death, hell and the grave. He was going to return to earth.

Now let’s look briefly at Luke. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:25-28) There will be many things that will occur at the time of Christ’s return. If we had the time and were motivated to do so, we could look in depth at multiple prophecies. Just keep in mind that it will be a time as no other that has ever been, or shall ever be. It will be too late for any who are not already saved. It will be swift and sure. He is coming for judgement. He is coming back for His own children. Oh, my friend, do not be caught by the wrath of God!

Let us look at John also. Here the risen Christ related to John and Peter some truth regarding His final plans. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.” (John 21:18-24) We can see that Christ was definitely speaking of His return. The disciples question was “What shall this man do?” They wanted to know if John was going to be spared death. It was a good question, but not an accurate understanding of His coming. Jesus did not declare that John was not going to die. He was merely letting them all know that He alone had that power. He is coming back. There is so much more we could reflect on regarding that.

Let me just conclude by urging you to be ready when He comes. Millions will not be ready. God has already told us all “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) You can be ready by turning to Christ now, before it is too late. He is the only Saviour and Lord. Trust in Him today! Amen! He said “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) “I am that bread of life.” (John 6:48)
            Published by Charles Woodruff- email: