Bits and Pieces – 100th Edition – February 6, 2022
100th EDITION OF ‘BITS & PIECES’
When I started ‘Bits & Pieces’ almost two years ago, I had no idea it would run so long, but here we are at #100. I am happy that many people seem to enjoy the weekly collection of news and views.
The first issue (8 March 2020) reported on the new epidemic Covid 19 and 3000 deaths worldwide. That seems almost insignificant when compared to the 5,500,000 deaths two years later. Hopefully, we will soon report that the worst is over.
We are saddened to report the death of long-time church member John Watson. He went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday at the age of 96. John was a Professional Engineer by trade and is survived by his wife Thelma, three sons, and a daughter. To them, we extend our sympathy.
Lamentations is a dark book in which Jeremiah bewails the sinful state of Jerusalem. But right in the middle of the book, there shines forth a glorious ray of sunlight. We read that the mercies of the Lord are “new every morning,” a truth that led the prophet to exclaim, “great is thy faithfulness.” [Lam. 3:22-23]
We sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the bleakness of our circumstances or the wickedness of the world that it is easy to forget this truth. We sometimes sing, “This is my Father’s world.” It is. And, despite the suffering and sorrow that sin brought into the world, it is filled with evidence of our Father’s love and care.
Each day we behold the beauty of His creation; the majesty of great mountains, the calmness of a pastoral scene, the crashing waves of the ocean, the rippling of a brook, the singing of a bird, the grandeur of the night sky, the immense variety of His creatures – all these speak to us if only we would listen.
Surely, “the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” [Psalm 33:5] that extends far beyond the natural world to include what Paul calls “spiritual blessings” [Ephesians 1:3]. Some of those blessings we have already received and can never lose, such as regeneration, justification, adoption, acceptance with God, and the indwelling of His Spirit. But others are new or renewed, that are brought to us every day. Elijah received food daily, sent by God and carried by ravens. Don’t we also receive our daily bread from Him? What about home, health,
fellowship, comfort, and the Bible in our own tongue? These are God’s blessings. Try to count your blessings. You will fail, for they are innumerable. As David said, our faithful God “Daily loadeth us with benefits” [Psalm 68:19].
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR SUFFERERS
This quotation is taken from Octavius Winslow’s The Work of the Holy Spirit [p216, 217. Banner of Truth]. It has been an encouragement through many years of ministry.
“The believer in Jesus, then, must not forget that if the path he treads is rough and thorny if the sky is wintry and the storm is severe, and if the cross he bears is heavy, that this is the road to heaven…….Be sure of this, that when the Lord is about to favour you with some great and peculiar blessing, He may prepare you for it by some great and peculiar trial. If He is about to advance you to some honour, He may first lay you low that He may exalt you. If He is about to place you in a sphere of great and distinguished usefulness, He may first place you in His school, that you may know how to teach others.”
THE DANGERS OF DRINK
Frederick Charrington was the son of a wealthy brewer. After leaving school, he took up a position in his father’s world-famous brewery. Sometime later, he was converted to Christ through reading the third chapter of John’s Gospel.
One day he saw a mother taking her little girl into a public house to ask her husband to give her some money to buy bread for her children. Under the influence of drink, her husband knocked her and the little girl to the ground. Looking up, Frederick saw the name Charrington printed in gold letters over the door, and his conscience convicted him.
How could he witness to that man and his family when his own family was responsible for their misery by selling drink? He renounced his share of the family fortune and dedicated the rest of his life to fighting the curse of alcohol and preaching the Gospel.
[From Dr. Stanley Barnes in Footprints of Faith]
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” [Proverbs 20:1].