We share the grief of Peter Pao and his family. His father passed away in Hong Kong on May 21 at the age of ninety. Because of the current pandemic, Peter could not visit his father, which makes the situation doubly difficult. The sympathy and prayers of the congregation go out to the Pao family at this sorrowful time.
It was with deep sorrow that we said farewell to Sam McAnally on Sunday, May 23. He was born in Belfast, N.I, in 1932 and emigrated to Canada in November 1988. He and his wife Maudie were faithful members and workers in our church. They have now been reunited in heaven in the presence of the Saviour they loved and served. Sam was a good man and beloved by all. The sympathy and prayers of the congregation go out to Sam’s extensive family.
Ed Dunbar, the faithful organist of Faith FPC, Greenville, is unwell. His wife, Pam, also has a long-term illness. Ed has played several times in Toronto. Please pray for them at this time.
CHOSEN IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION
C.H. Spurgeon kept Isaiah 48:10 on his bedroom wall, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction,” and comments on it. It is no mean thing to be chosen of God. Better to be the elect of God than the elect of a whole nation. So eminent is this privilege, that whatever may be joined to it we very joyfully accept it even as the Jew ate the bitter herbs for the sake of the Pascal Lamb.
We are chosen as an afflicted people, not as a prosperous people, chosen not in the palace but the furnace. In the furnace, beauty is marred, fashion is destroyed, strength is melted, glory is consumed, and yet here, eternal love reveals its secrets and declares its choice. So has it been in our case.
In times of severest trial, God has made us our calling and election plain, and we have made it sure. If the furnace is heated seven times hotter, we will not dread it, for the glorious Son of God will walk amid the coals.
AUSTRALIA’S SECOND PLAGUE
In common with the rest of the world, Australia has suffered from the pandemic. On top of that is another plague – mice. This has occurred before and is very difficult to eradicate. News coverage on television shows areas of millions of mice, both outside and inside. Mice by the hundreds get into the homes, even scurrying across the pillows when the occupants are asleep. Mice are among the world’s most unpopular creatures. The Bible has an interesting story of them and what we can learn from them.
“WEE, SLEEKIT, COWERING, TIM’ROUS BEASTIE”
So wrote Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785 when, with his plough, he disturbed a mouse’s nest. Moses mentions the mouse as an unclean animal. God decreed certain animals to be clean or unclean to give the Israelites continual reminders of the difference between holiness and sin. Every time they saw an unclean animal, they were reminded of their own sinful nature.
The mouse, mentioned only six times in Scripture, is a powerful picture of sin. It is unclean, and sin is moral uncleanness. While certain animals are found only in some parts of the world, the mouse is found everywhere. Sin is universal, for all have sinned.
Burns described as sleekit, an old Scottish word for “sneaky.” It darts quickly here and there and can get into a house through the tiniest of openings. How like sin! Give the devil the tiniest opening, and he will invade your life with the mice of sin.
Mice breed rapidly. One undisturbed pair in a house, with sufficient food and water, can multiply to three or four hundred in a year! Sin breeds rapidly, as David discovered when he sinned with Bathsheba. One look multiplied into adultery, lying, murder and trouble in his own home that lasted for the rest of his life.
Mice are destructive and do great damage. Sin is always destructive and will adversely affect your life. Mice are attractive to some people-they keep little white mice. Sin can be attractive, and people talk of little white lies.
Remember, “Sin fascinates, then assassinates.”
Mice must be dealt with, or they will overrun the home and destroy the quality of life. Likewise, sin must be dealt with. Only Jesus Christ can effectively eradicate sin. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” [1 John 1:7]. Be watchful today. Do not allow the devil’s mice to ruin your day or life.