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Monday, May 29, 2023

Bible on Trial

At Castle Air Force Base, Atwater, California, when Major Kenneth W. Linsley, the Head Judge Advocate, approached the base Chaplain about starting a Sunday morning Bible study at the base chapel, the chaplain’s response was, “Teach the Bible? Who wants to study something so irrelevant? Now, I will give you space to teach something like The Passover Plot.”

The next Sunday, Major Linsley opened the base courtroom to more than a dozen people who wanted to study the Gospel of John. Some of the attendees came from the brig in chains and handcuffs to hear God’s Word from the same military attorney that incarcerated them for their crimes. Much to the Chaplain’s chagrin, the "Courtroom Bible Class" became a place where the Bible was put on trial and declared relevant enough to transform many into “born again” believers.

(From unpublished Linsley Family Narratives)

Saturday, May 20, 2023

C. S. Lewis on Worship


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." - C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Worship in Spirit and Truth


Hope Ellen Rapson

“I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1.

Two dictionary definitions of worship are (1) honoring or showing reverence for a divine being or supernatural power, and (2) regarding someone or something with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion, The first one applies to God; the second applies to man. Together they reflect what Jesus taught as the two greatest commandments---to love God with all you heart, mind, and spirit, and to love others as one loves themselves.

However, the question most asked is “How?” Jesus told Photini (the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well) that we should worship God “in spirit and in truth.” 

How do we do that? By developing a lifestyle that is focused on honoring God in all we do and serving others in ways that show that God has continually loving thought toward them. An excellent example of that was Brother Lawrence.

Brother Lawrence, author of Practicing the Presence of God, lived a simple monastic life focused on doing whatever he was called upon to do in the presence of God for the honor and glory of God. He wrote, “We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king.”

Consider the following questions:

  • Do I start my day with the goal of giving honor to God through all the duties or demands or distresses that might come whether they seem insignificant or considerably important?
  • Do I review my day asking forgiveness for when I did not reflect his glory and honor Him in what I thought, did, or said, and asking for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to better honor Him during the next day?

Praise, thanksgiving, and commitment to Almighty God in the mornings partnered with confession, supplication, and submission in the evenings is a practical pattern framework to follow in developing a lifestyle that demonstrates the worship of the Lord “in spirit and truth.”

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Grace is God Being God

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

The standard understanding of grace is "unmerited favor", and most preaching on grace focuses almost exclusively on salvation (Eph 2:8, 9). However, grace is multi-faceted. Sometimes it is expressed as God’s sanctification of humans and their enablement for service.

I believe that grace is simply God being God!

In the beginning there was but nothingness and nothingness has no merit. God's very nature seeks to fill all things. Creation was to exhibit God’s glory (Ps 19:1-6). 

All creatures came to be by God's grace. God's power to generate life is expressed in their diversity and complexity. 

Grace is expressed in the steps and processes to make earth inhabitable. Even the angels owe their existence to God's grace.

And even now, Jesus is creating eternal homes in grace. He could have cleaned up this earth, but by grace He will create a new earth and a New Jerusalem for those who have trusted Him.

By His grace those who suffer and diligently serve Him (Matt 25:21-23; Rom 8:17) will receive blessing upon blessing and life everlasting.

God shows mercy even to the unmerciful that they might come to know Him. 

Grace reflects God's majesty.

What can we claim that is not an expression of His grace? All that we have, we have by God's grace. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

I Bid Your Prayers


Your prayers are requested for the blog's founder the Rev. Edward F. Lundwall who will undergo aorta valve surgery soon. Ed will turn 93 on June 18. Please pray for this servant of the Lord Jesus.

Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need; We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy servant Ed for whom our prayers are offered. Look upon him with mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him; and give him patience. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr. is a retired Army Chaplain and a veteran of the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. He and his late wife, Marionette, were Baptist home missionaries for nine years. They have three children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Alice C. Linsley, Administrator

Sunday, April 16, 2023


Hope Ellen Rapson

With sweaty palms and rusty spades

Diggers hope to find and drink,

Waters that quench their cravings…

Beauty, brawn, brains, and a bounty…

Only to discover thick tepid liquid,

Tasting of darkness, death, and dirt.

One broken heart, filled with thirst,

Unquenched by Jacob’s well…

Prompted---asked for a running stream…

A clear, continual life-giving artesian

Only of the Holy Spirit’s making,

Discovering fresh faith in “I am He.”

With sweaty palms and rusty spades

Still diggers search to find and drink,

Waters to quench those cravings…

With broken hearts and unfilled thirst,

Some come to the eternal current,

Fresh and flowing from the great “I Am.”

My empty heart, filled with thirst,

Unquenched by acts of my own will

Convicted---drank from the saving stream,

The cool, continual renewing well

Only of the Holy Spirit’s flowing

From faith in the Everlasting Man.

Related: Life Changing Worship

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Life Changing Worship


"But the hour is coming and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth." Jn. 4:23-24

Hope Ellen Rapson

The Samaritan women came to the well seeking the gratification of her thirst, performing an activity that led to her survival as woman in her culture, and escaping the shaming eyes of society. She had lost sight of the God she claimed she worshipped. Jesus restored her relationship by sweeping away her three great distractions.

The first distraction is the craving for physical gratification. In her case it was water in a parched land, but it could have been sex, drugs, alcohol, even food. 

The second is the desire to acquire material things. The Samaritan woman desired a marriage that would provide her those things in her culture…a home, its furnishings, financial security…had led her into two legal marriages followed by three illicit relationships. 

The third distraction was her the hope for the status, significance, and acceptance all of which she had lost, forcing her to draw water in the heat of the noonday sun away from the community of women that would gather there in the cool of the day.

Jesus redirected her focus from what the world offers to what God freely gives---the ability to walk in his loving presence and provision and practices everyday as an act of worship. Her life changing worship led to the transformation of her whole village.

In this present hour, are believers being transformed by the Holy Spirit and walking in visible, practicable ways showing the world what true worship of God is? Or are they so involved in the distractions of the world, they have lost sight and love of the Father?

Jesus said, "But the hour is coming and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth." Glorify the Father in undistracted worship.

Related reading: Who Was Photini?