Transitions!

I just went through and changed some things on this blog. Where it used to say I am the pastor of Free Baptist Church, it now says “Former Pastor”. What a strange feeling that is!

Yesterday, I preached my final sermon here before our move. It was a blessing to “see” everyone on line.

My wife, Terri, has completed her initial six-week course of treatment, and we’ll be moving to Colorado next week. We expect to close the sale of our house here sometime later this week. The new owner has graciously permitted us to stay as long as we need after the sale. As of now, we are scheduled to leave Scotland on Monday for London, and fly out of London to America the next day.

I am praying for Pastor Paul and the church as they go forward in serving the Lord. There are some exciting things happening! We are trusting the Lord that His plan for the church meshes perfectly with His plan for us, and that He who “doeth all things well” has both us and the church in His mighty and loving hand.

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The “Abominable Mystery”

I’m not going to take the time to write much on this, but an article on the BBC about Charles Darwin is very revealing. See New light shed on Charles Darwin’s ‘abominable mystery’.

Two thoughts: First, Darwin’s defenders try to tell us that he was just following the science. If you tell them that the theories of evolution have been motivated and driven by opposition to God and an unwillingness to accept Him, they will say, “No, it’s just the science.” Yet, here we see Darwin referring to this evolutionary problem as an “abominable mystery” because an opposing scientist (not a preacher, a scientist) pointed out that God was the solution. That was anathema to Darwin, as the article acknowledges. So was Darwin just an unbiased observer following the science or is that just propaganda?

Second, evolutionists still don’t have a solution to their problem. There is no hypothesis within their framework that makes sense to solve it. As the article notes, Darwin speculated that perhaps the solution is an undiscovered continent or island. That, to me, sounds remarkably like faith rather than science. If your scientific theory doesn’t fit the known facts, and you therefore invent possible “facts” which can never be scientifically tested, you’ve just moved into the realm of faith. There is much in modern evolutionary “theory” that looks more like faith than science, but rarely do scientists and the modern press actually admit it.

This kind of article sometimes disappears, if anyone wants it I suggest you print it while available!

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Incredible News!

I know many readers are getting email updates — please use my contact page to let me know if you want them and aren’t getting them. But for those who aren’t….

We were originally told the tumour was likely to be inoperable, but Terri had an operation on Wednesday in which they successfully removed 90% of the tumour. They believed, and so far it appears to be true, that this was without any further damage to brain functionality, and that at least some of her symptoms would improve considerably.

Today, just three days after they removed a tumour the size of a small orange from her head, they have told us Terri should be able to come home this afternoon.

It is amazing the skills that God has given these people. We are so thankful for them, for the many who have prayed, for those who have helped in concrete ways, both big and small, but mainly for the God who enables and moves the hearts and minds of people to do these things.

Is this a miracle? Not according to the classic theological definitions of a miracle. Terri is not healed, the cancer is still there and dangerous and, from a medical perspective, incurable. But it is far too much for us to say anything but that God has been working in a wonderful way. To Him be the praise.

UPDATE: Not today after all, not because of any problem, but just that they weren’t able to assess her on the stairs today. It means she gets another day of rest before a long journey home, which isn’t a bad thing.

SECOND UPDATE: Home yesterday afternoon! Very tired, very glad to be home!

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Thank You

Thank you to all who have told us you are singing “Because He Lives” tomorrow, as individuals or together with other believers. It means a lot to us that some churches would bring this into your worship together, even people we’ve never met. Christian brothers and sisters are amazing.

It is very encouraging to the people of our church to hear how many people are praying for Terri and for us, how many people share with us the joy of knowing our Risen Lord.

For those who may not have heard, Terri has been transferred to Edinburgh as the neurosurgeons are “keen to try some sort of operation.” We had been told not to expect this, and do not know what is meant by it. But we thank you for your prayers. She is very tired tonight.

If you wish regular updates, please let me know.

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A Letter From Terri

Dear All 

Please read the letter from Terri, below. It was hard work (this kind of thing is slow and difficult for her right now) but very important to her. We worked on it for two hours this morning.   

We are still waiting to hear what, if any, treatment will be possible.  They are still watching Terri 24/7. They are all very kind. 

Here’s Terri:

Dear Friends and Family 

By now you know about my cancer. It has happened so fast, but the Lord is with us and encouraging us.  I want to ask two favours of you.

First, this song got real. Please, listen to it, it is not long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL7rDeNYwDY. I so want to see you over there. 

Second, can you join us, sometime this Sunday, in singing “Because He Lives”? If you don’t know it, you can play this and sing along: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm2wLKZoGPY  

I know people around the world are receiving this, and it would be an encouragement to know that we are singing it together, because it answers everything. 

It hurts me when people blame God and say He hasn’t been fair. I know people mean well and say it out of love and affection. But please don’t say that, even to yourself. The song answers it.  I don’t want people who care about me to be angry with God on my behalf. I love Him for everything He has done for me, and I want you to love Him, too. 

What is fair? If God were fair, he wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die, and rise again for me. If God were fair, I’d have “crossed that river” long ago, and I would be in Hell. 

But God did send His Son for a sinner like me, and He “bled and died to buy my pardon.” Now He lives and I will, too. I will be with Jesus who loves me so much, in Glory. I’m ok, I’m better than ok. 

I want to be honest with you. I’m afraid of “life’s final war with pain.” But it doesn’t matter if I’m a coward, the lights of Glory will still be there. They are there for me, not because of any good in me, but because He lives. Death will give way to victory, and I’m not going to lose that victory even if I’m afraid of the pain. Jesus guaranteed my victory.  He lives, and so will I.

Isaiah 25:8

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. 

John 3:16

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. 

John 11:25-26

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 

Do you believe that? I’m asking you if you believe, but do you see that verse? Jesus asked it first, do you believe? We believe it. That is what we count on. You can believe it, and if you do, we will see you over there. Please contact Jon if you need help in understanding. 

It appears I may not see many of you again unless it is “over there.” That only has to be sad if you aren’t going there. Please, come join us. 

Love, 

Terri 

Thank you to those who have sent messages to Terri on www.messagesforterrigleason.wordpress.com. She has read all the messages so far, more than once.  They are deeply appreciated. 

To send private messages that I and all of our kids (and their spouses) will see, but no one else, go to www.messagesforterrisfamily.wordpress.com/.   

If you want to receive updates on Terri’s status, please send me an email using my contact page.

Thank you for all the encouragement, love, and prayers.

In Him 

Jon  

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“For Thou Knowest Not What a Day May Bring Forth”

Proverbs 27:1

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

To my Internet friends, some of you certainly already know this, but perhaps many don’t, yet.

On Thursday, I was informed that my wife, Terri, was diagnosed with a very aggressive and humanly-incurable brain tumour. She was dealing with some confusion, but on Friday I was able to tell her. We do not yet know what, if any, treatment will be possible.

A week earlier, Terri and I went out and walked over two miles. By Saturday, she could not safely get out of bed without falling. That night, before I left, Terri quoted me this from her favourite hymn: 

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure 

Gives unto each day what He deems best – 

Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure 

Mingling toil with peace and rest. 

Then, she said, “Today, we’ve had what He kindly deemed best.”  

If you want to receive updates on Terri’s status, please send me an email using my contact page and I will tell you how.

If you want to send messages to Terri, please go to https://messagesforterrigleason.wordpress.com/ and add a comment on the post for the day. Please keep the messages short, concentration is difficult.

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Obeying God, Obeying Man — Some Key Principles

In my previous post (Obeying God, Obeying Man — Some Key Scriptures), I listed some key Scriptures dealing with obedience to government, as well as a list of cases in which disobedience to government is either clearly approved, or appears to be approved, by God.

In this post, I’d like to draw some principles that appear to be well-supported by the Scriptural evidence.  The specific text of most of the passages cited below can be seen in my prior post.

Continue reading

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