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Archive for February, 2018

It seemed to the little crowd on the wharf that she was never going to move again. There she lay, immense, motionless on the grey crinkled water, a loop of smoke above her, an immense flock of gulls screaming and diving after the galley droppings at the stern. You could just see little couples parading – little flies walking up and down the dish on the grey crinkled tablecloth. Other flies clustered and swarmed at the edge. Now there was a gleam of white on the lower deck – the cook’s apron or the stewardess perhaps. Now a tiny black spider raced up the ladder on to the bridge.

In the front of the crowd a strong-looking, middle-aged man, dressed very well, very snugly in a grey overcoat, grey silk scarf, thick gloves and dark felt hat, marched up and down, twirling his folded umbrella. He seemed to be the leader of the little crowd on the wharf and at the same time to keep them together. He was something between the sheep-dog and the shepherd.
But what a fool – what a fool he had been not to bring any glasses! There wasn’t a pair of glasses between the whole lot of them.
“Curious thing, Mr. Scott, that none of us thought of glasses. We might have been able to stir ’em up a bit. We might have managed a little signalling. ‘Don’t hesitate to land. Natives harmless.’ Or: ‘A welcome awaits you. All is forgiven.’ What? Eh?”
Mr. Hammond’s quick, eager glance, so nervous and yet so friendly and confiding, took in everybody on the wharf, roped in even those old chaps lounging against the gangways. They knew, every man-jack of them, that Mrs. Hammond was on that boat, and that he was so tremendously excited it never entered his head not to believe that this marvellous fact meant something to them too. It warmed his heart towards them. They were, he decided, as decent a crowd of people – Those old chaps over by the gangways, too – fine, solid old chaps. What chests – by Jove! And he squared his own, plunged his thick-gloved hands into his pockets, rocked from heel to toe.
“Yes, my wife’s been in Europe for the last ten months. On a visit to our eldest girl, who was married last year. I brought her up here, as far as Salisbury, myself. So I thought I’d better come and fetch her back. Yes, yes, yes.” The shrewd grey eyes narrowed again and searched anxiously, quickly, the motionless liner. Again his overcoat was unbuttoned. Out came the thin, butter-yellow watch again, and for the twentieth – fiftieth – hundredth time he made the calculation.
“Let me see now. It was two fifteen when the doctor’s launch went off. Two fifteen. It is now exactly twenty-eight minutes past four. That is to say, the doctor’s been gone two hours and thirteen minutes. Two hours and thirteen minutes! Whee-ooh!” He gave a queer little half-whistle and snapped his watch to again. “But I think we should have been told if there was anything up – don’t you, Mr. Gaven?”
“Oh, yes, Mr. Hammond! I don’t think there’s anything to – anything to worry about,” said Mr. Gaven, knocking out his pipe against the heel of his shoe. “At the same time–“
“Quite so! Quite so!” cried Mr. Hammond. “Dashed annoying!” He paced quickly up and down and came back again to his stand between Mr. and Mrs. Scott and Mr. Gaven. “It’s getting quite dark, too,” and he waved his folded umbrella as though the dusk at least might have had the decency to keep off for a bit. But the dusk came slowly, spreading like a slow stain over the water. Little Jean Scott dragged at her mother’s hand.
“I wan’ my tea, mammy!” she wailed.
“I expect you do,” said Mr. Hammond. “I expect all these ladies want their tea.” And his kind, flushed, almost pitiful glance roped them all in again. He wondered whether Janey was having a final cup of tea in the saloon out there. He hoped so; he thought not. It would be just like her not to leave the deck. In that case perhaps the deck steward would bring her up a cup. If he’d been there he’d have got it for her – somehow. And for a moment he was on deck, standing over her, watching her little hand fold round the cup in the way she had, while she drank the only cup of tea to be got on board … But now he was back here, and the Lord only knew when that cursed Captain would stop hanging about in the stream. He took another turn, up and down, up and down. He walked as far as the cab-stand to make sure his driver hadn’t disappeared; back he swerved again to the little flock huddled in the shelter of the banana crates. Little Jean Scott was still wanting her tea. Poor little beggar! He wished he had a bit of chocolate on him.
“Here, Jean!” he said. “Like a lift up?” And easily, gently, he swung the little girl on to a higher barrel. The movement of holding her, steadying her, relieved him wonderfully, lightened his heart.
“Hold on,” he said, keeping an arm round her.
“Oh, don’t worry about Jean, Mr. Hammond!” said Mrs. Scott.
“That’s all right, Mrs. Scott. No trouble. It’s a pleasure. Jean’s a little pal of mine, aren’t you, Jean?”
“Yes, Mr. Hammond,” said Jean, and she ran her finger down the dent of his felt hat.
But suddenly she caught him by the ear and gave a loud scream. “Lo-ok, Mr. Hammond! She’s moving! Look, she’s coming in!”
By Jove! So she was. At last! She was slowly, slowly turning round. A bell sounded far over the water and a great spout of steam gushed into the air. The gulls rose; they fluttered away like bits of white paper. And whether that deep throbbing was her engines or his heart Mr. Hammond couldn’t say. He had to nerve himself to bear it, whatever it was. At that moment old Captain Johnson, the harbour-master, came striding down the wharf, a leather portfolio under his arm.
“Jean’ll be all right,” said Mr. Scott. “I’ll hold her.” He was just in time. Mr. Hammond had forgotten about Jean. He sprang away to greet old Captain Johnson.
“Well, Captain,” the eager, nervous voice rang out again, “you’ve taken pity on us at last.”
“It’s no good blaming me, Mr. Hammond,” wheezed old Captain Johnson, staring at the liner. “You got Mrs. Hammond on board, ain’t yer?”
“Yes, yes!” said Hammond, and he kept by the harbour-master’s side. “Mrs. Hammond’s there. Hul-lo! We shan’t be long now!”
With her telephone ring-ringing, the thrum of her screw filling the air, the big liner bore down on them, cutting sharp through the dark water so that big white shavings curled to either side. Hammond and the harbour-master kept in front of the rest. Hammond took off his hat; he raked the decks – they were crammed with passengers; he waved his hat and bawled a loud, strange “Hul-lo!” across the water; and then turned round and burst out laughing and said something – nothing – to old Captain Johnson.
“Seen her?” asked the harbour-master.
“No, not yet. Steady – wait a bit!” And suddenly, between two great clumsy idiots – “Get out of the way there!” he signed with his umbrella – he saw a hand raised – a white glove shaking a handkerchief. Another moment, and – thank God, thank God! – there she was. There was Janey. There was Mrs. Hammond, yes, yes, yes – standing by the rail and smiling and nodding and waving her handkerchief.
“Well that’s first class – first class! Well, well, well!” He positively stamped. Like lightning he drew out his cigar-case and offered it to old Captain Johnson. “Have a cigar, Captain! They’re pretty good. Have a couple! Here” – and he pressed all the cigars in the case on the harbour-master – “I’ve a couple of boxes up at the hotel.”
“Thenks, Mr. Hammond!” wheezed old Captain Johnson.
Hammond stuffed the cigar-case back. His hands were shaking, but he’d got hold of himself again. He was able to face Janey. There she was, leaning on the rail, talking to some woman and at the same time watching him, ready for him. It struck him, as the gulf of water closed, how small she looked on that huge ship. His heart was wrung with such a spasm that he could have cried out. How little she looked to have come all that long way and back by herself! Just like her, though. Just like Janey. She had the courage of a – And now the crew had come forward and parted the passengers; they had lowered the rails for the gangways.
The voices on shore and the voices on board flew to greet each other.
“All well?”
“All well.”
“How’s mother?”
“Much better.”
“Hullo, Jean!”
“Hillo, Aun’ Emily!”
“Had a good voyage?”
“Splendid!”
“Shan’t be long now!”
“Not long now.”
The engines stopped. Slowly she edged to the wharf-side.
“Make way there – make way – make way!” And the wharf hands brought the heavy gangways along at a sweeping run. Hammond signed to Janey to stay where she was. The old harbour-master stepped forward; he followed. As to “ladies first,” or any rot like that, it never entered his head.
“After you, Captain!” he cried genially. And, treading on the old man’s heels, he strode up the gangway on to the deck in a bee-line to Janey, and Janey was clasped in his arms.
“Well, well, well! Yes, yes! Here we are at last!” he stammered. It was all he could say. And Janey emerged, and her cool little voice – the only voice in the world for him – said,
“Well, darling! Have you been waiting long?”
No; not long. Or, at any rate, it didn’t matter. It was over now. But the point was, he had a cab waiting at the end of the wharf. Was she ready to go off. Was her luggage ready? In that case they could cut off sharp with her cabin luggage and let the rest go hang until to-morrow. He bent over her and she looked up with her familiar half-smile. She was just the same. Not a day changed. Just as he’d always known her. She laid her small hand on his sleeve.
“How are the children, John?” she asked.
(Hang the children!) “Perfectly well. Never better in their lives.”
“Haven’t they sent me letters?”
“Yes, yes – of course! I’ve left them at the hotel for you to digest later on.”
“We can’t go quite so fast,” said she. “I’ve got people to say good-bye to – and then there’s the Captain.” As his face fell she gave his arm a small understanding squeeze. “If the Captain comes off the bridge I want you to thank him for having looked after your wife so beautifully.” Well, he’d got her. If she wanted another ten minutes – As he gave way she was surrounded. The whole first-class seemed to want to say good-bye to Janey.
“Good-bye, dear Mrs. Hammond! And next time you’re in Sydney I’ll expect you.”
“Darling Mrs. Hammond! You won’t forget to write to me, will you?”
“Well, Mrs. Hammond, what this boat would have been without you!”
It was as plain as a pikestaff that she was by far the most popular woman on board. And she took it all – just as usual. Absolutely composed. Just her little self – just Janey all over; standing there with her veil thrown back. Hammond never noticed what his wife had on. It was all the same to him whatever she wore. But to-day he did notice that she wore a black “costume” – didn’t they call it? – with white frills, trimmings he supposed they were, at the neck and sleeves. All this while Janey handed him round.
“John, dear!” And then: “I want to introduce you to–“
Finally they did escape, and she led the way to her state-room. To follow Janey down the passage that she knew so well – that was so strange to him; to part the green curtains after her and to step into the cabin that had been hers gave him exquisite happiness. But – confound it! – the stewardess was there on the floor, strapping up the rugs.
“That’s the last, Mrs. Hammond,” said the stewardess, rising and pulling down her cuffs.
He was introduced again, and then Janey and the stewardess disappeared into the passage. He heard whisperings. She was getting the tipping business over, he supposed. He sat down on the striped sofa and took his hat off. There were the rugs she had taken with her; they looked good as new. All her luggage looked fresh, perfect. The labels were written in her beautiful little clear hand – “Mrs. John Hammond.”
“Mrs. John Hammond!” He gave a long sigh of content and leaned back, crossing his arms. The strain was over. He felt he could have sat there for ever sighing his relief – the relief at being rid of that horrible tug, pull, grip on his heart. The danger was over. That was the feeling. They were on dry land again.
But at that moment Janey’s head came round the corner.
“Darling – do you mind? I just want to go and say good-bye to the doctor.”
Hammond started up. “I’ll come with you.”
“No, no!” she said. “Don’t bother. I’d rather not. I’ll not be a minute.”
And before he could answer she was gone. He had half a mind to run after her; but instead he sat down again.
Would she really not be long? What was the time now? Out came the watch; he stared at nothing. That was rather queer of Janey, wasn’t it? Why couldn’t she have told the stewardess to say good-bye for her? Why did she have to go chasing after the ship’s doctor? She could have sent a note from the hotel even if the affair had been urgent. Urgent? Did it – could it mean that she had been ill on the voyage – she was keeping something from him? That was it! He seized his hat. He was going off to find that fellow and to wring the truth out of him at all costs. He thought he’d noticed just something. She was just a touch too calm – too steady. From the very first moment –
The curtains rang. Janey was back. He jumped to his feet.
“Janey, have you been ill on this voyage? You have!”
“Ill?” Her airy little voice mocked him. She stepped over the rugs, and came up close, touched his breast, and looked up at him.
“Darling,” she said, “don’t frighten me. Of course I haven’t! Whatever makes you think I have? Do I look ill?”
But Hammond didn’t see her. He only felt that she was looking at him and that there was no need to worry about anything. She was here to look after things. It was all right. Everything was.
The gentle pressure of her hand was so calming that he put his over hers to hold it there. And she said:
“Stand still. I want to look at you. I haven’t seen you yet. You’ve had your beard beautifully trimmed, and you look – younger, I think, and decidedly thinner! Bachelor life agrees with you.”
“Agrees with me!” He groaned for love and caught her close again. And again, as always, he had the feeling that he was holding something that never was quite his – his. Something too delicate, too precious, that would fly away once he let go.
“For God’s sake let’s get off to the hotel so that we can be by ourselves!” And he rang the bell hard for some one to look sharp with the luggage.
* * *
Walking down the wharf together she took his arm. He had her on his arm again. And the difference it made to get into the cab after Janey – to throw the red- and-yellow striped blanket round them both – to tell the driver to hurry because neither of them had had any tea. No more going without his tea or pouring out his own. She was back. He turned to her, squeezed her hand, and said gently, teasingly, in the “special” voice he had for her: “Glad to be home again, dearie?” She smiled; she didn’t even bother to answer, but gently she drew his hand away as they came to the brighter streets.
“We’ve got the best room in the hotel,” he said. “I wouldn’t be put off with another. And I asked the chambermaid to put in a bit of a fire in case you felt chilly. She’s a nice, attentive girl. And I thought now we were here we wouldn’t bother to go home to-morrow, but spend the day looking round and leave the morning after. Does that suit you? There’s no hurry, is there? The children will have you soon enough … I thought a day’s sight-seeing might make a nice break in your journey – eh, Janey?”
“Have you taken the tickets for the day after?” she asked.
“I should think I have!” He unbuttoned his overcoat and took out his bulging pocket-book. “Here we are! I reserved a first-class carriage to Cooktown. There it is – ‘Mr. and Mrs. John Hammond.’ I thought we might as well do ourselves comfortably, and we don’t want other people butting in, do we? But if you’d like to stop here a bit longer–?”
“Oh, no!” said Janey quickly. “Not for the world! The day after to-morrow, then. And the children–“
But they had reached the hotel. The manager was standing in the broad, brilliantly-lighted porch. He came down to greet them. A porter ran from the hall for their boxes.
“Well, Mr. Arnold, here’s Mrs. Hammond at last!”
The manager led them through the hall himself and pressed the elevator-bell. Hammond knew there were business pals of his sitting at the little hall tables having a drink before dinner. But he wasn’t going to risk interruption; he looked neither to the right nor the left. They could think what they pleased. If they didn’t understand, the more fools they – and he stepped out of the lift, unlocked the door of their room, and shepherded Janey in. The door shut. Now, at last, they were alone together. He turned up the light. The curtains were drawn; the fire blazed. He flung his hat on to the huge bed and went towards her.
But – would you believe it! – again they were interrupted. This time it was the porter with the luggage. He made two journeys of it, leaving the door open in between, taking his time, whistling through his teeth in the corridor. Hammond paced up and down the room, tearing off his gloves, tearing off his scarf. Finally he flung his overcoat on to the bedside.
At last the fool was gone. The door clicked. Now they were alone. Said Hammond: “I feel I’ll never have you to myself again. These cursed people! Janey” – and he bent his flushed, eager gaze upon her – “let’s have dinner up here. If we go down to the restaurant we’ll be interrupted, and then there’s the confounded music” (the music he’d praised so highly, applauded so loudly last night!). “We shan’t be able to hear each other speak. Let’s have something up here in front of the fire. It’s too late for tea. I’ll order a little supper, shall I? How does that idea strike you?”
“Do, darling!” said Janey. “And while you’re away – the children’s letters–“
“Oh, later on will do!” said Hammond.
“But then we’d get it over,” said Janey. “And I’d first have time to–“
“Oh, I needn’t go down!” explained Hammond. “I’ll just ring and give the order … you don’t want to send me away, do you?”
Janey shook her head and smiled.
“But you’re thinking of something else. You’re worrying about something,” said Hammond. “What is it? Come and sit here – come and sit on my knee before the fire.”
“I’ll just unpin my hat,” said Janey, and she went over to the dressing-table. “A-ah!” She gave a little cry.
“What is it?”
“Nothing, darling. I’ve just found the children’s letters. That’s all right! They will keep. No hurry now!” She turned to him, clasping them. She tucked them into her frilled blouse. She cried quickly, gaily: “Oh, how typical this dressing-table is of you!”
“Why? What’s the matter with it?” said Hammond.
“If it were floating in eternity I should say ‘John!'” laughed Janey, staring at the big bottle of hair tonic, the wicker bottle of eau-de-Cologne, the two hair- brushes, and a dozen new collars tied with pink tape. “Is this all your luggage?”
“Hang my luggage!” said Hammond; but all the same he liked being laughed at by Janey. “Let’s talk. Let’s get down to things. Tell me” – and as Janey perched on his knees he leaned back and drew her into the deep, ugly chair – “tell me you’re really glad to be back, Janey.”
“Yes, darling, I am glad,” she said.
But just as when he embraced her he felt she would fly away, so Hammond never knew – never knew for dead certain that she was as glad as he was. How could he know? Would he ever know? Would he always have this craving – this pang like hunger, somehow, to make Janey so much part of him that there wasn’t any of her to escape? He wanted to blot out everybody, everything. He wished now he’d turned off the light. That might have brought her nearer. And now those letters from the children rustled in her blouse. He could have chucked them into the fire.
“Janey,” he whispered.
“Yes, dear?” She lay on his breast, but so lightly, so remotely. Their breathing rose and fell together.
“Janey!”
“What is it?”
“Turn to me,” he whispered. A slow, deep flush flowed into his forehead. “Kiss me, Janey! You kiss me!”
It seemed to him there was a tiny pause – but long enough for him to suffer torture – before her lips touched his, firmly, lightly – kissing them as she always kissed him, as though the kiss – how could he describe it? – confirmed what they were saying, signed the contract. But that wasn’t what he wanted; that wasn’t at all what he thirsted for. He felt suddenly, horrible tired.
“If you knew,” he said, opening his eyes, “what it’s been like – waiting to-day. I thought the boat never would come in. There we were, hanging about. What kept you so long?”
She made no answer. She was looking away from him at the fire. The flames hurried – hurried over the coals, flickered, fell.
“Not asleep, are you?” said Hammond, and he jumped her up and down.
“No,” she said. And then: “Don’t do that, dear. No, I was thinking. As a matter of fact,” she said, “one of the passengers died last night – a man. That’s what held us up. We brought him in – I mean, he wasn’t buried at sea. So, of course, the ship’s doctor and the shore doctor–“
“What was it?” asked Hammond uneasily. He hated to hear of death. He hated this to have happened. It was, in some queer way, as though he and Janey had met a funeral on their way to the hotel.
“Oh, it wasn’t anything in the least infectious!” said Janey. She was speaking scarcely above her breath. “It was heart.” A pause. “Poor fellow!” she said. “Quite young.” And she watched the fire flicker and fall. “He died in my arms,” said Janey.
The blow was so sudden that Hammond thought he would faint. He couldn’t move; he couldn’t breathe. He felt all his strength flowing – flowing into the big dark chair, and the big dark chair held him fast, gripped him, forced him to bear it.
“What?” he said dully. “What’s that you say?”
“The end was quite peaceful,” said the small voice. “He just” – and Hammond saw her lift her gentle hand – “breathed his life away at the end.” And her hand fell.
“Who – else was there?” Hammond managed to ask.
“Nobody. I was alone with him.”
Ah, my God, what was she saying! What was she doing to him! This would kill him! And all the while she spoke:
“I saw the change coming and I sent the steward for the doctor, but the doctor was too late. He couldn’t have done anything, anyway.”
“But – why you, why you?” moaned Hammond.
At that Janey turned quickly, quickly searched his face.
“You don’t mind, John, do you?” she asked. “You don’t – It’s nothing to do with you and me.”
Somehow or other he managed to shake some sort of smile at her. Somehow or other he stammered: “No – go – on, go on! I want you to tell me.”
“But, John darling–“
“Tell me, Janey!”
“There’s nothing to tell,” she said, wondering. “He was one of the first-class passengers. I saw he was very ill when he came on board … But he seemed to be so much better until yesterday. He had a severe attack in the afternoon – excitement – nervousness, I think, about arriving. And after that he never recovered.”
“But why didn’t the stewardess–“
“Oh, my dear – the stewardess!” said Janey. “What would he have felt? And besides … he might have wanted to leave a message … to–“
“Didn’t he?” muttered Hammond. “Didn’t he say anything?”
“No, darling, not a word!” She shook her head softly. “All the time I was with him he was too weak … he was too weak even to move a finger …”
Janey was silent. But her words, so light, so soft, so chill, seemed to hover in the air, to rain into his breast like snow.
The fire had gone red. Now it fell in with a sharp sound and the room was colder. Cold crept up his arms. The room was huge, immense, glittering. It filled his whole world. There was the great blind bed, with his coat flung across it like some headless man saying his prayers. There was the luggage, ready to be carried away again, anywhere, tossed into trains, carted on to boats.
… “He was too weak. He was too weak to move a finger.” And yet he died in Janey’s arms. She – who’d never – never once in all these years – never on one single solitary occasion–
No; he mustn’t think of it. Madness lay in thinking of it. No, he wouldn’t face it. He couldn’t stand it. It was too much to bear!
And now Janey touched his tie with her fingers. She pinched the edges of the tie together.
“You’re not – sorry I told you, John darling? It hasn’t made you sad? It hasn’t spoilt our evening – our being alone together?”
But at that he had to hide his face. He put his face into her bosom and his arms enfolded her.
Spoilt their evening! Spoilt their being alone together! They would never be alone together again.
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God had called out Abraham and he departed Haran trusting in God and it was counted as righteousness unto him. He was strong in faith and he became the friend of God on account of his faith. Lot, his nephew went with him. Considering his trust was in Abraham rather than in God shall reveal the consequences in a stark contrast later on. When the land could not contain them both Abraham let Lot take precedence over him. “If thou wilt take the left hand then will I go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left (Ge.13:9).”

Consider this verse: “…Unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee..(Ge.121-3) We need to remember that God had already told Abraham that a land He had already in mind and yet he was willing to risk it for the sake of maintaining harmony between his nephew and him. For Abraham the promise of God to bless him was enough. What about his nephew whose faith was more tied up in a human way that of blood ties?

God had upheld Abraham despite of letting his nephew first.Lot saw the plains of Jordan most suited to his conveniences and journeyed east.We read that ‘Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere. It was solid common sense that appealed to Lot.

Predestination of God is to be understood in either or choice of man. Lot exercised free will and it was based on solid common sense borne out of experience. Predestination of a Christian is based on his faith in Christ Jesus.

Benny

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Individual and nation

These two entities  carry different weights before God. God as the Sovereign Lord God wills fellowship with man. It is what such terms as Mercy and grace would signify. It rests on conditions all of which are laid down by God.

We shall consider what these are from the life of Abraham. The Spirit informs us that he was the friend of God (Jas.2:23; 2 Chr.20:7; Is.41:8)

Friendship is cultivated between individuals and it entails shared experience, which in case of God and man can never be of equal weight. Righteousness of God and of man are irreconcilable. Only faith or trust can make these hold in balance. This is what Apostle James declares: “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” Righteousness was imputed to Abraham. Glory of his grace in this case made Abraham as his friend on account of faith.

“Walk before me and be thou perfect (Ge.17:1).”

He was called out by God and he obeyed. “…And he went out not knowing whither he went (He.11:8) “Can two walk together except they be agreed (Am.3:3)?” Faith is the shared experience of God and man.

Secondly he was the father of many nations.

Quality of faith is consistent. Faith is one (Ep.4:5). Faith of God is such he does not have to judge any one on account of superficial considerations of race, colour, creed. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (Jn.5:23)”.

When God first appeared to him Abraham was seventy-five years old and accordingly departed out of Haran. In order to make him the Father of many nations God found it necessary that he made himself above such considerations that man finds as essential. National identity, familial bonds were of little worth as much as trust to be called a friend of God.

The Spirit in recounting the manner Abraham resorted to ruse on account of his wife Sarah (Ge.12:10-20) in the land of Egypt reveals the cultural context in which children of God have to conduct their lives. A similar incident is mentioned in the life of his son Isaac while he sojourned in the land of Gerar (Ge.26:6-11). How do we handle our cultural baggage? A parable of Jesus throws useful commentary for our spiritual growth. The kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea. It brings to surface both good and bad. (Mt.13: 47-50). We have to get rid of whatever is bad and hindrance to our growth.

As customary with the Spirit supplying marginal notes to Abraham as an instrument or rather as Friend of God his relation is established. The order of Melchizedek connects divine seal stamping him as the father of many nations. St Paul and the writer to the Hebrews supply additional information for helping us see his position in the divine Plan. Melchizedek was the “King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent…abideth a priest continually (He.7:1-4)”. He brought Abraham bread and wine when he came after the slaughter of the kings at the valley of Shaveh (Ge.14:17). Bread and wine are additional clues as to the identity of the Priest-King.

“Unto him that loved us …and made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;(Re.1:6-7)”

Evidently it is a different order than the Law of Moses enjoined. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Ge.12:3).” The nation of Israel was recipient of blessings of God and it tells only part of the story.

Benny

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Theodoric Voler had been brought up, from infancy to the confines of middle age, by a fond mother whose chief solicitude had been to keep him screened from what she called the coarser realities of life. When she died she left Theodoric alone in a world that was as real as ever, and a good deal coarser than he considered it had any need to be. To a man of his temperament and upbringing even a simple railway journey was crammed with petty annoyances and minor discords, and as he settled himself down in a second-class compartment one September morning he was conscious of ruffled feelings and general mental discomposure. He had been staying at a country vicarage, the inmates of which had been certainly neither brutal nor bacchanalian, but their supervision of the domestic establishment had been of that lax order which invites disaster. The pony carriage that was to take him to the station had never been properly ordered, and when the moment for his departure drew near, the handyman who should have produced the required article was nowhere to be found. In this emergency Theodoric, to his mute but very intense disgust, found himself obliged to collaborate with the vicar’s daughter in the task of harnessing the pony, which necessitated groping about in an ill-lighted outbuilding called a stable, and melling very like one–except in patches where it smelled of mice. Without being actually afraid of mice, Theodoric classed them among the coarser incidents of life, and considered that Providence, with a little exercise of moral courage, might long ago have recognized that they were not indispensable, and have withdrawn them from circulation. As the train glided out of the station Theodoric’s nervous imagination accused himself of exhaling a weak odor of stable yard, and possibly of displaying a moldy straw or two on his unusually well-brushed garments. Fortunately the only other occupation of the compartment, a lady of about the same age as himself, seemed inclined for slumber rather than scrutiny; the train was not due to stop till the terminus was reached, in about an hour’s time, and the carriage was of the oId-fashioned sort that held no communication with a corridor, therefore no further traveling companions were likely to intrude on Theodoric’s semiprivacy. And yet the train had scarcely attained its normal speed before he became reluctantly but vividly aware that he was not alone with the slumbering lady; he was not even alone in his own clothes. A warm, creeping movement over his flesh betrayed the unwelcome and highly resented presence, unseen but poignant, of a strayed mouse, that had evidently dashed into its present retreat during the episode of the pony harnessing. Furtive stamps and shakes and wildly directed pinches failed to dislodge the intruder, whose motto, indeed, seemed to be Excelsior; and the lawful occupant of the clothes lay back against the cushions and endeavored rapidly to evolve some means for putting an end to the dual ownership. It was unthinkable that he should continue for the space of a whole hour in the horrible position of a Rowton House for vagrant mice already his imagination had at least doubled the numbers of the alien invasion. On the other hand, nothing less drastic than partial disrobing would ease him of his tormentor, and to undress in the presence of a lady, even for so laudable a purpose, was an idea that made his ear tips tingle in a blush of abject shame. He had never heen able to bring himself even to the mild exposure of openwork socks in the presence of the fair sex. And yet–the lady in this case was to all appearances soundly and securely asleep; the mouse, on the other hand, seemed to be trying to crowd a wanderjahr into a few strenuous minutes. If there is any truth in the theory of transmigration, this particular mouse must certainly have been in a former state a member of the Alpine Club. Sometimes in its eagerness it lost its footing and slipped for half an inch or so; and then, in fright, or more probably temper, it bit. Theodoric was goaded into the most audacious undertaking of his life. Crimsoning to the hue of a beetroot and keeping an agonized watch on his slumbering fellow traveler, he swiftly and noiselessly secured the ends of his railway rug to the racks on either side of the carriage, so that a substantial curtain hung athwart the compartment. In the narrow dressing room that he had thus improvised he proceeded with violent haste to extricate himself partially and the mouse entirely from the surrounding casings of tweed and half-wool. As the unraveled mouse gave a wild leap to the floor, the rug, slipping its fastening at either end, also came down with a heart-curdling flop, and almost simultaneously the awakened sleeper opened her eyes. With a movement almost quicker than the mouse’s, Theodoric pounced on the rug and hauled its ample folds chin-high over his dismantled person as he collapsed into the farther corner of the carriage. The blood raced and beat in the veins of his neck and forehead, while he waited dumbly for the communication cord to be pulled. The lady, however, contented herself with a silent stare at her strangely muffled companion. How much had she seen, Theodoric queried to himself; and in any case what on earth must she think of his present posture?
“I think I have caught a chill,” he ventured desperately.
“Really, I’m sorry,” she replied. “I was just going to ask you if you would open this window.”
“I fancy it’s malaria,” he added, his teeth chattering slightly, as much from fright as from a desire to support his theory.
“I’ve got some brandy in my holdall, if you’ll kindly reach it down for me,” said his companion.
“Not for worlds–I mean, I never take anything for it,” he assured her earnestly.
“I suppose you caught it in the tropics?”
Theodoric, whose acquaintance with the tropics was limited to an annual present of a chest of tea from an uncle in Ceylon, felt that even the malaria was slipping from him. Would it be possible, he wondered to disclose the real state of affairs to her in small installments?
“Are you afraid of mice?” he ventured, growing, if possible, more scarlet in the face.
“Not unless they came in quantities. Why do you ask?”
“I had one crawling inside my clothes just now,” said Theodoric in a voice that hardly seemed his own. “It was a most awkward situation.”
“It must have been, if you wear your clothes at all tight,” she observed. “But mice have strange ideas of comfort.”
“I had to get rid of it while you were asleep,” he continued. Then, with a gulp, he added, “It was getting rid of it that brought me to-to this.”
“Surely leaving off one small mouse wouldn’t bring on a chill,” she exclaimed, with a levity that Theodoric accounted abominable.
Evidently she had detected something of his predicament, and was enjoying his confusion. All the blood in his body seemed to have mobilized in one concentrated blush, and an agony of abasement, worse than a myriad mice, crept up and down over his soul. And then, as reflection began to assert itself, sheer terror took the place of humiliation. With every minute that passed the train was rushing nearer to the crowded and bustling terminus, where dozens of prying eyes would be exchanged for the one paralyzing pair that watched him from the farther corner of the carriage. There was one slender, despairing chance, which the next few minutes must decide. His fellow traveler might relapse into a blessed slumber. But as the minutes throbbed by that chance ebbed away. The furtive glance which Theodoric stole at her from time to time disclosed only an unwinking wakefulness.
“I think we must be getting near now,” she presently observed.
Theodoric had already noted with growing terror the recurring stacks of small, ugly dwellings that heralded the journey’s end. The words acted as a signal. Like a hunted beast breaking cover and dashing madly toward some other haven of momentary safety he threw aside his rug, and struggled frantically into his disheveled garments. He was conscious of dull suburban stations racing past the window, of a choking, hammering sensation in his throat and heart, and of an icy silence in that corner toward which he dared not look. Then as he sank back in his seat, clothed and almost delirious, the train slowed down to a final crawl, and the woman spoke.
“Would you be so kind,” she asked, “as to get me a porter to put me into a cab? It’s a shame to trouble you when you’re feeling unwell, but being blind makes one so helpless at a railway station.”
by HH Munro (Saki)

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In order to understand the Book of Genesis for spiritual edification a child of God has to keep the rule of three mentioned here below..

Before coming to them  by way of preface allow me to point out one difference that reading the God’s word literally and with the help of the Spirit shall make. The Bible is the revealed word the divine Will concerning man and nations. It chronicles their destinies with and without God. Literal reading makes the nation of Israel, their Law and temple practices loom larger than what is real. Such a distortion makes a reader easily fall for many wrong interpretations touted by teachers some false and some ignorant. For example some sects teach reinstitution of temple worship, animal sacrifices as God ordained that shall be continued in eternity.. Israel has no more preferred status than a gentile who has accepted Jesus as his sovereign redeemer. Israel as nation was rejected as the gentiles were adopted over their attitude to God, the Son. Israel rejected the son of Man because they failed to see him as the end of Law. The gentiles were chosen according to the promise of God to Abraham. “In thee shall all families be blessed.”

Three points emerge from the Book of Genesis.

Firstly the time element: the Throne and the footstool (Is.66:1) is symbol for God’s sovereignty. As God document the Spirit treats the heaven and the earth as one entity. The creative calendar of God runs on God’s Time and it explains the expression ‘in the beginning.’ It is of a different quality than what the Prophet Ezekiel provided. “In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month and so on…(Ez.1:1) or with regards to the birth of Jesus we have this verse, “But when the fullness of the time was come God sent forth his Son…(Ga.4:4)” God’s Time can only be what value God gives it. Without firmly fixing this any interpretation is bound to err. (Mt.13:32).

Secondly the role of the Logos Aspect.

In order to explain the many separations set forth in the Book of Genesis, some background explanation will be helpful. It is in terms of man as the end user. The very eternal nature of the Word makes it the arbiter of human interactions on the earth. The Word is useful as a tool to separate his motives and action. Power and Wisdom that we associate with Godhead must work for him for which the Scripture serves as Manual of Instruction. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (He. 4:12)”.

Thirdly element of  there is nothing of chance in the Core Will of God. chance is a fallacy of human understanding owing to his inability to see time as God views it. . Since there is only single element of time, which is God’s Time all other time earth time or any other are local time zones however linked to Time. Analogy of currency tied to the Gold standard may help us here. This incontrovertible proof dismisses all human events as God ordained every event each taking place in his Time frame. What is suffering but a human condition? Sufferings of Joseph owed to his brethren whose jealousy eventually prompted them to get rid of him. They saw in him nothing more than a slave but God had foreseen Joseph as the deliverer of Israel in the time of a famine. His brethren had no inkling of a famine in the offing but God had. So where hidden actions of man are brought to light in God’s Time and suffering is God’s way of equipping His chosen instruments perfect through suffering. Besides when the Spirit sets God’s Time in terms of earth times, treats Joseph as a forerunner of Jesus thereby reconciling two time frames into a single narrative.

Benny

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Schermafdruk 2018-02-19 10.51.39

Mr. Half, the toad was smart … And he knew it. He was sure he was one in a million. He was not going to let his chance pass by. “I shall amaze the world.,” that is what he said So he stepped out one morning. He was smart alright! Hundred things he could do, -he could juggle, do handstand and cartwheel, Well, almost anything. But was he good enough? His adventures are funny and show what you can do all in one day. Are you ready young folks? Let us follow the Remarkable Mr. Half, as yellow as a buttercup in bloom and as funny as any toad that took to the road. The Remarkable Half-Half is the first in the Half-Half series. Age group: 4-8 years

Paperback:$13

soon in kindle

Product Details:

 

  • Series: Illustrated Half-Half series
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (February 15, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1985607093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1985607095
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.1 x 6 inches

 

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Here we are concerned about two aspects of the fall of man.

Glory of God gave, as we have already discussed in the study of Genesis, a shape. The earth was without form but in the creation account of God, this glory gave the earth its form. Consider the  creatures which God brought to Adam and he gave them names. Does it not indicate God considered him as the Alpha male and it was not merely a coincidence. God considered Adam as his steward to minister to the well being of creatures of the air, beasts of burden etc., Here we see him as a forerunner of Jesus who in the fulness of time came as Servant-King. Here we have two aspects of man one as a carnal being and the other as a spiritual emblem of heavenly realities. In order to distinguish between the two we have ‘inner man’ as a distinct reality which no man can escape from. Death similarly is what no man can escape unless one is born again.

Secondly we see  the heavenly realities belong to an overcomer. For this reason Adam was cast out from the Garden so he might not reach out and eat of the fruit of the tree of life. He was ‘dead’ in his inner man.

Now on to our key verse:

“And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil….So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken (Ge.3:22-23-NIV).”

God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and made him a living soul. When Adam disobeyed God death occurred which God had warned him about (Ge. 3:3). So death must have occurred and the Spirit hints about the kind of death that took place. The cherubim with flaming swords forbade Adam (vs.24)., which is an emblem of his inability. He could no longer enjoy his former state of being within the divine Will. He had forfeited his gift and it was his own doing. ‘For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance( Ro.11:29). In the NIV they are irrevocable.

Adam because of the gift from God is deemed the son of God (Lk.3:38). It is on this basis the Holy Spirit builds him as an antitype whereas Jesus Christ is the Type. He is the son over his own house (He.3:6). Having said we can understand why the Lord God says, “Behold the man is become as one of us.”

Inner man

Jesus said, ‘It is the spirit that gives life and flesh profits nothing…(Jn.6:63),’When we consider the born again experience we owe to the Word made flesh so in accepting Jesus by faith we find way back to God. Where Adam lost our new birth allows us to know good and evil according to the Core Will. As an earnest of our inheritance the indwelling Spirit works with our inner man. “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;…Ep.3:16-20; (2 Co.4:16) Earlier we were led by the spirit of man whereby we served our appetites in our flesh and allowed ourselves to be carried about by custom and traditions of the world. White evangelicalism for this reason is carnal and contrary to the divine Will. Our inner man does not depend on sensory inputs but is guided by spirit of truth. To distinguish the spirit of the world and our spiritual experience within, we may characterize our inner man being driven by a dominant force.

Alpha force is the dominant force, ‘the power that worketh in us’ whereby the indwelling Spirit can build us to the fulness of God. Alpha force is not a scriptural term but we use it with caution. Eye of the inner man is single and the light with which it is led by light of the knowledge of the word creates love of Christ as honey in a hive. So much so the born again experience produces fruits of the Spirit.

How does the inner man differs from carnal man?

The Spirit has given us a clear indication from the story of Hannah in the first book of Samuel. “Now Hannah, she spake in her heart: only her lips moved..(1 S.1:13-16).”

Firstly let us recalls the words of Jesus with regards to prayer. The prayer of a heathen has its characteristic. ‘Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do.’ “For your Father knoweth what things you have need of, before you ask him (Mt.6:7-8).  Inner man makes a case for a child of God and the world shall never fully fathom its outcome until God brings to light. Hannah was thrown in deepest pit of anguish. Her adversary still tormented since she had no insight what her taunts were creating in her rival. But God heard her since the groaning and supplications of her inner man was neither within the control of her adversary or in her direct control. We do not know how we should pray at times since we are very much drawn into agony of the spirit to pray with wisdom. “I am a woman of sorrowful spirit”.  Peace of God, as we read ‘passeth all understanding,’ This is what God has assured his children and it is not what anyone who grandstand before the world can command at will. So those who misuse the word of God for their own glory whether it be prosperity theology or of Belial have got their reward and for us it shall be the peace not as the world gives but what we can appreciate in eternity..

Benny

 

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