Tag Archives: Holiness

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of men, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11, 12

THE great and distinctive truth thus so broadly, emphatically, and impressively stated is the divinity of the gospel-a truth, in the firm and practical belief of which the Church of God needs to be established. The gospel is the master-work of Jehovah, presenting the greatest display of His manifold wisdom, and the most costly exhibition of the riches of His grace. In constructing it He would seem to have summoned to His aid all the resources of His own infinity; His fathomless mind, His boundless love, His illimitable grace, His infinite power, His spotless holiness-all contributed their glory, and conspired to present it to the universe as the most consummate piece of Divine workmanship. It carries with it its own evidence. The revelations it makes, the facts it records, the doctrines it propounds, the effects is produces, speak it to be no “cunningly devised fable,” of human invention and fraud, but what it truly is, the “revelation of Jesus Christ,” the “glorious gospel of the blessed God.” What but a heart of infinite love could have conceived the desire of saving sinners? And by what but an infinite mind could the expedient have been devised of saving them in such a way-the incarnation, obedience, and death of His own beloved Son? Salvation from first to last is of the Lord. Here we occupy high vantage ground. Our feet stand upon an everlasting rock. We feel that we press to our heart that which is truth-that we have staked our souls upon that which is divine-that Deity is the basis on which we build: and that the hope which the belief of the truth has inspired will never make ashamed. Oh, how comforting, how sanctifying is the conviction that the Bible is God’s word, that the gospel is Christ’s revelation, and that all that it declares is as true as Jehovah Himself is true! What a stable foundation for our souls is this! We live encircled by shadows. Our friends are shadows, our comforts are shadows, our defenses are shadows, our pursuits are shadows, and we ourselves are shadows passing away. But in the precious gospel we have substance, we have reality, we have that which remains with us when all other things disappear, leaving the soul desolate, the heart bleeding, and the spirit bowed in sorrow to the dust. It peoples our lonely way, because it points us to a “cloud of witnesses.” It guides our perplexities, because it is a “lamp to our feet.” It mitigates our grief, sanctifies our sorrow, heals our wounds, dries our tears, because it leads us to the love, the tenderness, the sympathy, the grace of Jesus. The gospel reveals Jesus, speaks mainly of Jesus, leads simply to Jesus, and this makes it what it is, “glad tidings of great joy,” to a poor, lost, ruined, tried, and tempted sinner.

 

From “Zion’s Wayfarer” by Philpot

“Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me–for you loved me before the foundation of the world.” _17:24

How great, how elevated above all utterance or all conception of men or angels, must the glory of Christ be–as the Son of the Father in truth and love! And not only is the Lord Jesus Christ glorious in his essential Deity as the Son of God, but glorious also in his holy, spotless humanity which he assumed in the womb of the Virgin Mary. For this, though the flesh and blood of the children, was “that holy One who was begotten of the Holy Spirit,” and was taken into union with his eternal Deity, that he might be “Immanuel, God with us.” The purity, holiness and innocence, the spotless beauty and complete perfection of this human nature, make it in itself exceedingly glorious; but its great glory is the union that it possesses and enjoys with the divine nature of the Son of God. The pure humanity of Jesus veils his Deity, and yet the Deity shines through it, filling it with unutterable brightness, and irradiating it with inconceivable glory. There is no blending of the two natures, for humanity cannot become Deity, nor can Deity become humanity; each nature remains distinct; and each nature has its own peculiar glory. But there is a glory also in the union of both natures in the Person of the God-man. That such wisdom should have been displayed, such grace manifested, such love revealed, and that the union of the two natures in the Person of the Son of God should not only have, so to speak, formerly originated, but should still unceasingly uphold, and eternally maintain salvation with all its present fruits of grace, and all its future fruits of glory, makes the union of the two natures unspeakably glorious.

And when we consider further that through this union of humanity with Deity, the Church is brought into the most intimate nearness and closest relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, what a glory is seen to illuminate the Person of the God-man, who as God is one with God, and as man is one with man, and thus unites man to God, and God to man; thus bringing about the fulfillment of those wonderful words, “That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.” And again, “I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one.”

Thus there is the glory of Christ as God, the glory of Christ as man, and the glory of Christ as God-man. And this threefold glory of Christ corresponds in a measure with what he was before he came into the world, with what he was while in the world, and with what he now is as having gone to the Father, according to his own words (_16:28). Before he came into the world his chief glory was that belonging to him as the Son of God; while in the world his chief glory was in being the Son of man; and now that he is gone back to heaven his chief glory is that of his being God and man in one glorious Person.

This latter glory of Christ, which is, in an especial sense, his mediatorial glory, is seen by faith here, and will be seen in the open vision of bliss hereafter. The three disciples on the Mount of transfiguration, Stephen at the time of his martyrdom, Paul when caught up into the third heaven, John in Patmos, had all special and supernatural manifestations of the glory of Christ; that is, surpassing what is generally given to believers. But the usual way in which we now see his glory is by the Holy Spirit “glorifying him by receiving of what is his, and showing it to the soul.” This divine and blessed Teacher testifies of him; takes away the veil of ignorance and unbelief which hides him from view; shines with a holy and sacred light on the Scriptures that speak of him; and raising up faith to believe in his name sets him before the eyes of the enlightened understanding, so that he is looked unto and upon; and though not seen with the bodily eye, is loved, believed, and rejoiced in with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Thus seen by the eye of faith, all that he is and has, all that he says and does is made precious and glorious. His miracles of mercy, while here below; his words so full of grace, wisdom, and truth; his going about doing good; his sweet example of patience, meekness, and submission; his sufferings and sorrows in the garden and on the cross; his spotless holiness and purity, yet tender compassion to poor lost sinners; his atoning blood and justifying obedience; his dying love, so strong and firm, yet so tried by earth, heaven, and hell; his lowly, yet honorable burial; his glorious resurrection, as the first-begotten of the dead, by which he was declared to be the Son of God with power; his ascension to the right hand of the Father, where he reigns and rules, all power being given unto him in heaven and earth, and yet intercedes for his people as the great High Priest over the house of God. What beauty and glory shine forth in all these divine realities, when faith can view them in union with the work and Person of Immanuel!

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:15

Believing prayer is prevailing, successful prayer. It assails the kingdom of heaven with holy violence, and carries it as by storm. It believes that God has both the heart and the arm; both the love that moves Him, and the power that enables Him; to do all and to grant all that His pleading child requests of Him. We may mention a few of the attributes of believing prayer.

It is real prayer, because it is the expression of need. It springs from a felt necessity of the mercy which it craves. It is sincere prayer, welling up from a soul schooled in the knowledge of its deep poverty and need. Oh, how much passes for real prayer which is not prayer; which is not the breathing of the soul, nor the language of the heart, nor the expression of need. There is in it no true approach to God, no thirsting for Christ, no desire for holiness. Were God to bestow the things which had been so thoughtlessly and heartlessly asked, the individual would be taken by surprise.

The prayer of faith is importunate and persevering. It will not take a refusal. It will not be put off with a denial. Thus Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the covenant until he prevailed; “I will not let you go until you bless me.” Thus the woman of Canaan would not release the Savior from her hold until He had granted her suit; “If I am a dog, satisfy me with the crumbs.” And thus, too, the man who besieged the house of his friend at midnight for bread, and did not go away until he obtained it; and the oppressed widow, who sought justice at the hands of the unrighteous and reluctant judge until he righted her; illustrate the nature of that prayer; even earnest, persevering prayer, which prevails with God, and obtains the blessing.

Believing prayer is humble. How low in the dust the truly importunate suppliant lies before God! There is nothing of bold ruffianism, of unholy freedom, in the cases of earnest prayer which we have cited. There is no irreverence of manner, nor brashness of speech, nor rushing into God’s holy presence as if He were an equal. But rather that awful consciousness of the Divine presence, that profound spirit of self-abasement which seems to say, “How dreadful is this place!” “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.” Oh, how lowly is the heart from where arises the incense of believing prayer! How utterly unworthy it feels of the least of all the Lord’s mercies; how unfit to be a channel of grace to others; and with what trembling it lies prostrate upon the spot where God, the Triune God, is passing by! “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.”

Submission is another attribute of the prayer of faith. Its utmost range of request is bounded, and its deepest fervor of spirit is chastened, by submission to the Divine will. It presumes neither to dictate to God, nor to counsel Him. It leaves the mode of answering its petitions; the time, the place, the way; with God. Trained, perhaps, in the school of bitter disappointment, it has learned to see as much love in God’s heart in withholding as in granting its requests; as much wisdom in delaying as in promptly bestowing the blessing. And, seeing that delays in prayer are not denials of prayer, he who believes will not make haste to anticipate the Divine mind, or to antedate the Divine blessing. “Your will, not mine, be done,” ever breathes from the praying lip of faith.

Yet another and the crowning attribute of believing prayer is; that it is presented in the name of Jesus. As it is life from God through Christ, so through Christ it is life breathed back again to God. It approaches the Divine Majesty by the “new and living way”; its mighty argument, and its one prevailing plea, is the atoning blood of Jesus. This is the ground of its boldness, this the reason of its nearness, and this the secret of its power and success. “Whatever you shall ask in my name,” observes Christ, “that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

 

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John 17:19

Christ is glorified in the progressive holiness of His people. “The kingdom of God is within you,” says our Lord. The increase of this kingdom is just the measure and extent of the believer’s advance in sanctification. This is that internal righteousness, the work of God the Holy Spirit, which consists in the subjugation of the mind, the will, the affections, the desires, yes, the whole soul; to the government and supremacy of Jesus; “bringing into captivity,” says the apostle, “every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

O you who are “striving against sin.” Longing to be “conformed to the image of God’s Son,” panting to be more “pure in heart,” “hungering and thirsting for righteousness,” think that in every step which you take in the path of holiness; in every corruption subdued; in every besetting sin laid aside; in every holy desire begotten; Christ is glorified in you! But you perhaps reply, “The more I strive for the mastery, the more I seem to be conquered. The stronger I oppose my sins, the stronger my sins seem to be.”

But what does this prove? It proves that “God is working in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”; that the kingdom of God is invading the kingdom of Satan; that the Spirit dwelling in the heart is warring with the flesh. It is truly remarked by Owen, that “if a believer lets his sins alone, his sins will let him alone.” But let him search them as with candles, let him bring them to the light, oppose, mortify, and crucify them; they will to the last struggle for the victory. And this inward warfare undeniably marks the inhabitation of God the Holy Spirit in the soul.

To see one advancing in holiness; thirsting for God; the heart fixed in its solemn purpose of entire surrender; cultivating higher views; and aiming for a loftier standard; to behold him, perhaps, carving his way to his throne through mighty opposition, “fightings without; fears within;” striving for the mastery of some besetting sin; sometimes foiling and sometimes foiled; sometimes with the shout of victory on the lip, and sometimes with the painful consciousness of defeat bowing down the heart; yet still onward; the needle of the soul, with slow and tremulous, but true and certain movement, still pointing to its glorious attraction- God; faith that can never fail; and hope that can never die; and love that can never be quenched; hanging amid their warfare and in all their weakness upon the “nail fastened in a sure place”; how is Christ, our sanctification, glorified in such a saint!

Oh, to be like Jesus! meek and lowly, gentle, kind, and forgiving, without duplicity, without deceit, without malice, without revenge, without one temper, or thought, or feeling, or look, that is unlike Him!

Beloved, mistake not the nature and the evidence of growth in sanctification. In all your self-denial in this great work, be cautious of grace-denial. You will need much holy wisdom here, lest you overlook the work of the Spirit within you. You have thought, it may be, of the glory that Christ receives from brilliant genius and profound talent, from splendid gifts and glowing zeal, from costly sacrifices, and even extensive usefulness. But have you ever thought of the glory, the far greater, richer glory, that flows to Him from a contrite spirit, a broken heart, a lowly mind, a humble walk; from the tear of godly repentance that falls when seen by no human eye, and the sigh of godly sorrow that is breathed when heard by no human ear; from the sin-abhorrence and self-loathing, the deep sense of vileness, poverty, and infirmity that takes you to Jesus with the prayer- “Lord, here I am; I have brought to You my rebellious will, my wandering heart, my worldly affections, my peculiar infirmity, my besetting and constantly overpowering sin. Receive me graciously; put forth the mighty power of Your grace in my soul, subdue all, rule all, and subjugate all to Yourself. Will it not be for Your glory, the glory of Your great name, if this strong corruption were subdued by Your grace, if this powerful sin were nailed to Your cross, if this temper so sensitive, this heart so impure, these affections so truant, this mind so dark, these desires so earthly, these pursuits so carnal, and these aims so selfish, were all entirely renewed by Your Spirit, sanctified by Your grace, and made each to reflect Your image? Yes, Lord, it would be for Your glory, through time and through eternity.”

 

 

My Prayer to the Father, August 21, 2012

Heavenly Father
I come to You, Father
Knowing that You are the Great God;
The Eternal God.
That You are defined
By
Love
Mercy
Compassion
Forgiveness
Justice
Holiness
And Truth,
And that these are all
You;
You are all these things.

Heavenly Father
How little we know of You;
With what arrogance
Do we presume upon You.
To think with our finite
Minds that we
Can understand You
Or think we should ever
Be able to know
All You are.

Heavenly Father
My prayer is a simple one
But one I feel we all need.
Father, I ask You
To help my brothers and sisters
To know:
That Your love is bigger,
Wider, deeper,
Than we can ever imagine;
That Your mercy
Extends beyond
What we are
capable of receiving.
That Your compassion
Knows no bounds;
That Your forgiveness
Is available
To anyone who
Sincerely desires it.

Heavenly Father
Let us never forget
That You are Just.
That Your justice
Is as big, wide, and deep
And Your eternal love.
That without Holiness
We shall never see You.
And most of all,
That without Your truth,
As You have decreed it
We shall never
Know You.

In Jesus name, I pray,
Amen.

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes,” by Horatius Bonar

The Apostolic Only.

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” – Php_1:27.

Only! Was this all? Yes, all, in the sense of its being one chief, main thing; pre-eminent above others. As he says for himself elsewhere, ‘This one thing I do;’ so here, he says to them, Only! Ah, what stress he lays upon a godly life, a consistent walk! Whatever be your earthly lot, be it joy or sorrow; whatever your gifts, your privileges, your enemies, or your friends-keep this in special remembrance, as if it were the one thing in life; be men of one idea, one desire, one purpose-live a holy life! How earnestly does the apostle inculcate this!

The word ‘conversation’ is a peculiar one. It does not mean speech or intercourse; it refers to our general deportment or manner of life as citizens-our citizen-life. We have a double citizenship; earthly and heavenly. We are still men in the flesh, citizens of earthly cities; and in the living of this citizen-life, we must not forget whose we are;-we must remember the gospel, and Him whose gospel it is. Our heavenly citizenship we must ever keep in mind, and walk worthy of it; for we are citizens of no mean city-of the joyous city. Let our whole life, with all its goings out and comings in, in every relationship, civil, social, domestic, be ‘as becometh the gospel.’

It is by the gospel that the apostle would have us test ourselves, and mould our life. It was with the belief of this gospel that our life began; thus let it go on. The gospel lifted us up to a higher level; let us remain there, or rather, let us ascend still higher. To bring out this, let us see what sort of gospel it is that we have come into the possession of.

I. It is a gospel of peace-Let us who have believed it walk at peace and in peace; possessors of peace, and makers of peace. Let peace be written on our forehead and speak out in every word, look, motion. Let us be witnesses for peace; living symbols of peace; seeking the things which make for peace, and which will commend, to all who see or hear us, the peace of God.

II. It is a gospel of liberty.-It has brought us into liberty, and broken our yoke. Let us walk as freemen; our whole lives a witness for true freedom. Let our citizen-life be the life of liberty. The Son has made us free; let us see that we be free indeed; that we commend to the bound world the liberty of Christ.

III. It is a gospel of gladness.-There is no gloom in it; and there ought to be none in those who believe it. It should make our faces shine,- shine all over, so that we may make all men see and feel what a happiness it contains. Walk worthy of this happy gospel. Let men see what a treasure you have within. Rejoice in the Lord. Let your joy be ever full, and overflowing. Let your whole life, your citizen-life, your whole deportment, be an exhibition of this happy gospel.

IV. It is a gospel of light-There is no darkness in it. It is all light; all like Him with whom the light dwelleth, who is light, and in whom is no darkness at all. Let us shine; let our life be a bright one. Let our whole demeanor be brightness, like that of the gospel which we profess. Let our ways and words be all brightness. Let us be children of the light and of the day. Our dwelling is in a dark world. Let not that darkness mar or absorb our light, but rather intensify and enhance it. Let each day’s darkness in the world be met with new brilliance in us. Let us bring out the contrast nobly; and so have our conversation as becometh the gospel of light.

V. It is the gospel of holiness.-A holy gospel; a gospel concerning deliverance from sin; a gospel meant to secure holiness; a gospel which embodies the holiness of a holy God. All in and about this gospel is holy. Let our conversation, our citizen-life, be as becometh this gospel. Let us exhibit it, adorn it by a holy life. An inconsistent life is a scandal, a reproach against the gospel. Let us be consistent, circumspect, watching our ways and words. Let it be seen that we are citizens of the holy city.

VI. It is the gospel of Christ.-He is its all; its sum and burden. The news which are so good are about His person and His propitiation; His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, His second coming. We are to walk as becometh such a gospel! We are to live as men who believe in such a Christ as this! If this thought were ever before us, should we not be more on our guard against all sin, more intent on advancing in holiness? Shall we not seek to honour the gospel of Christ? Shall we trifle with it, or treat it as a common thing?

VII. It is the gospel of the kingdom-It brings us the good news of the heavenly, the everlasting kingdom. It points us to the open gate into it. It makes us heirs of it. In that kingdom is the city of which we are heirs; the city which hath foundations, into which nothing that defileth shall enter; where all is perfect, glorious, divine; the New Jerusalem. Let us remember our heirship, our citizenship, and walk accordingly. With such a hope, let us be holy; let us set our affection on things above; let us hold fast; let us be faithful; let us live here as sons, kings, priests; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

 

 

My Prayer to the Father, August 17, 2012

Heavenly Father
You, who are the eternal God
Have in Your providence
And love
Given me all that which
Is good and praise worthy,
Even my very life
And the air I
Breath
Are gifts from
Your loving hand.

Heavenly Father
It is in recognition
of who You are,
And all that You are
That I come before Your eternal throne
Of justice, holiness and perfection
To offer You praise and worship,
And to tell You that
I love you
And that there is no one
And nothing
that I desire
To put over You
Or give place
To other than You.

Heavenly Father
It is You, and only You
That is worthy of all I have to give
In the way of love
Honor,
Praise,
Worship,
And any and all things
That have any value
To You
And Your eternal kingdom
That I shall one day
Live in.

Heavenly Father
I know You have prepared
My heart
And determined the outcome
Of my life.
How great is such knowledge,
Father, to know that
You who have made the stars
shine so bright
Have made the purpose
Of my life
To do the same.

Heavenly Father
You, who, have made all things;
Have made me
For Your own pleasure;
And, I know, Father, that
Even the wicked,
and the evil
With their purposeful intent
Are weaved
into Your intricate design
for good;
So that even what
they try to destroy
Is turned into
perfection,
And Beauty,
And Love.

Heavenly Father
I thank You for showing me
That it is by Your
Mercy and truth
That my sin is purged
From my soul;
And, that it’s by my
great fear of You, the great
God almighty
That I desire, and hasten to depart
the sin
That lies within me.

Heavenly Father
I thank You for making Yourself
Known to me
For I know by Your holy word
I would not have come
To You
Had You not drawn me.
I know Father for You
Have shown me
That those who seek
Righteousness
And pursue peace
Shall find it
Within You.

Heavenly Father
I come to You with just
One plea.
Father I ask You
To impart to
My brothers and sisters
The knowledge You
Have made available
Through Your word
To all who seek You;
To all who desire
To live lives
Of holiness.

Heavenly Father
I ask You to convict their hearts.
Make them realize, Father
That apart from Your word
Living within
There can be no
Desire to live holy;
And, that without
A desire to live
Holy,
There can be no desire
To live without sin.

In Jesus name, I pray,
Amen.

 

My Prayer to the Father, August 10, 2012

Heavenly Father
I come to You, Father,
Knowing that You
Are a God of
Truth
Understanding
Compassion
Mercy
Justice
Holiness
Perfection
And Love.

Heavenly Father
It is because I know this
That I can come before You
And bow down,
And plead with You
To have these things
Toward me.
Father, I am a sinner.
I have things in my
Mind and heart
That I don’t want
To face,
For I lack the courage
To face the answers
I’m afraid will be
There.

You, say, Father, that there is no
Temptation but such as
Is common to man,
And that You will give us
A way out
That we may be able
To bear it.
I pray You give me
That way now.
Temptation is an ugly
Thing, O Lord
And I would wish
That I should never
Have had to face this.
I am ashamed
That it has any appeal
But I will not lie
To You, nor myself.

Heavenly Father
I pray that You give me the
Strength to turn away,
To set my face in the opposite
Direction and run as
Fast as I can.
Give me the feet of a deer
So I may run swiftly
Into the arms of my Lord
who will hold me safely
And give me the security
Only He can provide.

Heavenly Father
I know that You are Perfect;
I know that though
You don’t make evil
You allow it.
You have allowed this
To touch me.
You, in all Your wisdom,
In all Your power,
In all Your truth
And compassion
Have with your
Almighty hand
Not stayed this,
But have allowed me to
Encounter it.
Is this a test, Father?
Is it an opportunity?

Heavenly Father
You have also said
Blessed is the man that
Endures temptation
For when He has been tried
He will receive
The crown of life.
You, Father are so good;
You who love us so
Not only show us love,
But teach us how
To do so.

Heavenly Father
I thank You for Your word;
I thank You for
Providing what my soul needs
What I am thirsty for
Righteousness.
You have given me that
Which I long for
Not in a place or thing,
But in a man
Made of flesh and bone
Who was made
As I,
And because He has
Tasted death for me,
Has been tempted
In the same ways
Is able to comfort me,
And who will forever be
My high priest who
Before You, O God,
Stands as my eternal
Mediator before you.

Heavenly Father
Thank You for my Lord and Savior,
Thank you for His blood that
Covers me;
Thank you for
His great love, mercy, and compassion,
And bringing to me once again the light
Of Your truth,
And the knowledge that reminds me
That he who stands beneath the tree
In the shadow of His grace
Blessed is he.

In Jesus name, I pray.
Amen.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian

BE HOLY

Holiness isn’t a subject we hear much about these days.  So, what does it mean to “be holy”?  First, let’s understand what it doesn’t mean:  (1) It doesn’t isolate you from the world, it insulates you against it’s negative influences.  (2)  It’s not a scorecard for deciding who’s close to God and who is not.  It’s having a heart that’s aware of your shortcomings and praying, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Ps 42:1 NIV).  Holiness means to be set apart in a special and exclusive way, as in Holy Communion where the bread and wine are set apart from everyday use to honor Christ’s death.  Or holy matrimony, where a couple promises to be faithful to each other to the exclusion of all others.  Chuck Swindoll wrote: “When I was…a…young husband serving in the marines…eight thousand miles away from my wife, I knew Cynthia existed.  I could read her letters, and occasionally hear her voice on the phone, but I couldn’t see or touch her.  I’d only the memory of us standing together three years earlier before God and a minister who’d pronounced us husband and wife, setting us exclusively to each other for the rest of our lives.  We were wed in June 1955, but regardless of how long ago it was, we stood together and committed ourselves to a holy intermingling of our lives.  To be intimate with another woman would break that holy relationship, that exclusive oneness.  Remembering that helped keep me faithful while we were apart those many months…and it still helps forty-one years later.!”