Daily Thoughts: Gems from Jeremiah

Some special specific verses that have been life-giving to me in recent weeks; apply them to your life and situation.

Jer. 2:2 – “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, and how you followed me in the wilderness.” This is the Lord speaking to His people regarding their past love and devotion, and how they followed Him in the past; as I read this, I was stirred to remember the early days of my Christian walk, and how fresh and real it was; I prayed this verse as I read it recently, asking the Lord to give me that newness again.

Jer. 2:8 – “Those who handle the law did not know me.” One of the great problems in the American church is simply this–preachers and pastors don’t know God, either at all or in any deep way; many are either lost or are so shallow, they don’t even know what it truly means to truly know God.

Jer. 2:17 – “Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God?” Concerning any nation, when a nation declines and is being destroyed by disasters, major issues, and severe problems, the fact is, God is turning that nation over to its sin and allowing more severe judgment to occur; even our Republication presidential candidate recently was asked if he had ever asked God for personal forgiveness, to which, he replied, “I don’t think I have ever needed to ask forgiveness for anything.” To that, Jer. 2:35 speaks: “Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’ Whether DT was saying he had never sinned, I don’t know, but his was a pagan answer, at best.

Again, Jer. 5:24-25: “They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rain . . . your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have deprived you of good.”

Jer. 14:8, Jeremiah’s view of God and name for God- “O You hope of Israel, its Savior in time of trouble.” He has always been, and will always be, the Savior of His people in times of trouble.

Jer. 15:16 is wonderful– “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” This is our need and provision, to eat His words and find them give us fresh joy and delight.

– Mack T.

Fellowship Conference New England begins this afternoon

For those wanting to participate by live-streaming the conference, more info can be found on the conference generally at

All sessions Eastern Standard Time

Schedule of sessions

Session 1 – 2:30 pm
Session 2 – 5:45 pm
Session 3- 7:15 pm

Session 4 – 9:30 am
Session 5 – 11:15 am
Session 6 – 6:30 pm

Session 7 – 8:30 am
Session 8 – 10:15 am
Session 9 – 1:30 pm

Here is the link


you will have to sign in with your email to watch, but those emails won’t be used for anything else except this access;

Text either number below with questions if it doesn’t work
Josh at 207 595 8728
Darius 708 574 2846

Hope you can enjoy some of the conference;

Mack T.

The Power of the Holy Spirit in Portland, Maine

Daily Thoughts: The Power of the Holy Spirit in Portland, Maine

Although Edward Payson (1783-1827) is largely forgotten today, he was well-known in the first half of the 19th century. According to Iain Murray, Payson’s biography by Asa Cummings “was probably the most influential ministerial biography to appear in the United States in the first half of the 19th century.” His influence was so large that thousands of 19th-century parents named their children after him.

Payson pastored for twenty years in Portland, Maine. During his ministry, he had a remarkable prayer life, praying hours daily, and preached with great reality and power. Payton saw 5 different periods of spiritual awakening, between 1807, his first year there, until his final year in 1827.

Known as Praying Payson of Portland, he would not have liked such a title, but his reputation spread widely as a man who spent hours in private prayer and communion with God. Archibald Alexander, one of the pre-imment leaders of revival in New England, said in 1844 that “no man in our country has left behind him a higher character for eminent godliness than Edward Payson.”

Payson was a pastor during seasons of revival. In 1813 he spoke of “never having seen so much of God’s power displayed at one time.” He wrote his mother the next year, as he traveled home to Portland, describing God’s power in a period of revival: “I came home thoroughly drenched by the shower of divine influences, which began to fall; I soon found, upon returning home, that the cloud had followed me, and was beginning to pour itself down upon my people; we appointed a season of thanksgiving, and a blessing seemed to follow it. I then invited a number of young men to our house for a meeting; I expected twenty at the most, but the first evening, forty came, then sixty, and finally seventy came. About thirty of these are seriously inquiring about salvation, and there is a real appearance that the work is spreading. Meanwhile, I am rejoicing and astonished to see what God is doing, so that I can scarcely get an hour’s sleep.”

Payton later wrote on April 1, 1816: “Our revival still lingers, and even increases slowly. I have conversed with about forty persons who are entertaining hopes of their conversion and with sixty others who are inquiring about their salvation. Twenty-three souls have been added to the church since the year’s beginning, and the work is evidently not over. There is also quite a revival at Bath, south of us here. Nearly two hundred apparently have been awakened there. Seventy-one persons were converted and added to a church at one time recently. In New York and Baltimore, there are also revivals occurring.

Such seasons of spiritual quickening in Portland continued in future years, later again in 1816, 1822, and in 1827, the final year of Payson’s life.

Such divine visitations of reviving grace in Christ’s church have come in the history of New England and in various parts of our country. New England, as well as every state in our country, is greatly in need of such a work of grace again. The God of Edward Payson still lives in Portland and is being sought again there in a serious way across New England, so pray for His work there, and use this encouragement to pray for God to revive His work in the midst of the years where you are. Our national election this fall will mean nothing for our future if God does not do a new work.

– Mack Tomlinson

J. C. Ryle Life, Ministry, and Wisdom – Pt 6

True and False Unity
No doubt we all love unity, but we must distinctly maintain that true unity can only be built on God’s truth. We must not withhold the right hand of fellowship from any faithful brethren because he does not think exactly like us, but we must understand who the men are to whom we extend the hand of fellowship.  We cannot endorse the sentiments and views of persons who have no real love for Christ’s truth. We cannot make people believe that we are all one in heart, when in reality, we differ on the most basic of truths. From such false unity may we pray to be delivered.

The Bible as the Word of God
Believing that the Scriptures are altogether and entirely the Word of God is the very foundation of Christianity. If Christians have no divine book to turn to as their warrant for their doctrine and practice, then they have no solid ground for present peace or hope, and no right to claim the attention of mankind. You cannot convert men and give them eyes to see or hearts to feel. The Holy Ghost alone can do that. But you can be a witness. Stand fast, both in public and private, even if you stand alone. Stand fast in the old belief that the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, was given by inspiration of God, and that the historical facts recorded in the Old Testament are all credible and true.

– J. C. Ryle

J. C. Ryle Life, Ministry, and Wisdom – Pt 5

Ryle believed that pastors must take time to sit at the firesides in the homes of the people, hear their thoughts, and speak faithfully about the things of God. He believed that a man who only speaks of Christ from behind a pulpit should not be surprised at having small usefulness. Real love for people will take a preacher into their homes, and will affect the way those same people hear him in public.

Ryle said that the objective of the Christian historian is “to see and trace the goodness of God taking care of His church in every age by His providence.”

Ryle’s ministry exposed deeply the error of many Anglicans and the official position of Roman Catholicism of what happened to infants when they are baptized by the priest– “Before administering baptism to children, the priest shall say . . . . Almighty and immortal God, we call upon thee for these infants, that they, coming to thy holy baptism, may receive the remission of their sins by spiritual regeneration.” In conclusion, the congregation is assured that the prayer has been answered, “It hath pleased Thee to regenerate this infant.” (Edwardian Prayer Book, revised 1559 and 1662). The Catholic Catechism of 1559 asserts, “It is certain by God’s word, that children, being baptized, have all things necessary for their salvation, and will be undoubtedly saved.” In answer to the first questions in that catechism, “What is your name?” and “Who gave you this name?”, the answer is, “My Godfathers and Godmothers in my baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.” These words all convey one impression: the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration takes place at the child’s baptism. – Iain Murray

Spurgeon on J. C. Ryle — In writing a review on Ryle’s book, Practical Religion, the Baptist preacher wrote–“Little more needs to be said of this volume, than that it sustains the author’s well-earned reputation for evangelical simplicity and power. With all her faults, he loves the Church of England still, but he loves the souls of men much more, and most of all, he love the gospel of their salvation. This is a gospel to be loved. Men’s ideas of the wrath to come may be judged by the earnestness with which they exhort others to flee from it.

Ryle- How many go to church merely as a formal practice. How few are really in earnest about the salvation of their souls! Go to the most godly and orderly parish in our land at this moment. Ask any well-informed child of God living there how many true Christians it contains, and what is the proportion of the converted to the unconverted. Mark well the answer he gives. I doubt if you will find a parish in Great Britain where even one third of the people are converted. [Today in Britain and America it’s much, much lower.]

– Iain Murray and Mack Tomlinson

J. C. Ryle Life, Ministry, and Wisdom – Pt 4

There is much to be learned from Ryle’s teaching with respect to keeping a right proportion and balance in the presentation of the truth. It is no small thing both to state biblical truth and to keep it in a right relationship with other truths. One doctrine, magnified out of proportion to other truths, will limit the usefulness of any ministry. Similarly, a secondary truth constantly delivered as though it were a main truth will produce unbalanced Christians. Truth needs to be stated with the right degree of emphasis in relation to other biblical teaching.
No teacher is perfect in this area, but Ryle is a valuable example. A young Christian taking up Ryle’s books is not going to be diverted into any hobby-horse (side tangent). Ryle will not be found pressing a subject that was only of special interest and significance in his own day. The study of prophecy is a case in point. In Ryle’s youth, numbers of evangelicals changed their belief on the subject. But while many people harped on the curious novelty of eschatology, giving it major emphasis, Ryle avoided the fancy details of prophetic interpretation, thus keeping the Second Coming in its proper place in evangelical thinking. Speaking of one clergyman, a man named Marsh, who so concentrated on eschatology, that he was called ‘Millennium Marsh’, Ryle said of the man’s imbalance–
“A worthy evangelical man, thought it his duty to preach to some invalids a series of expository sermons on Revelation concerning the seals, vials and trumpets, and expound all their meanings. A more deplorable instance of the lack of common sense [from a minister] I never saw in my life.”
Ryle is an outstanding example of making the big things big–Christ, his death and resurrection, the new birth, repentance and faith, growth in grace, prayer, the importance of the church, etc; he never chased religious rabbits, thus leading other believers down the path of imbalance or error. Any Christian can read Ryle safely, and will only find that which is beneficial to both doctrinal soundness and spiritual edification.

– Iain Murray and Mack Tomlinson

If God had left me alone

Sometimes, when I see some of the worst characters in the street, I feel as if my heart must burst forth in tears of gratitude that God has never let me act as they have done! I have thought, “If God had left me alone, and had not touched me by His grace, what a great sinner I would have been! I would have run to the utmost lengths of sin, dived into the very depths of evil. Nor would I have stopped at any vice or folly, if God had not restrained me!”

I feel that I would have been a very king of sinners, if God had left me alone. I cannot understand the reason why I am saved, except upon the ground that God would have it so. I cannot, if I look ever so earnestly, discover any kind of reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine grace.

~ Charles Spurgeon

J. C. Ryle: Life, Ministry, and Wisdom Part 3


What we weave in time, we wear in eternity; it matters little how we die, but it matters much how we live.

What the sun is in the heavens, is what Christ is in true Christianity. Nothing is to be added to Christ in salvation, nothing is to be joined with Him in honor, and nothing can satisfy apart from Him. Christ is all. All work, without Him, will be burned in the fire, and all riches without Him have wings and will fly away.

There are too many baptized men and women who practically know nothing at all about Christ. What true acquaintance do they have with his offices and work, his blood and righteousness, his priesthood, and intercession? None at all! Ask them about saving faith, ask them about being truly born again of the Spirit, ask them about being sanctified in Christ. What answer do you get? You are like a barbarian to them!

All believers should share the gospel. It is high time that the old tradition be exploded that the clergy alone are the only ones to teach and spread truth. To do good and diffuse light is a duty for which all members of Christ’s church are responsible. Christians ought to tell others that they have found medicine for their souls, when they see others dying for a lack of it. What did the apostle Peter say? “As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another (1 Peter 4:10). It will be happy days for the church when that text is obeyed.



J. C. Ryle – Life, Ministry, and Wisdom, Part 2


For various reasons, people may for a time appear to belong to Christ and hold orthodox belief. Upbringing, self-advantages, and culture may hide for a while what is missing. But let the disadvantages of being an evangelical Christian come to be experienced, and those unrenewed by the Holy Spirit will turn to whatever other system has greater appeal to their nature.

William Wilberfore had reason to warn his son, Samuel, when at Oriel school, against the dread of ridicule and the fear of being singled out; he reminded his son, “More perhaps depends on the selection of personal friends than on another circumstances in life.”

It is easy to be converted from one group to another, one denomination to another, or one set of opinions to another. But what we all need is conversion from pride to humility, from high thoughts of ourselves to low thoughts, from self-conceit to self-humiliation; conversion is needed from the mind of the Pharisee to the mind of the publican. A conversion of this kind we must experience, if we hope to be saved. This is the conversion that is wrought by the Holy Ghost.

Concerning the contrast between the standards of the world and the standards of the Lord Jesus, Ryle said, “They are more than different; they are flatly contradictory one to the other. Among the children of this world, that man is thought to be the greatest who has the most land, money, servants, position, or power. But among the children of God, he is reckoned the greatest who does the most to promote the spiritual happiness of his fellow creatures. True greatness consists of, not receiving, but in giving and imparting to others, not in being served, but in serving, not sitting still and being ministered to, but in going about and ministering to others.


J. C. Ryle – Life, Ministry, and Wisdom

Iain Murray’s new Banner of Truth biography on J. C. Ryle, 19th century British Anglican pastor, gives an outstanding glimpse into Ryle, which many Christians would enjoy and greatly benefit from, who have profited from Ryle’s writings, but know nothing about him. In this newly-released biography, J. C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, Murray gives a close-up look at the entire life and ministry of Ryle, with a very valuable insight into how Ryle had to choose to stand for the truth against increasing liberalism within his own church denomination.

I strongly encourage you to get the book and read it as part of your summer reading. It is not a big book (259 pages) and can easily be read over a 2 week period.

Some of my Daily Thoughts for now will be some choice gleanings from Ryle in this wonderful book.

J. C. Ryle’s life (1816-1900) included remarkable contrasts — the promise of a fortune, then the poverty of a family bankruptcy; a Suffolk country pastor, then bishop of the leading seaport of the British Empire. But also there was still a greater change–from the successful youth at the elite schools of Eton and Oxford, who did not pray or read his Bible until he was 21, to become a true Christian, who was ‘bold as a lion for the truth of God’s Word and his Gospel.’ Ryle’s life is convincing evidence that Christianity stands or falls, depending on its relation to the Word of God and to the Holy Spirit. That Ryle is being read widely at the present time gives hope for better days.
– Iain Murray

Some perspectives on Ryle —

F. J. Chavasse called him “that man of granite with the heart of a child.”

Marcus Loane said, “Ryle was, at heart, an evangelist.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones called Ryle a “famous, outstanding, and beloved exponent of the evangelical and reformed faith.”

J. I. Packer says Ryle was “a single-minded Christian communicator of profound biblical, theological and pastoral wisdom, a man and minister of giant personal stature, and electric force (unction was the old name for it).”

Richard Hobson, Ryle’s pastor in Liverpool while he was bishop there, said Ryle was “bold as a lion for the truth of God’s Word and his Gospel.”

“We want more boldness among the friends of truth; there is far too much tendency to sit still and wait for committees . . . . we want more men who are not afraid to stand alone. It is truth, not numbers, which shall always in the end prevail. We have the truth, and we need not be ashamed to say so. The judgment day will prove who is right, and to that day we boldly appeal.”
– J. C. Ryle