Thursday, 30 October 2008

Jimmy Graham : A man after God's heart

On Tuesday I spoke at the funeral of my very dear friend Jimmy Graham. His departure is a deep loss to myself and to those who were close to him. I had known him for about four years having first met him in a second hand book shop. At that time Jimmy was in very poor physical and emotional shape. He had just undergone a major operation for cancer and was deeply depressed: so depressed in fact that he almost despaired of life itself-have you ever been there? Also,due to the effects of the operation it caused one side of his face to drop down making Jimmy look a sorry sight.But God had already begun to work in Jimmy's life. Over a cup of tea he told me his story as well as his longing to know God and the way to heaven. We exchanged phone numbers and promised each other to make contact at least once a week.Little did I know that this 'chance' meeting would develop into a great friendship.

Jimmy was a ready learner and from that time on he really started to grow in his faith and displayed an incredible desire for both God and His word. He had always known the facts about the Bible, but in his own words he never knew the author who wrote it. One of his greatest loves was to go down to the Loughshore at Jordanstown which overlooks the Belfast Lough. It was there he would sit and read the Scriptures and other spiritual books by such authors as J.C. Ryle and C.H.Spurgeon, or the biographies of Tyndale, Wycliff and General Gordon among others.

Here Jimmy also sought to share his faith, and was used by God to bring Ken, who was also to become a really close friend, to Christ. After he met Ken he would spend hours each day tutoring his prodigy in the things of God. Many others who walked along the shore were also influenced by him in his quiet unassuming way. For instance, on one particularly dark, wet,windy night, someone could not start there car in the car park. Jimmy, who could put his hands to anything, soon sorted out the problem and before the grateful driver had sped off,he had had offered them a Christian booklet to read when they had time.For his ministry there Jimmy saw himself as, and loved to be known as 'the preacher at the beach'. It was also there that he was to write some great poetry as he sat down near the shore. Over the months his health steadily improved and the Lord restored his cheeky smiling face.

Sadly however, he never completely restored to full health and had to spend the end of his days between the Hospital and the Nursing Home. Nevertheless he held onto the hope that he would get out and share the news of God’s love with others, and move into a little bungalow with his thousands of books and old records. Now the preaching will be left to others who were influenced by him, and the house- well- he will now 'dwell in the house of the Lord forever'-which is far better.

Jimmy was never happier than with an open Bible (i.e.Matthew Henry Study Bible)at the Loughshore. He would also have heartily agreed with the following words of John Wesley, which formed part of his preface to his collection of sermons:

'To candid, reasonable men, I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought, I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: Just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity!

I want to know one thing, -- the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way: For this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: Here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be _homo unius libri_. [A man of one book.] Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone: Only God is here.

In his presence I open, I read his book; for this end, to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of Lights: -- "Lord, is it not thy word, `If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God?' Thou `givest liberally, and upbraidest not.' Thou hast said, `If any be willing to do thy will, he shall know.' I am willing to do, let me know, thy will."

I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual." I meditate thereon with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains, I consult those who are experienced in the things of God; and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach'.

If these words have spoken to anyone please contact me through email at

Jimmy and Ken at the Loughshore/

Friday, 24 October 2008


'More than two thousand years ago, there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived; that was during His exile in childhood.He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous and had neither training nor formal education.

In infancy He startled a king;
in childhood He puzzled doctors;
in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the waves as pavement, and hushed the sea to sleep.

He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His service.
He never wrote a book, and yet perhaps all the libraries of the world could not hold the books that have been written about Him.
He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined.
He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students.
He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under His orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot fired.
He never practiced psychiatry, and yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near.

Once each week multitudes congregate at worshiping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him.

The names of the past, proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone.
The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone. But the name of this Man multiplies more and more. Though time has spread nearly two thousand years between the people of this generation and the mockers at His crucifixion, He still lives. His enemies could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him.

He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils, as the risen, personal Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
We are either going to be forever with Him, or forever without Him. It was the incomparable Christ who said:
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and
burdened, and I will give you rest."
(Matthew 11:28)
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through Me."
(John 14:6)
"There is one God and one mediator
between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus."
(1 Timothy 2:5)

"Believe in the Lord Jesus,
and you will be saved."
(Acts 16:31)

Monday, 20 October 2008

North Korean Believers Remain in Chains

This is a copy of an email I was sent from Open Doors which gives an update regarding the persecution of Christians by the North Korean government.Please continue to pray for the Christians in this land and that the desperate situation they face will soon come to an end.AK

The United States has recently removed North Korea the No. 1 persecutor of Christians from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, according to news reports, North Korea said it will allegedly restart dismantling of its main nuclear facilities and allow inspections by U.N. monitors.

The 2008 Open Doors World Watch List ranked North Korea as the top violator of religious rights for the sixth year in a row. More Christians were arrested in North Korea in 2007 than in 2006. Many have been beaten, tortured or killed because of their religious beliefs. Open Doors' local source estimates the number of underground Christians to be at least 200,000, and it's likely that there are as many as 400,000 believers. At least a quarter of the Christians are imprisoned for their faith in political prison camps, from which people rarely get out alive.

Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA, says:

“There is no other country in the world where Christians are being persecuted in such a horrible and systematic manner. Often three generations of Christians are hunted down and killed or placed in prisons. Taking North Korea off the terrorism list just prolongs the life of a failing regime by giving it legitimacy. And it means this totalitarian regime will make life harsher for Christians. We need to keep the pressure on the United States government not to forget the terrible status of Christians. Future dialogue should include freedom of religion and other basic human rights. North Korea has not softened its targeting of thousands of Christians one bit. We must not forget the Christians in North Korea and how the regime of Kim Jong Il keeps them in chains. Please pray with me to have those chains broken."

The remaining countries on the United States terrorism blacklist are Cuba, Syria, Sudan and Iran. North Korea had been on the list since 1988.
Please continue to pray for believers in North Korea and also for the repercussions of removing North Korea from the U.S. terror list.
Praying with you,
Christina and the Prayer Force Team

Friday, 17 October 2008

The greatest prayer in the world

Enjoy this wonderful singing of perhaps the world's greatest prayer, by perhaps the world's greatest singer.

Friday, 3 October 2008


I have posted this video especially for the evangelism class I teach at the Bible College.I tried to play it last week in the class but the volume of the laptop was not loud enough for everyone to hear!The song was written by William Booth,the General and Founder of the Salvation Army.Booth was an incredible individual.One of the best biographies about him is 'The General next to God', which is difficult to read and not be inspired to reach out to the lost in evangelism and social action.Like his mentors and heroes before him,John Wesley and Christ Himself, there was no conflict between these two duties of the Church. Booth, before preaching in a certain town, prayed that God would convert the worst sinner in it, in order to be an example to the rest of God's grace and mercy.No wonder the Salvation Army was full of prostitutes, thieves, thugs, alcoholics,pimps,wife beaters-EX, who were now saints.This Army of grace also suffered a lot of persecution from gangs paid by the brewries and bookmakers who were losing trade due to the conversions that took place.My own grandfather who had fought in two World Wars,a short time after the second one, ended up at one of their meetings.That night he responded to the altar call and left behind his Woodbine cigarettes-he was never to smoke again!

This hymn is a prayer for God's Holy Spirit to come upon us and fill it with His fire,in order to burn off our sin,our lukewarmness and our lack of passion for God and the lost.Come Holy Spirit and fill us with your fire today.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Seeing Jesus in the underdog ''YOU DID IT TO ME.'

My friend Mark sent me this story that he read in the UCB daily readings. I have heard the story before and believe the minister in question was Tony Compolo.The message is well taken and is similar to the video 'Free hugs campaign' I have on my Video links. Check it out next. AK
A minister on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia USA noticed a homeless man coming towards him. He was filthy and his beard was caked with rotten food. He was holding a cup of coffee and the lip of the cup was dirty. Staggering up to him the hobo exclaimed, 'Hey, mister. You want some of my coffee?' The pastor really didn't, but he thought it was the right thing to do, so he said, 'Sure, I'll take a sip.' When he handed the cup back he remarked, 'You're generous giving away your coffee.' Looking at him the derelict replied, 'Well, it was particularly delicious today, and I think if God gives you something that good you should share it!' The pastor continued: 'I figured I was being set up and it would cost me five bucks. So I asked him, "Is there something I can do for you in return?" The man answered, "Yeah, you can give me a hug!" (To tell the truth, I was hoping for the five dollar option!) He put his arms around me, and I suddenly realised he wasn't going to let me go! People were passing by and staring at me. There I was, dressed in my establishment garb, hugging this filthy bum! I was embarrassed. Then little by little my embarrassment changed to awe. I heard a voice echoing down the corridors of time saying, "I was hungry; did you feed Me? I was naked; did you clothe Me? I was sick; did you care for Me? I was the bum you met on Chestnut Street...did you hug me? For if you did it to Me."'