Dr. Sam Martin
It is a wonderful privilege for me to represent the Mission and this includes meeting with families, Individuals, Churches and various groups. Needless to say, it is an honor to meet and share with so many wonderful people from all kinds of backgrounds, and all ages united in their love for God and for the children of the world.
Last Sunday it was thrilling to be the guest preacher at ‘Celebration Church’ in Barrie Ontario, part of the Anglican network in Canada, led by pastor Brian McVitty. Whenever my wife and I walked into the Church, we could sense the presence of God and were blessed by the vitality, warmth and friendship of the congregation. They were so interested, so appreciative and encouraging, it was a blessing to be with them.
After the service we had a wonderful meet and greet time, during which a visiting Anglican Priest spoke with me. He shared his struggles with what is happening in the Church world today and said something that was deeply profound and caused me to think/ He said:
‘The Church is no longer the Church of God,
It has become
The Church of the People!’
I knew what he meant. It seems the Church today is more given to please people than it is to pleasing God. More concerned about being politically correct than biblically correct! And I believe that is why so many are walking away from the Church, why they feel the Church is failing them. Of course that raises the question: ‘What are the marks of The Church of God?’
Obviously it would take pages to answer that, but let me list a few characteristics of the Church of God for you to consider.
Firstly, there will be an absolute commitment to the authority of Scripture expressed in a life-style that is pleasing to God.
Secondly, there will be a commitment to worship. Worship that is God-centered, Christ honoring!
Thirdly, there will be pure doctrine, a commitment to Holy living and a growing knowledge of truth.
The Church is the Church of God. He is the Head, and we His people should be seeking to fulfill His Mission. We should be living to please Him and we should do all to please Him! When we fail to recognize this then we will become a Church of the people and not the Church of God! The result? Consider the picture below:
Dr. Sam Martin
The other day as I was thinking of the love of Jesus for children, I came across this article by Norma Lee Liles and I just felt led to share it with you, knowing it will touch your heart!
The very first Christian song most children learn is “Jesus Loves Me.” If there were a best-seller hit list among the preschoolers, this very simple but precious song would have to be at the top of the charts. Yet few people know that “Jesus Loves Me” began life not as a song but as a part of one of 1860’s best-selling novels.
Anna Warner was well aware of the coming of the war between the states. She lived with her father and sister on Constitution Island. Their home was practically next door to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and from her front porch she constantly heard the rumors of war. Yet even in the face of uncertain times, every Sunday Anna taught Bible classes to the cadets. She realized that if the southern states made good on their threat to withdraw from the Union many of the boys she knew could be killed or wounded in the war that would follow. While it broke her heart to consider the dismal fate for those too young to have experienced the many blessings of life, she also fully comprehended the importance of leading each of them to Jesus now. With an urgency brought about by a nation on the brink of dividing, sharing Christ’s love became her mission in life.
Besides her teaching, the forty-year-old Anna also wrote. With her sister Susan she had written several novels, using the pseudonym Amy Lothrop. In 1860 the sisters’ Say and Seal became the country’s best-selling work of fiction. Written for the masses and the moment, not fueled by timeless struggles or epic writing, the book would quickly pass from the public’s fancy, lost with thousands of other period pieces of the time. Yet, thanks to one very special scene on but a single page, the essence of the book and of Anna’s faith would live for decades after Say and Seal and Anna herself had been forgotten.
In one chapter a child lay dying. Nothing could be done to ease his pain or give him a second chance at life. As his ultimate fate grew nearer, the novel’s focal character, Mr. Linden, attempted to comfort the small boy. Looking into the child’s eyes, he slowly recited a poem that began, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
The words of the poem made the boy’s last moments of life much easier. These simple lines also moved thousands of readers to tears. Hauntingly beautiful, composed straight from Anna’s faithful heart, “Jesus Loves Me” quickly sprang out of her book’s pages and became one of the most beloved poems of the era. No one can even begin to calculate how many times it was said on the battlefield, in the homes of children whose fathers were engaged in the Civil War, from pulpits and in Sunday school classes, and even at the White House itself. Ringing so clear and true, Anna’s sixteen short sentences had touched the hearts of millions with verses meant only to calm the soul of a dying fictional character.
One of the scores of readers who memorized the poem was William Bradbury. A teacher of voice and organ, in 1854 Bradbury had formed a piano company with Ferdinand Lighte and Henry Newton. Besides heading up his business, the noted musician also continued a practice of setting his faith to music by composing his own songs. By the beginning of the Civil War, Bradbury had built his own music company to publish and distribute his works. It was during the time when his music business was taking off that he first read and fell in love with “Jesus Loves Me.”
Although an accomplished composer of what many think of as High-Church music–he had already lent his talents to such hymns as “Sweet Hour of Prayer, …. He Leadeth Me,” and “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”–Bradbury was moved in a much different fashion when he decided to add a melody to Anna Warner’s poem. A lover of children’s voices, as well as a proponent of music education in both school and church, Bradbury allowed the child in his own heart to spring forth when writing the simple musical notes for “Jesus Loves Me.” Then, to fully complete the work, he added the following chorus:
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible tells me so.
The marriage of Waner’s words and Bradbury’s music was one of the most beautiful gospel efforts of all time. Yet the song “Jesus Loves Me” might have been as quickly forgotten as the novel Say and distribution network, the new children’s song quickly worked its way across the North and South. In the face of the most horrible fighting this nation had ever known, both sides were singing about a Savior who died, yet had risen and still watched over everyone with equal love and compassion. It was an ironic message for a very ironic time.
Almost a hundred and forty years after this song was first published, few know of the writings of Anna Warner or recognize the name of William Bradbury. But even though the writer and the composer have been forgotten, everyone knows their song. Children and adults of all races and even millions outside the Christian faith can sing “Jesus Loves Me.” How many millions have clung to this message on lonely nights or rocked babies to sleep while singing this song is unknown. But what can be most assuredly stated is that “Jesus Loves Me” is the foundation on which many children not only first come to know Christian music but also come to know the love and sacrifice of the Lord who inspired it. And this message is what keeps them singing the gospel throughout their lives.
Jesus loves me! This I know,
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, ‘Let them come to Me.’
Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.
Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.
The other day I received some pictures from Haiti that made me think to the stories I had read of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was June 2nd 1953 and the press reported the event in many ways, including the following:
‘The ceremony at Westminster was one of pomp and pageantry, and the characteristically poised Elizabeth delivered in a solemn and clear voice the coronation oath that bound her to the service of the people of Great Britain and the British Commonwealth. In the procession through the streets of London that followed, Elizabeth and her husband were joined by representatives from the more than 40 member states of the Commonwealth, including heads of state, sultans, and prime ministers. British troops like the Yeomen of the Guard were joined by a great variety of Commonwealth troops, including police from the Solomon Islands, Malaysians in white uniforms and green sarongs, Pakistanis in puggaree headdresses, Canadian Mounties, and New Zealanders and Australians in wide-brimmed hats. After the parade, Elizabeth stood with her family on the Buckingham Palace balcony and waved to the crowd as jet planes of the Royal Air Force flew across the Mall in tight formation.’
However, there was a special presentation made to the Queen during the Ceremony and I share from the Ceremony: ‘the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland presented her with a Bible? ‘Our gracious Queen,’ said the Archbishop. ‘To keep your Majesty ever mindful of the Law and Gospel of God as the Rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords.’ Then the Moderator added ‘Here is wisdom, this is the royal law, these are the lively oracles of God.’
Note the words that were used when the Bible was given to the Queen, ‘the most valuable thing that this world affords.’ That is how the Bible was viewed. How days have changed!
Now, I began by saying “I received pictures from Haiti and they made me think about the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth,’ and you may ask why? If you look at the picture below you will have the answer.
During the year we as a Mission seek to meet the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of the children. This we do with the help and support of donors and we know and believe that the great gift we can give is the book that was described as ‘the most valuable thing that this world affords.’ The Bible is our guide for living and through it and in it, not only do we find the truth of God, but we meet the Saviour!
In closing, think about their words from Queen Elizabeth:
Dr. Sam Martin
‘CEOs who grow their charities QUIT SERVING KIDS and START SERVING DONORS. Successful leaders re-purpose existing resources to create a healthy-flow of cash that ensure they reach and exceed goal’s’
Honestly when I read these words on an email from a Fund Raising company I was shocked and upset, but before I comment, let me add the rest of the email: ‘In 1927, Henry Ford foresaw the end of the "Model T" and implemented a "change management plan" that led to the successful introduction of the "Model A." He began by shutting down factory lines for 5 months, laid off 60,000 workers and invested the necessary time and money to retool his infrastructure (at cost of $250,000,000 in today's dollars.) Like Ford, nonprofit CEOs need the freedom to implement strategic shutdowns that allow them to restructure in ways that make all their dreams come true.’ One was also invited to view a 5 minute video, which I did for – 2 mins!
As a Mission we value our donors! In fact we have a little saying, ‘it is not enough to keep our donors happy, we must keep them delighted!’ We know without their support, generosity and prayers we could not do what we do, bring hope, health and healing to needy children. We know we need more donors but to stop ‘serving kids?’ The whole thrust of the article and video was to convince us that the needy, the poor, children are not our customers, donors are! The reason why this is so? ‘The poor, the needy ain’t got no money.’ (quote from video).
Perhaps I am misunderstanding the article, maybe I am too simple minded. Maybe I am too focused on the example and teaching of Jesus! Maybe I see ‘helping children’ as a ministry not a business. Consider the following scripture:
Jesus said, ‘The poor you will always have with you…’ And he was quoting Deuteronomy 15 v 11, ‘For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.'
Daily I thank God for the men and women, the families, Churches, Clubs and the like, who are ‘Our Donors.’ They are special, but I do not believe they are to be used simply as a source of dollars. I believe they are people who have a heart for God and a heart for helping people who are less fortunate. (some of course would not profess to be Christians, but they have a real and genuine desire to help others. They have within them the spirit of caring and sharing!)
We will never “Quit serving kids and start serving donors” Rather we will with God’s help, continue by faith to serve kids and to help kind and caring people to serve with us!
Dr. Sam Martin
A Tribute to a ‘Man of God, a Faithful servant of Jesus Christ, and Secretary to the Board of AOJ, a real friend, Mr. Ford Quinlan.’
It was pouring of rain, it was late, and it was cold to say the least and I was sitting in my car waiting for help. I was on my way home from Wal-Mart when the car came to a sudden halt. The car is old, and I had heard strange noises but this was a shocker. My son-in-law drove over, we stood in the rain trying to figure it out and we all got soaked to the skin. We decided the best would be to tow it to a repair shop. My son-in-law went back home to find a row rope.
As I sat freezing in the car, my Son called and when I answered, he sounded a wee bit upset and said, “Dad have you heard anything about Ford?” Ford was a friend, a faithful brother. He was on the pastoral staff of a Pentecostal Church in Oshawa. My son then read the following from the Church’s WEB site:
‘It is with unspeakable shock and sadness that we want to let you know that our husband, father, grandad, brother, uncle, pastor, and friend, Ford Quinlan, died suddenly this morning. (May 3, 2017)
I could not believe what I just heard. Then later when I got home, there was a message from the family. I tried to encourage the family and decided I would attend their Church on Sunday morning and I am glad I did. During the service which was a real blessing to me and I am sure everyone in attendance, I heard the Senior Pastor say:
‘We have over 67 years of knowing Ford as an extremely kind, sacrificially generous, radically hospitable, faithfully loyal, hilariously outgoing, unwaveringly hard-working, always persevering, fully committed follower of Jesus Christ.’
Later that day I attended the visitation at the Church, and down one aisle were many photograph/displays, letters and the like. One which said, ‘Missions – Guatemala,’ and as I looked at the photographs, my mind went back to 1998, that is when we met I believe for the first time.
His Church was sending what I believe was their first Mission Team and it was an honor for me to facilitate that on behalf of the Mission, to serve in Guatemala. The Team was a blessing, and was blessed, and so began Ford’s involvement with The Arms of Jesus Children’s Mission. He was supportive at every turn with the encouragement of his family. He became a Board member, and then secretary to the Board and he served well. Indeed he hosted our last Board meeting at His Church, and was due to lead a Team to Guatemala, but shared a month or so ago he did not think he would be able to because of health issues, but would do his best to help the Team and to make sure the Outreach would continue.
As a the founder of the Mission, I thank God for Ford, as a friend and fellow Pastor, I thank God for Ford and his faithful service to the Lord and His people, and I know today our staff not only in Canada, but in Haiti and Guatemala are praying for Ford’s dear wife and family. Like his Church family we pay tribute to this special man, Ford Quinlan, who truly, in the words of His Senior Pastor was:
‘an extremely kind, sacrificially generous, radically hospitable, faithfully loyal, hilariously outgoing, unwaveringly hard-working, always persevering, fully committed follower of Jesus Christ.’
May I invite you to give thanks to God for the life and service of Ford Quinlan, and to pray for his wife and family!