Monday, February 18, 2013

Keep the light shining

Lower Lighthouse

You are the light of the world. A city located on top of a hill cannot be hidden,  nor do they light a lamp and place it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it shines on all those in the house.  In the same way let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16 thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

Colossians 1:12-13

For everyone who practices evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, in order that his deeds may be revealed, that they are done in God.
John 3:20-21


An illustration from a sermon preached by Dwight L. Moody
Moody often told this moving story of a violent storm on Lake Erie

A few years ago, at the mouth of Cleveland harbor, there were two lights, one at each side of the bay, called the upper and lower lights; and to enter the harbor safely by night, vessels must sight both of the lights. These western lakes are more dangerous sometimes than the great ocean.  On a dark, stormy night, when the waves rolled like mountains and not a star was to be seen, a boat rocking and plunging, neared the Cleveland harbor. The captain and pilot were anxiously watching for the lights.

"Are you sure this is Cleveland?" asked the captain.

"Quite sure, sir,’ replied the pilot." "Ah, there are the lights," said the pilot; "and they must be, from the bluff on which they stand, the upper lights."Where are the lower lights?

"I fear we have passed the lower lights, and have lost our chance of getting into the harbor." replied the captain.

What was to be done?  They looked back, and saw the dim outline of the lower lighthouse against the sky. The lower harbor lights had gone out.

"Can't you turn your head around?" asked the captain.

"No; the night is too wild for that. She won't answer to her helm."

With a strong hand and a brave heart, the old pilot turned the wheel. But alas, The storm was so fearful that they could do nothing. They tried again to make for the harbor, but they went crash against the rocks, and sank to the bottom. Very few escaped; the great majority found a watery grave. Why? Simply because the lower lights had gone out. Now, with us the upper lights are all right. Christ Himself is the upper light, and we are the lower lights, and the cry to us is, keep the lower lights burning; that is what we have to do. He will lead us safe to the sunlit shore of Canaan, where there is no more night.

Philip Paul Bliss was traveling with Dwight L. Moody as the musician for an evangelistic campaign After hearing this illustration by Moody, Philip Paul Bliss, wrote the words and tune to the hymn,  Let the Lower Lights Be BurningThe song was first published in The Charm, a Collection of Sunday School Music, in 1871.  I have often heard the song, but without a good understanding.  My interest in lighthouses somewhat helped me to understand.  In many areas the lighthouse is a beacon to draw ships toward the harbor.  Many harbors can still be treacherous sailing.  As I mentioned in the previous blog, lower lights (harbor lights) are often needed for safe navigation.  

Let the Lower Lights Be Burning

Brightly beams our Father's mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning,
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting struggling seaman,
You may rescue, you may save.

Dark the night of sin has settled,
Loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning,
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting struggling seaman,
You may rescue, you may save.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.

Let the lower lights be burning,
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting struggling seaman,
You may rescue, you may save.


Each human soul is like a cavern full of gems. The casual observer glances into it through some cranny, and all looks dark and sullen and useless. But let light enter into it and lo! It will flash with crystals and amethysts and quiver under the touch of brightness. If souls do not shine before you it is because you bring them no light to make them shine. Throw away your miserable, smouldering, fuming torch of conceit and hatred, lift up to them the light of love, and lo! They will arise and shine; yea, flame and burn with an undreamt of glory. 
Canon Farrar

Let your light shine. Don't make it shine. Don't hide your light in the clouds or under a basket. Keep the lower lights on. Shine it where it is needed.  People you know and talk to daily are waiting for the light. Give them the Good News.  Allow the Holy Spirit to transform them.


If you are reading my blog for the first time — thank you for stopping by. The most recent blog is at the top of the page.  If the blogs are in a series, the earlier blog is under the most recent. They are backwards in chronology.

Be patient with me. I do have a liking for lighthouses, and a love for Jesus.  I was unable to find any photos of the newer  lower lighthouse in my photos.  The last I visited there was in 2005. After numerous hard drive failures, and sloppy backups, it seems  I have lost the all of the photos of the last two days of our family's visit to San Diego. 

 I have placed a beautiful photo at the top of todays blog from Charles Dare. This is the first photo on my blog that was not taken by me.  The photo above is of the lower lighthouse that replaced the older lighthouse on the cliff.  That older lighthouse was in the previous blog. The reason for the replacement was also explained in the previous blog. My thanks again to  Charles Dare. You may want to see more great photos from him.  You can click on the photo an go to that photo on Flickr. More of his photos are at this link.   SetApart4Chirst  

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