A Personal Message: What shall I do?

How should I continue with ‘A Day of Small Things’.

Recently we had some dear friends to stay with us.  On the Saturday evening, one young lady was not her normal ebullient self.   She was coming up for her secondary school graduation exams (‘A’ levels), and was asking the question, ‘What shall I do?‘.  She had so many options – subjects and places at university, or would an apprenticeship be better?  Of course, we encouraged her to seek help from the Lord.

This gave our friend the subject for his preaching on the Lord’s Day.  Many in scripture – even God Himself – asked the question: ‘What shall I do?’ (Luke 20:12).  Also, we have a young rich man who wants salvation through his own works (Mark 10:17), a fool who relied on worldly wealth (Luke 12:17) and Pilate asking a frenzied crowd (Matthew 27:22).   Then there was a servant of the Lord recalling his conversion asking the Lord for the first time.  He was to find an answer amongst the Lord’s people (Acts 22:6).

That brings me to my question, ‘What shall I do?

I have been working on ‘A Day of Small Things’ for about six years.  The site has some 500 articles including over 80 summaries of the works of John Nelson Darby.  I could go on producing summaries and have a couple in my in-tray.  But largely I am repeating what has already been covered. I have limited time and strength, and of course, do not know how long I have remaining, but I desire to use my writing skills to God’s glory.

I edit some ministry for publication under the series ‘Today if ye will hear His Voice’, but my question is: How should I continue with ‘A Day of Small Things’.  I am therefore asking you, my dear Christian readers, for guidance.

  1. I can continue with JND articles, but as I say that is repeating.
  2. I could work similarly on other servants’ works, such as that of the oft-maligned Frederick Raven, or that servant with an outlook to heaven James Butler Stoney.
  3. I am also conscious that there are many dear believers dissatisfied with the institutional structures of sectarian Christendom and desire to find a living ministry – what belongs to the Lord’s assembly, what sees the Christian calling as a heavenly one and who are looking for the Lord’s return to rapture His saints. reaching them without retorting to the world’s methods is a challenge. But I would like to reach more.

After some prayer I have felt that our eyes need to be lifted up – so for the next few weeks, I hope to work on some of the ministry of J B Stoney – Steps in Light, Acquaintance with Christ, Acceptance and Deliverance etc.  I trust that this will also be of encouragement to my younger readers. I believe JBS was only about 20 when he wrote:

Hark! happy saints! loud lift your voice,
Tell to the world how we rejoice –
Yon heaven is our home.
There lives our Head with glory crowned;
And we as for His kingdom bound,
All cry – Lord Jesus, come!

Little Flock (1962, 1973) Hymn No 7

J B Stoney was the author of ‘‘Discipline in the School of God’

A good selection of extracts from his ministry was compiled by our late brother Gavin Simpson: ‘Encouraging Words’ published by Stone Publishing Trust

I welcome your suggestions.

In grace and in the service of our blessed Lord

Daniel Roberts

–    This time I’m using my real name – not ‘Sosthenes’!

–    daniel@roberts.at


Changes to ‘A day of Small Things’. – What do you Think?

February 2018 – A Day of Small Things has been going almost five years.  It is time to take stock, see what the Lord has prospered and what He has not, see what Christians have shown interest in.  It is also time to brighten things up.  I hope you like the changes.  Please email me, sosthenes@adayofsmallthings.com , to suggest improvements.

    1. I’ve changed the template. I hope the new one is cleaner, brighter and easier to follow.
    2. I’ve added a drop down menu at the top, like many other similar sites.
    3. I’ve made some changes to improve ‘SEO’ so more find the site. However the best way of increasing is introduction.  I’ve made it easier to do this.  Here it is.
    4. I’ve switched from Bible Hub to Ministry Search Engine for the scriptures. This shows the KJV and Darby versions in columns, like the 1890 Parallel Edition.  I will still use Bible Hub for the Greek original etc.  I will also use Ministry Search Engine for the ministry of JND and others.
    5. Instead of ‘For Christians in Perilous (or Dangerous) Times, I’ve added, ‘Who are waiting for Jesus’ Call at the Rapture.’ This reflects a change of outlook – from the negative side (still necessary) of judging the errors of ‘systematised Christianity’ to the positive enjoyment of gathering simply, as at the start of the dispensation, as they turned ‘to serve the living and true God; and to await his Son from the heavens, whom he raised from among the dead, Jesus, our deliverer from the coming wrath’ (1 Thess 1:9-10).   Those who moved out of ‘system’ in the early 1800’s, experienced the same.  What gripped them was the Head in heaven (Eph 1:22) and His body here (Eph 5:30), and the imminence of His coming to rapture His own (1 Thess 4:16), shortly thereafter to return to reign with us, His saints (1 Thess 3:13).  His coming is much nearer now!
    6. Whilst I will continue with simplified summaries, I have embarked on a new approach – J N Darby by Subject – looking at a subject, finding everything he had to say about it, then selecting portions, grouped in a logical way. The first subject was ‘The Passover’; the second ‘The Red Sea’.  With each subject I plan, with the Lord’s help, to write a single document covering Darby’s teaching on it.  I trust readers will find these useful and helpful

This process will take time – you will see the changes.

You will remember my letter last month: ‘The Lord’s Coming – Is that REALLY our Expectation?’  This was following an address in December on the Lord’s return.  How much better it is to be occupied with this, than with all the problems which beset Christians.

As J N Darby, who had his share of battles for the Lord, wrote in his poem ‘Fulness of Joy’


1.     O, bright and blessed hope!
When shall it be
That we His face, long loved,
Revealed shall see?2.     Oh! when, without a cloud,
His features trace,
Whose faithful love so long
We’ve known in grace;3.     That love itself enjoy,
Which, ever true,
Did in our feeble path
Its work pursue?

4.     O Jesus, not unknown,
Thy love shall fill
The heart in which Thou dwell’st,
And shalt dwell still.

5.     Still, Lord, to see Thy face,
Thy voice to hear;
To know Thy present love
For ever near;

6.     To gaze upon Thyself,
So faithful known,
Long proved in secret help
With Thee alone;7.     To see that love, content,
On me flow forth,
For ever Thy delight,
Clothed with Thy worth!8.     O Lord, ’twas sweet the thought
That Thou wast mine;
But brighter still the joy
That I am Thine!

9.     Thine own, O Lord, the fruit,
The cherished fruit,
Of Thine all perfect love!
No passing root

10.   Of evil e’er will dim
Thy cloudless rays;
But a full heart pour forth
Thine endless praise!

11.   Nor what is next Thy heart
Can we forget –
Thy saints, O Lord, with Thee
In glory met,12.   (Perfect in comeliness
Before Thy face –
Th’eternal witness all
Of Thine own grace),13.   Together then their songs
Of endless praise,
With one harmonious voice,
In joy shall raise!

14.   O joy supreme and full,
Where sunless day
Sheds forth, with light divine,
Its cloudless ray!

John Nelson Darby (1800-82)

Written 1879. Most of the above are in Hymns for the Little Flock 1962 and 1973 – No 160. Meter usually sung as


May you be blessed

Your brother in Christ



PS We heard today of the home-going of the renowned evangelist Billy Graham.  Some may have criticised his methods, but we can be thankful for the thousands who have come to know the Lord through his ministry.  Let’s not forget to do the work of an evangelist.