Continuing our series on suffering, in this post we’ll look at the lies told about you when you suffer and the potent medicine God prescribes for our suffering.
A Man-Eating Lion
I was watching National Geographic one evening and they were telling the story of a man-eating lion. This lion had killed a villager which instilled terror in the hearts of the people in the area. So what they did was form a large group, and they left their village, and they walked out into the bush, banging on drums and whatever else they could find. Their goal was to drive the man-eater out into the open where they could kill it. And I was struck by how confident the people were as they walked through the jungle, the very jungle where that man-eater was lurking. As long as they stayed together, and as long as they continued to bang on their drums, the lion would stay away.
There’s a powerful weapon God gives us to use against the lion who stalks you, the one Jesus said, Continue reading
I am so thankful for You and for Your presence in my life. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. You are beautiful beyond measure. My wife Kathy is beautiful too, and so are my two sons Gabe and Nathaniel, and my two daughters, Charise and Anastasia, and my grandson Andrew, and my nephews and parents and all my family. I’m so thankful for You and for the family You blessed me with. (Psalm 16:6)
And I’m thankful for my church family: A peculiar church, in a peculiar, remote and beautiful place, full of thousands of peculiar people. I give thanks You have allowed me to be a part of that church. (1 Peter 2:9)
And I give thanks for the place on the space-time continuum where You allow me to live, it is also full of beauty. I give thanks for the place where I can share Jesus Christ and His words with people from all over the world.
And I give thanks for those who take the time to read this blog. I give thanks for those who believe in You, I give thanks for their desire to draw closer to You. I pray they will never stop pursuing You. I give thanks for the ones who are seeking answers. I’m so thankful for their desire for truth. I pray they don’t stop until they find You. I’m so thankful You provided a place where I can connect with them. I’m so thankful for the brothers and sisters in You, too many to name.
There is not room enough or time enough to account for all the blessings You pour out upon me. You pour them out in such great measure: they overwhelm me.
I am so thankful for You and for Your presence in my life. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. (Psalm 16:6)
I’m so very thankful for our Father in heaven,
for our Savior His Son,
and for His Holy Spirit!
I’m thankful for my family.
I’m also thankful for you.
It might take me all day to list all the other blessings I’m thankful for. God has drenched me in His grace and mercy!
I’m so thankful.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (Genesis 8:20)
I think Noah demonstrates for us one of the most important keys there is to walking closely with Jesus Christ. The very first thing Noah did after he stepped off the ark was to sacrifice some of the clean animals and birds to God. I can’t imagine doing that. In my own flesh I would have said, “I have just seven sheep here, should I take the seventh and make a sacrifice? I have to populate the whole world from this diminished tiny herd. Doesn’t it make more sense to wait until the animals have multiplied before sacrificing to You Lord?”
But in the words of Matthew Henry, “Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; and we must never think that wasted with which God is honoured.” Obviously Noah had a grasp of this truth.
And Noah had a grasp of the power of thanksgiving. Imagine with me that you’ve been cooped up in an ark with thousands of animals (and with all of the sanitation issues that implies). You’ve been cooped up like this for more than a year! For 377 days! What’s the first thing you want to do when you get out? Celebrate with a party? Go for a long walk just because you finally can? Build a house for yourself? Play some frisbee football? That’s what I’d want to do but that’s not what Noah did. Noah Continue reading
Chicago — on the Dan Ryan
He was coming up over a hill at sixty-five miles per hour on the Dan Ryan Expressway. His three year-old son was doing what many three year-olds did in those days, he was standing up in the middle of the back seat, so he could see out the windshield. Suddenly, as he came up over the rise, there were wrecked cars everywhere. There was no time to react. The situation was impossible. A high speed impact was unavoidable. Continue reading
4th of July and the Space Time Continuum
I thank God we’re living in this precise spot in the space-time continuum. Do you ever think about that? You could have been born a peasant in Europe during the dark ages. Or you could have been born a slave to a cruel plantation owner in the late 1700’s. Or, perhaps worst of all, in our present time, you could even have to live in Cleveland.
But by God’s grace most of you reading this blog live in the the United States, the greatest nation in the most amazing time in the history of the world.
Happy Independence Day!
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather, serve one another humbly in love.