I rediscovered this brief “poem” of mine recently, while rummaging through some old computer files. I remember writing it back in college, oh so long ago. It was shortly after I’d come to faith in Christ, and I was trying to work through how different my view about ultimate destinies had become now that I was a Christian, as opposed to what I had once believed when I was edging near the borders of atheism. I do not claim that this is great literature by an stretch! But the thoughts expressed here still ring true to my mind.
What am I?
Some absurd ape taken in by a grand illusion
of false grandeur?
Or am I a child of a loving Creator-God
formed from dust into his everlasting image.
Is my life wrapped up in a sad delusion?
A delusion that will pitiably end in the sticky
black darkness of death?
Or am I destined to serve my King,
to serve my King in eternal, heavenly glory?
But I know in Whom I have believed,
And I am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I have entrusted to Him
Until that final day.
Yes Lord, I am Yours.
I have really wanted to respond to the so-called “Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist View of Salvation” that was issued recently (and which ought to be called, “A Statement of the Neo-Traditionalist Arminian View of Salvation”), but frankly I have not had the stomach or the time to do so. Fortunately, several faithful brothers have done what I could not do. Let me commend to you the following.
First, a dear brother named Scott Weldon has issues this excellent response, which he calls My Two Cents re: “A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”. I highly recommend it.
Second, Brother Tom Ascol is doing an excellent point by point analysis. It also is highly recommended and you can find it at the Founder’s Blog here.
My many thanks, brothers, for taking the time to declare truth.
I have, for years, had a desire to lead our church, Rockport Baptist, through a study of the Book of Ephesians. With that study finally beginning this Sunday, I’ve written the following as a sort of “introduction” for our congregation.
With these words we begin what I believe will be an exciting and faith-building journey through this book of Ephesians. It’s been called many things. William Barclay called it “the queen of the epistles” Another man likened it to “the Grand Canyon of Scripture”. It’s “pure music!” says another.
But what is it about this letter that has drawn such high praise? For surely “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” as 2 Tim 3:16 declares. So it can’t be that this book is ”more God’s word” than some other portion of Scripture. Yet it is here that we have, distilled into it’s purest essence, the very heart of the Gospel itself. So let me give you three things that have been noticed about this book of Ephesians before we begin our study
(1)Someone has noted that Ephesians is intercession!
More than any otherbook in the New Testament, it has the feel and quality of an extended
prayer. As you read it, it takes hold of you and lifts you up into the very presence of God Himself in the “heavenly places” (1:3)
(2)Ephesians is exaltation
There’s a celebration going on here! This is not just some dry tome giving us our doctrine as it instructs us about the grace of God. This is a riotous explosion of grace that brings great joy in Christ!
(3)Ephesians is evangelism
Here, in the clearest possible terms we will see again and again the great lengths and heights to which God has gone to rescue us from our sin and to bring us home safely in Christ.
That’s why I’m calling this study, A Celebration of Salvation! Here is something that is meant to make you rejoice as you see just how extravagant the grace of God is, that has been poured out for us sinners in Christ Jesus!!
May God give us eyes to see!
Pastor S. Scott Lee
My daughter recently began her first blog with an article on depression that I found so encouraging I wanted to share it here.
This true story has been told many times by my seminary professor Dr. Roy Fish who knew some of the persons involved. It has always been a great encouragement to me to be faithful sowing Gospel seed, knowing that it is God who can and will ultimately bring fruit.
There was a Baptist preacher in England named Francis Dickson.He had a man in his church named Peter.Now they don’t have church staff in English Baptist Churches, but Peter was the closest thing Francis had.One Sunday they asked Peter to give his testimony in church.Peter stood to share and said,
“Folks, let me tell you how I was saved. I was stationed with the Royal Navy in Sydney Australia.” And he said, “I was walking down George Street in Sydney one day when out of nowhere came a little white-haired man. He stopped me on the street and said, ‘Excuse me sir, but I want to ask you a question. I hope you won’t be offended, but tell me, sir, if you were to die today, where would you be in eternity? The Bible says it will be either heaven or hell. Think about it wouldn’t you sir? That’s all, God bless you. Tudelu.’ And he was gone.” Peter said, “Those words cut like an arrow shot out of heaven to my heart. I was deeply disturbed. But I didn’t know what to do. For six months I was under conviction. Finally we sailed back to England. I had one Christian friend. I sought him out, and he helped me to Christ.”
They had what we would call a revival meeting in that church where Francis Dickson was pastor.And part of the revival team was a young man whose name was Noel.They asked Noel to share his testimony.
He said, “Folks, I’d like to tell you how I was saved. I lived for a while in the beautiful Australian city of Sydney. I was walking one day down George Street and out of nowhere came a little white-haired man who stopped me on the street and said, ‘Excuse me sir, I want to ask you a question. I hope you won’t be offended, but tell me, sir, if you were to die today, where would you be in eternity? The Bible says it will be either heaven or hell. Think about it wouldn’t you sir? That’s all, God bless you. Tudelu.’ And he was gone. I knew enough gospel to get saved. So I went to the house where I was living and that afternoon I got down on my knees and trusted Jesus as my Savior.
When that service was over, Peter went up to Noel and said, “Noel, you’ve got my testimony. It happened to me just like that. The little old man on George Street.” And the pastor overheard them.
Francis Dickson was preaching not too long afterwards in the city of Adelaide, Australia, some 500 to 1000 miles from Sydney, way down in the southern part of the country.And he felt impressed to tell the story about the two men in his church and the little man on George Street.When he started telling the story, a man toward the back of the church stood up and started waving his hand like this.Now we don’t do that in Baptist churches, and so Dickson tried to ignore him.But he kept waving until he got his attention.
Dickson asked him, “Hey mister, you want to say something?” “Yes I do! I want to tell you how I got saved. You see, I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia. And out of nowhere came this little white-haired man…” And the story was the same!
When Francis Dickson got to Perth, Australia, the largest city on the western coast, he knew he had a story.So he told the story there in Perth.When the service was over, a Baptist deacon cameup to him and said, “Sir, I’m another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, when out of nowhere came this little white-haired man…”That’s how I became a Christian.
When Francis Dickson got back to his church in England, he knew he had a story.He told his own congregation.When the service was over, a young woman came up to him and said, “Sir, I’m another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, when out of nowhere came this little white-haired man…”That’s what led me to Jesus
Francis Dickson preached at Keswick, England in the north part of the British Isles.He told this same story.Afterwards an aged man came up to him.“Sir, I’m another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney when out of nowhere came a little white-haired man.”That got me started to Christ.
Francis Dickson preached all over the world.He told this story to a group of missionaries in India on one occasion.They said, “Would you talk to us about personal evangelism.”After he told this story, a woman missionary came up to him and said, “Sir, I’m another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia…, It happened to me like that.
He told that story on the island of Jamaica, and an eighth person came up to him and said, “Sir, I’m another. That little white-haired man on George Street helped me to Christ.”
A godly layman named Gene War in Oklahoma City is a friend of Dr. Fish.He was telling this story to a gathering of chaplains at Fort Benning, Ga.And as he told the story one of them raised his hand.“Mr. War, you’re not gonna believe this. But let me tell you how I became a Christian. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia when out of nowhere…”
Well, Francis Dicksonmade sure that Sydney was on his itinerary the next time he was in Australia.He wanted to meet this little old man.He got there, but didn’t really know what to do.So he called a Christian friend of his and said,
“You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but have you ever heard about a little old man who stands out on George Street and asks people when they die, if they know where their going to spend eternity?”
“Sure,” he said, “That’s Mr. Jenner!”
“Mr. Jenner? Do you know him?”
“All of us know him. He doesn’t get out very much any more. He’s a bit infirm,doesn’t see very well. He’s getting on in years.”
“Do you know where he lives?”
“I can take you right to his house.”
They went to his house.Knocked on the door.A frail little old man welcomed them in.And after introductions were made, Francis Dickson, that pastor from Great Britain, told that little old man about all those people who’d come to Christ through his winsome word of warning and witness.And that dear little old man broke down and copiously wept.He said,
“I’ve shared with literally thousands of people on George Street in Sydney, and this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever heard of any who came to Christ through my testimony!”
So, faithful friends, be faithful in sowing. You never know what God may do with the smallest seed planted and watered with tears. He is faithful.
I was privileged to go back to Brasov, Romania (a place I have grown to love) and speak in several churches and a student conference for a few days this March. While there, I did my best to keep my church family at Rockport Baptist informed since they were praying for me and many had helped provide the funds so I could go. What follows is a collection of the reports I sent back via our church news group.
Fri March 11
Just a quick word to let you know I arrived safe and am staying with Sorin in Brasov Romania. We start tomorrow with a youth meeting. The Gypsy meeting has been postponed until next Monday. All else is the way I have printed in the bulletin.
Sat March 12
About to turn in tonight. Much preaching and traveling in the morning. We had a youth meeting today. It began with many games. I played the Romanian version of Risk (Risc) with several teenage boys (and one girl). I did not win. I then spoke to the group from Isa 6. Several of the boys are not believers. Pray the Lord opens their hearts. One of the families have two daughters. They represent something very rare in Romania. They are homeschoolers. .
We had dinner with the Tomeci and Palada families tonight. It was good to see them. Their children have really grown up. Kim, Bob and Aaron, they pass their love along to you all, as well as to the whole of Rockport.
God bless you all. I am very tired and must go to bed!
Sun March 13
I was praying for you all this morning as you were meeting (afternoon here). Right about the time Aaron was standing to preach, I was doing the same for the second meeting of the day. Things went well. God protected us as we drove across the mountains to Fiene. There is a good work going on there — a church plant. It is a difficult work. The Orthodox are very much against them and threaten them and warn the people that they are a dangerous “cult” so they must stay away. People treat them that way, but the persevere in preaching and sharing. There is only a small congregation, but the two missionary families continue faithfully. I preached from Mark 8 on taking up your cross to follow Jesus.
Sorin and I then drove back across the mountains to Brasov. The church here meets in the evening. It was wonderful to be with so many people I know. In addition to the Tomeci and Palada families and Sorin, there are also many I know from the summer Aaron, Bob, Kim and I spent two weeks here. It was wonderful to spend time with them. I preached from Colossians 3 on love and forgiveness in the body of Christ.
Tomorrow we will go on the university campus and do some witnessing in the dorms. Tuesday there is a prayer meeting with many of the students. Wednesday the conferences start (this is a change from what I had put in the bulletin).
I don’t remember if I told you, but Sorin’s wife is not here. She is in America with her parents. She is seven months pregnant and there are some complications. It is not severe, but the medical help she needs is much better in the US. She will be staying with her parents until the baby is born. Sorin will join her in early April. Please keep them both in your prayers.
Tue March 15
As long as I am at Sorin’s apartment I will have access to a computer so that I can jot these notes. I hope you find them encouraging. It helps me to know I can share a word with you. (I’ve noticed as I type, that I’m writing in short sentences. Just as i must speak to my Romanian friends. )
We had a really good day Monday. I spent the morning and afternoon with our good friends Bebe and Ani Tomeci. We walked in old Brasov (where Aaron, Bob and Kim have been). We then went back to their apartment to fellowship and have lunch together. I think it was an encouraging time for them. In the evening we went to the University of Transylvania campus to share the Gospel with students. We found several there from Nigeria (who speak English). We were able to converse with them. It was more relationship building that giving a direct gospel. Alex and Bebe want to develop a ministry to the international students here, so this was our first real contact. We spent a good deal of time with them. We are praying they will come to our conference this weekend.
Today, there will be more meetings with friends (Ionutz and his new wife). Then tonight I will be speaking at a Campus Crusade prayer meeting. I am not certain what I will be speaking about (I have two possibilities), but the Lord will certainly direct me.
Please keep us in your prayers. Tomorrow we will begin traveling for a few days to the cities of Fiene and Pucioasa for conferences there. Please pray for pastors Florin and Nicu as we share with their congregations. I am not sure if I will have internet access during these days or not, so ….we will see.
Wed March 16
We had a great prayer meeting here last night. God gave real freedom in sharing from the Psalms on desperation for God in prayer. I believe it was a help to them. Sorin said that He could tell the Holy Spirit was among us and that there was a real joy and faith in the prayer time that has been missing lately among them. I am grateful to hear this. There is a great spiritual resistance to the Gospel in this city and indeed in Romania these days. The spirit of secularism and atheism has returned with a vengeance. So has the religious spirit of dead orthodoxy. This kind comes out only by prayer! Please be praying for us!
Here very shortly Sorin and I will travel the 2.5 hours to Putuoasa. We will meet with the elders for prayer. Then I will preach twice this evening. Tomorrow we will go to Fiene and do the same thing there. We will then return to Brasov. The student conference begins on Friday and goes thru Sunday. Please pray God will provide us with a place to meet. Currently we plan to meet in Sorin’s apartment, but it is not very large and there are many students who said they are coming. God knows our need.
Please pray for our safety and our health as we travel. I am praying for you all by name while I am here and longing to see you. Pray for my family while I am gone as well.
Love to you all. Love especially to Amy and my girls (sorry I was rushed and did not have time for a separate email).
A short note from my phone. Good meetings tonight in Pucioasa. In a hotel tonight. Found a worm in my bed. Interesting. Yes I have a picture.
Wonderful time with Pastor Nicu and family. His little daughter is a doll. We became good friends. I know it is true because she told me so. She also said I need to learn better Romanian. I saw many villiages where there is no Gospel preaching. They are working hard to start churches.
Tomorrow we will do a conference on Firmer. Please pray for us. Pray also for me. I’ve had a mystery ache in my side.
God is good. Late here. Must go to bed.
Friday March 18
We are back in Brasov in the mountains. We had a really good meeting yesterday in Fiene. God gave me a lot of freedom in sharing from Genesis 3 and Genesis 12 as we were looking at Christ in the Old Testament. It seemed to be a help to the congregation. There was one man there who has lived for 9 years in the States. We were able to speak for some time. He has been confused by some in the charismatic movement. Please pray for him.
We also had a really good meeting the pastoral team in Fiene, answering questions and trying to encourage them. We spent a lot of time talking about the husbands role in raising children. There has been very little teaching about this here. Even in Christian families it is often left to the wife to do nearly everything, with the men only occasionally making sure she is doing it right. I hope I was able to share some things to help this brother understand his responsibility. Please pay for bro Florin and his wife. They recently lost their second daughter in infancy and, as we talked about it I could tell they are still deeply grieving.
After the conference was over late last night, Sorin and I grabbed a quick meal at a restaurant, and then headed back over the mountains. It was dark, rainy and foggy. If you’ll remember, this is Transylvania, so imagine all the images that were running through my mind! Narrow, broken down roads twisting through the mountains of Romania in a dense fog! You could almost see the werewolves and hear the vampires moving through the bushes! To be honest, it was great fun. Sorin and I talked about family and ministry most of the way, then turned on some Christian music and worshiped the remainder of the journey. When the song “Jesus Thank You” came on, just for a moment I felt a very strong longing to be back home worshiping with Rockport. Soon . . . .
I’ll have lunch with Alex Palada and his family later today. Then the student conference will begin this evening. Imagine 30 to 50 college students or more crammed into an area no bigger than the Johnson’s or the Dickman’s living room and you’ll have an idea what we are looking at.
Saturday March 19
Greetings from Romania. I’ll need to be quick since the second day of our conference will begin shortly. Friday evening’s meetings went very well. We had a house FULL including 8 young men from Nigeria who came. Since they were here the whole conference had to be translated into English from Romanian, and not just from English to Romanian when I spoke. I preached from James about living as those who know they must die. I believe God used it to awaken some to the reality of their own mortality. Afterwords one of the Nigerian young men asked me if he could have my notes. I have no idea what he’ll do with them, but I gave them to him.
Alex then preached a message on the meaning of real friendship, and the ultimate friendship which is found in Christ. It was pretty good. I was glad they had to translate it so that i was able to understand. If the Nigerians had not been here I would not have been able to listen in.
We will begin a morning session here soon. I must get my room put in order since some will have to sit there as an “overflow” room. They cannot see the speaker from there, but they will be able to hear. Even more students will be with us today, since some have traveled here by train from Sibiu.
Usually when I am in Romania I have not really struggled with being homesick. For some reason it really hit me last night and this morning. I am glad to be here, but my heart is beginning to long for home.
Saturday March 19 PM
Well, we just finished our Saturday morning and afternoon sessions. I preached twice — once on “Living with all Your might for the glory of God” and a second time on cultivating biblical contentment. It seemed to go very well. We had a full house. After a lunch of spaghetti (with a really unique and good sauce) we spent time in prayer. The students have now gone out two by two to witness in the dorms. They have left me behind to rest since it would be hard for me to share the gospel in English. My plan is to jot this note and rest a bit for now.
Later today I will go to a young couple’s apartment for dinner and fellowship. Tomorrow morning Bebe Tomeci and I will both preach for the last session of the conference. I will then preach in the evening service for the church that meets here in Sorin’s apartment (Providence Baptist Church).
So many have told me to send their love and appreciation to you all. You have mine as well!
God bless you. I am praying as you all meet tomorrow that God would pour out his Spirit richly upon you!
Sunday March 20
Things have been very busy this weekend. Last night, after the conference, Sorin had rehearsal with his worship team, and then we had dinner with a sweet newly married couple (Bob, Aaron and Kim may remember Ramona from their time here).
This morning we will finish the conference. Then, church this evening. Tomorrow morning very early we will leave for Bucharest. I will then preach a small conference with the Gypsies there which had to be postponed from last week.
And then, very early Tuesday morning I’ll go to the air port and head home!
I am praying as you all gather for worship this morning! (by that time it will be evening here and we will be worshiping with Providence Baptist in Sorin’s living room.
Monday March 21
It seems this is my last email from Brasov. In about 10 minutes Sorin and I will pile my stuff in the van and head to Bucharest. We’ll get there just in time to go to the gypsy church for a conference. I’ll preach twice. Then I’ll be done for this trip. My heart is already turning toward home. I pray I can keep my focus for these last two messages.
Yesterday was very busy, but very good! It was hard to say good bye to the Tomeci and Palada families, as well as all the other friends we now have here — Ionutz and his wife, Ramona and her husband. But God is so very good. I was very tired for the second service yesterday and not sure I’d have strength to preach it. But God helped and things seemed to go very well.
There was one tragedy. Some have small children. They were running around afterwards, as small children do. One of them knocked over Sorin’s guitar and the neck broke. This guitar was given to him by someone from the states. It was a very nice one (I’d guess about $1000). It is ruined now. I could tell he was grieved, but he took it very graciously.
This evening I hope to get to bed early. We must be up very early 4 am in order to get to the airport. I am longing for home and the chance to see all of you. I miss my girls terribly.
Monday March 21 – via Facebook
We drove through snow to get to Bucharest. Conference with the gypsies went well. Now just hanging out til tile to get to the airport!!
Monday March 21 – PM
Hey church! I’m sitting in Starbucks with Sorin waiting for our friend Ruxi to join us to go to supper. The gypsy conference went well. I am done. My plane leaves in about 14 hours! Can’t wait to be home. Grateful to God for all he has done.
Tuesday March 22
Sitting in the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. No coffee yet. Romania is a fond memory and I am dreaming of home. I’m grateful for all God has done over here, but I’m ready for my feet to hit US soil. Soon enough. Long layover here.
I did get to see our friend Ruxi for a bit for supper last night and pray with her about her ministry to young women.
Two hours til my plane begins to load now. I think I’ll Get that coffee.
Wednesday March 23 – FB
To my dear friends and family, Thank you so much for your prayers & words of encouragement while I was gone. The Lord sustained me thru you! I hope to rest today so I can hit the ground running tomorrow. Love to you all.
Rivers and Oceans
To drown in the deepest ocean of grace, springing from rivers of love and mercy would be the greatest way to die. When you die, you find that all that is dead is the sin in your life and the power death had over you. Through the love of God, the new heart that reflects Christ is living in you and will never die. You find yourself no longer drowning but swimming in this ocean of grace and drinking from the rivers of love and mercy.
Christ gives you new robes that He wove with His righteousness. When these new robes you have soiled, you can plunge head first into the river of love, where Love Himself washes you clean. The river of love flows red with blood, blood that man alone could not claim. Only the blood of the one who is both God and man could clean my soiled robes. The river of mercy washes away my shame and guilt, it purifies me within. The deepest part of my heart is by mercy made clean and my sin can no longer reclaim it.
The ocean of grace my sins forgot, my slate is clean and fresh. I have no righteousness of my own, but grace gives me His. Without these rivers and this ocean deep, my sin would beat me to the grave. My glorious Savior came and took it all, my guilt, my pride, my shame, from Him flows these rivers of love and mercy. The ocean fills from His veins. He took my sin and the wrath of God. If I do not my worship bring, what good is each breath I breathe. Glory goes to God alone, no earthly thing my glory should receive. As I drink from love and mercy, it propels me to give Christ my glory, and as in grace’s depths I swim, my love and glory goes only to Him.
I’ve asked permission to re-post a tribute written by one of the young women in our church to her dad. I thought it was excellent and well worth passing along.
September 6, 2010
Today is Labor Day – the holiday in honor of the hard-working American citizens who labor day after day throughout the year. It is a day when many choose to relax. If you google Labor Day, the fully reliable source known as Wikipedia (yes, that’s sarcasm) states it so profoundly as to say that, “the holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties.” Some go fishing, others go camping, and many do other types of leisure activities. Is there anything wrong with these? No. Our bodies are designed to work, but we are also dependent on rest. In fact, God commands us to rest (Ex 31:15). Resting reminds us (as I learned from my new friend C.J. Mahaney) that we dependent creatures and we are not self-sufficient.
God has used this Labor Day to remind me what an awesome earthly father He has given me. I have always looked up to my Dad. He never missed one of my basketball or volleyball games in school. He would practice with me and push me to be my best. More importantly, he constantly displays patience, humility, and wisdom. He leads and guides our family, as he is the head of our home. He works hard to provide for us. He would be the first to admit that he is not perfect, but he is the most selfless man I know.
Let me just give you a small glimpse into his Labor Day. He wakes up to a demanding list of tasks that are waiting to be completed. Between our house and 3 rental houses, there is always something to be done. Alright, let me just pause right here to say that is one example of his selflessness. He is always willing to give up his time to help others, even when there’s something better or more fun to do. That’s a Colossians 3 type of love right there! Okay, back to his day. The past couple days he has been working on fixing my sister’s ceiling fan (They live in the rental house next door to us). This normally wouldn’t have taken that long, but one thing went wrong and then another and he ended up having to buy a new ceiling fan for their rental house. During this time, one of the neighbors backed their car into my sister’s mailbox. So today, Dad is working on fixing that. Some men may look at these repairs as inconveniences in the road to what they want to do. Not my Dad. He uses these “fix-it” times as teachable moments. My oldest brother (almost 11 yrs) loves helping Dad with whatever task is at hand. The younger bro (9 yrs) loves to tag along too, but he does tend to be more easily distracted. Both of my brothers have learned so much just by being with my Dad and helping him out. They each have their own little tool set and love being able to use them. They probably have more tools than most guys my age!
Back to the mailbox dilemma- Dad and the boys worked on that most of the morning. During the process, Dad got sawdust in his eye, which is obviously not the most preferable circumstance. This can actually be quite painful and caused him problems the rest of the day. Despite this, they are all working hard to get this thing fixed when who decides to grace our streets with their presence? The Jehovah Witness clan. Does Dad complain about this? No. Does he shrug them off or ignore him? No. He uses this as an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel truth to these men who are wrapped up in their false religion. I’m afraid my natural tendency would be to say, “No thanks. I already have the real Christ!” and walk away or simple try to ignore them. He talked to them for around half an hour sharing the true Gospel. I think he ended up doing more witnessing than they did! During the course of that half an hour, we discovered that our basement had flooded. So Dad comes inside after talking to the Jehovah Witnesses’ and being out in the sun working on that mailbox with sawdust in his eye to hear all of us exclaim that our basement flooded and we couldn’t use the water. He has a servant-like attitude and doesn’t complain (ahem, Phil 2 yes, I was feeling convicted). Why doesn’t he complain? He knows that this is what God has called him to be – a man! It sounds so simple, but this is exactly what is lacking in our culture. Men who are bold enough to stand up and lead their wives (Eph 5:23). Men who work hard to provide for their families (Gen 3:17-19). Men who train their children up in godliness (Proverbs 22:6, 23:13-14 and yes, this includes DISCIPLINING them). Men who deny themselves and live according to God’s standard (Luke 9:23). It is not easy to give up pleasures, material things, or conveniences, but that is the cost of following Christ.
So my Dad will probably go into work tonight feeling exhausted, somewhat irritated (that sawdust is still really bothering his eye), and like he has accomplished little. He’ll sleep when he gets home in the morning. He’ll wake up with a new day full of new challenges. Despite this, he won’t forget to wrestle with his children (that’s his favorite way of expressing his fatherly love) and make them laugh/scream and then shout, “Dad’s the Champion!!!” He’ll lead his children in studying the Word of God and prayer. He’ll try to get what needs to be done accomplished, but if not, that’s okay. He’ll go into work that night and repeat it the next day all while echoing the words, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I apologize now for the A.D.D format of this note and for any grammatical errors (writing was never my thang!).This isn’t in anyway meant to come across as depressing or anti-fun. My family and I have lots and lots of fun memories together especially if it involves the word, “free.” If you know us, then you know we’re goofy and even kinda weird. =) But as one of my favorite quotes by JohnnyMac goes, “Following Christ isn’t rooted in spectacular events, juiced-up conferences, or continual mountaintop experiences. It’s found in loving Him, obeying Him, thanking Him, and glorifying Him in the most mundane daily details of life.”
So Dad, thank you for your example of humility and self-sacrifice, which is a portrait of Christ. Thank you for showing me the qualities of a Godly husband through your daily living. I LOVE YOU!
“What the church needs today is not more machinery . . . , new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer.”
- E M Bounds