Category: Suffering

  Like a River dam or lock, We must manage the flow of grace. This includes That flow coming into our house, and then the flow going out. This is our stewardship . This is spoken of in 1 Peter 4:10  “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” I must first learn how to receive grace, but not in vain. Grace “received” is accepting something which I do not deserve. Can you do it? `Pride can inhibit this action. Many, many speakers, leaders, church members, choir singers, administrators or faculty cannot receive grace. Unsaved folks balk at grace often. The reason?  Grace is based never on the receiver, but rests in the open hand of the Giver, God Himself. It all depends on the vicarious atonement of Christ. Precious people look inward and discover…

Read More Glorious Grace

As we obey the truth, God may allow us to be placed in precarious situations and locales — only to deliver us and reveal His glorious nature. Why does He do this? — so we can see the vast difference between Almighty God and un-mighty man. Here, watch one such occasion: “And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach,…

Read More Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

My childhood highlighted Easter. Not as ecstatic as Christmas, but carrying its own mixture of excitement, Easter differed from Christmas, much like death opposes birth, accentuating two poles of a man’s existence. Indeed, all the candy and gifts were affected by those Bible stories, most importantly, the one of cruel death. Memories include the emotions and guilt which filled my Childhood as I longed for release. Christmas gave a few days of solace, but Easter did not. The pre-Easter season of Lent featured the imposed fast– abstaining from certain pleasures. It was not yet a voluntary give-up for me. It lasted 40 days. Following that came the hideous picture of suffering death — we didn’t know how much blame we were supposed to assume, but we were told our sins were the reason for Jesus’ death. The Resurrection story did little to undo that mental pain — a basket full of…

Read More Easter Memories

I sang a song once, ’twas the joy of my heart. It carried a tear-drop to surface, on folk far apart. A plain song it was, without much buzz, but oil was hidden, ’twas oil of love. With one it brought laughter, with another, gave joy, some thought of heaven, I remembered my boy! My Mother, my Dad too, George and Merrilee, Bill Kraskie and Kevin, again I will see. I visited a place called Auschwitz, where they do a security check still. They must have guards, but not to hurt — no, they resist only liars and haters who try to erase this death-camp from historical record. But I was allowed to see the piles; of shoes, cups, prosthetic devises, eye-glasses, and a room of hair, (human). I saw a chamber, I saw an oven, a chimney; I saw names and faces, pictures of herded people. I read poems.…

Read More I Sang a Song

  Do you often grapple over the many decisions, including non-decisions, that brought you to your present circumstances? Lets try. There was the life changing time when Christ became real, the decision to marry, and the decision to have children. There was the decision for Bible College, moving to another state, finding a new job. These events are on the positive side of planning. Then there was the unforeseen happenings: the departure of a spouse, the death of a child, the loss of a job, the pains of sickness. On top of that are the many unthinkable mistakes, abuses, betrayals, and cowardly opting-outs. These were the lessons, hard to be learned, and may have stolen a large part of our lives. Nevertheless here we are. What are we to think about it all? The Apostle beautifully says: ” But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of…

Read More The Long and Wrong Roads of the Past

  “Feeling the stress of a fallen world is part of existence. We might call this the’blues.’ Romans 8:23 teaches, ‘we groan.’” “The blues are common to the lot of a fallen human race.” “… Expectation of a carefree life or constant euphoria and excitement are neither scriptural nor true to experience.” Steven Waterhouse “The fact that you have become a Christian does not mean that you cease to have to live with yourself — You will have to live with yourself as long as you are alive. ” Martin Lloyd Jones Depression is related to 1. Little interest or pleasure in doing things, 2. Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless, 3. Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much, 4. Feeling tired or having little energy, 5. Poor appetite or overeating, 6. …you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down, 7. Trouble concentrating on things, 8. Moving or speaking so slowly,…

Read More The Blues

Galatians 5:7 could be read this way , “Who has been breaking up the road you were traveling so well, and who has stopped you from advancing?” The devil likes to stop the Christian in his tracks — creating an attitude of uncertainty about the path in which God is leading… He also aims to impede their relationship and fellowship with God.  Methods include: Mental strain — The devil induces believers to toil in their thoughts — Unexplained tiredness and a lack of emotional control — Details cause tension — The person often complains about being overworked –He feels too drained to pray or to study. …an attitude of carelessness —  Results in a contempt For discipline and leadership — a lackadaisical disposition. Anxiety Nervousness materialism. all taken from Dr. Carl H. Stevens Sometimes our faith-practices don’t seem to work out as usual. Is God pulling the plug on this…

Read More Devices and Wiles

  What am I going to do this year? The question runs In my mind In circles. The year is new and I just feel like I must make some resolutions, So let me think… what does a resolution mean? “The act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.:  an answer or solution to something. : the ability of a device to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail.  Merriam-Webster I was encouraged by the definition but with dejection I mused, we can only look through a “glass darkly.” One day we will see God face to face, but not now; not this year; not in this lifetime. Nevertheless, I think I have hit on something.  “The only thing you know Is that God knows what he’s doing.” “God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you who…

Read More What Am I Gonna Do this Year?

  Charles Spurgeon speaks of The Holy Spirit from his sermon, “The Comforter.” “I am in distress, And I want consolation. Some passer-by hears of my sorrow, and steps within, sits down and assays to cheer me; he speaks soothing words but he loves me not; he is a stranger; he knows me not at all; he is only come in to try his skill.  And what is the consequence? His words run over me like oil on a slab of marble. They are like the pattering rain upon the rock; they do not break my grief; It stands unmoved as adamant, because he has no love for me.” “But let someone who loves me dear as his own life come and plead with me, then truly his words are music, They taste like honey. He knows the password of the doors of my heart, and my ear is attentive…

Read More Spirit

  The days are bitter-sweet, a joyful celebration, a frightful death. The days are dark, the night is bright, the lows are high, the highs are low. We are living in the last days. Paul called them perilous times where men would by lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5 Friends, turn away, turn away, He will guide us with His counsel and after lead us to glory.   For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.    For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.    For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same…

Read More When the Cold Comes