Tag: adversity

  “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:11-12 I’m good at abounding but not so much with abasement. Why does God allow abasement? It means “to humble,” which conjures up thoughts of pain, so this is why most folks don’t get content with it. Yes, pain we cringe at, but humility itself brings something special. Paul became content since humility brings self-satisfying; it brings us closer to God . “The perfect meekness that comes from self-humbling brings with it an all-embracing concentration on the goodness and love of God.” “None of the acts of God, whether in…

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  I watched two moms, one my own, the other my wife. A third would be my wife’s mom. All these have a common thing – close ties with their offspring. The children love mom not because she is perfect or even for her giving, but this – she is always in their corner, no matter what. Moms forgive their children — at least the ones I have known. They so never lose hope that their son or daughter will be great or at least be OK. They pray for the kids and worry. Most worry is sin, but not for moms; it becomes sanctified worry. The kids know about this worry and it guides, even restrains them away from certain paths of sure destruction. In order for a kid to go wild he has to find a way around his mom. He has to disregard her. No matter, mom will visit sons in county jail, or…

Read More Mother Guides

  I watched two moms, one my own, the other my wife. A third would be my wife’s mom. All these have a common thing – close ties with their offspring. The children love mom not because she is perfect or even for her giving, but this – she is always in their corner, no matter what. Moms forgive their children — at least the ones I have known. They so never lose hope that their son or daughter will be great or at least be OK. They pray for the kids and worry. Most worry is sin, but not for moms; it becomes sanctified worry. The kids know about this worry and it guides, even restrains them away from certain paths of sure destruction. In order for a kid to go wild he has to find a way around his mom. He has to disregard her. No matter, mom will visit sons in county jail, or…

Read More Mother Guides

Church in Hungary “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Is this the cross of your life or some other? If this one frames us, we know with the mind a once and forever done-by-another-for-me deal, (perfect passive indicative tense). The present tense “knowing” practically effects the destroying of the “The body of which sin has taken possession.” All of it enables me to not be a slave to sin. Jamison, Faucet, and Brown cite our new relationship with Christ and says: “The apostle now grows more definite and vivid in expressing the sin-destroying effectiveness of our union with the crucified Savior.” So that “all that we were in our old unregenerate condition, before union with Christ,” “was” crucified with Him. Henceforth, we are not in bondage to sin. So, we have…

Read More Healed by Perspective

Taken at creation museum in Kentucky “Hope happens when a person who has none gets some.” “Some what?” “Well, I figure that the firm impression leading them to believe that they will get some is the ‘some,’ for now, giving them hope.” “Oh?” “Well, more than a feeling, they have some kind of promissory indication.” “That helps, but who is doing the promising? Are they trustworthy?” “Must be, or no hope happens.” “Are they able?” “They must be that too.” “Can a random event mess up the promise, even though a person is true and strong?” “I guess.” “I suppose we need a promise from one who is faithful, powerful and above all circumstances to bring hope.” “Like God?” “Yes, it must be God. Hope-giving phenomena relates to the helmet of salvation in Ephesians 6, but also to the helmet of the “hope of salvation” in Thessalonians 5:8. Martin Lloyd-Jones…

Read More Bitter Sweet

A Christian moves. The moves lie in the “from faith to faith,” “from glory to glory,” “from strength to strength” categories and require “grace for grace.” The path of the just shines more and more unto the perfect day, and “in thy light we see (more) light.” Line upon line we learn; and precept upon precept. Job, in chapter 29 was found in a lament. Apparently, he was an amazing man of patience and ministry having a sense of God moving with him at all times. When we read this chapter we are astounded at the level of maturity he had. Nevertheless, it was all ended now; a grief and grieving was all that remained. Job was about to experience an identity crisis though dying was still more on his preferred horizon. It dawned on me while reading this portion how often this very thing occurs for us believers, in…

Read More Movin On

“One thing we know about our panic —we own it.”“What else?”“We are directing it.”“Really?”“Yes, it receives its cues from us in various ways —weakening, strengthening, ebbing, and flowing at our unconscious movements.”“Tell me more.” “It thrives on attention!” In a word from Viktor Frankl he teaches: “a university student complained about being anxious with regard to an oral report to be given —let us say –on Friday. I advised him to take his appointment calendar and to write on every page of the week, with large letters, the word ‘ANXIETY.’ As it were —I asked him to plan for an anxious week. He was much relieved after doing this because now he was suffering from anxiety only, but not from anxiety about anxiety.” “Pressure induces counter-pressure, and counter-pressure, in turn, increases pressure” —another Frankl quote. Let’s reflect: This above example of “paradoxical intention” does what? It relieves a person from…

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Sometimes God uses people to test our faith. Circumstances are difficult but nothing like the pure unadulterated face to face, heart to heart, psyche to psyche, flesh to flesh, hair raise. We need some skills, the main ones being; bullet biting, crow eating, cheek turning, appearance avoiding thereof, and downright Biblical longsuffering. Without these our faith shipwrecks quickly, truth fails, equity stands afar off. On the more serious side, it’s the shed blood of Christ, a Lamb without spot, which does the essential cleansing needed. Why needed? That blood cleanses away defilement of sin, sins, and also the mere interaction with “world” as God understands it. This Cosmos, this whole earth, lies in the hands of the wicked one as conveyed in 1John 5:19. For this reason, we find that Jesus, dying for the sins of men, nevertheless, did not put His trust in men, John 2:24 We likewise must not esteem…

Read More Ties that Bind

Brain-dead, stumped, with empty-headed stupor, I shiver and slap the side of my ear—a futile hope-to-jar-something-loose ritual. I dig deep, but words are not surfacing into consciousness. I scratch aggressively only to overturn more substance-forsaken fragments. “useless to inquire at the bank of ‘rationale,’ nothing of logic answers this event.” It doesn’t make any difference. “It doesn’t make any sense.” A nephew is paralyzed and in a coma after attempting to take his own life and the family calls. A dear friend gets a report that they have 6 months to live. There are no words of comfort, there are no answers. But we must talk, we must call back! Is there a hidden spring of wisdom, applied knowledge, or heavenly utterance to tap? O, The moment requires supernatural help, at the very least.     Verily, answers don’t come because the only explanation seems to exist in the sphere of…

Read More What Do I Say?

But I shall give less thought to the future, I shall work in the present. I feel such work is within my power. For I only succeed in small things, and when I am tried by anxiety, I am bound to say it is the small joys that release me. – Georges Bernanos, Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. – Henry Ward Beecher, All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership. – John Kenneth Galbraith, Anxiety anxiety, anxiety, where do you hide? With the dead? —no, with the living. Aha, these fear to die —no they fear to live. What is the cause? It is a mystery;…

Read More Anxiety