Discouraged? READ THIS!

feel-discouragedJames Emory White has an encouraging word for the discouraged:

“This is a simple post. When you are discouraged, remember these seven words:

There is a God on the loose.

If you’re in ministry, remember it when you don’t have
…enough money
…enough volunteers
…enough space
…enough freedom
…enough staff.

If you’re trying to raise kids, remember it when you don’t have
…enough patience
…enough time
…enough sleep
…enough wisdom
…enough hands.

If you’re trying to follow Christ, remember it when you don’t have
…enough trust
…enough strength
…enough hope
…enough faith
…enough love.

Remember.

There is a God on the loose.

Remember that you have,

…a God who knows all that you don’t have;

…a God who loves your church and ministry more than you do;

…a God who loves your child(ren), and your spouse, more than you do;

…a God who knows what you need more than you do;

…a God who wants to see His kingdom come, and His glory radiate out from your life, more than you do.

This is the God who is roaming wild and free. He knows your situation. He knows…

…you.

And He adores you. He is on your side. He wants nothing but the best for you.

Don’t trivialize this with worldly ideas of “success.” God is about more than that for your life. He’s about all that is right, all that is best, all that is true, all that is beautiful. Despite your current circumstances, His larger, perfect plan is unfolding. Every perfect gift comes from His hand, and He is a gift-giving God.

So if you are discouraged, take heart. You are His prized son, His precious daughter. So pray. Trust. Particularly when you are discouraged.

Why?

There is a God on the loose.

And He knows your name.”

I Love The Song…But…

Zach Williams has a great voice!

I love his song, “Fear Is a Liar.”

If you are not familiar with it, here it is:

What’s my “but” about?

I wish he’d written, “Satan is a liar.” (perhaps one of the reasons he did not is because there exists a song by that name, though not hugely popular)

Since Williams personifies “fear,” it’s easy to suppose he meant Satan…

But…

“Fear” is not a bad thing…particularly “fear of the Lord” which is, of course, “…the beginning of wisdom…”

Please know, I am not hammering Zach…I want to see him in concert!

Just expressing a preference.

What do you think?

 

 

David’s Good Advice

I know I’ve read the passage before, but during my “regular” reading yesterday the following counsel David gave Solomon resonated in an unusual fashion:

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The LORD has chosen you to build a Temple as His sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.” 1 Chron 28.9,10 (NLT)

The “bolded” words slapped me the hardest. Encouraging, exhorting, and incentive to “keep on” even if a bit tired, a bit disappointed, a bit stressed.

It was, and is, a help to me as I meditate, memorize, and, now, share it.

 

 

Not for the Jews Only

There is a school of thought, theologically, that repentance was for the Jews only. The Charles Ryrie Study Bible, for instance, pushes this.

The “logic” behind this belief is that repentance is a work and thus adds to the gospel message. However the Word says “the goodness of God leads you to repentance…”

And as far as repentance being for the Jews only at a certain period of time only, I’d rather take Scripture at Its Word:

“I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.” Acts 20.21

Here is an observation from a man I greatly respect:

It is important for us to see the close connection between repentance and forgiveness, because while no amount of repentance can ever merit forgiveness in the sight of God, without repentance no soul will ever be saved.  Repentance is the telltale mark of the grace of God at work in our lives. Saving faith and true repentance are always found together. Saved souls are repentant souls.
Kent Hughes
Luke Commentary, p. 109.

WORDS MATTER

An “Opinion” piece was published in USA Today June 29 under the headline:

What closeted LGBTQ youth should know

It was written by Josh Rivera who is the “Opinion NOW” editor for the paper, and a homosexual.

I won’t discuss the merits or lack thereof; but I do want to simply insert a couple clips from it for your thoughtful reading:

“The only choice in this situation is when to face the world with your truth.”

Here’s the other:

“I worry about my community and it pains me to write this, because living your truth shouldn’t place a target on your back.”

Do you see it?

Words matter.

When I read this late last night I shook my head…not at the overall content nor the thesis of the article…but rather something else.

Do you see it?

I’ll just leave this here for now…

What’s So Special About CLBC?

If you’ve been around me any length of time, you’ve heard me talk about Crescent Lake Bible Camp in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

After four decades of speaking at camps across the Nation, CLBC remains my favorite. In fact it’s where I am as I write this article.

The pictures are worth zillions of words and show in part how beautiful the place is. I say in part because like most things in life unless you’ve experienced it you are just kind of guessing.

But there’s more to it than the physical beauty… There’s more to it than the phenomenal staff…

I cannot adequately describe it. I certainly can’t explain it. But it is here.

I’ve seen things happen here that didn’t happen anywhere else. I feel very close to thinking I should take my shoes off when I get on the grounds. I know everything belongs to God but there’s something unique, indescribable, and challenging about CLBC.

And my hunch is it begins and continues because of two men who knelt on the grounds of what would become the camp in a time of economic depression and asked…begged…God to do what was seemingly impossible and He did and He does and He will.

And I am humbled, blessed and excited that I get to be part of the ongoing mi

racle of Crescent Lake Bible Camp.

Woke Up This Morning with my mind…

Many years ago I attended my first “Cathedrals” concert.

I did not want to go. I knew they were “country.” This was not at the top of my list of enjoyable music…

But I had to go. I was on staff of Family Life Ministries/Network; and we were hosting them at a venue in Elmira, NY.

Got there early, but as it was a “union house” we Family Lifers couldn’t help unload and set up. So I just stood around (I really love having nothing to do).

One of the union guys was basically a curtain-puller. As I said “hi” to him he gruffly replied, and I smelled the booze on his breath.

A bit later the Cathedrals did a sound check. Ernie Haase was new to the group (as mentioned, this was a long time ago…maybe at least 20  years?). The rest of the singers left, but Ernie stuck around with the sound techs.

I had to go to one of our vehicles, and as I returned I came back stage and discovered Ernie sitting next to the aforementioned curtain-puller, with his left arm around the guys shoulders, as his right hand held a pocket New Testament. Ernie was sharing the gospel.

My immediate thought?

“I don’t give a flying rip what you sing in what style, I’m a huge fan of at least one Cathedral.”

During the concert they sang this song…the song that was in my head as I woke this Tuesday morn.

Memories. At least two of the Cathedrals are dead. Ernie has his own group (Signature Sound?) I’m no longer on Family Life staff.

But…oh, what a Savior!