“The man of pseudo faith will fight for his verbal creed but refuse flatly to allow himself to get into a predicament where his future must depend upon that creed being true. He always provides himself with secondary ways of escape so he will have a way out if the roof caves in. What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now as they know they must do at the last day.” A. W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous These past 3 weeks have been trying at the least. I was in South America the last two weeks visiting Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The second Monday of the trip, as I called to talk to the family, my wife passed the phone to my middle child. My daughter was crying and told me that she missed me so much and wanted me to be home soon. When I returned, I missed the funeral of the wife of an Elder due to my travel and then this past Thursday (two weeks after he buried his wife) he went home to be with his wife and Savior. Another Elder and I visited a man, who is single, and is raising a son by himself. He was diagnosed with cancer and had two surgeries these past two weeks – and doesn’t know how and why to make sense of this.
On top of this, we have two weeks of Summer Camp at our Church and we are hosting four female college girls at our house. They work long hours with so many kids an do such a stellar job in what they love doing – it is actually infectious to watch and witness. As I got home today, my wife told me that she was exhausted from the week (likely from the last 3 weeks as she had to do it all without me 2 of the 3 weeks). I found myself, this afternoon, for a brief moment feeling sorry for myself and falling into a rut – into a despression. Work was extremely busy, the demands of dad seem to be increasing and my wife and I have been working with our son and youngest daughter these past few months (will talk about this one later). The news that we received will be challenging and trying at times, but I heard something from a doctor friend that made so much sense to me that I had to write it down. Okay, now that I think about it, I might as well spill it. We know that my son is gifted and has been tested as twice exceptional, but we also knew that he has a learning disability (a processing disorder). We have been working with this doctor to test him, analyze him and counsel him, us, his teachers on how to bridge these gaps along the way. He is such a smart boy, it even amazes me that God has given him to my wife and I. We want him to achieve his ability and to have a happy life along the way. We pray that we make and do the right God-honoring decisions. Anyway, as we learned the diagnosis about our son (and we are having our youngest daughter going through the same tests) the doctor said something that blew my mind: The doctor said that when he has kids like this, he turns them to the Bible and has them read (memorize and study) the Bible. Because in his experience, when they focus on what God’s will is for us, then they stop looking at the proverbial tree in front of them and are able to focus more on the “forest” of God’s will for our lives = wow!
These are things that Lance and Gary and I know. THese are things that we write about. I think what surprised me most is that i heard this from a doctor who is a physchologist and very qualified in his profession telling me how important the Word of God is for life! (Deuteronomy 6; Galations 5 & 6; Romans 12; Colossians 3; 1 Timothy 6 and so so much more). So as I was ranting about my stress and my life and my busyness, the Lord brought me to this place (that ever so quiet voice in your head and heart) that said to me, “Count your blessings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I have a two brothers on this blog who mean the world to me. Lance and I have been talking a lot about things that are coming down the pipeline (cannot wait to see where God takes us). I have a wife who loves me without question, who is smart (okay, she did marry me?) and who is a great mother and wife. I have three wonderful and happy and healthy children. I have a great job. I am an Elder at my church (and there is so much blessing in that role). I am a leader in our Men’s Ministry. I have men that lift me up, pray for me and carry my burdens. I have two really good accountability partners. I am content!
The next time that I lead our men’s group (Men of Faith) I will be doing a lesson on 1 Timothy 6:
1 Timothy 6 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants[a] regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
False Teachers and True Contentment
Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound[b] words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and[c] we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before[d] Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
Grace be with you.[e]
Sometime life throws us into the trees in our life and instead we need to focus on God’s word and see the forest like God sees it!
Let me know,