A “Privilege” You Might Wish To Forgo

By , October 19, 2018

“…he looks upon the lowly…”
Psalm 138:6

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The work the Lord has appointed me to do in this life is to mingle with the “lowly” and those whom circumstances have made them “lowly”. The daily routine for me is to pray, study the Word of God, do some writing, and go and see people who have been humbled by the sorrowful circumstances of life. I did not choose this career. I would have loved to study and practice medicine if my youthful preference was known.

However, the Lord has given me this unique work to do of comforting those who are in pain emotionally or physically. Now that I am decades into this career, I love it. I have never looked back and have no regrets about where time has found me.

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“Isn’t she beautiful?”

By , October 18, 2018

“…you are precious and honored in my sight…”
Isaiah 43:4 (NIV)

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Charles Wesley, was a wonderful hymn writer and Anglican priest. He wrote some 6,000 hymns including Hark the herald angels sing, and Jesus Lover of my soul. He was a remarkable though eccentric person. For example, before he married Sarah Gwynne, she made him promise not to sleep in his clothes which was his habit.

When Charles heard that his older brother John was about to marry Grace Murray he immediately took to horse, rode to where John was, and confronted his brother with the statement that he could not marry the woman. His reasons included the idea she was socially beneath John. Leaving John to compose the reasons why he should marry Grace, Charles rode fast and furious to where Grace was staying and compelled her to marry another man immediately.

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What are they worth?

By , October 17, 2018

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

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The alpine zone on mountains is that area above where trees grow. Now very many people visit that region and take holidays there! It is not accessible except to the most hardy of souls.

One dear friend of mine trains all year long with his wife in order to make rugged treks to alpine regions. I know of no other person among my many acquaintances who tackles such an endurance contest.

Yet, at such high altitudes where almost no one ever visits there are a host of magnificently beautiful flowers to observe. Now why would such beauty be so inaccessible as that? What is the worth of having this remarkable foliage where no one sees it?

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Don’t take it the wrong way!

By , October 16, 2018

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”
Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

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There are many paradoxes in life. I am thinking of things that appear to be evil when first examined or experienced but turn out to be good in the end. For example the Bible in John 16:21 refers to the pain of childbirth and then the joy of the woman after she has delivered her child. So what begins in pain ends in delight.

There are many of these paradoxes that any one of us can mention. Most, if not all, of us have experienced such situations in our personal and public lives. Occasionally we see the purpose for the pain soon after it comes to us. However there are those vexed situations where we suffer pain and nothing good seems to come from it.

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A Hill To Die On

By , October 15, 2018

“…he went out to the place of the Skull…Here they crucified him,”
John 19:17-18 (NIV)

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My wife, a psychotherapist by training, has an arresting figure of speech she likes to use with both her clients at times and occasionally with me. It is in the form of a question and is, “Is this a hill you are willing to die on?” At times many of us get very upset over things that are not worth a lot in the long run.

For some the size of the issue is of no significance whatever, control is all that matters. They are determined to have their way regardless of the cost. To these people we need to shrug our shoulders and steer clear of them.

Years ago when I was preaching somewhere, in a day when men usually cut their hair shorter than women, I was in the foyer after church speaking to a fine young man who sported a long pony tail. An older man who apparently knew him came up to us and grabbed the young man’s pony tail and said to him, “When are you going to cut this off?”

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