I hope this message preached a year ago is helpful to you today. God bless you, my friend!
Here is the worship service and sermon I preached this morning at the College Church, Northampton MA.
The Bible introduces King David as a “man after God’s own heart.” We know the guy was far from perfect so what was the element that defined him in contrast to his predecessor, Saul, or his son-successor, Solomon? Someone described David as a God-chaser. I like that. I think such a description singularly defines a person after God’s own heart—someone who relentlessly pursues God in spite of being deeply flawed and broken.
While Saul was busy building a monument to himself (1 Samuel 15:12) and Solomon was focused on loving “many foreign women” and accommodating their gods (1 Kings 11:1-6), David was chasing after God. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so my soul pants for you, O God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1, 2) “O God, you are my God; early will I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land.” (Psalm 63:11) “My soul languishes for your salvation; I wait for your word.” Psalm 119:81. “I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You…” (Psalm 143:6)
David was hungry and thirsty for God; he sought after God; he had a passion for spiritual things. Though he was a sinner he was also a man of repentance who saw his sin as potentially separating from the God who was his very life. “Have mercy upon me, O God…blot out my transgressions…against you, and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…I was brought forth in iniquity…create within my a new heart…cast me not away from your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:1-11)
Yes, David was a God-chaser and rightly called a “man after God’s own heart,” because he had a deep desire for God and doing the will of God. He was a shadow of another who would come to be known as the “son of David.” The Messiah, Jesus Christ, took what David imperfectly demonstrated and manifested those qualities to perfection. He relentlessly pursued God, his Father; his food was to do the will of the One who sent him; his entire purpose in life was to glorify his Father in heaven. Interestingly, we usually define the passion of Christ as his suffering and death, but his real passion was desiring to do the will of God more than he wanted to escape his pain.
I want to be like Jesus, but David shows me that it is possible to be a God-chaser inspite of my sin. David gives me hope that, though deeply flawed, I can be a man after God’s own heart!
Preaching this morning at College Church, Northampton where I served as pastor 1980-2005. It was a privilege to be back.
I updated this blog that I sent out last year. The 48 things I love about Gloria remain the same. I added one more (in bold print) in honor of our 49th.
Marriage then . . . June 26, 1971, a date that will live in infamy -wait, that was Pearl Harbor. Let me start over: a date that will live forever in memory. A day when a 22-yr old woman (a beauty) and a 24-yr old guy (add any adjective or noun that is appropriate) said their vows to each other. Those vows did not announce how much they were in love on that day, but the vows were commitments made that they would, by God’s Immeasurable Grace, love each other “until they laid each other in the arms of God.”
Marriage now…June 26, 2019
49 Things I Love About My Wife, GLORIA
G od-lover, great (wonderful) grandma, giver, glad to help others, grateful when people help her, good cook, genuine servant, gold and diamonds are not important, glued to her marriage “until death do us part”
L oves her husband and kids and is loved by them, longs for meaningful conversation, loves to explore and take back roads, loses things but they usually turn up (just found car keys in coat pocket after 3 yrs), likes to stay up late but not get up early, lavish prayers said daily on behalf of her kids and grandkids, loyal to her marriage vows especially the “in sickness and in health” part
O pines (expresses an opinion) often, outdoor girl, oversees our plants and flowers, overlooks her husband’s faults, opens her home to the stranger and refugee, open-handed to those in need, oppressed by the computer, observes carefully whatsapp messages from kids about the grandkids, overwhelmed by the thought of selling our house and moving (but we did it, and made the move from West Chicago to Lancaster, Pa in early January)
R ank means nothing, raspberry lover (especially black raspberry pie), reads good books (especially about missions and biography), redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, regularly reflects on God’s Word, rather not do housework, really rather be hiking or kayaking, regrets living so far away from her new grandson in Switzerland, reads idiots guide to understand financial stuff, reaches out to people in need with offers to help in any way she can—she is a Christ-like servant
I nterested in just about everything having to do with her kids and grandkids, intelligent, incurious about sports (except baseball), inflexible in her convictions, initiates conversations with strangers and prayer with her husband
A lways faithful, always supportive of her husband, asks a few questions once in awhile, an accomplished pianist and marimbist, appreciates working together on anything, always likes apple butter, an amazing ESL teacher, age has enhanced her beauty, a woman who fears the Lord
CHECK OUT 5 new episodes of the classic story Pilgrim’s Progress part 2 – click on the menu portion of any blog…
Today is Junetheenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US, and yet, many white Americans are completely oblivious to its significance. Such a small thing (lack of knowledge) indicates a continuing large racial divide in our country. Certainly Black Lives Matter protests are continuing for a reason, and part of that reason is to educate white America to a part of its history completely ignored.
June 19, 1865 marks the day when Union Army General Gordon Granger delivered the news in Galveston, TX, that the Civil War had ended and all slaves were free. This was 2 1/2 yrs. after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on June 1, 1863. Granger’s formal announcement read:
In accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the U.S. (refers to Lincoln though he had already been assassinated), all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.
While the controversial 13th Amendment abolishing slavery had already been ratified, it did not end slavery. And while this Juneteenth announcement was made freeing all slaves, it is more accurate to say that it was the day the slaves were told they were free—not the day they were freed. That would take many more painful decades of discrimination and persecution. When slave owners first heard this announcement, most did not tell their slaves until after the harvest was finished. And for the slaves who tried to act on their newly announced liberation, many were caught and hanged by their white owners.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was an African-American (bi-racial) of significant stature in American history. He was a lawyer, novelist, poet, and songwriter. He was to literature what W.E.B. Du Bois was to education and intellectual pursuits, and Booker T. Washington was to science and technology. Johnson was the first African-American consul to Venezuela and then to Nicaragua. He was also the first African-American president of the NAACP. He wrote a very interesting book in 1912 called “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.” He also wrote a poem in 1900 that was set to music by his younger brother, John, in 1905, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which has come to be referred to as The Black National Anthem. Someone has said that this anthem about the abolition of slavery could be describing the freedom of the Black body, as well as of the White Soul. Here are the lyrics:
Lift ev’ry voice and sing
‘Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on ’til victory is won.
Stony the road we trod
Bitter the chastening rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died
Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered
Out from the gloomy past
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee
Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land.
If you want to listen to it sung (beautifully, I might add) use this link:
I am sitting in a dark room in the hospital waiting for a PET scan, after being injected with radioactive dye. This scan will literally “light up” all the areas of my body that are infected by cancer. It will give a definitive view of where I am at after 3 years of living with this disease. Sometimes it is hard to know what to pray for at times like this. There is the human tendency to want to negotiate with God—”Lord, could you give me 5 more years . . . how about 3 . . . maybe 2?” Is it wrong to do this? I guess it all depends on if, in the end, we are willing to accept God’s answer.
Abraham is an example of someone who negotiated with God in prayer. In Genesis 19, we see the angel of Lord telling Abraham that he is about ready to destroy the city of Sodom because of its great wickedness. Abe is alarmed because his nephew Lot and family are living there. So he begins to negotiate with God about the baseline number of righteous people there would need to be living in Sodom before the Lord would stay his hand of judgment. Abraham starts high with 50 people- just 50 righteous people, Lord, is that too much to ask for you to stay your hand of judgment.” God “relents” and is willing to reconsider all the way down to 10—sounds like an Amish auction! It seems like God just can’t make up his mind and Abe is setting the agenda for prayer. Certain theologians and others who struggle with God’s sovereignty love this, because it seems to show that while God has a plan, it is set in wet cement allowing for input and adjustments.
Observation: Then the negotiations just end. And the angel of the Lord departs and it’s all over for Sodom. Why? What is going on here—why didn’t Abraham keep going down to 4 (Lot and his wife and their 2 daughters)? There were at least 4 righteous ones, right? Wait a minute, only 4? Ahhh . . . then the light bulb moment. Abraham comes around to realize what God is doing. Abe thinks: Wow, Sodom really is wicked— only 4 righteous ones and they don’t even belong there because they are my family? That city does deserve judgment and God is perfectly just in doing destroying it!
Thus, what initially looked like God relenting or changing his mind turned out to be a way of bringing Abe around to his way of thinking. We see a similar strategy (for an opposite reason) that God used with Jonah after Nineveh was spared judgment, and Jonah is beside himself with anger because God showed mercy. God grew up a plant to offer shade from the burning sun while the sulking prophet just sat there waiting for God to come around to his way of thinking. Then God used a little worm to destroy the plant which made Jonah angry, but showed him that he was more concerned for his own comfort than he was for the thousands in Nineveh who had just repented.
Someone once said that Jonah waited beneath the comfort of his shade-plant for God to come around to his way of thinking, while God destroyed Jonah’s comfort and waited for him to come around to his (God’s) way of loving.
Application: We tend to look at prayer as a way of getting things from God —and we are enjoined to ask, seek, knock. However, when prayer is just asking we often grow frustrated when the answers are not immediately forthcoming or not according to our expectations. The experience of Abraham (and to a certain extent, Jonah) shows us that God often uses the process of prayer (be asking, be seeking, be knocking) to bring us around to his way of thinking; to understand his mind and perspective on things. In prayer then, God often changes us to see what he sees and then ask for what he wants.
And so, Lord, you have heard my prayer (as well as the prayers of many others) concerning the outcome of these scans. I’ve asked you for the things that I want, but you have convinced my heart that this whole situation is not about me and my longevity. It is about you and what you want for my life and the faith of those around me. It is about you being glorified in my body whether by life or by death. I’m not sure I even understand what that means, but you have brought me to the place where that is what I want. I am in your hands; I bless you, I trust you, and I worship you my Father. Amen.
I am reposting this blog that I wrote back on November 8, 2019, before the recent events that have triggered our national discussion on race. I hope you read it again with new eyes and find it helpful…
There was an article in the Daily Herald (Chicago) this week about a group of 18 mostly African-American folks being asked to change tables at a local Buffalo Wild Wings because some regular “white” customers didn’t want the group to sit near them. This racist request was reported and 2 managers were fired. Some people were calling for a boycott of BWW until safeguards such as sensitivity training for all employees , etc. were put in place.
It is true that we don’t know the whole story, which doesn’t call the incident into question, but it does raise the question of why such a thing continues to happen over and over again after so much publicity and media attention. Racism is defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race/ethnicity based upon the belief that one’s own race is superior.” I think that this is too narrow a definition. While such feelings of racial superiority can be part of the mix, I believe that the underlying causes for racism are far more complex and deceitful.
In Numbers 12, there is an account of an older sister, Miriam, and a younger brother, Aaron, criticizing their brother, Moses, for marrying a Cushite woman. Cush was a region of southern Ethiopia, where dark-skinned people lived. “Can an Ethiopian (same word translated “Cushite”) change his skin or a leopard his spots? Then also you can [not] do good who are accustomed to evil” (Jeremiah 13:23). As an aside: Moses had married a Midianite woman, Zipporah, 40 years earlier whom he had met in the Sinai region after his escape from Pharaoh. The Midianites were originally from northern Arabia, but many had migrated to Sinai. Reading between the lines, it could be that Zipporah had died (or that she had left him again like she did in Ex 4:18-20) and was living with her father’s family back in the Sinai. Either way, Moses’ new wife was not Zipporah. I doubt that Miriam and Aaron would have complained about her after 40 years.
So the sibs criticized Moses for marrying a black woman, who was not an Israelite. The text implies that Miriam took the lead in this family dispute. We would call this racism, but the way the story is unfolds in the text, racial superiority was not what prompted the slur. The underlying cause for this racially motivated criticism was jealousy (especially Miriam’s) of Moses’ leadership position and the belief that she could totally do a better job. God punished Miriam severely by striking her with leprosy that turned her skin “white.” John Piper suggests that in Numbers 12:10 God is in effect saying, “you like being light-skinned Miriam? I’ll make you white as snow.” She was not punished for being a racist but, because she was jealous of Moses and criticized the leadership of someone whom God had appointed. Aaron confessed his sin and wasn’t punished, while Moses prayed for his sister’s healing and was heard.
This text is not only a study of how a leader handles criticism (with humility and restraint), but also informs us that there are deeper reasons for the sin of racism than just an attitude of “racial supremacy.” Racism can also be caused by a heart of jealousy, of fear, of inferiority, or of just going along with the crowd in order to be accepted. As we have seen in the case of the Holocaust, Hitler made the Jewish race a scapegoat for the problems of the nation. There could be that same blame-shifting racism among some white people who see law and order as being disrupted by immigration protests trying to populate this country with more of the “foreign element” and people who don’t “look like” they belong here. A case in point is the story of the 61 yr. old white man in Milwaukee who was arrested over this past weekend for throwing battery acid in the face of an Hispanic man while shouting, “why did you come here and invade my country?”
Sins of the heart cannot be punished by human law, but it is fairly obvious that ignoring the deeper issues of racism only adds to the problem. Certainly a society must bring law into the picture in order to protect racial and ethnic minorities from oppression and hate crimes, but, at the same time, it cannot ignore the place of faith as a part of the solution for the racial divide, because it is the function of religion (not law) to address issues of the heart. Thus instead of criticizing religion, society should encourage the practices of religious communities to challenge their membership to live out their faith and not in contradiction to it—especially as it relates to racial issues.
Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matt. 15:19). He also told his disciples that you’ll be able to recognize the true and the false adherents to religion by their fruits, because a healthy tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree cannot produce the good. (Matthew 7:15–20)
I believe that only a person in whose heart God has worked through the miracle of new birth, because of faith in Jesus Christ, can be changed from a racist to a “gracist.” This change does not occur overnight, but there should be an immediate desire for racial reconciliation and a growing attitude of repentance that will ultimately lead to change from the inside out. This repentance along with a humility to learn from those of different ethnicities, will bring healing to the deeper issues of the heart which often cause racial conflict, which Miriam and Aaron so vividly exemplified.
As Christian faith-communities we must continue to preach repentance and faith in Jesus, as well as to demonstrate justice, mercy, and humility to all people regardless of race or ethnicity. (Micah 6:8) It is time for followers of Jesus “to put up or shut up” when it comes to the racial divide in this country—to act like him, to love like him, or else they might prove to be false followers filled with self-deceit. Jesus once said something that should make us all shudder and fall on our knees in humble self-examination: “When that day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out devils in your name, and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them to their face, ‘I never knew you: out of my sight, you and your wicked ways!'” (Matthew 7:22, 23 NEB)
Former President Barack Obama in his recent statement regarding the murder of George Floyd at the hands (knee) of a policeman in Minnesota, said “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal,’…. If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.” I agree 100%.
Mr. Obama ended his message calling for justice for Mr. Floyd’s death and reiterating that violent acts of racism can no longer be tolerated in America and beyond. Amen!
“It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done,” declared Obama. “But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station—including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day to work together to create a ‘new normal’ in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.”
I must be honest here and ask, “what does it mean to work together to create a new normal?” There is no question that we have a legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment in this country that is systemic and infects our institutions. It keeps happening over and over and I can understand the frustration of the black community. You would think that police departments around the country would have figured this out by now. Why haven’t they? What needs to happen? This needs to be fleshed out and not shoved onto the back burner until the next time.
Then there is the last part of Mr. Obama’s statement where he mentions the bigotry infecting our hearts. What can police departments do about that? Is there any kind of training that can change the human heart if racism is already there? ? It has been my observation that while education, training, and racial justice legislation have cleared the way for many significant rights, freedoms, and protection for racial and ethnic minorities, they have at the same time, threatened and inflamed the hatred of many in the majority and those in positions of power. In my anecdotal studies, I have never seen anyone converted by such training or legislation whose heart was already hostile by racial prejudice. By no means am I saying that we stop legislating against injustice or do away with cultural and educational training, I’m just saying that we are naive to think that it will deal with the bigotry that springs from the human heart.
A few years ago, I had the privilege to be in Selma at the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the civil rights march led by Dr King in 1965 across the Edmond Pettis Bridge to Birmingham. President Obama was there at the anniversary and asked me to walk with him- just kidding. Actually, I was there with 12 football players from Wheaton College—I was the interim chaplain at the time. We spent the week working with a church and helping some start-up businesses by doing grunt work and heavy-lifting. I observed that the local golf course was still “whites only.” The Civil War memorials were still divided between whites and “coloreds.” The local cemetery was strewn with confederate flags and had become the meeting place of white supremacy groups. And talking to older black folks in coffee shops, I got the distinct impression that while laws have produced change, racism was/is just beneath the surface waiting to raise its ugly head again.
A few years before that, I took a bus trip with a group of black and white clergy from the Chicago area, following the route of the civil rights protest movement, and ending up in Birmingham. (This was the first time I visited Selma, worshiped in an African American church, and walked across the bridge.) My seat-mate and roommate on the week long trip was a minority pastor from Uptown, Chicago. All of us interacted, watched movies on racial issues, had lively seat discussions on the bus. We visited a slave museum and “experienced” the de-humanizing process of being herded like cattle onto a slave ship and then sold into slavery when we arrived in America. We worshipped at the 16th St Baptist Church in Birmingham where 4 young girls were killed in 1963 by 15 sticks of dynamite exploded in a church bathroom during Sunday school.* We also visited the MLK museum in Atlanta and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968 .
In all our heated and energetic discussions, we kept coming back to the gospel. It is only through the work of Christ in the human heart that love can replace hate and reconciliation replace separation. Granted that there are many white supremacists who also claim to be Christians. But just as being born in a garage doesn’t make you car, neither does being born into the Christian religion make you a follower of Jesus. “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)
I keep coming back to the powerful example of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, whose members forgave the young white supremacist, Dylan Roof, after he killed 9 church members at a Bible Study back in 2015. I was humbled, and still am, by these followers of Jesus “bestowing grace” and not hatred upon this white boy whose intent was to start a race war. Such an action is a stunning example of the gospel, which I believe is the only thing that can deal with Mr Obama’s concern for the “bigotry of the heart.”
In no way am I am I placing the burden of responsibility on African American believers here. As a white believer, I do not know the risk and fear of the black American who is a victim of a routine traffic stop, or who simply goes for a jog through a suburban neighborhood like Ahmaud Arbery, or out for a walk like Trayvon Martin, or bird-watching in a park. The gospel must penetrate my heart as well, digging out the putrid prejudice which is there through years of growing up in a predominately white America, being ignorant of the history and plight of its black citizens, and even being separated from worship with my minority sisters and brothers by our mono-cultural churches.
I am in constant need of God’s forgiving and transforming grace to continue to make me into a Jesus-man. And I believe that a part of this grace is found in a desire and sincere interest to learn more about the history of the African American people, the great contributions they have made to our country, the beginnings of the horrible slave trade, the heroic work of the Abolitionist movement, and especially the importance of the Christian faith that not only sustained the oppressed in their suffering, but also motivated their major movements toward freedom. It also means learning that most of the inalienable rights granted to me by the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would not be granted to one of my black friends if we lived back in the day. While education cannot change the human heart, it can help to shape a heart renewed by God’s grace.
While the world searches for an antidote for Covid-19, let us not we shun the only proven medicine available for the sick hearts of humanity—the gospel.
*A well-known Klan member, Robert Chambliss, was charged with murder and buying 122 sticks of dynamite, but a month later he was cleared of the murder charge, received a 6-month jail sentence, and fined $100 for the dynamite. The FBI identified 3 other men as co-conspirators of the crime, but Director J. Edgar Hoover shut down the investigation without any charges being filed. Doesn’t that tick you off? However, Alabama’s Attorney General re-opened the case about 14 yrs. later and Chambliss was sentenced to life in prison, and in 2002 the only remaining co-conspirator that was alive and sane was also sentenced to life.
I have always been intrigued with this phrase in the New Testament Letters; used five times by Paul and once by John: Eph 4:1, worthy of the calling; Phil 1:27, worthy of the gospel; Col 1:10, worthy of the Lord; 1 Thess 2:12, worthy of the God who calls; 2 Thess 1:11, worthy of his calling; 3 John 1:6, worthy of God.
“Walking worthy” does not focus on striving to deserve or earn the favor of God, but just the opposite. It means to live in such a way that is fitting or consistent with the gracious nature of God who called us and with the gospel that saved us. It not an encouragement to prove myself worthy (how could I ever do that?), but to live in keeping with the worth of all that God has given to me by his grace. When John the Baptist said, “Bear fruit worthy of repentance” (Matt 3:8) he meant that those who had received his baptism should live in such a way that was in keeping with their repentance.
Paul expands on this in 2 Thess 1:11, “that our God will make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”
So, as we walk in a worthy way, we should learn to cultivate those little pieces of fruit called “desires for goodness.” You can recognize them by the fact they would not be one of your normal desires apart from that fact that God’s Spirit dwells in you. “I want to love my wife more selflessly; I want to be a more responsible parent showing God as my priority and not my career; I want to be more generous and to share what God has given me; I desire to trust God in this situation and not be overwhelmed by fear.” We need to act upon these desires for they are evidence of the life that is worthy of God and that pleases him.
Also, as we walk in this worthy way, we need to cultivate those other pieces of fruit called “every deed prompted by faith.” These represent those actions or deeds done in faith simply from the motive of glorifying God.” Let me give you an example of what I think this means. Many years ago when most of my kids were still in high school and two of my boys were playing football, I was in my office looking through a brochure advertising Bibles and other Christian resources. I saw that a new sports Bible had just published containing not only the text of the New Testament, but also full page testimonies of Christian athletes scattered throughout the book. My very first thought was, “I want to buy these and pass them out to the football team at its end of the year banquet so these young guys will come to know Jesus.” I immediately ordered 85 copies so make sure they would arrive on time.
I knew this prompting was a deed of faith because it came out of nowhere and I didn’t stop to argue with myself. I just did it because it was the right thing to do and I knew it would honor the Lord. When the Bibles came I went to the football coach, whom I knew, gave him a copy and asked if I could make them available to any player who wanted one at the banquet. (By the way, he was also the assistant principal of the school.) He loved the idea, kept the Bible, and asked me to give the opening prayer at the dinner and explain the gift. And so I did—every player and coach took a Bible. The next year I did the same thing and was able to invite to the banquet (with the coach’s permission, of course) a young college athlete who went to my church. He was an All American football player from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst who was well known to the high school players. I asked him to present the Bibles and briefly share why he read the God’s Word everyday.
These were not earth shattering acts of faith, but I look back at them as examples of small pieces of fruit done in faith that were borne of my trying to walk worthy of the Lord. Fast forward to today: we are at a completely different stage of life and live in a new state and in a new neighborhood, but we still get these promptings of faith. We held a “socially-distant” Easter Sunrise Service in our driveway on Easter Sunday, and last Sunday we have invited our neighbors to an Ascension Sunday Service, also in our driveway. We have been asked by some of our neighbors to do this more often.
So, may you walk worthy of the Lord today; simply wanting to live life that is in keeping with the marvelous grace that he has bestowed on you…and watch for those promptings of faith and pay attention to those little pieces of fruit as they develop.
COMING SOON: Pilgrim’s Progress, part 2!