Monthly Archives: July 2013

Who am I living for?

Tell my people …of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They come to the [church] every day and seem delighted to hear my laws. You would almost think this was a righteous nation that would never abandon its God. They love to make a show of coming to me and asking me to take action on their behalf. ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have done much penance, and you don’t even notice it!  will tell you why! It’s because you are living for yourselves even while you are fasting. (Isaiah 58:1-ff NLT.) It’s a worthy question today to ask yourself – “who am I living for?” Going to church, saying prayers and singing songs is anything but the epitomy of faithfulness. Faithfulness demands that I live for others for this is what God has called me – all of us to. Faithfulness demands self sacrifice – remember a little phrase uttered by Jesus “take up your cross”? He didn’t intend to communicate there that we should grab two slices of wood and march around the city. Neither did he mean wear nice shiny gold and gem encrusted jewelry shaped like a torture device. What he meant was, “Take your life into your own hands – if you want to follow me; prepare to die.” So living for others means […]

From the “God is so Cool” department: I sometimes (often) feel altogether wortheless as far as a servant of God. But I can’t see everything he’s doing.

Links in the Chain | June 17
Edward Kimball was determined to win his Sunday school class to Christ. A teenager named Dwight Moody tended to fall asleep on Sundays, but Kimball, undeterred, set out to reach him at work. His heart was pounding as he entered the store where the young man worked. “I put my hand on his shoulder, and as I leaned over I placed my foot upon a shoebox. I asked him to come to Christ.” But Kimball left thinking he had botched the job. Moody, however, left the store that day a new person and eventually became the most prominent evangelist in America.
On June 17, 1873, Moody arrived in Liverpool, England, for a series of crusades. The meetings went poorly at first, but then the dam burst and blessings began flowing. Moody visited a Baptist chapel pastored by a scholarly man named F. B. Meyer, who at first disdained the American’s unlettered preaching. But Meyer was soon transfixed and transformed by Moody’s message.
At Moody’s invitation, Meyer toured America. At Northfield Bible Conference, he challenged the crowds saying, “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” That remark changed the life of a struggling young minister named J. Wilber Chapman.
Chapman proceeded to become a powerful traveling evangelist in the early 1900s, and he recruited a converted baseball player named Billy Sunday. Under Chapman’s eye, Sunday became one of the most spectacular evangelists in American history. His campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina, produced a group of converts who continued praying for another such visitation of the Spirit. In 1934 they invited evangelist Mordecai Ham to conduct a citywide crusade. On October 8th Ham, discouraged, wrote a prayer to God on the stationery of his Charlotte hotel: “Lord, give us a Pentecost here. … Pour out thy Spirit tomorrow. … ”
His prayer was answered beyond his dreams when a Central High School student named Billy Graham gave his heart to Jesus.
And Edward Kimball thought he had botched the job!
I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. John 17:20,21a
– Robert J. Morgan, On This Day: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997).

Microscopic Praise

Do you suppose Willard Wigan would get massively ticked off if people started marveling over the complexity of design demonstrated in his works of art and then blithely attribute them to manufacturing faults caused at the sewing needle factory? Scientists do nothing less when they examine the macro-complexity of the universe – staring at the heavens through ever increasingly complex technology and then to the thundering applause of others declare that they have discovered proof of evolution out there. Ask almost any first year micro-biology student about the complexity of the cell and even of a single bacterium and you might get a long lecture explaining the inner workings of what they’ve been learning. But we wouldn’t be surprised at all to hear in the midst of the sentence, some randomly laced attributions to the wonder of almighty evolution in producing such machinery. A few years ago Michael Behe wrote a book examining the concept of “irreducible complexity” (the concept that the bio-mechanical inner workings of cells are too complex to be explained by evolution). His book “Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution” sold quite a few copies. While I haven’t read Behe’s work (yet) I do agree with the thesis. The overwhelming complexity, beauty and yes irreducible […]