One of the things I love about living in Colorado is the big sky. We couldn’t really see much of it from our house in Oregon because of the towering fir trees. Here at night our neighborhood is quite dark so we can clearly see the stars, glimmering constellations and occasionally a shooting star. I love standing in the cold air surrounded by silence while looking up at (and admiring) God’s handiwork.
Mote worked in the building for years. As I got to know him I was amazed at his disdain for women—particularly his own wife. He would ridicule her at every chance and belittle her publicly. He made her seem stupid. He complained of her shortcomings yet seemed clueless to his own failings. In fact, the more I got to know him the more I could appreciate the pain his wife must have endured. Perhaps most grievous, was knowing that he was unfaithful to her and completely uncaring.
Andre flew from Benin to join our First Cause team in Kenya. He is wonderful man who served for many years as a pastor before obeying God’s call to venture out in evangelism and a more open-ended ministry. Andre serves as the spiritual advisor to his nation’s president, a God-fearing leader. As such, God is using him to influence many important officials in his country. We were very blessed by Andre’s humility, contagious love for God, and the enthusiasm with which he embraced our disciple maker training.
“There is no sun,” the people cried. “Don’t talk to us about sun. Every day it is the same. We can see only so far in front, so far above and that’s the way it is. Life is a mist, soak it up. What we see is far more important than what we don’t see. What we believe is beyond us is of no consequence to what we experience. We do what we want to do and we want to be left alone. When we die we die and so it is better to live for whatever makes us happy.
Once upon a time a young man, Foye, crossed the ocean to explore Vacuities the world’s most powerful nation. Everywhere he went he met a myriad of people moving from city to city, looking for meaning. Inside a harbor graced by a noble statue, he first encountered the City of Results. But for all the accomplishments the city boasted he constantly met people disappointed that their goals brought no lasting satisfaction. It was like they worked and worked, but for what? Traveling inland, he spent time in the City of Retirement—a most sought after destination. Yet, here he discovered that there was little to live for among those entranced with ease, so most just died.
You’ve no doubt heard someone say “All roads lead to God.” While the statement may be sincere and reflect a desire to be nonjudgmental, it reveals a great lack of judgment. To understand this one needs only to visit India where the prevailing religion is Hinduism and the overwhelming sensation is one of hopelessness. A country gifted with incredibly smart people remains mired in poverty, disease, and a resigned acceptance of chaos as normative.
Pastor John Repsold wrote in a newsletter, The Fourth Dimension, the true story of a cook on a work crew at Lewis and Clark Caverns in Montana. This man became tired of his job and decided to quit. But before leaving he determined to go deeper into the cave and break off stalactites to later sell to rock collectors. Late on a Friday afternoon he maneuvered away from his departing work detail. But the flame of his lantern blew out! To his horror he realized he had no matches. He would spend a weekend alone, trapped underground!
Craig is blind. I stare in utter amazement as he works the controls on his soundboard. How does he do it? How can this man be a recording engineer without the ability to read dials? Soon he ushers me into a recording chamber but trips momentarily on my guitar case placed inconveniently in his pathway. Sheepishly I realize that the biggest hazard to Craig is me!
Luke 23:44-46--It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” Saying this, He breathed His last.
The chance of lighting a candle with a match outside on a fall day in Oregon is equivalent to riding a bicycle backwards. If the wind doesn’t blow out the flame there are plenty of raindrops to do the job! Those who are without Christ and live in their own strength are like such candles. Sure, they will give off light and fragrance, but for how long and to what effect and final outcome?