I have taken lessons in piano, guitar, trumpet, and karate. Does this make me a master of all of these abilities? No! Because I stopped each one after only a few months. I’m a master of starting things! God, however, is the Master of finishing.
This article is adapted from my sermon from Luke 2:8-20 from a series on the light of Christmas.
I think most of us can relate to having a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” For me, traveling to Russia on a mission trip was that kind of an opportunity for me. When those moments come along, I wonder how I wound up there, and why it was me.
I define myself with clear priorities. I am first and foremost a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, a born again child of God. I’m also a husband to an awesome wife, and a Dad to a wonderful daughter. Then I’m a Pastor to a great church. Sometimes I’m also a web and graphic designer. I love all of these realms of life and appreciate the people I’ve come to know in each.
Prayer is a classroom, and God is the Teacher. In prayer, we learn just how big He really is. I’ve recently been teaching through Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and my friend Chris Price posted a picture on Twitter (follow Chris) of some notes he had jotted down about the attributes of God in the model prayer. As I came to the close of my series, I kept reflecting on that thought, and especially on the final line of Chris’ notes, “prayer is an expression of powerlessness.”
I was deeply moved by today’s reading from J. Sidlow Baxter’s devotional, Awake My Heart. He speaks of the mysteries of life, what W. A. Criswell used to call “the imponderables of God.” Baxter mentioned birth, life, personality, human experience, Satan, eternity, etc. All of these are unexplainable. We can begin, but we can never conclude any definition of them.
Today marks our tenth anniversary as a married couple. I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting back on that very special moment when we were pronounced husband and wife by my father-in-law. I showed up at the church a few hours before the wedding and it was pouring down rain. I wanted to wait until it slacked off and until I could be sure I wouldn’t see Angie a moment too early. She was inside wondering if I was re-considering!
This past Sunday, I began preaching in Genesis with chapter one, verse one. The message started a lengthy commitment to preaching all of the word. I don’t think I’ve ever been as satisfied by a message in all of my ministry. I had studied and prepared for about six weeks for just the first chapter of Genesis. So how was it? Exhilarating!
This week is very monumental for me. I am preparing to begin preaching through the entire Bible this Sunday morning. It has been a ministry-long dream. Since reading the autobiography of Dr. W. A. Criswell, who preached through the Scriptures over an almost eighteen year period at First Baptist Church in Dallas, it has seemed an unreachable and impossible task. I can’t tell you how much I’ve thought and prayed about this assignment.
At our wedding, Angie and I chose to have Louie Armstrong’s song played… What a Wonderful World. In light of yesterday’s shootings, and so many other monumental tragedies in recent years, is it really a wonderful world? We were driving to Fort Smith yesterday for the annual meeting of the BMA of America and were reflecting on some of the tragedies that have taken place at this same time of the year such as the Oklahoma City bombing (April, 1995), the Waco compound burning (April, 1993), and Columbine (April, 1999). Each of these tragedies evoked emotions of fear and trepidation about living in this present world.
God is the great Creator of the entire universe and all that is in it. He created time and He creates every life that enters into the world. In short, God is extremely creative, so He loves creativity.