We had the wonderful privilege to be in CA last week for about 5 days. Our daughter Allison, and our youngest son Logan live in CA right now, so we have made it a priority to be with them whenever we can get time together. While we were in CA our oldest son Marcus proposed to his fiancé Sarah along a beautiful hiking trail in the Smokey Mountains of TN.
As I have been reflecting over the incredible blessings of these family relationships that God has given to us, I thought of the verse from Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (NLT version)
Sometimes in the midst of demanding seasons of life we forget that our children are a gift from God and a precious reward to us. “Growing up” always comes with challenges and days that seem like they will never end. Trusting God to work in our lives and our kid’s lives is always a step of faith. We want to be in control and not lose control so we often rush the growing up process. We seek to conform our kids to what we want and don’t lead them in the path or way that fits who they are and need to be. (Proverbs 22:6) But then God does something just right in our lives and in our families that gives us hope, joy, and peace that is beyond our understanding.
I remind you in whatever season of life you are in with your family, to let God do his work and to wait patiently for the outcomes. When the Bible says to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV), God is simply reminding us that he knows what is best for us and for those within our sphere of influence. I pray that God’s love for you, and the blessing of those that he has rewarded you with, will be an encouragement to keep pressing on as you serve and lead in the place that God has given to you.
We are now making our way into the “Prophets Before the Exile” section of The Whole Story. I really like the way our Read Scripture plan breaks a bit here from the order of the books of the Old Testament in our common English translation of the bible. For the Read Scripture plan is more in line with how the story actually unfolded.
On Easter Sunday, the Calvary family got to witness God working in the lives of two men who publicly affirmed their faith through baptism. It was a joy to see!
As the Bible is an ancient text, it makes sense that much of it is a recording of history. But to respond by merely reading it as a textbook would be a mistake, for this is history written with a very particular purpose. Namely, it is a theological history — its authors, under the inspiration of God, make theological arguments by the way they tell the stories, and what they include in them.
King of My Heart (Samuel part two)
It’s a little hard to believe that we are already twelve sermons into our adventure through the Bible called The Whole Story. I have been very encouraged to hear from many of you how this pace of moving through the Scriptures week-by-week, book-by-book has helped you see things you’ve never seen before, and appreciate our Father and his Son, Jesus, so much more. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed preaching as much as I have this year, discovering how, as our friends at The Bible Project say it, “The Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.”
Eight Acts of Service on Easter
We’ve arrived once again to the glory of Holy Week. And as Easter Sunday draws closer, it is good to remind ourselves of ways we can bless those who don’t normally attend Calvary on this highest attended service of the year.
Samuel Part One
As Douglas Wilson has observed, these are fragile times. And when a nation finds itself in the kind of mess we find ourselves in, there is a kind of widespread longing for a leader who has the qualities, vision, and ability to show the way out. That makes sense. Who doesn’t want to find their way out of a mess? But it’s a dangerous spot to be in. It can leave one vulnerable to charlatans and pipe dreams.
Two weeks ago, we spent our Sunday morning gathering in the book of the Judges. It describes a time in the nation of Israel of great darkness, disobedience, destruction, and dystopia. It was a time, states the last sentence in the story, when “there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25). It was very disturbing.