While My Phone Charges

iRecorder

c26-B003Z8WHDC-collage-4-l

Here’s an Amazon.com link if you want one ;-)

There is an app on my iPhone4s that I use to record all my sermons, including the 15-minute ones I record and then email to the radio station. However, if my phone is not charged, I have no way of recording, because the digital microphone (Blue Mikey) plugs into the port where the charger goes (I’m ready for an upgrade, though).

So, while I am waiting a few more minutes for my iPhone to charge so I can record a sermon for radio (I nearly let it die because I left it at church last night), I am going to give you all a little update.

Not Pitiful

Here’s the thing: I’m OK!

Am I having to deal with some serious issues, the details of which I can’t make public? Yes. Am I in need of a serious all-inclusive vacation? Absolutely (I’ll take donations)! Did my last post give some the impression that I am a pitiful mess, moping about the house, driving aimlessly down the road, incessantly dobbing my watery eyes with tissues from a pink, doily-covered box? Evidently!

In case you were wondering, the reason I wrote “My Confession” was because I was just trying to be honest about life. There ARE days when the burdens we must bear and the walk we must walk are impossible to endure without the strength available to us through Jesus Christ.

I’m a Warrior

Even though I may shed a tear, that just means I’m still human and have a heart; I’m not an animal or a machine. But once my tears are dried, once I’ve used my pass into town to blow off some steam, I am going to be right back on the front lines, giving the enemy heaven.

I will fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life, holding true to the profession I have made (1 Tim. 6:12). I will put on the whole armor of God and stand in the face of every onslaught from the evil one (Eph. 6:13), not giving an inch of ground. I am a warrior in the Army of the Living God, so I will endure this present hardness and eschew the petty things of this life; that I “may please Him who hath chosen me to be a soldier” (2 Tim. 2:3-4).

My phone is charged, so a charging I will go.

 

(UPDATE: If you are curious and would like to hear how the sermon I just recorded turned out, then I’d be happy to email you a copy :-) )

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Living, Life Lessons, ministry, Preaching

My Confession

Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to make it through this day. The burdens on my heart, the fear, the guilt, the unanswered questions, the mistakes I know I’ll make, and the constant pressure to be what I’m expected to be…it’s almost too much for me to stand, much less walk. 

So I’ll have to start on my knees.  

4 Comments

Filed under Prayer

The Solid Rock

There are times when a hymn can do what nothing else can do. The Solid Rock, written by Edward Mote (1797-1874), has been my favorite hymn for as long as I can remember, and it is to the second and third verse I want to turn today.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood:
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

Darkness does come, whether we want to admit it, or not. There are times when, like Shakespeare, I feel all I’m doing is “trouble[ing] deaf heaven with my bootless cries.” At times His loving face is hidden in the darkness, leaving me to feel like no one is listening, like no one cares.

But I will rest on His unchanging grace.

And when, in the darkness, I feel my ship tossed, I must remind myself that I am not the One responsible for the journey. When the darkness is so thick that it sucks away all light, leaving me only with the sensation of drifting, I must not fear…I must not lose hope…I must stay in the ship.

My anchor holds within the veil.

Am I forgotten? Is my purpose of not importance? What of my value that I should be left alone in the increasing depths of sorrow and doubt? Has He left me to drown as the waters rise around me? Is He unfaithful to finish what He has begun? NO! Of course not! His Word is true, and he cannot lie! He is faithful, even when I am not, and His promise of my rescue is sealed in His own blood!

His oath, His covenant, and His blood support me in the overwhelming flood.

When it seems like everything is caving in around me; when it seems like every place to stand becomes loose soil on the edge of a cliff; when all the advice in the world sounds hollow…

He, then, is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

All other ground but Jesus is sinking sand.

1 Comment

Filed under Struggles and Trials

It’s Fine to Say “Fine”

Slow Day

It is Monday, and I have not done much of anything. Why? Because I am completely drained of all enthusiasm, of all energy, and still sick to my stomach because of some frozen fish fillets my daughter and I made yesterday.

While many pastors take Mondays off, I still have to work (at least through this week – summer’s coming). While other pastors use Monday to play golf, read, shop for new Lear jets, or watch videos of Francis Chan and David Platt, I must get up early and drive a school bus. But does that bother me? Naaaah! The coffee and sunrises are worth it.

But today is one of those days when I want to read…I want to study…I want to get something done around the house…I want to pray…I want to – I was going to say “exercise,” but that would be lying. I want to be up and doing something, but I just don’t have the energy, and I don’t feel well. So there.

However, if somebody were to call me on the telephone and ask, “Anthony, how are your doing?“, I’d probably answer as I usually do, “I’m fine.”

Don’t Say It!

Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking; I can telepathically sense your indignation. You want to yell at me, “But you’re NOT fine, Anthony! Quit lying!” Yeah, yeah…I’ve heard that before. I’ve even preached it from the pulpit.

A while back, when I was playing bass guitar for The Glovers, the big push was to get people to be honest with each other in the church, to be honest about our hurts. For sure, some wounds can never be healed if they are never brought out into the healing light of the Truth. We would say things like, “If you were honest with your brother, you’d tell him how you really feel,” and, “You say you’re fine, buy you’re lying.”

But I want to go out on a limb and suggest something radical: sharing everything isn’t always the brightest idea.

As Frog Hair

There is a sweet lady in our church, Virginia, who responds the same way about every time I ask how she is doing. Almost without fail she will reply, “Fine as frog hair! And you can’t get much finer than that, can ya’?” Now, I know she has health problems, a few bruises from a recent accident, and a sister who is ill, but what am I supposed to say? Should I scold her for not taking the time to list all her aches and pains? Or, should I just accept the fact that she wants to be encouraging?

photo (49)Frog hair is pretty fine, I must say. But when it comes to sandpaper and steel wool, fine is certainly a relative term. For example, I would not mind someone lightly rubbing a swatch of fine, Chinese silk across my sunburned shoulder. However, if your were to take a piece of “fine” sandpaper or “OO” steal wool and do the same, I’d have to hurt you once my crying and screaming stopped. Therefore, “fine” is a relative term.

Here’s my point: the next time you ask someone how they’re doing, don’t automatically assume they are being dishonest when they say, “I’m fine.” Not everyone who has a down day writes a blog. Not everyone cares to talk about their bad fish fillets.

Sometimes it’s just fine to say, “I’m fine.”

Leave a comment

Filed under blogging, Christian Living, Do not judge

Don’t Beg, Just Dig

How about a little Matthew Henry to start off the week?

The following is commentary based on Proverbs 13:23.

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry

See…[how] a small estate may be improved by industry, so that a man, by making the best of every thing, may live comfortably upon it: Much food is in the tillage of the poor, the poor farmers, that have but a little, but take pains with that little and husband it well. Many make it an excuse for their idleness that they have but a little to work on, a very little to be doing with; but the less compass the field is of the more let the skill and labour of the owner be employed about it, and it will turn to a very good account. Let him dig, and he needs not beg.[1]

See, then, that you don’t complain about the field in which you work, just work the field. The smaller the plot, the more work it may take to produce a crop, but a crop it will produce.

Never forget that “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). If you work the field, plant and water the seed, then the One who sent you into the field will take care of the rest.

Little is much when God is in it. Don’t beg – and don’t worry – just dig. 


 

[1] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), Pr 13:23.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Life Lessons, ministry, Parenting, Preaching

The REAL Snow Man

Here is just another example of insight into the human psyche gained while driving a school bus. Enjoy!

The Setting

This morning, after picking up several young children, one little boy – a kindergartner –  began to sing one of his most favorite songs…”Let It Go.

Another little boy who was sitting next to him, a second-grader, began pleading with him to stop, after which he begged me to intervene. I couldn’t help it – I had to……let it go, let it go!

The Conversation

The younger boy (Boy 1) was singing the theme song from Frozen, to which the older boy (Boy 2) responded with his own lyrics: “Shuh uht up! Shuh uht up! I don’t want you to sing anymo oh ore!

An illustration of mine from "Life Lessons from the School Bus"

An illustration of mine from “Life Lessons from the School Bus”

Me:  What’s wrong? Don’t you like Frozen?

Boy 2:  NO! It’s a stupid movie!

Me:  What, you don’t like singing snowmen? What about Frosty the Snowman?

Boy 2:  I like Frosty, but he was real! Somebody put a hat on him and he started moving.

Me:  So, you don’t like Olaf?

Boy 2:  I like him, OK, but he’s not real…not like Frosty.

Seriously, if I made this stuff up it wouldn’t be as funny.

Sorta Like…

You know, the above story is sort of like arguments adults have. One particular argument that comes to mind is the one about where life on earth came from (I know the analogy isn’t perfect, but I hope you get the point).

Man 1:  I love to sing about Creation! “Oh Lord my God, when I in awestruck wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made!

Man 2:  Stop it! I don’t want to hear all that nonsense! Sing something else, or sing nothing at all.

Man 1:  But I wan’t to sing! “Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee. ‘How great thou Art! How great Thou art!

Man 2:  STOP IT! I don’t want to hear it! God is NOT great! God is NOT great! He doesn’t even exist!

Man 1:  Yes, He does! And because He created me and gave me life, I want to give Him praise.

Man 2:  Oh, give me a break! I love life as much as anyone, if not more, but I’m not going to praise your God for it!

Man 1:  Oh, really? You believe that human life evolved from something that came from nothing? Do you really want to sing praises to nothingness?

Man 2:  Don’t be silly! Haven’t you ever heard of panspermia?

Man 1:  Uh, no. Not really.

Man 2:  You simpleton! You naive worshipper of a mythical fairy-god! You’re nothing but a slave to a worthless, iron-age book of man-made fiction. Life on earth didn’t evolve from nothing; it was planted here by intelligent life from beyond, from outer space.

Man 1:  Right! You mean God?

Man 2:  No! You idiot! Aliens!

Man 1:  Huh? But…

Man 2:  Shut up! I don’t wan’t to hear any more of your foolishness! God is not real; aliens are!

(Video of Richard Dawkins defending the theory of panspermia: the theory that alien intelligent life, not a Creator God, placed life on this planet.)

Uhmm…OK…  Let it go! Let it go!

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” – Hebrews 11:3

1 Comment

Filed under Aliens, Apologetics, Humor

Don’t Grow Weary

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9

I must keep reminding myself of this. But right now I’d be happy to go live in a cave and cover my head with pillow.

I’m growing tired; I can’t do this in my own strength.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Jesus, I need you.

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Living, Culture Wars, current events, Depression