We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Overcoming evil with good is easy to say, but not easy to practice.

It was 1 am, and after flying for 9 hours, we missed the last leg of our connection. Now we had to spend the night only to get up at 5 am to catch the next flight home to make matters worse, the baggage claim wouldn’t give us our luggage and to top it all off we just heard that the health care bill had passed! So there we were exhausted, bewildered, no clean cloths for tomorrow & at least we had a free voucher for the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel the receptionist who was wearing a head covering, said that she needed my credit card. I told her that this was a free voucher and that I didn’t have a credit card to give her. She then said that we couldn’t have the room without a credit card. The hotel was dirty and there was no way they were going to get my credit card. So I spoke in a demanding and belittling tone letting her know what kind of night we just had and all we wanted was to go to bed. She unexpectedly apologized displaying genuine concern and gave us the room key. When we opened the door we realized she gave us a deluxe room and that’s not all, there was a knock on the door it was the same receptionist. She held in her hand a bag of toiletries and told me that if I needed anything else just to call. You can imagine how I felt at this point. God was using an unbeliever to help me to see how I was supposed to act and it was a lesson I will not soon forget. In Romans 12 Paul writes, Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Published in: on January 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ishmael

A reader just wrote to us about their experience reading one of my favorite books, Ishmael. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. Here’s what she wrote

I chose this book to read aloud to my daughters, husband, and my In-Laws, who live nearby.  Every Wednesday night we would gather together in great anticipation of what would happen next in Ishmael Worth’s incredible life. I cant tell you how many nights I would finish the last chapter of the evening, only to be begged by people ranging in age from 10 to 59 to PLEASE read one more! It’s that good.  An all time favorite Lamplighter book and a beautiful picture of God’s purpose being brought about, under any circumstance.

Published in: on January 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Everything’s Falling Apart! (Or is it?)

Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems to go wrong?

Fenelon weighs in on the way we should bear these everyday disturbances, saying,

“As to daily matters . . . or to providential arrangements, although they may be inconvenient or distracting, you have only to endure them in peace.

Behind each . . . intruder, learn to see God governing all, and training your self-denial . . . The intruder whom God sends us serves to thwart our will, upset our plans . . . and to kindle in our hearts a greater thirst for God, even while He seems to be forsaking us . . .”

In one of my favorite stories, The Basket of Flowers, Fenelon’s assertion proves true. A little girl by the name of Mary is falsely accused and threatened with the death penalty. Her alleged crime? Stealing a ring from royalty.

While imprisoned, Mary is offered an escape from her unjust punishment: simply confess to stealing the ring and her sentence would be lightened. Mary is torn–should she lie to save her life? Mary’s father wisely reminds her that it is better to die for the truth than to live for a lie, for the worst pillow to sleep on is the pillow of a guilty conscience!

Throughout this suspense-filled story, we see both the faithfulness of God and the maturing faith of Mary. What was at one time her father’s faith now for the first time becomes her own. Thankfully, God will not allow us to remain as we are–He simply loves us too much. He will go to great lengths to change us, for He is more concerned for our holiness than our happiness. Remember, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Published in: on January 17, 2011 at 3:33 am  Leave a Comment