I finally enter the blogosphere

For the last five years we’ve hidden ourselves away in small-town Mississippi. We’ve learned to love the summer heat and turnip greens (sort of), catfish and sweet tea, the beauty of pink crepe myrtles all summer and pansies in the winter. We have been so warmly received by the locals, even though I don’t hunt or fish—although I do drive a big pickup! We’ve seen the Lord work in gracious and thrilling ways. And He’s been teaching this old dog a few new lessons. Occasionally in this blog I’d like to share some of His gracious ways with us.

A new year has arrived and I’m always hit not only with the usual year-end angst, but with a roll-over of my personal odometer. I was born January 3, and yesterday I turned 65. It’s hard to grasp the number: sixty-five times around the sun x 600,000,000 miles for every circuit = 39,000.000,000 miles. No frequent flier miles for all that traveling. But far better, we’re provided “strength for the day, Rest for the laborer, light on the way; Grace for the trials, help from above, Unfailing sympathy, undying love” (Annie Johnson Flint).

In this blog I’d like to engage with you in some serious thoughts about challenging passages in the Word. I’d like to relate some of the lessons we’ve been given by the Lord in this corner of the harvest field. And I’d like, if possible, to share in the joy of the Lord and the blessings we find everywhere. This sure isn’t Eden. But the God who walked there with our first parents in the cool of the day now “dwells with you” and is in you (Jn 14:17).

Let’s face it. It’s a tough ride for most of us on our way home to heaven. In many places, God’s dear people are dying for the Savior, and their only crime is Christ. But even here, in the soft and cushy West, many hearts are breaking. The world’s magnetic force pulls scores away into listless, purposeless Now-Is-It thinking. Love leaks out of marriages. Families strain under nonstop care of special needs kids or aged parents who are slipping into the long goodbye of Alzheimers. Elders who care ache as they watch disillusioned Christians head for what they consider greener pastures. And that’s not even daring to take a passing glance at world conditions and Western civilization unravelling at our feet.

And yet… I still say it’s impossible to be anything but an optimist if you pin your mind above. How can you despair when “all the promises of God in [Christ] are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor 1:20)? When you remember that our heavenly Father “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph 3:20)? When you have the confidence that our Lord Jesus “is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24)? God is for us. God is with us. God is in us. Enough said.

Or at least that’s how I see it after 65 circuits around the sun.