Friday, February 12, 2010


in contemplation,
i worry.

and then i think,
how much of this situation
can i even begin to understand?
maybe one-tenth?
i think not.
maybe one-hundredth?
again, i suppose i know not even that much.
no, not even that.

i realize that God has all the details,
every person's thoughts and motives;
the past, present, and future;
the universal repercussions;
and infinite concerns i cannot imagine
totally under his wise and loving oversight.

he will not burden me
beyond my ability to endure
in his strength,
with his help.

he will work all things together for my good,
knowing that i love him.

i feel small,
but safe in the confidence
of his love
for me,
his little child.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

for good

(reflections on romans 8.31)

since God is working everything
for the good of making us like Christ,
no one can really be "against" us.

they are only the tools
for breaking away
the un-Christlikeness in us.

in the sense that joseph said to his brothers,
"you meant it for evil,
but God meant it for good"--
in that sense,
some can have fully malicious intentions toward us,
but God has fully loving and merciful intentions
in allowing them to act in malice toward us.

as he works their malice for our good,
his purpose is accomplished;
we are made more like Christ.

is there any greater, more glorious good than that?

"if God is for us, who is against us?"


my intention when i first linked to john knight's article about loving your pastor was to pay tribute to the dear brothers and sisters who encourage mark and i so greatly in our times of trial. most of the time they do not even know what our trials are--sometimes they don't even know we are having trials!--but the expression of God's love through them is a part of God's grace that strengthens us to persevere.

"God has given [church leaders who persevere] people who love them and serve them and pray for them."

thank you, dear Father, for providing us co-laborers in Christ who love, serve, and pray for us. thank you for the unity we have in you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


here are some thoughts from john knight's blog, the works of God about loving one's pastor.

"There were two consistent things I observed in and heard from these [church] leaders who are experiencing joy in God in the midst of serious trials:

1. They are God-centered, Bible-saturated, and aware of their need to fight for joy and against their sin;
2. God has given them people who love them and serve them and pray for them.

"I want to be part of that second group for my pastors! I’m not entirely sure what that means for me as I write this. I know it includes prayer – and I love praying for the many men God has used in my life at Bethlehem.

"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17

"I have been ‘ruled well’ by my pastors and want to give them double honor. What can we do for these men who carry so much as they faithfully serve their churches?"