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Archive for April, 2008

Pray for Huang Chuncai

April 20, 2008 Leave a comment

He’s a Chinese man who recently received the second of what will be many operations. Doctors are working to remove facial tumors (which originally weighed an astonishing 23 kilograms, or about 50.7 pounds). For Huang, the tumors have been growing since he was a child; he’s in his early thirties now. My understanding is that doctors in China removed 13 kilograms in the first operation and have removed more of the tumors in the second operation. Once all the tumors are removed, the next step for Huang will be facial reconstructive surgery. The tumors have stretched out his face, knocked out his teeth and have even blocked one of his eyes.

This link is a recent one. CAUTION: The images are very graphic. If you have a weak stomach, you might want to skip this. I post this because this man’s plight needs attention. May God work His way in Huang’s crisis.

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Discouragement—it’s hardly a new concept

April 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Feeling discouraged? I know I do. There’s plenty for me to feel discouraged about: finances, my career, my family, the place I live, wondering if I’m really making a difference in God’s universe, and so on. Life is like a race where many of us from time to time have felt like quitting.

But if you think you’re alone in your discouragement, think again.

Moses in Numbers 11 was discouraged, even getting frustrated at one point about being in charge of the Israelites and asking God to relieve him of his command. Elijah, that great prophet who brought down fire from heaven to defeat the false prophets of Baal, was discouraged in 1 Kings 19 to the point to where he wanted God to end his life.

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

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Anger and bitterness–they're not worth it

Lately I’ve dealt with anger and bitterness. Anger over the injustice and stupidity I see in the world. Bitterness I’ve felt against that those that have wronged me over the years.

Andy Knight, a good friend of mine from college, said something about bitterness that really made me stop and consider my ways: “Try not to be bitter. It’s highly over rated.”

When you consider what Andy’s been through, it’s an extremely telling statement.

Andy is the survivor of a fire that put third and fourth-degree burns over much of his body. He also pastors in New England, one of the most spiritually-challenging areas of the country.

When I think of Andy’s words, it really puts anger and bitterness into perspective; it’s also a very strong encouragement to not allow these two to get a stranglehold on my own life.

Paul encourages us in Ephesians 4:26-27 to not sin through our anger and to not allow the sun to go down on our wrath (meaning that we should resolve an issue of contention before the completion of the day); by failing to do this, we are allowing the devil to subtly work in our lives. Furthermore, Paul writes in verse 31, we are to get rid of anger.

James writes in James 1:19-20 that it’s imperative to be slow to anger, since our anger does not bring about the type of righteous life God wants for us.

As far as bitterness go, Paul tells us, again, in Ephesians 4:31, to get rid of it. We also read in Hebrews 12:14-17:

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

“looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

“lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

“For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”

Bottom line: if you allow anger and bitterness to govern your life, you as a Christian are cheating yourself out of the type of walk with God that God so desperately wants for you.

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