My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Posts tagged ‘church’

But God…

People ask all the time what my favorite verse is in the Bible.  There are so many to choose from but if I had to pick one it would be Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  During the hardest times in my life I CLING to this verse.

But when I think of what words of Scripture are most precious to me, it would have to be this:  But God.  These have long been my absolute favorite words in the Bible.  And I see I’m not alone.  Just this last Sunday Shawn (our preacher) mentioned those two words in his sermon as well.  Google these two words and multiple postings, including many blogs, pop up.

For being two small little words, only 3 letters a piece, they are very powerful words.  What they say again and again in the Bible is:  man does _________ (which is usually something selfish, hurtful, stupid, etc.); BUT GOD __________ (fixes it, works it all for our good and His glory, hits us upside the head with a 2X4 so we understand, etc.).  How can anyone NOT love that?

For example…I was running away from God and his enemy.  I was literally shaking my fist at him…but God loved me, pursued me, called me to Himself.

Psalm 49:14-15

14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave;
Death shall feed on them;
The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;
And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,
For He shall receive me.  Selah

I am mortal and I will one day die…But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.

Acts 13:29-30

29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead.

Jesus’ earthly body died on the Cross, But God raised Him from the dead.

Romans 5:7-8

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We might lay our life down for another, but only if we feel like they are worthy…But God died for us – worthless, angry, sinful worms.

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

We are tempted and fail repeatedly…but God is faithful to help us either escape or bear the temptation.

Psalm 73:26

26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

We will rot and die…But God will redeem us forever!

I fail and fall repeatedly…But God
I hurt others and am selfish…But God
Satan attacks and tempts us…But God

I mean, how can you not LOVE this?  It reminds me again and again…it is NOT me.  None of it.  Nothing I do.  It is ALL God.  He is sovereign, He is faithful, He is in control.  And all I can say is Thank God!  If my faith was left up to me I would stumble before I finished typing this blog post, mostly likely before I finished typing this sentence.  But God is faithful to the end.

No matter what happens in my life, when I’m down, or disappointed, or I fail, I cling to these two little words….BUT GOD.

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Falling in Love (or God’s Plan for My Life), Part VII…

As the children grew, I continued to have a lot of guilt about them not being in church. Even though Bud was pretty much an atheist at this time, he didn’t mind when I would take the kids to various Vacation Bible Schools every summer. I think somewhere deep inside Bud knew what he was doing was wrong too.

Bud kept getting great jobs but would move on after about 1-2 years. He was never satisfied with work. I was also not satisfied, but I was definitely a seeker. I would try something new, get real involved with it, and then get dissatisfied and drop it.

Life just rocked on as it seems to do. Every now and then I would start thinking about religion and God and it would really bother me. I would try to talk to Bud but he would always say that religion was a weak man’s crutch, etc. He was also getting pretty obnoxious about it. When JW’s would come to our house he would just be plain ugly to them. I hated it but he thought it was hilarious.

November 2000 found Bud working with Jackson Hospital as a manager with the firm that did the hospitals cleaning/sanitizing. He was so arrogant by this point. He thought he was smarter than everyone else and just a general jerk. And the thing is, he knew it and didn’t care. We had been having some marriage problems off and on also…mostly because of his arrogant, selfish attitude.

The CEO of Jackson Hospital was a big Alabama fan. Bud was (and still is) a really big Auburn fan. Bud and the CEO didn’t get along from the very beginning. It probably was only a matter of time before something happened.

That year the Iron Bowl Auburn beat Alabama 9-0. Immediately following the game Bud paged the CEO and put in his pager “Shut out, Shut Up, War D**n Eagle!” As satisfying as that was to Bud, the subsequent loss of job was not.

That day, after he lost his job, while I was at work Bud was driving around wondering why his life continued to go downhill. He felt like everything he accomplished would eventually just fall apart. He was frustrated and as low as he could go. He decided to go to a church and talk to someone (and for a staunch atheist this was a BIG DEAL).

Bud had gone to four different churches looking for someone there. The problem was, all but one of the churches he went to were Baptist and it was the week of the Southern Baptist Convention. There wasn’t a minister to be found anywhere. He was driving down Atlanta Highway in despair and saw the sign for Morningview on the corner and said, “OK God, if someone is there I will know there is a God. If no one is there, there’s no God.”

Well, of course there shouldn’t have been anyone at Morningview. But Greg Belser had waited until the last minute to give Hildred his article for the Family and had had to leave the conference to come back to the church to turn it in. As Bud walked up, Greg was walking out. Bud told Greg he needed to talk to someone and Greg invited him up to his office.

After much talking, praying, and crying, Bud prayed to receive Christ. He was SAVED!!!! Who else but the one true living God could turn a man from an obnoxious atheist into a saved Child of God in one afternoon?