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2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...

What is DOCTRINE?

Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

Six Ways to Persevere Through the Sluggish Times in Ministry

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know the kind – where you really aren’t “in to” what you’re doing and you feel like you rather be doing just about anything else.  What do you do when those times correspond to your time in ministry. I wrote this...

A New Definition of Family

If we are going to effectively work with and understand kids today, we have to understand what a family is. Family, after all, is a defining characteristic for all us - some for the better and some for the worse. It seems like an...

Where is God in the Pain?

I never cease to be amazed at how God teaches me and convicts me through my kids.  This is another one of those stories.

Here’s the background on the situation.  These days I find myself struggling through some pain.  Late last year, I woke up one morning with some lower back pain.  Within a couple of weeks, that pain had spread into my leg and hip.  I went to a chiropractor a couple of times, and it seemed to be getting a little better.  Then, over the Christmas vacation, including a trip in a mini-van to and from North Carolina, the pain increased substantially.  Over the last couple of weeks that we have been back, I have continued to see a doctor regularly and do some physical therapy to try to alleviate the pain.  Following a session with the physical therapist this past Thursday, my pain level increased significantly (hopefully that is actually a sign that it is getting better).  Well, Saturday was a particularly bad day.  In addition to everything else, I came down with a bad cold and sore throat to boot.  At times the pain in my back and leg was so severe that it bordered on excruciating, and I’ve been told I have a high threshold for pain.  Whether I sat, or stood or laid down, the pain would not get any better.

At one point in the afternoon, Jacob (my 8 year old) told me:

“Dad, I hope your leg gets better soon.  Remember, God has a reason for everything.”

There is was again.  Words from God in the mouth of an 8-yr-old that shifted my focus in an instant.  I had been concentrating on me, and frankly starting to feel sorry for myself.  Anytime my focus shifts in that direction – towards me and away from God – things just seem to get out of whack.  So, I am left with two things to do and think about out of this whole experience:

  1. Pray about, and try to figure out, what God is trying to teach me in this situation.  Given that a lot of my focus over the last couple of weeks has been on how frustrating it is not to be able to do normal things that I want to do, I imagine what he is trying to teach me has something to do with total reliance on him; and
  2. Marvel and praise him for how he continues to work through my kids to make me a better child of his.

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2 Comments

  1. new4me

    I heard today a news report from Haiti. In it a man was singing in French, with a guitar.
    Someone translated for the BBC reporter.

    He was singing:
    “My mother is dead
    My father is dead
    My sister is dead
    My child is dead
    The government is dead
    My country is dead
    All I have left…
    Is JESUS!

    His suffering made me think, “What would I do if everything was stripped away from me and all I had left was Jesus?” Would I sing?

  2. Wayne Stocks

    It’s things like this that help to keep me focused on God. Stories like this reming me that my pain pales in comparison to the pain of so many others. Things could be a whole lot worse. That keeps me from feeling sorry for myself and focusing again on all the good things God is doing, and has done, for me. I pray for the kind of faith this man has.

    The lyrics from the Matt Redman song,, “Blessed Be His Name” keep running through my head:

    Blessed be Your name
    On the road marked with suffering
    Though there’s pain in the offering
    Blessed be Your name

    Thanks for your comment.