My wife called me this morning (we talk every morning – she at her jobsite – me working from my home office). She noted that I hadn’t posted anything on the blog in a while and she wondered when there would be something to read. Part of the reason I started writing and blogging in the first place was to give her something to read at work, especially when she worked out of town. She has always enjoyed reading (or listening) to me ramble on about this or that (I consider myself fortunate and blessed by that ongoing interest). I told her I would put something up today. Rather than a post on one subject I thought I would throw out a potpourri of things that have been on my mind.
Update: Joy Doddigarla. On April 22, I told how I had stumbled across the website of a Christian from India and how the Lord moved me to pray for him as well as ask others to pray for him also. Subsequently I have had several email exchanges with Joy. He was touched by everyone’s prayers.
Thank you for your enquiry and yesterday I had the chance to look at the post on your blog requesting prayers for me. You don’t know how touched I am by your wonderful expression of Christ’s love.
Joy is facing several significant problems and he said it was alright to share those with my readers. I believe prayers are more efficacious when directed at specific issues and people are also more motivated to pray when they know what they are praying for. You should start out by knowing that for the last five years Joy has been in the U. S.
1. He has debt from a business that did not succeed (I can relate to that). In addition, his attempts to both travel and get decent work have been hampered by the person currently holding his H1-B visa papers. This makes it difficult to deal with the debt.
2. He cannot travel home, even missing his grandmother’s illness and subsequent funeral, due to his visa problems. If he leaves he won’t be able to come back and he cannot pay off his debt working in India. He has not seen his family in over five years and they are worried about him.
3. He lost most of his websites (how I found him) due to hosting problems and inadequate backup. Years of work were lost (I can understand this also).
4. He feels like he is at the end of his rope, stretched so taunt that he seems stretched to a thin strand ready to break. He originally sought God’s guidance and prayed earnestly before he came here and did what he did, but now everything has been turned on its head and in many ways he feels like Paul, who at Lystra was thrown on the dump and left for dead. (Acts 14:19-20) After the disciples gathered around him he got up and went on with his mission. Many believe Paul was resurrected there and Joy could use a resurrection of his hope and purpose after so many things beating him down.
So, please pray for him. I have already discussed 1 Corinthians 10:13 with him, noting how these trials are tempting his faith and perseverance.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Whether God gives him a way out, provides a way through, or miraculously intervenes is up to him, but we are diligently interceding on Joy’s behalf. Please join us.
Sunday’s Sermon: The sermon this Sunday was on Acts 18:1-19:20. The preacher discussed how extending the gospel was a result of intentional human effort relying on the power of God to act within people and history. The underlying goal of the sermon was to encourage evangelism. Hearing his appeal I was reminded of another sermon I heard on Palm Sunday that covered similar ground and sitting there I remembered the insight I had gained then. When we think about it we realize that the workers God sends into the ripe harvest field are relatively few compared to all Christians. In addition, they are trained for and fully dedicated to the work of the harvest. Very few of us can answer that call but even so there is a call we all can answer and that is to be gleaners in the field of the Lord. Gleaners aren’t trained, just hungry people and in this case hungry for the souls that God leaves in the field for them to glean. There are always leavings in a harvested field and gleaning is the means that God set up for common folk to keep that remaining fruit from being lost. Anyone can glean. Anyone can bring a few souls in from the harvest and that means you and me. Think about it.
Destroying The Sinful Past: A second issue that jumped out at me from Sundays sermon was Acts 19:18-19.
Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.
That was a lot of money. In Roman times the daily wage for a laborer was one drachma. In today’s terms it would be about $40. So we are talking about burning about $2 million worth of books. Theirs was a difficult choice that had significant economic impact. Remember, they didn’t sell them to other practitioners; they burned them because they violated God’s explicit commands in the law and they understood that magic was in direct opposition to the Holy Spirit. They chose their new life over their old life.
Maybe there is something equivalent in your life today that needs expunging in the same way. I would suggest that it needs to be utterly destroyed so that it can never tempt anyone again or lead anyone else astray. Think about it.
When I became a Christian I burned all my occult paraphernalia, including my books on casting horoscopes. In addition, I flushed down the toilet a fully-packed quart jar of pure high-grade marijuana leaf which had been collected from several plants I had grown. This was worth several thousand dollars back in 1976 and ten times that today. Many of my non Christian friends were very upset with me for not having sold it or given it to them. But I couldn’t since if it was bad for me it was bad for them. The market value was and is irrelevant.
There you have it. May God bless your day and may he keep your feet from stumbling as you endeaver to walk in the good works he has prepared for you.