How A Broken Elbow Can Help You Grow In Your Faith
Our church took a bunch of guys on a Men’s Retreat a couple of months ago to Discovery Ministries, near Eminence, Missouri. While we were there, I slipped and fell, and cracked a bone in my elbow. The recovery has been teaching me some important lessons.
I really don’t have a very good story about how it happened. The state park at Johnson Shut-Ins was open, but the roads in the park were closed to vehicles because of the high waters. Park staff told us we were able to walk back to the shut-ins, though, so we decided to go.
At one point, there is a marshy fen area, which was flowing over the roadway. It was mossy, and I tried to gingerly step through it, but slipped on that moss and went down. I landed on my elbow, giving it a slight fracture, and some further injures that didn’t show up until later. As it turns out, that fall caused some nerve damage that may take several months to fully heal. In the meantime, my left arm is weak, lacks precise motor functions in a couple of fingers, and is either numb or on fire with that “pins and needles” feeling.
It’s actually kind of frustrating and annoying more than anything else, because I can’t do all the things that I’m used to doing.
In the meantime, it’s spring, and we have a yard full of grass, and a garden full of vegetables… and weeds. And I can’t really do anything about it. I want to mow the yard. I want to weed the garden. I want to get outside and do those kinds of things but I can’t right now.
And yet, those things are still getting done. Several people have stepped in to help me out with those things. A couple of guys from our church have been over to help my son with the lawn care, and my wife has been maintaining the garden on her own.
I love coffee. I enjoy drinking it. I enjoy brewing it. I enjoy roasting. I have even painted with it. It’s a big part of my day, and a hobby that I greatly enjoy. But I think it is misunderstood. Coffee contains caffeine, which many people think is some all-inclusive wonder stimulant. But it’s not exactly that. It has some great properties, to be sure. But just how does it affect our body? This video gives some insight to that, and is kind of amusing as it does so.
This passage begins the the third stanza in a trio that focuses upon walking in God’s Word. The writer’s main thrust in this stanza however, is keeping our focus upon God intently at all times. We will look at the first half, which you can find in Psalm 119:121-124:
Because of what God has done on our behalf, we need to keep our gaze focused completely upon him. Where sin is concerned, we must look to God’s Word for help and strength and hope. Where danger and spiritual threat is concerned, we must look to God’s Word for deliverance.
This is where the writer finds himself now. Those who threatened him, of whom he wrote in verses 110 and following, are oppressing him so much that his only hope can be God’s deliverance. The writer is looking to God for his help.
This is a low point for the author of this Psalm, and is perhaps indicated by the fact that this is one of the few verses in the entirety of Psalm 119 that does not contain a reference to God’s Word. The depths of despair are evident in the feeling of the psalmist, and it seems as if his focus might be distracted for the moment.
But that does not last for long. The writer identifies three reasons why God will save him. Two of those are in the latter half of the stanza, and we will examine them next week. But the first is found in verse 124, and is probably the strongest of them all.
A materialistic world will not be won to Christ by a materialistic church.
At the start of 2019, I joined a program called LeaderBooks, from Michael Hyatt & Co. So far, I have read through several different books on leadership, from various viewpoints other than church leadership. Most of them are centered on the business world, and yet they contain principles that can be applied to almost any context.
This is especially true with Trillion Dollar Coach. Written by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle, this book examines the life and leadership lessons of Bill Campbell. You could probably say that Campbell was more of a coach than a leader, and that the people he invested in have turned to do the same for others.
In this book, the authors take a good look at Campbell’s principles and practices, and reveal some surprising – and not so surprising – insights.
I’m really enjoying this book, and look forward to seeing what I can take from it and implement into my leadership role in the church I serve. If you’d like to read it, you can grab one from Amazon.
What I Learned About God From A Ministry In Arizona
One of my favorite places on this earth is the White Mountains of Arizona. It’s arid. It’s dry. But it’s beautiful, because of both the scenery and the people who live there.
For almost two decades, I have been connected with a ministry that exists in that area of Arizona. That ministry reaches out to the White Mountain Apaches and, to a lesser degree, the Navajo people who live in the area.
In the summer of 2001 or 2002 — I can’t even remember what year — I took a group of teens and adults from our church in Indiana to American Indian Christian Mission. That was the beginning of what would become a long relationship, although I didn’t know it then. Our group had an incredible time, and the impact we made was big, no doubt. But the impact on our own lives was far, far greater.
Since that trip, I have been able to take multiple groups to AICM, both teens and adults, over the years. And each time, it left an indelible mark upon my life. One community in particular, the small town of Cibicue, is especially dear to me. I visited that town on that very first trip, and have managed to make it back there almost every time since.
Cibicue is a small town, and it suffers from the same sense of hopelessness and despair as much of the rest of the White Mountain Reservation. Drugs, alcohol, abuse, and suicide are rampant, and a ministry such as AICM offers hope that otherwise might not be found there.
Time for a Coffee Break! Enjoy this selection of interesting posts and articles from around the web that I found intriguing!
On this day in history: In 1692, in Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Bridget Bishop, the first colonist to be tried in the Salem witch trials, is hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft. In 1752, Benjamin Franklin flied a kite during a thunderstorm and collected ambient electrical charge in a Leyden jar, enabling him to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity. And in 1903, Binney & Smith Company began developing a product line of wax crayons. The product was named Crayola.
Today Is National Ballpoint Pen Day! Grab your ballpoint pen and write this on your calendar!
11 Smells That Are Slowly Disappearing – I found this to be quite intriguing. Although there are many people who still burn their leaves, especially in the Midwest, some of the rest have faded from use, but still linger in memory. Remember the smell of those old purple copies of worksheets from elementary school? In a related vein, here’s another link to some sounds that are disappearing as well.