This morning during our international team meeting, we had a sweet time applying Philippians 4:6 together. We have been studying Philippians for a few months now and since Dave (who normally teaches) was out, Brian (who led today) decided to spend some time thinking about what we’re thankful for and what we need prayer for. We did this by writing things we’re thankful for on pink and purple Post-Its and then our petitions on yellow and blue ones. The result of the dozen of us there this morning is what you see in the photo above. It was a neat time and I enjoyed praying with our team as well as seeing this visual reminder in the office which will stay up through the summer. There’s a lot of ministry starting up here in the next month or so and our team won’t be meeting for a while. There is so much to be thankful for and so much we need to pray for. Praise the Lord He can handle all of it!
This afternoon Bethany took the kids to the park. As always they loved it, but today they did something a little different and collected rocks during their walk. The kids were really excited to tell me about when I got home and we even spent some time this afternoon playing with the rocks in the driveway. Avery named them “Mommy Rocky,” “Daddy Rocky, “Sister Rocky” and so on. I”m glad they had a good time and here’s a few photos of their time.
Lately the kids have really gotten in to these Steve Green “Hide Em’ In Your Heart” Bible videos. Bethany knows them for her own childhood and our kids are starting to love them. Below is really short video of the kids doing the motions to Luke 2:52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (NIV).
I’ve been thinking a lot today about a college friend named Bjorn. We haven’t had much contact (if any) since college, but I’ve been able to follow his life via Facebook since then. Bjorn is a godly man and was definitely example of Christian character to other men at college. During college his girlfriend (another friend of Bethany and me) was killed in a tragic car accident. I will never forget hearing Bjorn speak at a special memorial they had for her at Master’s and he was a testimony to all of us of Christ-likeness during that trial. More recently, however, his niece has been battling cancer and watching from afar has been hard. As we’ve watched post after post roll by on Facebook about her story, we have just been amazed at the faith of him and his family. And this past week we saw the news on Facebook that Bjorn’s brother was tragically killed in a skiing accident. When Bethany told me about it I think I just paused. I think my first words were, “Are you kidding me? That’s unbelievable.”
Last night Bethany and I watched a video sermon/message on trials and suffering. One of the repeating elements in that message was that “Life will come at you,” or said another way, “Life is going to go wrong.” The speaker then went on to outline a Biblical response to trials using the acronym G-O-L-L-D (or “Go for the Gold!). His outline reads:
G – God Doesn’t Make Any Mistakes! (Job 23:10)
O – Operate With Eternity’s Perspective! (2 Corinthians 4:16-17, 1 Peter 3:14)
L – Live One Day At A Time! (Matt 6:31-34)
L – Look For A Blessing In Each Day! (Philippians 4:8)
D – Do Something For Someone Else! (Matthew 25:40)
This was only the first half of his outline. He went on to describe a specific plan for responding to trials, including the acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and even refusing to grumble and complain during a trial. It was a great blessing to be reminded of the truth of God’s Word during trials, even though I can’t say that I’m experiencing trials like my friend Bjorn right now. At the same time I want my heart to be prepared when “life comes at me.” I want to respond rightly to trials, much like I have seen Bjorn do. I want to respond the way Job did in Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, I will hope in him…”
It’s with that in mind that I leave you with this video that has blessed me often. It’s a song based on Job 13:15 and trials, along with a little excerpt from the preaching ministry of John Piper. I hope it ministers to you as it has to me today.