Sunday, December 27, 2009

Could complain, but I won't

3:57 p.m. Today's project was to serve Steve toast, banana and his meds sitting up on the edge of our bed because he is still sick with the flu-like symptoms he was hit with yesterday. I asked Heidi to save me a seat at 2nd service, because I was running late. No idea what is wrong with him, because he is not sniffling or coughing, and doesn't have a fever.

At church, the congregation received two items of really bad news. The first was that Pastor Chuck Smith, the 82 year-old founder of Calvary Chapel, suffered a mild stroke, but is expected to make a full recovery; we certainly pray that God will continue to use him, a true modern-day apostle of the church. We won't even know how many milllions of souls have been saved worldwide because of his vision , until we enter eternity in Christ! I know of two brand new Calvary Chapels even now: Foley, Alabama, led by Joe Aldrete from our CCMoVal, and Calvary Chapel Kaleo down in Brawley, headed up by our cousin Shane Herman, former head of the Calvary Chapel pastors in Romania. My prayers join those of thousands for Pastor Chuck to enjoy many more good years of ministry!

When I was a baby Christian, I would go up to the listening library at Calvary Chapel Riverside (now Harvest) and listen to Chuck 's sermon tapes. One I will always remember is from Ephesians 2:8-10, entitled "His Poema." The passage says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship --poema, in Greek--created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (KJV) So precious is our callling as believers, shown to us by faithful teachers of His Word!

The second near-tragedy concerns a newlywed couple who were carjacked on their own driveway at gunpoint when they returned from a family Christmas celebration. They then had everything of value that they owned burglarized from their home along with their car. Praise God that they are okay! What will our young couple do now--to barely start out in life and have to start over again already! If I know our church body, they will be helped back onto their feet; if I know my God, those two will be comforted, blessed and joyful, because God has already "stretched forth His hand against the wrath of their enemies and His right hand saved them" (Psalm 138:7). Verse 8 is one they can tell one another: "The LORD will perfect that which concerns me: thy mercy, O LORD, endures forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." And, Jesus says in Hebrews 13:5: "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Now that's the Word!

I've been doing Steve's chores the last two days, and getting a bit behind on my own tasks, but I certainly won't complain of inconveniences when others are suffering actual near-fatal losses at opposite ends of life. Steve will recover, and our routine will get back to normal, or I believe it will...but do any of us have that guarantee? Of course not.

Guess I'll just go with Hebrews 13:5!

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