Oh That Hurts

I avoid pain if I can. Yet, affliction is one of God’s tools. Are you experiencing affliction? Thomas Watson (Puritan) said that when someone brings affliction into your life, you can be sure that God sent him. The best thing about affliction is that God has promised there is good in it. We would ease and encourage our hearts if we embrace and believe that. 

On our recent trip to Colorado, Teri and I were greatly blessed by listening (again) to Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (read by Robert Whitfield). Did you know that John Bunyan wrote it while serving twelve years in prison for his faith?

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:28-29).

Tools of The Trade

In the Air Force, it was repeatedly drilled into us: “The right tool for the right job.” That phrase stuck in my mind. Through the years I’ve been amazed to see guys (okay, especially boys) use screwdrivers (or a hammer) for just about every job when another tool would have been more appropriate. The right tool would have done a better job without collateral damage. 

I greatly appreciate the focus on Scripture at our new church (Due to Covid our other services were shut down). The pastor teaches a class on hermeneutics (the science and art of interpreting Scripture.) The book we are using is Basic Bible Interpretation by Roy Zuck. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are dependent on a correct understanding of the Bible in order to correctly apply it to our lives. If you have never read anything like this before, I highly recommend it. 

Additional tools that will help in your Bible study: 

  • Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong
  • An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W. E. Vine,
  • Nave’s Topical Bible, Orville Nave or The New Topical Textbook, R. A. Torrey,
  • Matthew Henry’s unabridged commentary or a commentary by a conservative author,
  • Olive Tree Bible software, which offers the above tools less expensively and all in one application. 

Invest in good tools!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Posted in: Seriously

IT’s a Joy

I greatly appreciated how Teri never complained about changing baby’s diapers. It sure wasn’t my favorite task! Over the years, that sweet wife of mine easily changed a minimum of 5,000 diapers per child. Considering eight children, she likely changed well over 40,000 diapers! The same cheerful attitude was exhibited while fixing over 50,000 meals (47 years of marriage) for our family. 

What about us? Do we cheerfully fulfill our God-given responsibilities? Do we see them as acts of obedience to Almighty God? We are to cheerfully obey whether we are providing for the family, doing house and car upkeep, discipling the children, or leading the family spiritually. 

“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23). 

Try Harder?

I expect all of us have reactions of impatience, frustration, or even anger at times that we would rather not have. Here’s what likely happens after the reaction. We are unhappy with ourselves because it isn’t a reaction that is godly and loving. So, we determine that next time we will be more aware, more careful, and avoid that negative reaction. Try, try, try again. The reality is that such a plan simply doesn’t succeed because we are doing it in our own strength.

This scenario might even be upmost on the minds of the homeschooling moms who began their new school year recently and are in the midst of all the time pressure, child craziness, and stress that brings. 

If trying harder isn’t the solution, what might be? 

Really See It As Sin

For me, my wrong reactions had to become more than just something I wished I didn’t do. In my struggle with anger, I minimized it as sin and excused it as normal based on stress, lack of sleep, or perhaps being the other person’s fault. I had to view my sin as an offense against a holy God and another person and stop making excuses. 

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest” (Psalms 51:4).

The remedy was to ask the Lord’s forgiveness, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And then also ask forgiveness of the person I offended.

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

I remember those years when my children were younger, and the Lord was teaching me this path. I asked their forgiveness when my response to them wasn’t right, and every time, the child said, “Yes, Mommy, I forgive you.”


Next pray, yielding to Him, acknowledging need and inability, and asking for His help. God tells us His strength is sufficient and that His grace is made perfect in weakness. 

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

He wants to aid us, but if, in our pride, we tackle it on our own, He leaves us to that muddle, “ . . . and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (Peter 5:5b).

Find Scripture

Finally, use your daily time in the Word to find Scripture that applies to the areas you most often find yourself frustrated or angry in. Then write the verses out on a notecard that you can carry around with you. Review them regularly and pray when you do. When you hit one of THE situations, pull it out, read it OUT LOUD, and pray right away. This can become your new, good habit. As you practice, with the Lord’s grace and strength, it will replace your bad habit of the negative reactions. If you do this, you will be amazed at how quickly you memorize the verses you are using. Soon you no longer need to read the card. Instead the verses are there in your mind.

Simple but Powerful

You might tell me that this is simplistic. Perhaps it is, but that’s the beauty of our walk with Christ. In addition, simple isn’t always easy. I personally found these truths from God’s Word to be powerful in my life. They grew me away from those negative reactions. Could I encourage you to try them? 

If you benefited from this month’s Mom’s Corner, we have a couple of resources that will be of additional help.
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
Sweet Journey

If you would like to read about baby Maddy coming home from the hospital and our recent family news, go to our blog.

Blessings in Christ,


Not a Job

We live in Leavenworth, and it is known to be both a military and prison town. Fort Leavenworth’s primary function is training select officers through the Command General Staff College. Teri’s father was a career military officer, and we have known many fine examples of those committed to serving our country through their service. One thing is clear, the military differs greatly from a normal job. Those serving can be sent to their loss of life or limbs at the command of their boss. That is simply a part of their “job.” 

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Tim 2:3-4). 

Stories can be shared of great hardship in the line of duty. (I have read war defined as “cruelty.”) Many don’t come home from an assignment resulting in his wife raising the children without a father. Or life is greatly altered by having a legless dad. 

The Holy Spirit prompted Paul to liken those who profess to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to soldiers of Jesus Christ. Brothers, as we read Scripture, do we read the commands, as commands to be obeyed, no matter what the cost? We are not asked if we like the command but simply told to do it. 

(To be continued.)

Never Underestimate

Moses threw his staff down before Pharaoh, and it became a serpent (Exodus 7:10). If I was watching, I would have been impressed. Pharaoh wasn’t. He called in his magicians, and “they also did in like manner with their enchantments” (Exodus 7:11b). God could have prevented their magicians from doing the same, but He didn’t. 

Could it be that in addition to using it to harden Pharaoh’s heart, God wanted Moses to expect in the future the dark side to attempt to hinder God’s work in lives? We aren’t to fear it, but we should anticipate it and be in prayer about. 

Are you expecting your children to automatically receive Christ and live for Him just because they are living in your home? Being active in church is not enough either. 

Is Jesus the love of your life, your purpose in life, and your joy in life? Do you love His Word, and are you in it every day, personally and leading your family in Bible time because of that love? Your children must see His power/life at work in you. 

Live for Him my brothers with all your heart.  Be purposeful in discipling your children, Satan wants them.

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).