Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Everyone's watching

Man is it hot here in St. Louis this week!

This is an actual photograph from the inside of a high school friend Linda Rehmeier's car as she left work today.

My bride is about to give birth to our tenth child in exactly two weeks and guess what? Wouldn't you know it - the AC in our 2006 Ford 15 passenger van went out!

We're in full time ministry and like churches and many other non-profits have hit their "summer slump" where when checking the post office box is proving futile for added summer donations. It's really tough right now.

Yet call me crazy - but in spite of donations literally evaporating in this summer heat - as Dad I am going to try an experiment with my kids and family. Instead of the desperate pleas, the begging and the downright force we could apply as fundraisers for the ministry we've been called to at Guys For Life I am going to take this time as Husband, Dad and ministry leader to demonstrate, as best as possible, a reliance on God which I think we all need.

Two weeks ago we took the van, loaded the kids in it, with a truck load of water and even a floor fan from home and early in the morning went to the post office, bank and store all before noon.

At first there was much screaming, pushing and shoving but then - my lovely bride began praying - inside of 15 minutes everyone settled down [even me] and as a family in the stress of incredible heat we all had one of the most memorable times as a family. I'll never forget it. Though we all wanted a shower afterwards being so sticky - hearts and minds were soothed that day.

As the hours wind down before the new baby [Oliver William Ramspott] appears I think we'll leave the door open for God to guide us and use us as his witness during this, one of the most stressful summers we've had in ministry.

I can't help but think everyone is watching. Our church, our donors, other churches, friends on Facebook, my bride and especially my children.

Isn't it time we as men, who say we're Christian demonstrate our faith in times like this?

Isn't it time we as men, who say we're Christian increase our reliance on God and shed the old ways of loving God for Him delivering us out of our temporary circumstances and love him regardless what comes our way?

Isn't it time we as men, who say we're Christians show everyone there is a God who deeply loves them regardless what they have or have not done?

Sure, this posting borders on the edge of being braggadocios, tooting my own horn, puffed up and all that jazz - I have taken that into account. But let's see what God can do.

More details soon.

Till next time,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is it really that hard to accept to accept the verdict?

Is it really that hard to accept the verdict in yesterday's trial of Casey Anthony in Florida? Have we come to a place where we have forgotten our roots so quickly?

Are we so quick to jump to conclusions about the defense lawyers [we hate and loathe them], about the prosecution team [they're total buffoons] and about Casey Anthony [she clearly did it] that in all of this uproar for justice we are forgetting some of the tenants to our binding Christian Faith?

Call me crazy - say I don't want justice - say I am an insensitive idiot FOR NOT being disgusted and completely repulsed over the outcome of this trial - but friends - we're missing something.

Read with me:

1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. 2 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 3 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you [a]considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man [b]fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to [c]ruin him without cause.” 4 Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” 6 So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your [d]power, only spare his life.”

7 Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. [Job 2 1:10 NASB]

For most of us, in our flesh we feel something has been lost, that justice has not been served. That with all of our intuitive fiber - we feel - justice has escaped our earthly grasp and the enemy of God has won the day. Maybe he has, maybe he hasn't.

Our flesh crawled with disgust over what happened to precious little Caylee in her untimely death. Our hearts began to build an expectation and we were set on only receiving one answer in our minds which would truly satisfy us. GUILTY - no other verdict was acceptable.

"Guilty" was the word we were so desperately looking for yesterday and when it did not come - when it did not go as we expected - the flesh of the arm took over and our forgetful hearts, minds, mouths and all our strength cried out across thousands of call-in radio shows, internet blogs and forums to express our disgust with the legal system.

If I may, I would like to challenge that thinking.

As with Job, are we only to praise God, are we only to celebrate jury verdicts when they go our way? How about any situation in life for that matter.

No, we're not.

Regardless which way this trial went [for our against our expectation] we should embrace the outcome with a full reliance on God as our creator that justice was served.

Remember Jobs words, "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?"

Think about it.

Till next time,