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Christian Blog Christian Living

Hunger Stone

Confession: one of my favorite pass times is checking what’s trending on Wikipedia. Last night I found a captivating article about hunger stones. These are large rocks set into river banks during times of extreme drought. Meant to serve as cautionary signs for those in the future, when such markers become visible it means hard times have returned.

The hunger stone pictured above sits on a bank of the Elbe river in the Czech Republic. There are low-water dates chiseled into the rock, the oldest readable one being from 1616! Long ago, someone also carved a message into this particular stone: “Wenn du mich Siehst, dann weine.” (lit. “If you see me, weep.”)

When I read the translation, my first thought was, “How sad it would be to read this and decide the situation was hopeless.” Just because some folks back in the 17th century had a hard time, is it guaranteed to happen again?

Confession #2: as a person of faith, I find it unproductive to be negative about the future. As long as God is in charge, there will be a lot more that’s right with the world than wrong. But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s the prophet Joel:

To you, O Lord, I call, for fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.

Joel 1:19-20 (NIV)

Ok, that’s a bit of a downer. But hone in on the first six words, “To you, O Lord, I call…”

Kind reader, the hope of heaven will be readily available–no matter how low the river goes. The prophet Joel believed it, and so should we.

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.

Joel 2:13 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.


Photo by Dr. Bernd Gross, Wikipedia

Categories
Christian Blog Perseverance

Getting Things Done with God

The church where our little congregation meets was built in 1935. Now, to my friends in the UK, where there are churches and castles centuries old, 87 years isn’t all that much.😊

As you can see, the exterior of the church is getting a face lift. Over eight decades of south-central USA weather have taken their toll, especially on the original stained glass windows and roof. Things had gotten so bad, every time it rained, you could literally see the building disintegrating.

Many of us thought this renovation would never happen. Five years ago, we were told the estimated cost of the work was $1,000,000. And more damage has happened since then. A little background info: our church is a chapel on a US Army post; yearly budgets for religious support operations are routinely cut.

Further complicating things, every few years the post gets a new CG (Commanding General) and a new Installation Chaplain–a colonel who is over all the chapels and chaplains. Understandably, each of these leaders has their own opinion about how and where money should be spent.

Fast forward to our current CG and current Installation Chaplain. Last year, these two teamed up and found the money to fix the chapel. Praise God!

Come let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.

Nehemiah 2:17b (NIV)

Parallels between our deteriorating church building and the story of Nehemiah are plentiful. Here was a guy who shared God’s heart to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. So, he committed 100% to the goal and got the people to join him. There were obstacles and opposition along the way but Nehemiah, and the folks of Jerusalem, kept moving forward with their God-sized project.

So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height.

Nehemiah 4:6 (NIV)

Kind reader, is there a God-sized opportunity in your life that is half-way-there? Then commit, or recommit yourself to accomplish the work–with God’s help. While you’re at it, inspire others to come along side. You’ll both be glad you did!

So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

Nehemiah 6:15 (NIV)

I’m not sure how long our building restoration will take, but at some point we will have our beautiful chapel back–good as new. And all this happened because two guys and God set their hearts to make it so!

I close with a quote from the highest ranking CG ever:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jesus-Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Blog grace

He Gives More Grace

This past week at summer school, a first grader, I’ll call him Chris, read a book to me. Chris is working hard to learn his consonant blends and diagraphs. The hi-lighted word is an example.

When Chris sees the “sh” that starts the word shape, he’s still learning to put the sound of s and h together—-shh. The story of Bucky the Beaver is filled with blends and diagraphs. There are five more on this page alone. Can you find them?

Here’s the thing, Chris has already completed the first grade; he should have a pretty good grasp of these concepts by now. But he’s not quite there. Thankfully, summer school is a great opportunity for remedial learning.

Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation

2 Peter 3:15a (NIV)

As I listened to my young friend read, helping him here and there, it reminded me of how patient God is with each of us. Frankly, I should have a pretty good grasp of Christian concepts by now. But I’m not quite there.

He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9b (NIV)

Kind reader, since God is so patient with us, we would do well to be patient with each other. Many of us aren’t “quite there,” after all. Today, and every day, may we give more grace —just like the Lord.

If you, O Lord, keep a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

Psalm 130:3 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️