Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Thirty One

December 13, 2019
Dear friends,

I find the memory a fascinating thing. Why is it that we remember some events and names of people readily and forget others? Last Saturday, Karen and I saw people at the memorial service for Pastor Frank Humphrey that we hadn’t seen for several years. Some names came to me right away, but I am still trying to find the names of a couple of people in my mental filing cabinet. On Tuesday night, I greeted one of the pastors at a ministerial dinner and realized later that I thought his name was Denis instead of Daniel. I had the right letter in my mental index cards, but close doesn’t count in this context.

Yesterday, Karen and I went to a bank that we hadn’t been in for years and I was very glad when one of the staff greeted me by name. Thinking about this reminds me of a message that I heard when I attended the Urbana ’76 missions convention. Elisabeth Elliot Leitch delivered a message entitled “The Glory of God’s Will.” I know the title because I have a book of the messages which were given at the convention. Before reading her message this morning, I had the idea that Elisabeth talked about God calling us by name. Here is what she said: “Have you and I got a Master we can trust? Do we ask first of all to be allowed to examine and approve the scheme? The Apostle Paul never said, ‘I know what God is up to.’ He said, ‘I know whom I have believed.’”

Mrs. Elliot Leitch continued: “We start, then, with the recognition of who God is. He is our Creator, the one whose spoken Word called into being the unimaginable thing called space which scientists tell us is curved, and the equally unimaginable thing called time which the Bible tells us will cease. He set the stars in their trajectories and put the sliding shutter on the lizard’s eye – this is the God who dreamed you up, thought of you before light existed, created you, formed you, and now calls you by name. He says, ‘Fear not, Susan.’ He says, ‘I have redeemed you, Steve.’” Would I have remembered this message if Elisabeth had said Stanley instead of Steve? Maybe not. My ears caught the sound of my name that night and her message, along with a message that Billy Graham gave that week, helped me to decide to dedicate my life to serving the Lord in missions.

This Christmas, may we point others to the One who loved the world so much that He gave His only son to die for our sins, so that we could have a living relationship with the Lord God.

Scripture for the weekend: “He who gives attention to the word shall find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” Proverbs 16:20 (NASB)

Thought for the weekend: “This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon … without the eloquence of schools, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.” – Philip Schaff (from the book “The Name” by Franklin Graham)

By His grace,