A. D. 2019: The Week of November 10th to November 16th
This week I started reading the book of Genesis and read through chapter 36. I recited chapters 1-7 from the gospel of John in English, and I have memorized through verse 9 in Spanish. It is my goal to memorize the entire prolog of John’s gospel in Spanish. There is some debate among biblical scholars as to whether the prolog ends after verse 14 or continues on to verse 18, 1-18 is the traditional view; therefore, Lord willing, I shall memorize through verse 18. This means, I reached the halfway point of my goal.
I love our local church, Sylvania in Tyler, Texas, and the people in our local church. Darlene and I have been attending a Sunday morning bible class that I truly enjoy, but the class numbers are very high while some of the other classes do not have anywhere near the same numbers. Therefore, Darlene and I decided to visit some of the other classes for a season: That we may fellowship with the other brethren in our local church. That we may also alleviate the attendance of that class while adding to the attendance in the other classes. This Sunday we visited Steve Mill’s class. Steve is one of six elders at Sylvania church. Steve taught on the resurrection from Matthew 28:1-15. Then in corporate worship, Phillip Dancy preached: “Do not worry about your life” from Luke 12:13-34. The sermon can be heard on sermon audio. We enjoyed a warm day on Sunday afternoon; therefore, I cleaned the windows on the exterior of our home. I also insulted the outdoor pipes because we were expecting a deep freeze in the coming days.
On Monday, our nation celebrated veteran’s day. It has become vogue in the past few years for people to recognize veterans but this has also lead to a hyper-association with being a veteran. A few years ago, I wrote an article: “War: A Christian Response” in which I talked about my experience in the Army and my study about a Christian response to war after becoming a follower of Christ. Suffice it to say, what I said in that article is not vogue but I will repost it to my social media accounts every veteran’s day in hope that others listen.
Everyday this week Darlene and I worked at our jobs from early morning until sometime between 4:00pm and 6:30pm. On Tuesday, I got off work at the earlier; therefore, I stopped by Darlene’s job to see her, then we meet at home for what we thought would be a relaxing evening when we got a phone call from Bethany. She had run out of gas and was stuck on the side of the road halfway between Palestine and Jacksonville, Texas. We grabbed the gas can and drove the 40 minutes it took on country roads to get to her location. After putting gas into her tank I discovered that she had drained her battery while sitting on the side of the road; therefore, the car would not start. We then had to drive back to Jacksonville (about 15 miles), purchase jumper cables, drive back to her car and jump the car off so that it would start.
There are many things that I pray about during the week but I will mention this one. This week I have been asking the Father to grant me Christ like love for others. I am actively learning Spanish but the scripture says,
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor. 13:1, NLT)I received a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary verifying that I know a great deal about the scriptures, church history, systematic theology and practical theology. I am teaching these to others in the mission field but the scripture says,
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. (vs. 13:2)I give a significant portion of my income away every month but the scripture says,
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. (vs. 13:3)How do I know that I do not have Christ like love? The word of God is light for my feet; therefore, the word of God in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 gives the answer. Am I always patient and kind? I must confess, not all of the time. Am I jealous or boastful or proud or rude? I must confess, that I am these more often that I want to admit. Am I irritable and do I take into account wrongs suffered? I must confess, I am often irritable and do take into account wrongs suffered. Do I always rejoice with the truth? This is a difficult one, but I must confess, my pride allows others to believe untruths. Do I never give up? Do I never lose faith? Am I always hopeful? Do I endure through every circumstance? No, my love is not what it ought to be but I know that Christ's love is perfect and he demonstrated his love for me by dying on the cross for my sins; therefore, I desire to be just like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.