Sunday, July 8, 2018

making much of Jesus

NOTE:  Stand in the Rain has come back 'round to its beginning.  We have finished our course with joy, as we pulled no punches, left no stone unturned, and tore every hair out of our heads in an attempt to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  (Acts 20:24)

Though we will no longer publish these daily articles, the complete three-year course (along with three other extensive Bible courses and supplemental materials) can be accessed by clicking here.

So fare thee well, and until we meet again,

The LORD bless you and keep you;

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
The Word for today:
1 Samuel 15
Stand in the Rain has come full circle. The journey we began on July 9. 2015 has reached its destination.
As you will read below, we have not settled on our next project, but a week of sittin’ on the dock of a bay with fishing pole in hand might bring a bit of clarity to mind.
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We tried to tell you how wonderful He is.
And to some degree, we did. But to a greater degree, as all men do, we fell short of the glory of God.
We don’t know exactly what project we’re going to pursue next. But until such time as we make up our minds, this old house, neglected for a decade’s worth of scripture searching, needs a lot of fixin'; and our brains, which have been poppin’ like a popcorn popper at peak for the last 3 years, need a little rest.
Today, at this very moment, we are literally going fishing -- which we’ve figuratively been doing for the last 1096 days in a row.
Over the course of those days, Shelley and I watched our boys turn into men. I watched myself turn from a runner into the dreaded j-word, which I can’t bear to write. (It rhymes with logger. That’s all I’m sayin’.) Then, just weeks ago, we watched my mother die.
But through it all, we made much of Jesus.
I am glad to have finished this course, but I will miss the new discoveries and the friends we found and lost along the way.
So I’m glad and sad all at once, but I welcome these mixed emotions. They remind me of when I was a boy at summer camp, when – out of all the songs we sang – my favorite was called “Now the Day is Over.”
The problem with my favorite song was that I only heard it once per year—at the closing campfire, where it was the last song sung on the last day of our stay.
I loved that song like no other, but it meant that the summer was gone, somewhere behind us now. It was like reaching the last page of a story that has no equal – the very same thing that, after three years, we’ve just done…
Now the day is over,
Night is drawing nigh,
Shadows of the evening
Steal across the sky.
Jesus, give the weary
Calm and sweet repose;
With Thy tend’rest blessing
May mine eyelids close.
Grant to little children
Visions bright of Thee;
Guard the sailors tossing
On the deep, blue sea.
Comfort those who suffer,
Watching late in pain;
Those who plan some evil
From their sin restrain.
Through the long night watches
May Thine angels spread
Their white wings above me,
Watching round my bed.
When the morning wakens,
Then may I arise
Pure, and fresh, and sinless
In Thy holy eyes…
Go then, in the fervent power of His Spirit, in mad and desperate pursuit of His heart. Go in any direction that will take you, making much of Jesus along the way.
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