He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Thursday, September 27, 2007 

Sovereign in the Small Things

God is sovereign. Not just in major world events, but even in the particular placement and size of a drop of dew on a particular part of a blade of grass. He numbers not just the days of your life & the hairs on your head, but also ordained, before you ever existed, the termination of the roach on the bottom of your shoe, and the first play from scrimmage your favorite team will run this Saturday.

Have I gone too far? Have I made God guilty of meddling? Have I fibbed on the facts? Don't believe me? Think about it. Just using the football example, if God is not in control of that first play, and every second after that play, then when someone gets paralyzed on a certain play because they were in a certain spot at a certain time & hit in a certian part of the body, then God was caught off guard. If God is caught off guard and merely responding to football plays, how can we be certain Satan won't catch Him off guard & remove Him from His throne.

Yesterday I wrecked my car early in the morning. First wreck ever in 12 years of driving. I plowed someone from behind. Possibly totaled the car. I could have gone 2 different ways to get to my early morning destination, but I chose the 3rd path. I took an extra 10 seconds to grab the newspaper & take it with me. I spent another 30 seconds getting something out of the trunk for my wife. 40 seconds earlier on the road & I'm in front of the car significantly that I hit. Why God? You know are financial situation, you know how the other car is messing up badly, you knew this would happen - WHY?

No, no, no. God, you planned for this to happen. You ordained that I would take that route, the extra 40 seconds, that I would look & reach down on the floorbaord for what slid underneath my feet. So because I know You are good, loving, & sovereign, what do you want me to learn?

I already praise You more for sparing my life & others, & for my health that I continually take for granted. I thank you for your protection over me & for that car that I had for years for no cost. I thank you that I saw love in more tangible ways from others than I have in quite a while...my brothers offering me rides, free repairs on the car if it was possible, birthday money offers from one, true compassion and love on their faces. I love the body more because of my wreck. I praise You for how very much my wife loves me & for her precious tears on a couple of occassions as she emotionally released both her worst fears of what could have happened and tears of joy that so little had happened to the one she loves so perfectly. I praise You for my dad who drove me to Dothan to pick up a car to use in the mean time which I got from my parents-in-law that I praise You for because they offered one of their vehicles to us. I praise you for the phone call from my mother and from a professor, again, an opportunity to see tangibly the blessing of being loved from others.

Why did you give me life, redeem my life, & save my life yet again yesterday? You created me to give You praise (Psalm 148:5). You redeemed me that my soul would praise you (Psalm 71:23). You saved me yesterday because it is the living that praise you (Isaiah 38:18-19). I praise You, as you are my Creator & Redeemer, & sovereign, even among the small things.

Monday, September 10, 2007 

Son Helps Making the Son Known in North Korea

from english.chosun.com

Newsweek magazine has reported on "underground" Christians in North Korea, now in the spotlight because of Son Jong-nam, a former defector who returned to the North to conduct missionary work.

Son grew up in affluent circumstances as the son of a high-ranking officer. According to Newsweek, Son's pregnant wife lost her baby after being beaten by a North Korean interrogator for criticizing Kim Jong-il's handling of the 1997 famine. Son fled to China where he met Christian missionaries who provide aid for North Korean defectors.

Son converted and later returned to his home country as a missionary. He was apprehended and accused of being a spy and now sits on death row in Pyongyang.

About 100,000 North Koreans clandestinely keep the Christian faith, Newsweek estimated. Christianity spread to the peninsula in the late 19th century. Even the late Kim Il-sung, North Korea's first dictator, came from a devout Christian family. Most North Korean Christians fled to the South during the Korean War, but others who stayed behind still practice underground, the magazine said.

According to missionaries, North Korean Christians keep their Bibles buried in their backyards, wrapped in vinyl. Some preachers in China conduct long-distance services via mobile phone, the report said, reading Bible passages and praying for the sick and needy for five to ten minutes. The services have to be kept short because North Korea uses GPS trackers to locate the phones, the magazine said.

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