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Friday, April 24, 2020

Another Week of Quarantine: Notes to My Students

        Another week. Waves of all the things we have to do keep 
        knocking on our door in a relentless pounding; even the 
        desire to get out of bed makes the covers seem like heavy      
        weights. We know in our minds God is there, that He has 
        not left us, but we long to “feel” something; we’re numb.

        What can we do? Let’s ask ourselves, “What is the truth 
               of God in this matter?” Not how we feel, but what is 
               God’s truth?  
         God is God, God is all-powerful, 
         God is in control, God is not caught off guard, 
         God is not surprised, God knows my needs, 
         God knows my hurt, God knows what will come next, 
         God loves me, God loves my family, 
         God provides, God protects, 
         God never changes, God has a plan for my life, 
         God sent His Son to die for my sin that I might have an 
                eternal relationship with Him and share this good 
                news with others, 
         God Is the Great I AM, the Ever-Present One, eternally 
                present and here, 
         Almighty, Infinite, Loving, God.
         Since this is the truth of God, I can trust Him. He did not 
         put me on the planning committee, He just asks that I trust 
         Him. Because we know these things to be true, we can say 
         with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him...” 
         [Job 13:15]  His love and commitment to us are shown by 
         what was done on the cross and the empty tomb. Even 
         though I walk through the valley of the shadow of 
         death, I will fear no evil for You are with me.” [Ps. 23]

          Because of Who He is and what He has done, we can lay 
          our fears before Him; we can share how we feel, we can be 
          completely transparent– He knows our thoughts anyway. 
          As we share these innermost thoughts with Him, we can say,

          “Father, this is how I feel, yet I know who You are, I know You 
          know what is best. I choose to believe You, Who You are and 
          always have been; I choose You over my feelings, my fears, 
          my confusion. I trust You. Help me in Your grace and 
          mercy. I love You. I need You. I thank You for what you
          are going to do.  In Jesus Name.” 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Today has been a rough day; not because we are sick, praise God, Kathy & I are fine, Mom is being well taken care of, we have plenty of food [and TP :)], we can teach from our home, we have been able to worship online with Metairie Baptist, we have been ministered to through the prayers of students and others praying for us. I am more than grateful, I am overwhelmed with God’s grace.

Yet, after lunch, I began to cry. I recalled the great number of our students and faculty going through major trauma, loss of jobs, family members sick and some dying– so many being affected by the virus. Suddenly the feelings that I had when we were going through great stress overseas, – memories of tapped phone calls, letters opened and read before we got them, secret police taking our trash, listening to gunfire during the day and some even at night– all of these memories started coming back. We loved so many of our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters in Christ who were going through situations even worse.  Later when we couldn’t return to Nicaragua, we were transferred to Panama. Panama was such a blessing, even with the invasion and all the stress and mess that went with it. I remember thinking back then, “Oh God, how would our children survive the trauma of all we’ve been through?” During those years, the stress on our marriage, and some of our responses were less than what we had hoped; God was revealing things in our lives that were not consistent with His character and nature in us. It was convicting; it was painful.

So, here we are again. This time the entire world is shaking, trembling from a virus that no one anticipated, without a vaccine– no place to run, just shelter in. Not totally true. We can and do run to our loving Father. He watched over us for the years overseas, through countless dangers, illnesses, and most recently, Kathy’s cancer. I still grieve over so much hurt. I’m not mad at God; He did not put me on the planning committee and I can trust Him, especially when I don’t understand. I will thank and praise Him through my tears. HE is the Faithful One. When the flashbacks come again, and I have no doubt they will, I can remember how God has worked, is working, and I know will continue to work.

I pray for my students, that God would use this in their lives to build these “lion and bear” stories as monuments in their hearts of God’s faithfulness, love, mercy, and grace, just like He did in the life of David. I pray that God would use this time to draw millions to Himself. I pray for the leadership of our Seminary, our pastors, political leaders, that God would grant wisdom, that He would provide and protect His children. I thank God. And I thank you. Thank you for walking through all this as I try to process my feelings.