“Oh ye of little faith…”
That ever been said of you?
Jesus said it a lot to His disciples. In my estimation His harshest criticism of His men were when they showed a lack of faith. Do you agree? But, having faith is not easy. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Jesus tells us if we have the faith of a grain of a mustard seed that we can move mountains. Do you believe that? Tough isn’t it. I believe, but Lord help my unbelief, right? I believe I have faith, but sometimes I must admit that I’m not full of faith. I waver and I doubt and James tells us that’s not good. But, I admit it.
Does your faith waver? I’m thinking most of you are probably like me and you struggle with being full of faith, (a.k.a faithful), too. Where does faith come from? You can’t buy it. You can’t drink it or eat it. So how do you get faith? Well, God gives us faith when we hear His Word. Did you know that? I bet you do, but perhaps forgot that.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 8:17
Oh yeah! Faith does come by hearing the word of Christ. We hear the Word and faith comes to us. But, then what? Don’t we have to use it? Aren’t we obligated to use what’s been given to us? Here’s how I see it.
See this load of mulch?
I see that pile of mulch like a pile of faith. That load of mulch was brought in by my father and dumped in my back yard. (I asked my Dad to use his truck and get me a load when he had a chance and he did.) But, that mulch had to get moved by me to the appropriate place. In other words “I” had to decide to use the faith (or in this case, to move the mulch).
So, I took my pitchfork and began the job. And after a couple of hours of work, here’s the last load…
That’s fresh mulch around my house. I moved a mountain (well, maybe not a mountain) of mulch. 🙂 How? One load at a time.
To me that’s the way I utilize faith. I believe and take action on that which God gives. Even this week, I had to enact faith. My family was given some news that required us to have faith and pray for a positive result and so we all prayed. I mean we prayed hard, diligently and fervently. We didn’t cross our fingers or rub a lucky rabbit’s foot. No sir! We prayed and asked God to answer our prayers and we acted in faith. I literally believed for the result that I desired. Remember, “ye have not because ye ask not.” So, as best I could, I chose to believe. I read God’s word…particularly Psalm 27 and I believed and my family believed and we received.
Now is this always the case? Is it always a positive outcome? No. I’d love to tell you that everything always comes up like roses in my life. But, you know better, don’t you? Yet, I’m growing and I’m learning and I’m desiring to grow in my faith. So, bring on the mulch Lord! I’m ready to dive into it again!
Do you know what these are?
Those are pole beans that have dried and are ready to be harvested and shelled and used for next year’s seed. And there they are.
No need to buy more seed. It’s provided right there for us on the vines. Just don’t pick the last crop. Use it for seed.
Our family was excited to have Rich and Stacey Stratton to our home last weekend.
That’s the Stratton’s on the left. Tim and Melissa Elmore are in the middle. Of course that’s Pam on the right. We met the Stratton’s at Lipscomb University earlier this summer. They heard me speak and want me to come to their church in Henderson, Kentucky (which is about 30 miles from Evansville, Indiana). They want me to share about my book and raising Christ-centered young adults. Their kids Landon and Lynsey and the Elmore’s, daughter, Madison and our girls, Clara and Kandace and Katy participated in a Fine Arts Academy and met each other there. Here’s the kids…
That’s Mason behind Andrew on the bike and Lynsey behind them along with Clara, Madison and Landon (L-R). Great folks and a great time was had by all! Rich is interested in learning more about Rite of Passage and how the key to keeping kids locked in at our churches is NOT to entertain them, but to involve them by giving them a job. Here’s an example from this past Wednesday night at church. See those two young men?
That’s Billy Matherly and Dawson Ellis (L-R) and they are loading dishes in our dishwasher and they love it! Yes, we give our young people work to do and they want it! And you know what? No longer is it just their parents church, it’s now THEIR church! I look forward to going to Kentucky this winter (January) and share in a Family Conference with their good church.
Oh by the way, I discovered someone else in the kitchen serving the church family?
That’s Michele Cordray. She’s pastor Brad Cordray’s wife and she’s a blessing!
And so was this gentleman.
That’s my grandfather, C.M. Brown, Jr. He died 28 years ago this past Tuesday. I was 17. His death was the most devastating thing that had ever happened to me at that point in my life. And I must tell you that it’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever get over. He died of colon cancer and I miss him terribly. He touched my life in ways that I carry with me even to this day. That picture in the corner is a picture of me and Grandpa when I was 11 after I returned from an All-Star basketball tournament. And that’s my dad, David Brown, in the other corner. Those two men have impacted my life more than anyone. I’m so blessed. And I want to make the kind of impact they made on me to my kids. And one of the ways I think you do that is by spending time with them.
It’s been said that children spell “love,” T-I-M-E.
See that little person?
That’s Clara. Guess what we’re doing?
Yep, playing hide and seek. See that little face?
Yep, that’s Andrew…
Hide and seek is a staple around my house. We love it and I hope my kids will remember these days and know that their daddy loves them with all his heart. Because that’s how my dad loves me and that’s how I love him. And that’s how my heavenly Father loves me and that’s how I desire to love Him. 100% whole-hearted! FAITH-ful to the end!