Isaiah 66:2 — All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
From Sunday’s Sermon: 8 WAYS TO BATTLE PRIDE AND CULTIVATE HUMILITY + HELPFUL BIBLE REFERENCES
1. See your gifts as God’s gifts. (See James 1:17)
2. Brag on God, not yourself. (See 1Cor 4:7)
3. Read God’s Word (See Psalm 119:105)
4. Say “Lord willing” (See James 4:13-15)
5. Preach the gospel to yourself (See Gal 2:20)
6. Serve others in Christ’s name (See Philippians 2:3-5)
7. Remember that serving, not being served, is how God defines true greatness. (See Mark 10:24-25)
Two-a-days for high school football start TOMORROW! My favorite time of year. I’m a big fan of the sport but also love how it brings communities together and all the good things football uniquely affords young men. If you love HS football and love the Lord, consider praying these 6 things, and more.
🙏🏼 God’s glory — We’re all gifted in differently. Football players have the ability to glorify God through the way they play and who they play for. Pray they play for His glory. 🙌🏼
🙏🏼 Relationships — Scripture teaches that we need each other and football can forge friendships like no other. Pray these young men form a team, a bond and a brotherhood. 🤝
🙏🏼 Life lessons — Hard work, sacrifice, selflessness, courage, commitment and the list goes on and on of the values and character building that football can bring. Pray they don’t miss the opportunity to learn things they can apply well beyond the playing field. 📓
🙏🏼 Gospel conversations — Football, especially in small town Texas, brings a whole lot of people together, a lot more than just players and parents. Pray that we make use of our time together to go beyond causal conversations and talk life, the Lord, eternity and Salvation. ✝️
🙏🏼 Coaches — Coaches go above and beyond in every sport, but football season can be especially taxing on coaches and their families. Pray for an extra measure of God’s grace in sustaining them, that families stay unified, and for a healthy balance that affords both the joy of a job well done, and rest when needed. Also, pray they not get worn out by parents and fans, like us 😅
🙏🏼 Safety — It’s a contact sport! Pray for a season free from injury. And especially in these hot months, pray for overall health of everyone involved. 🏥
I’m so ready and I know a lot of y’all are too! It’s gonna be a great season! All glory to Him!
News and social media look a lot like a really long episode of Jerry Springer minus the big bald dude to separate the crazies 🥴 (#kidsdontknow) But something I’ve observed— the deeply divided, mean-spirited people I often see represented on those outlets are NOT the people I encounter on a daily basis in our communities 🤨 Given the opportunity we get along pretty well!
I’m not saying that differences don’t exist, or that people arent really mad or that it’s all being made up. They sure look genuinely mad to me! 😅 What I’m proposing is that while we stay aware of some deep divisions in our nation we not overlook (and enjoy) some unity and good will among actual people in close proximity around us.
Here’s one of my concerns — that we try to emulate what we see on TV. We see 2 opposite sides depicted. We feel forced or obligated to take a side. THEN, we go looking for our opponent/perceived enemy in the people we know and have had a good civil relationship with up to now, and (at least in our mind) start villainizing them and working against them. The thing about looking for something? You tend to find what you are looking for, even if it wasn’t there.
But let’s assume it is there. Let’s assume that the bad ideology and position you saw presented on the news REALLY is the one held by your neighbor. They’re still your neighbor! We don’t relate to each other like 2 faces on a screen from a news network or 2 blue check marks on Twitter. We can actually talk to one another about differences, exercise patience, share life and think through things together. I’m in NO WAY suggesting we compromise truth or convictions. Stand firm! I’m suggesting we live with each other in a way that allows truth and our convictions to be communicated and received — not like many of the examples we see on TV and in News Feeds.
Hey, y’all know I’ve got a Bible verse for this 😆 Here’s a couple:
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. – Romans 12:18
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 22:39
I dropped this young lady off at camp last Saturday and it sure was hard to leave her. I love her so much.
Tell y’all a quick story— when Casey was pregnant with Norah we went in for a sonogram, and in true Layman fashion we took Quinten and Trinity with us. It was a special time and a season of prayer for our then family of 4. Like many couples, we’d gone through some miscarriages and we were really hopeful for this baby girl. As the sonogram was being done on her belly, we were all huddled around Casey and then it happened. We saw little Norah come up on the screen. As we got our first look at our new family member, the song Little Wonders by Rob Thomas was playing on the radio there in the Dr’s office. I vividly remember telling Quinten and Trinity “listen to the words of this song” as it was so appropriate for the occasion. Here’s part of the lyrics
🎵 Our lives are made,
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate…
Time falls away but these small hours, these little wonders
Fast forward to yesterday, on the long drive up to her camp, I was letting Norah DJ. One of the songs she played — Little Wonders 😊 She knows the story. And she knows how much that song means to me because she knows how much SHE means to me.
Today when I dropped her off I gave her a series of hugs and we both teared up just a bit. Two weeks. I’m glad she gets to do things like this. But I’m sure gonna miss her. She’s becoming a young lady but she will always be my Little Wonder.
Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears. – Proverbs 26:17
Lots of us today are just looking for something to be mad about. Getting in the middle of conflict that’s not even ours to try and fuel the ugly fire. Griping, complaining, slandering, attacking. It’s an exhausting, frustrating way to live. And it’ll come back to bite us like a mean stray dog. 😳
Everybody’s hiring 😅 Ok, maybe not everyone but I’ve traveled 2K + miles this summer and seen a TON of help wanted signs. Seems my whole life I’ve heard concerns about the potential for job shortages but I don’t remember hearing about labor shortages, not like this. Lots of factors got us here, but how do we get people working? What makes people WANT to go to work? There’s lots of incentives. Dignity, feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction, contributing to society, financial security and ability to provide for yourself, others and acquire things you want. These reasons and others are all good, but none of them are the best. What’s the best incentive to work? GOD! Hear me out—I was blessed to have the necessity and value of hard work emphasized to me as a kid, but I about fell out of my chair the first time I heard a man say the MAIN person he worked for was God. He was a roofer, and he talked about driving every nail for the Lord. He gave me a whole new perspective and motivation for work. Work is a gift from God. Adam and Eve worked in the garden BEFORE sin entered the world. Every time we work, we’re getting a little (imperfect) throwback to the Garden of Eden. God loves work! God created, looked at what he made and saw that it was good. Then on the 7th day he rested. There’s a pattern for us to follow in God himself. God talks a lot about work in His Word.
Here’s 6 Bible references on the subject of work:
•Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, – Colossians 3:23
•If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
•Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. – Proverbs 6:6-8
•But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8
•The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. – Proverbs 21:25
•A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. – Proverbs 6:10-11
Don’t be mistaken. We don’t work for our salvation. Jesus did that for us, and it’s by his Grace that we are saved. But a person saved by Grace should have a desire to work to reflect God and live in joyful obedience to Him!
On our van ride back from New Mexico some of the girls were asking me about good books to read and some resources that might be helpful to them for growth in Christ. They asked me to compile a short list so I did. I thought it might be helpful to other students and parents.
Obviously this list is not exhaustive. Some of these books came up because of specific things we were talking about. And some just because I always recommend them to students.
If I had to start somewhere I’d have them do the recommended reading of the gospel of John and Proverbs. And for books, I’d have them read ‘Don’t Waste Your Life’ and ‘Crazy Love’ first, or maybe Basic Christianity by John Stott.
See below. Hope this helps some folks!
•Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper
•Crazy Love, Francis Chan
•Basic Christianity, John Stott
•A Life Well Lived (Ecclesiastes), Tom Nelson
•Contentment: Seeing God’s Goodness (31-Day Devotionals for Life) Megan Hill
•New Mercies, Paul Tripp (daily devotional)
•Passion and Purity, Elibabeth Elliot
•Taking God at His Word, Kevin Deyoung
•The Meaning of Marriage, Tim and Kathy Keller
•The Reason For God, Tim Keller
•What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? Kevin DeYoung
•Cross-Cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer
Where do I start reading the Bible?
Start with the gospel of John. Read it slow and as you do, look for, note, and ponder all the I AM statements. Also, note the miracles and encounters with Jesus. They’re not just events. They teach us about him and how we relate to God.
Some of my favs ch’s are 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15. I love the whole book
Cool side by side from Navajo Rez VBS. Left is Trinity at age 10 getting VBS crafts ready. Right is her helping lead VBS crafts this year at age 20. She’s standing within just a few feet of the exact same spot. Trinity was 4 and Q was 6 the first time we took a summer VBS trip to the Rez. Phoebe and Norah don’t remember a summer without the Rez and Luka made his first trip last week. Between those summer trips, November trips, and other visits, my kids have done a lot of growing up on the Rez. And in a way, we have too. Like so many things, several years ago we set out to teach but ended up mostly learning. If there’s anything we’ve definitely learned in the last 16 years or so, it’s that we still have A LOT to learn! But here are just a few of the lessons our Navajo brothers and sisters have taught us over the years.
Jesus speaks powerfully through every language
Church is the people not the building (or the revival tent)
Laughter is a universal language
It’s easier to share the gospel when you’re also sharing life
Our creator is way more creative than we give Him credit for
Skin color and cultural differences are no match for Jesus Christ
A different way of doing things isn’t a wrong way
Quiet waters run deep
Simply traveling a long ways is a good way to let someone know you care
Listening, learning, and understanding are an absolute must for all involved in sustainable cross cultural partnerships
Like I said, these are just a few of the many lessons, growth is a glorious part of a journey that I’m so glad we’re still on!