The joy of routines

After our first true vacation ever, our family is back home and getting into the routine. It was a great trip, wonderful time all around with family, first time I remember returning home feeling rested. More on routines at the end.

• One commentator says of 1 Timothy 6:20, “The gospel ministry is a single … task with a single message.” One wouldn’t know that, however, by looking at some of our congregations of the Lord’s people.

• A procedural tip: Have new converts, especially young children and adolescents, write a letter to themselves explaining why they obeyed the Lord. One of the advantages to this is that if a convert questions his baptism in the future, he’ll have a first-hand account of his reasons. That might help to assuage doubts.

• Andrea Spradlin, a missionary wife in Asunción, Paraguay, wrote on Facebook, below a picture of her niece, “In this picture, she hadn’t even lost her two front teeth. Today, she started high school. I think the hardest part about being a missionary is missing family and all those things that happen sometime before you lose your teeth and oh, say, starting high school … and beyond. Some days are harder than others. Today is one of those harder days.” We can identify with her sentiments. Wait until you have grandchildren on another continent. (Hi, Mom!)

• Heritage Christian University’s Dr. Bill Bagents, one of my favorite people whom I admire from something of a distance, since I don’t know him well personally, reminds us in a great meditation that “few good deeds go unchallenged.” Satan works to unravel the good. We should not let his wiles surprise us.

• But you know what? Here’s how I see the devil. Rather than Christians trying to stem the overflow of ungodliness, like emergency workers piling on sandbags in futile attempts to hold back a flood, which is our frequent vision of opposition to error, I see the devil as a cringing, cowardly, sniveling creature who darts out of his darkness to snatch an unwary soul, only to rush back to his hellish depths before someone discovers his game and trips him up.

• I don’t underestimate the evil one, but neither do I attribute to him powers beyond his abilities. The Lord God of Hosts yanks his chain anytime he sees fit.

Here’s the sort of thing your children are watching. On Cartoon Network, of all places. And we wonder why they leave the faith.

• Yesterday, in the communion meditation, I compared a Buddhist monk’s self-immolation with Jesus’ death. One accomplished nothing. Our Lord accomplished everything.

• A quote, perhaps? “The joy of routines cannot be overstated.” This from Body Clutter, by Marla Cilley, aka The FlyLady. Now that’s a different take on routine that what we’re accustomed to hearing. I venture to say that this is even more true in spiritual life and service.

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