Quit arguing!

We often don’t realize what damage we do when we argue. What we say can damage people and even damage those not part of the argument but are just listening to the exchange. Three times in a few verses Paul reminded Timothy that how we use our words can harm people.

“Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen” (2 Timothy 2:14 CSB). Continue reading “Quit arguing!”

Just keep on keeping on

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9 NKJV).

A group of us were riding in a van, returning from a day’s visit to one of the village churches in Bangladesh. It had been raining all day, and in the early hours of darkness the rain had gotten harder, and water was beginning to rise.

We drove into a low section of road with standing water, and as it began to grow deeper we caught up to slower traffic ahead of us. Our driver, aware that water was above the tail pipe on the van and that we were in danger of having the engine choked down, stranding us, passed the other vehicles and drove as quickly as possible until we were through the water. Continue reading “Just keep on keeping on”

What are we waiting for?

“And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him” (Isa 8:17 NASB).

As we have driven through the streets of Kathmandu on this trip we have often passed extremely long lines of cars and motorcycles waiting their turn at the gas pumps (or as they say here, the petrol pumps). Disgruntled minority parties are staging sit-ins at the border crossing points with India and trucks of petroleum products, food, and other necessities are being held back from entering the country. Continue reading “What are we waiting for?”

God, lovingkindness and longsuffering

As a young man, in the late ’70’s I worked construction on a framing crew, and as is often the case, there were several rather unique characters among them. The lead foremen had an odd sense of humor and nick-named everyone and everything. While working with the crew was generally a good time, the man we worked for was a raging alcoholic, whom the foreman nicknamed “the Strapper”.

The Strapper was a master of verbal abuse and humiliation. He was no carpenter himself, but he always had plenty of work lined up and paid every week. The two foremen who were the actual builders were willing to put up with the abuse because the pay was good and the work was steady. Continue reading “God, lovingkindness and longsuffering”

Is patience really a virtue?

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 NKJV).

How would you like to spend three days and nights in the cab of a heavy truck on the river bank, waiting for your turn to cross on the ferry? Or to sleep all night sitting in a doorway so as to ensure that you would be able to buy a ticket on the train to go home for the holidays when the counter opened at 9:00 a.m. the next morning?

Such experiences are commonplace in Bangladesh and other densely populated countries of Asia. The vast number of people combined with inadequate infrastructure means that it takes a long time to do almost anything, and waiting one’s turn is simply an inescapable fact of life. Add regular floods that destroy such infrastructure as there is and the problem is magnified even more. Continue reading “Is patience really a virtue?”