I’ve not posted anything for quite some time, not out of lack of interest or ammunition, but because life is very busy and complicated. Anyway, here are some odds and ends about life, food, music, church, men and women, Obama, and something funny…
I Have Met the Enemy, and It is Wheat
I know that food kills people, but it usually does its work via sugar, cholesterol, or chunks of steak stuck in your windpipe. Well, my problem is wheat. Yeah, I know. Wheat. Go figure. I’ve been extremely fatigued lately, making normal life a challenge and my usual running regimen essentially impossible. I’ve wondered if I’m just lazy or something. It’s been downright depressing. Well, to make a long story short…
My wife sent me to the doctor, my doctor took my blood (repeatedly), the blood showed a severe iron deficiency, my doc sent me to a gastro doc, the gastro doc did some tests (don’t ask), and the tests reveal (as of a few hours ago) that I have Celiac Disease. CD is an autoimmune disorder that requires a gluten free diet. Gluten is in, well, everything. Or almost everything. (Actually, it just seems that way.) It’s in wheat, but also is in other things that you wouldn’t expect. So after eating like a goat my entire life, I now need to learn to avoid anything with a hint of gluten.
Now, it could be worse. The gastro doc thought it might be some internal bleeding, and even said the “cancer” word when discussing possibilities (though he said that was unlikely). So I’m grateful that it’s something manageable. And anyway, who likes pizza? Or pasta? Or chips? Or sandwiches? Or cookies? Or pie? Or cake? Or tacos? Or toast? Or pancakes? Or muffins? Or cereal? Or bagels? Or waffles? Or Cheetos? Or Kit-Kats? Or donuts? Or… :)
CD is actually quite common, and a number of friends who share the malady have provided information, encouragement, and even some food! Life goes on. Better yet, God is good…even better than food! I’m confident that looking to food for nutrition rather than entertainment will be good for me spiritually. Seriously. Life is more than food. (Matthew 6:25) And two pastor-friends have already written to encourage me that the Lord uses things like this to wean us from earth and prepare us for glory. Great thought!
A Stirring Rendition of “His Robes for Mine”
On a happier note, I was privileged to preach for a Bible Conference at Calvary Bible Church in Columbus this week. I had a delightful time, despite my aforementioned fatigue and newly restricted diet. :) We considered the 3 Marks of a Genuine Believer from 1 John in the school chapel sessions, and went over Gospel-Centered Living from Ephesians during the evening meetings. By God’s grace, I believe that He accomplished much through His Word. I pray so.
Besides being privileged to preach to a body that delights in the Word, I was overwhelmed and humbled to sing “His Robes for Mine” on Sunday evening, complete with master musician Jerry Maxwell on the piano, his daughter (and an accomplished vocalist) Jenny Whitehead singing the two middle verses, her husband Dan leading the singing, a room-shaking organ, a beautiful string ensemble, and a joyful congregation. Of course, it was part of a worship service, so it’s not a professional recording, but it was certainly moving. You can hear it here.
More Hymns Coming
Greg and I are putting the finishing touches on another hymn, and there are a couple more in the works. We’re also getting closer to launching our new resource site, which will include some excellent metrical Psalm settings by Joe Tyrpak. Stay tuned. :)
Pray for and Rejoice with Grace Church of Mentor
The Lord is doing some amazing things at Grace Church of Mentor. They’ve been blessed to see an unusual number of professions of faith this year—like 50-plus, the vast majority of whom are continuing and being discipled! They’re not numbers driven, and they’re certainly not promoting any sort of easy-believism. They’re a gospel-preaching church, and the Lord is using them to bring sinners and glory to Himself. Amen! Pray for them as they minister to these new believers, and pray that their experience would become common rather than extraordinary in the modern church.
Tri-County Bible Church’s building is almost in the dry, and none to soon, as winter weather has begun its annual siege of Madison, Ohio. Thank the Lord for an unusually mild start to the season and for significant progress. Please pray with us for the Lord to provide for us in an unusually generous way. We should find out in the next week or so whether we’ll be getting some significant and much-need financial assistance. Please pray!
Two Thoughts on President-Elect Obama
First, though I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, I do recognize that this is an amazing time in our nation’s history. Consider this: the first 16 Presidents of the United States could have owned Barack Obama, or at least his forefathers! Now he’s going to be the next President? That’s remarkable—in a good way—even if you disagree with his policies. (And I do.)
Second, Christians didn’t distinguish themselves with all of their Clinton jokes during his administration and scandals. The Bible commands us to give honor to our God-appointed leaders, not to ridicule or berate them. Really, that’s in the Bible, at least twice, in 1 Peter 2:17 and Romans 13:1 and 7. And as far as I can tell, those verses are as inspired and authoritative during Democratic administrations as Republican.
“Honor the President” for the sake of obedience and testimony.
Filed under: Contemporary Issues, Snickers, TCBC Building Program, Mp3's, Race Issues, Government, Politics, Celiac Disease Tagged: | Tri-County Bible Church, His Robes for Mine, Grace Church of Mentor, Celiac Disease