Monthly Archives: June 2013

How Sweet the Sound

Amazing Grace

When I was in 7th grade I was asked my favorite song for a class project.  While some were saying “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice I was saying “Amazing Grace.” Now mind you I wasn’t very spiritually inclined. After hearing others’ answers I wanted mine to be “Ice Ice Baby.”

Now that I am more spiritually inclined, “Amazing Grace” is still my favorite hymn and song.  It is simply beautiful.  The music, lyrics, and memories all move me.  I want the song played at my funeral.  But please play the John Newton old school version.  I do not care for free chains or other choruses added into it.  I can handle them but I want the plain jane version.  It was the plain version that was played as my bride walked down the aisle on our wedding day.  Needless to say this song has some significance for me.

Why are we discussing my favorite song?  Today was my first Sunday in Uganda and we spent it at Zana Community Presbyterian Church in Kampala.  Believe it or not, the first song of the worship service today was “Amazing Grace.”  About a verse in and I look at Brooke and she has teared up.  I was moved by this.  It was God’s reminder of His amazing grace. 

Looking back on all that transpired in order for us to get to Uganda shows God’s grace at work.  Raising support – God’s grace; Having our second child – God’s grace; Getting ordained – God’s grace; Having needs met after quitting job – God’s grace; getting to Uganda with all our bags – God’s grace.  His grace has sustained us and enabled us to take this bold step for Him. 

I know God’s grace has gotten me thus far.  Now my flesh wants to take over and do the rest from here.  But this would be disastrous. Perhaps the song itself is a good reminder for me:

“T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.”

I need God’s grace every second of every day.  It is free and available.  It flows like a sprinkler on a desert lawn.  I often reject it and try my own way.  It takes His grace to overcome my rejection.  I am thankful He gives His amazing grace to unamazing people like me.  And I am so glad He took spoke this gentle reminder to me today that the amazing grace that has gotten me here will be the same thing that will carry me on. 

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I Am Afraid but I Will Not Fear

I am a missionary and I am afraid.  In just a few days my family and I will leave all that we know and love.  We will leave for a foreign country.  We will be gone for two full years.

I am a missionary and I am not afraid.  I am not afraid for the reasons most others mention.  I am not afraid of a lack of modern amenities.  I am not afraid of wild animals.  I am not afraid of political unrest.  I am not afraid of local crime.  I am not afraid of disease.  I am not afraid of the food, water, or language barrier. I am not afraid this is not God’s call on my life. 

I am a missionary and I am afraid.  I am afraid that I will fail.  I am afraid my ministry will fail.  I am afraid I will not make an impact for Christ.  I am afraid that I will make a mockery of Christ.  I am afraid temptation may overcome me.  I am afraid a besetting sin will cause me to stumble.  I am afraid my family will struggle.  I am afraid the team will struggle.  I am afraid the locals might not accept me. 

I am a missionary and I know.  I know God says He will never leave me nor forsake me. I know that whether all others’ or my worst fears come to fruition that no tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword or height or depth or anything else in all creation can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.  I know God numerous times in His Word tells His people, “Do not fear.”  I know I must trust Him who sends me and nothing else.

I am a missionary and I am afraid but I will not fear. 

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