“All” Things


 I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.

~Philippians 4:13, CSB


We will remain powerless as longs as we labor in the strength of our flesh.

~Oswald Chambers

I thank God everyday for the Bible but I also thank Him from time to time for great books. I am reading three currently that have been very helpful and insightful. One by Billy Graham, one by Charles Stanley and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Today Oswald Chambers prompted me to think about something I had never considered. What did Paul mean by all things? Was he referring to high and noble things or great and spectacular things? Chambers says, “No, he was talking about humiliating things, like being in prison.” WOW, what an insight! Every time I’ve ever read this verse, I have thought about great and mighty things like leading someone to Christ or preaching a sermon that stirs hearts and fills the altar. Does the LORD call us to do lowly, humble, difficult and humiliating things? I think the answer is YES!

Without being too personal {for the sake of the guilty} let me give you a general testimony, one that has the basic facts but not particulars. I don’t know how many times I have been challenged as a pastor to do something humiliating. I don’t know why it is, but in the Baptist church when something goes wrong, the pastor gets the blame. Someone asks John Tanner once, “John, why do y’all blame brother Jack for everything that goes wrong?” Without a moment of hesitation, John said, “Because 90% of the time, he is guilty.” Now that was a good answer and I was in the room when the conversation took place. Everyone laughed at John’s answer including me. Is the pastor at fault 90% of the time? That may be debatable but the point is, he is not always the one to blame. BUT this is not how lay people think; they are always in favor of the pastor apologizing when some unhappy disgruntled church member is mad or pouting about something that is usually silly. So you pray and you go and you apologize. You take a witness with you so they can hear your apology and determine whether or not you are sincere. Be honest, how many of you want to be in the pastor’s position? How many of you want to apologize to some ill pot for something you did not do.

This is not restricted to church affairs, the same in true of any leader whether it be an organization, company or family. For the sake of unity and peace, leaders are willing to take the blame. When a good coach gets beat, what do they always say, “It is my fault. I did not have them adequately prepared.” I have apologized many times to many people and I cannot recall one who shared the blame. I cannot remember one such person coming to me later with any confession of guilt. The problem was all me. I want to thank Oswald Chambers for helping me understand where the strength came from to do these humiliating things. Some always has to step up and take the blame: thank God Jesus took mine.


I am a little embarrassed to tell you the truth: I over slept. Hannah and I went to Ashbury for the game last night and it is an hour and half drive but I got in bed around 11:30 or so but I didn’t wake up until after 9:00. June thought it was funny but it means I am behind already.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading the blog.


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