When suffering, pray

• Yesterday I received July’s issue of Bulletin Digest in the mail. Charles and Jane do a wonderful job of editing and publishing. Might want to check it out, either for your church bulletin or for your own edification. Am still waiting for my books to arrive.

• Not a few young brides and husbands say of their disappointment in marriage that their mate “deceived” them. That’s possible, I suppose. More likely, however, there was a rush to the altar with no time to really know the other, or romantic blinders kept them from seeing the obvious, or they told themselves that they could change their mate after the vows. “All young women begin by believing they can change and reform the men they marry. They can’t,” said George Bernard Shaw. A bit like getting to the Judgment Bar and saying, “I didn’t know.” That certainly won’t wash with the Almighty.

• Another quote? From Eugene Petterson, not my favorite Bible translator, but who has good things to say. “Scripture can be burned, but God’s word cannot be destroyed.” More to that phrase than meets the eye.

• Seems I just got back, but am working already on our itinerary for a trip in August to the US. Texas, anyone? Georgia, maybe? Kentucky, perhaps? The old ruts, for sure: Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama. At least, California or New York aren’t in the running. (Now watch the Lord do something, just because I said that.) Stay tuned for more invitations from me (much like Jesus inviting himself to Zacchaeus’s home).

• State holiday here tomorrow, everybody seems to already be ready to get started with the festivities. Few here could tell you what it’s about, old rivalries and battles, with a constitutionalist twist. I’ll likely be working normally.

• You’ve probably read about my impressions of Posterous.com. Several items are over there, new, fresh from today’s milking, that don’t show up here.

• This new theme seemed to be prepared to stay, but it’s missing a few features that make for some difficulties, might cause a reader to miss content. So how long to leave it without appearing flighty?

• Last, a word from my namesake, James the brother of the Lord: “Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray” (5:13). Does he hint at a benefit to trials, throwing ourselves upon the Lord, searching him out, declaring our trust? Let not prayer be that emergency button we hit when times get hard, but the opening of self to God, the confidence of his guidance, the certainty of hope that he will make all things right, if not now.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?