We Are So Blessed

June 30, 2021

Leadership Notes


- Food, Frogs, and Fear -


Lori and I spent last week with our granddaughters in Chicago. It has been at least 20 years since we were last there. God blessed us with a wonderful week. The weather, for the most part, was typically nice for late June. Illinois is like Michigan as far as Covid protocols go, so no masks or crowd restrictions. That was a beautiful thing.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was Shedd Aquarium. I had no idea there were so many poisonous frogs in the world. God's creative diversity is an amazing and, at times, frightening, thing. Seeing all those different frogs brought new meaning to the plague of frogs from Exodus. Some frogs are really beautiful. One of the most poisonous frogs was no bigger than your thumbnail.


Lori and I are blessed to have two granddaughters who are kind, patient, and appreciative travelers. They're fun to go places with. They are absolutely delightful in restaurants. No brag…just fact! For me, eating a variety of foods from a variety of places is one of the best things about vacationing in a big city. Oh, the food you will eat. And because we walked

just about everywhere, the weight gain was kept at a minimum.

But we didn't walk everywhere. We took a taxi to the aquarium, and because of heavy rain, took a taxi back to our hotel from Navy Pier. Our driver from the pier was a Nigerian immigrant, who came to this country about 20 years ago. He has a fascinating story, filled with hard work, determination, and continuing to support family back in Nigeria. The American dream lives on.

Our second day home from vacation, Lori and I were craving Jimmy John's Sandwiches. Wherever we travel, it's always good to get back to the comfort foods of home. For my money, Jimmy John's Salt and Vinegar are the best potato chips money can buy. Change my mind. We are truly blessed with an abundance of food in this country. It's a good thing to thank God daily for the farmers, suppliers, producers, and purveyors of the food we eat and enjoy. Think about all it takes {especially the infrastructure} to get food into our homes. Psalm 104:14-15 says:

He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.


That is a good praise to give all the time in all places for all things edible.

Finally, fear and a refreshing observation that ran in the New York Times. It was about how for the past 15 months, some people have allowed much of their lives to be driven by fear. Politicians and the media thrive on people being afraid. Just the other day, Michigan's former governor, who's now head of the Department of Energy, speculated that climate change could have played a role in the horrible condo tower collapse in Miami. That is ghoulish and uninformed. But hey, a fearful public is a compliant public, right?

The Bible has a lot to say about fear. Jesus has a lot to say about fear. My starting point is God's Word. My starting point is the gospel. What Jesus said and did are more important than anything else. That's why I'll take the gospel before science, psychology, sociology, the arts, or anything else out there vying for my devotion and trust. Our lives are built on Jesus Christ, our Rock and Redeemer. All other ground is sinking sand.

That's why Jesus is worthy of our worship and praise. I love what R.C. Sproul once said about worship:


Worship must not be designed to please the unbeliever or the believer.

Worship should be designed to please God.


Therein lies our freedom from fear.

And now, your Spurgeon Moment:


It was through believing that you became strong; if you had

continued to live by work, or by feeling you would have been still

as weak as ever, but when you looked out of self to Christ and

trusted him, it was then your strength came to you.


BE OF GOOD CHEER,

Richard

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