I Ain’t Fooling Either!

[2]  I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. [3]  No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. [4]  Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. [5]  Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:2-5 (NLT)

My eyes opened, and my heart was engulfed with the sense of “newness” this morning. Sipping my coffee and writing in my prayer journal, I realized it was the first day of April. The thought of a fresh month full of blank pages to write a new story and to seek the glory of God has arrived.

In my journal, I penned the following words, “Today begins a new month, and I desire to dedicate this month to seeking a closer walk with You [God].” After spending some time in prayer, I turned to my devotions from Andrew Murray’s Waiting on God and found some very encouraging words about seeking God. Concerning Psalm 25, Murray writes,

The psalm has at all times been a very peculiar one, because of its reiterated expression of the felt need of the Divine teaching, and of the childlike confidence that that teaching would be given. Study the psalm until your heart is filled with the two thoughts—the absolute need, the absolute certainty of divine guidance.

We, as believers, have a promise that IF we’re looking for Him, God will be found! So, the month of April is, for me, a time to seek a more intimate relation with my God.  HE has promised to reveal the way!

Would you like to join me on this April journey? You can and ain’t fooling either! Take this month to move closer to God. He is waiting. Please feel free to like, share, and comment.

Hello, I am the Substitute Teacher for Today…

“Hello, my name is Kevin Bounds, and I will be your substitute teacher today.”

Okay, to be honest, I never thought my vocal chords would ever vibrate to the rhythm of those words! However, God has a funny way of surprising us, doesn’t He? Today, I experienced one of those “I never thought I would have this experience” moments.

After receiving a call from Citizens Christian Academy, I wondered what a pastor with a Bible and theology degree would have to offer a High School literature class. Also, what would the student be like? (Oh, no! Would I reap the fruit from seeds sown in my past for being a torment to subs in my formative years?)

To my surprise, I quickly learned the 11th-grade class was reading one of my favorite novels, which I read in Mr. Starbuck’s English class years ago. A book about Greasers, Socs, switchblades, and Corvairs. Yes, it was S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. In fact, this brush with High School literature makes me what to reread Ponyboy’s story.

Next, in the 9th-grade class, we looked at Ralph Waldo Emerson and transcendentalist literature. Yes! Of course, I know I am running the risk of revealing my inner nerd, but I thoroughly enjoyed this topic! Although this was a literature class, I got to share a bit of Emerson’s theological presuppositions that informed his writing.

All in all, it was a great experience. The kids in my class were well behaved and respectful. I realized, people had instilled in these teens good Christian morals, character, and the importance of pursuing a solid education. Honestly, I am looking forward to returning tomorrow.

Have you ever had an “I never thought I would have this experience” moment? I would love to hear it. Or maybe you’re a proud CCA Alumni or parent, please feel free to comment below and share.

 

Fifteen Years Ago

It’s been fifteen years…fifteen years today. December 16, 2001, will forever be a day etched in my memory. A momentous day of departure but a day of glorious reunion too. It was on this day dry cheeks – hardened by life – were soaked with tears of conviction. Today, fifteen years ago, everything changed for me.

“What hinders you from serving God?” cried the preacher. The dross of my sin started to rise to the surface for my conscience to witness. Lust… greed… selfishness…drugs…promiscuity, one by one they floated to the surface.  I could not bear to see myself with the light on, so I retreated to the darkness, but the light followed.  Fifteen years ago, I could not escape any longer.

In the dimness of my departing car, the light began to illuminate everything. I had run long enough. Exhausted by the futile attempts to evade the brilliance of the ever-increasing light, I surrendered. Hidden from sight behind a church sign which read “Providence,” I was urged to exit the gloom of my car and walk to the light of an altar. Fifteen years ago, I found my way home.

Humbled by beckoning grace, Jesus embraced me fifteen years ago, with tender forgiveness and mercy. Although I trampled His name through the mire of the world, He reminded me of His invitation I accepted as a young child. A child of the day had stayed too long in the land of night. I was His. He walked with me even though in the past I turned from Him. He never forsook me. Fifteen years ago, He reminded me of His abounding love.

Within fifteen revolutions of the sun, I have witnessed the glory of God in jungles, jails, sidewalks, and sanctuaries. I am so grateful for all the wonderful works I have witnessed. Each day is an adventure into God’s story of redemption. However, December 16, 2001, will always be a special day for me. The amazing thing is it can be for you too. What hinders you from serving God? Fifteen years ago, this question was answered for me with a divine passionate pursuit that ended in my total surrender. Today, fifteen years ago, everything changed for me.