Payh Blog
desperate man in silhouette sitting on the bed with hands on head
Jun 26, 2008

Noxious Anxiety

read-more-devotionals

Scriptural Basis:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10: 29-31
Anderson’s Applications:
Last Sunday I dropped off three of my grandsons at summer camp. One is 10 and the twins are 7. There is archery, proper use of guns and target practice, a lake for swimming and jumping onto and off a huge blob from a high tower, canoeing, places to fall from, et cetera, et cetera. You know what it’s all about. So I would be lying if I said that no worries about their safety crossed my mind. My wife and I recommended the camp to their parents, so I feel responsible. And why should I worry when another son-in-law runs the camp and has a spectacular safety record and terrific staff. Well, it’s the nature of things. You worry. It is the nature of being human and a parent/grandparent. If it were not the case Jesus would not have addressed the issue of worry so forthrightly. Basically, He tells us not to do what we naturally do; worry! Yet I know that I myself and other parents, dear friends, who trust in His instruction and promise have had their fears come true in devastating reality. God appears not to have protected these physical lives for they are now gone from us. So what is a Christian parent or grandparent to do?
In The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis cleverly addresses common tactics of our great enemy, who utilizes worry to the fullest in his attacks on us. “[Senior devil Screwtape to junior devil Wormwood] There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the enemy. He (God) wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business (the devils) is to get them thinking about what will happen to them. Precisely; we men and women worry more about the possibilities of what might happen to us or loved ones than about how we live our lives daily in view of the truth of God’s sovereignty and our eternal home. And all this with the expressed truth from the Savior that His and His Father’s love and concern for us is such that He knows us and our lives thoroughly, even to the point of numbering the hairs on our personal heads. (I know for a few of you that is not so difficult…But you get the point!)
God never mistakenly leads us to a conclusion that this life is not filled with tribulation and trial. Nor does He ever leave us alone to face it by ourselves. If we sense ourselves alone, we have purposely chosen that route. Because His promise proven over and over to those who place their trust in Him is, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:5-6) To persevere in the trials of each and every day He gives us our daily bread (what we need), and reassures us with this “solid rock:” “His mercies are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:23) If in God’s providence a loved one is taken from us, we have the promise of being joyfully reunited to their fellowship in the place He has prepared for us. Being so anchored to the condition of immediacy, the “clear” present, we have a hard time accepting the all-encompassing, long-range providence of our compassionate and sovereign God. But so it is… and shall be. We cannot change the truth of the matter wallowing in anxiety and disabling fear. Anna Waring’s hymn says it well, “I ask Thee for the daily strength, To none that ask denied, A mind to blend with outward life, While keeping at Thy side, Content to fill a little space, If Thou be glorified.”
So I leave these three grandsons, as well as all my children and grandchildren in better care than I can constantly or consistently provide, and trust in the sure hands of my and their eternal Father. Though I must admit I still need regular reminders from His Word.
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, worry comes so easily, and just as easily distracts me from the peace of your presence and promise. In Your mercy remind me that You never leave me, nor forsake me, mine, or Yours.


  • Share Link:
Payh Blog
SFTD-06-23-2016-Feature
Jun 19, 2008

Be a Man!

read-more-devotionals

Scriptural Basis:
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage (i.e. be a man); be strong! Do everything in love. I Corinthians 16:13-14
Anderson’s Applications:
It is a tragic story; a crisis any father can hardly fathom. Fox News today carried the report of an inquest in Australia yesterday that revealed the story of a father on a canoe trip with his nine year old twins; Billie, his daughter, and Edward, his son. Taking a wrong turn, they tried to turn their canoe around and a surge of water flipped it over. Coming up in the turbulent waters, the father saw only his son, but could not see his daughter. His son Edward yelled at him to save his sister first. As the force of the water began to separate them from the capsized canoe, the father desperately tried to lift it to find his daughter while keeping an eye on his son. But buoyed by their life jackets he was only able to grab a hold of his son as the rapid current carried them away. The father through grief stricken tears told how his son had told him to save his sister first, but that he was forced in the moment to grab the one he could see or he may have lost them both.
Not knowing anything more about this family than this brief news report, I wonder about the courageous chivalry of this nine year old boy. Did he learn it from a father who taught his son by example and instruction to protect and always treat his mother and sister courteously like a real man? Or was the image of God still stirring within him, while not yet seared by the sin of a world that seeks to destroy all chivalry in a man or a boy? Whatever the reason, when his own life hung in the balance, this young man thought not of himself, but of his twin sister.
We have to wonder as we view the present culture, that if the Titanic sunk in our day would we see the same example of men, and even some boys, in an orderly and very purposeful fashion giving the available seats in the life boats to women and children, while facing their own certain death in the cold, north Atlantic waters. Remember, this is a culture that allows young women to go fight the nation’s wars as healthy young men choose not to volunteer. It is a nation where the male leadership of Congress, under goading from feminist egalitarians, allows former barriers to be removed so wives, sisters and daughters can fight in wars that once were the sole province of manly and chivalrous men.
This instruction of Paul in the last chapter of I Corinthians, though translated within verse 13, “Be men of courage, in the Greek means simply, “Be a man! The King James in less familiar older English idiom translates it, “Quit you like men; be strong! We sometimes tell our boys and young men when they are teary, timid, or fearful, “Be a man! That does not mean in biblical thought, “be macho, or “be a male chauvinist, as feminists would have you believe. What it means is “be a man in the mold of God our Father; be a man like the Lord Jesus Christ. Be strong and courageous; be protective and courteous of those who are weaker (I Peter 3:7). Do everything in love. If chivalry is known as some have defined it, as “a gentlemanly code of the value of a man’s honor, respect for women, and a concern for the less fortunate among other such manly qualities, we need a whole lot more of it. You men and boys, be a man!
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, our day needs men who will be real men in Your image. Raise up godly men, fathers who will teach their boys to be a man!


  • Share Link:
Payh Blog
Human hands open palm up worship. Eucharist Therapy Bless God Helping Repent Catholic Easter Lent Mind Pray. Christian Religion concept background. fighting and victory for god
Jun 12, 2008

Our Mother Who Art in Heaven?

read-more-devotionals

Scriptural Basis:
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18
Anderson’s Applications:
In the last half of the 20th Century we began to hear with increasing frequency God called “She, as the feminist movement gained more and more adherents, and some of them thought the “shock value of publically feminizing the name of God fulfilled a missing element of some sort or other. This “novel idea corresponded with the denigration of human fathers characterized as wimpy, incompetent stumblebums in television programs, commercials, movies, novels and the like. It is often argued that God is a Spirit and has no specific sex, and that even a few verses in Scripture describe him as exercising the compassion or characteristics of a mother toward us. Nevertheless, the overwhelming self-revelation of God in Scripture is His choice to reveal Himself as Father; the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of every believer, and the archetype of what “father is. God, in Himself, defines what “father means. Every father whether he is a poor example or an exemplary one derives his name from the infinite, eternal, holy and perfect Father in heaven.
C.S. Lewis who was himself so profoundly influenced by the great Christian writer and novelist, George MacDonald, wrote of him: “An almost perfect relationship with his father was the earthly root of all his wisdom. From his own father, he said, he first learned that Fatherhood must be at the core of the universe. He was thus prepared in an unusual way to teach that religion in which the relation of Father and Son is of all relations the most central. Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother. (Matthew 12:50) But no one supplants His relationship with the Father, the relationship which exists eternally with the Father and the Son; the relationship which by His atonement is made possible for us to enjoy forever with His Father and ours as adopted sons and daughters.
Too many have had poor earthly examples of what a father is, and it has had its debilitating impact upon their lives. Others have had an example not unlike George MacDonald’s and their entire life has been rewarded by it. And many more find their experience somewhere in between the two. The essential lesson, however, is this: We must all find our ultimate fulfillment of fatherhood and father-child relationship in the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. A poor father should send you fleeing all the sooner to the arms and heart of your heavenly Father, whose law and expressed will is written on every heart to spurn or embrace through grace. On the other hand a good father will point you in the direction of the One who taught him what being a good father means. This is what my earthly father did for me. And I am eternally grateful and love him for it.
This Father’s Day, no matter what your circumstance, honor your earthly father if you are able. (Ephesians 6:2) But do not allow a poor father-child relationship keep you from the most important Father-child relationship of all. Only your eternal Father is able to make all things new. He “restores the years the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2:25) Only He can truly satisfy the deepest need to find fulfillment and love in a Father. Few children have expressed as much love and respect for their father as Joseph did toward Jacob, who many would justly argue did not deserve it. But if you follow the history of Joseph, it is his relationship with his heavenly Father that made him one of the most incredible leaders in history. That is the relationship with a Father that you ought to crave and earnestly seek above all else.
Encouragement:
“Abba, Father, draw me to Yourself, and fulfill all the need you created in me to be fathered. And may I be such a father to my own children, and compellingly guide them to You.


  • Share Link:
Payh Blog
group of smiling teenagers
Jun 05, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

read-more-devotionals

Scriptural Basis:
“Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment…Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them—. Ecclesiastes 11:9 and 12:1
Anderson’s Applications:
The Bobby McFerrin song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy, is actually a pretty fair description of the practical world view of many people today, but especially young people. And the wise King Solomon agrees with what we who work with young people, or parent them, observe: Happiness is an all consuming pursuit, wherever or however it can be found! Unfortunately, little thought is dedicated to distinguishing happiness that will last. Once gained for a moment and more easily lost, there is a compulsion to restore it in either familiar or increasingly dangerous ways. Solomon certainly agrees that the joy and vigor of youth is an inherent pleasure, a rich blessing for the young person. As we see in the final chapter of Ecclesiastes (Chapter 12), those of us with some years on us can surely relate to the poets apt description of our deteriorating bodies, and the lack of joy they can produce in us. We sometimes view the young with envy and nostalgia.
The persistent difficulty the mature adult faces in imparting the wisdom of years to the joyful and carefree young person is this: how do I penetrate his or her heart and will with the caveats Solomon places upon the pursuit of happiness; each to insure its permanency? He adds, “But know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment and “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth BEFORE the days of trouble come… Many young people do not want to hear it, and such truth goes in one ear and out the other. Solomon calls this vanity and meaninglessness. Yet the lesson of Ecclesiastes is anything but the uselessness of such an effort to impart wisdom into the world view of a young person. Read Solomon’s conclusion of the matter in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 and you will agree that the effort is neither meaningless nor vain, if you truly love the young person you hope to guide.
You cannot read Ecclesiastes without observing the thinking, the self-observance, the meditation on life and reality, joined with the desire of the writer to impart wisdom to the reader; a wisdom that will result in lasting change and sustainable joy. We mentors, parents, servants of the young need to emulate his example. We ought to be as thoughtful and observant of the world, our life, our failures, our victories, in light of God’s truth. We too can share empathetically, compassionately, personally and truthfully with the young people God places in our path. And our goal must be as his, that the vigor and joy and delight of youth not be wasted in frivolous, dead-end pursuits of perishing rags masquerading as happiness. Instead young lives can be rooted in love of the Creator, the single-hearted pursuit of His commands, and the promised, unstealable joy of the result. It is the humility and authenticity of your experience, your thoughtful observance of God’s world, and your insight gained through specific prayer in the Holy Spirit, that can and will penetrate the heart and will of a young person set by God before you. Believe me He set him there. He set her there. He set you there. Don’t waste the opportunity!
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, I am not accidentally in this young person’s life. Make me like Solomon that you might use me to penetrate this heart with Your truth.


  • Share Link:
Get Involved Background Image

Get Involved

This ministry has endured for almost 60 years because God has blessed us with faithful partners. Through friends like you, He ensures that we have the help we need to accomplish our mission. Click the button below to learn more, whether you’re interested in volunteering, making a one-time gift, or becoming a monthly contributor.