Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Inconceivable Glory of Fish Vomit

In May, I told Patty that I thought we were like Jonah. That the great fish was not a curse that was to punish Jonah, but the Grace of God sent to save Jonah. Jonah was in a fish called Grace. He had wandered away from God. Actually, he had been down right rebellious toward God’s sure call on his life. But the point is that the fish was there, appointed by God, to rescue Jonah. Then, when the time was right and Jonah was ready for the trip to Nineveh, (his calling) the fish vomited Jonah back onto dry land.

So our little mantra here lately has been about our being vomited out. You know, as in, “I wonder if we have been spit up on shore yet?” Meaning: has God finally revealed the path we are to take. Well, keeping with His ironic sense of humor, we now have four churches seriously considering us. Two in SC, one in OH, and one in GA. Plus a few others that have told us they are interested but aren’t ready to narrow the field down to two or three just yet.

So, we have been vomited up onto dry land, and there are many paths before us. Which one to take? I have been invited to preach at our old church in Augusta on August 3 for a pastor search committee (PSC) from a church in Cassatt, SC. We know that they have a parsonage but that is about all at this point. The PSC from the church in Ohio has scheduled a phone interview for this weekend and has sent a questionnaire. The typical stuff, “tell us about your call.” “Are you SBC?” etc. Unlike Vann Avenue Baptist Church in Evansville, IN that has sent a questionnaire that is about six pages, front and back. Here's a sample...

Q: “Explain your belief about God.” A: “I like Him.”

Q: “Explain you stance on Calvinism.” A; (I hate that question.)

Q: “What is your belief in the validity of the impact of Q on the Gospel of Luke?” A: I feel like I’m taking a Theology exam at the seminary.

Q: “List the last three books you have read.” A: “1) The Complete Works of John Calvin. 2) Q: A Titilating Look At The Unknown Gospel 3) Van Avenue Baptist Church’s PSC Application.”

The path that we take must be a level path, the one that God has chosen. Jesus told us the narrow path leads to righteousness and the broad path leads to destruction. In other words, God’s way is often the hard way, but pays off in the end. And transversely, the Devil’s way is always easy in the beginning, but ultimately leads to destruction. We have chosen to walk down the narrow path—inconceivably happy about being covered in fish goo. Isaiah said, “The paths of the righteous are level, because You make level the paths of the righteous.” Isaiah 26:7

Trusting in Him,


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