Wednesday, June 29, 2005


God's Word Speaks:

I remember the days long ago. I think about all You have done. I think about the work of Your hands. I put out my hands to You. My soul is thirsty for You like a dry land.
Psalm 143:5-6

Jasper Speaks:

This passage of Scripture was part of my quiet time this morning. It stopped me and made me ponder some things. I spent my ride to work and my morning in the office considering what God is saying here. I started to remember the past.

I think about how I was born a preacher's kid in the inner city. We didn't have money. I don't mean that we didn't get the video game we wanted, I mean we struggled financially. I still get anxious sometimes in grocery check out lines because I remember the time my mother gave the clerk a twenty dollar bill and she gave her change for a ten and we had to wait while the clerk had her drawer counted because we NEEDED the money. (My mom was right by the way). I think of the times we had to put food back while standing in that same grocery line because we didn't have the money to get it. I remember being embarrassed that we lived paycheck to paycheck and depended on Government Cheese and food stamps. We really missed out on the luxuries of life because we couldn't really afford the necessities. We didn't even have a color TV until 1987.

Still, in all of those struggles in growing up, God provided. We were able to have a roof above our heads. We had food on the table and clothes to wear (even if the food wasn't gourmet and those shoes came from the clearance rack at K-Mart --- You should ask Kendra sometime about how I cried when I bought my first pair of Nike Tennis Shoes at age 35). We couldn't keep up with the Joneses that is for sure. In fact I don't think we even KNEW the Joneses. Yet, God met our needs. I learned so much about depending on Him from my Mom and Dad. They had grown up during the depression and both had been people of poverty even then. They worked hard as sharecroppers on farms where they picked cotton from morning to night. My mother even had to drop out of school in the eighth grade because her parents couldn't afford shoes for her at all. In our poverty we learned that God always keeps His promises to us. He takes care of us. So many times when we didn't know where the next meal would come from, God sent someone to us with a box of food.

The sad part of all this is that as I have grown older I have somewhat forgotten the lessons of my youth. I find myself fretting over the plan God has for me. I get concerned about how the ends will meet. I get anxious and forget that God has never failed me. That is sin. When we don't depend on God and trust in His plan to take care of us, we are letting the enemy win. We are listening to his voice of lies that distracts us of from the Voice of Truth.

I also look at how God's plan has thus played out in my life. At 28 he brought a wonderful woman into my life and rescued me from a life without love. Every day I stand in awe at how Kendra is a living testimony to God's grace. She is more than I ever could have deserved and still God chose to bless me with her

He called me and has used me as a minister time and time again. I sometimes take this calling for granted. The last six months however, have given me a new sense of purpose in this area of my life. It is an honor and privilege to ever be in full-time ministry. My passion is to minister to young people. I am absolutely certain that I can not be fulfilled in any other vocation. God has made the love of students and their care my true purpose in life. As I look on my past and the faithful ways God has provided in this area I am humbled.

I echo the Psalmist. As I look back on the wonderful things God has done through the years of my life, I become thirsty for more. I want more of Christ in my life. I am dry and weak without Him. I long for communication and guidance. I love Him. I need Him. I see the way that He is faithful and I desperately want to be faithful as well. I look at His love and I want to love Him more. His faithfulness challenges me to be more faithful. As more days of uncertainty come my way, I pray that I continue to look back as I look ahead.

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