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The prophet Elisha knew God would go before him and take care of him. His experience and faith have encouraged me to do the same.

Aram and Israel were at war, and each time the king of Aram set up camp to ambush the army of Israel, Elisha let Israel know so their army could be on guard and escape capture. The king of Aram, believing he had a traitor within his camp, eventually discovered it was not an Aramean who had access to his plans and informed the enemy, but it was a prophet of God.

The king wasn’t happy.


Bravo Isaiah!

Has there ever been better imagery to help us understand that knowing and living the Word of God is what nourishes us and may well be the key to living that elusive abundant life?

Listen to familiar words in Isaiah 55:10-13:

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread   for   the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.


Some of you may have heard about my most embarrassing moment (and let me tell you, narrowing it down to one is no easy task). But there’s little doubt in my mind that singing with that soloist in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, was the worst.


The bride had been part of our church all her life. The groom, I had taught in an English class. I went alone to the wedding. Sitting on an aisle seat where I could get a good view of both bride and groom, I took in everything. I was in the mood for a wedding.

But something besides the wedding itself ended up impacting me that afternoon.


There was a time I would be lying if I sang along with everyone else: “I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord.” I still cannot sing one of the lines from a hymn that has been updated and is sung often today: “Take My Life and Let It Be.”

All the lines are beautiful expressions of commitment, but one is so obviously not true that I let everyone else make the assertion without me.

For some reason I can tentatively sing the sort of general “Take my silver and my gold.” But the next phrase is so literal, so specific and sweeping, that it makes me mute: “not a mite would I withhold.”