A Message for a Stormy Day

This past weekend, our community, like many others, was impacted by Hurricane Florence.  By God’s grace we have not been devastated to the level others have experienced, but we couldn’t meet in person.  Instead, I was able to take to Facebook Live and share a message with the community that way.  Here’s what I shared as the storm raged around the region.  Thanks for reading.

A Message for a Stormy Day

Well, good morning.  For many of you, good rainy morning.  My name is Jonathan Waits and I have the privilege of serving as the pastor of First Baptist Oakboro.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been rainy here the last couple of days.  Actually, for a whole lot of folks in this region, “rainy” doesn’t begin to cover it.  Florence has given us the kind of rain that would have given Noah some much-needed relief after building a boat for 100 years.  We’ve had the kind of rain that will leave people’s land and lives devastated for a long time.  It’s the most rain this nation has seen since Hurricane Harvey dumped part of the ocean on southeast Texas last year.  Like that one, this terrible storm has already claimed a few lives.  Those grieving families are in need of your prayers.  And if you want to give toward the relief efforts that are already underway, consider one of the many faith groups with ready-made armies of volunteers who are knowledgeable and skilled in the various aspects of disaster relief—groups like Samaritan’s Purse and the Southern Baptist Convention (specifically, the Baptist State Conventions of North and South Carolina, and the Baptist General Association of Virginia).  You can go directly to their websites and give or sign up to volunteer just as easily. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Psalm 4:7

“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound.”  (CSB – Read the chapter)

David was hurt. He had been deeply offended by someone and was bothered so much by it that he couldn’t sleep. Rather than just stewing about angrily, he took all of his angst and cried out to God. And as he cried out to God, He gradually began to gain some perspective on the whole situation. Perspective doesn’t often actually solve a problem, but it does give us peace in the midst of it. For David here near the end of his prayer, he realized that his joy in the Lord was deeper than anything his enemies knew. And when we realize that we have something good our enemies don’t, we usually start to feel better. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:3

“Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
(ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

And here I’d thought we had dealt with all of this nonsense in the narrative of Joshua leading the people to inhabit the Promised Land. How can we trust as good a God who issues a command like this? Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Psalm 4:6

“Many are asking, “Who can show us anything good?” Let the light of your face shine on us, Lord.”  (CSB – Read the chapter)

You’ve heard the old saying: What does misery love? Company. If we’re going to be miserable for some reason, if we can at least have someone else miserable with us, it won’t be quite as bad as it would be otherwise. So here’s some good news for those times when you are lying in bed unable to sleep because you’re upset from some wound of the day: You’re not alone. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 14:24

“And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

This whole episode is just bizarre. Saul makes this tremendously egotistical and foolish oath and everything fairly well falls apart. This is another one of those stories that leaves you wondering why it got included in the Scriptures in the first place. A more contextually important question is this: How did Saul get made king in the first place? Read the rest…