Posts Tagged ‘Phillipians’




 We celebrate Good Friday.  We celebrate Easter.  What about Saturday?

Sandwiched between the suffering of the greatest sacrifice ever made and the glory of the most magnificent triumph ever won, past present or future, is What? I am going to call it Hupomone Day! because it is the Saturday’s of our life that grow true perseverance.

How often do we find ourselves on Saturday.  That blank day between the suffering and triumph.  At least as we watch the events unfolding we can focus on the horror, the pain.  We can anticipate the miraculous escape, the triumphant turning of the tide as God magnificently brings the victory.  Then it doesn’t happen the way we want or expect.  The night falls,  a restless night, perhaps without sleep, certainly with disturbed dreams.  Then what about Saturday, what do we do?  The dawn rises, but all that we can see is Friday’s darkness.  The birds are singing, but all we can hear are the screams and jeers of the crowd; the hammering of the nails; the moans of his mother; the pounding of our own heart.

What about Saturday.  What do we do?  What should we do?  Some will run.  Some will hide.  Some will lose faith and return to the life they had known before they felt the Master’s touch.  Some will struggle and doubt, but:

struggle and doubt + faith = Hupomone

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

Some of us have longer Saturdays than others.  Take Thomas.  I often hear people make fun of doubting Thomas.  I can only imagine that his fellow disciples gave him some ribbing but here is the deal:  Thomas Stayed!  He made it through a Saturday that was longer and more intense than any of the others.  I can only believe this made his Sunday morning all the more amazing.  Thomas grew through his Saturday.  He walked away with an understanding of Hebrews 11:1 straight from the lips of his Savior:  Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:29.

If Friday is Good Friday and Sunday is Easter Sunday; Saturday is Hupomone Saturday.  Saturday is when we remember His Word.  Saturday is when we remember His touch.  On Saturday the fellowship of our brother’s and sister’s in Christ becomes paramount.  On Saturday we scream out to God.  On Saturday we worship, we cry, we hurt, we heal…in-spite of ourselves.  On Saturday we grow and mature as on no other day.  Perhaps that is why Saturday is in God’s plan for us.  I have experienced a few Saturday’s in my life.  Some I am still experiencing.  While the Sunday mornings are great!  It is the Saturday’s that draw me close to God and close to God’s people.

It is in the midst of Saturday the I make strides towards Philippians 2 , learning humility, allowing God to work in me. It is on Saturday that God makes those subtle changes in me that draw my spirit, soul and body closer to having His attitude and His values and to truly having His love.

It is on Saturday that we practice Hebrews 11:1 like no other day.  Do we trust the promise?  Are we certain of our hope? It is on Saturday that we say in the midst of it all with Joshua, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”

Unfortunately I think that it is also on Saturday that all to many lose faith, not being able to hold on to the promise.  It is on Saturday that as brother’s and sister’s in Christ we fail each other as on no other day.  Perhaps this is because we do not realize that everyday is someone’s Saturday.

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 

Are you in the midst of Saturday?  Be certain Sunday morning is coming, and when it does the most miraculous thing, the most miraculous change will not be in the situation that you are experiencing, it will be in YOU!

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It is hard to believe that it has been a year since we moved into The Lewis House and began our lives as full-time urban missionaries. This span of 365+ days has been at once nothing like I had imagined it to be and more than I had ever thought it would be.

As I sit here at my computer and type this out I know without a doubt that the man who left the restaurant business three years ago could not have stood through the last year.  God has brought through an amazing process to bring me here to The Lewis House.  It would be redundant to take you on that journey with me again.  You would be better served reading my lovely wife’s article “The Journey to the Mission”.  I re-blogged it last month.

Even one year ago my financial expectations were that God would provide sufficient funds to cover all of our needs and provide for a nice little salary and we would live the “American Dream” as missionaries to Toledo.  I understand the naiveté of that now (someone much wiser than myself made the gentle effort to cushion what could have been grand disappointment), but even though the mechanism of God’s provision has not  been what I expected it to be the efficacy of that provision has been so far above what I could have dreamed of. Though by the world’s standards we live below the poverty line (a fact which

More important than the earthly provision is the spiritual transformation that I have experienced.

“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we , who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s gory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:17

This transformation is not dependent on our earthly circumstances but I can see how our earthly circumstances impact our ability to recognize that transformation.  Paul said:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:12-13)

Without the times of want Paul might not have recognized the transformation that he had undergone.  Without the times of plenty he could not have appreciated the Spiritual transformation that engaged his contentment in the times of wanting.

We should not assume that this transformation was completed miraculously on the road to Damascus.  It was a process that passed Paul through the Arabian wilderness, the narrow streets and prickly political paths of Jerusalem, the urbane halls of Asia Minor and the intellectual collections of Greece.  It was a transformation that continued until he was called home on a fateful day in Rome.  It is a process that we all undergo and one that includes times of plenty and times of want.  It includes times of great joy and times of crushing grief.

Each of us has a path to follow and every path is a little different but it is all about one Spirit and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is into his wonderful likeness that we are being changed.  Like Paul I am so thankful to all of you who have come along side of us and answered God’s call to support us in our ministry. (Philippians 4:10) We have been so blessed by the generosity of God’s people.  Even as you develop in your lives “ever increasing glory” you enable us to do the things that God has called us to do and to continue our transformation spreading the light of His Glory to our neighbors.

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