Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In God’s Waiting Room

As a pilgrim who is on his way home, I sometimes feel like an immigrant sitting in the waiting room. For a number of years I have known that God had a new direction for my life. Often I’ve been impatient for Him to reveal this new path to me. I’ve often told others that it’s like being in the waiting room in the doctor’s office. Waiting to be called into the examining room.

At first the waiting is OK and you flip through a few old magazines. But as time goes on you get tired of the old magazines and you’ve read through the kids’ books. The other patients seem to be coming and going but there you wait. Eventually your frustration gets the better of you and you go up to the window and check to make sure that your name is still on the list and that they haven’t bypassed you. You start hanging out at the admittance window asking about the delay. There are other sick and broken people who seem to be getting help but there you sit broken and feeling alone.

Ever been there?

I have been there with medical doctors and for the last couple of years with the Great Physician, too. It seems that I’ve hung around the waiting room hoping to get a chance to hear the prognosis for my heavenly doctor and not seeing the opportunity I’ve been given to observe the human condition all around me. I wonder how many times I’ve missed the opportunity to do triage in the waiting room while I waited my turn.

Perhaps I’ve missed some real blessings to be the horizontal incarnation of the Great Physician and Good Shepherd while I “waited” on His time and for His plan. Maybe I missed some great opportunities to serve. Recently I was in having some cloths altered at a men’s clothing shop and I had the opportunity to triage a store manager who asked about what I did and after she found out asked me to help her learn what truth is and where she could find it. I would have missed that opportunity if I had left God’s waiting room. A couple of week later I ran into her and found out she had purchased one of the books I had recommended and was reading it. She also asked me to suggest other books for her to read.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5 (NIV)

3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; Romans 5:3 (NIV)

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalms 37:7 (NIV)

These are all great verses; the problem is that we often have a hard time living what we know.
I’m still in God’s waiting room but I’ve moved up the list a bit. I know not only what God wants me to do, I also know where He wants me to serve. Now I’m just waiting for the God’s time.
So I’m now the official pastor-in-waiting for the Grace Community Baptist Church in Trenton IL. I’ll be starting my “official duties” August 1, 2008.

If I’ve learned anything from this past waiting period, it’s that I’m moving from the front of one queue to the back of the next one. God’s not done with me yet but I’m becoming closer to what he wants me to be.

How about you?

How’s your waiting game??

Dr. Val

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Most Popular Book In America

I am always amazed when the list of the most popular books is announced.

When it comes to literary pursuits in the United States most people agree on
at least one thing -- the most popular book is the Bible, according to a new
It came in first in a Harris Poll of nearly 2,513 adults but the
second choice in the survey was not as clear cut.
"While the Bible is number
one among each of the different demographic groups, there is a large difference
in the number two favorite book," Harris said in a statement announcing the

You can check out the entire article on line just go to

I guess Americans buy more Bibles then any other book and for that I’m thrilled as I’m sure that many of you are, too. I guess what disappoints me most is that while the Bible is the most popular book in America it seems to be the most ignored book in America.

Think of the 10 Commandments – now think of how many we break everyday.

Think of the two Greatest Commandments (Love God and Love Others) – now think of the last time you chose to demonstrate your love for God by loving others, after all loving others includes your neighbors (read enemies).

Think of the Great Commission – now think of the last time you helped to develop a disciple (read apprentice)

I could go on and on but I realize that each time I add to the list I realize that I’m as guilty as anyone else of failing to be the Christian I want to be. Paul talks about this in Romans when he tells us that he know s what is right and he knows what he wants to do, he just can’t seem to do it.

So while we continue to claim to love the Bible we just have a hard time applying what we know is right. And why not? After all none of us can do anything without God helping us. Why is it that so often we are willing to “allow God to save us” but we are unwilling to let him change us. We mistakenly think after we are “saved” the living of the Christian life is up to us!


It’s just like a sinner to assume that after the foundation is laid, it’s up to us to finish constructing the house ourselves.

Well I guess, we should be glad that Americans still know where to get the answers to life, even if we fail to read the Bible to learn the answers to life’s questions.

Why not take the 10-minute challenge with me? For the rest of this month let’s each read the Bible for 10 minutes each day. I suggest that we start with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Let’s see what happens when we spend time reading God’s message to each of us!

Good reading!!!

Dr. Val