Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 28, 2018

The Pursuit of Adventures

Our lives, it seems, are increasingly oriented toward the pursuit of convenience and ease. And while these may be rewards of hard work, if we are not careful they can actually keep us from doing hard things.

Doing hard things requires a commitment to do more than watching Bear Grylls scramble down a mountain. There is, after all, absolutely nothing adventurous about watching others have adventures. We have to engage in the pursuit of our own adventures.

Doing hard things requires movement away from ease and toward a context where we will get dirty and our muscles will ache and we risk failure and we have to push past the pain or else we will fall short.

This past weekend, a group of men and boys from Kingsland met at Guadalupe Mountains National Park to do something hard. We drove six-hundred and fifty miles for the opportunity to stand at the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas.

Summiting Guadalupe Peak is hard. The hike along the steep and winding trail to the top is rated as strenuous. Having summited this peak three previous times, I knew for a fact that it would not be any less strenuous on my fourth bid.

We met at the trailhead at 6:30 in the morning while temperatures were still tolerable. Huge amounts of excitement swirled in the morning breeze and mixed with bits of anxiety as we waited like race cars with engines revved high.

We took a moment to share final thoughts about our adventure, we prayed, and then we hit the trail. Every guy knew that the first mile and a half would be the hardest because of the steep elevation gain.

Like a brick wall, the first mile and a half stops those who are either unprepared or don’t want to summit badly enough. This is where hikers have to decide whether they are willing to push past the pain.

The heat only added to the difficulty. As the morning wore on the temperatures continued to creep higher until they inched past the hundred degree mark. Our bodies craved hydration and electrolytes and power bars.

Every man and boy quickly settled into his respective rhythm as they trudged up the trail, slowly eating away at the elevation. My hiking mantra on this particular trail is pace and place — maintain a steady pace and watch where I place my feet.

Every one of the guys hiked his own hike and just past mid-morning, we began to populate the summit and feast on the amazing views. I felt just as excited as the day on which I first solo hiked to the top of Texas.

Standing at the summit of Guadalupe Peak with an amazing band of brothers was worth every hard step along the way. This is something we did together — a shared adventure, a reminder that we must do life in community with other men because alone is dangerous.

One thing is certain, the guys on this adventure will always share a special bond. We made it to the top of Texas on one of the hottest days of the year. We watched out for and encouraged one another. We enjoyed great fellowship. And we did it as a band of brothers.

I am grateful for my friend Gil Harris who leads our Men of Kingsland and challenges us to engage in shared study, shared mission, and shared adventure. Our shared study will resume in September. And, Gil and I will continue to work together to challenge our men to engage in shared mission and shared adventures.

Stay tuned for the next opportunity to do something hard.

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 17, 2018

Forty Years Later

Today, I officially observe forty years in full-time ministry. I began this journey as a young man with a head full of hair, a heart steeped in passion, and a yearning to devote my only lifetime to pursue the purposes of God. For the past forty years I have been on an adventure far greater than I could have ever imagined.

When I answered the call to ministry, the popular terminology was to say that one had “surrendered” to ministry, as though one had lost some sort of battle with God. I never liked that metaphor. Instead, I freely yielded everything — and gladly so because I felt that serving the God who had shown me such kindness in Christ Jesus was the highest privilege I could possibly know.

Forty years later I have no regrets about my decision to follow and serve the God I love. I have tried to live my years with the awareness that God did not call me because I am good but rather because He is good. Every kindness He has shown me through the years testifies to His goodness.

Forty years later I can say with all confidence that God has never been unkind to me. Even though there were times when I did not understand His timing or why He had allowed me to experience setbacks, God has never been mean nor malicious to me. I continue to believe that He has a purpose for everything that touches my life and that He works all things for my good.

Forty years later I have a better understanding of God’s commitment to me in the worst of times. God’s call did not exempt me from life’s difficulties or the attacks of the enemy. I did not receive a divine “get out of jail free” card when He called me. I have experienced difficulties that made me wish I had received a hall pass to leave the room — but that’s not the way God works.

During one particularly tough season when I did not think I would survive, I went to a lonely place to seek God. I prayed and I wept. I sat in silence. I listened to a gentle breeze as it rustled the leaves of the trees in the woods. And then God’s reassuring voice came to me in a gentle and quiet whisper.

“I inhabit eternity,” He said. “I saw these dark days years ago when I called you to serve Me. Knowing you would go through this difficult season did not deter me from calling you. I still called you. I have been here — at this moment in time — waiting for you to get here.” At that moment, His peace flooded my heart and washed my anxieties away.

Forty years later His grace still amazes me. As a young man I almost lost my life in an automobile accident on my way home from college. As I lay bleeding by the side of the road, a highway patrolman and a nurse immediately came to my rescue. They had been in the vehicles behind me and had witnessed the terrible scene.

Years later when traveling home I decided to revisit the scene of the accident. When I pulled off onto the shoulder of the road at the exact spot where I had almost lost my life, I saw something unexpected — a sign announcing that the adjacent property was the future home of Abundant Grace Community Church. I wept because God had indeed shown me abundant grace at that very spot.

Forty years later I am grateful for the people I have met on my journey. From my earliest days in ministry, I have been blessed to meet and to know the finest of people. I have been the beneficiary of the love, encouragement, and kindness of so many with whom I have served. Today, my network of friends extends back forty years and to more than forty countries around the world.

Forty years later I am still in love with the wife of my youth. In the words of the writer of Proverbs, I found a good thing when I found Cheryl. She has been by my side for 38 of my 40 years in ministry. When Cheryl joined me on my journey in ministry, she too felt called to be a pastor’s wife and has blessed me with her love and support.

It’s not easy being the wife of a pastor, but Cheryl has made it easier for me to be a pastor. She is a bigger-picture person who understands that ministry is messy and does not always fit neatly into a nine to five schedule. Whether I leave home to lead a weekend initiative or to travel to some far-off place, she always sends me out with her blessing and the assurance of her full support.

On the occasion of my forty years in ministry, Cheryl and I received the most unexpected surprise from the wonderful church we serve, Kingsland Baptist. On the first Sunday in June, Pastor Ryan surprised us with the announcement that the Kingsland Community Center building, which houses three of our non-profit partners, will now bear our name. Neither of us could have ever imagined receiving such a beautiful honor when we began our journey together.

We have expressed our thanks to Pastor Ryan Rush and the church council and also want to thank the people of Kingsland. You are the most amazing and generous and thoughtful church family. Thank you for loving me and my family.

Forty years later, I am blessed beyond measure to call Kingsland home.

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 7, 2018

Imagine and Wonder

I believe in kids — and am convinced that God can use kids to do a whole lot more than we might think.

At Kingsland, we are committed to helping our kids understand the needs of others at home and among the nations. We want for our kids to embrace the challenge of moving in the direction of people in need, just as Jesus did, and making a difference.

One thing is certain, kids do not have to wait until they are all grown up to help change the world. Over the years, our Kingsland kids have raised funds to help kids in need around the planet. They have invested in schools, orphanages, clinics, housing for refugees, and more — all in some of the most difficult places in the world.

Next week, the kids who attend our Vacation Bible School will learn about the water crisis and how it impacts the lives of kids their age around the world. This is serious stuff, because many kids die every minute of the day as a result of water-related concerns. This summer’s initiative is about saving lives and changing lives.

I am excited about this summer’s edition of our Go Beyond Kid’s Explorers Club kit — designed to help our kids understand all about water. I have written a little book entitled “Imagine and Wonder: A Story About Water” to help our kids get a sense of the challenges faced by kids who live in places without access to clean water. My friend Lesley Steinweg has beautifully illustrated the book.

Each of the kids who attends our Vacation Bible School will receive a Go Beyond Explorers Club kit filled with all kinds of interactive resources to help them learn all about water. We will challenge our kids to raise funds to sponsor three water wells to be drilled in partnership with Living Water International. Our missions ministry will sponsor an additional three wells on behalf of our Kingsland kids.

As I write these words while waiting for my flight home from Guatemala, I am filled with excitement at the thought of what our gift will mean to the people of six villages around the world — and the opportunity they will also have to learn about Jesus who alone can satisfy our deepest thirst. Imagine and wonder about how so many lives will be changed because we are teaching our kids to move in the direction of those who are thirsty.

I am looking forward to another great VBS at Kingsland as our kids learn about the water crisis and, once again, rise to the challenge of making a difference in the lives of others.

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 28, 2018

Freedom Is Their Legacy

Today is Memorial Day — a day set aside to honor the memory of those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy. All around the country, special ceremonies will be observed to remember our nation’s fallen heroes. As part of Memorial Day commemorations, the President will place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

While visiting my Dad in South Texas a couple of days ago, I stopped by the cemetery where we have a beautiful family plot. Three generations of our family are buried there, including my Mom. Every year at this time, a group of men and women place American flags at the graves of all who served in the military — including those in my own family.

As I watched those individuals reverently walking from grave to grave and respectfully placing flags where veterans lie at rest, I was reminded of the importance of remembering. These flags were, in essence, symbols of gratitude — star spangled thank you cards gently waving in the breeze.

Memorial Day is important. Very important! We need this day in which to intentionally slow down enough to reflect on why we remain the land of the free. The simple answer is that we are the land of the free because of the brave — because of those who answered the call to duty and courageously moved in the direction of threats to our freedom.

At the risk of sounding cliché-ish, we must never forget that freedom is not free. The problem with forgetting those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy is that we will begin to drift toward the reefs of ingratitude. Forgetting or thinking too little of our fallen heroes can lead us to think too much of ourselves.

A young minister from a local church stopped by to chat recently. He asked lots of really good questions. In the course of our conversation he said, “I know I will experience lots of failures in ministry and in life. But, I want to know how to handle the successes. How can a person remain humble when things are going great?” My reply — “Write lots of thank you notes!”

Expressing gratitude to others is one of the best ways to stay grounded in life. There is probably no better reminder that our successes are linked to others who assisted, prayed, encouraged, counseled, cooperated with us, and had our back.

The same holds true for Memorial Day. There is no better reminder that all of the freedoms we enjoy, and sometimes take for granted, are linked to those who moved toward danger on our behalf. Freedom is their gift to us. Freedom is their legacy. And for that, we should remain ever grateful.

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 10, 2018

An Alaskan Adventure

I have a raging thirst for service and adventure.

There are few things, in my estimation, that are as satisfying to the soul as helping those in need — without expecting anything in return. I believe that the world would be a better place if more of the members of our human race would regard others as more important than themselves. The Bible certainly affirms as much, calling us to not merely look out for our own personal interests but for the interests of others as well.

As for adventure, it is the ultimate antidote to boredom and all of the dull blahs that come with living life in the safe zone. I am determined to seek adventure for as long as I am able — to embracing new challenges that stretch me. I want for my feet to take me to places that make my muscles hurt and that lead to vistas that take my breath away. Why settle for anything less?

I believe that God has placed within us the capacity to serve others and also some measure of curiosity about what lies beyond our comforts. We will, however, experience neither unless we are intentional — unless we are willing to move in the direction of people in need and toward distant horizons.

Our men’s ministry at Kingsland is about so much more than just spending time in shared study. We also challenge men to participate in shared mission (or service initiatives) and shared adventure. I was privileged to help lead a team of men to Alaska this past week to serve our ministry partner in Anchorage and to share an adventure.

For the second year, our men’s team traveled to Anchorage to service the ministry vehicles for GraceWorks Alaska. This ministry will host over one-thousand volunteers this summer, including a team of eighty tenth-grade students and sponsors from Kingsland. GraceWorks depends on their fleet of vehicles to transport these volunteers to ministry points in and around Anchorage.

In addition to our team of mechanics, we also took a team of men to take on the challenge of completely gutting and remodeling a bathroom in the parsonage of Calvary Baptist Church, in just four days. The 1950’s-era bathroom required a lot of work, a lot of runs to the building supply store, and some long hours. On our longest day we worked from morning to midnight.

We completed all of our assigned tasks and still had time for adventure. We hiked in the snow to Byron Glacier, took pics of wildlife near Portage Glacier, and took three bush planes to visit an Indian village along the shores of Cook Inlet where our hosts treated us to some delicious moose stew. Really good stuff.

In addition to all this, Gil Harris, our men’s ministry director, led us in a time of Bible study and discussion every morning. As men, we are committed to doing life in community because alone is dangerous. We all enjoyed a good week, made new friends, strengthened old friendships, helped our ministry partner, and blessed a faithful older pastor and his wife with a new bathroom.

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | April 11, 2018

The Weight of Water

Among the things that are not on our list of things to worry about is the weight of water. I think it’s safe to say that most of us have never given a single or even a second thought to how much water actually weighs. And in case you are wondering, a gallon of water weighs approximately 8.35 pounds.

Eight-plus pounds is no big deal for those of us who never have to lift much more than a glass or perhaps a bottle of water that weighs in at a few mere manageable ounces. Because water flows into our homes in copious amounts, the weight of water is of no consequence. So, we use pounds and pounds of water every day to hydrate, bathe, wash our clothes, and water our lawns.

Not so for many in our world who concern themselves daily with both the potability and portability of the water they use. Those who live without the luxury of indoor plumbing must consider the quality of the water they consume and then how to transport it from the source to their homes. They often lose on both counts — poor water quality plus the burden of transporting sketchy water for daily use.

Our team is in El Salvador this week where we are drilling yet one more water well in cooperation with our friends at Living Water International. The sight of children and women spending hours a day fetching water for daily use still bothers me. Transporting water twenty to forty pounds at a time — sometimes several times a day — is beyond burdensome.

This week our team successfully drilled a water well for the 15 families that call Wisnay (pronounced W-is-nigh), a remote village in El Salvador, their home. Of the nineteen water wells we have drilled to date, this was by far the easiest. We drilled in the perfect spot and managed to avoid those layers of volcanic rock that have so often slowed us down in the past. We hit beautiful water at a depth of 106-feet.

So, what will this mean for the people here who understand all too well the weight of water?

First, having a source of water that is centrally located should buy back time for moms and kids. By not having to walk as far to get water, these saved hours can be reinvested in the home. Although families will still have to make several trips a day, they will not have to travel as far. The villagers will also have the option of later adding a pump and tubing to actually pump water to their homes.

Second, for the first time ever these families now have a source of water that is safe to drink. Because the well we drilled is several times deeper than hand-dug wells or streams that are polluted by agricultural chemical run-off, the families of Wisnay should enjoy better health. Bad water accounts for lots of sickness around the world and claims the lives of too many children every single minute of the day.

There is no better reward after a week of drilling than the smiles on the faces of the children and families whose prayers for clean water have been answered. To present others a cup of water in Jesus’ name is one of the best and most fulfilling experiences in the world for a Christ-follower. We are grateful to have had this opportunity to lighten the load for the beautiful people of Wisnay.

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 27, 2018

A Tale of Two Cops

Our lives are, essentially, a series of moments that tell our respective stories. As we travel through time each of us leave history in our wake — one moment at a time. Each moment that we live is filled with the potential to do good, to do the right thing, to make a difference. The potential of each moment, however, is unlocked by our choices. And once a moment has come and gone it forever carries with it the imprint of those choices.

The most important and significant moments of our lives seldom present themselves at a convenient time. We rarely receive any warning that our lives are headed toward a moment that will be unlike any other moment we have ever faced — a moment that will present us with an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference beyond the ordinary.

Such a moment presented itself to Deputy Scot Peterson. On February 14, a young man named Nikolas Cruz walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and went on a shooting rampage that claimed the lives of fourteen and injured many others. Peterson, the only armed sheriff’s deputy on the scene, heard the sound of the gunfire and was immediately presented with a moment filled with the potential to do good.

Sadly, for whatever reason, Peterson failed to seize the power of his moment. He failed to move in the direction of those in danger — something that is expected of those sworn to protect the public. Instead, Peterson made a choice to keep a safe distance away. And, because our choices have consequences, people died during those moments. Things might have turned out different had Peterson unlocked the potential of his moment by moving toward those in danger.

On March 23, a French police officer named Arnaud Beltrame was also presented with a moment in which to do good. His moment came when an Islamic gunman entered the Super U Market in the southern French town of Trebes and took hostages. The gunman killed four people and injured fifteen others. Beltrame made a decision to unlock the potential of his moment. He offered himself in exchange for one of the hostages, a store employee named Julie.

Beltrame surrendered his weapon and courageously walked into the store unarmed and gave himself in exchange for Julie. The experienced officer kept his cell phone on, allowing authorities to hear what was happening inside. When the attacker started firing, the authorities rushed in and killed him. Beltrame sustained injuries that led to his death the following day.

And so, we have a tale of two cops, of two men who were presented with an extraordinary moment in which to do good.

Peterson will live a lifetime trying to convince others, and himself, that he made the right choice. Sadly, because of the choice he made to remain a safe distance from those in danger, the world will never look upon him as a hero. That opportunity remains forever locked in the moment that had presented itself to Peterson and will never come again.

Beltrame, on the other hand, willingly moved in the direction of people in danger and lost his life as a result. He knew the risks and accepted them. The French people and the world have already acknowledged him as a hero. Because he unlocked the potential to do good in the moment that presented itself, he helped prevent what might have been an even greater loss of life.

Don’t expect God to check your calendar before presenting you with a moment packed with the potential to do good. Don’t get irritated or walk away and don’t allow fear to keep you from embracing your moment. Instead, be willing to do what needs to be done. After all, you are writing your own story, one moment at a time.

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 21, 2018

A Certain Sadness

We live in a mad, mad world! Deadly acts of violence in our nation and around the globe are commonplace. Beheadings, suicide bombers, feticide, shootings in schools and public places, rape, infanticide, bullying — and, the latest act of violence in our own country, explosive devices concealed in innocent-looking packages.

A few years ago I spoke to a group in New Delhi about India’s disregard for the welfare of girls. I pointed to the multiple daily media reports about feticide, infant girls abandoned or disposed of in numbers that equal gendercide, the rape of even the youngest girls, and a multitude of other abuses.

Afterwards, a young man approached me and asked about all of the school shootings in America. He pointed out that the United States is just as deadly as India to all children, not just girls. “I would consider it irresponsible,” he said, “for any parent to send their child to a public school in America.” Point taken!

Because I don’t travel as a tourist but rather engage in the kinds of places where tourists fear to tread, I have seen more ugliness than I ever expected to see — things that I can never unsee. I live with a certain sadness. It’s as though my heart is bruised and every act of violence I hear about presses against that bruise and reignites the pain.

I have walked among victims of the Janjaweed in Darfur, served both Syrian and Iraqi refugees, cared for the dying in Mother Teresa’s homes, visited the poorest of the poor in too many slums to count, seen despair etched into the faces of the despised Rohingya in South Asia, listened to heartbreaking stories of young girls rescued from human traffickers, and more.

Every act of violence and injustice on the planet is driven by world view considerations. At the core of every oppressive and deadly act, in and out of the womb, is a blatant disregard for or an impoverished understanding of the sanctity of human life. When we do not value human life, then the distance that the unspeakable must travel toward becoming reality is shortened.

Jesus cautioned that the devil’s agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy. This clever enemy works tirelessly to numb any part of our heart to the value of human life because once this infection sets in then he knows it can destructively spread to other parts of our heart.

While many rightly decry acts of violence, they seem to do so selectively. We cry foul when a shooter walks into a school. But where is the outcry against the media and music whose messages unashamedly diminish the value of human life and desensitize those who choose to endanger the lives of others.

We quickly protest the availability of guns and the loopholes that make it possible for certain individuals to acquire them. There is no outcry, however, against the tools that an abortionist uses to dismember a child in the womb. Our culture is indeed selective when it comes to the matter of protecting life.

The reality is that the farther away we move from embracing the sanctity of human life the more we put ourselves in danger — and the more absurd we become in regard to affirming the value of human life.

For example, earlier this year the Swiss made it illegal to boil a live lobster because these crustaceans can sense pain. And yet, while the government has acted in response to the pain of lobsters, it has left its abortion laws intact. No consideration for the child in the womb that can feel pain as intensely, if not more so, than lobsters and adults.

Absurd, indeed!

If we are not careful, by denying the right to life to others, we may unwittingly contribute to building the gallows that may one day put our own lives in danger.

Again, the devil is clever. He is happy to give us what we want but always in exchange for what we have. If we demand the right to end life in the womb then one day we may be fighting against those who prefer to euthanize us when we are old and helpless and deemed to be of little use to society.

However an act of aggression against human life is carried out — whether by swords or guns or scalpels — we must look beyond the particular instrument used to end life. We must instead go deeper and consider the world view that leads individuals to use those instruments to cut off heads, shoot innocent bystanders, or dismember babies in the womb.

Life is precious both inside and outside of the womb and worth fighting for.

We must intentionally teach and model for our children what it means to value all human life — including their own. An individual who feels that their own life has little or no value is likely to have little or no regard for the welfare of their neighbor.

Our children must know that we unquestionably affirm their worth and that they are of inestimable importance to us. By so doing our children are more likely to affirm the worth of others, less likely to harm others, and more likely to champion the sanctity of human life.

Failure to do so will have far-reaching consequences that will usher our world into deeper darkness and cover it with a certain sadness. Failure cannot be an option. Too much is at stake!

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 4, 2018

Caring for Katy 2018

Our 11th Annual Caring for Katy is now history. As much time and energy as we put into planning our big day of community service, there is one variable we cannot control — the weather. And this year, the weather did not cooperate. No problem, however, for the people of Kingsland.

Serving others in spite of the weather is important.

I like NBA great Jerry West who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers. His silhouette is featured in the NBA logo. West once said, “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” He was right. And, to turn West’s phrase, “You can’t get much done for the kingdom if you only serve others on days when the weather is pleasant.”

I made my mind up a long time ago that I do not want to walk into heaven with a clean uniform. Instead, I want to drag in all beat up with a filthy, tattered, and torn uniform — something that can happen only by being engaged in the game. I am not interested in standing on the sidelines.

I am grateful for the people of Kingsland — all generations — and how they served our community in spite of the weather. Our many service initiatives were like showers of blessings all over Katy. Thanks also to our media team for once again capturing so many special moments and putting together a great video.

Thank you, Kingsland family, for Caring for Katy.

Note: If you receive my blog by email, click this link to see the video:

Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 27, 2018

In Harmony With Jesus

We are now two months into the new year, and I am two months into my new Bible reading plan. For years I have engaged in read through the Bible plans at the start of each new year. My read through the Bible plans have been just that — reading the Scriptures each morning and then reflecting on what I have read throughout the day.

This year I decided to try something new. Instead of reading through the Bible I decided to read through the Gospels. My goal is to saturate my head and my heart with the story of Jesus — to ask God to open my eyes to better understand the life and ministry of Jesus. What better way than to read the Gospels this year again and again.

Instead of simply reading through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, I am reading through chronologically integrated harmonies of these Gospels. And, as familiar as I am with these accounts, I feel as though I am reading about the life of Jesus in a refreshingly new and engaging way.

In March of 1982, some friends gave me a copy of A.T. Robertson’s “A Harmony of the Gospels.” This was the first volume of its kind in my personal library. It was the first book I read that helped me to see the Gospels and the story of Jesus in a new light. While helpful, it is a bit tedious to read because it presents the four New Testament Gospels in parallel columns. I also have a 1917 copy of “A Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels” by Burton and Goodspeed that also presents the story in parallel columns.

In anticipation of my new reading plan, I purchased a copy of “The Four In One Gospel of Jesus” by Nikola Dimitrov. This volume, based on the King James text, weaves the events recorded in the four Gospels into a single chronological narrative that enables the reader to see Jesus in a dynamic light. I told a friend that it felt like I was reading the Gospels for the first time.

This month I purchased a copy of “A Simplified Harmony of the Gospels” by George W. Knight. Like Dimitrov’s book, this volume also chronologically weaves the story of Jesus into one flowing text. Based on the text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, this book also integrates helpful exegetical notes. I like this book so much that I also purchased the Kindle version so that I can have it with me at all times.

While I enjoy reading books about Jesus, there is something different about reading the Gospels and allowing the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to the beauty of Jesus sans any commentary from others. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the greatest orators of the 19th century, observed that it is God’s Word, not man’s comments on God’s Word, that is made powerful with souls. He was right.

The older I get the more I want to read about and to focus on the life of Jesus. I am more determined than ever to guard against the things that can distract me from Him. I want to become even more familiar with all that made His life absolutely distinctive, beautiful, and worthy of imitation. I want to live my life in harmony with Jesus.

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