Monthly Archives: August 2009

Faith Applied

Faith Applied 1This week I finished teaching a class called “Faith Applied”. This was a six week class of discovery through the book of James.

Many people throughout church history have tried to do away with the book of James because it isn’t ‘theological’ enough. Compare the book of James with the writings of say, the Apostle Paul and they are like night and day. One calls for in depth study and knowledge the other just calls for common sense!

I found the book of James to be one of the most inspiring books in the bible for one main reason, its simplicity! While many theologians try to complicate the bible, there is nothing completed about the book of James. This book is a practical way to live a life of faith that will be pleasing to God and to others!

If you have never read the book of James or just glanced over it I encourage you to read it through a few times (it’s only five chapters long). I believe if you do as James instructs your live will never be the same again.

Jesus said, ‘my way is easy and my burden is light”. Basically saying, this life of faith should be easy and refreshing not complicated and draining.

James gives us an outline that is easy and refreshing. If you want a study guide to help you through it there are plenty. I even have one! If you want to download or print the notes from my Faith Applied class then go to the resources tab at the top of this tab and click on the Faith Applied graphic to download.


When Storms Roar!

Lightning_strike_jan_2007Last night I heard what I believe was the worst storm to roll through my city since I moved to Maryland over 2 years ago. I say this because this storm actually woke me up and kept me up.

I pride myself in the fact I can sleep anywhere and through anything. Well that was until last night. The concert of thunder and light show of lightning seemed to be happening right outside our bedroom window.

At about 3am I got out of bed and switched the TV on to see what was happening. I thought there must be huge damage across the area and there has to be a tornado warning in effect (Living in Missouri for two years made be Paranoid about the smallest cloud in the sky). When I turned the TV on all I saw was a little symbol in the top left hand corner of the screen saying, “Flash Flood Watch’. That was it? I went through every channel to see if I could find the paranoid weather man who had the same fears as me, only to be disappointed. I thought, either the weathermen in Maryland have less zeal than those in Missouri, or I had just learnt a spiritual lesson!

Well I found out it was the spiritual lesson! Just because a storm is roaring in your ears does not mean it actually is going to affect you. You see the lightning wasn’t going to touch me, the thunder couldn’t harm me and the rain could not get in. Instead of staying in my warm little haven called bed; I got out and searched for the storm all because I listened to its roar!

What storms are going on around you that are causing you to lose sleep? Most storms won’t and can’t affect us, unless that is, until we spend too much time listening to its roar.

Inspirers – Elsie Penduck

Name: Elsie Penduck

Relation – Beloved Grandmother

Inspiration: Believe always in the provision of God

In 1955 Elsie Penduck became a widow after her husband died from a heart problem. Her husband a preacher, beloved father and sole provider had suddenly died to leave Elsie a grieving young mother with two young children aged 10 and 7 as the sole provider and influence on her children’s lives.

Elsie did what she had to do and went to work. Sometimes working ten to twelve hour days all so she could provide for her two young children. Many would have said her children would go off the rails. No father figure in their lives, a mother who was hardly home and two children who spent many days on their own in their government subsidized home in Newport, South Wales.

However, these kids did not go off the rails; yes, maybe they were a little mischievous and got into a little trouble from time to time, but all in all they were good kids. They grew up to love God and devote their lives to his service. These two kids didn’t go the direction of so many would have in their position all because Elsie did one thing, that was to leave their lives in the palm of God’s hands.

My father would tell me stories of waking up in the middle of the night to go downstairs into the kitchen for a glass of water and find his mother, Elsie knelt on the cold kitchen floor sobbing her heart out before God in prayer. He said even though she worked crazy hours and had two kids to care for that she never missed a weekly prayer meeting. He told me that money was tight, but through Elsie’s pure faith God always provided.

One story I heard from my father shows Elsie’s faith in a nutshell:

One night while at the church mid-week bible study they had a visit from a missionary. As the missionary talked about their work and needs Elsie felt moved in her spirit to give to this missionary. After the missionary had preached it was time for the offering plate to come around. As it did, Elsie felt God say to give one pound. The problem? This was all she had in her purse and that pound was to pay the gas bill the next day. Elsie didn’t have anymore money and if she gave that pound, the gas would have been cut off. Well Elsie did what she felt God say, she gave the pound. As she walked home she just believed that God would supernaturally provide. When she arrived home, my father came to her with a wrinkled up five pound note (think your electric bill multiplied by five!). My father told her he had been on his way home from school when he saw something stuck in a fence, it was the five pound note. That day God provided. Everyday God provided!

My Grandmother Elsie died when I was four years old, but she was a woman who has inspired my life. Her desire for God was so pure and authentic. Her belief in God and his provision was off the charts. Elsie Penduck inspires me to believe that nothing is too difficult for God. I pray that the legacy of prayer and faith that Elsie started can and will continue through my life.