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Vacation and P.G. Vargis Week Two

03 Jul

I am posting today from Panama City Beach (PCB). We are staying at a nice condo on the far end of the strip, away from all of the crazies. It is funny. When I told people that we were vacationing at PCB, their noses wrinkled and they said, “Why would you want to go to PCB!?!” It is nice though. We like it here. We know all the good places to eat and we know our way around. Honestly, I don’t really care as long as I have a good book to read and cold Diet Coke. On this trip I am reading:

Restless Pilgrim: The Spiritual Journey of Bob Dylan

Life Together by Bonehoffer

The Trinity by Fr. Joseph Girzone

Last week, I was with P.G. Vargis in Botkins, Ohio (Only Believe Ministries) and my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri (Word of Life Church). I spent two weeks (off and on) with PG and it was a rewarding experience for me. I had met with him in India a few times and email with him a few times a year. He has prayed for me and my family over the years. I have loved him from a distance and prayed for him often. During these last two weeks, I can say that I know him. He has a deep passion and love for Jesus and Jesus’ mission. He loves Jesus in a real authentic way. He isn’t pretentious or other-wordly. He is grounded, funny and a warm-hearted soul.

His passion for reaching India seems to ooze out of all that he does and says. The motto of IET – reaching the unreached at any cost – is not a cleaver catch phrase. It is the single motivating passion of his life. He has given his life, his family, his money (or the money that is given to him…he doesn’t keep much for himself), for the sake of the gospel. Even at 65 (?) he is still giving everything for the gospel in India. He even resigned as president of IET so that he could travel and speak on behalf of the group and work in some of the hardest areas of India. I love him and his passion. I consider myself fortunate to be invited into the IET family.

Ok enough blogging for know…I need to get back to vacation….

Yesterday, I preached a message entitled Eat This Book on the art of spiritual reading. I invited my congregation to take God with them on vacation and take The Book too. I told them that I was going to bring The Book with me. This morning I was eating The Book in the valley of vision (Isaiah 22) .

Chewing…eating…meditating on God’s judgment on the pride of the pompous. The Book is making my humble. I need to be rescued…more today than yesterday. Not that I have sinned more today, but because I am more aware of my own fallen-ness. My own pride. My own lust. My own sin. I need his saving grace.

Saving Grace
Bob Dylan
Saved (1980)

If You find it in Your heart, can I be forgiven?
Guess I owe You some kind of apology.
I’ve escaped death so many times, I know I’m only living
By the saving grace that’s over me.

By this time I’d-a thought I would be sleeping
In a pine box for all eternity.
My faith keeps me alive, but I still be weeping
For the saving grace that’s over me.

Well, the death of life, then come the resurrection,
Wherever I am welcome is where I’ll be.
I put all my confidence in Him, my sole protection
Is the saving grace that’s over me.

Well, the devil’s shining light, it can be most blinding,
But to search for love, that ain’t no more than vanity.
As I look around this world all that I’m finding
Is the saving grace that’s over me.

The wicked know no peace and you just can’t fake it,
There’s only one road and it leads to Calvary.
It gets discouraging at times, but I know I’ll make it
By the saving grace that’s over me.

Copyright © 1980 Special Rider Music

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Posted by on July 3, 2007 in Ministry

 

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