Developing Enduring Faith

Lamentations 3:19-25

Thomas Obadiah Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky in 1866 and grew up in a ‘dirt poor’ family. He only received an elementary education in a little country schoolhouse, but even so was recognized as being one of the smartest kids in the county and at age 16 became the teacher at the same school. Ten years later, he walked the sawdust trail at a revival meeting to give his life to Christ. In the next few years, he developed a passion to become a pastor and although he had no college or seminary training he was ordained to the Methodist ministry at age 36. Unfortunately for Thomas, he was extremely frail and suffered from increasingly poor health that required him to give up his ministry after only one year. His poor health plagued him until the day he died.

But even so, he didn’t give up on God. He turned to writing Christian poems. Over 1200 were published in several Christian periodicals of the time. In 1923 at the age of 57, he wrote a poem about God’s continual faithfulness over his lifetime despite his difficulties.
That poem was so moving it was set to music and became one of the most loved hymns of all time. + Read More

State of the Church, Part II

Revelation 1:1-3, 9-20; 2:1-7

We were having our weekly staff meeting Thursday morning when I mentioned that I had been reading in and was planning to preach on Revelation. Chuck Lemmon said, “I remember that you once said that people make the mistake of getting bogged down in the details of the book; that in order to grasp its significance, we should instead focus on the big picture which is that in the end, ‘God wins!’

But can a fellow change his mind? I have always had difficulty in understanding how the seven letters to the seven churches fit the remainder of the book that contains the apocryphal vision of John. It had seemed to me, as to many, that those seven letters in chapters two and three were at one time a separate book that was later joined to the vision that begins in chapter four and runs through the end of the book. But after re-reading the book several times, I think I finally figured it out.

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