He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

My wife and I don’t subscribe to the local newspaper. Or to any newspaper, for that matter. Although Fox News is one of the default windows on each of our computers and I check it several times daily–as well as receiving breaking news in email–I tend to agree with something Paul Simon said a number of years back: “I get all the news I need from the weather report.

Why do I feel that way? Am I unconcerned about the world around me? Am I so immersed in thoughts of eternity in Heaven that I want to ignore what’s going on here on earth?

I don’t think so. Over the last three or four years, I’ve begun paying more attention both to politics and to events around the world than ever before.

But it’s so depressing. The names and places may change, but the evil taking place worldwide sounds the same as always. The Bible says, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” and I think that applies to the depravity of humankind as well as to numerous other things.

Jesus preached a gospel of love–love for God and for one’s fellowman. But the news makes me believe that the world in general hasn’t become one bit more civilized than it was in Jesus’ day.

I don’t recall many of the conversations I had with my mother, but this one stands out. I was probably an upper teen when I said, “Why do people even have children nowadays with so much evil in the world?”

Her response was something like “Don’t you trust that everything is still in God’s hands?”

That’s been what’s kept me from turning into a total pessimist.

Back in the days when folk music was popular (1960s, as I recall), I played a lot of it, including what were called “Negro spirituals.” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” was one of my favorites, and it sums up what Christians ought to remind themselves of when they start feeling pessimistic about the state of the world.

And this verse from Philippians 4 in the Bible says it all: “Do not worry about anything. Pray instead about everything and don’t forget to thank God for His answers.” I don’t think God would object if we substitute the word “fret” for “worry” when the state of the world starts getting to us.

Does God have YOUR world in His hands? How about sharing with a comment?

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus–I think of it as “the novel the Devil hates”–released on November 25. Check it out on Amazon if you’re interested.

Tentative-Front-Cover

Best regards,
Roger

Spiritual Warfare?

Let me begin by saying that  spiritual warfare is a biblical concept. So is the Devil, although the Bible doesn’t describe him in the stereotypical way we often think of him. I believe the Devil has a great deal of power.

At the same time, I’ve long marveled at the number of Christians who accuse the Devil (don’t ask me if he’s one person or many) of being responsible for all of the hard times they’re going through. Yes, he was responsible for Job’s woes and God permits him to do evil even to good people, but many of our most serious problems result from our own mistakes and bad choices–and sometimes from those  of other people.

And let’s not ignore original sin. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God couldn’t allow them to remain in His perfect Garden, Eden,  and continue to live perfect, carefree lives.  So He expelled them into a world that was–and continues to be–filled with trouble. And death. Those things are to be expected. So why blame the Devil for all of them?

All of that to help you understand the rest of this post more easily…

On Tuesday the 25th, my novel–The Devil and Pastor Gus–releases. Of the eleven novels I’ve written (this will be the third one published), this is one of my favorites. If you read my recent post about legacies, you already understand that.

Martin Luther made this observation, quoted by C. S. Lewis in Screwtape Letters: “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.”

And that’s exactly what The Devil and Pastor Gus intends to do–make fun of the Devil.

But how does Satan feel about The Devil and Pastor Gus? Does it so anger him that he would attack the publication of the book? What can he do–if anything–to express his resentment?

Here’s where I’m just thinking aloud. My book’s publisher, Lighthouse Publisher of the Carolinas (LPC), is small. But they do a great job. However, by oversight–certainly not intentional–some steps in the publication process got behind schedule.

Hmm. Human error. Understandable. Can’t blame the Devil for that.

But then my author representative–the person I could ask all of my questions about the publication process–cut her foot, and the resulting infection went to her heart. Her condition was life-threatening, and she’s been out of commission ever since.

I was assigned a new author rep, one who already had her own caseload. And she ended up in a car accident. She’s recovering, but not back at work yet.

Another LPC employee–I don’t know if her work had any direct connection with my book–lost her husband in an accident.

And then my marketing representative lost a family member she had been very close to. Very unexpectedly in a horrible accident. Understandably, that has affected her ability to help.

Spiritual warfare? I don’t know. But it makes you think, doesn’t it?

If you have anything to share on this subject, please leave a comment.

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Be on the lookout for The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases this Tuesday. Here’s the link on Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger