Brother Roy has been preaching revival services this week at Mount Carmel High School in Vancleve, Kentucky. Mount Carmel is a boarding school with a large number of international students. Roy is preaching eight services during this revival, his first extended preaching engagement since his cancer treatment last Fall. The students have been responding well to Roy’s down-home, practical messages, and they have even learned some mountain vernacular from Ezra and Arze. Audio of the revival services can be found on the Mount Carmel website, here. We thank the Lord for renewed strength that is allowing Roy to begin returning to a fuller ministry schedule.
There are times when I feel like I’m my own worst enemy. Two areas come quickly to my mind. Sometimes, I trust in my own ability and do not trust the Lord to be the strong arm on which I rely. There are also times when my mouth gets me in trouble. Recently, I saw a small sign that caught my attention. It read, “Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.” I could definitely relate to that little sign. I now frequently use this ‘little saying’ as a prayer.
I’ll share some scriptures that I’ve found to be helpful. They speak to me in relation to the struggles mentioned above.
Lord, Keep Your Arm Around My Shoulder
- Isaiah 33:2 (ESV), “ O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.”
- Deuteronomy 33:27 (ESV), “ The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Lord, Keep Your Hand Over My mouth
- Proverbs 21:23 (ESV), “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
- James 1:19 (ESV), “ Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;”
- 1 Peter 3:10 (ESV),“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit:”
Isaiah 51:5(b) : “And for My arm they wait.”
~ Brother Roy
Just a year ago, Miss Sue and I sat in the doctor’s office in Lexington, Kentucky. My mind went numb as the doctor shared the results of the various tests I had taken. His report: “You have a very aggressive prostate cancer. The Gleason score (rating for aggressiveness) is as high as it goes. We did 15 biopsies and 13 of them show cancer. It is not contained to the prostate. You are a high risk patient.”
On February 10, 2014, Miss Sue and I sat in Dr. Kuban’s office at M.D. Anderson Cancer Research and Treatment Center in Houston, Texas. Nearly four months of aggressive treatments and three months to allow my systems to settle was finally over. The results of the recent tests were in. Miss Sue and I waited to hear the report. Dr. Kuban began by saying, “I’m going to give you a brief summary of our evaluation.” Then with her eyes sparkling and a smile she said, “It doesn’t get any better! The prostate is small and smooth. The tumors are gone. There is no evidence of cancer cells.”
I have great respect for Dr. Kuban and the M.D. Anderson team that treated me, but I give credit and praise to Jesus, my Savior and Healer. Allow me to share the words on the sign in front of Tenwek Missionary Hospital in the highlands of Kenya, Africa: “We Treat – Jesus Heals.” I also acknowledge the hundreds, perhaps thousands, who pleaded my case before God’s Throne. Your prayers sustained me, encouraged me, and carried me to healing.
IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER
~ Brother Roy
An old fellow down home was asked, “ What is your favorite verse of scripture?” After some thought he said, “I reckon it’s, ‘And it came to pass’. With all the trouble I’ve had recently, I’m sure glad it didn’t say, ‘And it came to stay.” Have you ever felt that way? At times, I have. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed and wonder if we can make it. Let me share a few encouraging thoughts for those times. They are based in Scripture. (All the scriptures are from the New King James Version.)
- Psalm 30:5, “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
- Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
- Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
The Apostle Paul tells believers in Corinth of the trouble and pressure he had experienced in Asia (2 Corinthians 1:8-10). It was almost more than he could bear. He concluded that it is when we are under great stress that we come to know the Lord’s strength. He further concluded in His letter to the Romans (5:3-5) that tribulation works patience in us, and patience brings experience and hope. Through it all, we need to learn to trust Jesus. With our blessing, we must let Him use the things He knows that are the best to purify and fit us for heaven.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 - “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.”
~ Brother Roy
At times when I think of all that the Lord has given me, I blush with embarrassment considering what I’ve given Him in return. He left His place by the Father’s side, set aside His home in Heaven, took a frail human body, and dwelled among us. He was despised, rejected, and ridiculed. Beaten and battered, He gave His life a ransom for our sin.
What have we given Him? Often a faltering walk, half-hearted devotion, ungrateful attitude, and sub-power giving of our material possessions are examples of what we’ve often given Him. We are prone to skip public worship when there is something we’d rather do; not to mention the little private time for devotions that we give to Him. As I struggle to convey my thoughts about my shortcomings, two songs come to mind that give expression to what’s in my heart.
One is a contemporary prayer chorus we sing at the church I attend:
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him? Give Him my heart
The other is an old hymn I used to sing in church as a boy:
“Give Me thy heart,” says the Savior of men, Calling in mercy again and again;
“Turn now from sin, and from evil depart, Have I not died for thee? Give me thy heart.”
“Give Me thy heart,” says the Spirit divine, “All that thou hast, to my keeping resign;
“Grace more abounding is mine to impart, Make full surrender and give Me thy heart.”
Let us this day determine to give Him what He so deeply desires – our heart.
Jeremiah 24:7, “Then will I give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”
~ Brother Roy
When I was a student at Asbury College (now University), one of my friends was Leopoldo Frade from Cuba. One day, we were sharing information about how we each came to Asbury. Leo told of how former missionaries to Cuba, who were now teaching at Asbury, had influenced him. This is an account of what Leo shared with me:
Leo’s father, a cane cutter, was walking home one evening from the fields. A missionary was standing along the road preaching the Gospel. Leo’s father joined the crowd that had gathered and listened. The message seemed too wonderful to believe. He stayed until the crowd had moved on. He wanted to know more about this Jesus the missionary was telling about. Before long his eyes filled with tears of repentance. He confessed his sins and asked Jesus to come into his heart. In a moment, he had received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and passed from death unto life. In the following days, Leo’s father talked several times with the missionary. He was hungry to know more about the Savior.
One day, Leo’s father asked the missionary, “How long ago did Jesus die for my sins?” He stepped back stunned at the missionary’s response. “It was about 2,000 years ago”, the missionary said. After several moments of quietness, Leo’s father asked through a flood of tears – “Who has been hiding the story?”
That question has reverberated in my mind now for nearly 50 yrs. It has been a part of the ‘fire’ that burns in my heart to “tell the story”! May I ask you a question? Have you been a part of hiding His story? If you are not sure of ways that you can tell the story of Jesus, please contact us at NHIM. NHIM offers many opportunities to tell the story through prayer bands, prayer teams, short-term mission trips, work teams both home and abroad, financial support, and many other venues.
I love to tell the story; for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
I love to tell the story; for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy word.
from “I Love to Tell the Story”, words by Katherine Hanket
~ Brother Roy
Some people are foolish. It might be said that most of us have acted foolishly at one time or another. But for some, foolish living becomes a life style. I am aware of the scripture in Matthew 7:1 that says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” But we must also be aware that in the same chapter of Matthew, Jesus spoke of people that live in disregard of God’s law: “Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). He taught that good trees produce good fruit, and diseased trees bear bad fruit. We must not engage in unwarranted judgment, but we must exercise spiritual discernment. “And a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment” (Ecclesiastes 8:5b).
Allow me to briefly share a few thoughts about fools and foolish behavior:
- “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1) Many believe that if they have not said with there lips, “There is no God,” it doesn’t count. But Jesus taught that the behavior that arises from the heart determines whether you really believe there is a God or not. In Matthew 15:8, Jesus talks about the difference between what we say and what is in our hearts. Are you saying in your heart and with your lifestyle that there is no God?
- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7) Foolish people disregard the scriptures, pronouncing they are not relevant to them. Some have even cheered at the disappearance of Bible reading and prayers from public arenas. As a nation and as individuals we are ignoring our moral compass – the Scriptures.
- “Fools don’t care if they sin, but honest people work at being right.” (Proverbs 14:9) We may laugh at sin and God’s word, but God will have the last laugh. “You did not follow My advice and did not listen when I corrected you. So I will laugh when you are in trouble. I will make fun when disaster strikes you…” (Pro. 1:25,26).
- “Foolish people lose their tempers, but wise people control theirs.” (Proverbs 29:11) This great proverb needs little explanation. Solomon, reputed to be the wisest man to ever live, added in Ecclesiastes 8:5b: “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”
- A fool places material possessions and self-interest above all else. In the Gospel of Luke chapter 12, Jesus tells the parable of the rich farmer. He had so much he was going to tear down his barns and build bigger ones. “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will these things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20-21)
- Saul, Israel’s first king, started out as God’s anointed. He was wonderfully equipped to lead Israel. But power and the applause of men caused him to walk away from God’s will. Will you hear Saul’s testimony in the declining days of his life? “Indeed I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.” (1 Samuel 26:21b) “…and God has departed from me, and does not answer me anymore.” (1 Samuel 28:15b)
Are you playing a fool in your relationship with God?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
~ Brother Roy