#68: Vacation reflection, sermon summaries, and contextualizing the present.

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In this edition of the Ministry Minded Podcast, I invite you back to “the corner” as I recap my recent vacation and relay some of the thoughts that I have been chewing on recently regarding “contextualizing the present.” There is a sentiment nowadays that demeans those who say “God is good all the time,” posturing that you are merely approaching the present from some sort of “Polly-Anna-ish” perspective of what is really going on — that you are not being honest about the upheaval and heartache of the moment. And, to be sure, life’s moments rarely “feel” good while we are in them. Oftentimes they feel just the opposite. But, again, that does not mean that God is not good all the time, yes, even in those moments of anguish. We are finite creatures. We cannot know or perceive anything other that what is in front of us in the present, the “now.” Therefore, we have a very limited view of what God is actually doing in our time. We see the “A-B-C” of God’s purposes, perhaps, while God is continually orchestrating the “X-Y-Z.” God is not limited by space or time. He is infinite. He knows the ends before they have even begun. Consequently, affirming “God is good all the time” is not some naïve “Polly Anna” perspective of the world. It is the perspective of faith — of moment-by-moment faith that is sustained by grace alone. That is what I hoped to articulate in this episode. I pray you find tremendous blessing as you listen.

Resources.

A Pandemic Commencement,” Timothy Kreider 

The truth about,” article by yours truly 

God’s Word for your every condition,” sermon by yours truly 

The silly summit of some great thing,” sermon by yours truly 

Stonington Baptist Church sermons

Grace: So Much More Than You Know & So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray

Sponsor.

Fresh Roasted Coffee: a locally owned and operated coffee house in the heart of Central Pennsylvania that produces the freshest coffee and delivers it at peak drinkability. Use offer code “GRACE10” at checkout to get a discount off your next order.

Buy Some Coffee!

Notes.

I’m Brad Gray and I serve as the Senior Pastor of Stonington Baptist Church in Paxinos, Pennsylvania, where I live with my wife Natalie, daughter Lydia, and son Braxton. Besides pastoring, I spend most of my time writing, reading, and ministering in many more ways. I am resolved to faithfully and fervently propagate the gospel of “grace upon grace” for the weary and the worn out. It is my sincerest desire to live and minister all “for the sake of the Name.” (3 Jn 1:7) So long as Christ is exalted, that is enough.

Credits.

Ad music: “Coffee Stains” by Finley, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Intro music: “West Coast” by Ryan Little, licensed under CC BY 4.0.