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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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The Glory and the Grind

Posted by admin in August 3rd, 2019 | 4 comments 
Published in faith, Uncategorized

There’s an old adage, “War is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.” I think about this saying whenever I’m reading or studying the life of Abraham. Abraham, an ordinary guy going about his ordinary life doing ordinary things when all of the sudden BOOM! God interrupts and Abraham’s course, his life, even his name is changed. We read about Abraham from his call in Genesis 11, at age 75, until his death at age 175, in Genesis 25. In those 100 years of walking with God, the Bible states that God spoke to Abraham only seven times—-seven times in 100 years. Abraham’s life can be described much like the old adage on war: long periods of grind punctuated by shocking moments of glory.

This year I turned 60 and 60 is a call for reflection. I have walked with God since my 21st birthday in 1980. That was the year I was filled with the Spirit and set on fire for God. That was the year I dedicated my life to missions and made a covenant with God to follow Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. It’s been nearly 40 years of passionately following God, listening intently to His voice, and earnestly following everything I believed He called me to do. It’s been a wonderful walk with God. I have seen beautiful miracles of healing, restoration, encounters with angels, timely provision, divine appointments, deliverance, and doors opened that no man could shut. I’m grateful for all those wonderful blessings and supernatural events. Each one sharp in my memory as if it happened just yesterday. Each moment a treasure. But quite honestly, 40 years of walking with God is mostly good, old-fashioned, white-knuckled faith-—in other words…grind.

In my grandmother’s day they’d call these times of glory, “mountain top experiences.” Writers of old described them; Bible teachers expounded on them; Oswald Chambers made an entire devotional about them. Mountain top experiences are the moments when God reaches through the veil of heaven and touches us on the shoulder. He interrupts our daily routines and reminds us of His great power and presence. I love those moments of His nearness and powerful work among us. Why are they so rare and far between? Could we mere mortals not contain the glory? Would our hearts burst? Or is it a lack of faith on my part? I don’t know. The writers of old told us that nothing grows on the mountain top and that the valley, low and dark and moist, is where our growth takes place. Okay. I understand the metaphor. But is it really that simple? Not to be cynical, but I think it is a bit more complicated than that. The glory is a product of God’s grace and love towards us found in Christ Jesus. The glory is God speaking to Abraham and providing all the promises and keeping all the oaths. The Glory is God’s part; the grind is ours. The grind is the daily walk of a follower of Jesus in a broken and fallen world. The grind is the second half of Hebrews chapter 11. The grind is when nothing I feel, see, or am experiencing reflects God’s promises. It’s Sarah no longer menstruating and hearing God’s promise of a child. It’s Moses dying this side of the promised land. It’s burying a loved one way before you’re ready. It’s sitting in a chair with your leg propped up in a boot when you were supposed to be ministering in Holland and Lithuania. It’s joblessness when you are eager and ready to work. It’s when a loved one won’t change even though you’ve been begging God in prayer to perform a miracle.

The grind is the monotony of everyday life where we live out the mundane clinging to the hope that God will make all things new and living out the promise of 2 Corinthians 3:18, (TLB), “But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.” Which, might be the reason for the grind – to form us into the image of Jesus which oddly, might just be another form of Glory. Peace.

The Tilt of Freedom Toward Evil

Posted by admin in January 7th, 2019 | no comment 
Published in Uncategorized

Solzhenitsyn. The name conjures up a few images, like folks who know they should eat their vegetables, “But it’s just so hard to find the time.” Or, “I love him, though I’ve never actually read him.” Most pseudo-intellectuals like myself LOVE the idea of Solzhenitsyn, but just haven’t take the time and hard work of actually digesting him.

As Americans we want to be intellectually astute and many claim to have read Solzy, but in truth, we’ve only read bits and pieces and stuff others have written about him. Hand raised, I’m the guiltiest among us.

Recently, Daryl (who actually read The Gulag Archipelago on vacation a few years back) shared with me a book review written by Polish scholar Ryszard Legutko. Legutko is brilliant. He speaks five languages, authored half a dozen books, is a professor of philosophy, and a member of Poland’s parliament. His English-language writing style is glorious. Basically, he’s a rock star. In January’s issue of First Things Legutko writes a book review on Solzhenitsyn’s Between Two Millstones, Book 1: Sketches of Exile. The book ends with Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 Harvard commencement speech. Legutko calls him “The Russian Jeremiah.” And quite frankly, he’s right.

In […] Continue Reading…

I Shall Not Be Moved

Posted by admin in October 24th, 2018 | 6 comments 
Published in faith, Worship, Worship

This week our dysfunctional HOA board had four beautiful, healthy, 20-year-old Linden trees cut down. Their root systems were not a disturbance; they were not interfering with power lines. Without notifying the residents or even putting it up to a vote, the board made the decision to cut these amazing trees down. As it was happening, I was trying to contact the board, and no one would respond. So, I posted my protest on a popular social website “Nextdoor” and one of the members responded, “The leaves were getting in the pool.” (Which has been closed since Sept. 1). There is so much untrue about his statement and I don’t want to explain it all here, but this is what I have discovered in life: If something doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t add up, usually corruption is involved. Our HOA has cut most of our services and even stopped watering the common areas in order to “save money” and yet each of these healthy trees cost about $600 to remove. Four beautiful, joy-giving trees. I have never awakened in my house and not seen those trees. They have always been there to greet me each morning when I open […] Continue Reading…

Cliff’s Notes: Practical Tips on Teaching

Posted by admin in September 12th, 2018 | 5 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

The small wiry Chinese university president pulled me to the side and whispered, “Hou Chi, Dr. Cliff look really, really stupid, but in fact, he really, really smart. When he open mouth much wisdom come out. Surprising.”

Don’t worry, I told Cliff about the conversation and he cracked up laughing. The fact of the matter is, Cliff knew he was the Columbo (Peter Falk’s TV detective) of education. He always caught people off guard. He always stunned them with pure genius from a much unexpected source. I sat anonymously among crowds that snickered as he approached the pulpit or lectern and watched those same crowds come to their feet cheering and applauding when he had finished. I have seen hardened teenagers with folded arms and chins stuck out melt under the anointing as he spoke; I’ve seen them wipe tears from their eyes and bow their knees. He moved people with his authenticity and his powerhouse knowledge. He was awesome.

Dr. Cliff Schimmels was a professor of education at Wheaton College for over 17 years. He was also a football coach there. He wrote over 30 books, won the Mark Twain International Award for fiction three times, spoke often […] Continue Reading…

Jesus the Model Teacher

Posted by admin in September 4th, 2018 | no comment 
Published in Uncategorized

How Would Jesus Teach?

Many professions or vocations today lack an exact model of how Jesus would work in specific fields. We can see in Scripture that Jesus prepared breakfast for his disciples. However, we don’t know his recipe, if he used marinade, what his filleting technique was, or much about his presentation. (But I bet it was delish). We know that Jesus was a carpenter, but the Bible doesn’t give us a detailed explanation of how he actually built things. Interesting though, Os Guinness reports that a plow bearing Jesus’s and Joseph’s trademark was found still being used near the Sea of Galilee over a hundred years after Jesus’s death. Wow. That’s some good workmanship! But what else would you expect from the Creator of the universe?

But teachers take heart! In the Gospels, Jesus is addressed as “Teacher” more than any other title (Friedeman, 1990). He is considered by a wide-range of people from diverse cultures, political thought and world religions as an excellent teacher. For those of us who are his followers, he is THE Teacher.

Scripture has a lot to say about Jesus as a teacher. Matt Friedeman (check out the book reference at the end […] Continue Reading…

Teaching Well Is Teaching Good

Posted by admin in September 3rd, 2018 | 2 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

It’s back to school time! Swoosh…summer’s gone. Unbelievable. We are now looking at the 2018-2019 academic year. Exciting stuff.

Some folks who read this old blog of mine are teachers, college professors, university instructors, and even homeschoolers. To celebrate this back-to-school season, I want to share a four part series with you on teaching like Jesus, which is actually an excerpt from Mike’s and my book. Hope you enjoy. Hope it encourages all the teachers out there. Here’s part one.

In 1991, Dr. Cliff and Mary Schimmels left the US to go and teach at Kiev State Pedagogical University in Ukraine. Communism had just collapsed and living in the former Soviet state wasn’t all that easy. Cliff and Mary knew times were tough, but they believed God had called them to teach, work alongside colleagues and do all that they could to encourage both administrators and students in Kiev.

Within the first few weeks of living in their new home, the Schimmels made friends with their students, colleagues and neighbors. They were like that. Friendly. Warm. Nice to be around. They even had a few occasions to share their faith and love for Christ with people, but they were never preachy or […] Continue Reading…

When Salt Loses Its Saltiness

Posted by admin in May 21st, 2018 | 10 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

Every Tuesday night I have a Bible study in my home for two high school girls. As soon as they walk through the front door I feed them a homemade meal. Around the kitchen table we talk about whatever is happening in our lives and fill each other in on what has happened from the week before. When we are done eating we move over to the sofas and study the Word of God. Right now, we are “just reading the red.” We are taking on the Gospels for the sole purpose of reading the recorded words of Jesus. If you want to get to know a person better, spend time with him and listen to what he says. That’s our guiding principle.

Last week we were reading Matthew 5 where Jesus is telling His disciples to do the opposite of everything that comes to them instinctively through human nature. Jesus’ words were revolutionary for that time, and for our time as well. Someone hits you in the face, be sure and offer them both sides; someone wants to borrow something, give ‘em more than they ask for; if a creepy Roman soldier asks you to carry his military equipment […] Continue Reading…

Part IV – A Shocking Solution

Posted by admin in March 28th, 2018 | 6 comments 
Published in immigration, prayer, Revival

Hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for ten years. Quite honestly, today’s post is a tough one to write. Dealing with immigration issues is hard. I think this is one of the reasons people try to avoid the topic. But should we? Should we as followers of Jesus avoid difficult issues? Probably not.

Long before March 7, and my first post about the World Relief video, I’d been struggling, wrestling, praying, debating with myself over the topic of immigration–not just illegals, but poorly vetted refugees, and random lottery visa winners. I’m not going over the stats and specifics on these matters again. Please read the three previous posts – they are filled with facts, figures, and information on immigration. In this final post on the topic, I want to think about the heart of the matter.

What does it mean for those of us who are Christians, as one author puts it, to “live a truthful, meaningful, and responsible life” in a world filled with landmine issues and topics too hot to handle? Let me answer this in a roundabout way…

Back in 2002, Daryl and I went to Scotland to meet with Christians who had experienced the Great Hebrides […] Continue Reading…

Part III – The Truth About Illegals in Our Nation

Posted by admin in March 14th, 2018 | 4 comments 
Published in immigration

Have immigrants done harm to anyone here in the US? Aren’t they just here to live out the American Dream? Aren’t they just Dreamers? Unfortunately, as one reporter put it, “Not everyone has melted.” Assimilation is vitally important to a nation of immigrants. That’s why the USA has been referred to as a Melting Pot. Adaption to language, cultural norms, and standards of law are vitally important for a nation of immigrants to succeed.

As Christians, how are we to respond to the questions about illegal immigration? It’s really difficult to pilfer through the definitions, clarifying terms, and crazy statistics all related to illegal aliens, undocumented workers, DACA Dreamers, and refugees. UGH – sometimes it gets to be just too much!

World Relief’s “Welcome the Stranger” video released last month is directed by Jenny Yang. Yang is a staff member at World Relief in charge of their political arm. World Relief lost their way a long time ago and sadly, church organizations around the nation (including SBC), jumped on the WR bandwagon and bought whatever they were selling. Jenny Yang is their hawker of wares for everything immigration. And BIG surprise!! Jenny Yang is a Democrat who supports […] Continue Reading…

Part II – Was Jesus A Refugee?

Posted by admin in March 12th, 2018 | 2 comments 
Published in immigration

“JESUS was a refugee. If He came to earth today, He’d be cast out by anti-refugee policies! As a Christian, are you okay with that?”

This is a myth. Jesus was NOT a refugee. Ever. He also was not an illegal immigrant. Unfortunately, someone picked up on this untrue story a while back and started blasting it throughout Christendom. In fact, one family I know wanted to celebrate Christmas Eve last year at their church. Instead of celebrating the wonderful birth of Jesus, their pastor showed a rather lengthy film (pro-Palestinian) on how unwelcoming “Jesus the Refugee” would find Israel today. “Nothing but a wall would welcome him.” Hmmm…. that and the fact that Palestinian-occupied Bethlehem doesn’t allow Jews inside the city. Israel gave Bethlehem to the Palestinians in 1995.

If Jesus wasn’t a refugee, what was He? What really happened? Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth. Nazareth is a city in Israel. The Roman Caesar, whose armies occupied and controlled Israel, called a census and required all Israeli citizens to return to their home city for a head count. Registering citizenship – wow! That’s a good idea.

Joseph and Mary (pregnant with Jesus) OBEYED the law […] Continue Reading…

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Recent Articles

  • The Glory and the Grind
  • There’s an old adage, “War is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.” I think about this...
  • The Tilt of Freedom Toward Evil
  • Solzhenitsyn. The name conjures up a few images, like folks who know they should eat their vegetables, “But it’s just...
  • I Shall Not Be Moved
  • This week our dysfunctional HOA board had four beautiful, healthy, 20-year-old Linden trees cut down. Their root systems were not...
  • Cliff’s Notes: Practical Tips on Teaching
  • The small wiry Chinese university president pulled me to the side and whispered, “Hou Chi, Dr. Cliff look really, really...
  • Jesus the Model Teacher
  • How Would Jesus Teach? Many professions or vocations today lack an exact model of how Jesus would work in specific fields....

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