Psalms on Saturday (Mar. 18, 2017)

“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food…
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night.”

Psalm 63:6

Earlier this week my wife and I had the excellent opportunity to stay at the Haven River Inn in Comfort, Texas. On Tuesday evening, we ate at the Subway there in Comfort and at 4 o’clock in the morning, I discovered that the Subway food and I were having a large disagreement in my belly. For quite a while, I rolled around and could not fall asleep as the battle raged on in my belly. Giving up the fight for sleep, I reached over, grabbed my phone and began browsing through social media, blogs, etc. for an hour.

My wife eventually woke up and I flipped on the lamp and began reading Psalm 63 and in verse 6, the Holy Spirit dropped the hammer upon my heart. In my rolling around, searching for sleep and relief from the Subway-stomach carnage, I never once prayed and asked God for relief. I never once thought back to the Scripture I memorized for just such an occasion. I didn’t even pull up the YouVersion Bible app on my phone to read the Bible for comfort. Instead I sought comfort in the backlit, blue light screen of my iPhone. I did not exemplify Psalm 63:6 (which is quoted above).

Psalm 63:1 says, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” I love this verse; it is one of my favorites in all of Scripture and it is what I aspire and hope would describe me. But if these things are true, if I truly and earnestly desire the Lord, then why was the Bible the last place to which I turned?

The answer is not that I do not love Scripture or do not love God. But the answer is that earnestly seeking the Lord, having a soul which thirsts and yearns for the Lord is a daily and lifelong process with many victories and failures. I failed to turn to Scripture because I was not trusting that God could take care of my problem or provide comfort. However, I did think that my phone would provide the comfort I needed. I failed to trust God.

But even amid the failures, the Lord is gracious and plants the seeds of victory. If I would not have failed, I would not have realized how easily distracted my mind can be and how I do not turn to the Lord in moments of crisis and pain. But through my failure, the Lord showed me these things and now they will be more and more present in my mind the next time a small crisis arises.

“Thank You, Lord God, for showing me that I was not trusting and finding my comfort in you. Please Lord, help me and every Christian to find our comfort, not in our phones, or something else, but to find our comfort in you.”

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My Letter to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee

I sent this letter to the Executive Committee today in light of the Prestonwood Baptist Church, CP and ERLC controversy.

Dear Members of the Executive Committee,

The recent action on the part of Prestonwood Baptist Church (PBC) and other churches to withhold their Cooperative Program giving is extremely distressing and disturbing. Dr. Russell Moore has done a great job at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in leading Southern Baptists to pursue racial reconciliation, to uphold the necessity of strong and moral character and behavior in our public leaders, and to keep the Gospel central in all we do. The action of PBC and other churches seems like little more than extortion in order to force the Executive Committee and the Convention to bend to their will. This is not any different than a church member withholding his giving in order to force a pastor to do what the church member wants; in both situations, the action is borne out of pettiness and a need for control.

As a committed Southern Baptist pastor, I wholeheartedly support Dr. Moore and the work of the ERLC under his leadership. He and his staff have helped and will continue to help to give Southern Baptists a positive witness to the watching world. I ask you, the members of the Committee, to do two things:

  1. To public support and affirm Dr. Moore and his leadership of the ERLC;
  2. To not seat any messengers from churches that refuse to support the work of the Convention by not giving to the Cooperative Program.

I thank you for your time and you will be in my prayers.

In Christ,

Gradon Schaub

Pastor, Duffau Baptist Church