|July 22, 2004|
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If you've been following the CARM newsletter and updates, you know that I have accepted a job in Boise, Idaho and my wife and I are planning to arrive there on August 1st. Of course, it is possible that we may have to postpone it a few days since we can't seem to find a U Haul truck to rent, but the Lord will provide. We do have a place to stay and we are confident that things will work out.
So, if you can pray for provisions for these needs, that would be great. And, if you pray, praise the Lord for His mercies and what He will do in advance.
Also, because of the various inquiries I've received about our move and stuff, I have put up a status page at www.carm.org/temp/status.htm. This way I don't have to answer a ton of email. I'll put up the latest info about the status of the exact move date, arrival date, living arrangements, etc. This isn't a big deal, but it helps to make things more efficient for those who have been asking.
HELP PACKING AND UNPACKING:
I figure I might as well ask. Is there anyone interested in helping us pack up in Escondido, and if there is anyone who'd be gracious enough to help us unpack in Boise, please email me at email@example.com and let me know and I'll tell you the specifics. There is absolutely no way I can load the heavy stuff by myself and will definitely need help in both places. Thanks.
Once we are settled in Boise, and buy a home, we hope to move me into full time ministry with CARM. It is getting much closer to a reality and with a home office, I'll be able to do a lot more writing and research. Also, I'll start looking for a staff. It'll be exciting.
ONLINE SCHOOL: The online school of Christian theology is continuing to do very well. If you are interested in learning Christian theology in an easy-to-use, self-paced format, then check out http://www.carm.org/online.htm. The tuition is $50 and you can access it at http://carm.1plan.net/login.php. By signing up you can support CARM as well as learn theology. Also, you can use Paypal. Instructions are found here.
I'm about 3/4 done with the Apologetics Online school. A lot of people have expressed interest in it and I am excited about it's completion. Give me a couple months -- considering the move and all. There is so much I could do with that school but, boy, does it take a lot of work to develop. I would say that I put in about 100 hours into the Online School of theology arranging the material, and about that much so far on the Apologetics version and it isn't even done yet. Whew! But its worth it.
Sometimes we talk about how good the Lord is to us. We tell others that God has done so many wonder things in our lives and the lives of others. It is always good to hear these testimonies of God's greatness and love.
It is easy to talk about how good God is when things are comfortable. It isn't always easy to praise God when things are unsure. When the pressures of life are heavy, and when uncertainty is a constant companion, those are the times we need to make sure that we are giving glory to God by praising His goodness and faithfulness, in spite of our circumstances.
I have met Christians who are going through and have gone through incredible adversity (failing marriage, rape, loss of children through accident or murder, loss of a job, loss of a spouse, etc.) and yet they have praised God. I know of one woman whose child was murdered in her front yard -- yet she continues to trust and praise God. Another man, a pastor, lost his teenage child in an auto accident -- yet he continues to trust and praise God. A woman has discovered her husband is abandoning the faith and is into drugs -- yet she continues to trust and praise God. When I meet these people and they testify of their faithfulness to God, I am humbled. They exemplify trust in God that is independent of circumstances.
Our trials and difficulties are great opportunities. First of all, they help us to see ourselves by showing us where our hope is, how deep our faith is, and what exactly we are relying on. Second, they are opportunities to trust God in order to see Him work. We need to have such periodic times in our lives in order to refine our faith. It isn't fun, but it is good.
Difficult times do two things: They show us ourselves and they show us God.
The Psalmist says, "But as for me, I trust in Thee, O Lord, I say, 'Thou art my God,'" (Psalm 31:14). If God is God, and if He has saved us from our sins by giving Himself (God in flesh) whose plan of salvation has been from eternity (Heb. 13:20), will He now forsake us through our trials? Never, for God says, "...I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you," (Heb. 13:5). This doesn't mean that our trials won't be difficult -- otherwise we couldn't call them trials. But, God won't forsake us. This means that through our lives, through the good and bad, the Lord has not and will not forsake us. He will be with us always (Matt. 28:20). Therefore, we need to praise Him no matter what. He is good and faithful. We may not fully understand the reasons or scope of the trial, but we can trust Him through it.
Ask yourself what is the reason for your faith? Why do you trust God and how much do you trust Him? We need to know the answers to those questions so we might better glorify God as He sanctifies us through His son Jesus. God is faithful.
Faith is only as good as who you put it in. What are you trusting in?
"And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; for Thou, O Lord, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee."
We need your support. If you think CARM is a worthwhile ministry, please seriously consider supporting it financially and prayerfully as we move closer to full time status. CARM is a ministry to the Internet that affects thousands of people in the real world. If you want to be a part of supporting this missionary work that please prayerfully consider donations. All donations are tax deductible. (If the buttons below did not work, please go to http://www.CARM.org/goods/donations.htm). If you do contribute, could you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know? Thanks and God bless.
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Rev. Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet. Equipping the church to defend the faith in a secular society.
To view past newsletters, please go to http://www.carm.org/more-stuff/newsletters.