God's Worldwide Reach

MichaelYoungWins08AllStarGameOnce again a Texas Ranger drives in the winning run in the All-Star Game. Michael Young’s game-winning RBI on a one-out sac fly in the bottom of the 15th at 12:37 this morning won it for the American League. And I’m paying for it this morning. Great game. Excellent pitching early and tons of drama late as both benches and bullpens emptied and both teams put runners in scoring position time after time but couldn’t bring any of them around. Last night’s mid-summer classic set all-time All Star Game records for longest game (290 minutes; 4 hours, 50 minutes), most runners left on base (28), most players in the box score (63), most pitchers used (23), and most strikeouts (34). I just wish once, just once, the Texas Rangers would figure as prominently on the national stage in October as they seem to in the middle of July. (Kinsler was safe at second in the bottom of the 11th. Bad call.)

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About three weeks ago I received a call here at the church building from a woman who lives in another city in another state, over 660 miles away from North Richland Hills and Legacy. This stranger introduced herself to me over the phone and proceeded to tell me all the details of several tragic things that had happened in her life over the past few months including, but not limited to, a teenage daughter who became pregnant out of wedlock, an unauthorized abortion, and an unwanted divorce. This woman was in tears—she was trembling, I could hear it—as she told me of the dark valley she was walking through. And the whole time I’m listening to her I’m trying to understand why she had called me. Why was she telling me these things? Who is she? What’s the connection?

And then she says, “Allan, your three sermons on Habakkuk are the only things that have gotten me through the past couple of months.”

My jaw hit the desk and chills ran up my arms and my back as she told me how she was just searching church websites, looking for some encouragment and comfort, when she came across Legacy’s site and the audio of our Sunday morning sermons. Accidentally. She can’t even remember what she googled to get there. But she appreciated the sermons. They provided her strength and comfort. They gave her hope. And she just wanted to call me and thank me and ask me to pray for her.

Wow.

Of all the amazing things that have happened to me over the past three years, I believe that was the absolute most unbelievable. I preach my guts out to a thousand people here at Legacy and those three sermons meant more and did more for a lady I’ve never met who lives three states away than they did for the people I’m actually preaching to.

Some weeks it’s kind of a hassle to get those sermons up on the website. I wonder sometimes if anybody’s really using that resource, if it’s worth the trouble. Suzanne and Bonny have to track everything down and load it and check it and all kinds of stuff. And this lady hits me between the eyes with a sledgehammer to remind me that, yes, our God is using those sermons!

Sometimes I wonder about this blog. Some days it’s kind of a hassle to get something written here. It’s time-consuming. It’s stressful, sometimes, in that I want what’s written here to be meaningful and important and helpful. And I wonder sometimes if anybody’s really using it, if it’s really worth the trouble.

And then I read all the comments on my post regarding Jade Lewis’ death last month. That simple request to pray for Hank and Janet has turned into an internet meeting place where all of Hank and Janet’s friends scattered from Texas to Florida are posting prayers and sympathies and well wishes for that precious family. The Lewises have been so encouraged by the response. Everyone who’s read Hank’s comment have been encouraged. And as I read and re-read all those comments, I’m blown away by the fact that our God is using this blog!

I’m appealing to our God today to use this blog to his glory again. And I’m asking you—personal friends and family of mine and Carrie-Anne’s, Christ’s Church here at Legacy, our brothers and sisters in Marble Falls and Mesquite, all you sweet people in Florida, Jim Gardner and Jimmy Mitchell’s church families in Arkansas and California—please pray for Debbie and Dan Miller.

As I mentioned yesterday, Dan is one of my nearest and dearest friends. He’s one of the main reasons I’m preaching God’s Word today. He means more to me than I can put into words. And I’ve tried over the past couple of days.

They just found out Thursday that Debbie has cancer. She underwent some emergency surgery at Medical City in Dallas Saturday. She’s still there, undergoing all kinds of tests, probably for the rest of this week. They still don’t know everything they’re going to know in the next couple of days. I spent a couple of hours with them both yesterday. Debbie is strong, of course. She’s prepared for the fight. She’s ready. She’s determined. Her faith and her trust is in our God. For the first time since I’ve known him, Dan seems shaken. Completely understandable. His faith is strong. But he’s asking tons of questions. And he seems rattled. And tired. And I love them so much.

Pray for them today. In the powerful name of Jesus, please ask our Father today to heal Debbie and to comfort her and Dan and their three precious children.

And, Lord, please use this blog to work an amazing thing in their lives. And may you, Father, receive all the power and all the glory and all the honor and all the praise.

And all God’s people reading this today say “Amen!”

Peace,

Allan

5 Comments

  1. Jesse

    Allan, God is indeed, absolutely using you, and the blog, and all the other tools you’re employing (and probably a few of His own we don’t even know about) to His glory! We prayed for the Millers last night in our prayer group, and they will continue to be in my prayers.

    Oh, and I have pages of notes I took from your Habakkuk series. It did it’s job here at home too!

    Glad you got some vacation with your sweet family, and glad you’re back.

    Blessings,
    -jesse

  2. Jimmy

    Hey Larry! I have been peeking in my ole mailbox for some juicy outlines, but, alas, nothing doing!! Have you forgotten your old buddy from MFT?!? I miss you more than you miss me.

  3. dbyrnes

    The blog is great. The online sermons are great. The past two days are more than proof that God does indeed use these resources. To say they are a source of encouragement doesn’t adequately describe it.

    They are valuable tools of your ministry and I assure you they are appreciated.

    Strangely enough I picture a modern day Paul utilizing similar resources.

    Hmm….

  4. Allan

    The main point of all that should have been that God is using whatever YOU are doing for his purposes. Those cards you send, those calls you place, those visits you make, those classes you teach, that casserole you deliver, those cookies you bake, that check you write. Is it worth the effort? Is it making a difference? Does it really matter in the long run? And the answer is a loud and echoing YES! YES! YES! It’s not about me and what God’s doing through me. It’s about us—all of us—and what God’s doing through us.

    And AGAIN, I believe a modern day Paul would still be door-knocking.

  5. Jenn

    Keep it up, brother….we are so encouraged by you, day after day!!

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