READ: Job 42.1-6, 10-17 For 27 years, Nelson Mandela suffered in a host of South African prisons.
He was sent to prison for treason.
His crime was fighting to overthrow apartheid — a system of racial segregation that privileged whites.
And Nelson Mandela suffered severely.
The conditions in the prisons were deplorable.
Beatings and abuse were regular.
Having to work in the lyme quarry caused permanent damage to his eyes.
He wasn’t able to attend his mother’s funeral.
READ: Mark 10:46-52 There’s a seen in the former TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond” in which the Barone family has some friends from Italy visiting their house.
And they are enjoying the food and company, and they all immediately begin speaking in Italian.
They are laughing and having a great time, but Ray’s wife, Deborah — who is obviously not Italian and doesn’t speak the language — is feeling completely left out.
No one notices, as her expression of her polite smile chan
READ: Job 38.1-7, 34-41 When was the last time you were silenced by God?
`That you were literally brought to silence in some situation in which you understood God’s presence?
Last January, as I stood on the edge of the natural wonder in South Dakota that is called the Badlands, I was brought to complete and utter silence.
There just are no words for the majesty, the artistry of our Master Creator, or the gift of such splendor.
Nearly 400 square miles of towering spires ca
READ: Mark 10:35-45 There’s a difference in the kinds of leadership experience that we may have, isn’t there?
For instance, I remember as a high school senior, I was the captain of my indoor soccer team.
That meant that I simply had to make schedules, be sure everyone knew what they were supposed to do and occasionally talk to those who were in charge.
Some years later, as a worship leader at a few different churches, it was much the same.
It basically meant that I simply
Job 23:1-9,16-17 The Danish existentialist and Christian theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, suffered much in his life.
While the Book of Job is a story in which Job loses his family, his status, his livelihood and his health all because God agrees to test Job’s faith, Soren Kierkegaard lived at least a portion of this.
His parents died at an early age, five of his six siblings also had died young, his marriage ended as quickly as it began and he suffered from acute depression,
Read: Joshua 24.14-24 I can remember at least three times in my life when I said I would follow God then ended up doing the opposite.
I’m not talking about sinning and asking for forgiveness here;
I’m talking about flat-out giving my life to God then doing anything but living like I just did that.
Maybe some of you can relate to this.
We know the Gospel writers recount Jesus’s parable about the seeds and the soils:
The farmer scatters seeds in three different places, and
READ: Job 1.1, 2-1-10 In the 1998 blockbuster film, The Truman Show, the main character, Truman Burbank — played by Jim Carrey — one day discovers that he has been living his entire life in sort of an alternate reality.
He doesn’t know it yet, but his whole life has been part of a TV show
— a live broadcast of Truman’s every move since birth and revealed by hidden cameras controlled by a producer played by Ed Harris.
Everyone and everything in his life — his friends, his f
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