A Private Audience

Psalm 18: 6 (The Message) –  A hostile world! I call to God,

I cry to God to help me.  From his palace he hears my call;  my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience!

Think about it.   David is saying that if we call to God, He will hear us.   Not as a cry from off in the distance, but a private audience.

We can have a private audience with God.   We can have a private audience with God to talk to Him about our concerns.    We can talk to Him and bring our concerns and about the injustices in this world.

And He listens.   He listens like it’s just the two of us sitting down talking and having coffee.   A private audience.  

Now that doesn’t mean that He will do everything we want, He knows way better than we do.   But He will listen.

And if He listens and is willing to give us a private audience, we should really spend a lot more time talking to Him.    Don’t you think…..


My Story – Boy Was I Naive! (How Haiti Changed My Story)

As I told you before, this is the first installment in “My Story.”    I hope you remember that is my story from my perspective – and is not indicative of anyone else’s story.  Enjoy!

(How Haiti changed my story)

by Tom Vanderwell

I’ll never forget the day.

It was a Sunday afternoon in October of 2002 and the kids were off doing what they do on a Sunday afternoon, reading, playing, just relaxing. My wife and I were sitting in our four season porch reading the paper like we often do on Sunday afternoons.

She said to me, “Did you read the “Child of the Week” segment?” The local paper, in conjunction with some of the local adoption agencies, did a “Child of the Week” segment about kids in foster care waiting for families.

“I did.” I responded. We looked at each other and said, “We could do that.” Suddenly something that we had talked about “possibly” doing “some day” became now.

Our older kids were old enough and great kids. We had room. Room in our hearts and room in our house.

And just like that, a journey started.

And boy was I naive.

Nothing Makes Sense

“I say to God, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense.”  Psalm 16:2 (The Message)

I’ve talked to numerous people going through tough times, whether they be financial, physical, emotional or other.   I’ve talked to numerous people who live and work in 3rd world countries (like Haiti, Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh) who deal with and see suffering on a daily basis.   Suffering that most of us in the first world will never see.

“Without you, nothing makes sense.”    How could you see and deal with that type of suffering without knowing that there is a God?

“Without you, nothing makes sense.”    I don’t believe that means that as soon as you become a Christian, everything will make sense.    I do believe that when you become a Christian, you can rest in the comfort that God has a plan and that one day, maybe not until we get to heaven, but one day we will see what God’s plan is.

I also believe that we are, in many ways, living in a time similar to the period of WWII between D-Day and the end of the war.    After the initial landing and infiltration was completed, the final outcome was certain.  We knew who was going to win the war eventually, but we had a lot of really nasty nasty fighting to go through yet.

We know that Satan has been defeated and that he will not triumph, but we are still in a battle – a battle that we will win – but a battle that will be painful…….

Keep the faith, keep fighting.

God is faithful.


A Fast Food Meal?

Today, as part of my devotions, I came across this verse in Psalm 14:4 (the Message):

Don’t they know
they can’t get away with this—
Treating people like a fast-food meal
over which they’re too busy to pray?

A fast food meal over which they are too busy to pray.   Think about that – how often have you and I whipped into a fast food restaurant, bought some food and on our way again.   Never stopping, never praying for the food, just inhaling it and moving on.

That is NOT how God wants us to treat people.    God is calling us to invest in people, to enjoy spending time with people and to take the time to talk and pray with people.

So, are the people you meet and the people you relate with today a fast food meal or a good solid steak and potatoes sit down dinner?