Episode 260-Uvalde – WHY?

Disciple Up #260
Uvalde – WHY?
By Louie Marsh, 5-25-2022

“2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2, ESV)

“18Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes, 19who say: “Let him be quick, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and let it come, that we may know it!” 20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! 22Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, 23who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!” (Isaiah 5:18–23, ESV)

“5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5–8, ESV)

“30take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ 31You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:30–32, ESV)

“7“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. 8He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”” (Jeremiah 17:7–10, ESV)

“28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:28–32, ESV)

“1I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2, ESV)

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Episode 213

Disciple Up #213
“Living On Borrowed Time”
By Louie Marsh, 6-2-2021

 In all my years of ministry I’ve never known anyone who better exemplified the old saying, “living on borrowed time” than Dennis.

 We’re here to remember and honor Dennis.

  • Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 1 Thess. 4:13
  • Grief is alright – in fact it’s good!

1, Paul didn’t say not to grieve, just that our grief should be different.  Why?

2, Because in Jesus Christ we have HOPE!

3, This kind of Hope is ours because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7–8, ESV)

  • Take advantage of his last gift to you – his life. Learn from him, follow his good example, and learn from his mistakes, it’s what he would want all of us to do. This is the last gift anyone can give, let us make good use of his memory and example as we move forward in our lives.

 Story of when I first met them – Christie shy hiding behind Helen, she’s not shy anymore!

They starting to come to our church and stuck with us after I became the Pastor – don’t know why given my sermons!! I watched both of them grow spiritually and got to know them.

It was always Dennis and Helen. The only time I heard people speak of them separately was when they were only referring to one of them. Like how calm and wise Dennis was, or, “Oh that Helen, wow is she short!”

The BIG event, Dennis’ first heart problems and by-pass. He wasn’t supposed to live for that long and I remember thinking then that he was living on borrowed time.

As time went on I noticed a pattern that seemed to develop. Things would ok for a while, then issues would crop up and after a while a crisis. Everything was on the line and God in his goodness allowed his doctors and nurses to perform seeming miracles. He’s come through and because he apparently had good credit with the Lord Dennis would get more borrowed time from the Lord.

This went on for years and there were people all over the place praying for this guy Dennis who they had never met. I wonder if he knew, or if the family ever considered, just how many people Dennis motivated to pray and pray hard. Tell Story of my church.  Then God would graciously loan Dennis some more time and the cycle continued.

Time passed, his family grew and grew and we all got older, and Dennis, the Energizer Bunny of heart patients, just kept on going. The road was bumpy for sure, but God kept extending His Grace to Dennis and he just kept on living on borrowed time.

But we were always very aware of just how fragile his health was. God was teaching us a profoundly important truth that James talks about:

14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14, ESV)

5For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, ESV)  We al know we’re going to die, and most of us spend the vast majority of our lives desperately trying to ignore that fact.

Dennis couldn’t do that, and neither could those of us who loved him. God often grants wisdom through suffering and through Dennis’ suffering we were being offered something important. “12So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12, ESV)

This doesn’t mean to figure out the date you’re going to die, it means to understand how brief and precious life is and live it to the full. To never forget that your living on borrowed time.

I think Dennis did that. In the end he died on the birthdate of his oldest daughter, and his memorial service is today – Memorial Day. A day set aside to specifically honor those who died for our country, but we also honor all who have served or are serving, and Dennis served in the Marine Corps.


The Finish Line – By Steve Taylor, 1993

The vision came

He saw the odds

A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel

“These have tried to take your place, but Father,

by your grace I will never kneel

I will never kneel…”

Off in the distance

Bloodied but wise

As you squint with the light of the truth in your eyes

And I saw you

Both hands were raised

And I saw your lips move in praise

And I saw you steady your gaze

For the finish line

Every idol like dust

A word scattered them all

And I rose to my feet when you scaled the last wall

And I gasped

When I saw you fall

In his arms

At the finish line –  Oh, the Finish Line

In the end Dennis, battered, bruised and weary, fell across the finish line into the arms of Jesus. When he did so he knew he had won the race of life. He is out time now and lives in eternity with God and has left us a message that took decades prepare. So let us honor him by never forgetting that we are – all of us – living on borrowed time.

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