Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Contact Church's Teen Girls Ministry

This is our friend and fellow Contact Church member Sarah Logsdon's post from yesterday:
"It is hard to believe I am really done with teen girls ministry. It has been an unexpected blessing in my life, but it is definitely time to pass it on to someone else. I've been thinking about how much of what I have done has been with Miriam on my hip or sitting on my lap. It's been a struggle, for sure. I feel so blessed that Kaytie is around to continue working with these girls. It makes it much easier to let go. These girls have been (and will continue to be) so special to me. I'm glad I'll be around to see the next steps in their lives.
"The pictures are from our last Tuesday Bible study together. We finished our lessons on sexual purity and gave the girls an opportunity to sign pledge cards, promising to wait for marriage before having sex. Then the girls got to make bead necklaces or bracelets as reminders of this promise. Please pray for their courage in the face of temptation, and for Kaytie as she loves and listens and spends time with these girls.
"Thanks to all of you who have followed this girls ministry and helped in so many ways. Your prayers have been an encouragement. May God bless you as you minister to those in your corner of the world."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where Is God When People Suffer?

Many people question the God of the Bible when they see or experience suffering. How could God allow injustice? Does he not care? Can he not stop it?

Those questions can be answered in different ways, but I have seen them answered well in the lifestyle of my wife. Just in the last few days, Janet has taken food from the food drive at my workplace to the Contact Church's food bank. Those who would go hungry have a little more to eat because of her efforts. She has taken children's clothes and toys to another congregation that is planning a medical mission trip to Mexico in a few days. Poor children in Mexico will have a few more articles of clothing and a few toys to enjoy because of her efforts. She has made phone calls, sent e-mails, and had lunch with a friend whose husband recently left her. Now another woman who has been mistreated knows that she will not face the difficult days ahead alone.

Where is God when people are in the midst of suffering, pain, and injustice? He may be working in many ways, but one way is through the compassion of his people. He is the God who "defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing" (Deuteronomy 10:18). He works through believers who "look after orphans and widows in their distress and...keep (themselves) from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27).

When Christians embrace a lifestyle of concern for others, it's much more difficult to object to the Christian faith. People can see the compassion and mercy of God in the lives of believers who care and act. They will know where God is: in the hearts of compassionate Christians who are trying to make a positive difference in this world.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Confessions of a Fundamentalist

I liked Bob Lepine's blog entry on May 20 ( Here is a portion of his post:

"I have a shocking revelation to share with you this week. A confession of sorts.

"I hope you won't think less of me or hold it against me.

"I am a fundamentalist.

"There. I said it.

"I remember several years ago when my parents were attending a Sunday school class at the mainline denominational church they attended. The subject of the class was Understanding the Fundamentalists. During a phone conversation one afternoon, my mom told me about the class and I asked what they had learned in the class.

"'They're just explaining the things fundamentalists believe.' she told me.

"I answered, 'You mean things like the inerrancy of scripture, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His substitutionary atonement, His bodily resurrection, and His literal, physical coming again?'

"There was silence on the phone. Finally my mom stammered with horror in her voice, 'Are you a...a...fundamentalist?'

"Guilty as charged.

"The term fundamentalist was first used about 100 years ago. That's when liberal Bible scholars were beginning to undermine some of the things that the Bible teaches and that Christians throughout the centuries have always believed and affirmed. Things like the list I recited for my mom in our phone conversation...

"Flash forward 100 years, and the term fundamentalist has come to mean something very different than it did when the term was coined. Today a fundamentalist is used to refer to legalists who have added their list of theological preferences to the essential doctrines of the faith. These hyper-fundamentalists or neo-fundamentalists are angry, intolerant, lacking in grace or kindness or gentleness or love. In their minds, the only 'pure' church is the one where 'biblical absolutes' include things like reading only the King James version of the Bible, not going to movies, not drinking alcohol, the appropriate length of a woman's hemline and the appropriate length of a man's hair...

"The danger posed by the neo-fundamentalists and their legalism, rebuking, separating and arrogance is that they are giving those of us who stand firm on the fundamentals of the faith that were articulated a century ago by the original 'fundamentalists' and continue to be articulated by theological conservatives a bad name.

"I want my name back. I want to be able to call myself a fundamentalist without my mom thinking I've joined the dark side.

"It's probably not going to happen in my lifetime. So instead, I'll just call myself a theologically orthodox Christian. And if someone asks 'what does that mean?' then I'll have an opportunity to tell them. :)"

I was reminded of an incident from several years ago. Janet and I visited Tulsa Bible Church one Wednesday evening because the noted conservative Bible scholar John MacArthur was speaking. He explained that he used to be called a fundamentalist, but he had to change. He found that the term fundamentalist did not accurately describe him or the people with whom he was associated, because others saw fundamentalists as having too little fun, being too quick to damn, and being mentally deficient. So he started calling himself an evangelical instead.

I must admit that I fit the classic definition of a fundamentalist since I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, Christ's virgin birth, his deity, his substitutionary atonement, his bodily resurrection, and his literal physical coming again. If someone wants to call me a fundamentalist, I won't get too upset. I have been called much worse. I don't mind being called an evangelical or theologically orthodox Christian, either. However, I prefer to be called a Christian. It may be a little generic, but I still like it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Contact Church's Response to Gang Violence

This is an excerpt from our senior minister Ron Babbit's newsletter to his supporters:

"The Reed Feed

"The Reed Community Center director called us at Contact and presented to us their problem--gang activity, fighting, profanity. He said, 'I have been called names I have never heard of.' We asked the director if we could show up and feed dogs and/or burgers to their clowns and darlins. He said, 'Whatever you want to do, we need help.' It's a joy to have so many opportunities to be in the community giving out a cup of lemonade, a musty donut, a slick hot dog placed inside a sometimes hard bun that has been refriged for a week or two. Muscles said, 'Those clowns and darlins don't care.' But when needed, Sarge says, "Throw them out." We buy fresh ones. Some of the clowns eat 2 to 3 dogs, 2 to 3 bags of chips, some healthy donuts, and a swaller or two of lemonade!

"The director has a team of himself and two ladies, with some volunteers who coach the gymnastics program. The Reed Feed Dream Team shows up every Monday afternoon from 3:15 until 5:00 p.m. Our mission is to bring joy, smiles, laughter, hugs, peace, and gifts of groceries for whoever shows up. The first week there were two Barney Fife, Mayberry security clowns sitting in their cars ready to run down the gang activity. They were sitting in their cars with motors running. I walked over and introduced myself. I asked if they were ready for some groceries. They were friendly, but refused the healthy grub. I asked them why they had the motors running in their cars. They said, 'So we can make a fast run toward the fights that will be happening here in a moment.' We continued feeding dogs/burgers and the Barney-boys never had an opportunity to chase after any gang activity--why?

"The next week we showed up with healthy groceries again. The Barney-boys were in their positions. We set up shop. The Barney-boys walked around stirring and inciting the clowns and darlins. It is sad to sit back and watch these grown men who don't know how to love people (and people wonder why many kids don't respect authority).

"During our third week at the Reed Feed, no Barney-boys were present--why? Every Monday afternoon since February, we haven't witnessed a fight. Some of the Reed Team spends time outside serving groceries and interacting with the outside clowns and darlins; and some of us are inside with some wanna-be basketball players. Big-Mac is inside with 10-12 darlins having fun doing crafts. When we show up for the Reed Feed, the clowns and darlins are ready for groceries. The word is out! People are asking, 'Why are you here?' 'Where are you from?' 'What church are you with?' 'Do you need help?' 'Can we help you with money?'

"It's a joy to touch hearts for eternity. Let me share some stories. Every week that we show up to feed, a 6th grade boy is always standing right where we park and set up to grill the dogs and burgers. He doesn't say much, but he is always following me around--like a shadow. Sometimes when I go inside to play basketball or visit with the workers with the Community Center, he follows. We showed up for the PFC (Panthers for CHRIST) at Clinton Middle School and guess who was there for a healthy donut? Our friend from the Reed Feed. He didn't say a word; he just smiled.

"Recently, one of the ladies who works with the Community Center said, 'You know, Ron, I have been going to church, and we started studying the book of Nehemiah.' She continued sharing that Nehemiah had a heart to make a difference by rebuilding, 'just like you and your team are doing by rebuilding lives here in this community.' She said, 'Thank you for showing up. I don't know how you do it.' Praise GOD! May HE receive the glory.

"A few weeks ago, I was inside the gym playing basketball against some clowns and a young couple showed up. I asked them if they wanted to play ball. He said, 'Me?' I said, 'Come on, you will be on my team. We are the ole folks.' He removed his shirt and he had more tattoos than the dudes have at the tattoo store. But that doesn't slow us from encouraging, smiling, sharing, loving, listening and playing team ball. We were able to visit, and he and his honey asked me how old I am. Seems to be a common question. I pray that my white curls don't slow down an opportunity with any of the clowns and darlins. The Reed Community Center director and his team of girls are very encouraged by our presence. GOD gave them an opportunity to call us and we were ready and willing to help.

"I pray for an apartment to be used for homeless teens--you talk about a much needed ministry. Keep praying about Reed Feed and reaching into the lives of homeless teens. Please pray for the start of a baseball and basketball ministry."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dad, Why Would Someone Go to Hell?

Christopher and I had another interesting conversation before bedtime tonight. Here is how it went...

Christopher: "Dad, why would someone go to hell?"

Me: "Well, people go to hell for ignoring God and doing things their own way without considering what God wants."

Christopher: "Like killing someone?"

Me: "Yes, that would be one reason for going to hell. But even if you have ignored God and done things your own way, you can be forgiven. You don't need to go to hell because of what Jesus has done to forgive you."

Christopher: "How can you be forgiven?"

Me: "God wants you to trust him and to turn to him. He wants us to stop ignoring him and living our own way without considering his way of living. He wants us to follow Jesus. The first thing we do when we start to follow Jesus is to be baptized."

Christopher: "I don't want to be baptized."

Me: "Well, maybe someday you will...when you want to follow Jesus. Do you know what baptism means?"

Christopher: "Going into the water."

Me: "Yes, but it is more than just going under the water. When you are baptized, you are burying your old life of ignoring God and doing things your own way. You come up out of the water ready to start a new life of following Christ."

Christopher: "Is that better?"

Me: "Yes."

Christopher: "How?"

Me: "Well, it feels good to be forgiven. And you look forward to when Jesus comes back because you will be able to enjoy being with God forever. None of the bad things in this life will be a problem anymore when that happens. You will have only the good things in life left to enjoy."

Christopher: "You won't have to see anyone die anymore? Mommy won't have to cry?"

Me: "That's right. Only good things will happen for Jesus' followers when he comes back. Nothing bad will ever happen again."

Sometimes my son amazes me. I never considered that a 6-year old boy would ask such deep questions. I hope that I answered them in a way that he understood.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Dying Woman's Important Message

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, English Standard Version).

I listened to a powerful presentation by Rachel Barkey today at (The video is also available on a link at the site.) Mrs. Barkey is a 37-year old woman who is dying of liver and bone cancer. She gave the speech recently at a women's conference at her local church in British Columbia, Canada. In her message, she talked about what she has learned about God, herself, the gospel of Christ, and the purpose of her life as she has dealt with cancer over the last 5 years. Her message is worth hearing. Please take the time to listen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Universe and the Existence of God

A couple of months ago, someone asked me to explain why I believe God exists.

I start with this premise: For anything to exist at all, something has had to have always existed. If at some point in the past, nothing existed, nothing would exist today. Nothing produces nothing. Nothing cannot produce something.

Since things exist, something must be self-existent. Something must have existed forever.

At this point, we have two options:

1. The material universe has always existed.

2. Something beyond the material universe has always existed and is responsible for the creation of the material universe.

Historically, some have held to the eternality of the material universe. However, evidence suggests that the universe had a beginning. Based on current data, scientists theorize that everything began with a "big bang." The specifics of scientific theories may or may not be correct, but all evidence points to a beginning for the universe nonetheless.

Since the first option has been discredited as non-viable, the second option would stand alone as a reasonable explanation for the existence of the universe. Something beyond the material universe has always existed and is responsible for the creation of the material universe. We would refer to this Creator as God.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

Friday, May 15, 2009

How Believing the Bible Led to Faith in Christ

Recently, a reader asked me to explain why I believe the Bible to be accurate and trustworthy. He (or she) wanted to know whether I believed the Bible simply because it claimed to be accurate and reliable.

Twenty-five years ago, I began to understand my need for God. My good friend, Sandra Snow, had drowned in Tulsa's Memorial Day flood of 1984, just days before her sixteenth birthday. She and I had become good friends a few years earlier because we had shared several classes together, a similar religious background, and the experience of parents who were divorcing at roughly the same time. At her death, I realized the need to deal with important questions in life: Does God exist? Is the Bible true? What would happen to me when I died? Could I be forgiven of all I had done wrong against God and others?

I did not want to get the wrong answers to such important questions, so I spent much of my spare time at libraries and bookstores devouring as much information as possible on spiritual and religious topics. I read the works of atheists, New Agers, Christians, and many others.

Of course, I read the Bible, too. At some point along the way, I came across these words:

"See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him--
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
and his form marred beyond human likeness--
so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.

"Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

"Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

"He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

"Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 52:13-53:12).

I recognized immediately that Isaiah was describing Jesus Christ. I had read the Gospels and had seen the movies depicting the life of Christ. Isaiah was describing the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

But I was confused. The book of Isaiah was in the Old Testament, a portion of the Scriptures written before the birth of Christ. How could he have described those events in the life of Christ so clearly? Adding to my surprise, I soon discovered that the book of Isaiah had been written approximately seven centuries before Jesus' birth.

At that point, I knew that the Bible was a book of substance. I saw that it was almost unbelievably accurate and reliable. And I understood that the God to whom it pointed could be trusted. At that moment, genuine faith was sparked within me. Soon, because of the Bible's accuracy and trustworthiness, I would place my trust in Jesus Christ, and he would change the course of my life.

There is more to the story, but believing the Bible was absolutely crucial to bringing me to faith in Christ.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Encouragement Through Hardship

"Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly" (Philippians 1:14).

I find Christianity to be most attractive when I see faithful Christians enduring hardship with God-honoring attitudes and actions.

When I read about a man who went to jail and ministered to fellow inmates rather than agree to stop offering pregnant women positive alternatives to abortion, I was encouraged.

When I heard about a cancer patient who thanked God for his cancer because he was able to share the gospel uninterrupted with his doctors and nurses, I was encouraged.

When I heard about a manager who lost his job for refusing to falsify records and spent the rest of his life in a low-paying job because loyalty to Christ was more important than money and status, I was encouraged.

Those men never compromised their faith. They accepted disgrace, criticism, and disruptions to their lives because they saw the glory of God as far more important than their physical or social discomfort. In doing so, they encouraged fellow believers and attracted the attention of unbelievers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

National Foster Care Month

In January 2009, Oklahoma had 10,674 children in foster care. Children under the age of 4 accounted for 4,293 of those in foster care. At that time, Oklahoma had only 1,473 foster families.

Children need safe and nurturing families.

Recently, Christian Services of Oklahoma entered into an infant foster care contract with the state. If interested in training to become a foster family for an infant or in supporting the new program, please check out

"...learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow's cause" (Isaiah 1:17, English Standard Version).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Coolest Hymn Ever

We spent a great Mother Day's weekend with my mother-in-law in Fairland, Oklahoma. During the worship service at First Christian Church, we sang the coolest hymn ever: Amazing Grace to the tune of Lynyrd Skynyrd's rock anthem Sweet Home Alabama. I would love to introduce it to the Contact Church, but I'm not sure we could pull it off without a band.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Inerrancy of the Bible

It was brought to my attention this week that some people do not know what Bible-believing Christians mean when we say that we believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. Some have questioned its importance. Some have asserted that the doctrine is not biblical.

What do Bible-believing Christians mean when we say that the Bible is inerrant? In the Contact Church's workbook for potential new members, Discovering Contact Membership, we find a good description of the doctrine: "The Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error" (p. 22).

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy further clarifies the meaning of the doctrine: "We affirm the propriety of using inerrancy as a theological term with reference to the complete truthfulness of Scripture. We deny that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or purpose. We further deny that inerrancy is negated by Biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision, irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of material, variant selections of material in parallel accounts, or the use of free citations" (Article XIII).

In short, we believe the Bible in its original writings to be completely truthful, trustworthy, accurate, and reliable.

Is the inerrancy of the Scriptures a biblical doctrine? Some claim that the Bible never claims to be inerrant, because the word "inerrant" is not found in the Bible. However, the concept exists within the Bible. "All Scripture is breathed out by God" (2 Timothy 3:16), the God "who never lies" (Titus 1:2, English Standard Version).

Does the doctrine of biblical inerrancy matter? It would not matter if the Bible did not say that it was "breathed out by God." If it were merely a collection of human thoughts about God and life, its accuracy and reliability would not be very important. It would not matter if it did not claim that God "never lies." However, since it claims to be breathed out by the God who never lies, it matters. It gets to the heart of God's character. Is he trustworthy and reliable if you cannot trust his word?

This is not meant to be a detailed defense of the Bible's trustworthiness, but I hope it helped those who disagree with Bible-believing Christians to understand us a little better. We want to honor God by believing what he has told us in the Bible.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Take Up Your Cross

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."--Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:37-38).

During a Wednesday evening class at the Park Plaza Church last month, Harold Shank ( and Peter Cariaga shed some new light on these words of Jesus. I understood that Christ was calling on his disciples to be willing to die for him, but I did not understand how the original hearers would have processed this information. They probably would not have been looking ahead to Jesus' death on a cross as an example of taking up their crosses. They would have been looking back several decades to the days when the foreign terrorist Alexander Janneus ruled over Jerusalem.

The Jewish people hated the savage Alexander Janneus. When he arrogantly attempted to sacrifice an offering at the altar of the Temple, the Jews became enraged at his contempt for their God, pelting him with fruit. The idolatrous tyrant reacted by killing 6000 Jews.

After another rebellion by righteous Jews, Alexander Janneus ordered the crucifixion of 800 Jewish men. Crosses littered the landscape outside Jerusalem. While those men were slowly dying, their wives and children were brought to their crosses and slaughtered before their eyes. While faithful Jewish people were being murdered under his orders, Alexander Janneus was enjoying a feast with his concubines.

When Jesus called on his disciples to take up their crosses and follow him, he was calling them to exhibit a loyalty to him that rivaled the commitment of righteous Jews to their God in the face of a barbaric enemy. Christ was calling his disciples to follow him despite cruel opposition, pain, and torturous death. He wanted his disciples to embody a tough faithfulness. He promised that he was worth it.

Christ is calling for the same kind of faithfulness among his followers today. Let's not deny him or his words when opposition, pain, and even death await. He is worthy of our loyalty.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Compliment and a Reminder

"Do all things without grumbling..." (Philippians 2:14, English Standard Version).

Last week, a friend gave me a compliment. "Terry, you have your faults, but whining is not one of them." I love honest compliments, don't you? (I'm just thankful that she can't read my mind. If she were able to read my mind, she would have stopped with, "Terry, you have your faults...")

I may not have time to post this on Monday or Tuesday, but I wanted to remind everyone about Trey Morgan's efforts to raise money to feed the dump people in Honduras. He will be raising money on Tuesday, May 5. Please check out his blog at, and give if you can. Thanks!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Blessings of a God-Glorifying Reputation

"Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing'" (Genesis 12:1-2, English Standard Version).

While the builders of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11) sought to make a name for themselves, Abram was simply living an ordinary life.

Apparently driven by pride and insecurity, they sought recognition in their achievements. Abram was not looking for recognition.

The builders achieved notoriety. God gave Abram a great name, a great reputation.

God did not give Abram a great name just to bless Abram. He gave Abram a great name so that he would be a blessing to others. God wanted other people to see his smile on Abram's life. He wanted them to see his work in the life of a man of faith. He wanted people to notice the difference he had made in Abram's life. He wanted them to share in Abram's faith so that they could be blessed, too.

"Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham...So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith" (Galatians 3:7, 9, ESV).

Friday, May 01, 2009

Jail Ministry, Old School Style

I am always looking for positive African American male role models, because I want Christopher to grow up with a vision of what a good black man looks like. I had not thought about looking in a jail cell...until now. At, I read the story of California minister Walter Hoye. Mr. Hoye went to jail nearly a month and a half ago for trying to offer an alternative to people who were on their way to abort their children. While in jail, he became a minister to the inmates. He serves as an excellent example of faith, courage, and compassion. If Christopher (or Janet or I) ends up in jail, I hope it is for similar reasons and with similar results.

How Can I Walk Humbly With God?

"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

In order to walk humbly with my God, I need to ask myself these kinds of questions on a regular basis:

Can I ask for help?
Can I receive help from another person?
Can I accept correction from someone with less education?
Can I learn from someone who is older?
Can I admit that I am wrong?
Can I ask for forgiveness?
Can I grant forgiveness?
Can I accept my circumstances with gratitude rather than irritability?
Can I be supportive of someone who is doing the same job better than I can?
Can I do something good without letting anyone know about it?
Can I do something uncomfortable (but right and necessary) even when I know I could easily end up looking stupid?
Can I face rejection from the world (or even the church) for following Christ's instructions?