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January 2020

singing a little louder

IMG_3743A dear friend recently reminded me of the wonderful song, "Praise the Lord" sung by Russ Taff.  It is a song and message that I love.

Back in the day, I had the privilege of singing this song in scores of worship services. It was always amazing to see the song touch the lives of the listeners. The power of the song resides in its message and Truth. 

After 30+ years of living in and under the Truth of this song I am still singing it today, albeit a little louder and more fervently. 

We are flying home from Mayo Clinic today. I am thankful. 



Are you desperate? . . . I am.



Don’t listen to them; just trust me. (Mark 5:36, MSG)



Are you desperate? I am.

I am scheduled for an upcoming surgery that is very complex and critical to my health, and I recently “googled” the procedure and read the possible complications and side effects.

Note to self for the future: “Don’t google it!”

But, I did google it and I didn’t like what I read. So what do I do with that?

I found my answer in God’s Word.

In Mark 5:21-43 Jesus encounters a desperate father and a despairing woman. It’s an all too real story, awash with struggle, pain, sadness, and desperation.

(Yes, I just redundantly used the words, desperate, despairing and desperation in the two previous sentences. They are all forms of an idea, concept and experience that I want nothing to do with, but in this Biblical account they are implicit and important.)

The man and the woman in this story are “at the end of their rope.” The woman has exhausted all possible solutions for help and healing, and the man has a twelve-year-old-daughter who is dying.  They both need God’s help, but therein is hope, because as Dallas Willard has said,

“God can be found at,”

The man and the woman, in their despair, look to Jesus for help—and He helps. Jesus, the Word made flesh, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, touches, heals, helps and restores. It’s an amazing and beautiful story of God’s provision, faithfulness and love.

There’s a twist at the end of the story that got my attention. Jesus is delayed in going with the desperate father to help his dying daughter and the account goes like this:

While [Jesus] was still talking, some people came from the [man’s] house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?”

Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the [man],

“Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”

Wow, Jesus tells the desperate father, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”

In this I hear Jesus saying to me, “Ryan, don’t google it; just trust me.”

Are you desperate?

I am, and I’m trusting in Jesus.

(Below is a powerful video rendition of the Mark 5:21-43 scripture account. Please take ten-minutes and watch it.)