Monthly Archives: November 2013

A world without bibles

Imagine a world without bibles. None, anywhere. How much of the bible could you and your family “reconstruct” and preserve from memory? What about you and your small group of friends and their families? How about your entire church? How many of the bible stories could you piece together and how many of the actual scripture verses? (Now there’s an interesting exercise you can do around the table with your family and friends and a tablet of paper!)

In Ray Bradbury’s futuristic thriller, Fahrenheit 451, all books are forbidden, leading to a secret society of “Book People” who memorize entire books so they can be preserved. We may never encounter such a prohibitive society but still we are called to always be prepared to give the reason for our faith and to hide the words of scripture in our hearts, that our lives will be blessed with God’s guidance.

I remember my first MRI. I am not fond of tight claustrophobic places and had memorized several verses to help me through the experience. What I learned is that I should have memorized more verses! There is something about recalling the truth out loud that drives away uncertainty and fear. Retelling God’s truth keeps us from following vain and false teaching. It also builds our faith.

Some people feel they cannot memorize scripture. I recommend starting with short verses or even parts of verses. Write them on cards and review them at short breaks throughout the day. Stick them to your mirror or your computer. Ask a nonbelieving friend if they will help you practice and hold you accountable to memorizing truth.

A world without bibles would be scary indeed. But can you imagine something even more scary? What about a world of believers without the Word in their hearts? That is REALLY scary!

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8

The language of love

In the old Dutch film, Babbette’s Feast, the old General Lorens is found in a moment of contemplation. Facing an empty chair he imagines his younger self sitting there and proclaims to him, “I have fulfilled all of your ambitions and achieved all of your dreams. Now you must prove to me that I made the right choice.” He had forsaken young love to pursue a brilliant military career and now carefully weighs his decision. He concludes that “the only things we can take from this world is what we have given away.”

My mother has always been fond of the song, “Love is something when you give it away, you end up having more.” Thanksgiving is like that too. Thanks is meant for giving. Thanksgiving is a language of love. (Contrarily, Billy Graham would talk of ingratitude as being one of the most vicious of sins.)
Imagine a life filled with giving thanks and one characterized by ingratitude. At life’s end you will be remembered for one or the other. Funny, we aren’t often aware of making life choices. But make them we do everyday in the small ways we give thanks and share our appreciation with others. Grow your life legacy by growing and sharing your thankful heart today.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord.” Psalm 92:1

Let a thankful heart guide you

Are you anxious? Are you worried about how your special Thanksgiving meal will turn out? Are you concerned about how the guests will get along? Will the weather accommodate travel plans? Let’s face it, holidays can be anxious times.

How about we commit to relaxing today and simply give thanks for our many blessings? In everything that happens today let a thankful heart guide you.


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Go Light Our World!

Go Light Your World has changed its name to Go Light OUR World (GLOW), emphasizing our community responsibility to bringing light into the darkness. The website change will happen later this week. will automatically be redirected to The ministry’s home page will come up first and then viewers can click on the Blog page or other ministry pages. We believe the list of ‘followers’ who get daily posts sent directly to their email inbox will remain unaffected. There is a possibility that the website domain change could cause the site to be down for a short period of time.

Did you know… Go Light Our World is a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit ministry incorporated to carry the gospel throughout the world with specific mission of helping families discover and pursue God’s best for them. GLOW is governed by a board of directors including incorporators, Bryan and Marcia Thayer. Tax exempt donations to GLOW go directly to ministry fields in Bolivia, Bulgaria, and other places around the globe. GLOW supports vital ministries that promote self-sufficiency and literacy while introducing children and families to the REAL light of the world, Jesus.

Go Light Our World had its beginning during one of our missions to post-Katrina New Orleans. Beyond our teams’ efforts to rebuild houses, these missions were all focused on rebuilding lives by bringing light to shine into the darkness of their world.

Chris Rice wrote a song titled Go Light Your World, which captures the heart of our ministry. In it he writes:
“There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home.
So carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world.”

We each were created for a purpose. We weren’t created to sit on the sidelines, but to intentionally and passionately live out our purpose by making a difference in the lives of others.

We believe that God gives each of us a light that can bring real and lasting hope to the lives of others and that working together as a community of believers, our light shines brighter.

We will be sharing more in future posts about how you can partner with us to Go Light Our World!

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16

Another view of forgiveness

This prayer was written by an unknown prisoner and left by the body of a dead child at the infamous Nazi Ravensbrück concentration camp.

“O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us, remember the fruits we have bought, because of this suffering – our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown out of all of this, and when they come to judgement, let all the fruits we have borne be their forgiveness.”

As you search your heart today, consider those who are your tormentors and your captors. Reflecting on your suffering, what fruits might you bear as their forgiveness? You have the power to forgive because Christ first forgave you.

Forgiveness does not make right that which happened, but it is that which sets YOU free.

God is good . . . all the time

Corrie ten Boom is remembered for her faithfulness during WWI? She provided a secret hiding place in her home to protect and free scores of jews who were persecuted by the Nazi police. For her efforts she was incarcerated at the Ravensbrück concentration camp. There she suffered many atrocities, along with her fellow captives.

The story is told that years later, after coming to America, a man came to visit Corrie in her home. “Corrie, he commented, “Certainly God is good to provide you such a nice home.” Corrie replied, “God was good when I lived at Ravensbrück too.”

What is the condition of your heart today? Is it able to see God’s goodness in times of trial and suffering as well as in times of blessing? God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He will never abandon you. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Blessed are those who are able to see God’s goodness as always present in good times and in bad. It is from this perspective and reality that his light shines into the darkness of your life and the lives you touch.

Give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever.”
Psalm 107:1

Who leads you?

Even though few of us live or work in an agricultural environment I think we can all associate with the opening of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul.” I suspect that even many nonbelievers find solace in these words. Isaiah warns us “We all like sheep have gone astray.” (Isaiah 53:6) We all need someone to lead us to safety and green pastures.

Who, or what, is leading you these days? An examination of our lives might suggest we are led primarily by television or movies, books and magazines, an addiction to Facebook, email, Twitter, or any number of Internet fascinations, friends, political parties, vain philosophies, career ambitions, technology, education, or finances.

If your conscience convicts you to pause at one of these ‘false leaders,’ it would be good to take a time out and talk with God. Ask him to be your shepherd today and in your life. Doesn’t resting in green pastures and sitting beside calm waters sound just like what you need today?

More than a cancer patient

November 22, 2012. We were driving home from a day filled with family gatherings. As we approached our exit on the interstate, my lower back suddenly started to cramp up. I was sure I had overextended myself playing with all the grandchildren. Within a few hours I would find myself in immense pain, ultimately requiring two trips to the ER to put me down. Later I would discover it was a huge army of immature white blood cells that were applying so much pressure on my bone marrow cavity that they prevented mature cells from growing. Two weeks later would come the diagnosis of AML – Leukemia.

Early on, my wife and I decided we weren’t going to let cancer define us. As individuals and as a couple we are more than that. But everyday, the condition and details of Leukemia would continue to press in: Medical reports to be interpreted, daily procedures that were foreign to us, always more numbers and counts to track, and of course the pain from the condition and the treatments.

It was a new world to us and each step of the way we found ourselves asking, “Who am I in the midst of this?” “Am I a cancer patient or a man who has cancer?” You might ask what is the difference. The first question sees the product of an ailment. The second acknowledges a person of value, choice, and meaning who also experiences cancer. Cancer defines the person in the first question. It is only one element in the second. We cannot escape it and we have to attend to it, but it does not determine who we are. We are creatures of conviction, not just circumstance.

How about you? No doubt, you have confronted great battles before. But are you a divorced person or a unique individual who has experienced the pain of divorce? Are you a poor person, or a person of limited financial resources who is in many ways richer than others? Are you an invalid or a person constrained by illness or physical condition, but still filled with ideas and passions to share with others?

When does faith in what is unseen become the vessel that carries you through that which is seen and experienced? When does faith determine who you are and the circumstantial condition become something to navigate?

The answer is found when we come to realize who we are in relation to our great God. When we realize our victorious nature comes from his power, our circumstances lose their power to overcome us.

One goal to pursue

What’s on your to-do list today? This week? What do you aim to accomplish yet this year? What about before you leave this world? Goals make us examine our hopes and dreams and help us prioritize how we want to invest our time, energy, and financial resources. Of course, all goals are ‘as unto the Lord,’ for we ultimately don’t have as much control as we think we might over our plans and future. As we recently evaluated some of our goals, some rose to a higher position of importance than others.

Paul came to the conclusion that not only his past, but all his future goals fell underneath just one surpassing goal, to know Jesus. In fact everything else fell so short of this one goal that he considered them “garbage” in comparison.

His goal is to be found “in him,” that is, immersed in Christ. When we are immersed in something we are connected in such a way that it becomes our identity, our purpose. Paul recognizes that any good comes not from himself but through faith it comes from Jesus. Oh that we would come to such knowledge, instead of thinking that we bring some inherent goodness on our own power, but rather know that all goodness comes from our trust in God.

Every goal has its reward and its price. Paul writes, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” If we were to examine all the New Testament, we would find such references to suffering in every book. Instead of running away from suffering, Paul makes a goal of pursuing suffering when it leads him to knowing Jesus and making him known.

How about you? Not all suffering is of the Lord. Some suffering is more of inconvenience. I broke my ankle because I was in too much of a hurry on the ice. I wouldn’t call that suffering for the Lord. But there is that suffering that bears witness to Jesus, that advances his gospel, that leads us into deeper relationship with him. We shouldn’t be so quick to pray away that sort of suffering!

Knowing Jesus is a process, isn’t it? It takes more than a lifetime. Can you see all your other goals in their relationship to this one most important one?

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13b-14