Dave Andersen’s Testimony

Dave always thought he wanted to be a rock star, but one day he found something much better. He went from being a confused young person to the President of a world class organisation, Andersen Construction

No In-Between – 23 May

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

A while back, my daughter gave me a new watch for my birthday. It is a pretty watch with a snap band. I especially like the fact that its numbers are large because I am older and sometimes have trouble reading small print, and it also tells the date. It kept perfect time for a while, but then one day I looked down at it and discovered that it had stopped. A watch that does not keep time might look all right at a glance, but in reality it is useless. I needed to replace the battery.

Seeing my dead watch made me think of people who practice religion in some form, but have settled for less than the whole Gospel. Our focus verse says that Jesus can deliver from all unrighteousness, and anything short of that is surely useless. A person may look nice at a glance—friendly, well-dressed, and attending church on Sundays—but unless he has been delivered from all unrighteousness, his religion is powerless and will not work. Though others might not notice the problem, it will be clear to the individual that something is wrong.

That one little word “all” holds so much power! We are not delivered from some unrighteousness, but all of it! Imagine what would happen if we ignored that word, or any part of God’s instructions—would we expect to be cleansed from part of our unrighteousness? Or would we go part way to Heaven? The Gospel does not work that way—it is all or nothing. When we do our part, God is faithful to do His part, just as He promised.

Often, a watch will slow down before it stops altogether, which can also happen in our spiritual lives. We can grow distant and disinterested without losing our salvation, but unless something improves, we will not last long in that condition. However, if our faith has been losing power, we do not have to wait for it to run out completely—we can go to the Lord and ask Him to recharge it right away, and He will! Salvation works, and it can keep working until we arrive at our home in Heaven.

A Time to Weep – 22 May

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh.” – Ecclesiastes 3:4

Fresh from the donut shop, I was savoring my cup of coffee and treat early in the morning. I had some work to do on the roof of the church, so I set my breakfast on a landing at the top of the stairs and proceeded to carry my tools up to the roof. As I stepped out on the roof, I heard the fateful shutting of the door behind me and knew that I was locked out.

Then I remembered that my coffee and donuts were sitting at the top of the stairs. For two-and-a-half hours I was stuck on that roof—while my treats grew cold and stale. Being so early in the morning, I was unable to get anyone’s attention to let me down. I decided to occupy myself by cleaning up the debris on the roof and stacking it in piles here and there. It was time well spent, but I could have wept over my donuts and coffee on the other side of the locked door. In contrast, everyone who heard about my roof episode laughed! Well, eventually I laughed too.

Our focus verse says there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh. That statement is so obviously true, yet sometimes we act as though this fact is a problem. Some of us simply do not like weeping, or more accurately, we do not like feeling sad, so we try to avoid it at all costs. However, the Bible says that there is a time when weeping is all right.

Feeling sorrow and weeping are not meaningless actions; they serve a purpose. For example, I learned a valuable lesson from my sorrow: I now eat my donuts at ground level! Even though my experience was not serious, it reveals the fact that when our mistakes cause us to be sad, we are much less likely to make the same mistake again in the future. Also, sadness that results from tragedy helps us heal, and in a way, sadness makes us appreciate the times of laughter a little more than we would otherwise. We may not like it, but there is a time and a purpose for weeping.

Having a positive attitude is commendable and appropriate in most circumstances; but when we go through a difficult time in life, we must not deny the reality of what we are experiencing. When it is time to laugh, we should laugh, and when it is time to weep, we should weep. That is what life is all about.

Father in Heaven, Thank You for giving spice to life, even if it sometimes means weeping. There is a time for every thing under the sun; may You give me grace to take advantage of each moment. Amen.

Why Not Ask? – 21 May

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” – Matthew 7:7

The knock on my door came on a frantic Sunday morning. I had put dinner in the oven for company, and was hurriedly trying to get myself ready for church. My husband had gone on ahead with my parents, who were visiting from out of town. “Is that white car in your driveway for sale?” the man asked. “Actually, yes, we would like to sell it!” I exclaimed in surprise, as there was no “For Sale” sign on the car. Because it was Sunday, I told him I would rather not discuss it in depth, but gave him a phone number so he could call the next day and talk to my husband. I expected that my husband would also be glad to hear about the man’s initiative in asking about the car.

When telling my husband about the visitor, I said he was a man after my husband’s own heart. The man apparently believes in what my husband frequently tells me: “You won’t know if you don’t ask.” I agree, but I am often too bashful to act on that statement. The Bible, however, backs this thought up, especially when it comes to claiming God’s promises. James 4:2 says, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” If we are living in obedience to God’s Word, then when we need something from Him we only have to ask—it is that simple!

Unlike my car that had no sign stating it was for sale, the Bible proclaims many promises of blessings that are available to us. However, like the man who knocked on my front door, we also must “knock” on the Lord’s door, so to speak, to claim His promises. We won’t receive if we don’t ask!

God has so much for us, and the wonderful work of salvation is only the beginning. Are we willing to gather a little courage, and start claiming those promises? They are available to all!

Lord, I thank You for the many promises You have given in Your Word. I know these blessings are for me to claim. Help me to remember to ask and to have the faith to receive. Amen.

Magnetic Personality – 20 May

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” – John 12:32

Early last spring, I transplanted a large peony from the side of our house to a flowerbed in our backyard. After a few days, I realized I had planted it in such a way that all of the leaves were facing away from the yard—when we walked outside, all we could see was the backs of its leaves. I tried to rearrange the stems so they faced the other direction, but my efforts were futile and I finally gave up. However, in a few weeks I noticed that all of the peony stems were facing the yard. The sun had drawn them toward itself.

As I thought about my peony bush, I was reminded that man, in his unregenerate state, is turned away from God. He needs to be turned around, and the only One in the universe who has the power to do that is the Sun of righteousness, Jesus.

Sin is what separates man from God, but by dying on the Cross, Jesus became our remedy for sin. His death can free souls from sin in three ways: He offers forgiveness for sin, which is deliverance from the penalty of sin; He sanctifies us to live holy lives, which is deliverance from the power of sin; and ultimately He will glorify us, which is deliverance from the very presence of sin. Because Jesus can liberate in these ways, souls are instinctively drawn to Him.

Jesus not only offers deliverance from sin, but He has also given us the ultimate example as to how we should live among men here below. When we study the life of the Son of God, we begin to realize the great sacrifice He made to come to earth. The life He lived, the death He experienced, and His resurrection fills us with wonder, love, and praise. As we lift up Jesus to others and tell them who He is, His magnetic personality will draw them. When they open their hearts and lives to the Son of God, they will find that something happens: their lives will be turned around.

Father in Heaven, Thank You for Jesus, Your own dear Son. Thank You for His magnetic personality, which draws men because of His redemptive power, His sustaining graces, and His hope of eternal life. Amen.

How Is Your Heart? – 19 May

“Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men).” – 2 Chronicles 6:30

When I was growing up, we always had chickens on our farm. One year, Mom and Dad bought huge incubators and filled the small living area of our house with them. We were warmed by lamps night and day as the eggs developed into hatching chicks.

The incubators had double shelves of trays with rows of eggs, which had to be turned every day. The part that fascinated us children was the “candling.” That was when each egg was held up to a light so we could look into it and determine if a chick was developing inside. If a chick was developing, you could actually see the embryo growing in the egg! If there was no life evident in the egg, it was discarded.

Anyone can see through an eggshell with a light that is bright enough, but there is only One who can see into the hearts of men, and that is God. When a sinner is hungry for salvation, though you and I might not think that one would ever surrender, God can see through the facade and pretense. He sees past the false bravado of a soul that is crying inside for Him, and can melt the hardness of that heart. Then, when that one surrenders, God gives a new heart, removing all the confusion, guilt, and turmoil, and replacing it with peace, joy, and confidence in Him. How thankful we are that He sees past our sinful actions to our true longings!

Even after we are saved, it is important for God to keep looking into our hearts. He watches to make sure we are developing properly and nurtures us each day. He knows when we hurt, when we are lonely, when we are discouraged, and when we are faithful. No matter what we face, He knows how to help us through because He sees what we need—even when we do not.

It is a comfort to know that God can see past what others see, to the thoughts and intents of our hearts! As we walk with Him, let’s remember to ask Him to search our hearts, that we might grow to be more like Him each day.

Our Avenger – 18 May

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” – Romans 12:19

In a physical education course, our class divided up for a scrub football game. Being tall and thin, I was no candidate for a football team, much less a lineman, which is where I ended up. I do not know why, but before the game started, the coach told an all-conference tackle to hit me hard. The ball was hiked and I traversed the field with the tackle chasing me, and as one would expect, I was soon picking myself up from the ground. His rough playing seemed excessive and unfair; however, I put the incident behind me.

During the spring of the next year, we started playing softball. In one of our most important games, I again found myself on a team playing against the all-conference tackle. He came up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. A hit would win the game for them, or he would be the final out and we would win. I was in the outfield, and as the pitcher threw the ball, he took a hefty swing and hit the ball my direction. Running back, I leaped as high as I could and caught the ball barehanded—we won! From then on, that tackle seemed to have a respect for me that he had never had before.

After the football game, when I was feeling frustrated for being so harshly tackled, I could have easily let my pride get the best of me and tried to get back at my opponent. But that was surely not what the Lord wanted me to do. By not acting on my desire for revenge, I allowed the Lord to have His perfect way. In the end, it is clear that the Lord’s way was far better than my way, as my enemy almost certainly would not have ended up respecting me if I had tried to take revenge myself.

Some people say they don’t get mad, they just get even. However, a Christian really does not have to retaliate. God emphatically says to avenge not ourselves, for “vengeance in mine; I will repay.”

Heavenly Father, Thank You for being my shield and defender, and for giving Your angels charge over me to keep me in all my ways. May I always remember that I do not need to be overcome with evil, but that I can overcome evil with good. Amen.

A Way Out | Light of Hope

She never dreamed rebellion and self-will would take her so far.

Lost in a maze of sin, I could not find my way out, but when I was nineteen years old, God found me. He knew exactly where I was, and He reached down and picked me up.

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Not looking back – 17 May

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

When my children were small, one of their favorite stories was about a mischievous monkey named Curious George. Curious George lived in a zoo, but one day he got out of his cage and ran to the outside world. He was finally free and the other animals cheered him on as he swung through the trees. Just then George remembered—he had left his favorite food, a beautiful red apple, inside his cage! So he swung back to the corner of the cage, reached through the bars, and grabbed it. Only one problem: he could not get his hand back through the bars with the apple in his hand. He twisted it and turned it this way and that, but it would not go through. As he continued struggling, the zookeeper found him and put him back into the cage.

Why didn’t George let go of the apple and just leave it behind? George’s struggle reminds me of what we sometimes do as Christians. Before we were saved, we were trapped in a “cage” of sin, but when we repented and forsook those sins, Jesus set us free, allowing us to live without sin through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Then we finally had a clear conscience and peace in our souls. Yet, as glad as we are to be out of that cage of sin, we can still be tempted by the sins we left behind. Like the apple that enticed George, sometimes the devil tries to lure Christians back into bondage with sins from their past.

If only we could see the bigger picture in times of temptation! When we choose to follow the Lord, He sets our souls at liberty and blesses our obedience with protection, peace of mind, provision for physical needs, comfort in grief—everything we need. The short-lived pleasures of any sin could never compare with those blessings, so why would we ever look back?

Being tempted is not a sin itself, but contemplating temptation is dangerous. No one can force us back into sin, but the longer we ponder the notion, the better chance the enemy has to persuade us to make a bad choice. Rather, when temptation comes, let us hold on to God’s promises of deliverance (see 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 2:9) and follow the instructions in His Word:

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).