by MW Cook

I’m a tidy-looking child of Bhaal,
a man after my father’s heart,
Trying to fight against my nature
with helps few and far apart.

I had a big, boring post prepared that I’ve decided not to post. It was all about how much I suck and sin and how there seems to be no hope in my life about ever having a positive relationship with God and such. It was all ready, but then I scrapped it.

Did you know it was my birthday today? Birthday’s are kinda neat things. They don’t actually mean much but they remind you to do one of two things.

  1. Look back over your years and take stock.
  2. Look forward to the future and dream and plan.

The first post was about looking back and taking stock. It wasn’t really pretty. Not that I’m trying to beat myself up or anything, but I cannot say with Paul, “Ah, I have fought the good fight and finished my course.” I’m saying something more like, “Ow, my ankle! It’s too hot to run today. I wanna coffee.” Sometimes the past is not an encouraging place to dwell. Therefore my first post was not an encouraging one.

But then I got to thinking and got to turning things around. You know, it’s vitally important in the Christian life to have a good, accurate picture of the sin that besets us. So many have got shipwreck because they underestimated their sin problem. The strong Christian is the one who knows that his sin is strong and dangerous. But that’s not the whole story. If we leave things there we will find ourselves in trouble. There is another part that we need to realize. Before my sinful heart began beating Christ bled and died to fix it. Before the foundations of the earth were laid the almighty Godhead planned and plotted to grab a hold of Matthew Cook, break his rotten soul and put him back together again. There was a solution before I ever had a problem.

And so I’m looking to the future. I am always sad that I cannot seem to control my passions and sins, but I am very happy that one day I won’t need to anymore. The future looks good. Here’s why:

  1. All things work for good. Applying that to the future and we realize that if everything works for my good now, then the future must be better than now because more things will have worked for my good.
  2. He’s not done yet. Paul thought that Christ would finish what he started. He’s certainly started. And he’s not even close to finished yet. Therefore we know that he’s gonna mess with our lives some more and bring about something clean.
  3. Even here in Pakistan, so far away from friends and family, I know that there are crazy folks in the west who are praying for me. This morning and last night I was given some really encouraging things from dear friends. You guys are all very encouraging people. You have no idea how far a little e-mail or blog comment goes in making someone feel happy. And if all you folks are actually praying for me, all will be well.
  4. God is my God. Sometimes I’m not sure of that, but it’s true. He is mine. I love this line from Latimer, “When sometimes I sit alone, and have a settled assurance of the state of my soul, and know God is my God, I can laugh at all my troubles, and nothing can daunt me.”
  5. The future of my work, both here and in Canada, looks oh-so-very-good.
  6. Beatific vision. Need I say more?

And so be encouraged and fight for joy. Grab the Bible and pray your butt off. If you don’t pray you probably shouldn’t expect anything good to happen to you, eh?

I’m done, Cook out.

PS – Got some pics up for your viewing pleasure.