Jeremiah 9:23 & 24 thoughts

Let me preface my remarks today by saying that I have eaten entirely too much sugar this morning and should probably atone for my sins by grazing on a big, green salad and drinking a gallon of pure, still water. If my words do not make perfect sense today (if they ever do), I blame it on the amount of sugar coursing through my veins and discombobulating my brain cells. There. Now I have justified any irrationality and I can begin to write in earnest.

One of my favorite inside jokes that I share with Julius Thompson is based upon Jeremiah 9:23 & 24. Paul Baloche performs a song on his "A Greater Song" album that is based on these verses. It is raucus drum- and bass-driven song that makes us laugh as we imagine ourselves performing it on stage in church (which would never happen) since it is one of those anthem style songs that the singers seem to shout more than sing. "I will boast in the Lord my God" and "I will make my boast in Christ alone" are repeated multitudinous times, and even when the song sounds as though it has ended, it continues. I just let it play through on my iPod in my office and it brought a smile to my face as I pictured Julius, fist raised and head banging, crying out the lyrics with a grin on his face (it is hard to take that kind of music seriously as praise or worship).

Here is the passage from Jeremiah in the New King James Version:
This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches,but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.

I was telling a friend and former student, Ben Tanguay, at lunch today that God has been very good to me as principal, because I have enjoyed watching God doing all the stuff I can't do. His reply? "You must be watching God do a lot then." I took no offense at this, because it is true. There is so much I have to turn over to God, and He does everything perfectly in his time. I will boast in the Lord my God! I will boast in Christ alone! To God be the glory - great things He has done!

I remember my Grammy Dunbar and her "brag book" that she toted around in her pocketbook. She'd pull out that mini photo album given the slightest bit of encouragement and show perfect strangers pictures of us, her grandchildren, and go on and on about our accomplishments to the point of embarrassing us to red-faced agony. Did people really need to see how ginormous I was as a baby and hear how my parents were told to put me on a diet? No! Did she have to show that perfectly hideous sixth grade picture of me in aviator glasses and my shiny metallic braces-filled smile? No! But she did, and she was so proud to show those pictures off and let the whole world know about our smallest accomplishments, because she loved us to pieces. And, despite our mortification, we loved that she loved us all so much, and loved her all the same.

As a principal and the teacher of hundreds of students over the years, I have a brag book in my memory based upon what I know of the students who have graduated from GGCA. We have students (and even teachers who have "graduated" in the call of God) who are now serving as missionaries, pastors, and teachers in other countries, ministering the Gospel to the peoples of many nations. We have graduates working in this country as entrepreneurs, nurses, teachers, lawyers, accountants, artists, pastors, skilled technicians and tradespeople, researchers, editors, managers, law enforcement officers, and distinguished military personnel, to name a few that come to mind. I want to boast about them and about the great foundation that was laid in their lives here at GGCA and how they benefited from my awesome teaching...but I go back again to think about how it was God who did what I could never do myself. Again - to God be the glory, great things HE has done!

I was reading about Joseph in Genesis this morning and how God promoted him after being sold into slavery by his brothers; Potiphar placed him in charge of his household, the Egyptian jailer put him in charge of the prison though Joseph was a prisoner, and then pharaoh elevated him to rule over all Egypt, second only to him in authority. The same thing happened to Daniel when he was taken into Babylonian captivity. There was just...something...about these young men. I think that many of our GGCA graduates have that same...something. It makes them stand out head and shoulders above their peers in college and the workplace. That...something...is actually a Someone - the God we understand and know, as Jeremiah said . We boast in Him and we find ourselves objects of His delight.

What a mighty God we serve! Oh, how He loves us! He is the fullness that fills all in all and to Him be all honor and glory and worship and praise for what He is doing in our lives here in GGCA and beyond...

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