Author Archives: John Wilburn

Remembering the Forgotten

This is my friend Claude, but most people call him “viking.” He spends most of his days walking up and down the road in great pain from arthritis picking up plastic bottles that can recycled, and he gets a few dollars.

Claude is an individual who sadly wasted his young years on alcohol, and now in his later years has to try to find money in order to buy things. I’m pretty sure he still drinks a lot too.

He is what I sometimes refer to as a “forgotten individual” or someone who everyone ignores and overlooks. Because Claude constantly begs for money (which probably goes towards rum) few people will spend time with him.

Last month I started meeting with him on Monday mornings with the deal that if he would go through a Psalm with me, I would give him a small bag of rice. So far he’s come by three times, and even sat in with me as I visited with another lady in the community a few weeks ago.

Please pray with me that Claude would turn from his addiction to alcohol, and through these studies he may accept Christ.

Of Oreos and Coffee

Sitting in my refrigerator is the last pack of “birthday cake Oreos” my parents sent in my Christmas barrel this year 1.

As I finish those, I’m reminded how simple pleasures of life bring us great joy…..

and that it’s okay to ask for things.

Occasionally friends in the states will ask me if there is anything that I need. My answer to that is almost always no, because there aren’t many things needed in Saint Vincent that I cannot get here. And honestly those things we can’t get here you can easily live without.

At times people will ask “is there anything that you want?” and unless there’s a serious need, my answer to that is no as well for the same reason 2. But occasionally you run into people that won’t take that for an answer 🙂

While in the States last summer for eye surgery, my mother instructed me to write down a list of simple pleasures that my family could send as presents in my Christmas barrel. The list included small things.

  1. Like good pens
  2. Oreo cookies
  3. Flavoured coffee
  4. Gatorade powder
  5. And a favourite kind of body wash, and deodorant

The truth is I felt kind of silly requesting these simple pleasures because they weren’t huge necessary things. In fact my life may have been better without them (the Oreos have made me fat)! But the The Lord through this experience reminded me it’s okay to ask for the silly things

Because the Lord has provided a family of prayer supporters and friends who take great joy in providing for my oreo cravings. And I serve a God who takes great joy in providing for my insignificant needs.

  1. They won’t last long!
  2. You can live without the things you can’t get here

Finding Time to Read

Reclaiming a Lost Love

One afternoon in 2017 I found a large selection of Hardy Boy Mysteries at a store in Kingstown, Saint Vincent. Those books immediately took me back to my childhood where I read many of the old hardback hardy boys mystery books (even one in a day!)

In this days reading was a passion for me because it was a form of learning, and also escape. An escape in the sense that it fed my imagination, and led to dreaming about what the Lord could do in my life.

I wish I could say that books are still a passion for me….but they aren’t

Literature and reading has been replaced by other “more important things” such as social media, and television.

Of course by my phrasing you can tell they aren’t more important since screens do little to feed my brain like a book does. In fact they make it weaker!

With the Lords help I am committing myself this year to reading physical books (kindles don’t count because I’m already looking at screens enough). Pray for me this year as I invest my time and energy in things that strengthen my mind, and calling from God.

Winning the War not the Battle With Our Sin-Nature (Joshua 15:14)

A theme from the book of Joshua is to “claim the land.” This theme comes because Joshua is called by God to conquer the land of Canaan, so Jews can then claim it by driving out final enemies, and building their own houses.

Joshua fulfils the call of God by conquering almost all of the land till he can no longer fight. Sadly the Jews do a very poor job of claiming that land.

In Joshua seventeen the tribe of Joseph complained that Joshua had not given them enough land, but were unwilling to expand into new territory, because they were afraid of the Canaanites (Joshua 17:15-16). Then in chapter eighteen Joshua confronts many tribes who because of fear, had refused to claim the land that God had given (Joshua 18:3).

As a contrast to these passive individuals, the Lord gives us the example of Caleb. Who at the age of eighty-five (Joshua 14:10-11) conquered the areas that young men were afraid to attack (Joshua 15:14).

There are many things that we can learn from the life of Caleb….

But the most important is to win a complete victory

For most of the Jews, gaining large victories over the Canaanite enemies was good enough. There was no reason to drive them out, since they were so weak. Of course in Judges those enemies allowed to survive would eventually drive the Jews out.

In other words, most Jews were satisfied with winning the battle, instead of the war

But not Caleb!

The application the Lord brought to my heart through this passage is I settle for winning battles over my sin nature instead of the war.

After defeating a sinful habit enough times it will become weak, or something that we don’t struggle with anymore. At this point it’s easy to overlook that sin as something unimportant, and we allow it to remain.

But winning the battle makes little difference if we let sin win the war.

Of course it’s impossible to completely eliminate sin from our lives till the Lord gives us a glorified body. So like Caleb we must just keep fighting.

Continue to wage war on the indwelling sin with a sharp sword until the day God calls you home, or your’e taken up. Then, and ONLY THEN can you lay your sword down.

Studying the Culture Instead of Consuming the Culture

Over the weekend, I finished book two for 2022, the audio version of Pandemia by Alex Berensen. He is a former reporter for the New York Times who during the coronavirus pandemic gained a reputation for being anti-lockdown, and going against the use of masks as well as the vaccine.

I don’t agree with Berensen in all of his views as someone who is fully vaccinated, and uses masks. However, I was impressed with the fact that all of his views were backed up by facts.

Throughout the book Berensen used articles from scientific journals and medical experiments to prove his views were correct. During the initial 2020 lockdown he read and researched everything that he could get his hands on regarding the pandemic.

This isn’t a book I personally encourage others to read because of the profanity in it, and Alex Berensen himself admits to being a “jerk on twitter.”

But it has a very important principle for Christians….

Do your own research.

The pandemic has brought up many challenging situations, and hard questions. Those questions can only truly be answered by individuals who do their own personal study or research instead of simply using the answers given to them through social media, or the news. Those who become students of the culture instead of just consumers.

This idea of being a student of the culture is incredibly important because the surrounding world is continually trying to pull us away from the Lord. Therefore we must pay very close attention to the worldview, and belief systems of those around us.

That doesn’t mean lockdowns, masks, or vaccines are wrong (I don’t believe they are). It does mean just as Alex Berensen did his own research and study of the effects of the lockdown, we must study the message our culture proclaims.

I do appreciate this book, and an author who was willing to ask the hard questions when nobody else seemed to do so. It is a challenge for Believers to think for themselves, and take a stand against a pagan society.

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