"Tychicus will tell you everything." Ephesians 6:21

Archive for the ‘Other (mostly) Important Topics’ Category

August 1st, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

The B I G 5 0

All days are not the same.  For me, THIS day, August 1, is different from all other days.  Today marks 50 years since I fully surrendered my life to follow Jesus!  Best decision ever!

As I grew up, there were several significant decisions I made in relationship to my walk with Jesus.  My sister reports that as early as three years old (she was 12) I prayed a prayer to ask Jesus into my heart.  Several other times, I said, and meant certain prayers during Vacation Bible School, at Sunday School, at Summer Camp, etc.  But during my high school years, I was not fully following Jesus and His ways.  I wasn’t a bad kid, just not a fully surrendered one.

When I was 19 I was asked to be a counselor at our church’s summer camp.  Because of my past experiences with camps, I thought that would be a good idea.  While there, I had to memorize the verses that the campers memorized so I could make sure they said them properly.  Some of those verses were Romans 12:1-2.

It was late on Thursday night, August 1, 1968 as I lay on my bunk pondering those verses, that I felt such wonderful conviction from the Lord.  It was so heavy on my chest that I felt if I did not respond to His invitation to “present myself as a living sacrifice” I would be pressed right through the bunk!  That was the moment that changed the entire trajectory of my earthly and eternal life!  I simply offered all of my life and future to Him.  That decision has impacted all the other decisions of my life since then.

Two days ago, I was able to take 9 of my grandkids with me back to that same camp (Mayfield Lake Youth Camp), go to the same place where that cabin stood (it is no longer there), sit on the grass, and tell them the story.  This was the last stop on our annual “Cousins’ Camp.”  We had them memorize Romans 12:1-2.  While at the camp, we repeated those verses.  My prayer for them at the time was that they would always present themselves as living sacrifices to God.  That was my prayer then, that is my prayer now.

All days are not the same.  This one is “holy.”  I call it my personal “holiday.”

Thank you, Tychicus

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May 10th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Jesus’ “Favorite” Holiday

All days are not the same.  Some days are different, unique, set apart.  We call them “holy days” or holidays.  And not all holidays are the same.  Some are more special than others.

With that in mind, what would you say is Jesus’ “favorite” holiday?  Would it be Christmas, when Jesus left Heaven to come to earth?  What about “Good Friday” or even “Resurrection Day?”  I suggest Jesus favorite holiday, the day on the Church Calendar that is most special to Him, that gives Him the most pleasure is…  Ascension Day.    Today (May 10) is that day on the Church Calendar for 2018.  For some reason, most of the Church of Jesus Christ today does not recognize this day with anything more than a nob.

But, think with me about some of the significant things that took place on this day.  I will briefly highlight 4 of the many things that could be mentioned.  I encourage you to look at more of the things that took place on this day and expand on the 4 things I mention here.  See a list below.

First, and most obvious, this was the day that Jesus was taken back to Heaven.  His long journey to this earth was finally over.  It was this day that He received the ultimate “Hero’s Welcome” back to Home!  He had received His Father’s assignment, accomplished it perfectly. and now He returned to Him as the Conquering King!  And to top it all off, His enemies were now a footstool for His feet.  The glory that had been His from all eternity, the glory He had set aside when He came to earth, was now restored to Him.

Second, this was the day Jesus gave us what is appropriately called the Great Commission.  Just before He left earth, He turned to His followers and gave us His last command – to carry on His mission of disciple making.  This command should dominate all our activity.  If we are doing something that is helping people become disciples of Christ, we are obeying Him.  If we are doing something that is not helping people become disciples of Christ, we are not obeying Him.  Pretty simple, but also pretty all-inclusive.

Third, this is the day that Jesus took on His new assignment as intercessor.  His primary assignment on earth was to accomplish our salvation.  That assignment was now completed and, when He rose to Heaven, He entered into His new “job” of intercessor for the saints.  He has called us to pray as part of the Father’s overall plan to be like His Son.  As the unique God/man Jesus is the One who knows the heart and will of the Father and also the needs and struggles of mankind.  This puts Him in the most unique role to intercede for us as His followers.

The final thing I will mention here that took place that day as our accession with Him.  As surely as Scripture says that we died with Christ, were buried with Him, and united with Him in His resurrection, it also says that we have ascended with Him and are now “seated with Christ in Heavenly places.”  This day changes everything about how we can and ought to live each day.  We do not need to live this life as though this life is all there is.  Because of our place in Heaven and in Christ right now, we get to take on His perspective of life.  We don’t have to limit our perspective to this world.  We get to see things and respond to situations in an “other-worldly” manner, because, in some mysterious but very real way, we are there now.

So, as we consider this day, I invite you to join me as I worship the exalted Christ, recommit myself to obey His command to disciple, thank Him for His wonderful prayers for my life, and view life from His perspective more than my perspective.  And look at the big smile on Jesus’ face!

Thank you, Tychicus

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Ascension Day

“Today” is the day Jesus…

  • Ascended to His Fathers right hand.
  • Charged His followers to be His witnesses.
  • Gave His disciples His last earthly blessing.
  • Gave people as gifts to His church.
  • We took our place seated with Him in heavenly places.
  • Was welcomed back into Heaven as the victorious Savior.  “Well done…”  The long trip was finally over.
  • Eternal fellowship between Jesus and the Father was restored.
  • Entered into His pre-incarnate glory.
  • Sat down at His Father’s right hand and His enemies became His footstool.
  • Began His ministry of intercession for the saints.

And His disciples

  • Watched in awe as He ascended.
  • Obeyed Him by going to the upper room to pray.


Ps 110:1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

Matt 26:64 “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

Luke 20:42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand   43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘

Luke 24:50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven

John 16:5 “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

John 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you… I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Acts 1:9-11 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 2:33-35 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.  34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand   35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘

Acts 5:31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

Acts 7:56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Eph 1:20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way

Phil 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Col 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

1 Tim 3:16 Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Heb 8:1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

Heb 10:12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.

Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Peter 1:21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

1 Peter 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

February 7th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Galba Fuqua

Each year I attend the meetings of the National Prayer Committee.  This year they were held in San Antonio, TX.  Prior to these meetings, I mentioned to a cousin of mine that I would be in San Antonio.  He told me that there was a “Fuqua” who was killed in the Alamo.

So, when I had a couple extra hours, I traveled to the Alamo with my friends Bob Hirtzel and Jan Stahl to see what I could find out.  And… sure  enough…  I found that Galba Fuqua had, in fact, fought and died there.  With a little internet sleuthing, here is what I have found out.

Galba was born in Alabama on March 9th, 1819 to Silas and Sally Fuqua.  He was their third child and first son.  By 1825 Sally had given birth to four more children.  She evidently died soon after that.  Silas, responding to the 1820 Texas land grant act, bought at least 80 acres on the east bank of the San Marcos river about 70 miles east of San Antonio, Texas and moved his family there.  Silas died in 1834.

In February, 1836 Galba was in Gonzolez, TX, a few miles south of his father’s land.  He was active in a group called the Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers.  Word came on February 23rd that help was needed at the Alamo, so he and (probably) some of these Volunteers soon responded to the need.  He arrived at the Alamo on March 1st.

Santa Ana was a war hero and was elected president in 1835.  He soon became more of a dictator.  He removed the constitution and also “recalled” the land grants that Mexico had made in response to the Texas land grant act.  So, he rallied a large army to retake the land of Texas.  By February, 1836, he had set a siege on the Alamo.  The primary attack took place 5 days after Galba had arrived.

On March 6th, 3 days shy of his 17th birthday, Galba was killed along with 189 others who were there.  As he was dying a women named Susan Dickinson later claimed that during the battle, Galba came to her and tried to tell her something. He was unable to deliver his message because his jaw had been broken in the fighting.  My guess is that he was hit in the jaw with the butt of a rifle then stabbed with a bayonet.

I have also found that Galba is a distant (veeeery distant) relative.  His great-grandfather (Ralph Fuqua, b.1693 in Virginia) is the brother of my great (x6) grandfather (William Humphreys Fuqua, b.1688 also in Virginia).  They were both first generation Fuquas born in America.  Their father, Guillaume, was born in France.  The spelling of his name was Fuoquet.

Thank you, Tychicus

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January 10th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Moments Matter

I am grateful it wasn’t worse.  It could have been much worse.

The first thing I noticed was that my right shoe came off as I was turning around to go back down the escalator.  Why was I going down the escalator?

I was at the San Jose airport recently, coming home from the Modesto Prayer Summit.  I had some extra time, so I made a couple phone calls before I went through security.  There was a piano nearby.  As I was wrapping up a conversation, someone began playing the piano.  So, I grabbed my carryons and began to move toward the escalator.  I finished the call before I stepped on.  But that is when I realized I had left my wallet (my phone cover with my cards, etc. in it) on a table near where I was sitting.

So, responding to my first reaction, I determined it would be best to walk back down the 6 or so “steps” of the escalator and retrieve my wallet.  So… the first thing I noticed was that my right shoe came off as I was turning around to go back down the escalator.

It only took just a moment, but it seemed I was in slow motion.  I knew I was falling.  I did.  I knew I was going to hit my mouth on the hand railing.  I did.  I knew my bags were coming with me.  They did.   I ended up looking and feeling like a turtle stuck on his back with all four legs up in the air.  My shoe was over there, the bags were sort of on top of me, and the guy wanting onto the escalator looked at me and said, “Are you okay?”

It could have been much worse, but my response was, “I guess I am going up…” followed by laughter.

By the time got to the next floor, I had gotten up, slipped my shoe back on, gathered my luggage and stepped onto “terra firma.”

Yes, I did retrieve my wallet and spent quite a bit of time chuckling to myself about what had just happened.  The swelling in my lip went down fairly quickly.  The red spot on my head will go away soon.  My hip and arms will be fine after the achiness goes away.

But moments matter!  One moment, I was ridding an escalator to my gate.  The next moment I was not sure what happened!

My prayer since then has been that all my moments would matter for Him and His kingdom!

Thank you, Tychicus

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September 7th, 2017 by Dennis Fuqua

A blow by blow of “The Incident”

My life was significantly altered by an “incident” between March and July of 2017.  Here is a record of what happened.  (You have no obligation to read it all!)  🙂

February 8 – I felt very tired in the evening, like I was getting sick.

February 9 – I was very exhausted and in bed nearly all day.  I only got up for 2 hours.

February 10 – As I got into bed, I felt a very sharp pain about 8 inches under my left arm pit.  About the size of a silver dollar.  I simply found a comfortable position to sleep in.

February 18 – This pain continued but only at night, and is spread across the front of my rib cage.  So, I went to “Zoom Care” for tests.  They did several tests and said they saw nothing unusual.

February 19 – At their suggestion, I had x-rays of my rib cage done at another Zoom Care.  These also showed nothing unusual.

February 20 – March 12 – The pain continued and worsened, but still only at night.  I took over-the-counter pain meds at night, but still facilitated 2 Prayer Summits.

March 12 – I preached my last scheduled sermon as Interim Pastor at Hockinson Community Church.

March 13 – The pain increased and was now no longer limited to nighttime.    I began to feel incapacitated.

March 14 – I saw my primary Dr.  He did blood tests, gave me pain meds and called for a C T Scan.  Scheduled the scan and had it done within a few days.  Pain grew.

Because of the results of the scan, the Dr scheduled a “CT guided liver biopsy.”

I also went to a chiropractor a couple times, but received no relief.  Much pain during these days.  Every day, all day.

March 24 – Did the biopsy.  Results were delayed because they wanted a second opinion from U of W.  I never have heard the results of this biopsy.  They only told me it did not reveal anything significant.

Still incapacitated.  Could do very little work-related things.  During this time, my right foot also began to swell and hurt.  I thought it was another bout of gout.  It became very painful as well.   A total of 5 ministry trips were cancelled during this time.

April 3 – Because I was down to my last pain pill, I called the Dr to ask what we should do.  He told me to come in for more blood tests.  Did so.  He prescribed more pain meds.  At 4:30 that afternoon he called and was very direct.  “Go to the emergency room right now…  Your white blood cell count is out of control.  Your body has major infection in it.”    By 5:30 Marilyn and I were at the emergency room.  Another CT scan.  By 7:30 a very young Dr told me “I know what is wrong with you.”  I said “Great!”  It had been 6 weeks of wondering by now.  He said, “It’s not so great…  You have an infection in your T 4&5 vertebrae.  You also have staph infection in your blood.”  They wanted to do another MRI, but it was too painful for me and I refused.  They moved me upstairs to a room by about 10:30.

April 4 – They did the MRI and another CT scan as well as an EKG and other tests.  They also began an IV line with serious antibiotics.  Typical hospital stay with pills and needles, visitors and food, doctors and nurses, etc.  Marilyn, my son, Josh, and my sister, Darlene were especially helpful during this stay.  This is when my addiction to opioids began during this time.

April 5 – Birthday at the hospital.

Soon the IV became quite painful.  They moved it often.  Within a few days, I developed blood clots in my left arm from the IV.  So, they began giving me blood thinner.  This continued for three months.

April 10 – They inserted a PIC line in my upper right arm.  This remained for 2 months.  The foot pain lasted until after I came home from the hospital.  Drs were looking at this and treating it as well.

April 16 – My blood work showed I was good enough to go home.  There’s a full story here, but I was whisked out of the hospital so quickly that I went home in my hospital gown!  By now the pain, which was very intense at times, turned more to exhaustion.

April 16 – May 20 – Convalescing at home.  My brother brought down a “sleep number” bed with adjustable back and feet.  I was in this bed most of the time.  I needed to have the antibiotic bag changed every 3 to 4 days.  Seventeen trips in all (Till June 9th).   This was nearly all the activity I did.  Josh was with me a lot.  He was a great help to me during these days.  I did go to a few other Dr appointments.

May 20-25 – This was my most difficult time.  The pain had turned to complete exhaustion.  During these days, I was more tired/exhausted then I have ever been.  In bed, doing nothing, all day long.

May 24 – Bag change.  Later that afternoon the infection Dr’s assistant called me saying they were looking at my charts and felt I should be feeling better than I had been.  He mentioned he thought my liver was reacting to the antibiotics.  So, they wanted to change the formula.

May 25th – They changed the formula.  I remember being so exhausted that I could not even talk on the phone for 30 seconds.

May 26 – I felt the difference overnight.  I could feel myself regaining a bit of energy.  Friends from Gig Harbor stopped by for a visit on their way home from California.  I was feeling better, but they left feeling very concerned for me.

June 8 – The infection Dr said the infection was gone.

June 9 – PIC line removed.

Middle of June –I began to cut back on pain meds.  I began to reduce the amount from 120 mil per day.  Began coming back to the office a few hours per week.

Middle of July – Blood thinner stopped and free from all drugs.  But I was clearly addicted.  I had hot flashes for a few weeks.  I also had some (mild) withdrawal symptoms when tried to reduce too quickly.  As I got off the pain meds, I began to feel the pain in my back.  Two drs said my T 4&5 vertebrae are fusing together.  This could take up to a year or two.  I need to sit in a supportive chair or my back will give me a dull pain.

End of July – We did cousins camp!  We did modify the schedule a bit because of me.  And Marilyn earned more gold stars for the extra work she did!

Middle of July till end of August – Worked to regain energy.  Began walking a mile per day and doing some other mild exercises.

September 1 – I have declared that I “officially” have all my energy back.  (Well, okay, I may not have had all that much energy before all of this, but I do have all that energy back!)  But I still do have to favor my back.  I am praying and believing it will be fully restored soon.

I am so very grateful for the care I received from many people!  People volunteered to help in many ways.  It was amazing and a bit overwhelming.  People gave money to IRM and to us, personally, to help with lost income and medical expenses.  I felt God’s love expressed to me in so many ways!  Many stories about this.  I am both very humbled and grateful!

June 7th, 2017 by Dennis Fuqua

Needed or Wanted?

I began feeling some unusual pain in early February.  It morphed and moved around my rib cage.  It was pretty manageable and only bothered me at night, so I didn’t give it a lot of concern.  I pushed it back with some over-the-counter pain medication.  I had some blood tests and Xrays, but they turned out normal.  Then by March 13 it was obvious that something more serious was going on.  The pain was more intense and was no longer only at night.

Because of a blood test on April 3rd my Doctor called me saying, “Go to the emergency room right now!”  That resulted in a 12 day stay at Peace Health.  They discovered I had a bone infection in my T4&5 vertebrae and also staph infection in my blood.

Since then I have spent most of my time (sometimes 20-22 hours per day) in the hospital bed at our house.   Some progress but oh it is slow.

Frankly, it has not been a time of spiritual growth.  Very little time in God’s Word and not much more in prayer.  Everything has been an extra effort.

Then around May 25th (because of a change in my antibiotic formula) I began to have a little more energy.  Listening to large chunks of Scripture from my phone was not only possible but pleasant.

As some thoughts became more clear, I understood something God was teaching me.  It came to me from Mark 4:26-28.

And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.

Like that farmer, I had sown some seed, but then I went to bed – for a long time in bed!  But the kingdom still grew.  In short, I realized in a very clear way just how dispensable I am to God’s work!  The Kingdom was doing quite well, even though I wasn’t.

So, when God uses me to advance His kingdom, it is not because He needs me….  It is because He wants me.  He invites me into His work not because no one else could do it, but because He wants me to experience the joy of His life flowing through me to impact others.

As I have pondered it, I would much rather be wanted than needed.  Wouldn’t you?

Thank you, Tychicus

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January 16th, 2017 by Dennis Fuqua

More valuable than metal

It was the first weekend of February, 1958.  My family was driving near Everett, WA on our way to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday.  I still have the image in my mind.

Growing up, all my friends and I could identify the make and year of nearly every car on the road.  Metal mattered to us.   Many conversations were simply, “55 Chevy.”  “1957 Dodge.”  “62 Vette!”

As we drove up Hi Way 99 that day, I remember seeing a “brand new” 1958 Ford in a junk yard.  The crash must have occurred from the front end, because what I saw were the distinct twin tail lights.  Even at my  young age, I somehow caught the irony.  A “brand new” car in a junk yard.  Someone saved, dreamed, studied, and thought about that car.  Then they went to the dealer and bought it!  They were delighted.  And a few weeks after it came off the production line, it was no more than stacked junk metal.

This was part of what God used in my life to teach me the truth of a verse I would later read in Matthew 6.  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Things that are brand new don’t stay brand new.  Things that can be broken will be broken.  Don’t count on them being new forever.  Material things matter.  Sometimes metal matters.  But there are other things that are far more valuable than metal.

Thank you, Tychicus

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August 8th, 2016 by Dennis Fuqua


So, on July 12th I got a phone call.  A friend had been walking with a pastor in our area (also a friend) who had developed a “retirement plan.”  After 24 years of pastoring this congregation, he was going to step down “sometime in 2017.”  He gave the congregation plenty of time to process and get things moving toward their next Lead Pastor.

But then, things changed.  The pastor discovered he had some additional health issues happening and he and his wife made the decision to step down right away.

My friend asked if I would consider being the part-time interim pastor for a few months.  I have preached several times at this congregation so we know each other a bit.  I would still maintain my responsibilities with IRM and also CCPC, but also preach there, do some leadership development, and care for the sheep.

Within the next couple days, I had spoken with all the key players including my wife, their elders, the IRM board, and a couple trusted friends.  As we prayed, it seemed all indications were that this was God’s assignment for me.  So, the following Sunday, July 17th, the announcements were made at this congregation that their pastor was wrapping it up and that I would be serving them for a few months.

Having never served as an interim pastor, I began to ask God and read a bit about it.  As I did, the word, “and” seemed to describe the responsibilities quite well.

So, the following Sunday, as I began to preach, I shared that the word “and” is a conjunction that connects a series of facts.  That is what I wanted to do.  They have a very good past… AND… I believe they have a very good future.  One pastor has served them well… AND… another pastor will also serve them well.  They have developed ways of doing things… AND… they will discover new ways of doing things.  They have been blessed… AND. they will be blessed.

I don’t want to be an “or” or a “but.”   I want to be a good “and” to connect these saints to their future.

So, I would appreciate your prayers as I walk with these saints as “Pastor Dennis” again.

Thank you, Tychicus

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May 27th, 2016 by Dennis Fuqua

Counting on Technology

So, on a recent Sunday morning, I was ready to preach.  This time, my notes were on my computer in a PowerPoint  format.  Shortly before I was to begin preaching, I opened my laptop with the thought of gettiLaptopng things all set.  But…  but… but… the screen didn’t look the same.  In fact it gave me a message I wasn’t familiar with and didn’t like.  It was something about it couldn’t load the operating system.  I am not a IT guy, but I knew this was not good news.  Within a few days, my son-in-law (an IT guy) had replaced the hard drive even though none of the files on it were retrievable.

The hearing aids worked great…  when they worked.  They connected to my phone while driving, they “Blue toothed” to my phone so I could hear videos, music, etc.  And they even allowed me to hear my grandchildren better!  My “Huh? factor” diminished.  But… but.. but.. they did not work all the time.  They were very inconsistent.  One phone call would work great, the next would not.  Sometime one ear would work, sometimes I could hear in both ears.  And for everything to work properly, all the batteries needed to be charged.

These are two recent times when technology has failed me.  And the fail has cost me time, money, energy and convenience.

I am not opposed to technology.  But, here’s the deal.  I am grateful that God is not a “techno-God!”  I’m grateful that He does not have a hard drive, does not need to be “synced,” and does not need charging.  Wires, components, batteries, and circuits are not needed.

With Him, it is still about relationship and conversation.  It’s about knowing Him and being known by Him.  It’s about walking with Him and enjoying Him.  It’s about face to Face time rather than Face Time.

I am not opposed to technology, but I sure appreciate the personal nature of our God.

Thank you, Tychicus

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December 15th, 2015 by Dennis Fuqua

More Than Immanuel

I greatly appreciate the meaning of the word “Immanuel” – God with us.  Pondering this truth comes with the Christmas season.  The thought that the Triune God would and did become one of us in order to be with us is nothing short of amazing.

But I do believe there is something “More Than Immanuel.”  Theologically “Immanuel” is wonderful, but it really is an Old Testament idea.  God was “with” Moses, the prophets, kings, etc.   It is not the primary truth for New Testament believers.  There is something better.

Jesus came as “Immanuel” in order to bring a more significant truth than God with us.  We see this in a pretty obscure verse in John 14.  The last part of verse 17 says that “… for He lives with you, but will live in you.”  Such small words with such large meaning!  The difference between “with” and “in” here is the difference between the way God used to relate to His people and the way He is currently relating to His people.

Jesus went on to say (v20) “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you…. (v23) My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”  Did you catch that?  Jesus says that both He and the Father want to take up residency not just with us but in us.

Here are a few places where Paul elaborates on this.  Romans 8:10-11 says “ But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

And, Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

These and many other places in the New Testament state clearly that we, individually and collectively, really are the temple of the Holy Spirit – the place where God lives.

So, as you hear and appreciate “Immanuel,” please let it be a reminder not only that God came to live with us, but also that God came and is living inside of us!  Let it remind you that there is something “More Than Immanuel.”