“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord!”

In my Bible reading today I was reminded of who I really am without the Lord… Believe me, not much to brag about!  A farm kid from Western Montana, near two little itsey-bitsy towns (Ronan and Pablo), pimple-faced kid from a graduating class of about 40… never out of the state until 18 years of age… I could go on…

Fortunately, God blessed me with some wonderful Christian parents (Ewalt and Vera Bartel)!  Home for the Bartel boys was a safe and welcoming haven.  Lots of farm chores and fun country living!  Was introduced to Jesus as my Savior at a very early age… then “baptized (empowered) by the Holy Spirit.”  I attended a little Assemblies of God Church (never ran over 70 people in its best years).  Had wonderful, nurturing pastors; faithful, loving Sunday school teachers; and was given an opportunity to discover and use my God-given gifts to build and bless others in a small rural church…

Blessed!  Fortunate!  But certainly nothing to brag about… I guess if I wanted to, I could be ashamed of my humble roots…  I’m not!  I’m just very grateful!! 

God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams… Years of fruitful pastoral ministry, over 36 years teaching and administration in a Bible university, denominational church leadership, world travel in ministry… Thank you Lord!!

My Bible reading this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” reminded me of all of this…

“Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters… Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong.  God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, SO THAT NO ONE CAN BOAST IN HIS PRESENCE!  He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘LET THE ONE WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD!’” (1 Corinthians 1:26–31 the NET Bible)

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