Letter to the Editor: Pastor of 50 Years Beholds His Beauty and Dwells in the House of the Lord In the Midst of Changing Times

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.  And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. (Psalm 27:4-6)

Dear Lighthouse Trails,

As a pastor for going on not far from 50 years, I know personally of some I thought to be loyal friends who seem to be set on discrediting the integrity of what God has made of my life. It is sad, but reality.  I never thought 50 years ago that the authority and sufficiency of Scripture would be a challenged concept in my time.

What I am finding as one of the most subtle tools of those who challenge is that they simply remain silent or refuse to address the questions or issues brought up, and if they do, it is to slander character and motive.

I am sure I do not stand alone in these matters, and I know I am not alone when I am in the sanctuary David speaks of in Psalm 27.  That Psalm has become so precious to me.  I have  used it in weddings, funerals, and other messages, noting the powerful truth in that “one thing” put into a three fold cord.  To be always aware of His Presence in our lives (“dwell in the house of the Lord”), to be captivated by His beauty (“behold the beauty of the Lord”), and to be always and only tuned to His Word (“to enquire in His temple”).  Then if I get in deep trouble , He hides me in His sanctuary. In the last verse of this Psalm, we have the word, “wait,” which I have found to mean to literally wrap or twist around. I have taken a thread and shown its weakness and how it is easily snapped with little effort. Then I produce a large tow rope and have another brother help me, and we twist that thread around the rope and then ask anyone to come and break that thread that has now become one with the rope. In weddings, I have taken the rope and asked the bride and groom to each take a thread with their name on a ribbon attached to the thread and twisted it around a large white rope, representing  the strength of the Lord. I placed this into a nice wooden box and give it to them as a wedding gift.

I have done this at funerals  where I placed a white box with a large red ribbon on it near the casket. I left it there during the message and closed by opening the box, in contrast to the other “box,” a coffin. I produced a large white rope with the words of Psalm 27, “wait on the Lord . . . ”  and then followed the illustration showing the widow how she could partake of the strength of the Lord by these three concepts. It was very touching and meaningful.

I pray these simple, yet profound truths can be embraced by you all at Lighthouse trails.

May God continue to use what you are doing.

A servant of the Lord,

Pastor Lyle (USA)

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