Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Why I Spell Coincidence with a Capital "G"

It's been an interesting week. I was in Atlanta on business from Sunday evening through Tuesday. The trip wasn't going very well, and a lot of my "personal expectations" (read: idolatrous desires) were not being met. We stayed in an atrocious downtown hotel and, out of fear of our lives, decided to move to another hotel after the first night. I had hoped to stay for the full week, but my boss insisted I return on Tuesday. The trade show was smaller than expected, and didn't seem too productive. I had hoped to have dinner with some business associates before flying out on Tuesday night, but it didn't work out. By 5:00, I hadn't had any lunch, and I found myself heading to the airport several hours earlier than expected. As I walked alone toward the train station, preparing for the 20-minute ride to the airport, I sensed the Holy Spirit calling me to submit my self-centered and complaint-ridden attitude to God's mercy and sovereignty.

Then something strange happened. Just after sitting down on the train, I overheard a conversation nearby. I distinctly heard someone utter the words, "the Arminian system." That caught my attention. I figured I could use some fellowship with other believers, whether Calvinists or Arminians, so I went over to the two men who were obviously discussing theology and introduced myself. They said they were indeed believers and told me their names. That's when my jaw dropped, and I saw the sovereign hand of God in the midst of all my petty disappointments (something tells me heaven will be like this).

Here's a little background to help you understand why my jaw dropped. Over a year ago, my pastor gave me a little book called "Uniting Church and Home," written by his friend Eric Wallace. Eric is a pastor who lives in Virginia, and a leader of the family-integrated church movement. I enjoyed the book and have become excited about returning to the Biblical vision for church, family, marriage, parenting, and household-based ministry. The concept has transformed and is continuing to transform my family.

The last thing I expected was to meet Eric Wallace in Atlanta, but one of the men I met on the train was him! The other man was an elder from his church. They just "happened" to be in Atlanta, just "happened" to be on my train, we just "happened" to be in the same car, and I just "happened" to overhear their conversation. So, for 20 minutes my soul was refreshed as we chatted about the good things of God, Scripture, theology and life. God knew. God knew!

That's coincidence with a capital "G."

Here is a link to Eric's website:
The Institute for Uniting Church and Home

and a short video (note the Gospel-centeredness!)


  1. Hmmmm. A friend of mine was in Atlanta during the same time period (he's actually on his way home now) for a PaperCon trade show.

  2. Barry,

    I was exhibiting at the Waste Expo.

    I wish I could have met your friend as well. I've found wherever I go, God always provides exactly what I need at the right time and in the right way. He's amazing. I STILL can't believe I ran into Eric Wallace on that train!


  3. I'm often amazed by God's providence, and I'm sure I don't see His hand nearly as well or clearly as I should

  4. I enjoyed your blog and it was very inspiring. I am a christian but I don't always go to church like I should. Do you think that is wrong? Some people tell me that you don't always have to go to church to serve God. You can serve Him at home, or at school, etc. I will continue to read your blog everyday that I can.

  5. Nakia,

    Thanks for commenting, and you've asked a great question. The important thing is to obey the Bible's commands to gather with other Christians and be in fellowship with them. This is the way we receive the encouragement and instruction we need, and as you've noted it is also a great way to serve others for God's glory. I don't think I would be able to maintain a healthy spiritual walk without attending a good church, being involved with a small group and having regular meetings with my prayer partners. I need people who know me well to help me apply the principles of Scripture to my life.

    On the other hand, some of today's churches have strayed so far from the Bible that they no longer offer the opportunity to fulfill the Biblical commands about fellowship. So I would encourage you to find a strong, Biblically grounded church with a godly pastor, and get involved there as much as you can.

    Trust God and He will lead you.

    Here are a few related Scriptures for your encouragement . . .
    Acts 2:42
    Hebrews 3:12-14
    Hebrews 10:25

    You might also want to read through First John, which shows us that one mark of the true believer is a desire to be with God's people. If you have that desire, cultivate it and watch it grow. That by itself will be an encouragement to others around you.

    Grace & peace,


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