Sandra Binney

Jim and Sandra Binney
Jim and Sandra Binney

I don’t know how many pastors, missionaries, and churches Dr. Jim and Sandra Binney have helped.  I know they have helped me.

Sandra fought hard and long, but ultimately the cancer that afflicted her was the means God used to take her from her earthly body and bring her to her eternal home just after 3 am, Sunday, April 19.

My first acquaintance with the Binneys was at Northland Family Camp about ten years ago.  Jim helped my heart and my church then.  I remember him calling Sandra “drop-dead gorgeous.”  She is!  We loved them so much that week we took them home with us.  Jim was free the weekend following camp, and agreed to come to our church and preach that Sunday.

My appreciation for the Binneys grew when I was called to pastor Calvary in 2003.  Jim had been the interim pastor for the previous year.  He and Sandra faithfully guided the flock through a critical transition period and prepared the way for the new shepherd.

Since then, Jim has been a mentor to me, encouraging and praying for me, counseling me through struggles, and helping me with some extremely challenging ministry issues.  Jim has driven me deep into the Word.  He has shown me how to experience fullness of life in Jesus Christ.  I can honestly say that I would not be ministering today were it not for Jim and Sandra Binney’s influence in my life.

Sandra is warm, gracious and dignified.  She is the ultimate in extending hospitality.  She has been Jim’s partner in making many discouraged, hurting, fallen servants of God feel welcome, at ease, and comfortable sharing their deepest struggles so that they could receive genuine, nonjudgmental, life-giving counsel.  She has played a vital role in restoring hurting, desperate, broken ministry workers to wholeness and fruitfulness.

Jim and Sandra together have rescued many, many servants of God – their personal lives, marriages, and ministries – from defeat and ruin.  They have prevented many problems as well by equipping through conferences, books, and personal counsel.  Jim is the preacher, counselor, and writer, but Sandra has always been his perfect complement and assistant.  Only the Master knows all that Sandra has done for His servants and His name.

I hurt for Jim.  I miss Sandra.  I wonder if the members and ministers of Christ’s body will realize what we have lost.

I know Sandra is already enraptured in the eternal celebration.  Her being there heightens my anticipation.

Enjoy, Sandra.  We’ll be there soon.

I am weak therefore I am strong.

Paul
Apostle Paul – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaulusTarsus_LKANRW.jpg

I love this picture of Apostle Paul.

It is a composite image created by the German State Police using historical documents that describe Paul’s physical appearance.  (I know that the accuracy of these descriptions is difficult to determine.)  I guess they must have followed the same process in producing the image as they would for wanted criminals or missing persons.

It makes him appear much more human than many of the artistic representations I have seen.  I can identify with this man.  He was not a Christian superhero.  He was gifted and used by God in many ways, but he was also weak like any other human being.  Paul was sharply conscious of one specific weakness.  He talked about it and what he did about it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

What Paul said about his own weakness has enabled me to deal better with mine.  I have learned that my weakness actually helps me.  I shared some of what I have learned in this message yesterday morning.   Your weakness helps you because it keeps you humble and it makes you strong.

I confess it is hard for me to reach the same conclusion that Paul did.  He actually said he liked being weak:  “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities . . .” (2 Cor. 12:10).  He said it because he realized that he could not overcome nor eradicate his weakness, and that God would use Paul’s deficiency to display His all-sufficiency.  So I am asking God to help me honestly say, “I like being weak, because my weakness magnifies God’s greatness.”

To think and talk this way seems strange.  It is not how we naturally think.  But Christians are unique in many ways.  What do you think about this unusual way of viewing yourself?  I’d like to hear from you about it.  Take a minute and comment.

Don’t Miss the Point

Family traditions, religious celebrations, and spring vacations rule at this time of year!  Easter is a Christian event, but even followers of Christ can miss the point.

I preached yesterday from Luke 9 about how Jesus kept telling the men and women around Him why He was purposefully moving toward Jerusalem where He would be arrested, killed, and brought back from the dead.  They kept missing the point.

My primary applications related to our Easter outreach presentations next Sunday morning.  We should not “miss the point” of the Easter season.  We have the advantage of a complete historical record of what happened (the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and a thorough explanation of why it happened (the Epistles – New Testament letters written by the men who saw and heard Jesus).  We have the Good News!  Jesus died for our sins and rose again!  Let’s go tell them!

Listen to the sermon here.

Their problems and His points included:

Luke 9:18-24
Problem:  Selfishness
Point:  Death is the prerequisite to life.

Luke 9:28-36
Problem:  Laziness
Point:  Jesus is the center of attention.

Luke 9:43-45
Problem:  Ignorance
Point:  The most amazing thing is the old familiar story

Luke 9:51-56
Problem:  Prejudice
Point:  Deliverance now, destruction later.

Luke 9:60
Conclusion:  Stop making excuses and start making disciples!