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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Digging Dirt by Faith: A true story

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

My wife and I were missionaries with the Fellowship of Baptists for Home Missions. We were trying to plant a new church in Poway, California, which is now the Pomerado Road Baptist Church. The Lord had provided the second floor of a World War II navy housing unit for the first building. We had it moved onto leased land and were trying to recondition it in time for evangelistic service.

I had gone back to work for San Diego County in my seasonal job, so I had very little time during the week to work outside on the building. On the Saturday before Brother Riggs the evangelist was to arrive, I had the job of digging a trench out to the street to the sewer lines. This had to be done so that the plumbers could lay and connect the sewer and water lines.

Even to start this project involved a spiritual battle. I had tried to get the permit for the sewer connection earlier, but was frustrated. Why? The inspectors’ schedules couldn’t be made definite. I wondered how I could even have made the appointments, if the Lord hadn’t given me temporary work at the County.

In the morning, I lamented that the former youth workers had outings every Saturday, which the youth counted on very heavily. Because of their expense and lack of other funds, I had decided to dig the sewer trench myself, by hand. The trench had to be about 30 inches deep and about a foot wide and about 40 feet to the street. I consciously said to myself and the Lord, “By faith in your grace, I’m going to get this done this morning, so I can keep the bowling activity, the youth are expecting.” What I didn’t know was that at the street the sewer pipe was over 10 feet deep! Quite impossible for me, but not for the Lord!

On the back lots next to our building, apartment buildings were being built. As I was digging, I had the disconcerting experience of digging up at least one tarantula spider. While I wasn’t making that much progress, about 10 feet, I noticed a large back hoe tractor digging a similar trench for apartments being built on the lot north of our location. I thought that it sure would be nice if we could afford to get them to do the job. But then, while the cost of transporting the machine could be saved if it could be done then, yet I thought that the man would probably have his schedule already committed. So, I just gave up the thought. However, my wife Marion saw the situation from our backyard, so she sent a “wish to the Lord.”

As I labored, I saw the operator finish his job. My heart sank with the thought of the possibility of getting the machine to finish the job would be impossible once it was loaded on the trailer. As I labored on, the operator walked over to me. (I thought that he was probably curious about what this industrious man was doing.)

He introduced himself stating that he too was a Christian. “Well, that’s nice.” I thought. Then, he said those beautiful word, “Would you like me to do that for you?” When I asked how much he would charge, he said, “Nothing, and if you would like, my friends from my church would be glad to provide special music at your meetings.” Wow! Another miracle on top of a miracle from the Father above! And, I didn’t even have to miss taking the youth on their beloved bowling bash!

That evening, my teeth almost fell out when I went to inspect the work and found how deep the county sewer line was at the street. At times like this, those who trust the Lord don’t have to know how impossible the job is for them, when the Lord intercedes! What a joyous time: Digging dirt by faith!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

About Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

The Rev. Edward F. Lundwall, Jr. is a former Army Chaplain and a veteran of the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. He and his late wife, Marionette, were Baptist home missionaries for nine years. They have three children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Ed pastored Disciple Baptist Church in Chattannooga, Tennessee, a laboratory experiment to study biblical discipleship and how to apply it to the Church.

Edward holds a B.S., a M.RE, and a M.Div degree and is a freelance writer specializing in discipleship.

He had written many unpublished volumes on the topic of discipleship.

Related reading: Launching a Blog About Discipleship

Monday, July 29, 2013

Military Service in Vietnam

Why Volunteer?
Chaplain (Ret) Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Vietnam. Why would anyone leave a comfortable pulpit to participate in the Army Chaplaincy in those troubling times? Why put one’s self in harm’s way facing death and the difficulties of combat conditions in a steamy, booby-trapped jungle of Southeastern Asia?

A social worker in the Medical Service Corps felt he could be more effective as a Chaplain. Others wanted to provide for preferred religious needs. Many sought to further ecumenicity in American religious life. Indeed, one supervisory Chaplain claimed that the Armed Forces Chaplaincy was “the Mother of American Ecumenicity.” I was overwhelmed with compassion for the soldiers who were or would soon be facing death to stop the spread of atheistic Communism which threatened both our country, and the Christian faith. 
Many people possess a generalized, cultural faith which lacks both the biblical content and heartfelt commitment necessary for a certain salvation. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does (lifestyle practice) the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter" (Matt 7:21 NASU); and again, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32 KJV). My heart’s desire to proclaim God’s Word in such a way to our troops that they if they should die, they would face the Lord as their Savior, and not as their Judge. I wanted them to have the peace available to all who sought forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Christ.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Christ's Triumphal Resurrection

Peter and John at the tomb, Henry Ossawa Tanner

According to Merriam Webster, triumph is "the act or fact of being successful." It is also defined as "exultation or joy for a victory or success.” To best understand a particular triumph, there is a necessity to identify what struggle, problem, or issue which has been overcome. Paul defines the Christian gospel of salvation clearly in I Corinthians 15: 1, 3, and 4: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; . . . For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” This is the first triumph: Victory over death!

Since the Lord Jesus died to redeem life (John 14:6), as long as He abides in death, we abide in death and we have no life. Death is still our barrier! So, the first triumph of his resurrection was that He lives again! Imagine the overwhelming joy, first experience by Mary Magdalene when Jesus spoke her name: “Mary!” and then by his Apostles, and other close followers. They actually saw Him in his resurrected earthly body, touched him, walked and talked with Him, and ate meals with him, but we will see Him in his glorified body!

As the resurrected Jesus, the redemptive process of making us alive to the Father was possible. It was essential for his exaltation into Heaven and for the application of his blood in the Heavenly Temple. In doing this, He established the believer’s access to God. Further, his resurrection enabled Jesus to apply his sacrificial blood to God’s Judgment Seat transforming it into his Mercy Seat making peace and forgiveness from the Father infinitely accessible. He became our Great High Priest.

How unspeakable is our joy when our security is guaranteed by his continual intercession for those born again in the face of Satan’s accusations against us (Rom 8:34), even when they are true! As we pray according to God’s will, his intercession sweetens our prayers to our Heavenly Father. His triumphant resurrection brings glory to God and provides sanctifying benefit to us. His resurrection enables Him to prepare a place for us (1 John 5:13b) so that we can be with Him in the glory of Heaven and in the eternal New Jerusalem and creation! Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Lieutenant’s Godly Prayer

Chaplain (Ret) Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Prayer is not usually associated with an infantryman’s life until he gets into combat. Remember the old saying that “There’s no atheists in foxholes!” Stories about prayer in the midst of combat are legend. Most of these have to do with getting out of personal dangers.

While a GARBC Chaplain with the 1/27th Infantry Battalion, the most memorable prayer that I heard was in the medical aid station of the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division at Dau Tieng, Viet Nam.

As I was trying to comfort the wounded, I stopped to talk with the platoon leader of the recon platoon that had been guarding the bridge. It was during the ‘69 VC Tet offensive. The men in one of his bunkers signaled that they were running out of ammunition, so he tried to run over there with a resupply. Unfortunately, our supporting helicopter gunships couldn’t tell if he was the enemy with satchel charges, so they laid grenades on him. 

After hearing his story, I prayed for him. But as I finished, he began praying for his men until he lost consciousness. To this day I don’t know whether he lived or died. But in godly military terms, how better to enter into the presence of the Captain of our salvation, praying, not for self, but for his men in the shadow of death!

This is reprinted from Regular Baptist Press, Illinois.