We Are Able

October 23, 2015



Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

~Mark 10:39, NLT


Despair ruins some, presumption ruins many.

~Benjamin Franklin


You see James and John’s presumptuous answer above but what is the question? Jesus asked them, Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?” Without a moments hesitation, they replied, “We are able.” I’m sure Jesus just shook His head in unbelief. These guys who were a part of the inner circle {Peter, James and John} had committed to mistakes.

Their first mistake was that they were not paying attention to what Jesus had just said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.” Jesus had no more than got this out of His mouth when the two asked for seats of honor in His kingdom. Their second mistake is as bad as the first, it was ignorance. They had no idea what they were asking for or committing themselves to do. I don’t know which was greater: their arrogance, their ignorance or their insensitivity.

James and John did undergo Christ’s baptism and they did drink from His bitter cup. James was the first to die for Christ. They were able to drink the cup because Jesus made them able. Sometimes we allow our mouth to overload our ability. We are able only because His grace enables.  Oh the needless grief we bring into our lives by our prideful presumption.


  • Talked to Noah yesterday evening: Michelle is still packing. They are planning to be here by tonight.
  • We got a lot done yesterday that we have been putting off. We have paper towel racks in the women’s bathroom in the FORTE. We also got the baptistery cleaned and filled with fresh water. Lord willing, we will baptize three this Sunday and we have one scheduled for November 1. I pray that we will baptize every Sunday between now and Christmas.
  • FELLOWSHIP Sunday night at 5:30–Hay rides at 6:15. Members bring a pot, not a bowl, but a pot of stew, soup or chili. If you do not bring one of the three then your option is two of the following items: homemade desert, cornbread, chips [Frito’s], cokes. We have crackers and Tea.
  • We had 28 in our COLLEGE BIBLE STUDY last night.
  • I’m probably going to have to get off of Facebook but I do enjoy the pictures: this one comes from Sandy Hendrix in Cherokee, Alabama. It was made at mile marker 375 on the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Trace runs less than a mile behind the first church I served out of Seminary. I would love to drive the Northern stretch [in a gentle rain], from Cherokee to Franklin, Tennessee. I got to do that a few years ago and I loved it.

old trace at mile post 375

Gary, Keri and Kane

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