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Thursday, April 3, 2008
Charlie and Rosie Goumas
"They see Him who is invisible."
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"Seeing Him Who Is Invisible"
"He (Moses) persevered because he saw Him who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:27b).
Charlie and Rosie Goumas are friends of ours who are both blind. We met them at a conference in Boston eight years ago and we have kept in touch with them through the years. Early on, before we began to podcast, they read our daily encouragements by listening to a reader on their computer that converted the text to a synthesized computerized voice. They now listen to our own voices through the podcast audio link which Rosie likes a lot better!
Charlie and Rosie have done very well living their lives in a sighted world. They both serve the Lord and have a positive, faith-filled outlook. They attended the Perkins School for the Blind in their formative years. As a child Rosie had the amazing privilege of meeting Helen Keller who also attended the same school many years earlier.
One Sunday morning they took the train out of Boston and came to visit in our home in Taunton, Massachusetts about 40 miles away. We had a warm time of fellowship as they attended our church and shared a meal with us afterward in the parsonage. An outstanding concert pianist, Rosie played for our congregation a beautiful arrangment of "How Great Thou Art." I took the featured picture on our back porch before they went back to the city.
In a sighted world where "seeing is believing" one of the great challenges is living the life of faith in an unseen God. Following Christ is indeed a walk of faith, of believing in One whom we cannot see in the physical world around us, although there is an abundance of evidence for His existence. Earlier in Hebrews 11 we read "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible" (v.3).
Dedicated Bible readers will recognize Hebrews 11 to be the "Faith Chapter." Our daily verse powerfully gives us a glimpse of the faith of Moses: "He persevered because he saw Him who is invisible."
People of faith identify with this apparent contradiction, seeing the invisible, which is even more stunning in the Greek, which uses the same root word for "saw" and "invisible". A very literal reading of the text would be, "For the unseen one as seeing he endured." We understand the inspired Biblical writer is describing faith's ability to see with the eyes of the heart what is unseen with our physical eyes.
After the resurrection Jesus speaks forth a blessing to all of us who would follow Him on the basis of faith: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). Peter, an eyewitness to the life of Christ as He carried out His earthly ministry, states in his epistle: "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy" (1 Peter 1:8).
"We live by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). I do believe today! I, like Moses, choose to persevere because I see Him who is invisible through eyes of faith.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, as we live by faith and not by sight we see much of what the world does not see because we see it through eyes of faith. By faith we see a risen Savior who died for us and who is now interceding on our behalf. By faith we see the coronation day when all the saints will be gathered in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air. By faith we believe that life’s trials will be worth it all when we are ushered into the pearly gates and gather with saints of all the ages to praise our glorious Savior around the throne. It is by faith that we come to Jesus and it is by faith that we will stay the course. For it is not the one who runs the swiftest nor the one who runs for a day, but the one who endures to the end that will be saved. The struggles of this life diminish when we walk by faith and not by sight. Navigate our steps as we journey here below. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Brooksyne’s Note: I’ve enjoyed reading about Helen Keller ever since I saw the movie portraying her life as a young child. Her autobiography gives amazing insight into what it would be like to be both blind and deaf. One of her quotes has been posted at my desk for ten years or more. A woman who lost two of the most important senses that we rely on for the fundamentals of living and learning spoke some of the most memorable truths that are still repeated to this day. Two of her quotes that compliment today’s theme are:
Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.
I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a man-made world.
Stephen’s Note: I have met a quite a number of electrical engineers who are Christians, including my long-time friend Mike Matangelo who now lives in North Carolina and Nigel Lee, who was the first recipient of this devotional in 1996 (Nigel has a PhD in electrical engineering from Princeton.) I recall a conversation I had many years ago with an electrical engineer I had met at a CBD book sale in Peabody Massachusetts (above Boston.) I shared with him my observation and asked him his opinion on why this is so. His answer was very interesting. He shared how in his field of study there's a focus on a power that can't be seen and thus faith in an invisible God and His undeniable power is not so difficult to grasp!
Here's another powerful verse related to today's theme: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).
Below is a tip that any of our visually impaired readers may find helpful from a visually impaired reader in Hawaii: "I just want to let you know that I listen to your Bible-teaching program via audio Podcast which I download through the JUICE PODCAST RECEIVER. FYI about Podcast receivers: JUICE happens to be far more user-friendly for blind computer users than iTunes, so if any other visually-impaired Christians were to contact your ministry and inquire about Podcasts you can refer them to the link I provide above."
Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
"Blessed Assurance" Audio from the Lifespring Hymnstory podcast
Fanny Crosby was a blind hymn writer yet many of her songs refer to seeing and sight such as this hymn which has the phrase, "Visions of rapture now burst on my sight."
"Open The Eyes Of My Heart Lord" Audio
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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