Richard Carlson

Richard Carlson

An author, Larry Osborne, in a book about contrarians defines a consultant as “someone whose wisdom we highly value and listen to, but at the end of the day, we make the final decision. That’s why they’re called consultants.”

I had to laugh at his definition as there is a fair amount of truth it. But that was not the end of his words. He continued with his thesis: “God doesn’t do consulting. Never has. Never will. He does God. When we treat him as a consultant, He simply stops showing up to the meetings. We may think He is there. But He’s not.”

Often in my work as a pastor, I talk with folk that want to get a second opinion from me about a spiritual matter. I have lots of opinions, but counseling wisely is not about my opinions, but about looking at what God’s Word has to say. When I counsel what the Bible says, that is what makes it counsel.

To share personal opinions is not my design or desire. I try to avoid doing that; that is consulting. Sharing opinions in matters that pertain to God is like turning down the dimmer switch in a living room or bedroom. It may seem cozy or a rich ambience, but honestly, it is not helpful, but confusing at best.

Moral decay is the result of rejecting the truth and light we already have. When we do this individually, or we do so as a nation, God turns us over to increased dimness and depravity. In essence, He turns down the light. When we respond to God’s truth and light, no matter how tiny our light is, God gives us more and more light to follow. Often it seems that our nation is rejecting the light we have, and that the light we have, is growing dimmer.

Perhaps the best way to test whether we are gaining light or finding dusk approaching in our lives spiritually, is all about our desire for time alone with God. Do you spend time alone with God? Do you read His word? Do you spend time praying? Do you regularly spend time in the house of the Lord, worshipping Him and learning from His Word? Do you spend time meditating on the things of the Lord? Perhaps, the dimmer switch has the Light of Christ so dim it is hard to see at all.

Some years ago, a dear friend from Green River stopped in to speak with me about her experience at an orphanage in Haiti, in a little village of Simonette, population 1000. The village is an hour north of Port-au-Prince, a city I have stayed in, that has had violence in the city, and we could hear rioting and shooting all night on a Sunday night.

This friend told me the amazing true story of Ed Hughes, a Canadian, who owned and operated swinger bars in Canada. The authorities were unhappy with him, so he sold everything and bought a sailboat. As he sailed the Caribbean, he ran out of money along the Haitian coast. He anchored his boat and ended up finding a job working for the Canadian embassy for a time. Soon, Ed was fixed financially again, so he decided Haiti was the perfect place for him to build a brothel. He began construction.

Children in the village were inquisitive, so they began showing up every day at noon. Ed started feeding the children sandwiches, until soon at noon, he was feeding several hundred children. A Christian friend near his construction site began telling Ed about Jesus. Remarkably, Ed Hughes, the master of all spiritual dimmer switches, let the light of the Lord shine into his life. He became a Christian believer, born again.

When that change occurred, God turned the light up high for Ed. Wisely, he decided constructing a brothel in Haiti was over. This new building, he had been constructing, must not be a nightclub and a brothel, but an orphanage. Ed’s life had been rough for a long time before this.

In November of 2005, his arm was shot off and he was left for dead by the side of the road. Eight months later, in June of 2006, he was kidnapped, ransomed, and later released. As a born-again believer, in 2009, Ed fell off a ladder and died at his orphanage. Ed died in the Light of God’s love.

Today, his orphanage, that God led him to build, the Tytoo Garden’s Childrens Home, has anywhere from 32 to 56 children, ages 3-17, and it has great vision plans for growth.

Will the light in our lives be getting lighter or dimmer on this day after Christmas? Ed Hughes found the Lord. The Lord turned off the dimmer switch and gave him the Light of eternal life. Have you found God’s Light? Why not come to Him today.

Richard Carlson is the pastor of the Rock Springs Evangelical Free Church. Of his 53-plus years in ministry, he has pastored locally for the last 44 years.

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