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“… There is a time and season for all things …”
Times and Seasons
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by James Langston

Preface

T he basic argument for this book is that God has appointed fixed laws for
the well-being of man and has given him a consciousness of another life;
therefore it is to man’s wisdom and happiness to obey these laws, consoling
himself with the fact of their immutability and benevolence.
It must have been ten or more years ago that I first read a rather unique
and eye-catching statement: “Those who cannot remember the past are
condemned to repeat it.” I later learned that the author was George
Santayana (1863-1952); philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist.
Although I’m sure Mr. Santana did not purposely lace his words with
“religious” overtones; however, they do line up perfectly with Ezekiel Chapter
16 and Verse 43:

“Because you have not remembered the days of your youth but have
enraged Me with all these things, therefore, I in turn will bring your conduct
down on your own head,” says the Lord God, “so that you will not commit this
lewdness on top of all your other repulsive acts.” (Amplified Bible)

For the past 40 years, I have been an eyewitness to the
systematic unraveling of our way of life in this great nation. In a sense, I find
myself saddened, and even puzzled how generation after generation can
continue to “trip” over the same “stones” of life that befuddled their
predecessors. Yet, a familiar Verse does come to mind, “Ever learning, and
never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).
In the pages that follow, I will try to give an insider’s look at an often
quoted Verse, Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 and Verse 1, “There is a time for
everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” I believe it,
more than any other, sums up the times and seasons of life.
The only problem I had while writing, which was a good problem, was how
to condense 58 years of life down to a mere 10 chapters. Yet, this was a
challenge that I found both intriguing and exciting. Words escape me as I try
to thank the writers, laypersons, clergy and others who graciously allowed
their writings in this book. However, without their contributions, I would have
been hard pressed to elucidate the stories and subjects you will read.

Introduction
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T he person who constantly seeks the face of God, will better understand
God’s timing. He understands that often the secret to success is in doing
the right thing at the right time. Timing can be everything.

There may be those reading this book who have become very discouraged
with life. One of those persons may be you. Life seems cold and uncaring. You
seem to be locked up in your own private prison with no way out. But friend,
there is a way out!

It’s not about who or whom you know that gets you through life, but it’s
Who know you – Jesus Christ. Are you His? Is He your Father? Do you love Him
more today than a thousand yesteryears?

One day soon, you will need to answer those and other questions, but do
not delay, the hour draws nigh that He will soon return for His Bride.

Follow with me in chapter 1 as we discover why some prayers are
answered, and not others. In chapter 2 we learn that though we live in a
topsy-turvy world, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Chapter 3 reinforces the importance of knowing which season, according
to God’s timetable, you are in. In chapter 4, we rediscover the beauty in
knowing that God not only is the God of second chances, but also the God of
another chance.

In chapter 5 we discover that while waiting on God is not always easy, it
is a regular refrain to the life of faith. Chapter 6 awakens us to the fact that
each trial and tribulation that comes our way comes with a purpose and a
reward.

Chapter 7 exposes the so-called “mountaintop security” as only an
illusion. The only real security in this world is God Himself. Chapter 8 is a
cautionary message to every Christian: getting the right medicine [sound
Biblical teaching] in the right dose makes a world of difference.

In chapter 9 we are brought face-to-face with ourselves: “All or nothing”
should be our battle cry. Are we willing to give God our all, or nothing at all?

And finally in chapter 10, the question is asked: Which Way Should We
Go?

Now, more than ever, the world needs Christians working together humbly
under Christ to lead people into a growing relationship with Him, in whatever
innovative and fresh forms that takes.

Chapter 1
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Why Them and Not Me?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who
mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are
the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
righteousness” (Matthew 5:3-6, 10).

S ometimes it seems as if our prayers are just bouncing off the ceiling.
However, what we feel isn’t always the same as what’s really true.
The Bible teaches us that God does answer prayer (John 16:24). But there
are a few things we have to remember: God’s answer may not always be what
we were hoping for. His answer sometimes is simply “no”, and His answer
might be something we’ll never completely understand.
In any case, His answer is always the best answer. He loves us dearly, and
His answers to our prayers are always what we need … even if they’re not
necessarily what we want.
Yes, prayer is a time to be honest with God about what we want. But it’s
also a time for us to recognize Who’s really in control. And it’s a time to ask
God to help us understand—and accept—what He brings to our lives.
Now, if it seems like our prayers are going unanswered, we might need to
ask ourselves:

—Am I asking with wrong motives? The Bible says, “When you ask, you do
not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what
you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
If we’re simply asking God for stuf—as if He were some kind of
supernatural vending machine—we might need to check our motives. Prayer
is about so much more than simply getting stuff, anyway. It’s about giving God
our adoration and thanking Him for His goodness.
—Have I confessed my sins to God? Unconfessed sin separates us from
God so that it in effect “ties His Hands” thus preventing Him from answering
our prayers: “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear
too dull to hear. But your iniquities [sins] have separated you from God; your
sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). Is
there something you need to confess to God?
—Have I made anything more important than God? God told the prophet
Ezekiel that some people had “set up idols in their hearts and put wicked
stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of Me at all?”
(Ezekiel 14:3).

Chapter 3
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Are You in Seed Time
or Harvest Time?

H ave you ever wondered why it is taking so long? What is God doing?
Maybe you’re feeling like God has forgotten you and that the vision or
dream that He placed in your heart will not come to pass.
Boy, do I have good news for you today! Everything is Right on schedule!
God has you at the right place, at the right time, and if you will just walk
closely with Him and keep your complete trust in Him, everything will turn out
just as He said it would!
One of the most vital and crucial things that you must first of all
understand in the kingdom of God is how to understand your times and your
seasons with the Lord.
Understanding your times and seasons will help prevent you from making
a lot of mistakes in the future. It will also help prevent you from making wrong
turns and unwise decisions in your life.
Some people run ahead of their season, not discerning the timing of a
thing, then they end up defeated, depleted, weary, and sore distressed. There
is a set time and a set season for everything that the Lord has in store for you
in life. (Look at Psalms 102:13, Ecclesiastes 3:1, 17, Psalms 105:19-20, and
also Galatians 4:1-2).
There are some things in life that the Lord will block you from doing to
prevent you from making a huge mistake that is going to cost you your future,
slow you down, or hinder your progress in Him.
Don’t try to step out on somebody else’s word from the Lord for their lives,
but step out on the word He gives to you for you at the appointed time and
the right season, and you’ll prosper.
Do not be afraid when your time and season comes, but be strong, be
bold, and of a good courage, and do exactly what the Lord says to you.
As we study God’s Word, we learn amazing truths about who God is and
how He operates. Here we learn that God is a God of seasons. Everything that
God does, He does in seasons.
In the book of Genesis we learned that God divided time itself into
different seasons. There is a day season and there is a night season. There is
a winter season and there is a summer season. Each season has its own
purpose. For example, the day season is for working and the night season for
resting (see Psalms 104:23).

Chapter 5
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Waiting on God
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with
wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah
40:31)

S ome eight years after its release in 2009, Donnie McClurkin’s song, “Wait
on the Lord” tugs at listeners more powerfully than ever. Whether it’s
waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for food service, or waiting for
marriage, biding our time is more counter-cultural than ever. And proclaiming
it “the hardest part” resonates deeply. We have been conditioned to have it
our way, right away. First it was fast food and instant coffee; then it was
everything else as well.
But our disdain for waiting isn’t just the product of social trends and
generational shifts; it is an expression of something profoundly human.
And the pains of waiting seem even more pronounced in mom and dad.
From gestation, parenting has challenged our patience, and exposed its lack,
with embarrassing frequency and depth.
Christianity Is Waiting
Our perspective on waiting is perhaps one of the stronger ways our society
is out of stride with the biblical worldview. Not that waiting was easy for our
forefathers, but they were more at peace with it, and more ready to see its
goodness and potential.
In the Old Testament, the psalmist celebrates waiting patiently for the Lord
(Psalm 40:1), and Isaiah promises that those “who wait for the Lord shall
renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall
run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Waiting on God is a regular refrain in the life of faith. It is an expression of
the healthy heart’s desire: “O Lord, we wait for You; Your name and
remembrance are the desire of our soul” (Isaiah 26:8). And it is an echo of the
unparalleled power and grace of God, “Who acts for those who wait for Him”
(Isaiah 64:4).
With all those centuries of waiting for the Messiah, you might think the
waiting would be done once Jesus had come. But now in the church age, we
wait as much as ever, called to live in the shadow of His return. We “wait for
the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7); we are a people
“waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and
Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
The church is that community which has “turned to God from idols to
serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven” (1
Thessalonians 1:9–10), knowing that when He appears, He comes “to save
those who are eagerly waiting for Him” (Hebrews 9:28).

Chapter 7
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Praising “Him” in Your Storm
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive
crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle
in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” Habakkuk 3:17-18

T he book of Habakkuk ends with these beautiful verses, following two
chapters of complaints about injustices around him. God’s solutions didn’t
materialize like Habakkuk anticipated, but in the end, he learned to trust
God’s wisdom.
We’re like Habakkuk, aren’t we? At times, we’re convinced God has
somehow gotten it wrong. After all, we’re faithful, go to church, give to the
needy, volunteer, and forgive transgressions…We’re Christians…We deserve
to stay on the mountaintop, right?
Mountaintop security is an illusion. True security doesn’t come from a
paycheck that could dry up tomorrow or from a house current on its mortgage.
Our only real security is God Himself.
The Bible says rain falls on the just and unjust. Christians suffer just like
non-believers, this side of heaven. Living in a fallen world, we’re destined to
trek through valleys. However, many promises in the Bible point to God not
letting the faithful suffer unnecessarily, nor for an indefinite period of time
(though it feels like it at times).

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has
stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those
who love Him.” James 1:12.

Some people appear to suffer more trials than others or more than what
seems fair. I don’t have an answer for that, except to say God is sovereign,
and we have to trust Him to do the right thing. He supplies all our needs,
which may look different than we expect.
It was April 24, 1982, a Saturday morning that I was awakened to the noise
of our two oldest daughters playing in their younger sister’s room. I
immediately got out of bed, and after quieting them down, sent them back to
their room.
I was about to leave ‘Jaimye’s’ room when it suddenly dawned on me that
she had somehow slept through all this mornings excitement. I walked over to
her crib only to find her face down, lifeless and not breathing. I immediately
awakened my wife before calling the emergency number for the base
ambulance.
They arrived within minutes. When they left, we followed them to the on base
clinic. After several anxious and exacerbating minutes by the doctors and
nurses to resuscitate her,
Chapter 9
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Are You Willing to Serve?

D on’t writhe in guilt if you’re not compelled to march to a street corner to
preach the Gospel, says Author Daniel Sweet. “Only the Lord Jesus can
really touch your heart to the degree that your love for Him makes you a
‘slave’ to Him, and one who can articulate his faith such that others can
believe.”
So, seek Him. Ask Him to show you what you’re supposed to do. That’s
always been the underlying power of Christianity – believers’ one-on-one
relationship with the Creator of the Universe. “Be still and know that I am
God,” we are told. And listen for direction, because perhaps that’s the one
great issue facing Christ’s church: Too few are listening to Him!
God is calling this generation to its true purpose in Christ. This is an appeal
for this generation to live up to that purpose and become what it was destined
to be. “All or nothing” is a battle cry; a cry to rally and stir up a generation
that will give God our all or nothing at all. A generation that does not make
Christ simply a part of our lives, but a generation that puts Christ at the center
of everything we do.
We live in a generation where apathy is the norm, not the exception. We
are known for our addiction to video games, lack of interest, and
irresponsibility. Researchers suggest that this is the most biblically illiterate
generation in history! It’s time to change that. When Jesus tells us to “Love
the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” this is not a
suggestion but a command. So let’s be the generation of David’s, the
generation of Joshua’s and Caleb’s; the ones who boldly take a stand for the
one true God.
We live in a time when the most we are called to give God is a few hours a
week for youth group and maybe a couple more on Sundays. We say, “Here
God, take this part of me, but I’m going to keep the rest.” We compromise.
Giving God everything isn’t even on the radar.
Sports, media, and friendships fill up our time and deplete our physical
energy when it should be devoted to God. Not that sports, friends, and
Facebook are bad in and of themselves, but when we put them in a place
above God it becomes idolatry. “When we build our lives on anything but God,
that thing – though a good thing – becomes an enslaving addiction, something
we have to have in order to be happy” says pastor and author Timothy Keller.
I love the story of King Josiah. Josiah became king of Judah at eight years
of age and was one of the best kings that nation ever had. Why? Because he
went throughout the nation and tore down the idols and turned his people
back to the one true God. He was sold out for God. For him, it was all or
nothing.
Idols can be the love of money or of fame, or maybe it’s acceptance we
are lusting after. It could be our sports teams, music, or whatever it is that we
are passionate about. It can be

About the Author
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James Langston is Senior Pastor and founder of the Pilgrim Outreach Ministries
International, an inter-denominational fellowship ministry located in Italy.
The ministry broadcasts their daily and weekly programs through Really
Simple Syndication (RSS) audio feeds to viewers throughout the seven
continents with a potential audience of 1 million viewers.
His clientele have included:

Senior Naval Officers, Chief Warrant Officer Four (CWO-4) and Lieutenants
to Captains (O-3 to O-6)
Junior and senior enlisted (E1-E9)
Contract Civilians (General Schedule (GS) grades 5-12))

Innovator, Manager and Leader:
Directed the daily operations and curriculum of 650 students in five
communications schools
Directly managed a $250K budget and $8M plant and minor property
Exercised Non Judicial Punishment (NJP) authority as Officer In Charge
(OIC) Service Schools Command
James Langston amassed more than 25-years of technical experience and
leadership in Satellite, Tactical Communications, Information Systems, and
Combat Systems as a naval officer and leader.
James effectively operated, supervised and managed multi-million dollar
Information Technology (IT) systems, programs and projects as the Naval
Computer Telecommunications Area Master Station (NCTAMS) projects
manager.
James has recorded more than five-hundred sermons and songs, plus more
than fifty e-Books. His literary works are published on Amazon, Barnes and
Nobles and NOOK. James has written or co-created thirteen books. His book,
“America in Crisis”, is by far his most easily recognizable and best selling
book.

In addition to his work in the Pilgrim Outreach Ministries International,
James is a husband, father, grandfather, avid jogger and bowling enthusiast.
He is a retired naval officer, having faithfully served his country for almost
three decades.
The Langston’s have been married for more than 38 years, and have six
children and fourteen grandchildren. They live overseas in Italy.