Instead, how about a few nuggets of some of the encouragements and even laughs God has sent our way even in the midst of struggle?
We are entering into the active phase now of our Hope for Eternity Outreach that will be held the last week of April. Our featured newsletter on the theme of "Heaven & Hell" is at the printers, and we'll be distributing it in neighborhoods over the next few weeks and sending people to it at our website. As you can see in the pictures, two billboards have gone up already that seek to use common questions or misconceptions to create interest, and two more will soon follow. Lord willing, a large banner should hang from the side of our building announcing it this next week. Efforts at community bridging have been encouraging, as a number of families attended a family dinner we hosted last week. We took a step of faith regarding the financing of this outreach, and the Lord has already provided almost all of the extra funding needed. Seeing the Lord answer prayer gives joy as He promised (John 16:24), and we are growing in our longing to see fruit borne. Already this has helped us as a people to be more active in our witnessing.
Just discovered this morning my son Trevor is now taller than me by half an inch. We had just measured him no more than six weeks ago and that was not the case! Hopefully the extra height will help him as he plays basketball next Monday down at Conseco Fieldhouse for the Indiana Christian Basketball Alliance's all-star game. All I know is that I'll keep pointing out that cross-stitch hanging on his bedroom wall from my Aunt Barbara that used to hang in mine as a boy: "A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow."
This past Lord's Day we celebrated the resurrection by having the baptism of a young lady from our college ministry whose testimony of transformation we have watched happen over the past months, so that was exciting. Meditating on how Christ was Raised for Our Justification from Romans 4:25 and observing the other sacrament of the Lord's Supper were especially strengthening.
My good friend Keith Magill sent me an e-mail that addressed me as "Very." Amused, I noted fifteen minutes later he sent an apology, saying his voice technology had heard my name incorrectly. Of course I could not let that go, so I sent him the following:
Know prop phlegm. Eye under sand.
Last Friday night I spoke to the Purdue college ministry of the Lafayette church on love in personal ministry, particularly sharing the lessons God has taught me through the life of Bill Scott. Bill is an elderly member of our church who was a former Rescue Mission resident and a double amputee. He is currently in a hospital in Lafayette, and after hearing about Bill several students went on Saturday and Sunday and sang psalms to him. Bill was actually despondent and had been saying he wanted to die to the nurses on Saturday, but Sunday after these times and some help eating by deacon Jason Camery his spirits have revived. The nurses spoke of how they and other patients were uplifted by the young people's singing, and a visit yesterday found Bill still somewhat disoriented but smiling and interacting more. Love never fails!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Certainly God's love never fails. Thank you for these reminders, O Lord!