29 October 2019
To everything there is a season,
And a time for every purpose under heaven.
— Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV1 —
Do you know what season it is
in your spiritual life and ministry?2
In His wisdom, our Creator not only established seasons in the natural world, but also seasons in our earthly lives and our spiritual experiences. It takes some life experience in the Kingdom to appreciate the value of God-appointed seasons. Sometimes it requires the Holy Spirit’s fruit of patience and God-given wisdom, so as not to “hurry” a season along; a season is as long as God knows it needs to be. And having willingly submitted to God’s seasons and their appointed lengths, perhaps the best of all is the ability to enjoy the season through which we are passing.
…A Time to Heal…
atop Sharp Top Mountain on 19 October.3
I just saw my vascular (“vein”) surgeon this morning for some post-surgery follow-up sclerotherapy injections. The “doc” is very pleased with the results of last month’s vein ablations. The last foot scab from bleeding is gone. And the legs proved that they’re working just fine — two weekends ago Denise and I hiked up the remaining 1500 feet of Sharp Top Mountain, one of the Peaks of Otter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Many thanks to those of you who have been praying!
…A Time to Embrace, A Time to Report…
Okay, so Solomon didn’t actually say, “A time to report.” But you need to know that we did that little climb on Sharp Top Mountain with Pastors Bruce and Rachel Wasson of Morning Star Church in Scottsville, Virginia, one of our supporting churches. We had a great, though short, time with them, got to attend the annual Saturday-night bluegrass Gospel concert at their church, and then give a missions report to the congregation on Sunday morning. It’s been our privilege to watch Bruce and Rachel grow spiritually and ministerially. As they work with their small, growing country church, their burden grows for congregations of this type.
…A Time to Love…
in the Blue Ridge Mountains.5
When it comes to missions travel and family events, scheduling can be tricky and often at the cost of missing an important event in the family. I’ve been away for birthdays of various daughters and grandkids (not to mention my own, every year!) and (this year) Valentine’s Day. Denise loves to go “leaf peeping” in the autumn to see the fall colors, but we can rarely do that because of various trips. However this year, our daughter Kristen and son-in-law Michael Blythe invited us to join them on an overnight jaunt into the Blue Ridge Mountains to see the fall foliage. We had a wonderful visit with them.
…A Time to Plan(t)…
As far as upcoming trips are concerned, here is the 2020 itinerary so far:
of the mother of Pastora Lilian de Chávez.
The backdrop is a weaving with which the Peruvian saints blessed me on my last visit.6
- Honduras and El Salvador: [queue the crickets] My dad used to say, “No news is good news,” but in this case, no news is no news! At least not yet. Please keep praying!
- Guatemala: Dates for the ESUM Pastors’ Retreat have been set for April 23-25. (ESUM stands for Estudios SUperiores Ministeriales, or Advanced Ministerial Studies.) I think I know what our three-day study topic will be, but I’m still waiting for confirmation from the Lord. Dates for the full trip are TBD, but probably something like April 20-May 4.
- Iowa: June 14-19: For the fourth time, I am deeply humbled to be the Camp Bible Teacher at the Iowa Holiness Association. Rumor has it that the IHA’s 184-year-old founder, Isaiah Reid, will be there again, too.
- Perú: October 22-November 13. Those dates are subject to a bit of refinement.
…A Time to Write and Publish…
Never lose your sense of urgency, in season or out of season.
Prove, correct, and encourage,
using the utmost patience in your teaching.
— 2 Timothy 4:2 (Phillips)7 —
A book of devotionals from the favorite uncle
you didn’t know you had!9
A page from the nearly ready-for-paperback
proof copy of Soul-Help Papers.10
Even though for this “season” I’m not in Latin America at the moment, we haven’t lost our “sense of urgency.” I’m prepping for the trips mentioned above. And we also have a lot of “pots cooking on the stovetop” in our writing ministry:
- As of today, I have started writing the first draft of chapter 6 of The John the Baptist Experience. For almost three months, the Lord has graciously been rousing me from sleep early every morning to write. Back in July when my doctor made it clear that I shouldn’t travel to Honduras for the originally scheduled August trip, I asked the Lord what the “extra time” should be used for. His answer: Now is the time to write The John the Baptist Experience, something He put on my heart long ago. A tiny, tangentially related “firstfruit” can be found on our website in the form of a small prophecy study: Greater Works Than These. As the book manuscript moves along (the first of three book sections is almost complete), I’m looking for beta readers to offer feedback and suggestions. If, after praying about this, you’re interested to help in this way, please contact me.
- This month we were also able to publish the e-book version of Isaiah Reid’s helpful devotional Soul-Help Papers, now on Amazon.com for Kindle readers. With a little push, we will probably have the paperback published by the end of November.
- Just today I received the corrected edit of our first full-article translation into Spanish — El Evangelio de la Gloria (The Gospel of the Glory) by Percy Gutteridge. ¡Muchas gracias, Jorge y Inés!
- We’ve queued up a new Percy Gutteridge Christmas message, which will be available to “unwrap” around December 1st. And with a bit more effort, we might have another of my Christmas messages ready by December 11th — Wingless Angels and Their Poetry, a fairly different take on the shepherds’ angelic visit.
…A Season to Celebrate…
Speaking of seasons and Christmas messages, American Thanksgiving comes in four weeks, and December is less than five weeks away. We’re already at work on our December newsletter. It will be scheduled early in order to share all our web-based Advent- and Christmas-related resources — carols, poems, and Bible-teaching articles — to celebrate the Incarnation and the Nativity.
Whatever the season, we daily thank God for allowing us to partner with you in this work of teaching Latin American pastors and leaders, as well as teaching believers in North America and beyond through our online Bible-study articles and our published books.
Much love in Jesus until next month,
Tax-Deductible Donations Gratefully Received
- Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ↩
- Leaf photo courtesy of Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.com https://unsplash.com/@jeremythomasphoto. ↩
- Photo of Bruce and Rachel Wasson, with Denise and Jim Kerwin, taken on Denise's camera by a helpful fellow hiker. ↩
- Photo of Jim at Morning Star Church taken by Denise Kerwin. ↩
- Photo of Denise and Jim taken by their daughter, Kristen Blythe. ↩
- Photo of Guatemalan and Peruvian handicrafts taken by Denise Kerwin. ↩
- The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission. ↩
- Title image of Greater Works Than These is by Jim Kerwin, using the deer photo under license from https://www.123rf.com/profile_jmrocek. ↩
- Cover image of Soul-Help Papers is copyright © 2019 by Jim Kerwin. ↩
- Image of the proof-copy page from Soul-Help Papers provided by Jim Kerwin. ↩