My 55th spiritual birthday, 31 July 2023
- But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
- 1 Timothy 5:8 kjv
God’s “New Thing” Is Coming Clear
Denise and I have never had a desire (or funds!) to shuffle-board into some easy retirement in a “senior-living” resort. We love Jesus, He has kept us healthy in spirit, mind, and body, and in many ways we feel like we’re just beginning to come into some maturity of usefulness to the Body, especially with the rising “new generation.”
We have been praying about and anticipating a change of venue for some time now, and have been waiting on the Lord for His direction and timing, offering up much prayer over the matter. Given the various open doors we have had in northeastern Florida, we understood this region could be the most likely, but certainly not inevitable. Until now.
Now serious health circumstances being experienced by… well, somebody close to us (I’m not yet at liberty to say)… seem to be serving as a trigger for God’s “starting gun” to a multi-month marathon of supporting, helping, packing, home-selling, and moving. Of course, the immediate and primary “ministry” will be “especially to those of our own household” (to tweak the NASB translation of 1 Timothy 5:8 just a bit). Nevertheless, while we will continue our Finest of the Wheat teaching and publishing ministry, we will also be seeking the Lord for whatever “ministry doors” He might open in that area.
So as I celebrate my 55th spiritual birthday today, adventure and new life circumstances await us, not to mention new ministry opportunities. And weeks of “scouting out the land.” And long days of sifting through a thirty-three-year accumulation of “stuff,” as well as the seemingly endless hours of packing what remains to go with us.
We’re happy to walk into “God’s ‘new thing,’” yet we need to know not just His will, but His timing for each of these steps. After all these decades of walking with the Lord, we are trusting Him; our faith may be strong(-ish), but not our physical strength and endurance. (Let’s face it — we’re in our 70s!) Once our house goes on the market and sells, we’ll be under a time-crunch to get everything packed and moved.
Help Us Move and Pack with Your Prayers
Please help us by your prayers for:
- Physical, mental, and spiritual strength for the “moving marathon,” as well as helpers to come alongside during the packing process;
- Wisdom to know how to minister to our loved ones; sensitivity to their needs; and yieldedness to the Holy Spirit to channel God’s love to them;
- God’s provision of reliable transportation. The Lord has helped my faith, but it is not so great that I am qualmless about taking our ailing 23-year-old Chevy (that’s 69 years in “car years!”) on the several 1500-mile round trips which this transition period will require. (The Lord has provided us with some funds for another car, but in the current “used cars are worth their weight in gold” environment, we still need a miracle to get anything decent within our limited budget.)
- Opening of ministry doors and the creation of new ministry connections in our new venue;
- Increased financial support during the transition period and into “God’s ‘new thing.’”
What did Jesus mean when He said, “As the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his innermost being shall come rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-39)? Out of whose innermost being would this come? The believer (as most translations seem to assume)? Or someone else? We can’t be certain until we find the Old Testament passage to which Jesus was referring. What verse or passage was Jesus talking about and why has it been so hard to pin down?
As we explore “Rivers of Living Water” from John 7:37-39 and its greater contexts, we uncover the passage to which Jesus was pointing, and we discover uncommon insight and a clear, powerful interpretation of His words!
With Rivers completed, we also check off another chapter completed for The John the Baptist Experience (TJtBX) series.
Speaking of TJtBX, I am bogged down while writing the chapter The Purpose of Grace. Writer’s block? No, not that kind of “bogged down.” Rather, I’m breast-stroking through a jewel-filled cavern of blessing in the Greek. (Scrooge McDuck would be jealous!) But I realize that I can only carry out of the cavern as much as my small pockets can hold, to include in the chapter! Decisions, decisions…
Other Ministry News
In the last newsletter, I mentioned some of the dynamic twenty-something Guatemalans who are growing in the Lord. I’ve been in touch with and praying for two of them specifically:
You may remember that Rut Chávez was my translator this May (as well as earlier visits), and that she has felt called to a ministry of translation for missionaries and visiting ministries.
Just recently, in less than two weeks she translated for a Sunday School teaching team visiting an inner city church in Guatemala City; and then she immediately moved on to a much larger venue, translating three sessions before a crowd of about 1300 people! (Ironically, Ruth told me that she felt a bit intimidated translating for me in front of 40 people, but not in front of 1300! See photo below.) She has another nearly two-week assignment coming up in August.
Oh, and then you’re asked to pinch-hit for another translator and take over his sessions, too.
I also mentioned Estefani Pérez and how the Lord led us at the conference to pray for her during her oral exam to receive her engineering degree. I contacted her to ask how to pray for her job prospects, and we continue to be in touch. (In fact, turns out that she, too, just finished up a translation assignment with a visiting ministry team.) Right now, in a tight job market, Stefi is having to pray about choosing between two job offers!
Both of these young ladies are “P.K.s” (Pastors kids) and more evidence of the spiritual fruitfulness of my friends, the Guatemalan pastors.
Well, time’s up! Newsletter time is over, and now I must return to the task of pre-packing triage. Throw away? Give away? Keep for packing? It’s hardest when dealing with my personal library! (Sigh.)
We’re so glad that we can “take you along with us”! May God bless you as you continue to serve and glorify Jesus and follow His will!
Many thanks to those of you who have prayed and given, and who are continuing to hold us up before the Throne and support us, allowing us to serve the King in this teaching ministry!
Much love in Jesus,
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