No, I did not “fall off the planet.” Yes, I have been woefully negligent of blogging.
The last three months have been challenging. My mother-in-law died. We moved our daughter and son-in-law two states away for graduate school. My mother died. With everything surrounding these three big events I have found it hard to concentrate enough to write.
Thankfully, God has been faithful. He has carried us through these challenges and continues to comfort us in His great love. We praise him that our daughter started her new job today and our son-in-law is well into his first semester of working on a PhD.
We are also making slow progress in dealing with our losses. Both our moms had hoarder tendencies, so clearing their respective abodes has taken much time. But even that has its place in processing our emotions.
Ministry opportunities are picking up steam so I plan to do some writing on here. We just kicked off a Beta test of a new missions training class–Engage!–that will combine materials from Pathways to Global Understanding and Discovery Bible Studies. I am writing the participants so the creative juices are flowing, again. Pray that I will build a healthy practice. I want to post twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Help me out by sharing your questions and/or thoughts on my posts. This flows more readily when it is a conversation, rather than a monologue.
Nice to see you back. Hope for more to come.
Thanks, there should be more!
It has definitely been rough these last few months. We visited the same church for the second time this last week, and the preacher became emotional in the last few minutes of the sermon. He said that there is nothing better than to hear the Father’s voice. He talked about his father who recently passed away, and how he missed hearing his voice so he found an old voicemail of his father saying he loved him and just called to check on the family. Both Bryan and I became emotional thinking about the grandmothers we recently lost, and how we cannot hear their voices. It’s neat to see how God uses others to help us grieve, process, and to remind us of his love.
Pastor Ron used 2 Corinthians 4:6 during his sermon in a way I had never considered. I thought I would share it with you. He explained that in the Hebrew culture, the ideal of their ethics was symbolized by light. For the Greeks, it was knowledge, and glory was the ideal of Roman’s ethics. He talked about how Paul was a Hebrew by birth, a Roman citizen, and then lived and ministered in a Greek city. The verse states, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” Pastor Ron talked about how the verse was Paul’s way of explaining to the group that the true ideal of ethics is the face of Christ and the relationship with him. For some reason, this really stuck for me. I have always thought that Paul was being too wordy during that verse and somewhat skipped over it until now. If you want to hear the whole sermon, you can listen to it at http://feeds.feedburner.com/ENTsermons. This weeks is titled “You Can’t Google Your Way to Heaven – Week 4.”
Anyways, I’m not sure how this relates to your post, but I especially enjoy reading your posts now that I am not able to hear you preach or drop by for milkshakes after ICM. I am encouraged by seeing you share your heart with those reading your posts. I love you!
Rachel, sounds like it was an excellent sermon. I will have to listen to it–thanks for the link. It is thought-provokingly appropriate to see the face of Jesus as the ideal of all ethics! I am glad you honored me by replying to my post. Somehow writing makes it permanent in the sense of being able to revisit it over and over again (like the voicemail)! I love you and am proud of you and Bryan! Hope you had a good first day! Dad.
Very sorry to hear about your losses. You’ll be in our prayers.
Thank you, Miriam. Prayers have been a constant blessing through these experiences!