We had the wonderful privilege to be in CA last week for about 5 days. Our daughter Allison, and our youngest son Logan live in CA right now, so we have made it a priority to be with them whenever we can get time together. While we were in CA our oldest son Marcus proposed to his fiancé Sarah along a beautiful hiking trail in the Smokey Mountains of TN.
As I have been reflecting over the incredible blessings of these family relationships that God has given to us, I thought of the verse from Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (NLT version)
Sometimes in the midst of demanding seasons of life we forget that our children are a gift from God and a precious reward to us. “Growing up” always comes with challenges and days that seem like they will never end. Trusting God to work in our lives and our kid’s lives is always a step of faith. We want to be in control and not lose control so we often rush the growing up process. We seek to conform our kids to what we want and don’t lead them in the path or way that fits who they are and need to be. (Proverbs 22:6) But then God does something just right in our lives and in our families that gives us hope, joy, and peace that is beyond our understanding.
I remind you in whatever season of life you are in with your family, to let God do his work and to wait patiently for the outcomes. When the Bible says to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV), God is simply reminding us that he knows what is best for us and for those within our sphere of influence. I pray that God’s love for you, and the blessing of those that he has rewarded you with, will be an encouragement to keep pressing on as you serve and lead in the place that God has given to you.
We continue to study the 400 year history of God’s covenant people, the Israelites, as found in the books of first and second Kings, but as seen through the eyes of Yahweh’s prophets. Our most current study? The prophet Amos, and his poetry, sermons, and oracles.
Child Dedications May 2017
Six children were dedicated this past Sunday. We pray God's blessings upon these children and their parents!
The main aim of the sermon series we are currently in, The Whole Story, is to inspire you to read through the whole Bible over the course of about eighteen months, which began in January 2018. A foundational reason for this is that we believe that on this journey we will experience, week by week, the exciting truth that the Bible is a unified story that points us to Jesus.
The book of the prophet Hosea. Honestly, in first reading, it can be difficult to grasp. There are quite a few movements and shifts in thinking, and our author mixes various styles of writing and a multitude of images and themes. So as I spent time over the course of a week with this book as a reader, and studier, what struck me was that I needed to process and meditate on Hosea as a whole. To step back and see the larger picture. To not get lost in the details. And I kept asking the question, “Is there a major theme here that you are trying to communicate, Father?”
We are now making our way into the “Prophets Before the Exile” section of The Whole Story. I really like the way our Read Scripture plan breaks a bit here from the order of the books of the Old Testament in our common English translation of the bible. For the Read Scripture plan is more in line with how the story actually unfolded.