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Saturday, April 28, 2018

4-28-2018 Loud Singing

The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.     
―Zephaniah 3:17

Lord, what a perfect sense of humor is yours. A week ago I was minding my own business, enjoying the normalcy of life when a friend called, sadly to announce he is having physical challenges that will not allow him to lead an already planned group trip to your land, Israel.

“Would you be able to take the group?” he asked. “The trip is in two weeks.”

What? My mind raced. I’m not prepared! I don’t want to say yes, if there is even a chance my friend will recover; I’m not near as capable of shepherding this group as he is. How am I going to afford the time off work?

A thousand other “No’s” flooded my psyche, and then you quieted me with your love and whispered a question, “Do you want to go, do you want to serve me?”

With all my heart and all my soul and all my strength, Lord.

“Then say ‘yes,’ and my will is done.”

Then and there I was reminded again that you are not only the Provider of joy but also the Supplier of the unexpected; both good and correctional. There have certainly been those times when you have set me on a much more unpleasant course; when I had rebelled and had to be quieted with a love made of sterner stuff. I trusted then and you walked with me through the storm. Now, why am I surprised that you can also supply and lead me in undeserved blessing?

Maybe (no, definitely) the guilt of seeing my friend have to step to the side weighs heavy on me. But he has been the biggest encourager of all―besides you Lord. Then there is the matter of my beautiful bride, who shares my passion for the people and the surroundings of Zion. She can’t be with me on this trip and I’m already feeling overwhelmed at the thought of walking it through without her companionship. She too has said, “Go”. I love her all the more for her advocacy. Still, there is that other small point: Confession time; I’d be a liar if I said I haven’t been longing to return again to your place of our genesis and completion―you call so strongly. You’ve been preparing this time. I know it with all I am and for me to deny it now would be a slap to you.

So now, I need to get my spirit straight and be what you have taught me to be…available.

It’s not the first time, it’s simply a new time to walk the high wire of faith, knowing that you have given me the skills and supplied the net: All of it, your design; all to your purpose; all to our mutual fellowship.

So again, here we go, you and I and a new mishpachah―family of explorers to shepherd within Israel. Your ways are not mine, but your way is so much more interesting, so much more instructive. I worship you in the surprise of it. Please guide us and let us be your light to the world as we revel in the wonders and share with the people you will place before us.

Let the words of my mouth, the meditation of my heart and the steps of my feet be acceptable in your sight, O God, my God, my Rock and my Salvation.

Shalom, Mark C.

1 comment:

  1. So happy for you to have this unexpected chance to serve. Your words encouraged, even comforted me in a serious disappointment over a 3 month review of 60,000 pages of K-3 Common Core Curriculum due to be approved tomorrow. The members did not listen to our reasoned and studied conclusions and made a brutal personal attack on our ad hoc committee. We represented the community values which the board's creed vows to uphold. However, the board does not realize that it fulfilled scripture "He that answereth a matter before he hears it, it is a folly and a shame." Pray that the children will close their ears and reject the pagan, pantheistic, polytheistic units offered in the guise of multiculturalism and comparative religion while giving Christianity no equal time. The board is supposed to vote on continuing this curriculum into 4-5 grades, but it does not realize the onus hanging over their heads for such travesties. "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, ...(Mark 9:42). Since we are to share each other's burdens, I wanted to tell of this trememdous one right here in TN. Our committee would appreciate prayer for our recovery from the affrontery for standing up to evil. As Christians, we knew it was persecution and are assured the joy will come in the morning. So many prayers went up for a positive result to our project, but God in his ultimate wisdom answered in a strange way to show a key use of schools as a vehicle of Satan "and children will turn against their parents. (Matt. 10:21d)Praise God. Come Lord Jesus before more turn away.

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