Dear Faithful Partners in Missions,
Greetings in the Lord’s Name. I write in the midst of our busiest time of the year here at PMU – annual meeting, Team Timothy ministries – with the additional activities that are part of our summer church calendar as well – July 4th picnic, Presbytery camp, Synod, county fair outreach. I’m also in full development mode for our chaplaincy ministry here in the county, and for our fire service honor guard as well. Of course, there’s always the demands of time for the family, pastoral care, fire service, and maintaining our property. Yes, we’re busy around here.
But that’s not unusual for any of us…everyone has huge demands on their time and other resources that stretch us and often test our faith. Through it all, God is good; He sustains us, provides for us, protects us, strengthens us. I’m sure your testimony is the same.
I’ve been preaching through the book of Revelation this year on the Lord’s Day, the second time I’ve gone through the book. When I began this time, I noted that it was almost ten years ago exactly since I preached through it the last time. In my weekly refreshing of my thoughts on the various passages, it has struck me how much has changed in the intervening decade. Changes on the world scene – new leaders, developments in technology, the avalanche of open hostility to Christ and His people, population movements, the steady erosion of faithful preaching in American pulpits, and many more – have given me fresh perspective on this frequently inscrutable book. Not that I now understand it perfectly – far from it! – but the patterns in the Word that come together in John’s letter to the churches that I saw ten years ago are etched all the more clearly in my mind as I see them lived out in the world around me. Still, I’m approaching the book with a slightly different attitude this time, answering the question in my own mind that arises when I see the insistence that those who read the book will be blessed. This statement comes in the context of a book that declares the anticipation/record of many terrible things that must occur before the end. How is meditation upon those things a blessing? Well, one thing continues to be clear, and of which I am all the more firmly assured— that God wins.
“I’ve been preaching through the book of Revelation this year… answering the question in my mind that arises when I see the insistence that those who read the book will be blessed.”
In our ministry here, remembering that truth is critical. So many obstacles get thrown in the way, not the least of which is simple weariness from the schedule, or questions about the future, or the more “typical” things we think of when it comes to spiritual warfare. In missions, in the Church, struggles to press forward in godliness and fruitful labor can cause us to forget the truth that God wins. How thankful we are for the reminder in His Word that He will never leave us nor forsake us!
When health is compromised, God wins. When finances are low, God wins. When relationships are tense, God wins. When the schedule overwhelms us, God wins. And so it goes. This has been, and continues to be, our experience; praise His Name! Thank you for your prayers for us. Karen and I are absolutely dependent upon the sovereign work of God to carry us on, buoyed by your prayers and fellowship.
Thank you, too, for your financial support. Right now, the level of regular giving to my personal account is lower than it has ever been since I first came to PMU (likely as a result of my announcing my retirement next year). But your faithfulness reminds us of God’s victory over all things! Please pray with us that regular giving will be renewed to former levels, since there are still 13 months of undiminished labor to do on behalf of PMU before I turn the Field Director duties over to Pastor Southerland. Pray, too, for my dear wife, Karen, as the office duties have multiplied as the transition process has begun. Tremendous physical and mental strain takes its toll, and we covet your prayers for her stamina.
Finally, please pray that the Lord’s victory will be manifest in all that we do here, both at PMU and at the church in Bonners Ferry, to the praise of the glory of His grace. Thank you, dear Friends!
For the Kingdom,