I've meant to make this post for 2 weeks. My excuse for not getting it done? Same as always - NOT ENOUGH TIME! School started three weeks ago and I believe it's shaping up to be our best year yet! My class is wonderful! I truly, honestly wake up every morning looking forward to going in and seeing them. I'm privileged to be a part of the most close knit faculty. I quite simply go to work with my family. It's a very special, Spirit-filled place.
In addition, edits on The Heart's Journey Home are almost done! We are getting closer to our destination on this road to being published. Some of it's been a blur. Some of it's been a struggle for me. ALL of it has been a satisfying experience. I've learned more about myself while on this journey, but, most of all, I've grown in my faith. I pray every time I open my document to work more on it that something that I'm writing will touch somebody's heart and lead them on a closer walk with the Lord. Kinda like what happened to me when a speaker came to our church two Sundays ago and told us this story:
"I don't want that book in my house and I don't want you reading it." That's what a father said to his daughter after he found her reading the New Testament that she'd received from a Gideon who'd visited her school earlier that day. The next morning as she sat eating her breakfast, she took it back out and got caught again.
"I thought I told you I don't want that book in my house and I don't want you reading it!" The father snatched the Bible, slipped it into the breast pocket of his shirt and left for work.
He never returned.
You see he was a miner and that day the mine collapsed. Rescue crews worked tirelessly to get to the men before their pocket of oxygen ran out, but they were too late. When they recovered the bodies, they found that miner father holding the small, Gideon Bible in his hands open to the Confession of Faith that is found in every Gideon Bible. It states: Confessing to God that I am a sinner, and believing that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins on the cross and was raised for my justification, I now receive and confess Him as my personal Saviour. After that confession of faith, the rescue workers found the SIGNATURE OF THAT MINER FATHER. Under his name, they found the NAMES OF THE SIX OTHER MINERS AS WELL!
I'm sure I didn't tell this story as effectively as Gideon Jess Dillon did, but how could you not be moved by this story? By the obvious way in which the Lord worked through the Gideon and the daughter, but also what struck me is that the Lord met those 7 men at their deepest, darkest hour. He was there when they signed their names and He was there when they took their last breaths. He didn't give up on them. There wasn't a time limit.
Shouldn't it be our constant mission as Christians? To reach out to the lost? To do our best to help them reach for Jesus before it is too late? It's not always easy to do, especially if they are even remotely different from us. We're so much more comfortable reaching out to fellow believers, but Jesus Himself said that he didn't come for the believers but for the lost. The Gideon people reach out to the lost. Missionary families like the Whited family that I wrote about in my last post are actively pursuing that goal, too, in a big way. I recently met the mother of a little boy in Olivia's Kindergarten class and am blown away by how the Lord is using her as a prayer warrior. She is reaching out to anyone who is seeking the Lord in a beautiful way. (Please check out her blog. It's wonderful and uplifting. For your convenience I've added the link below - A Journey to Freedom & Opening the Door.) I pray that in a teeny tiny way I can reach out through my writing.
PRAYER REQUESTS & UPDATES: There are several and I'm probably forgetting some. I'm so sorry. I need to keep better tabs and get them in sooner, but I'm just going to inform you of the names and briefly what their need is today.
First, please pray for the family of Jeanette Johnson, the mother of my very dear friend Jana Iwanowski, who passed away this past Wednesday. Jana is incredibly strong in her faith, but please pray for her in the days, weeks, and months ahead that she will have peace and rest comfortably in the Lord's promises.
Also, I need you to pray for the family of Ned Oeder who lost his battle with liver cancer and passed away recently.
Also, please pray for fellow author and MTCW member, Tamera Alexander, who recently lost her mother to cancer. Similar to Jana, Tamera is strong in her faith, but I don't guess it's ever easy to lose your mother.
I ask you, dear friends to pray for a friend from high school, Crystal Winkler, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and it preparing for surgery. Pray for peace, strength, and, most of all, complete healing.
Update on my Olivia: As of August 7th, she was up to 190K platelets so she has been released from further monitoring. Yay! No more "poinky shots".
I want you to pray for the husband of one of my friends. The Lord knows their names, and I want to protect their privacy. She is a strong Christian and he is unsaved. Also, pray for her as it must be so hard to know the one you love so much doesn't have a relationship with Christ.
Lastly, for now, as I'm sure I've forgotten some and will be adding them soon, pray for Romney McLellan. A young mother who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Hopefully I'll have more info on her soon, but for now pray for complete healing and the strength she needs day by day.
I pray for all of you to somehow reach out this week. Reach out to the lost, the hurting, the downtrodden. Let them see Jesus is you!