Friday, June 29, 2012

Stormy Weather

I was a bit shocked today to see how long it's been since I've updated the blog. It's not that things haven't prevented me from posting for a while before. Illness, deaths in the family, job responsibilities, and plain honest old writer's block. But with all that's been happening in the news of late—both in the Christian world and the secular world—you'd think I'd be brimming over with the desire to comment on it all.

I'm afraid I am not. Everyone goes through seasons of stormy weather in life, and I've been in one. And not only me. It seems like many friends and loved ones are going through incredibly difficult circumstances. My friend and former radio co-host, Kevin Johnson, has had a very bad year of health and personal challenges. As is the case with many ministries, Kevin's ministry—the Institute for Christian Apologetics—has had significant funding shortfalls with the bad economy. As partners and donors find themselves challenged in their personal finances or business investments, their giving slackens. And summer months are normally fairly challenging for ministries anyway as people go on summer vacations etc. So if you are able, please add Kevin to your prayer list, both for his health and finances. Check out his website, which I hyperlinked above. And if the Lord so leads, please consider making a gift via his website.

There is another ministry I would like to highlight, and it is the ministry to which I devote the majority of my time. Slavic Gospel Association has been serving churches for the sake of the Gospel across Russia and her neighboring nations since 1934. SGA has also had challenging financial times in the past few years since the economic downturn began, and this summer is no exception. You can visit SGA's website and see the many ministries that we support overseas—all with the intention of taking the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ to the millions in the former communist countries who have not yet heard. And yes, there are millions. Please prayerfully consider making a gift to SGA as the Lord leads.

What about me? I really don't want to go into it all. I do have a lot on my plate, and have been more than unusually tired of late. I recently found out that a kidney stone procedure I had in the early spring wasn't as successful as we thought it had been. Only one stone out of many was pulverized, and I thought we got all of the nasty little buggers. To make things worse, my insurance didn't cover it all, and I received a surprise bill that I wasn't expecting. Add to that income tax being paid out in April and expensive property taxes due in June and September, I've been spread pretty thin. My 89-year-old mother has not been well either, and she began getting sick after my stepfather's October 2010 passing.

All this is the reality of living in a fallen world. We will run into stormy weather. But we do have the Lord's promise that He will never leave or forsake us. We know that one day He will come again to receive His own to Himself. We'll hear the trumpet and shout, and the dead in Christ will rise first, and those of us who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4).

This Sunday, I have been asked to fill the pulpit at a local church. I am preaching on 1 John. Please pray with me that I will be a blessing and encouragement to God's people, and that I will faithfully and accurately handle the Word of God. Preaching and teaching is a responsibility and privilege that I take very seriously.

Thanks in advance!

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