Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I am so thankful for the perspective that comes from our children as they look at God's world through their eyes and provide, often, necessary calibration for our own eyes. Why are the trees in your front yard? If you asked me that question last week I would say that they are there for shade, or for fruit, and of course to declare the glory of God. But a few days ago our daughter offered some fresh perspective for us. We were in the van, about to begin day two of our three day voyage across the five states from St. Louis to Phoenix when I read the first five verses of John 15 to our children. He is the vine, we are the branches. I tried to remind them that apart from Jesus we would be able to do nothing that day, or any other day for that matter. We were parked next to a tree so I explained the passage by referred to the trunk as the vine and the branches as such. Even as we had just prayed for much fruit of God's Spirit to be manifested in and through us that day I was trying to draw the connection between a connected branch and the fruit that will inevitably come. After a couple of minutes they understood. I buckled up and began to pull away, confident that they understood and were going to seek to abide in the Trunk/Vine. By that time our daughter had been thinking about our discussion for over a minute and said to me, "Daddy. Is that why God made trees, so that we would remember to trust him?" "Yes, Honey, I think you're right." I pray that as you set foot out onto the front lawn today or drive down the freeway you might be reminded by the trees of God's provision as we rest and abide in him.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Greetings to all of you who have already been such vital ministry partners during our time at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. On Friday, May 18, 2007 the seminary conferred upon me the degree "Master of Divinity." The good news is that I have finished my studies at Covenant. The better news is that I realize I have not mastered Divinity, but as Hans Bayer likes to remind his students, I continue to be "mastered by divinity."
God has certainly been faithful to us during this time. Angie and I both want to thank those of you who have prayed for us during this season. Your prayers did not go unanswered. Many days we were aware of special provisions that must have been the result of your intercessions on our behalf. We also want to thank those of you who gave financially as you were able to help cover our tuition and living expenses.
Now the transition into church planting has officially begun. With formal study responsibilities behind me I am able to focus on the work of raising funds and clarifying our vision for the mission work in North Las Vegas.
Moving forward we are anticipating the many ways that we expect to experience God's faithfulness even as we have seen it over the past three years. May the Lord bless you to the great extent that you all have been, and continue to be a blessing to us.