Good evening and blessings to all! This week was a great week of thanksgiving with family!
I don't really have anything profound to say this week. I admit that with all that was going on, I allowed myself to fall away from my daily Bible reading/devotions. I'm going to make it a point of getting back on this for this week! I did read a little bit more of a book called "The Shack". My father-in-law loaned me this book to read on my Mali trip, but I didn't have time to read it while we were gone. So, when we got back I decided I would start reading it. I read 3 chapters within two days, which is quite a feat if you know my reading habits. It is a really captivating book. It really makes you think about God! I'm about 5 chapters in now, and it's really making me think. I have a hard time putting it down once I start reading. I think most of all, it has made me think about the things in life that happen, making us ask God, "Why did you allow this to happen". I think it's often hard for us to see that good can come from what we consider to be trials in life. God can turn anything to good.
Well, I have a challenge to share with you. Take it if you'd like or leave it. It's just something to think about during the Christmas season. Between our current sermon series at church, "Giving Away Christmas", and having been in the 8th (or 3rd, depending where you look) poorest country in the world, I'm really thinking I don't really need gifts for Christmas this year. I mean, that doesn't mean there aren't things I'd like to have, but there are so many people in the world that are more in need than I am. So, I was talking to Sarah and said, how about we try to give a few gifts to a family in need. Our small group decided tonight to "adopt" a family or something similar and provide for some of their needs. So, you ask me how is this a challenge...right? Well, I'd like to challenge you to consider buying even a few less gifts for yourself or your family and help out a family in your community that is in need. You may know of a family in need or you may have to contact some of the agencies in the area that know about needy families in the area. Most of all, I'd challenge you to listen to God's voice in this. If you feel or hear God encouraging you to have a giving spirit in this Christmas season, listen to Him. I know from experience that God can use His children in amazing ways through little things like this.
Tonight, Gordon and Cheryl Roedding are my concentration for prayer time. My book of Mali missionaries says that their main ministry is to professionals in Bamako. They are church planters, currently engaged in leading Bible studies for professionals. I pray tonight that they would have opportunities to reach out to professionals who have not heard about Jesus' death as a sacrifice for our sins. I also pray for the professionals they are sharing with in the Bible studies, that they may have opportunities to share with coworkers and family and friends. I pray that these Bible studies, lead by the Roeddings, would bring many more people into a saving knowledge and relationship with Christ.
Well, I got windier than I expected. I pray that God will bless you all in this holiday season as we prepare to celebrate Christ's birth.