Barb and I just returned from our trip visiting friends and affiliates in New England, and were thrilled that so many people flew or drove in during the week to join us. Every meeting was different, ranging from Q&A to very anointed times of worship and ministry by the Holy Spirit. Thank you to those who hosted us, and to all who invested time and money to come!
But now that our travels are finished for the year I look forward to completing this fall and winter the Bible school courses of OT and NT Survey and another course or two.
It is also a time to reflect and give thanks, so my thoughts have been about how I have been impacted by many of you over this past year – by meeting people in our travels I only knew by email before, or renewing acquaintances and friendships, by those of you who have emailed ‘thanks’ because a Weekly Thought touched you, or you emailed a question, by the prayer requests written on offering envelopes, by your financial support, by notes saying ‘I’m praying for you’. You have positively influenced our lives!
As Paul told the Corinthians in II Corinthians 3:1-4: “You…are written on our hearts…written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the Living God…written not on tablets of stone (today we’d say pages), but on (pages) of the human heart.” This is how I feel about all of you!
Have you ever had a peace about yourself and your life down in your spirit, yet when your thoughts go to someone or something else, you get a heavy feeling? That’s the way 2013 feels when I ponder the future. Unrest, unsettled, and clashes are three words in my spirit for next year, in the areas of society and economy, and there will be other difficulties as well.
But when you stay focused on the peace of God in your spirit you find yourself a bit detached from emotional turmoil, and that’s what I encourage us all to do. Paul said in Philippians 4:6-9 to be full of care about nothing, but pray and think on good and pure things, and then the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds.
In verse 7 the Greek word ‘keep’ or ‘guard’ means to ‘hem in, surround’. It is a picture of a city protected and surrounded by huge walls – let the peace of God in your spirit dominate your thoughts, that no matter what is going on; we don’t venture in our thoughts outside those walls of peace, and make decisions from the position of peace, safety, and having already won. I hope that makes sense, but that has worked for me for decades. Don’t fear, do what is right and wise and prudent, but decide things when in peace, not when in fear.
Thank you for caring for us! You are written on the page of our hearts, John and Barb