28 sleeps … until Christmas

It’s been two weeks since you heard from me, causing me to wonder if you missed me at all…

But here’s the thing.  It’s really not about me anyway, so it doesn’t matter whether you missed me or not… (lol)!

Like you, I’ve spent the last two weeks getting ready for Thanksgiving, celebrating Thanksgiving, and trying to survive the emotional upheaval of Thanksgiving. Whew! I’m rather glad Thanksgiving is behind us, so we can build up more emotional, physical, and psychological stress for another 28 days until Christmas.  Aren’t you?

It sounds like I’m just Mr. Bah Humbug himself, right?  Or am I just being Grinchy?  It’s hard to tell these days.  Three years ago, about now, my life shifted sideways on me.  Faced with early retirement, and a sense of serious personal loss, I was overwhelmed by what my future might hold.  It has taken me these last three years of flushing stuff out of my life, and seeing how God would replace all that yucky stuff with other things which help me grow, to discover the true meaning of 2 Corinthians 12:10.

The Bible Study Class lesson this past Sunday was all about this verse in the context of 2 Corinthians chapters 10-12.  Trust me, I know all too well that I don’t measure up anywhere near to the pastor/teacher that Paul was.  However, I think the verse was just for me in some ways, from the lesson this week.

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  

Over the past three years I’ve created a blog which reaches people across the globe.  I’ve written a book, which you can see on this blog.  And, I’ve been afforded the opportunity (recently) to return to teaching the Word of God.  When I am weak, then I am strong.

January 13, 2019 will be a new beginning when I return to familiar ground as a teacher of God’s Word.  Maybe this will interest you, maybe not.  But if not you, then maybe the study will interest someone you know, so pass the word on to your friends if you will.

I will begin an in-depth Bible Study class at the church my wife and I attend.  It will be on the Book of Acts in the New Testament.  We will look at history, culture, languages, content, and context, not quite verse by verse, but certainly thought by thought.

I will be recording these lessons in a podcast, and making them available to you here on the blog.  There will also be links where you can download a handout to take your own notes, as well as a personal application guide to use, if you so choose.

In this new mission, I hope to fulfill Christ’s demands on my life to teach.  First in Jerusalem (this just means – where I live), then in Judea and Samaria (the surrounding geographical region), then to the “remotest part of the earth” (through this blog).  This was the command to the apostles and disciples gathered when Jesus spoke the words in Acts 1:8.  I want to live them out in real time, somehow bringing glory to God in this season of my life.

I will need your prayers to remain faithful to this call.  The evil one will not be pleased if he can’t stop God’s Word being spread this way.  Not knowing what new trials I may face, I can only ask that you pray God would keep me weak, so I can be strong in HIM.

Share this announcement with whomever you think might want to listen to the podcasts.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas (in 28 days)!!!

Strange and Unexpected

Daily Post: Peculiar

peculiar

Could I ask you to pray for me?  Would it seem peculiar to you if I did?  Allow me to briefly share my need.  I don’t need money, food, water, shelter, clothes, or donations of any kind… so please, please keep reading.

It was a strange, peculiar feeling for me as the reality of how the message was getting out around the world finally settled in my mind.  According to a simple Google search, there are 193 countries in the world today, or 195 if you count the Holy See and the State of Palestine [United Nations classification].  Depending on the criteria used, “Stratfor” in their June 2017 article  suggests there are 204-207 de facto sovereign states.  The total of IOC-recognized Olympic nations is 206, and FIFA countries eligible for the World Cup Soccer trophy numbers 211.

What was the strange and peculiar feeling I had, and what was the reality I discovered?  Using the United Nations criteria of 195 nations, this blog has almost reached the half-way point around the world.  As of yesterday, September 9th, 2017, there were readers from 80 different countries, the most recent being Guatemala. The map above shows the origination point of readers around the world, the clear countries have no readers.  I was ecstatic to learn that the message of the gospel was being delivered to these highlighted countries through this blog.

Technology is a wonderful thing.  It has allowed me to continue to have a voice even now, while not being associated as a staff member/pastor of any particular church or denomination.  This means I can write and the message of God’s Word can be used around the world in ways that I will never see or know.  It is the true meaning of several different Scriptures.  Here are just a few that keep me going every day.

Hebrews 6:10
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

Isaiah 55:11
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Acts 1:8
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

So here is my prayer request:

Would you please pray for me as I write?  Pray that I would write with wisdom to reach people with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Pray that I would be a true witness of the faith in Flower Mound, in Texas and the United States, and to the remotest part of the earth.

I’m not sharing this map with you, or my stats with you for you to praise me, or for any regard in any way.  Please don’t do this.  Instead, I’m sharing this to hopefully inspire you to just be you.  Be the you God designed you to be, and you too can reach your world with the truth.  Be the witness for faith that makes a difference in someone’s life who really needs to see it, hear it, and experience it for themselves.

One last thing.

If you will pray for me in my endeavor to reach the world with the message of truth please consider this final request.

On any given day you may not relate to my topic, the thoughts I convey, or the image that I use as a platform for my message.  That’s ok, it’s a broad-spectrum blog.  But please keep reading.  Then, when you find that one article that touches you, that you relate to in ways I’ll never know about, would you do me the great honor of sharing it with your friends, or reposting it with a link to my blog, or on your Facebook page with all those hundreds of other readers…?

Above all, if you don’t feel like sharing, then don’t.  But please, please pray for me as I write, that God would send out His message in these words, and they would not return to His throne void, but will accomplish all that He sends them to accomplish.

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this blog post feel free to share it with your friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts.