Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Doing the Right Thing

Judy and I read the Bible together at breakfast every morning, then we read a few pages of a selected book and have prayer before we start our day. Right now we are reading Lester Sumrall's book: Genesis, the Crucible of the Universe.

We have also been reading through some of the OT books of the prophets. We have read the 3 prophets that deal with the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity, as well as Ezra and Nehemiah. We enjoyed the story of Esther. In it, we saw that Mordecai finished the job that was given to King Saul, a Benjaminite. Saul was supposed to annihilate the Amalekites, but chose to keep King Agag and others alive. Samuel, the prophet, confronted him and told him that God had ripped the kingdom from him and had given it to David. Many years later, during the Babylonian captivity, God chose Mordecai, another Benjaminite, to finish the job by killing Haman, an Agagite; that is, the last descendant of King Agag of the Amalekites.

Though King Saul elected to keep the best of the people and the livestock alive as spoils, Mordecai elected to keep none of the spoils. Righteousness does prevail, though it may take years to see it. God will always win every time. We may not see it. It may be left to our descendants to enjoy the end of the battle. But if we are faithful to teach our children and to encourage them to do the right thing all the time, regardless of how hard it may be or the cost, then we can be sure that the eventual outcome will be good.

So Mordecai encouraged Esther to approach the king, in the face of possible death, to do the right thing - the hard thing. He said, "Who knows but you have been brought to this position of Queen for this very time in history to save the Jews." And she decided, "I will approach the king, and if I die, I die."

Tough choices, big costs. But because of their willingness to obey the Lord, only good came forth. Today, will you be a Saul and lose the kingdom for a few choice spoils? Or will you lay aside the possibility of personal gain for the greater good?

I believe you will make the right choice. It may even save your country, your family, and your own life.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

South Africa - Our New Assignment

It seems that our life has been sorted into assignments, and we have a new one. Our new assignment is huge - a move to South Africa.

South Africa has been on our hearts since 1985 when we traveled there to visit our Tulsa friends who had moved there. We had a wonderful visit, and we fell in love with the country, the people, and the work our friends were doing. In the last 15 years, we have desired to move there ourselves to help Ron Kinnear in his mission outreach throughout the southern African continent. (Check out his ministry.) We have served as his US office administrators for many years, but that was only marginally fulfilling to us. Now, the Lord has released us to move there and work in a more hands-on manner.

(I might take just a moment to explain why I use the word assignment. It is my habit to spend an hour in prayer every morning from 6-7 am. During Monday of this week, the Lord began to show me my ministry life in stages, although he used the word assignment. There have been 6 assignments, and now we have just been give assignment number 7.)

So, we are now South Africa bound. You may ask, "When are you leaving, and how long are you staying?" Good question(s). I will try to answer. (We will be living in Pretoria in the northern part of South Africa. See map at the bottom of this blog.)

We have no appointed date for leaving. There is much to do: raise monthly financial support for our And the Lord has been faithful every day in giving directions and supply for the tasks. Stay tuned for an announcement at some time in the near future for our departure date. Judy and I are planning for mid-June. But we have heard nothing from the Lord, so far.
livelihood while there, gather money for the trip there (and shipping a few small items), acquiring volunteer visas, finish up US obligations. Overall, we are daily looking to the Lord for HIS direction as to what to do, when to do it, and how to pay for it.

How long are we staying? I have never entered any assignment with an end-date in mind. To me, that creates an escape hatch, if things aren't going well. I have always begun an assignment with the idea of finishing my life in that given assignment. So I am naturally amazed when the Lord shows up to let me know that it is time to move on. I plan to stay in South Africa until the Lord returns, or I go to meet Him. Of course, we will have occasional visits back home.

The most important thing you can do for us is to pray for us. Pray as the Lord leads you to pray each time you lift us up. And if the Lord speaks to you, impresses upon you, or however you describe it, then please support us financially, either with a one-time or occasional gift, or with monthly support. We are trusting him with our every need, and him alone.

Keep checking back here for updates on our ministry to South Africa. And check this blog for my personal thoughts and stories.

Thanks for your prayers above all (and your good wishes).