Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pausing to thank God for His provisions that help us to enjoy our journey here. Amen.

Date Night!
Good morning and welcome to the fray. I suppose I could have called it the frenzied fray because that's how many days are defined. It's Tuesday, October 25, 2016, and I am already into some wordplay to get us started. That word 'fray' has something to do with constant rubbing. As it relates to life, it might involve our nerves, stamina, or even our temper. Saying it is frenzied would indicate a situation wildly excited or uncontrolled. Bingo! I do think that often describes our day. Right? The other evening when the wife and I were out on date night for dinner and to take in the Celtic Thunder concert, I saw something very interesting. By the way, we had one of the best meals in our memory at a seafood place on our way. Everything was perfect. The food, the service, the entire experience. Back to the observation while at the concert. Sitting to the immediate left of the wife was an oriental fellow with his teenaged son. We were at an Irish music concert. It was outstanding. That oriental teenager was engrossed with the concert. He knew every song by heart. He knew all the orchestrations. He was either singing along or helping to direct every musical presentation. I thought to myself. Is this a great country or what? Here you have a young oriental American teenager who has fallen in love with Irish music. He wasn't distracting but he was enjoying. And, we did too. Very much. Maybe I can't extend that feeling to my convoluted walk back to the car in the underground garage. I may not have known where we were but at least I was in the correct garage. That helped a lot. Trust me. Again, what a blessing to have such a wonderful night out on the town with my bride of nearly 52 years. Amen.

So glad to see the Gerber Baby again!
We had good services Sunday morning at our local fellowship. On Sunday evening, the wife and I drove across the Houston metroplex to visit another Church. We went there to see the presentation of some mission works in Eastern Kenya, Africa. A young missionary family, the Straders, have come home on furlough after completing their first two years on the field. We got to know Bro. John, his wife Amber, and their little girl, Ellanora, before they left for their mission adventure. Bro. John had filled in at our local fellowship several times when we were without a senior pastor and we fell in love with these folks who have dedicated their lives to winning people to Christ. The testimonies they shared were encouraging. They are now assisting nine different Kenyan local assemblies who have their own pastors and operate largely on their own. Amber shared many one-on-one testimonies of leading people to Christ in the Swahili language. They had their fair share of cultural shock experiences and hardships to share but they also had some interesting things that could be instructive to us in this country. The people there spend time with each other. They greet each other. They talk to each other. It is their custom. If you go to the grocery store you might stop and visit with 50 or more people. The Straders have been reminded since returning how isolated we are from each other. We seem always to be in such a hurry, not wanting to risk making eye contact, much less, saying something. The presentations were great. Now the really good part. Ellanora. I dubbed her the Gerber Baby two years ago. She is now three and seeing on Facebook how she has become integrated into that culture there, well, it is nothing short of a blessing. And, as you can tell by the photo, I was very happy to see her in person, again. May God bless them as they continue to seek to serve Him. Amen.

Lest anyone think that we are living some kind of life where everything comes up daisies every single day, may I just let you know that we, individually, as a family, and as a part of a wider Church family, deal with burdens, challenges, hurts, and difficulties on most days. That, my friend, is a part of the fabric of life. Speaking for myself, I can think of many things that are of serious concern as they are constantly on my heart prompting me to seek God's intervention and direction. I just know that when He allows us to experience a blessing, we need to stop and to not only appreciate it, but, to also give Him the honor for it, and to thank Him. That's what I set out to do today. To thank Him for our Saturday date night. And I also want to thank Him for the joy of hearing about the work in Kenya and for the handful on purpose I felt with little Ellanora in my arms. The current praise song says, He is a good, good Father. And He is. Take care now, you hear? Enjoy your day and take these words with you as you go along, Psalm 5:11-12 "But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.  For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield." Amen. ....More later.

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