Not of those who shrink back…

32Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.35So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38But my righteous one[f] will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”[g] 39But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
January has been a month filled with many heartaches. We have been dedicating ourselves to many couples who are going through difficult times and are astounded by how many people around us who are suffering and going through difficult times. We feel honored to be in the middle of it all and to comfort those who are in pain. We are not of those who shrink back in the face of suffering, and we pray that each of the people we are counseling this month will not shrink back in the face of their suffering, but that they will persevere. We appreciate your prayers on our behalf and on behalf of those who are in need of the Lord.

Happy New Year!

I love the first day of the new year. It feels like a chance for a new start. . .

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God could be described through the metaphor of the wind. You cannot see the wind, but you know that it is there. At times the wind blows very strongly, knocking things over, changing landscapes, and at other times the wind is so still you can barely feel it. There have been times in my life, like when in a crowded Italian subway, that it was hard to believe that the wind existed…you just could not feel it. There have been other times when the wind was so powerful that it shook the windows of my house, sent things flying across my yard, and broke our trees. You could not help but feel it. God is like that. Some days, even though I know He is there, I just don’t feel His presence. Other days, His presence is so strong in my life that I am overwhelmed. Today the wind was amazingly strong. It was nice to start a New Year like that. A sort of a promise of God’s presence in our lives and ministry.

So whether you started the New Year with a slight breeze, a hurricane, a wind storm, a strong gust or no wind at all, take peace in that God is always there. Even when we don’t feel him. And today, this first day of a new year, is a chance to start fresh….with the Lord, with our famlies, at work, with friends.

Happy New Year! May God bless you richly in this New Year to come.