Update on my back…still spending most of the day in bed. I have lost track of the weeks now. I think I am starting my 6th week now. Sometimes it feels much longer. Other times things go by just too too slow. I am finishing up all my tests and analyses this week so that I can get back to the doctor next week and decide what to do next. Last week went pretty well, and then starting on Saturday after I did my MRi I started having a lot of pain again.
So it is still up and down. Keep praying! I know I am! Praying for a miracle of God’s complete and permanent healing. God is teaching me a lot about humility- learning to ask for help. And patience- waiting on Him and his timing. And His sovreingty- asking him to change my character through my circumstances instead of worrying so much about Him changing my circumstances.
But help is here! Yeah! My mom arrived on Monday morning, thanks to the sacrificial gift of one of our sending churches who offered to fly her here to help us out. It is so good to have her. Thank the Lord for His provision.
â€œDear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.â€ 1 John 4:11-12 NIV
We have had some really special guests during this period. It has been so wonderful to have them and absolutely amazing to see how God is moving and opening doors and bringing all the right people together. I wish I could say more right here, but it is not the place to share about all that is happening. So I will just say- WOW! And again Wow!
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the churchâ€” 30 for we are members of his body. 31 â€œFor this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.â€[c] 32 This is a profound mysteryâ€”but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5: 21-32
Annual Conference on what True Love means this February 17 and 18.
Each year the youth group hosts an event to speak out against the false image our culture gives us about love. If we look around us love according to our culture is all about meeting our own needs, it is about what feels good, about satisfying oneself. But if we look to the Bible we see a very different message about love. True love puts the other first. True love is willing to wait. True love is not focused inward, but outward!
Gianluca and I have the honor to participate again this year and we are looking forward to sharing once again what TRUE LOVE really is.
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Â 8 Love never fails.” 1 Co 13:4-8
“I think the most important aspect of our leadership journey is not necessarily how much we accomplish for God, but who we actually are becoming. Paul wrote “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” He did not say “do everything that I have done, accomplish more than me, build a bigger ministry than I did, preach to more people, plant more churches, build bigger buildings, and write more books!” He said imitate me and in so doing ensure that you are being conformed and transformed to the image of Jesus! (Christine Cain)”
God is at work…we just need to humble ourselves and listen to His gentle voice.
I have literally had a change in perspective these last 2 weeks! January 24 I did some kind of something in order to procure myself two hernias in my lower back! So I have spent the last weeks literally looking up from my back as I lay in my bed. It has been at times unbearably painful, at times frustrating and at times God has filled me with His peace- yet every day His grace has been sufficient for me…for that day.
He has also blessed me beyond any words I could recount with friends who have come alongside of us and helped us immeasurably with everything! We have had friends clean the house for us, watch the kids for us, build a rolling omputer table to slide over the table for me, take our kids to McDonalds to get them out of our house, fix us meals, a doctor from the church admitted me to the hospital and helped me through the process of getting a CAT scan done and a nurse from the church has come every day for the last 11 days to help me with my various forms of medication. God has shown us His love through the hands of so many people these last two weeks and for that we are so thankful!
The first few days the pain was to unbearable to accomplish anything, but after the worst of it passed God has also allowed me a time of forced rest. I have been able to read and journal and work at the computer and to pray and to talk with Him and to dream and He has been faithful to comfort me. He is good.
I read this in a blog update my sister sent me:
I canâ€™t trust my feelings, or even circumstances, to tell me how I am. They change like the wind. Up one moment and easily shot down the next. His Word however, never changes. Its ceaseless truths go beyond emotions and whatever my day holds to anchor me to hope.
Some days, weeks or even seasons of life are discouraging and we canâ€™t see beyond the pain, hurt and stress. Searching Godâ€™s Word for His view of our circumstances and us lifts our eyes off the problems and onto Him. Heâ€™s our ultimate source of truth and encouragement!
So I am just thankful today for the grace God has give me for today. And when I awake I ask Him what I can accomplish for Him today and to help me not miss the lesson He has for me today and in all of this. Because I believe that He is good. So in all things that He allows into my lifeÂ there must be some goodness…now I just need to find it, and make treasure of it.
This will be a crazy busy and very important month for the ministry i6:8. God has brought so many people into our lives and opened so many doors and this month we have the honor of hosting many of these people in order to seek how we might continue to step forward in faith following the plan and vision that God has given us.
Please keep us in your prayers this month. God is doing big things and we are just honored to be part of it all!