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Monday, April 30, 2007

We're back!

It seems that eons have passed since my last post. We’ve been very busy and I’ve not had the time to make postings of any significance. The last part of March and most of April was consumed with Accreditation research and writing, so by the end of each day, I really had nothing left over for anything else. The next day after I submitted my final draft to the committee for review, we packed up the family and vacated to New Mexico where I officiated my sister’s wedding ceremony and attended a grave-side service for my wife’s brother, Andrew. Andrew died in December but now the ground is unfrozen, my wife’s family waited for us to come before laying him to rest.

New Mexico was so incredible—I cry every time I enter Albuquerque, or leave it. And I am tired of leaving it. The weather was perfect: 60’s in the day and freezing at night. My sister wanted an outside wedding, but it got moved indoors. The combination of high winds plus rain-turned-snow and hail drove us indoors—but it cleared up nicely. The wedding was better inside anyway because a rodeo was being held about 100 yards away and the fresh flowers, pine and lavender scents would have been overridden with the smells of horses and what they do after they eat said salads. Besides, I was not excited about performing a wedding over the sounds of who was riding what out of chute #2 . . . although for New Mexico, such events don’t seem out of place. I suppose some good wedding jokes could be made upon the combination of the two events.

We had a great time of R & R out West, though the prodding of my wife kept me alert to remembering the people and places associated with our call to ministry and the first places visited associated therewith. We attended church on Sunday with many friends we had not seen in 17 years and seeing old friends was quite joyful—a little slice of heaven.

While in New Mexico, I had the awesome opportunity to share the gospel in four significant events: the first was the day of Andrew’s grave-side service. We went to lunch with friends and family and I sat next to one of Andrew’s friends. The Lord worked marvelously as Lloyd (on right in pic below) and I talked. Seeds had been planted before, so there was some cultivation and watering that took place. I pray he moved from intellectual consent to Jesus’ finished work to repentance and faith.



The second gospel opportunity was in the wedding itself. I could not let the opportunity go to emphasize that love alone does not provide abundant life, but love of God in Christ Jesus for those who will repent and place their faith and trust in Him will bring abundant life. Following this does love for one another blossom in a heavenly context. The message was heard loud and clear and some comments were made as to the clarity of the gospel—I praise the Lord for making His voice heard.

The third gospel opportunity was with my sister-in-law, the widow of my wife’s brother. She has heard the gospel before, but has not realized the seriousness of sin, though she has felt the weight of the guilt of sin as we went through God’s law. We had a great conversation, but she is not ready for the Lordship of Christ yet. Please pray for her salvation and the salvation of her niece and daughter.

The last and final gospel opportunity was on the airplane from Albuquerque to our first lay-over. I sat next to a man and his wife, where I learned she was a medicine-woman (since she was working on her Master’s degree, an “herbalist”). We had a tremendously enjoyable conversation, but they too need to wrestle with the true and living God over the seriousness of sin and cry out to Him for mercy and salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. They were filled with wonderful questions and I believe they actually surprised each other as each expressed his and her own viewpoints.

I wish I could reproduce the conversation here, but one part stands out to me: her philosophy through the healing arts is to do her part in bring peace, harmony and unity to the earth. Imagine her consternation when I asked how she was getting along with such an immense project. I was actually surprised when she told me she had not reflected on her success that much. When I asked if she’d ever lied, stolen or blasphemed, she quickly agreed she was not doing so well. I reminded her these were just 3 of 10 areas of the moral laws given by the true and living God, who implanted the knowledge of right and wrong on the conscience—she was in trouble and needed outside help. They both presented wonderful and sincere questions as to the identity of Jesus and His purpose and I explained to their satisfaction. They were very grateful for the talk and allowed me to pray for them before we disembarked. Please continue to do the same until God gives you satisfaction.

Well, by now it’s “back to the grindstone.”

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