Pastor Jack's Sabbatical Update #9
After I finish my project, I think I will write another book on our unexpected experiences during my sabbatical! One great praise to God I forgot to mention last week was before we left Tucson. It was Thursday before the Saturday we were to leave Tucson. Linda had taken Emma to the library and she called me and said our van was making a funny sound and the battery light had come on. My suspicion was confirmed - the alternator needed replaced. I found a shop that was able to get it in and repair it on that day. Much easier to repair in Tucson than it would have been out in the middle of nowhere, New Mexico! Thanks Lord for your blessings in the little as well as big things in life! Since I am talking about our van, we will receive what I think is a nice settlement from the insurance company for the hail damage. They considered it a total loss. But still very drivable, now with a new windshield!
I arrived back in Casper in Wednesday, and Linda returned with Jonathan on Friday. We are glad to be back in Casper for at least a few days. My paper is not quite finished. I am very close, so keep praying for me. I ran into some formatting issues at the end of last week and I lost my momentum. So as my mentor encourages me, I will forge ahead and plan on sending it soon this week.
I studied Nehemiah 10-11 last week. Nehemiah lists a lot of names. Those names don't mean much to us, but it encourages us that individuals were recognized by Nehemiah and are important to God. God's kingdom is about people, and those people have names, and praise God those names were written in the Lamb's book of life before the creation of the world (Rev. 13:8, 17:8)! He lists the names of people who were committed to submit to the rule of God in their hearts and lives, and those who were chosen or volunteered to dwell in the city of God, Jerusalem (Neh 11:1-2).
Nehemiah oversaw the rebuilding of the walls, not as a monument to his genius in overseeing a building program, but to provide an opportunity for God to demonstrate His overcoming power, and to provide a safe place for God's people to dwell and for God's people to worship. Nehemiah 9 and 10 explain the truth and the priority that places become holy when inhabited by a holy people who trust, worship and obey a holy God. They put their names on the line that they would serve and obey God. We don't need such practices today because we know our names are on the line when they are in the Lamb's book of life. But our passion for the honor and glory of God should be the same and even greater than theirs!
We are traveling again this weekend and will be gone for a week. First to Steamboat to spend a little time with Elicia, Dustin, and Zane, and then next Monday we travel to Chicago with Barnabas, Lauryn, and Emma to...well you know why...so I can stop and see my mentor at Trinity...of course! Thanks again for your prayers - I have needed and sensed your support. We continue our prayers for you, our dear brothers and sisters. God bless!