Pastor Jack's Sabbatical Update #6
It's halftime! Six weeks of my twelve week sabbatical are behind me. It has been restful, refreshing, and productive. I seemed to hit a barrier at the end of chapter 3, but thanks to your prayers I have renewed insight and hope to complete it early this week! Then it is on to chapter 4 which is evaluation. That will be a critical step for how this leadership training program will look moving into the future. Nehemiah 6 was a great chapter to study and contemplate. A motivational verse for me during this Sabbatical and I have been challenged by it often is Nehemiah 6:3, "I am carrying on a great project and cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" (NIV) . Even though he was constantly harangued by his opponents, he refused to be distracted or intimidated. God gave him the ability to discern whether the distractions were coming from God or not (Neh 6:12). I long for you to pray for me, as I will for you, for whatever task God has given us, "But now, O God, strengthen my hands." (Neh. 6:9). And of course those sweet words come forth in Neh. 6:15, "So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days." There is my word for the year - FINISH!
We worshiped last Sunday at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Chapel where Barnabas and family worships. The chaplain spoke on Matthew 5:13-16, and said at the end of each service he gave this charge to the congregation - "Be the salt, be the light, speak the truth in love!" Those were inspiring words. Then we visited The Journey, an EFC church in north Tucson. The pastor gave a most unusual apologetics message on the Kalam or cosmological argument for the existence of God. It was cookies on the top shelf, but very interesting. If that trips your trigger, visit journeyefc.org/sermons. I don't think last Sunday's message is uploaded yet. Then we had a feast of a lunch with two officers and their families from the Chilean Air Force who are serving here in an exchange program. We had an interesting discussion about religion, and I tried to scatter some salt in the conversation. We learned that in their culture when you are invited into their home, you stay a looooooong time. They get offended if you leave after just 2 or 3 hours. Our culture is the opposite - we get offended if people stay too long! So it was kind of hard for us to say we had to leave - but Lauryn was gracious about it. In the evening we participated in the young couple's Bible study Barnabas and Lauryn host in their home. They are studying Francis and Lisa Chan's You and Me Forever - Marriage in light of eternity. It was very interesting. It is available on Right Now Media if you wish to check it out. We were reminded that deployments are very hard on the wives in particular. Pray for our service men and women and their families who wait anxiously for their husbands to return.
May God continue to bless and be glorified in our lives. Thanks for praying!