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Pastor Jack's Sabbatical Update #4

"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" Proverbs 16:9. I experienced the truth of that verse this past week. I had flown to Greeley to assist my uncle who was hospitalized with internal bleeding and pneumonia. He and my aunt have no children, and since she is my Dad's sister, and they had done so much for my Dad and for my family, it was no sacrifice to help them any way I could. I stayed with him in the hospital on Sunday and Monday nights. It seemed to me that his death might be approaching, and early Tuesday morning he entered the Lord's presence. I decided to stay to comfort and assist my aunt with funeral preparations and other things. She asked me to do his service on Saturday. Linda, Lauryn, and Emma also flew up for the service. During the two nights I stayed with him I read much scripture to him and prayed, and he confessed faith in Christ. After his death while helping my aunt go through his things, I found two devotional books from Billy Graham which he had been reading. I trust God had given him eternal life. Now we are back in Tucson but I am a week behind on "my plan." I am glad God directed my steps to assist my aunt and uncle in their time of need. Continue to pray for God's comfort for my aunt Marilynn Loustalet. Pray that I can make significant progress on chapter 3 of my project. I was able to spend some time meditating on Nehemiah 4. It is a great chapter that exposes opposition to God's work from within and without. Nehemiah's encouragement challenges us all in the face of obstacles or discouragement: "Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses." Nehemiah 4:14. We worshiped at King of Glory Lutheran church with my in-laws before heading back to Tucson yesterday. Thanks again for your continued prayers as we pray for you. I close with this illustration about unselfishness from The Ascent of a Leader: In The Music of Silence, David Steindl-Rast describes monks under St. Benedict’s rule who were encouraged to include others in their blessings. As the servers brought food to the dinner table, the monks would never ask for anything they needed, but instead look out for what their neighbor needed. The practice led to this famous story, A monk notices as he is eating his soup that a mouse has dropped into his bowl. What is he to do? Pay attention to his neighbors’ needs and not his own. So he calls the server and points out, My neighbor hasn’t got a mouse.” God bless you this holy week!