We hope you had a terrific Independence Day celebration surrounded by family and friends. Leah and I were so blessed to have Rebekah and Tim here from New Jersey. Victoria and Noah were able to join us, as did Maria and her college roommate. Our church hosted an ice cream social on the 3rd, and the 4th was filled with grilling and fireworks. Leah and I have not gotten out much, but did the best we could to enjoy our time with family. Both Leah and I were able to go to the local fireworks show, which is a big deal for us.
While we are thankful for the freedoms we have in our land, we are even more thankful for the freedoms we have in Jesus Christ. He has been so good to us. In recent days, we have faced some challenging physical obstacles, but He has been faithful! We are blessed to have teams of doctors who truly listen and try to work together to help us. Of course, we rejoice that all this happens under the loving care of our Sovereign Great Physician.
After a difficult season of COVID, our church participated in the Appleton Homecoming, which included softball games, live music, food, a cake walk, a parade, our Sunday morning service (where 70 people filled our tiny sanctuary), and the Appleton Revival, which took place in the newly refurbished community building. While we don’t live in Appleton, the wonderful people of this small mountain hamlet always make us feel a part. I don’t have the energy or the health to actively be a shepherd in the community, but I am thankful for all that God is doing among a special group of people. Maria graciously drives me to Appleton on Sunday mornings so I can preach.
I also was able to participate virtually in the Christian and Missionary Alliance Council. The Alliance has been my family for many years, and I rejoice in all that God is doing through this Christ-centered, Acts 1:8 family. While I am no longer an active part of the Alliance, I pray continually for my brothers and sisters who are being used in such great ways for God’s glory.
There is so much that God is teaching us about Himself in this season of our lives. Above all else, He is shattering misconceptions about Himself that American Christianity has tried to get us to embrace. He is so much greater than our western version of Him portrays! The more we break free from the cultural lies that surround us, the more we see the Biblical Christ. This part of our journey has resulted in greater joy, freedom, and peace for us as we focus on Christ without distraction.
We are learning to value the things that are really important. Two small lessons illustrate this. Our hot water heater, along with our main water valve, both went out, leaving us without water for a week. We also had a hidden but major oil leak in our car that fried our alternator and a large part of our electrical system. This left us without a car for over a week. Not having these things helped us see what is really essential to our lives and helped us to pray for those around the world who don’t enjoy the many things we call necessities. It has been a joy to pray for the wounded, lost, and lonely. There is so much heartache in our world, but our God and His grace are so much greater than our pain and suffering.
How can we pray for you? Please let us know. We so appreciate you!
802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802 (479) 886-0765