Friends, I have not written an update in a few months due to my frail fingers, but I cannot allow myself to not acknowledge my dear wife, as we recently celebrated her on Mother’s Day, and her birthday (May 18th). She is truly the best wife and mother and is an incredible blessing to our family. I love her more every day. She is our prayer warrior and our encourager. Here are a few pictures (sorry for the poor quality) from our college yearbook highlighting her Christian service ministry. She was the part of several singing groups. She truly sings like an angel!
Leah continues to deal with her health challenges and homebound condition with much grace. She spends hours in prayer for our family and for many other friends. She is amazing!
Rebekah and Tim continue to do much that brings glory to Christ through their personal lives and church ministries. Tim occasionally preaches at his father’s church and leads a small group at their church. Rebekah received a promotion and began her new work responsibilities this week.
Victoria and Noah are attending a new church and are getting involved in a small group and in the worship ministry. Victoria is finishing up her school year as the music director of the Atkins school district. Her high school choir made a recent trip to Disney World. She also has a recital this week for the music students she teaches at the local music center she manages.
Maria finished up her semester with another 4.0. She loved doing her internship at a local kindergarten class. She has her student teaching next semester, and then she is done! It is hard to believe our now 20 year-old will graduate before 2023 begins.
I am only preaching twice a month now and am greatly enjoying the ministry of the couple who are taking over shepherding responsibilities at the congregation I serve. The Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church will be part of the local homecoming in June, hosting the Sunday worship service and participating in the community revival.
God is so good to us! His grace truly is sufficient, His strength is made perfect through our weakness, and His mercies are new every morning!
In my current preaching series through Hebrews, my reading of the terrific book by Katie Faris, He Will Be Enough, and our family’s study of Dane Ortlund’s masterful Gentle and Lowly, I have been confronted by the truth of Hebrews 4 over and over again this week:
Hebrews 4:14–16 (ESV)
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Meditate on what Ortlund says about this life-transforming truth:
The word for “sympathize” here is a compound word formed from the prefix meaning “with” (like our English prefix co-) joined with the verb to suffer. “Sympathize” here is not cool and detached pity. It is a depth of felt solidarity such as is echoed in our own lives most closely only as parents to children. Indeed, it is deeper even than that. In our pain, Jesus is pained; in our suffering, he feels the suffering as his own even though it isn’t—
When the relationship goes sour, when the feelings of futility come flooding in, when it feels like life is passing us by, when it seems that our one shot at significance has slipped through our fingers, when we can’t sort out our emotions, when the longtime friend lets us down, when a family member betrays us, when we feel deeply misunderstood, when we are laughed at by the impressive—in short, when the fallenness of the world closes in on us and makes us want to throw in the towel—there, right there, we have a Friend who knows exactly what such testing feels like, and sits close to us, embraces us. With us. Solidarity.
Our tendency is to feel intuitively that the more difficult life gets, the more alone we are. As we sink further into pain, we sink further into felt isolation. The Bible corrects us. Our pain never outstrips what he himself shares in. We are never alone.
May the presence of Jesus bring wholeness and healing to your hearts!
How can you pray for us?
–Please continue to pray for our children to know, follow, and serve Jesus. They all are at times in their lives when change comes quickly and opportunities to display the love of Jesus become available.
–Pray for the health of several family members who are facing physical problems. My parents are all getting a bit older and face the challenges that brings.
–Pray that I will be faithful in sharing Jesus with my friends and neighbors, as my church involvement lessens and as my body slows down. My feet/legs continue to feel like blocks of wood below the knee and my hands experience much increased sensitivity and pain. This is the reason I am doing less computer work. Yet, I still want to exalt Jesus by praying for and encouraging others.
–Pray for us to experience God’s provision for our daily bread. As you can relate to, inflation has hit us hard with our fixed income which is actually decreasing because I am preaching less.
That being said, even with my feeble fingers and lack of technical skills, I am going to start selling books on Amazon. The only thing I have of value is my library. I sold some books in previous years, but I need to sell the remainder now. If you are interested in finding Jesus in the Scriptures and serving Him in your daily living, I have resources for you! I will have more details when I figure it all out. Message me if you are interested. I am going to start with the sale of my commentaries and other study aides.
How can I pray for you? Please let me know. We love and appreciate you!
802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802 (479) 886-0765