Page 273 was a nice day to relax between two very long work days. The indecision of the seasons is messing with Susan so it was good to have my early morning cleaning done the night before so she could sleep in . . . and I didn’t mind the extra bit of sleep either. 🙂 Much of my morning was spent listening to God regarding direction and refinement of the sermon I’ll share Sunday morning at North Wayne Mennonite Church. I also worked on some promo pieces for my next book which should be finished soon, and eventually helped get Susan up and around for the day. Some days the politics of working in a multi-ministry setting gets the best of me. But when I fix my eyes on Jesus, I am thankful for the support I have in accomplishing the work He calls me to do and the flexibility that exists to spend time with my family. While there are days that I put in some very long hours, most of those are of my own choosing so I can protect other times that allow me to spend alone time with God or time with my family. I know that I don’t want to reach the end of my life and realize I don’t really know God or my family.
By early afternoon, Mary Jane was home so we went to get some lunch and then headed north to photograph “Big Red” — the lighthouse in Holland, Michigan. It took some doing, but we finally found a way to actually get back to the lighthouse rather than have to photograph it from the pier across the channel. After shooting some photos there, we stopped by Tiscornia Park in St. Joseph, Michigan to take some pictures of the lighthouses there. Even though most of the day was cloudy and drizzly, there was a small break in the clouds that the sun was trying to shine through out on the horizon. With the wind whipping up the waves, it was a beautiful scene to photograph as the lighthouse lights stood out against the blanket of clouds which served as the backdrop. As we visit lighthouses, most of them have stories posted about the reason for the lighthouse being where it is — and most of those reasons have to do with a loss of lives and property as ships run aground and/or lose direction in the midst of a storm. The lights atop these lighthouses simply serve as a beautiful accent in the pictures I take but for those out on the lake, these same lights can mean the difference between life and death.
As the day ended without my actually writing the page that was lived, I went to bed thinking about God’s warning to the “watchmen on the wall”. God made it clear that if you see danger approaching and do not warn the people around you, whatever loss experienced is on you. However, if you sound the warning and people refuse to listen, they are responsible for their own destruction. Unfortunately, we live in a time when people don’t particularly care for watchmen. We want to do what we want and we don’t want anyone to tell us we shouldn’t. In the morning, I read a news clip that was shared by Franklin Graham about a judge in the eastern U.S. who had ruled a Christian school could not use their P.A. system to pray before sporting events because the system had been obtained using government funding. As I read that, I was thankful for people like Lee Bracey, director of Woodburn Christian Children’s Home, who have continually refused to take government assistance, subsidies, and money because they know that with money comes control. Whenever I have heard him speak about the children’s home, he has been that watchman who warns his hearers about the dangers of giving a foothold for any control of a Christian ministry to a secular government. We are called to be the light of the world but our purpose isn’t simply to shine and look pretty. Our purpose is to provide warning of danger and to direct people to the safety found in Jesus. It doesn’t take a very thorough look around us to notice the dark clouds are gathering and the waves against us are increasing in intensity. Now, more than ever, not only is a light needed, but if it shines as it should, it will be more noticeable by those who are perishing. Some will use it as a guide to safety, others will seek to destroy it.
I pray that you and I would find ways, and means, to be thankful even when circumstances make giving thanks difficult. I pray that we would make time on a regular basis to spend time with God and with our family. I pray that our pursuit of God would be done so with purpose and with the intent of knowing Him. I pray that we would be faithful watchmen who would warn others of the dangers we see. I pray that we would pay attention to the watchmen that God has put around us to warn us when danger is approaching. I pray that we would listen intently to the greatest watchman we have, the Living Word of God. I pray that we would not grow discouraged at the darkness around us as we let our light shine each day.