2016: Page 321

Page 321 began early as I headed into work to get the cleaning and building prep done before packing up the truck in order to head to ICOM.  As I cleaned the building, I not only prayed for the students who would use the building during the day, I thanked God for a family and church family who encourage the work God uses me to do through the prayer ministry.  Sometimes it is easy to forget, but it is the support of my wife and the partnership with the Deer Run Church of Christ which enables me to head to a conference with 1,000 copies of books God has given me to write.  As I hand those to people over the next couple of days, it will be with a recognition that the encouragement they will bring to people is not my work alone, but primarily the work of God through His Spirit using the support of many people to accomplish a great work.

As I headed down the road, the sun was beginning to crawl over the horizon and it wasn’t long before the photographer in my just had to stop and take a few pictures.  The air was full of moisture that could be seen and felt in the air.  Some areas had fairly dense low-lying fog, but other places were just hazy.  Today’s picture was taken from alongside the highway as the sun rose over a farm with the fog and haze filtering out some of the sun’s usual brightness for being that high in the sky.  It made me think of the fog and haze of life that sometimes filters out the brightness of our light as we live for Jesus.  The good news to me is the promise that “greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world.”  While the things of the world may bring trouble and discouragement, Jesus has put a light within us that the things of this world cannot overcome.  In fact the more we focus on being the light of God that we are called to be, it is the things of the world that become dim rather than them causing the light to go dim.  I love the old hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.  In fact it is the hymn that was sung when I first walked the aisle of a church way back in 4th grade to tell God I wanted to surrender my life to Him.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.,
In the light of His glory and grace.
(Helen Lemmel, 1922, Public Domain)

The rest of the day was a combination of driving and then setting up the Impact Prayer Ministry display before checking into the hotel for the night.  The first room they sent me to was in complete disarray and obviously had not been cleaned since the previous guest.  A quick call to the front desk and they said they would put me in a different room and offered to bring new keys to me.  I told them I would come down and pick them up and when I did they gave me a pass for free breakfast every morning of my stay!  I don’t usually eat much breakfast but on a conference schedule it is nice to have a filling meal to start the day.  When I got to my new room and looked out the window, I saw an ice skating rink in the plaza across the street.  It had been years since I’ve been ice skating, but with a free evening before the long days of the conference, I headed out to give it a try.  It didn’t take long before I was cruising around the ice and even managed to spend my entire time on actually skating on the ice without falling.  MJ had warned me not to do jumps if I went, so most of the fancy moves were kept in my mind this time.  🙂  

When I returned to my room, the internet was acting up, so instead of getting online to write and post the day’s page I went to sleep around 9 PM.  The skating must have made me tired as I fell asleep quickly and seemed to have slept soundly until a little after 1 AM.  Since I was awake, I checked the internet and it was back working so I sat down to write before heading back to sleep.  All in all, page 321 was a good day.

I pray that you and I would recognize and value the people God has put into our life to help us accomplish the work He has given us.  I pray that we would let our light shine even with the troubles and discouragement of the world attempts to make that light less visible.  I pray that we would keep our eyes fixed on Jesus so that His light would put everything else in perspective.  I pray that we would enjoy life to the full and rest completely in knowing that we’ve given that life fully to God.

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