Madison Update

Got a call from Madison on Saturday night (Sunday morning, really). She had just returned from spending the week working in a remote mountain village. Madison is very excited about the work there and her experiences. They’ve witnessed several people putting their faith in Christ. Madison related that the Thai people have been a great example to her of what being a follower of Christ is all about. She is going elephant riding and bamboo rafting Tuesday and heads back for the states Wednesday. She’ll fly home on Saturday.

Madison sends her love and said to thank everyone for their prayers!

Madison Update

Got a call from Madison on Saturday night (Sunday morning, really). She had just returned from spending the week working in a remote mountain village. Madison is very excited about the work there and her experiences. They’ve witnessed several people putting their faith in Christ. Madison related that the Thai people have been a great example to her of what being a follower of Christ is all about. She is going elephant riding and bamboo rafting Tuesday and heads back for the states Wednesday. She’ll fly home on Saturday.

Madison sends her love and said to thank everyone for their prayers!

Chapter-a-Day Joshua 17

They went to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders and said, "God commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our kinsmen." Joshua 17:4 (TM)

I find that sometimes it’s helpful to read between the lines when it comes to scriptural history. For the past few chapters of Joshua, different tribes and factions have been coming to Joshua to ask for this or that land. Joshua gives it to them. It’s all nice and factual. You have to believe, however, that the real negotiations between Joshua and the tribal leaders was hotly debated. Trusting that human nature hasn’t changed, I’m sure Joshua found it impossible to please everyone, got constantly harassed with decisions of minute detail and was vilified by almost everyone at one time or another. Kind of like a pastor in a building campaign.

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“Our Town” Lesson

Wendy and I went to USP’s production of "Our Town" last night. Spence VerMeer did a nice job directing the classic and adding a few unique twists of his own. You can always trust Spence to have his own take on things, which is cool. It makes him interesting. It was a huge cast and everyone  was terriffic.

I’ve always thought that Thornton Wilder hits a couple of themes out of the park in the play, while completely striking out on others. Nevertheless, the show is great at hitting home the truth that we don’t spend enough time appreciating the little moments of everyday. Looking your loved ones in the eye – really looking at them. Drinking in the sound of your child’s laughter. The well tuned orchestration of your morning routine. The smell of coffee that hits your nostrils first thing. Each one is a wonder and a blessing all it’s own. I heard God speaking to me last night through the play. "Slow down, Tom. Look, listen, smell, touch…and enjoy.

A couple quick hits:

Read Joshua 16 today, but it was short and there wasn’t much there – in case you were wondering.

Taylor is off on her TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) weekend. She’s on the team that prays all weekend for the participants and speakers. She asked me pray specifically that lives would be changed this weekend. I figured I’d pass the request along in case you’re so inclined to join in the prayers.

Still no word from Madison this week. Taylor informed me that Madison’s trip to the remote mountain village was supposed to last all week and she wouldn’t have access to e-mail or phone until later this weekend. That was news to me, but explains why I haven’t heard from her. Keep praying. I’ll post an update as soon as I hear from her. She returns home Saturday August 5th.

Chapter-a-Day Joshua 15

The people of Judah couldn’t get rid of the Jebusites who lived in
Jerusalem. The Jebusites stayed put, living alongside the people of
Judah. They are still living there in Jerusalem
. Joshua 15:63 (TM)

"If only…" – "But if…" – "If I had…"

Retrospect is an interesting thing. This little tag at the end of Joshua 15 would figure prominently a few hundred years later when David makes Jerusalem the capital city and location for the temple. The Jebusites were living there. David made some of them key figures in his military and administration. As is still happening today, the Israelites and Jebusites could not live together and the conflict was an important component in nearly breaking David’s kingdom. It would help propel the civil war between Judah and Israel a few years later.

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Chapter-a-Day Joshua 14

And here I am today, eighty-five years old! I’m as strong as I was the
day Moses sent me out. I’m as strong as ever in battle, whether coming
or going. So give me this hill country that God promised me. You yourself heard the report, that the Anakim were there with their great fortress cities. If God goes with me, I will drive them out, just as God said
. Joshua 14:11-12

You’ve got to admire Caleb’s faith. Not only was he one of the only two spies to bring back a report to Moses saying "We can do it! God is with us! Let’s go for it!" – but here he is forty-five years later at the ripe old age of 85 – still keeping the faith. I hope and pray that my faith, my passion and my "spunk" for God only increases with age.

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