Monday, June 25, 2018

Jon's Almost Daily Letter
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IS THIS YOU?

I admit at times, I can be identified by this cartoon. The need to stay connected. The need to be noticed or have the most recent news update. That notification ding... ring.... boing... whistle... catches my attention and I quickly drop everything to check the unknown out. For me, most of the time it is nothing life changing or life altering but silly stuff from the social media crowd of friends. At times, it is important (1 out of 30 or so).

Have you ever misplaced your mobile and prayed to find it? You go into an extreme panic. Frantically seeking God's divine help to secure your "binky". I think for most of us, the answer is, regrettably, yes. I am not asking for you to confess such things but at least ponder on the absurdity of such. If you find yourself guilty, do what is needed to adjust the habit. It is not healthy, I don't care that some FB article says it is.

Let me probe a little more close to home for the Christians who read this. Have you ever misplaced your bible and prayed for God to help you find it... other than when you are leaving to go to church because you haven't looked at it all week? Have you replaced your physical bible with an App? Nothing wrong with Bible Apps but I would encourage you to not let such become your regular Bible. I really believe a worn out Bible is a testimony of our time with God. Has the smartphone replaced the importance of our Bible in our lives?

Speaking of Bibles... Don't forget the contest to win a Study Bible (with a journal, and pen)
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CONTEST

This is a contest for those who live in Dubai but for those who like a challenge and are artistic outside the UAE, you can submit something for consideration. The prize is available for locals only.

Due to the multiple ways this letter gets sent out (about 5 times a week), I want to create a banner to be used as a recognizable header. I redid the one from the other day and it is better but not quite there yet. SO...

The contest is for those who wish to submit a new header to be judged and used for my almost daily publication. Credit will be given to the winner with a tag saying, Designed by _______ and the winner will win the grand, and only, prize... a Study Bible, journal, and very nice writing pen. The deadline for submitting your design will be July 19. I will judge the entries. I will have the Grand and only prize on display the first Saturday in July at the church service.

Rules:
  • One submission per person
  • Meet the deadline
  • All questions about the contest must be submitted to me in writing

The contest is active...
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WHICH DOMINATES YOUR LIFE?

A patient person shows great understanding,
but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness. Proverbs 14:29
Each of us has moments where the battle over being impatient rages. Some of us do not face this at sporadic moments but almost everything we face is a battle. We might even blame it on our DNA, or the enviroment in which we were raised. For the Christian, such blame reduces the testimony of the powerful presence of God in and over our lives. When God says that our testimony is to present to the world the following... I can do all things through Christ who is my strength... Phil. 4:13, He means it.


There is a phrase that says... "I am coming to the end of my rope" This phrase is idiomatic... It means... The limit of one's patience, when one is so frustrated or annoyed that one can no longer take it. What one needs to do in such a time is seek the Lord's wisdom in how to not ruin the testimony we are to always present of our Lord and God. 

I admit I am in this battle with the never-ending "whatevers" that keep getting kicked down the road. I am not angry or disappointed with God. I am looking in the mirror at myself and wondering if I am missing something God is saying. I am questioning myself. I am questioning the lack of motivation from others.

A verse that God keeps bringing to my mind and put in front of me in writing that I kept misinterpreting (in this current situation) is... Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Psalm 23:4

Here is how I was working through this verse...

  • Though I walk - This is a journey I (we, EBCI) are on. We did not choose it but it is one we must travel.
  • the valley of the shadow of death - Early on, I thought this shift would decimate us and the different day and stuff would bring us to a point we would close our doors. I missed something here (and this was not the big miss). Walking in the shadow of death is not death... it just seems like it.
  • I will fear no evil - I made this the most important part of what God was saying to me... and it wasn't. I wasn't afraid of evil, but I feared for the people and ministries of EBCI. I hurt for my sheep.
I was missing the most important part and the lesson God wanted me to relearn. Context is key.

Here was my error... I stopped reading too soon. The words just following I will fear no evil are the most important words in this chapter and lesson. Scripture says... for You are with me. I was looking at the circumstances. I was hearing the pain of my sheep. I was blaming the broken promises of others. I was looking at circumstance upon circumstance and missing the only thing in this that matters and will get me (us) through... God is with us.

God is with us to lead us through. God is with us to calm us down. God is with us to prove Himself. God is with us to lead us to His perfect will. The shadows we are walking may be gloomy and seem like the end but it is not. For... God is with us.
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