Hodgepodge

Hodgepodge of little updates…

Dirty Hugs

Got my first hug from a homeless lady in early July.  Unfortunately, her story checked out as true:  several years ago her baby girl was killed by the girl’s father.  Years, bad relationships, more children, and mental health medications later, she followed her parents (who have custody of her children) to Colorado, where she lived in a tent in a park a few miles from the River Center.  Her parents decided living in California near relatives was the best place for the children, so they packed up and moved, leaving our lady behind.  After learning more of her story and prayer, we decided to give her and her fiancé enough gas money to get to California to live near her parents and children.  I got a dirty and heartfelt, grateful hug from our lady in return for the gas card.  We prayed with them, and I asked the Lord to use their circumstances, their trip to California, any problems along the way as a means for them to know Him better.

Papa

We realized in mid-July that Papa (Laura’s grandfather) would soon be going to Heaven.  After praying it through, we decided to drive to south Louisiana to visit him one last time while he was still alert.  What a perfect decision.  He had been somewhat unresponsive before we left; while we were there, he was more alert than he had been for days.  We were there for his last two good days.  How good of our Father to give us that gift, huh?  We drove back to Colorado (40 hour round trip).  Three days later, we flew back for his funeral.  (And the Lord, in response to our questioning who should go and when, provided fully-paid plane tickets for our family.)  Papa was one of the main Christian influences on Laura as she grew up.  I have a wonderful wife and family due in part to this quiet man who gently and consistently lived out his faith.

Third Person

There are some titles that I have never held:

Davy, the Athlete.

Davy, the Macho.

Davy, the Dancer.

Davy, the Orator.

I’ve never held these titles because I am not those things.  Definitely not.

But, recently, the Lord challenged me to take on, in my thoughts and speech, a title that DOES apply to me (and you) although I hesitated to take it on:

Davy, the Disciple Whom Jesus Loves

Reading the gospel of John with my friend Kenneth, I noticed how each time John referred to himself, he wrote “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”  I don’t believe John thought that of himself that way because he thought he was so lovable…because his lovableness would change depending on his actions or attitude.  John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved” because Jesus loved him.  And that doesn’t change.  So I am, and you are, the disciples whom Jesus loves.  Because Jesus loves us.  And thinking of ourselves that true way, can change us.

And a word about givers…

For four months now, we have consistently been supported in part by a group of 17 folks who prayerfully committed to give each month so we can train here.  Four months ago, I had some unspoken fears that they might forget or think it not worthwhile to continue.  But they haven’t.  And I pray that the Father who uses their gifts to provide for us will take care of them in an obvious, over-and-abundant way in return for their kindness and obedience.  Right now, they are planting and we are learning.  I pray, that in time to come, we both see the fruit of what they’re sewing.

And here ends the mixed basket of updates.

Thank you for praying with us and may God amaze you with the precision and timing of His provisions,

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loves (and the rest of the gang)

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Then and Now and Later

I just finished reading “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence.  His pure delight in God Himself reminded me of the life Christ started in me as a 15 year old.

I ate the Word, spent my days in peace and delight in Him, hoping for a chance to wait in a waiting room or drive a tractor or do some other monotonous activity so I could spend time doting on Him in my heart and mind.  I would spend quite a lot of time praying and thanking Him and reading His Word.  Then I might dance like an idiot for a few minutes just to give the excited happiness of being with Him somewhere to go.

Since then, my “maturity” and “experience” have stifled that simple, pleasant relationship.  The conversations I start now are more about what He wants me to do or what my family needs than about how wonderful He is.  Is it possible for Him to still provide and care for us and use us for His glory if I stop trying and thinking so hard and be like Mary at His feet?

I tell you, I loved that relationship I had with him at 15, 16, and 17.  He did, too.  And now, twenty years later — a wife, 5 kids, obediences and sins, faith and doubt, bills and fears — surely He hasn’t changed.