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Words bring Life

I love the written word.  It began in high school as I took a journalism class.  It led to me being named the editor of my high school newspaper during my senior year.

In college, I didn’t know for certain what I wanted to do.  I loved debate, but didn’t want to go to school “forever” to become an attorney.  So, I took some mass media classes and fell in love with all forms of communication.  I worked at a couple of radio stations, and during my years at Midwestern in Wichita Falls, served as the advertising director, sports writer and finally editor of the university newspaper.

But the purpose of this blog post is for the words I spoke in April 2010 and for someone who took the time to write them down and send them to me recently.

I was in Fort Worth during the spring of 2010.  After a long winter and early spring of not knowing where my next assignment would be, I had just agreed with my supervisor to move to Donetsk.  How I came to that conclusion is another story in itself.

I had been invited by the Women on Mission at Travis Avenue BC in Fort Worth to speak at their monthly meeting.  It was the first time for me to be invited to speak to such a group.  In a typical Baptist Church, it is the Women’s missionary group that “keeps the fires burning” for missionary work.

So, I prepared, knowing I could share about the places I had lived and tell them about the future in Donetsk.  I had done some research on Donetsk which helped led me to agree to move in the first place.

As is often the case, the further removed from an event, the more likely one is to not remember all the things that were said or done.  Well, when Mrs Powell sent me her notes from the meeting, I must admit that I was taken back to that room in their annex where we had meet in April 2010.  A wave of emotions flooded me as I read (and re-read) the notes Mrs Powell took.

Missionaries are human, too (I know this must shock you!).  We have struggles in ministry and I have been in the midst of some recently.  The notes Mrs Powell sent me helped me re-focus on why I believe the Lord sent me to Donetsk and brought encouragement to my heart.  It provided some needed perspective to my struggles and assured me that God truly is in control.

How often, when we are in the middle of pain, hurt or needed direction, that our Lord provides something to bring clarity or hope!  Her notes did exactly that for me.  A word of hope and assurance at just the right time.

One thing she wrote down that admittedly I had forgotten was a scripture passage that I had shared with them.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.  James 5:7-8 says:  “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming.  See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”

Patience… something most of us could have more of, but lack so little.  Maybe this is not true of you, yet, I know in our society today, we want instant results.  The farmer knows when he plants the seeds in spring, harvest is still a few months away and much of the outcome is not in his hands.  Doesn’t that also describe our lives in Christ?

I have lived long enough in eastern Europe to know that it takes time.  I know this, however, I still look for results faster than I should.  I grow weary when I don’t see forward progress.  I should know that the autumn and spring rains are coming and that I need to stand firm, yet, at times I don’t.

The crop is valuable and I need to be willing to entrust this crop in the hands of a loving God who is bringing the rains so that the harvest may come.

I appreciate Mrs Powell taking the time to write down my words that day in April 2010.  I really appreciate the fact that God prompted her to send them to me as I needed to hear, once again, the words from James.  Some may say they are simply words, but I say, they are words that bring hope, meaning and assurance.

Words that bring life.

Comments

  1. Betty Hodges says:

    I so enjoy your posts, Joe. God does send us a word (sometimes from the most unlikely place) at just the right time. I don’t know if you are familiar with Bob Benson. He was out of Nashville and wrote and also had a radio program or he made records (don’t remember) but he had the whiniest, odd voice. It seemed so off with the books and poems he wrote. I remember one poem that he wrote about his son. He played the cymbals in the marching band. He marched through the whole parade and did nothing. But, at just the right time and with just the right emphasis, he hit his cymbals together. His thought was that we march along in life and at just the right time, we do whatever God has for us. That has stuck with me for probably 35 years. At just the right time.

    Okay, I miss the dog. What happened to your dog? Those posts were always so good. (I am Kellye Hooks’ mom; I see you post on Marc’s FB occasionally.)

    I am not in good health. I can still quilt and sew. I helped start a quilt ministry at our church in 2006. So I pour my heart into making quilts for people who so need to know about God’s love. I don’t have to worry about all the things I can no longer do. Because I do what I can, for as long as I can, with what He has given me. Then, He will take me home. Blessings on you, Joe.

  2. Mrs Hodges,
    You honor me by stopping by. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and post a comment. I do remember a Bob Benson, but not sure what he did. However, that is a great story he related and timely indeed for me.

    Regarding Buddy, I went to Kyiv in June for a few days and asked some people to watch him. He somehow disappeared from their place: stolen or got out. They looked for him for several days and I looked for him a week after I got back to no avail. I hope someone took him and that he didn’t get out and get killed since the people lived near a highway and some woods.

    Do what you can do for as long as you can. Many blessings to you.

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