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December 1, 2016, 10:53 PM

The Mutual Consolation of the Brethren

It is December 1st. 

This day is very special to me for some personal reasons I will get to in a second, and for the purpose of this short blog entry. First, I know it's Advent and the topic of "mutual consolation of the brethren" is a little off beat, but please bear with me for a moment. It certainly has to do with edifying one another until we see the Day of our Lord's second Advent upon this earth! As it says in Romans 14:19: 

"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." 

The day is special to me professionally because usually most things are done in preparation for the busy Advent and Christmas seasons. There is a time to pause and simply do the more routine tasks of ministry: see people, pray with them, enjoy the services and Bible studies. 

But it's also special to me for a personal reason. On this day in 2007, a friend of mine called me at my house in Illinois; he called just as I sat down at my kitchen table and put my head in my hands, and sighed. You know: one of those deep sighs that means, "I have no idea what to do next." I will try to just quickly summarize by saying that my life at that point--it was in transition. I was moving to Colorado. But I was still a little uncertain as to what I would do when I got here. I had talked with "district presidents" (what we call bishops) and family members, but there were still very few answers coming my direction. Then my friend calls from Indiana. 

It is a phone call that I remember quite well--suddenly everything made sense. He described a class that I could take, and a viable career path. Whatever the outcome, as a good pastor he kept assuring me that the Lord has me in his stead. Look, I have GIVEN that sermon before! But it's amazing what happens when the promises of God's Word become real and true for you, isn't it? As I write this, with my toddler playing on the floor and my wife (whom I met at a church in Denver) now going to work at her wonderful job here, I cannot help but think that on December 1st, 2007 the Holy Spirit moved my friend to call me. It was all totally unprompted by me, and helped all of this-- my new life become possible. I cannot help but think that God had in mind my new family. My wife, who is so understanding and patient with me. My son, who is a miraculous joy and gift to us each and every day.

That the Heavenly Father knew ALL of my doubts and fears.

And that He heard my prayers.

So, this Advent remember: you could be that friend to someone. "Stay alert," the Scripture reminds us often. "Pray continually." "Strengthen the weak, remember the orphan and the widow." Etc. And for some very, very good reasons.

Go and do what you were called to do, people of God!

We don't need great credentials or intellect. We need to keep our minds and hearts on the Word of God, and on waiting for him.

Waiting with all humanity. 

Waiting for His second advent.



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