Greetings from Kyrgyzstan,
One of the things that I have said and taught for many years is that spiritually and emotionally healthy people are able to adapt and adjust to changing realities and circumstances. Unhealthy ones, on the other hand, cannot do so and therefore live in a constant state of confusion and anxiety.
Well, this theory as stated above has been a test for me and for Jayne. We usually have a pretty good idea of our day’s schedule before we leave our apartment around 7:15 each morning. By the time we return home some ten to twelve hours later, the earlier schedule bears little resemblance to what actually happened.
We have learned to go with the flow and look for God in the disruptions and constant change. For instance, yesterday, July 1, Jayne was scheduled to meet with 18 child welfare workers here in Tokmok for training as she had done the previous four weeks. When she and her assistants arrived at the site, they were greeted by an apologetic director. Something had happened, he told them and the social workers were called out. Just two or three remained so they rescheduled the training.
What appeared to be a disappointment turned into an “incredible” appointment. As they were walking out, Jayne (through her translator) was invited to another meeting at a local orphanage to discuss some needs there. Attending that meeting was one of the directors of social services in the Tokmok area. During the course of conversation, Jayne mentioned that she had hopes to someday soon meet the Director of Child Welfare (a brand new department at the national level), but was not quite sure how to get that to happen. The social service director sitting in the group laughed and said, “That’s no problem, he is my son-in-law. When do you want it to happen?”
Other very important things happened during that meeting, Jayne told me, and perhaps some of the most important things were the laughter and relationship building that took place. After the meeting, they all sat around a table enjoying tea and one of the participants commented how she saw God’s hand in the day. Jayne and her group all agreed.
From Sunday Morning, June 29
Allow me to share a few thoughts with you regarding my message last Sunday morning. I have been on a theme regarding the power of words that have the power to kill or heal. (Proverbs 18:21) This morning I discussed the life- changing potential of just two words that Jesus spoke to Matthew in Matthew 9:9. Jesus walks up to Matthew and simply says, “Follow me.” We are told Matthew simply stood up and followed. There is no record that he asked, what to me, would have been obvious questions such as, “Where are we going?” “What are we going to do?” “Is there any money involved?” No questions. He just followed.
In the verses that follow we get a glimpse of where this journey would go and what it would be like. Verses 10-13 say “it will involve sinners and sick people; salvation and healing.
Verses 14-15 let us know that this following Jesus was not just about starting a new religion. Jesus came to restore our broken relationship with God – not start another religion. We have far more religions with their rules and regulations than we will ever need. To think that God would send His son Jesus to go through what He went through and to suffer what He suffered to just start another religion borders on absurdity. No, is absurd and tragic. Christians are not religious people, they are people in whom Christ dwells, lives and has His being. It is a relationship—not a religion!
Verses 16-17 indicate that where Jesus would lead and Matthew would follow would be a new thing – new wine in new bottles. No old bottles, no God in boxes. God is an active, creative, ever-expanding God that needs to be released to be just that. What Matthew would later see on this journey are things he had never seen before—nor even knew could see happen.
“Follow me.” These two words, once heard, once obeyed, changed a man’s life and history as well. In the same way, Jesus walks up to our table and says the same thing, “Follow me.” It is an invitation – not a command. It is “yes” or “no.”
Blessings and thank you all.
The journey continues.....