Beginning of something better?
Images from Emily’s graduation slideshow flashed across the screen. And I started to struggle. Memories that went along with them washed over me. Barely keeping the tears in, I started to panic that I’d break out in audible sobs and ruin her happy composure. “I didn’t get enough time with her,” was the thought that was crossing my mind.
I prayed, managing a smile as we handed her the diploma. Since her graduation, we’ve been looking through papers, keepsake boxes, are prints from our life in TN, CA, SC and FL. We found drawings dedicated to mommy or daddy. The kids’ first words and sayings jotted down in journals when each of them was learning to talk. Sweet little smiling faces were staring back at me from the photos. Those faces didn’t stay little. They belonged to children who grew up fast.
But what would be the alternative? I sometimes tell other Online Missionaries at our Cru assignment at Global Media Outreach that if their disciples remain dependent on them for their spiritual development, something has gone wrong, as surely as if natural children continue to depend on their parents their whole lives.
Emily & Luke
It’s not that I’d like my children to go back to being small and dependent again. (Although I often say I’d like to visit their little selves from time-to-time! But that’s what the photos and videos are for.)
It’s probably natural for loving parents to feel they didn’t get enough time. My father’s sudden death just before I graduated high-school was difficult for me. I didn’t get enough time with my dad, and I envy peers whose dads are still around to advise them.
Time is so fleeting! Joining Crusade staff had a lot to do with recognizing that fact. We’re running out of time, as the passage in our signature (Romans 13:11) implies, to reach the lost. For Christians, Christ’s return will be sort of a “graduation,” where we hope to hear God’s approval. (1 Cor. 4:5) We must not forget, though, that graduation to heaven for us will be the end of everything good for those who don’t know Christ!
In a recent prayer meeting, a co-worker noted, it’s as if the world is on fire right now, and it’s our job to “save others by snatching them out of the fire.” (Jude 23) Thanks for your help to ensure more hear “well done” (Matthew 25:21) instead of “depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire” (Matthew 25:41)
In my expanded role at Global Media Outreach, I’m identifying veteran Online Missionaries like Susan to help mentor others as one of the ways to help improve the quality of our discipleship. “Hendie” in Malawi wrote in to our Facebook page asking for prayer for a job, and Susan prayed for him, then directed him to a more immediate need: a relationship with his Maker. He eventually responded, “I want to give my life Christ and that Jesus should forgive my sins renew our relationship with God.” When I told her that her responses showed discernment and clarity with the Scriptures, she responded, “it is truly amazing that you would say that, because discernment is always my prayer request.”
Thanks so much to everyone who has participated in our matching gift challenge—especially our anchor investors and new ministry partners! It’s been going very well. God is moving! We are so grateful and blessed. The challenge deadline is June 15th. Please don’t feel compelled to participate if it’s not a good time for you! But we would ask that you spend a moment to pray, as God leads! Until the June 15 deadline, the matching applies to new partners as well as special gifts. So if you have friends or a church missions board who might be encouraged to hear about our work, please let us know!
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Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!