Dear Family and Friends: December 16, 2005
The past few weeks have been very exciting ones: in November, our support received reached the 90% mark and we visited our new town in Florida for the first time, arriving in time to watch the annual Christmas Parade. (Cindy's idea to check out the community.) It was spirited and nostalgic, watching the "floats" (mostly pickup trucks and tractors pulling trailers) go by, filled with people waving and throwing candy to the children. Manger scenes sponsored by local churches predominated, and the Mayor never missed an opportunity to announce, in his pronounced New England accent, that these were in celebration of the birth of "our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." We found our next hometown!
It was really refreshing to hear such an unrestrained Christmas celebration in these times so marked by offensive “inoffensiveness.” We found the city itself to be similarly charming, and in four days of looking, (seeing some 18 houses in that time), we were able to buy one in a nice neighborhood, 30 minutes from Campus Crusade's Headquarters! We're convinced it's the home the Lord wants us to have, since it was the first one we really liked on the first day of looking--and, although it went off the market twice before we were able to make an offer on it, it became available just in time . Recounting the story again, it sounds a little stressful, with the competition and uncertainty--but we really felt God's peace through the whole situation. We were both convinced He would superintend the whole process, and it was neat to see how it all worked out. Remarkably, on our way down to Florida, Cindy came down with a second case of Chicken Pox, (she and I both had them around 12 years of age), which had made us question at first whether to continue the search--but we were convinced that if the Lord wanted to block or delay the trip, He could've done it decisively, with no questions. When we went forward as planned, we experienced His blessing. The timing was just right, maximizing the number of available houses we could see, giving us an opportunity to close in 2005, and funding under the lower interest rate before the Federal Reserve raised rates this week.
Because of our extended stay and consequent opportunity to look around in several neighborhoods, we enjoyed fuller exposure to the town. We enjoyed a Christmas play performed by homeschooled students at a local church, visited the local dining favorite, whose menus told the story of the town's water tower cross, a characteristic city display which was ordered removed against the wishes of the citizens after a court battle. Almost all of the residents of our town are Christian, and almost all of them signed the petition to keep the cross, but because of the complaints of an atheist who lived 6 miles outside the city limits, it was removed 16 years ago, Sadly, this is a story that is being repeated all over our country. Only the specifics vary. There's a concerted effort to quelch, cow and marginalize evidences of Christian influence in our country. Believe it or not, though, this is actually good for us. (See Romans 8:28-29) Not that I'm in favor of the social engineering and revisionism; but Christianity was never intended to be cultural. (See Matthew 10:34-42)
The Almighty Lord of Hosts was made flesh and “tabernacled” with us, (John 1:14 ), showing us that the way up is down. From His birth in a stable to His work with the destitute, diseased and disabled, the sinners and the rejects, to His humble washing of His disciples' feet, to His humiliating death outside the city of Jerusalem …He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Christmas itself reminds us that we must completely oppose the wisdom of the world. It was the truly wise, with their eyes on heaven, not earth who humbled themselves, removed their crowns and knelt on the dirt with their prophetically significant gifts before the Holy Child. Let the magi remind us to follow His example this season! (Philippians 2:5-11)
And thank you--for giving us the opportunity to serve the Lord for you!
Mike and Cindy
”One Day Closer” ( Rom. 13:1)
P.S.: We are thrilled to be able to report that we'll be lacking under $500 monthly of being 100% funded, if all our current pledges come in! Thank you to eight new partners giving or pledging since November 1st! By the way, Campus Crusade has made online giving available for your convenience at http://give.ccci.org/give/0543730
We're also ecstatic about the latest news from our ministry: in October, a milestone was reached--1,000 prayed to receive Christ in a single day-- and that level of response has been maintained for 36 days straight so far! Please join us in our prayer for one million to receive Christ through our outreach in 2006!! (By the way, our ministry's name has officially been changed from WorldLINC/LINC-Net to “Global Media Outreach.” See http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com)