Tag Archives: Joy

Homecoming Joy

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Mike & Friends. Red Square Christmas.

Our phone calls out directions to a Christmas party as we drive past the festive lights in the new neighborhood. We collect our gifts from the car and walk towards the door. Laughter filters through a window, then our host greets us at the door. “Welcome! Merry Christmas!” The first round of hugs and kisses give way to “Here, let me take your coat, put those presents over by the tree, what would you like to drink?” The scent of fresh baked pies, clove spiced wassail and a cinnamon candle waft over us. Warm drink now in hand, the first, “Hi, how are you?!” is followed by more hugs … Later by a crackling fire someone reads about shepherds tending flocks, angels singing, wise men delivering gifts and the wonder-filled sight of the newly born child humbly nestled in Bethlehem’s manger. He is the Son of David, our Savior, Christ, the Lord!

Isn’t this how we start to learn joy? Warm and safe in a place where caring people welcome us unconditionally, not judging whether our year passed “successfully” or “painfully.” We want help to laugh with loved ones and be content!

Now let’s take this picture multiply the intensity times ten, square the welcome and then add the comfort to infinity! This is the level of joy waiting for us when our Savior, once swaddled in a manger, welcomes us to His feast in our true home we will enter when heavenly Jerusalem descends to earth.

As long as we are imagining that day picture too the hosts of believers waiting to say “Hi! Welcome to the wedding feast of the Lamb!” Pavel and Julia will want to greet you. Zbyszek from Poland, Sasha from Ukraine, Roman and Viktor from Russia too. Zvonko and Maritsa … Did you really think heaven only holds personal family and friends for us to see again. Won’t all the ones you’ve prayed for, supported, sent messengers with the gospel be waiting there too?

May the love of God, the joy of Jesus Christ and the peace of the Holy Spirit fill you this Christmas!


Bad Things Happen

Every Leading Edge missionary faced trouble in 2012. The Christies were forced to evacuate their recently purchased home when the fire on the Colorado Rampart Range ran out of control. The Herrmans suffered a 30% pay cut when the Hungarian fiscal crisis hit Steve’s employer. The Helmers learned that Don has early stage, prostate cancer. Russia changed their rules for visa renewal again. Four plane tickets and 20 days later the Lessmans were home again. The D’Ettorres …

When bad things happen, we struggle to regain perspective. Typically Americans look for a hidden positive, then someone to blame. Habakkuk saw his country endure theft, extortion, murder and war. No figs, no grapes, no olives, no crops, no sheep, no cattle, nothing was left of the Hebrew economy after the Babylonian invasion.  So he complained – to God.

Habakkuk tells us what he learned. Lesson one: Whenever trouble arrives, get quiet and focus on God. “The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth be silent before him.” Hab. 2.20. Lesson two: Joy is a choice with an object. “I will rejoice in the LORD”.

Has trouble struck? Meet with the Sovereign Lord and remember. “He is my Savior… my strength.” Hab. 3.16-19.

All Parents Smile

Shhh! Little Nel is asleep.

New life is so refreshing, so precious! New parents can’t wait to email relatives or post pictures on Facebook for the world to see.

Can you blame Darla (photo below) for smiling with these new Ukrainian mothers? She knows one of the ladies in this Bible group, Katya, was just born anew in the kingdom of God.

May the joy of spiritual parents ring out everywhere!

* Polish, Slovak and Bulgarian teachers seek new life for their students.

* Central Asian refugees in Moscow learn of Jesus.

* Czech couples study practical Bible lessons about family life.

* Belorussian and Bulgarian Roma (Gypsy) prepare children to enter school

Are the spiritual or physical mums happier?