I never signed anything binding to assure any audience that I'd post weekly, but I actually value all the people who check this site to see what I'm up to and want to give relevant and recent prayer requests. This past weekend I wasn't feeling my best physically, and I didn't manage to get a timely update. My apologies.
I did, however, spend a good amount of time chatting with former students this past week, and I'm so encouraged by those who've committed to Jesus and follow through on that. There's a lot of twists and turns in life stories, and some of my students have had a hard time keeping their promises to Jesus, but I'm always encouraged by listening to one student process with me the desire to choose Jesus over what culture says is okay to do with his girlfriend or another other student working actively to break a porn addiction or another other student processing how to model a healthy pursuit of Jesus to her lethargic Christian peers.
In my quiet times this week I've been reminded that Jesus didn't promise me an easy life, but he did promise to walk beside me through everything. He has also given me incredible blessings along the way. Amid the stressors of this week, I had a mysterious series of deliveries as a generous donor sent me a brand new iPad with a cover, screen protector, and Apple Pencil to bless me directly. The iPad doesn't make the nerve damage disappear, but it certainly has a direct positive impact on my ability to do my work on a fast and efficient device instead of the steadily slower computer that is reaching the end of it's good, long life.
Obviously I can't promise you material or physical blessings, but I do know the Lord has promised you good - where you see it in your life today is different than the next person. I hope you'll take a moment to look for it though. I know God is at work in my life in big and beautiful ways, and I'm so thankful that while keeping my eyes on him, he dropped an iPad in my life. More incredibly, he dropped into my life the faithful supporter who prays for me regularly and happened to have the resources to also tangibly bless me.
I'm not done finding good things from the Lord in my life. Not that I'm expecting more Apple products to show up on my doorstep - that is definitely not likely. Rather, I know that God has grown me closer to him through a wild and intense few months, so I am grateful for the fruit that has made me a more loving person, less judgemental, more forgiving, less selfish, and a whole host of other things. In today's lesson, I heard a chorus of students tell me they had seen sanctification in my life over the term (we were talking about the theological terms related to salvation), and I was so blessed at their ready acknowledgement of my example of how I am in process of becoming more like Jesus.
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.
(1 Peter 3:8-12 MSG)