I had a visit from a hospice nurse and an aide the day before yesterday. I was cleaned up, bathed, shampooed, and pampered. It was almost like a morning at the spa. It is probably good that I have never experienced a day at a spa, so I have nothing really to compare it to - except my own imagination of what it would be like! I do imagine that a spa experience is not quite as painful! [Of course, I would not be going to a spa having a fractured femur!)
Mid-day, my wife insisted that I take a nap. I took her advice and it was great! I slept for almost two hours and woke up feeling very refreshed - and, as a result, I was able to be more alert last evening.
Yesterday afternoon, Pastor Matt and I were able to to have a nice visit with few interruptions. Lord willing, I was able to be an encouragement to Him. I know that He was and is a huge encouragement to me!
He is a man of the Word. He studies God's Word and seeks to present it in a way that is accurate, comprehensible, and challenging to all who listen with open hearts and minds. He uses the right amount of humor and personal illustrations to demonstrate that he has sufficiently wrestled with the truth in his own life.
We were able to discuss how God brought us together, to work together, but how our plans turned out to be significantly different from God's plan for the year that we worked together.
He listened to me patiently and graciuosly as I gave him my unsolicited advice (Truthfully, the advice that I gave him originally came from his own mouth to me, and I simply took the opportunity to put it back in his court!) - to seek God's vision for Canaan - not to be limited by what we know we can do, by what we know we can afford. Let's ask: God, what do you want us to be and do? We know you have the resources. We know You will provide. Your resources are limitless! (Think about how God sent the Israelites away from Egypt with all of the treasure amassed by this pagan nation,) What can we do to fulfill your plan for our church? Yes, God, You are sovereign and You will have Your way - but we have a responsibility to do our part to see that Your will be done. His sovereignty. Our responsibility. Both are important.
If I had time, I would write a book about my weekly discussions with Pastor Matt. A Tuesdays with Morrie kind of thing. He encourages me to live each moment I have here on earth for the glory of God, yet reassures me that all will be well when I am gone.
Pastor Matt is a man after God's own heart. He is not perfect. But he loves God. He loves the Word of God and seeks to follow it. He loves his family. And he loves the people that God has placed under his care.
Pastor Matt is everything I had hoped to be as a pastor. It was a great blessing for me to serve alongside him for a year. And I know that we will, one day soon, be worshiping our Great God and Savior together - with all the other saints - for eternity! Come, Lord Jesus!
Later in the afternoon, I had a nice visit from Phil and Debbie Thompson. They dropped by a wonderful meal prepared by Phil's mother, Martha. Debbie has been such a great help and encourager during this time. From fresh-baked rolls, to encouraging e-mails, to acts of kindness of which I am not even aware - but God knows! - she has humbly served our family in so many ways.
Phil is a quiet, humble man of God. He seeks to please God, but never in a way that draws attention to himself. Yesterday, as he prayed for me and for my family, his love for us was genuine, his compassion was evident. Thank you, Phil.
For those of you who read this blog regularly, please know that I am not intentionally singling out certain persons for the purpose of puffing them up or setting them above others who God has used to encourage us. Many, many people have been used by God in this way. At the same time, I do not want to downplay the importance of these dear friends I mention. I simply want others to know, that in these times of uncertainty, God provides fellow believers to encourage and refresh us. All of us should be ready to serve our Great God in this way.
Yesterday evening, after dinner and a healthy second bowl of MCCIC - I shared a bowl with Pastor Matt earlier in the afternoon (just another example of the kind of sacrifices my friends make for me) - I reviewed science notes and Bible notes with my daughter, and I reviewed K-5 and AWANA work with my younger son.
I had a short telephone conversation with Jamie Woodall, but we were both too tired to go very deep.
I am not sure what time I fell asleep, but I slept well.
When I first looked at the clock this morning, it was 5:45 a. I took my first dose of pain medication at 6a.
It is now 8:30 a. All of the children came in to see me before leaving for school - the younger ones were all dressed for Pilgrim Day. The children saying good-bye in the morning and watching them cross the (septic) mound on their way to board the bus is one of the highlights of my day.
Reading 1 Corinthians 13 this morning, I got caught on the final verse, verse 13 . . .
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.
Love is the key virtue of God. Love is the key virtue of all who claim to know and follow Christ.
John MacArthur says:
Heaven will be the place for the expression of nothing but perfect love toward God and each other.
1 Corinthians 14:1 begins with the command to pursue love.
A good goal for this day: pursue love.