Dear Praying Friend – Follow Up

Dear Friends,

 

I wanted to write back and thank the many of you who responded to my prayer letter of a few weeks ago.

The feedback was kind and helpful. And I thank all of you who said a prayer for me. Interestingly the one item that seemed to inspire the most feedback was that of exercise. “Joel, you need to commit to exercise” has come through loud and clear from many angles.

The second most significant feedback regarded my desire to be faithful in my Bible reading and prayer using the Saint James Daily Devotional Guide for structure.

Sunday is October 1, and (even though I have an exercise appointment with a friend in the morning – hurray!) the beginning of the last quarter of this year, 2006. I want to make two commitments in this last quarter: no matter what else I do or don’t do each day I will exercise, and also I will spend the time needed to prayerfully make my way through the St. James Devotional Guide. You can pray for God’s strength for me to do that. I will have to shake a few priorities around, miss a few TV shows, but I should not suffer too much! I am hoping that I can combine the exercise with spending good time with people, and thus not have it always be an either/or decision.

The other matter regarded the worry, the little pit in the stomach, that I have sometimes felt for my family and our church….The really really good news is that Covenant Fellowship is doctrinally sound, has God honoring worship, solid united leadership, a strong financial base, and very active committed members. Many many lives are being touched in and through the people of this small church. Several of you have reminded me of the journey we’ve had along the way, God’s faithfulness in times past, His call upon me ratified over and over, and have urged me to stay focused on the essential matters, pray and trust. I have heard you. Sounds sort of like Philippians 4:4-7 doesn’t it. And the Lord’s Prayer.

As time goes on, it is still true, we will have need of new people to come for many reasons – for our encouragement as are given the chance to minister to new people, for the gifts they bring to us, for ministry reinforcement, and yes, even for financial base.

I hope you will keep praying for God’s provision of that. At the same time way too many good things are happening for me to have any right to feel discouraged. The new sermon series in Hebrews is a great blessing. If you want to follow along you can look at the outlines, found here. And so, I will go back to the basics, to the Scriptures above, and to Psalm 37.3-4:

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Trust.

Do good.

Dwell in the land (in Christ)

Delight in the Lord. Wait for Him to provide your heart’s desires, which of course, are themselves defined and determined by our delight in Him. Sounds like a godly way of life. So, I just wanted to say thank you to all who read, prayed, or responded to my e-letter. It means a lot to me to know I am not floating alone. I look forward to what the future holds and will devote myself to the most important things, trusting God for my and our needs. In Christ, Joel

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