Walking in the truth

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. — 3 John 4

Every Friday, a group of men from my church get up early (earlier for some than others!) to have coffee at a local coffee shop and talk about a portion of scripture. My pastor, Scott Friesen, is there to guide the discussion, but it is by far from a one-man show. There have many fruitful times of mining the word together, finding what is there and discovering other things we may have missed. It is a blessing to be with a group of men who have a love for the Word.

This Friday we looked at 3 John together. It is such a small book that it may seem obvious what is there and maybe not be a ripe field for harvesting. However, we had rich discussion about things like showing hospitality to workers in the word, the danger of false teachers within the church and the desiribility of a good reputation as a believer.

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Christmas cards

How many of you have sent out Christmas cards/newsletters this year? We are not regular in this tradition and I know it doesn’t always sit well with my wife. So this year we actually had our family portrait taken and picture cards made. We also composed a letter to summarize our year and send along with the photos.

My contention is that these types of correspondence are so formal that they almost have no meaning other than saying “hi” via a letter or card. Maybe I’m too cynical and I need to change my attitude. After all, saying “hi” is better than not saying anything. My problem is that I want to say more than space will reasonably allow and then I feel like no one really cares about all my news anyway. That’s called being a self editor and it can really stand in the way of being a decent friend if you let it get out of hand.

So, even though the new year is still a few weeks away, I resolve to change my ways regarding corresponding and instead be more sharing. That means not waiting for Christmas to actually sit down a write a letter to someone (not just e-mail) who I haven’t heard from or spoken to in awhile.

And, to keep this from being just about me, a good way to start is to find out an address of a missionary your church supports and write that person a letter. While this might seem like a daunting task, remember this: Just a short note saying you’re praying for them or even thinking about them goes a long way.

Taking hold of hope

John Piper writes at Desiring God about John Newton and how he ministered to those who struggled with depression. Newton, some of you may recall, is best known for writing “Amazing Grace.” It is through his own experience and the grace he found through Jesus Christ that he was a great encouragement to many. I would encourage you to spend a few minutes reading about this man’s great testimony to God’s love.

I have experienced dark seasons and know what it feels like. But, because of God’s goodness, I have found relief in scriptures like II Corinthians 7:6 and reading about the lives of saints like John Newton, David Brainerd and countless other who struggled with depression. But it not good enough to be comforted in myself and be done with it. For that reason, I have decided to share some of the good things I have found in order to help others, like myself, who are fighting this battle.

Here’s to your health and God’s goodness.