“For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus as His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
Ok, first things first, I need to do a little happy dance and celebrate. Just like my daughter whose first words this morning were sleepily, “four more days until my birthday”. My first words to you today are, “ten more days until I’ve read through the entire Bible!!!!!” I have been wanting to and trying to do this my entire life and I’ve never done it. I dedicated the last two and a half years of my life to reading through the Bible Alphabetically in a year and in TEN SHORT DAYS I will have done it!!!!! But I haven’t done it alone. I NEVER could have done it without you guys! Knowing that you’re reading and keeping track of my progress keeps me on track and making progress. You inspire me to do my best and be my best, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me! Thank you, from the uttermost depths of my soul, thank you for joining me on this journey! You may not have read the Bible with me, you may not have made it through all my thousand plus words of blogging, but you’re there and that makes such a huge difference for me! You have no idea! YOU are so important to me. Having someone to talk to along this path has kept me from going insane. You’ve helped me process all the massive amounts of information I’ve been blessed with along the way.
Oh, and fear not, just because I will be “done” with reading through the Bible doesn’t mean I’m DONE reading through the Bible and blogging about it. No, this is just the beginning. There was a time when I toyed with the idea of putting it all down and being DONE, but I know that there’s simply no way that I can. Helping others is the best way to help yourself. You’ve kept me from spiraling into a lonely depression on many occasions. Your presence on the other end of this line has kept me from giving it all up and calling it quits on doing my daily reading.
No, there’s no way that I can give up breathing, this – reading through the Bible every day and then writing about it – this is my oxygen mask. It’s the air that I breathe to keep me going through serving my family and the long lines of customers I serve at our local Dollar General store*. It’s funny, I feel very much like a bar tender there. As I ask how their day is going, 95% of the time they actually tell me! In fact there’s one lady, we’ll call her “June”, her situation could really use our prayers at the moment. Her husband is “shacking up” with his pregnant mistress in a TENT right now. L And every time this lady comes in she has to tell me about how it’s going. She has a desperate need to take care of him, even though he’s shattered her heart. She loves him, pregnant mistress and all. It’s honestly beautiful and sad all at the same time. Pray for them, they ALL need Jesus.
Then there’s another of my regulars who is, by far, one of my biggest supporters. He found me in the Hamilton County Reporter (which you can subscribe to online here). He came in and told me yesterday that he cut out the piece I wrote on the Holy Spirit (he doesn’t know I’ve written about the Holy Spirit more times than I can count). He said he keeps it in his Bible and prays the prayer every morning before his devotions.
My God is too good to me friends. He’s given me multiple platforms from which to speak at the exact same moment, the exact same message of His love and Grace and forgiveness. Several years ago, shortly after, or maybe it was before, accepting my call into ministry God led me through His word and taught me about death. We take nothing with us, nothing except the memories of this life and the people we’ve brought to Christ. Today’s verse was part of that Word Search. “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”
My friends, I may never have met you in person or shaken your hand. I may never have laid eyes on your face, but that doesn’t mean that you mean nothing to me. You are my hope and joy and crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming. As I believe I am yours. It has been so easy for me to feel like this is a one-sided relationship since so many of you don’t comment or talk back when you read. But I’ve got enough of you out there commenting, either here or elsewhere, letting me know that you’re out there and that you are following along. Just knowing you’re there pushes me forward, striving toward the goal, continuing on in the race of life. YOU mean the world to me! You’ve helped me do something I’ve been trying to accomplish my entire life and have failed, until I had YOU to help me. Thank you ever so much for being here and silently cheering me on to the finish line!
Ten more days my friends. Then I take a celebratory rest and start all over again. And I can hardly wait!!!!!
*Thinking of YOU Aunt Cynthia! I wanted to call, or even email, but I simply don’t have time at the moment. Things have been CRAZY busy! But I would really love to call you soon!!!!! How about we both pray for it and God will help us coordinate the time. J I love you!!!!