It's Sunday again in Walter Johnson Park. When we got up this morning, it was .... COLD! We even saw a few flecks of snow. But the weather did not stop these wonderful folks from coming together to worship our Heavenly Father.
Bob & Mary were the first to arrive.
Joel, Linda, Don and Tom. Anita came all bundled up. Jorine braves the cold wind. Isn't this a great looking bunch of folks!?! (same bunch from the other corner of the room :-) The word from the Lord this morning was found in James 5:7-11 and Don titled it "Patient Endurance." Now, Don was quick to let them know that this sermon was more for himself than probably anyone else in the room... he thinks he's not very patient.
Verse 7: "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
Verse 8: You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Verse 9: Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door."
We live in a microwave mentality society, so what's the reward for patience? 1) Spiritual maturity and 2) strength to endure the growing, maturing process. For an example Don used different plants to illustrate how we gain strength. The oak tree has roots that grow very deep, stabilizing the tree. On the other hand, the huge redwood trees have very shallow roots systems, but they grow in a forest and the roots of all the trees grow and intertwine together giving stability to the tall trees. They need each other.
What is our motivation for patience? Example: What is the motivation for working a job? 1) payday and 2) the last day or retirement. As we patiently wait for the return of Jesus (v.8) our hearts are strengthened by the hope we have in His return. There will be a payday (rewards) and there will be a last day on this earth (His return) when pain, dying, good-byes, sin and temptation are no longer something we will have to endure. That's motivation to be patient! Absent from this world and all it's problems, present with the Lord Jesus Christ. We can only have that hope of His return if we have opened the "door of our hearts" when He knocks; "strengthen your heart"(v.8) by opening the door of your heart to Him.
In verse 9 we find the spirit of patience is peace. Peace reigns among believers when we love one another and get along, when we are patient with each other.
[This is from my notes. Maybe, I should use Don's notes. :-)]
OK, I have to tell you... when your sitting in the room where we have church, you don't really notice THOSE WALLS! But they sure do GLOW in these pictures.
I'm compelled to brag on this group of workampers. Don found a couple of ladies in town who were doing an "Adopt a Grandparent for Christmas" project so he called and asked if our "church" could participate. They were delighted and surprised that strangers from outside there town would want to be a part of bringing a little happiness to those in nursing homes. Really? We want to give something back to the communities we are in as well as gain something. Anyway, our group was very generous and tomorrow we will give $460 to the two ladies to purchase soothing hand lotion and energizing foot cream to give to the nursing home residents here in Coffeyville. The project coordinators will purchase, wrap and deliver these gifts and anyone who wants may go with them to deliver the gifts. I have made name tags so the recipients will know who their gift is from and where we are staying & working.
God is so good and provides for all our needs. This life of faith is so exciting. How do you describe watching things happen and you KNOW that it's only God at work on your behalf? Awesome! Wonderful! Humbling. Exciting. And He does it again and again. Wow! I love this life. I love this ministry. I love being a partner with Don in this ministry.
To those of you who are supporting us on a regular basis, we are so grateful for you and we thank you. May God continue to bless you more than you could ever imagine.