Tomorrow (May 3rd) a week of service and outreach begins in Grenoble. Over 100 young people from Grenoble, other parts of France and the States will come together to proclaim the love of God in word and deed.
We are all involved. Pascal and Juliet will be among the young people. Sylvie and I will help out as needed. There will be two days of preparation (Saturday and Sunday) then four days of service projects and concerts.
Pray that many will hear about the saving love of Jesus Christ and turn to him. Remember all those who are serving, praying for boldness and safety.
One of the activities during the week will be a children's club for the Roma. We thank God for the ways he is raising up young people to care for these dear ones. On Monday evening (May 5th) Pascal will sing 6 of his compositions. He is joined by 5 other musiciens. Juliet will be one of the back-up singers. This morning I read about King David commissioning Asaph and his brothers to give praise to the Lord. We thank God that he has given this grace to Pascal.
If you are on Facebook you can find information about the week at Bouge ta ville, Grenoble or you can click on the image below...
Recent events have got me thinking about this... It is perilous to write about yourself. I look back at differenet events of my life and I know that they way I describe them today is nothing like I would have described them 5 years ago.
It is God's great pleasure to transform us into the image of Christ or to form Christ in us. Nearly 4 years ago God started something new in my life and I have experienced a radical reset in my life as a disciple. He graciously revealed things about myself that I had ignored up to that point. This produced greater peace in my life. It has humbled me. It has allowed me to proclaim with Paul, "For to me to live is Christ". There are times when I wonder how I lived before. I also wonder how people put up with me. I'm thankful for the grace that was extended to me.
The changes also made me rethink my relationship to those who support us... It has freed me up to be thankful. I saw how my lack of thankfulness and my assumption that people would support us financially stemmed from a sense of entitlement. As if somehow I deserved it. How lost I was.
It also made me realize that relationship we have is a type of covenant. Something that binds us together that is deeper than friendship. We are fellow workers for the sake of the Gospel. What an immense privilege and blessing.
I thank God for this grace. I thank him that he has opened my eyes to the beauty of this fellowship for the sake of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I will at times ask myself "Why are you doing this?" Then there will be days like last Sunday (May 26)... In the photo you see my running partner Henri Andriamanantena. Henri is more than a running pattern he is my faithful friend and brother in Christ.
Yesterday we went for a run and the whole time we were together was spent praising God and talking of his goodness.
One of the reasons I run is to spend time with Henri. Henri was an elder at the CEP when we arrived over 12 years ago. Over the years our friendship has grown.We have served as elders and together we have laughed and cried on so many occassions.
For both of us running symbolizes so much of what our faith is about, endurance, results that get better over time, managing pain, developing good habits...
So in the end I do know what it is about. It is just one thing that points to something greater. It is one thing that brings to brothers together.
There's one other thing that it symbolizes, we won't always run together, schedules don't mesh, work commitments, even the reality that one day we may move away. We know that in this life there will be many separations, many good byes. One day this will all pass. One day we'll be together forever in our Lord's presence.
So we keep in mind the fragility of the moment and the hope of an eternity with Christ. We thank God for each steps that we can take together.
A rotary phone, white pages and yellow pages. When was the last time I saw these? While they may seem old and quiant they still work. You need a number, look it up. Same with the phone. It was always a little tricky to make sure you turned the dial just right.
A metaphore for something in our lives? Probably. But on a Saturday afternoon I don't have too many great thoughts. Just the nice glow of a nostalgic picture.
I shared a meal with a brother in Christ today. We eat together once or twice a year and we've been doing this for nearly ten years. What a joy it is to see the life of Christ grow and develop in each of us. It reminded me of many of the things I read in Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book "Life Together".
Here's one quote...
“What determines our brotherhood is what that man is by reason of Christ. Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us. This is true not merely at the beginning, as though in the course of time something else were to be added to our community; it remains so for all the future and to all eternity. I have community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ. The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, for eternity.”