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E-gram March 18, 2015

It is rare for me to have a Saturday at home. And yet, and I'd like to think by God's grace, I will have had three out of the last four. Yes, there was a little yard work. Yes, I slept in until at least 5:30 am. Yes, we had a couple of visitors. But the most important item, and where I most deeply sense God's grace, is the time it granted to make some arrangements and adaptations as we are now fully into a new stage of Lorie's health battle. One out of every three weeks is pretty intense and it completely changes the rhythms of our life and the way we arrange resources to be available when needed. Lorie and I have been afforded the opportunity to get it done and to be ready to face what comes next and for however long it lasts.

I would not wish this on anyone and yet it is beautiful in its own way. I most appreciate the perspective on life that it provides --- a profound ability not to sweat the small stuff.

I so wish that gift on all of you, and so celebrate it when that gift is on display among you. It is a small thing to have an unexpected bill. It is a small thing to sing one more verse of a hymn that you would care to if you were the song leader. It is a small thing when your child experiences a conflict with your neighbor's child. It is a small thing for your car door to get dented. It is a small thing for the price of milk to go up by a dime a gallon. It is a small thing for your congregation to be without a pastor this long and yet to experience worship, community growth and heightened care as new leaders emerge and find their legs. What a long list could be written of these small things that we make large, monumental, life-changing and immense. In fact, they are not!

What is large and monumental and life changing is the battle for souls. That which would maim, destroy, ruin, steal, rape, pillage; that which would steer one's soul away from life that God creates us for. That is what we compete against and what we lose sight of when we let a slightly cold dish at a restaurant ruin our dining experience with family and friends. And may I suggest that it is this distorted perspective on our part that actually contributes to our enemy's capacity to steer souls away from the life that God creates us for? Not just our own life, but all those within earshot of our whining.

God is up to something and it is not a secret-the redemption of the world. Followers of Christ, like us, are tools God wishes to use. I believe the journey Lorie and I are on, and that the journey you are on, makes us tools sharpened for the task.

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