Winter is coming.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

Remember back in the day when you had the joyful energy of these three students from the Lutheran school in Ouanaminthe?  Remember what it was like in the springtime of your journey?  It is winter in Illinois and it happened so quickly; sixty six spans of seasons have come and gone.  Where did they go?  What is left?  I remember seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like; but, here it is…winter in Illinois.  This I do know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know; that when it's over on this earth it's NOT over.  A new season is awaiting me and all the Saints in Heaven.  Until that day does come, I will continue to support a Trinity/HOPE feeding  program for children in Haiti.  And, if you're not in your winter yet let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think.  Don’t be left outside knocking on the door when the bridegroom calls.  Please prayerfully consider joining me and others supporting Trinity/HOPE through the Matthew 25 Project today and feed a bunch of kids in Les Cayes.  I am closing this day with the words from the hymn ‘For All the Saints’ that were written by William W. How in 1864.

“For all the saints who from their labors rest, who Thee by faith before the world confess, Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest, Alleluia! Alleluia!  Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might; Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight; Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.  Alleluia! Alleluia!  Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold, fight as the saints who nobly fought of old and win with them the victor's crown of gold. Alleluia! Alleluia!  O blest communion, fellowship divine, we feebly struggle, they in glory shine; yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.  Alleluia! Alleluia!  And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long, steals on the ear the distant triumph song, and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.  Alleluia! Alleluia!  But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day; the saints triumphant rise in bright array; the King of Glory passes on His way.  Alleluia! Alleluia!  From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast, through gates of pearl streams in the countless host, singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia! Alleluia!  The golden evening brightens in the west; soon, soon, to faithful warriors cometh rest.  Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.  Alleluia! Alleluia!”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay