Bless you; hardships.

“Seek good, not evil, that you may live.  Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is.  Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.  Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.” Amos 5:14-15 

Back in the day I led a video series titled ‘Doing the right thing’ that was hosted by Chuck Colson and Robert George.  Mr. Colson talked about his time spent in prison and said ‘bless you prison, for it was there that I learned to see justice in the way that Amos and Micah and Jeremiah saw it.’  There are many times that I think that way about the time I spent in Haiti, as it was such a blessing through many hardships that molded me into seeing the lives of their children, and the importance of their lives in the way I should view them. 

When you look at this young child who attends the Lutheran school at Bois Marchand guarding his plate of rice and beans you may focus on that food, his face and the empty spoon that is preparing to plunge into the meal for the day.  You don’t see the uneven dirt floor in their school.  You don’t realize that on this day it was over 100 degrees at 11:30 in the morning.  You don’t know that there is not electricity or a well at this school.  You cannot know how far the cooks had to carry their buckets of water so they could prepare the meal today over an open fire.  You don’t know where he lives in Gonaives.  So many things you cannot appreciate about this photo without having been there, lived there and walked in his shoes.  See good, not evil.  Stay in His Word and not in the lies of this world.  Thank you for feeding this child…His child.  The original hymn ‘Let me be Thine forever’ was written by Nikolaus Sclnecker in 1572 and stanza 2 and 3 were added in 1688 by an unknown author and today’s message will close with this hymn. 

“Let me be Thine forever, Thou faithful God and Lord; let me forsake Thee never nor wander from Thy Word.  Lord, do not let me waver, but give me steadfastness, and for such grace forever Thy holy name I'll bless.  Lord Jesus, my Salvation, my Light, my Life divine, my only Consolation; Oh, make me wholly Thine!  For Thou hast dearly bought me with blood and bitter pain.  Let me, since Thou hast sought me, eternal life obtain.  And Thou, O Holy Spirit, my Comforter and Guide, grant that in Jesus' merit I always may confide, Him to the end confessing Whom I have known by faith.  Give me Thy constant blessing and grant a Christian death.” 

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