Welcome, 2019

… for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Mat. 5:45

On this particular day, 1st January 2019, I feel a great sense of thanksgiving to God. The reason for this is because I feel He has been overly gracious to me. I can plainly say that during the last year, I cannot put myself anywhere near those who have been “good” and “just”. I have not only not done many things that I ought to have done; but I have also done things that I ought not to have done. And yet, come the year 2019, and I can clearly hear God whispering in my ear, “I love you.”

In Psalms 51:10-13, David wrote:

“10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”

After David had confessed his sin, he was given the chance to start doing anew what he loved doing best: teaching transgressors the ways of the Lord, and converting people to the Lord.

I feel forgiven, re-born, and ready to start anew. It is a difficult mountain to climb, this way of the cross. But through His Holy Spirit the Lord gives us a love for such a challenge. I cannot comprehend the joy that awaits me as I return again to the place of restoration, and to serving the Lord wholeheartedly.

It is therefore with a deep sense of thanksgiving  that I welcome the year 2019.

[I kick off this year with my favorite song]

A Sad Occurrence

Those of my readers who read my post, “Not A Spot of Unforgiveness” were most likely captivated by the captioned picture of the girl with a stunning gaze that I put at the end of the post. Well, I just received news that one of this dear girl’s elder male siblings passed away.

The members of this family are members of our church in Musoma, and they are an extremely lovely family. I had visited with them and I was struck by the distance they have to walk to come to church. But they never miss a service, even the mid-week ones. This is one family that has taught me that the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Mat. 11:12).

This family has always been on my heart, and after hearing the sad news I knew I had to pay tribute to the little boy who went to be with the Lord (for he died in the Lord), and to this very courageous family.

May the Lord remember them! May He bless them! May His face shine upon them evermore!

[Below: A few pictures of this very special family]

Here, the mother and two of her children (there are 3 more, one of whom has gone to be with the Lord)

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The road leading from their home to distant church… but they never miss a service!