July 6, 2014
Sunday, 3:00 p.m.
Letter #338: End-Time Goals
There’s nothing quite like an invigorating Sunday morning church service when it comes to motivating me to “press on” and “fight the good fight.” Normally.
The combination of beautiful music sung by changed and changing hearts and the precious Word of God brought in unique fashion usually winds my crank and energizes me for the week ahead. Today, however, a dear friend of mine spoke on Revelation chapter eight, all about the end of days and the tribulation period to come.
The topic itself would have been motivation enough, but the poor guy tried unsuccessfully to cram over sixty pages of notes into his rambling dissertation. I took voracious notes and kept up with him, but it was impossible to follow his consistently derailed trains of thought as he put each of us, his listeners, through several speaking disasters that had me hoping for the rapture like never before.
To add to the torture, at one point he described in vivid, acted-out detail a pizza commercial he’d seen on television. Two, then three long minutes ticked by as he made the pizza in front of us all, baked it, sliced it, and ate it. He was lost in the wonder of it all, completely forgetting the point he was trying to make. My stomach felt like the Bottomless Pit by the end of all that.
My application of the message is to be prepared. Not in the whole Doomsday Preppers sort of way, hoarding food and water to live through the impending disasters, but quite the opposite, in fact. We should be prepared in our hearts, living rightly before God, giving the Bread of Life and Living Water away to a world in need, ready to lay down our very lives for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom. The day is fast approaching, and we shouldn’t lull ourselves to sleep with the ease and comforts this life affords, but be ready to reach out to a world in desperate need of God.
July 1st, I finished my recent read-through of the Bible, taking a leisurely year to complete it this round; my seventh or eighth read since I began my prison term. I’ve set new goals for this month, getting me back on track with several priorities I’d let slide in recent months. I’m renewing my goal of memorizing Scripture every day, reading the Bible in six months, praying for each of you who are on my prayer list, and other spiritual disciplines including regularly witnessing to those who don’ know God.
My focus on preparing Joe—for his walk with God, for release from prison, etc.—consumed much of my time the first six months of the year. But, not surprisingly, it took me getting MUCH busier, thanks to being placed in construction class, for me to get serious about my overall goals. In so doing, I found a way to get everything done that I need to, and it is nothing new: I make time for my spiritual well-being, investing in my time with God, and I find time for everything else. In fact, the only things I don’t have time for are worthless, anyway.
I mention these things (my goals and schedule) not to bore you or to make me appear to be spiritual. Ha! No, but the very opposite: I’m starting afresh, hitting the reset button and striving to do my best, going forward to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. He has made it possible for me to be a child of God, and it is God’s love that motivates me to express my love back to Him, despite my inadequacies.
I know you pray for me, so it is always my desire to stay transparent with you, no matter what. Please see this next phase as an opportunity for me to grow spiritually, and pray for me accordingly.
Thank you for your love and consistent support of me. Now go eat a pizza before it is too late.