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Thank you, Citizens of Illinois!


What same-sex marriage advocates won in the Illinois Senate on Valentine’s Day 2013 was just reversed. After weeks and months of hard work to accomplish what should have been easy, gay Democrat sponsor Greg Harris could not muster the votes, while Democratic Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, did not even call for a vote to establish same sex marriage in Illinois.

“Today a broad grassroots coalition of Illinois families of Faith of all creeds and colors took on all the Illinois political bosses from Washington to the Governor’s Mansion to Chicago’s City Hall who tried to pay back the homosexual community for their political support,” said Paul Caprio, Spokesman for the Coalition to Protect Children & Marriage.

Throughout the day, same-sex marriage proponents hammered the Speaker relentlessly, threatening to withhold support for his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a gubernatorial hopeful.

Equality Illinois and other groups brought in celebrities and generated thousands of phone calls. Governor Pat Quinn pushed hard, purportedly offering back room deals to members of the Black Caucus. But under the leadership of former Democrat Senator the Reverend James Meeks and Bishop Lance Davis, black legislators pushed back.

Representative Monique Davis, when asked by the Sun Times if same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue, said, “Have they ever hung from trees? Were they ever slaves for 500 years? Then I don’t think so.”

“I don’t think (the issues are) equal… simple as that,” she explained. “African-American people have the same right to be conservative on issues that everybody else has.”

With Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Obama advisor David Axelrod, Republican State Chairman Pat Brady, Republican Senator Mark Kirk, the Chicago media, and hometown favorite President Barack Obama lobbying hard for the measure, it was a stunning defeat.

The battle in Illinois began just before Christmas 2012, when same-sex marriage activists moved to call a vote during the holidays. Twelve family groups quickly formed the “Coalition to Protect Children & Families.” In an unprecedented act of cooperation, the Illinois Family Institute rallied thousands to the capitol and Family PAC made over 600,000 calls into legislative districts.

While pastors held breakfasts, the National Organization for Marriage gave financial support and provided expert testimony in Springfield with Dr. Jennifer Rohrbach Morse on the troubling side of same-sex marriage. Cardinal Francis George wrote and spoke with conviction against the proposal, as did Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield. Churches rallied and, in spite of the odds, to the surprise of Chicago media and the much better resourced gay gobby, pro-traditional family forces stopped the vote.

In the end, it came down to enormous pressure on twenty black Democratic legislators “I think after President Obama came out as a supporter of equal marriage there was a belief that it would be a no-brainer,” Representative Christian Mitchell said. “But I don’t think folks properly understood the influence and role of the church as it relates to African-American politics.”

Illinois is the first state to stop the gay marriage momentum since North Carolina in 2012.

A “December” Bride


elderly-couple-in-love        It is not good for man to be alone, I will make   him a help meet.

Recently an older couple in my church, in their 70’s were married.  They had become fond of each other and enjoyed the times that they spent together.  Both had been single for several years and welcomed the companionship that marriage afforded them.   This  brought to mind a television show many years ago titled “December Bride”, a story of a couple in their golden years who got married.

In doing a brief reasearch, I was surprised to discover that the percentage of couples over 60 who are marrying is rapidly increasing. This  could be attributed to the fact that people are living longer.  Evidence of health and emotional benefits  of a loving union have created new  possibilities for marriage late in life.   Although love and attraction entered into the equation, it was the need for companionship that sealed the desire to marry.   One gentleman in his 90’s shared that his 70 year old bride  built him up ,changed his life and  gave him a  purpose in life.  He further stated that they had a wonderful reason to marry in that they were both lonely.

Spiritual:  The Scriptures do state that it is not good for man to be alone and this is why God created Eve for Adam.  She was to be his help meet as they served the Lord together.  In Church ministries there are opportunities afforded married couples to serve that are not necessarily open to a single person.  Granted, many opportunities are available for singles to serve but many of these can be enhanced by a married couple.  The prayer life of a man and wife is compounded by the fact that the Lord states that where two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am also.  A man and his wife can encourage each other in the Lord and enjoy immeasurable blessings that otherwise would not be attained as being single.

Older Christian couples seem to have more quality time to spend in prayer, reading scripture and going on visitation.  Serving the Lord and making Jesus the center of your home must be the most important part of deciding to marry.  Thus, we understand the imperative need to make certain that any marriage proposal be the will of God in life of both the man and the lady.

Health:  Research has indicated that older unmarried folk seem to have more ailments than those who are married.  They are at a greater risk for a shorter life span being at particularly at risk for cardiovascular disease.   A lack of a consistent nutritional diet, depression and decrease in physical activity most likely act as a catalyst in bringing on heart disease.  In addition, an emotional, mental and intimate relationship with a spouse can release stress which is a major contributing cause of chronic ailments at any age.

Emotional:  Possibly the most detrimental aliment of an older single person is depression.  Having worked in several long term facilities during my Nursing Career, it was one of the most prominent issues faced by the residents.  Those who had regular visits from family members were as not as susceptible.  So often many of these dear folk have almost forgotten how to smile.  Laughter is a part of their distant past.  Perhaps this is one reason older single people become so attached to their pets.  These little critters provide companionship, love, and joy in the everyday life.  In any case it does not take the place of a healthy relationship with a caring spouse/

Sharing joys and sorrows with another is conducive to emotional stability.  A married couple can often experience a peace of mind that is often lacking in older single people.  Having someone who daily shows by word or action that they care is so comforting.  The mere presence of another human on a consistent basis instills a peace that is unmeasurable.  Have you considered what the effect a wink from a husband has on his wife?

Mental:  The Lord  allowed me the blessing of taking care of a dear sweet friend who was stricken with Alzheimer’s.  One of the most important interventions with this type of patient is to consistently stimulate their mind.  Repetitive comments, rehearsing past accomplishments, and music are effective tools to implement in the care of folks with dementia.  Consider that if these things can minimize the deterioration in mental awareness, how much more needful are they in the lives of all older folks.   I recommend to all of my friends who are Senior Saints to do crossword puzzles, wordfinds and reading to keep the mind alert.

Within  the confines of a marriage, the mind is continually being stimulated as each spouse contemplates how they can best meet the needs of each other.  For him it is often little things like warming up the car for her, carrying in groceries, sharing a funny story or even a blessing from the Bible, that keep his mind active and sharp.  For her there is the meal planning of his favorite foods, making sure his tie is straight, giving him a back rub before bed that help her mentation to remain within normal.  I have learned that older married couples fare much better mentally than those who are alone in their ‘golden’ years.  It has been documented that married people are more likely to have better mental health than the unmarried and for the Christian couple, studying and memorizing God’s word together is a great enhancement of mental stability.

Intimacy :  Older folk are not immune to intimate sexual fantasies.  Because of the sensitivity of the subject I prefer not to dwell upon the obvious nature of this subject except to say that people who marry in old age will find a way to do that which comes naturally.  God blessed the marriage bed and he intended that man should enjoy it to the fullest.  What is often missed within a physical relationship is the mere touching of the arm, or the gentle kiss on the cheek.  Think for a moment of those touches that are enjoyed so much by a child, the cuddling, the snuggling, and the hugging…………these acts are needful by folk of all ages.  The problem evolves when they are performed outside the protection of the marriage license.  unlike children, adults are intimately stimulated by any form of physical touching.  There is a verse in the Bible that states that it is better to marry than to burn.  It is not wise to marry just for physical attraction, lust never leads to a good relationship.

Other factors may need to be taken into consideration that would have an affect on a “December” type marriage such as family, finances and future goals.  Although unmarried  people are generally worse off financially, this factor alone should not be a reason for getting married at any age.

The basic fundamental truth is that if the union of a man and a lady is the will of the Lord, all of these things will work out for the Glory of the Lord and the good of the couple.

The Saving of the Marriage


7196060-a-couple-at-odds-with-each-otherDear Readers. The following is not an original composition of my making.  It was posted on Facebook by a friend.  The story and the message is of such importance that I felt led to share it with you.  As I finished reading the article tears were streaming down my cheeks.  May you be blessed also!

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said “I’ve something to tell you.”  She sat down and ate quietly.  I observed the hurt in her eyes. I didn’t know how to  open my mouth.  But I had to let her know what I was thinking.  “I want a divorce”.  I raised the topic calmly.  She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “why?’

I avoided her question.  This made her angry.  She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “you are not a man!”  That night we did not talk to each other.  She was weeping.  I know she wanted to find out what happened to our marriage.  But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer;  she had lost my heart to Jane.  I didn’t love her anymore.  I just pitied her.

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she would own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.  She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces.  The woman who had spent ten years of he life with me had become a stranger.  I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly.  Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see.  To me her cry was actually a sense of release.  The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table.  I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.  When I woke up she was still there at the table writing.  I didn’t care so I turned over and went to asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions; she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.  She requested that one month we struggle to love as normal as possible.  Her reason was simple:  our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me.  But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.  She requested that each day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning.  I thought she was going crazy.  Just to made our last days bearable I accepted her odd request.I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions.  She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd.  No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed.  So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy.  Our son clapped behind us, Daddy is holding Mommy in his arms.  His words brought a sense of pain.  From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked with her in my arms.  She closed her eyes and said softly; “Don’t tell our son about the divorce.  I nodded, feeling somewhat upset.

On the second day, both of us acted much more at ease.  She leaned on my chest.  I could smell the fragrance of her blouse.  I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time, she was not a young woman anymore.  Our marriage had taken its toll and at that moment I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her, I felt a sense of intimacy returning for this woman who had given me ten years of her life.  On the fifth and sixth days, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again.  I did not tell Jane about this.  It was becoming easier to carry my wife as the month slipped by.  Perhaps the every day workout made me stronger.  Then one morning I watched as she tried on a few dresses, she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger.  I suddenly realized that she had become so thin and that that was the reason I could carry her more easily.  I reached out and touched her head.  At that moment our son came in and said. Dad, it’s time to carry Mom out.This had become an essential part of his life.  As I held her in my arms, her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally; I held her body tightly just like on our wedding day. Her much lighter weight made me sad.  On the last day when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step.  I held her tightly and said, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.”

I drove to the office,………..jumped out of the car……..ran up the stairs .  Jane opened the door and I said to her “Sorry, Jane, I do not want a divorce anymore.”   My marriage had become boring because we did not value the details of our lives, not because we did not love each other.  Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day that I was supposed to love her till death do us part.  On the way home I stopped by a floral shoppe and bought flowers for my wife.  I hastened home, flowers in my hand, and a big smile on my face.  I ran up the stairs to our bedroom and found my wife lying in bed ……dead!  My wife had been battling cancer for months but I was so wrapped up in Jane that I hadn’t noticed.  She knew that she would die soon and wanted to spare me the negative reaction from our son if we divorced.  She wanted our son to remember me as a loving husband.

The small details of our lives are what really matter in a relationship.  It is not in the mansion, the car. the money in the bank.  These do create an environment conducive to happiness but cannot give happiness  in themselves.  So find time to be  your spouse’s friend and do those things for each other that build intimacy.  If you are not in a relationship now, remember this should you ever be blessed.

Unequally yoked with Believers!


n_36533_4  Laodcian ChurchWhoa, that is not what scripture says, or is it?  We are admonished in Scripture not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers but where does it state that we are to separate ourselves from believers.  The truth is that there are different degrees of separation, one of which includes carnal Christians.

I do not particularly like the expression ‘backslidden’.  The word itself is not mentioned in the Bible although backsliding is mentioned in Jeremiah and Hosea in reference to Israel.  Instead I prefer the phrase ‘out of fellowship with God,’ which seems to have a more convicting connotation.  True, the term backsliding has come to refer nowadays to a severed relationship with the Lord because of sin, but it does not seem to have the soul searching impact as being out of fellowship with God.  In 2 Timothy 4:10 we are told by Paul that God had separated him from Demas because the latter went the way of the world and would have been a hindrance on Paul’s ministry.  Carnal Christians are a hindrance to any ministry and/or personal relationship with Jesus.   Actually, if the truth be known, those who name the name of Christ and are living in sin usually avoid those who are seeking to walk close to the Lord.  The good apple/bad apple scenario would definitely apply in these matters of carnality.

So many times we enter into relationships that are not spiritually healthy.  I know a lady who has affections for a man who is abrasive and somewhat condescending and rude.  She is praying earnestly that the Lord would change his heart so that he would be ‘marriage’ material.  Until then, she is content to remain single. ” Wise Woman!”  A lady who is seeking to be faithful to the Lord has no business fostering a relationship with a man who has carnal tendencies. An acquaintance shared with me that her Pastor had counselled her against marrying her husband because he had a mean and angry spirit;  now she is in an unpleasant marriage of her own chosing.   Another Christian lady who was a widow became interested in a single man in her church.  She was saddened that they only had one date and earnestly prayed that the Lord would allow her to become this mans wife.  It turned out that he was smitten by another lady who lured him into a worldly church,  which indicated that he was not firm in his convictions on separation issues.   Recently I was befriended by a sweet lady who consistently dominated  the majority of our fellowship with stories of her colorful past.  It did not take my flesh long to begin competing with ‘my life was harder than your life’ stories.  Occasional reference was made to the forgiving nature of Christ and His leading in our lives but the main focus was on our own ‘woe is me’ saga.   Although it is needful at times to share pertinent information about ones past and how the Lord has lead you through trials as a testimony to God’s forgiving nature, it should be offered in caution and most certainly with a Saint who is not prone to gossip.  Gossip, this brings me to another reason to separate oneself from a Carnal Believer.

Gossip – Giving Others Self Serving Information Persuasively.  Little phrases like ‘just so you can pray more intelligently’ or We need to pray for so and so because…………………are  sometimes red flags that a request for prayer has a tainted motive.  Granted many prayers needs could be addressed in this manner, but caution must be maintained to assure that the request is legitimate.  Fellowship with a person who is prone to gossip can only lead to trouble and  it is not pleasing to the Lord.  There is so much information about other folk that we do not necessarily have a need-to-know.

The old adage that we are known by the company we keep especially applies to Christiandom.  Those who attend Catholic services are discerned as being Catholic.  Folk who frequent churches with a penchant for Pentecostalism are refered to as Pentecostal.  These are easily accepted as being religious people whom we should separate ourselves in our spiritual walk.  Some fellowships are not as recognizable as being ‘separation’ issues.  For instance, consider those churches who entertain their congregations with Christian Rock.  In my opinion this would be a worldly church, Laodicean perhaps, and it would be wrong for me to frequent their services.  In many communities across America, there are Church sponsored community activities which humanly speaking are worldly beneficial.  Whether it be political or humanitarian, it may be necessary not to participate in these activities because of the Spiritual nature of the churches involved.

We are blessed in this Nation with an abundant of churches that still preach the Gospel of Christ.  Some of these even use the KJV.  Unfortunately for some, this is where it ends.  The altar call, soul winning, visitation and preaching against sin is no longer a part of their ministry.  Like the church in Ephesus, these folk have left their first love.  Recently, I read where a man who was an elder in one of these ‘Ephesus’ churches signed himself and his wife up for dancing lessons.  I do not believe I would be spiritually fed at their church.  A church in a nearby community has become so ‘separated’ that it is nigh unto being a cult.  The man in the pulpit so micro-manages his flock that he usurps the authority of Dad’s in their home.  Children who attend the Christian School of this church are not permitted to talk to let alone fellowship with other  Christian school children.   For years I attended a church in which I did not feel comfortable.  The Lord had led me to this church when the founding father was in the pulpit.  After the Lord called him home, standards changes and I sought the Lord that he might lead me to another work, and through a set of circumstances, He did just that.   Prayerfully consider the church that you are currently attending, if it does not measure up to the Church at Philadelphia, then perhaps you might seek wisdom from God about becoming a part of another work.  Several folk in the church I attend drive a goodly distance to attend the services.

In closing, let me reassure my readers that I am not advocating separating oneself from a carnal brother or sister in the Lord as one would an unsaved person.  On the contrary, just as we are to be witnesses of the Gospel in the world, so indeed are we to live our life in such a way that a wayward one within the flock of Christ will have genuine conviction and return to the fold.  Fellowship with these folk may need to be limited, but not severed unless there is blatant sin.  We must be ever mindful to the truth that if it were not for the grace of the Lord Jesus……………thither go I!

 

Note:  Photo depicts ruins of Laodicean Church which is due to be opened to the Public in 2103.

Women in the Word – Michal


The fate of single women in Bible times was often left in the hands of the father.  Arranged marriages were commonplace and were often used as a way to obtain power, prestige or provision.  Love or romantic feelings were not considered, rather, the need of the father or the husband was the determining factor.  Sometimes there were situations where one or both of the betrothed parties actually did have affections for each other.  Although this was not the norm, our story is about a woman who was passionately in love with her promised husband.  Her life was going to be one of great joy and happiness, till death do them part.  Sadly, through the events of others, she is forced into making some choices which changed her outlook on life,  Her fairy tale existence turns into a bitter, sorrowful, lonely existence. Come with me as we learn what the Lord has to share with us, starting in 1 Samuel 14:49.

Michal was the youngest daughter of King Saul and his wife Ahinoam, from the tribe of Benjamin. Commentators record that she was very beautiful and lusted by all men who saw her.  She had an older sister, Merab, whom had originally been promised to David, but instead was given to another.  Her brother, Jonathon was a beloved friend of David.  When Saul learned that Michal loved David, he arranged for her to marry David, taking advantage of an opportunity to use her as a snare in arranging David’s death.   Saul was insanely jealous of David and saw him as a threat to his kingship.

Whether Michal was aware of her fathers deceitful plan, the Bible does not state.  Saul did not request a dowry for his daughter; instead the conniving King Saul demanded the foreskins of 100 Philistines.   Knowing that the Philistines would be somewhat reluctant to part with their foreskins, Saul knew that there would be an excellent chance that David would be killed by the hand of the enemy.   David was apparently aware of Saul’s scheme and countered the kings request by obtaining 200 foreskins.  What a despicable dowry for a kings daughter, however,  Michal was passionately in love with David, with a devotion recognized by being the only woman in the Bible who was described a loving a man.    Although Michal was excited about marrying David, the Bible does not indicate that David was in love with her; to him,  marrying Michal was too good of an opportunity to pass up.  1 Samuel 18:17-28

Michal’s emotional desire for David was not necessarily a genuine heart-felt love.  She was most assuredly infatuated with his charismatic personality and probably swooned over his good looks.  The excitement of David being a national hero which would provide political stature as well as the prestige of being married to the next king, was alluring for sure.  In the beginning it was most assuredly a storybook wedding for her.  But then life for Michal took an unanticipated detour.

Michal’s devotion to David was exemplified when she helped him escape her father’s fervent desire to have him killed.   Her loyalty to David over her father led her to help David escaped by lowering him out of the window.  She then proceeded to deceive her father by faking David to be ill.  Saul was beside himself.  His own daughter had turned against him! 1 Samuel 19: 11-17

Her beloved husband was now a fugitive.  Months passed. lonely months; perhaps years, and David had not sent for her.   She may have reasoned in her heart that her presence would be too distracting and David would be concerned for her safety.   Heartbreaking news began to arrive at the palace.  David had taken another wife, and then another one.   How devastating!  How could he?   Only a woman who has been lured into the excitement of a romance and then………………….swoosh, it’s gone, can fully understand the emotional trauma associated with such abandonment.  The emotions of love and anger consume one’s very being.

After a period of time, Saul decided to marry Michal off to Phalti, a trusted friend.  1 Samuel 25:44  It seems to have been a mutually happy arrangement and Michal’s bitterness and lingering affections for David began to fade.  Her life had stability and purpose once again………………..and once again,  another life changing event begins to take shape.

In 2 Samuel:3:13-16, David requires as part of a league agreement, that Michal be returned to him.  Having her in his harem would bolster his claim to the throne.  He sent messengers  to the house of Phaltiel to fetch her.  Michal begged to stay with her husband.    This was indeed a tear-jerking event, so much so that Michal’s husband followed the entourage, hoping to rescue his wife, but was ordered to return to his home.  Understandably, Michal was a tad bit upset.

Relations between David and Michal were strained to say the least.  It would be quite likely that she rejected any amorous advances that he made.  She was a prisoner in the harem of a man whom she despised.  One day she was watching David making what she considered to be a fool of himself. immodestly dressed in public, dancing and singing.   Some commentators believe that he even exposed himself either intentionally or unintentionally.  He was celebrating because  the Ark of the Covenant had been brought inside the wall of Jerusalem.  Michal went out to meet David and all of the pent up anger came pouring out of her bitter heart as she berated him for not acting like a King.   2 Samuel 6: 20-23, relates this event and the subsequent rebuke which David gave her.    Such a sad ending to the life of a woman who never fulfilled her vocation as a helpmeet to her husband.  She was never to be brought into the bed chamber of King David again, and she died childless.

Neither the Bible nor historical records indicate that Michal believed in David’s God.  Even though she was an Israelite there is no indication that she sought wisdom or help from the Lord God Jehovah.  Perhaps her life would have turned out differently……………………….

God Ordained Marriage – Paul and Lydia


As much as he loved the mission field, Paul was looking forward to sharing the blessings that God had wrought in the ministry over that past four years.  It would be a physically tiring year with all of the traveling especially since he and his wife were getting older.  They were  eager to see their children and grandchildren.   In all the preparation and planning, neither were prepared  for the life changing events that would take place in the coming months.  However, God was in control, and He promised never to leave us or forsake us.

Paul wasn’t sure whether he did not hear his daughter correctly or whether he refused to believe what she was telling him.  He had said goodby to his dear wife yesterday morning as he headed out to visit   supporting Churches in the nearby cities.    Much to her delight, he suggested that she remain home to spend more time with the family.    And now, now he was being told that she had a massive stroke and was in the Intensive Care Unit at the Local Hospital.  After making his apologies he headed home, praying for a miracle that God would spare his beloved co-laborer in the Lord.   Hours passed into days, and there was no evidence that God was going to perform a miracle.  It was decided to lay a fleece before the Lord.  If no brain activity was apparent by the time their son arrived in the states, then they would remove the life support an let her go home to be with the Lord.

The support and love that Paul and his family received from the Brethren was a soothing balm to their wounded hearts.   Cards and condolences from all over the United States and the mission field came pouring in.  It would indeed be difficult to respond to every one, but they would make the effort to do so.   Then came the second phone call.

The Mission Board had requested to have a meeting with Paul.  He was ready to get back to the business of visiting his supporting churches and was somewhat disappointed that he had to cancel some meetings in oder to meet with the Board.    Once again, Paul was in the situation that he was not sure he was hearing what he was being told or just refused to believe what they were telling him.   Apparently the Mission Board felt that the would be  a problem of him serving in his current ministry as a single man.  Paul was devastated.  What was he to do?  Was God not wanting him to be a Missionary any more?  So many thoughts pelted his mind.  An intense struggle welled up inside of him as he tried to make sense of the changes in his life recently; losing his beloved wife and now, being told he can no longer be a Missionary.  What to do?  What to do?

There was only one thing Paul could; so he got alone with the Lord for several days, poured out his heart to his Savior and pleaded for wisdom and guidance.    He knew that if he was to remain a Missionary that he would need to find a wife!   His prayer was that if the Lord wanted him to continue in his present mission work that He would provide a wife for him.

Paul shared his desire with the Mission Board and they agreed to allow him to finish visiting the supporting churches.  It was understood that if at the end of the year the Lord had not provided him with a wife, that he would tender his resignation.

The months were going too quickly and Paul was beginning to have anxious thoughts.  He needed to submit to the fact that perhaps the Lord was closing the door on his missionary work.  There were but three more churches to visit before reporting back to the Mission Board.  He was finally able to say with all honesty, “Not my will, Lord, but Thine”.

At his next meeting he had decided to share his testimony concerning returning to the mission field.  The evening before he had dinner with the Pastor and some folk from the Church.  It was a delicious meal, especiallyl the desert, which was prepared by Lydia, a widow from the church.  It just happened to be Paul’s favorite.

The next morning during the service, Paul shared the entire story of his pleading with the Lord in regards to his continuation in the ministry.  It was a stirring message, one that brought one young man to his knees in surrendering to the Mission call.  Afterward, Paul greeted the brethren at a luncheon, prepared in his honor.    The fellowship was great and Paul felt in no hurry to leave.  He enjoyed talking with the young man who had surrender to the Mission call.  When he finally decided  to leave he was approached by Lydia whom he recognized from the night before.  After sharing with her that the desert she made was his favorite she replied by saying, “I have another surprise for you”   I am willing to help you return to the mission field.

Paul and Lydia have been serving the Lord on the Mission field for over ten years.  Their love for the Lord and for the people has borne a love between them that only God can create.