Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas in July

Christmas is upon us and greetings of glad tidings abound. All around the world; men, women, boys and girls reflect on this special time of year. The children are so anxious for Christmas that many will have a hard time sleeping tonight. Receiving a gift is a special thing, but when Jesus said that it’s more blessed to give than to receive, as always; he spoke the truth.

As I reflect on the great “gifts” I have received this year, I want to share something remarkable. In July, the Calvary Chapel Bullhead City Bulgaria Servant Team flew half around the world to serve other Christians, but WE were the ones who received the gift. Sharing with friends in Sofia & Svishtov, Bulgaria and Skopje, Macedonia; we were blessed beyond measure.

Working with Blaga Vest Sofia, Blaga Vest, Svishtov, and Dobra Vest Skopje; we experienced grace and love and joy. We could never give enough thanks to our wonderful hosts, who made us feel like family, but maybe as we look back, we can just thank God for allowing such a great summer.

Please enjoy the photos as I let them do most of the speaking. In the meantime, I’ll feel like the child waiting for my Christmas in July next year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Inner Strength

From the outside, the hull of the old boat was battered and beaten. For many years, she had seen turbulent storms and suffered much damage. Now, don’t think that it was always that way, for this old girl had seen smooth waters and had voyaged to many wondrous places. She had experienced many adventures that would excite and entice anyone. However, it wasn’t the smooth sailing that gave her the worn look, it was those storms and rocky passages that made most people shake their head when they looked on her exterior. To the passer-by, she looked like she should have been put away years ago, yet there she was, still able to stand strong day after day.

What was the secret of the old boat? What gave her the strength to carry on? Deep beneath the surface, if you were to look under the scarred gunwales, you would see an inner strength. She was held together by what most could not see, by strong steel that made her able to withstand all the calamities on the surface. It was the inner strength that gave her character.

As with the old boat, many men and women who seem to be battered and beaten continue to carry on day after day. While they may not be the most attractive nor the fastest, they hold fast and stay true to the course. The strength of the truly resilient comes from what cannot be seen from the outside. It is God who can give such strength, holding us together as he lifts us up and protecting us with His armor. I thank God that He doesn’t fail and that He can be relied upon when the storms of life come our way.