Pause and Reflect May – June 2014

View from our cabin in Pigeon Forge where we celebrated my parents 60th wedding anniversary.

View from our cabin in Pigeon Forge where we celebrated my parents 60th wedding anniversary.

I read the following one day in my quiet time.

“For he will rescue the poor who cry out and the afflicted who have no helper. He will have pity on the poor and helpless and save the lives of the poor. He will redeem them… for their lives arepreciousin his sight. (Psalms 72:12-14)

As believers, we are ambassadors for Christ.  (1Corinthians 5:20).  We are God’s agents to rescuing the poor and pointing them to Christ who can redeem them. This is what should keep us focused in all that we do; as we go and give to accomplish God’s work.

Lynn checking out his work, but not for too long.

Lynn checking out his work, but not for too long.

God has another word for all of us related to work. Lessons are best learned along life’s paths. Lynn, age 18, was spending the day with us. It was hot. He wanted to hang out in the house and play video games. I had work to do outside. I told him he could sit on the porch and read or play his video games. Or, he could help me with my task.  (I was trying to assembly a complicated exercise machine.) After a few minutes, Lynn came over to help me. He was very helpful and we were able to get the XL Total Gym assembled.

I told him that I would give him $10 when I sold it.  We spent about 30 minutes once he started helping me. (Not bad pay for half hour of work). Some generous friends gave this piece of equipment for me to sell.  After I sold it they donated 100% of the proceeds to our ministry.  It sold in about two weeks. I gave Lynn his $10. He spent it in about two minutes. Can you take me to the Dollar Store?  To his credit, he bought an eyeglasses repair kit along with necessary junk food.

I’m helping friends sell things they don’t want or need. And they are donating 10% – 100% of the proceeds to our work.  This is their way of helping us help others in our community.

We had wonderful visits with our family in May. Both our son’s family’s and my parents10375957_10204064736363720_2030992144714649148_n stayed at our house (not at the same time, however). AaronsKids

1950Chevy

We also met n Pigeon Forge with nearly 30 family members to celebrate my parents 60th Wedding Anniversary.  June belongs to Priscilla’s family. We will travel to Cancun for her nephew’s wedding.  July we will be traveling to the inner city area of Garfield in Chicago with a group of high school students.

Look at the expressions: Dad, "I can't believe it's been 60 years". Mom, "How many more do we have...".

Look at the expressions: Dad, “I can’t believe it’s been 60 years”. Mom, “How many more do we have…”

 

From there we plan to travel to Michigan and spend about two weeks visiting family and friends. Many of you from Michigan have faithfully supported our work from the beginning.

Priscilla and I wish to thank all of you for your support.

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Pause and Reflect April 2014

Jesus told a story of a shepherd who had 100 sheep to care for. He left the 99 to go after the one who strayed. The principle is to care for the lonely, and the one who has strayed.  The task of mentoring is like the shepherd who focuses on the one who is struggling. In some instances, I feel like this has been what God has called us to do.

Neighbors

Pray for our neighbors. We are developing relationships with them. We plan to invite some over for a grill out in the near future.

Never too old or too young to serve

A day with Al and Margaret

CopperBasin_Al.Margerat.March 2014I had a great time leading a group of senior adults to Ducktown, TN, 200 miles southeast of our church. We left early. Worked hard all day and returned late. We had a couple of 80 year olds. Many were in their 60’s and 70’s. They worked in the food pantry, clothing store and warehouse at Copper Basin Crisis Center. Senior AdultsCopperBasinSome of the adults expressed a desire to return for a two-day trip in the future.God can use no matter our age. This hard working group proved this. They loved working behind the scenes.  They were using their gifts to help the Patterson’s share the love of Jesus more effectively.

 

Mentoring

Investing time in individuals can be challenging. One must be diligent and patient. But one also must be firm but friendly. Vittorio is a new believer. He is on his own but still on parole. Pray that he does not get distracted from the discipline of Bible reading and worship. Lynn will need to learn to adjust to a new place soon. He needs a live where he can finish his high school education and receive vocational training. Tom who has been off parole for about 3 months needs to find a church where he can worship, fellowship and make friends that will make a positive influence on his life.

Flexibility

Flexibility and availability is the key to our ministry vision of serving the needy and disadvantaged in so many different ways. This would not be possible without your financial support. Last month I mentioned about an increase in fuel expenses due to working with someone who lives about 35 miles from us. We received an unexpected gift of $200 from one of our prayer partners.

Final Thoughts

We have a very busy spring and summer. I have a couple of local mission trips I’m leading. Priscilla and I will be traveling with about 100 youth and 20 adults to the inner city of Chicago, in the Garfield area. In August we plan to spend a couple of weeks in Michigan to visit family and faithful ministry partners. In June we are going to Mexico (Cancun) for Priscilla’s nephew’s wedding.  And coming in May we will be celebrating my parent’s 60th anniversary with about 25 family members gathering in Pigeon Forge.

 

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