Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Front Page!

Peter John's picture was featured on the front page of the Daily Journal today! He was having a blast with his cousin, Hans, yesterday.  They had no school and built a great fort near our house.

A Beautiful Snow

The beautiful snow-covered trees in our town.
This winter has been lovely in Minnesota.  We have had light snow and pretty cold temps.  A couple of nights ago we had heavy snow that amounted to about eight inches on the ground and the canceling of school yesterday. Because I love the Psalms so much and think about the Bible often, these verses come to mind whenever it snows:
 He sends out His command to the earth;His word runs very swiftly.16 He gives snow like wool;He scatters the frost like ashes;17 He casts out His hail like morsels;Who can stand before His cold?18 He sends out His word and melts them;He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow. Psalm 147:15-18
I am picturing the Almighty God commanding the weather.  Whatever He says it happens.  His word is powerful and very effective.

I think also about the word of God that is going out throughout the world even today. I think about all my friends who are sharing the Good News about Jesus: Tracy and Zhenya in Kyrgyzstan, Pastor Vlad and his family in Priluki, the faithful missionaries I visited in Chad last year, the McNamees in Chernihiv, and my faithful friends at ICS Bangkok where I taught art classes for two years in the 1990s. I think about the Bible that is being translated into other languages.  My brother-in-law, Marcos, is still working on the Gospel of Luke to be used in the Bilala language version of the Jesus Film and in other materials.  I am thinking about the faithful servants who are using their intellect and physical strength to pour over words and meanings in order to communicate the Bible in the heart language of native peoples.  I love these missionaries, and I praise God for the word that is going forth.

I am also thinking about those who are suffering because of their faith in Jesus and for believing the precious promises of God's word.  Our friend, Saeed in prison in Iran, who loves his family, the people of Iran, and most of all, Jesus.  He is paying a severe price for his love.  In another place, my dearest friend, Tracy, is laying in a hospital tonight in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for appendicitis.  They performed surgery to remove the appendix, and she is doing okay right now.  But we pray that no infection will come because the hospitals are not known to be very reliable and sanitary. I thank God for her and for all the workers there, who faithfully proclaim God's word, despite persecution and physical problems.

I believe that God's word will accomplish all that He desires for it.  He says it, and it happens.  God is faithful and true, and faith is being formed in hearts through the proclamation of this word and the power of the Father who draws people unto Jesus, by His grace and for His glory.
May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What Is Going On With The Larsons?

Some of you may be wondering what we are doing these days?

1.  Today we move into a different rental house here in Fergus Falls.  We will be renting a house about a mile from here until we are finished with our support-raising efforts for our mission work with Training Leaders International.  We have a lot to move still from this house and plenty to do to clean up around here.

2.  Some of us have the flu!  Peter, then Gretchen, now Ethan. Amy just got over a cold and Lizzy is starting up with a cold.  I guess that leaves just me who is currently healthy.

3.  Ethan has been traveling and continues to work hard building up our support in order to teach and train God's people around the world, so that they may lead and teach their churches with strength and trust from the Bible.

4.  We have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas holiday and break from homeschool.  The kids start up at School of Choice on Thursday, but I think I will need to take a break from the homeschool part and start next week. The move continues to be quite consuming.

5.  Today begins a new year to grow in our relationship with God through our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  We love God, and look forward to reading His word and delighting in Him and His goodness this year.  I love to share what reading the Bible has meant to me.  It has changed my life and given me daily hope and comfort.  I encourage everyone to seek God in the Bible and read it daily.  Here are some wonderful Bible reading plans that you can start the New Year in a great, fresh way:

Happy New Year!

We Press On

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 ESV

Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him. -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, December 31.
Do I really believe God's Word?  It says "For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death." Psalm 48:14 NKJV I must believe His every word.  He is Faithful and True.  Does that mean, as a believer in Jesus Christ, that every moment of my life is in His sovereign hands?  Indeed, every moment.  And God is good.  That means, through every difficulty and painful trial, God is guiding me.  Through every moment of sheer joy and pleasure, every good and perfect gift comes from Him.  He is faithfully doing a work for His glory in my life.  He is turning my eyes from myself and all the things I put my hope in, and turning my attention and focus and trust to Himself, who is sufficient to carry everything in His strong, loving, able hands.  I trust You, My God, for this new year, 2013.  Soli Deo Gloria.