Those Who Sow in Tears Shall Reap with Shouts of Joy!

Psalm 126 is an important message from God, a message with abiding value, but one worth considering in connection with this month's missions emphasis. Please take a moment to read it with care. Notice that verses 1-3 reflect on the past . Verses 4-6 pray concerning the future . It may seem obvious, but it's important to remember that Psalm 126 is a psalm . A psalm is a kind of Scripture that God inspired not just to speak to us, but also to speak for us. It gives us words to speak or sing to God. So how does God guide us to think and feel and pray in Psalm 126? Remember in Gratitude First, reflect on the good work that Christ has already done. Verses 1-3 ponder what God did in the past. Due to their persistent unfaithfulness, God exiled his people from the Promised Land. He sent them into Babylonian captivity. But after seventy years, just as he had promised, they were permitted to return. God brought Israel back from captivity. They rejoiced! The Bible uses this captivity as a picture of ... Read more

Sowing in Tears and Reaping with Shouts of Joy in Ohio

I served for twelve and a half years as a church planter and pastor in Dayton, Ohio. It was both my longest and my most difficult pastorate. Military officers' families stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton would come to us from Presbyterian and Reformed churches all over the U.S.A. They would join, become active, and then after three or four years be transferred. They may have been better off for having been with us, but it was no way to start a church. Growth was slow. We came to believe that, in this case, meeting in the Seventh-Day Adventist building was actually a hindrance. So in the fall of 1977 we moved into a public school in Huber Heights, a growing suburb east of Dayton. After a couple of months, we gave up on that, too—the rent was too high, and the school district refused to give us heat in the chilly autumn months. In God's time, we found and bought a house church in Huber Heights. It had been the incubator for several hatchling churches before ours. A grandfather ... Read more


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