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2021-01 Update from Dwight and Dorothy
We again send our greetings to each of you from our mostly locked down household in South Carolina. I have included Dorothy’s most recent blog, entitled “Steps” below to serve as her update. The sixth paragraph gives information on her health. Older blogs can be found on our website (https://ddhazard.org). Our praise and prayer section is just below her article.
Please join us in praising the Lord for a number of special gifts that have helped put our support account on the positive side. We are most grateful for these gifts and the ongoing support that so many give regularly, often sacrificially. We are still on a reduced budget but very grateful for the provisions.
My ministry continues as I am able to train missionaries on computer/IT security from home via Zoom. I am also taking on the rebuilding of the SIM USA intranet as we move from one somewhat limited and out of date platform to another that is more robust. This intranet provides vital internal information for our missionaries far and wide, including those working in closed countries, through secure connections. With many of our people working in difficult locations, having a secure method of getting and sharing information is important to the Gospel work going forward.
|This Saturday our Presbytery (regional group of local churches) meets in our new church building. My term as Presbytery moderator will conclude and it is particularly sweet that it ends in our local church. A particular feature of this building is the complete text of the Bible, over 750,000 words are on the wall behind the pulpit reaching up 30 feet. It gives an excellent idea of how big each book is and the ratio of the Old Testament to the New. What you can just barely make out in this photo are the book titles which are placed at the beginning of each book. The text itself is so small that you have to get within about 3 feet to read it, assuming good eye sight. Having the Scriptures so well presented helps us to be mindful of them as we worship. By the way, the New Testament starts just slightly above the pulpit.|
I am also preparing to start the neighborhood Bible study again. This study will focus on the book of Acts and will be done via Zoom. These Bible studies are enjoyable challenges for me as I need to dig deep into the Scriptures and the background material. It is true that one of the best ways to better understand a subject is to teach it.
STEPS (from Dorothy's Blog)
What does “IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS” mean to you? I really do want to know. And how does this play out practically in your life?
The full verse, 1 Thessalonians 5.18 says, “In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” In trying to figure out what I understand God to be asking me to do in 2021, I found it easier to define what it isn’t. It isn’t giving thanks FOR everything, but IN everything. It isn’t lip service, words without heartfelt gratitude. It isn’t just looking for the silver lining.
Defining what it isn’t helped me think through what I understand God to be asking from me. It is recognizing Him as the Lord of my life. It is knowing that all that comes to me is from His hand, for my good and His glory. It is allowing Him to define what “good” is. It is recognizing He knows the whole picture, the beginning from the end and all the points in between.
This led me to a second focus area for this year: getting to know the working and power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I realized there is no way for me to give thanks in everything without the power of the Holy Spirit. In John 14.26 Jesus told his disciples, “the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
What a promise! I believe God is calling me to be more aware of the Holy Spirit, more cognizant to His presence, more teachable in His ways and more yielding by His guidance. I pray the result is that I truly am going to be more quick to give thanks in everything.
I stepped down to the next plateau health-wise. I am no longer able to sit at my desk to study God’s Word, to make cards, or just to do a little of this and a little of that. After emptying my desk of all its goodies (card making and office supplies), Dwight and Beka moved it into their office where it has now become Dwight’s desk. I am very thankful it fits and that Dwight wanted to use it! This is a huge step down for me. I love desks. While I can’t remember teacher’s names from elementary school and high school, I can remember my desk and every one since then! My dream was always to have a big old-fashioned roll top desk with lots of drawers and cubbies. Well, my new desk is a lap desk, but it does have a drawer!
On my previous plateau, I was tired, but wanted to do things. I would do a cost-benefit analysis and decide if a given activity was worth it. Now, I am getting too tired to want to do anything. Except for two COVID tests (both negative), I have not been out of the house since December 9th. And both of those times were in my pajamas! (SSSHHHHH!! Not as bad as it sounds since I didn’t have to get out of the car!) Which brings me circling back to my beginning verse. Why do I want to focus on giving thanks? Because it is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus. That is enough. It has to be.
I finished the book of John this week. My summary is “Believe I AM.” This book contains seven statements Jesus made about who He was: the Bread of life; the Light of the world; the Door (or Gate) of the sheep; the Good Shepherd; the Resurrection and the Life; the Way, the Truth and the Life; the True Vine. Throughout the book, John is telling us things that we might KNOW (BELIEVE) Jesus is who He says He is – the Son of God. Because Jesus prayed, glorified, sanctified, knew and loved (to name a few), He enabled me to choose to do those very same things, none, by the way, of which require energy or good health. He showed me that it was OK to be tired. Dwight and Beka are tired after working out or going for a long hike, but they do it. I am tired after going from the living room to the bathroom (36 steps!), but I can do it. And for that I truly am giving thanks!
Now you get to decide. Did I step down or am I stepping up?
God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.
Praise and Prayer Items
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