I hope and pray that most days I would be like the Samaritan leper healed by Jesus: immediately grateful for the work of Christ in my life. But if I'm honest (a noble quality in a missionary, I know) I'm quite regularly like the other lepers that were healed but did not return to give thanks to Jesus for His work in their lives. Why do we do that? God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and all we can do is occasionally remember to thank him for our food. Lord where is the heart in me that falls at your feet giving thanks for healing me of the life ending disease of sin and death. Why not give thanks instead?
I had one of those moments during moose season this year. It was the last day that I was planning on hunting. The reason there haven't been any blog updates since August is that it's been moose season. Every opportunity is spent in the field with others to find a bull moose. For me up until that point I had seen only cow moose (female moose). I was thinking about how much I wanted to shoot a moose, not just for my own need, but so that I would have the ability to be able to give moose away and be generous. An average Bull Moose has close to 500 pounds of meat on it's body. That's enough for my family and enough to be generous with as well. It was about 6:30 in the evening on the night of the last hunt and I was hopeful. I had just sat down and in my spot about a mile out of camp when I heard the shot. It was from the direction of where my brother and nephew were hunting about a mile and a half away. I waited a couple minuets and then messaged them on our radios. Sure enough they had shot a moose. General rule of group moose hunting, is when a moose is on the ground everyone stops hunting and starts cutting and packing. So I started the mile and a half march over to where they were. I felt a bit down. "God," I thought, "It's not like I haven't been working hard at this for the past month. I really wanted to get a moose so that I could be on the giving end not just on the receiving end." (I think the parental term for this emotion is "ungratefulness".) And so this one sided conversation went for about a half mile. Then it (the quite voice of the Holy Spirit) hit me like a full charging bull moose: "What do you think you've been doing the past month?" I stopped on the trail and thought about each person that I had taken hunting on different trips through the season. Some (very) late night heart conversations around a campfire. Some whispered prayer times overlooking a field. Some pastoral care over a lukewarm MRE. I HAD been giving. But I had only been giving out of what had been given to me: God's amazing grace to a leper named Chris. At that moment I looked up and a double rainbow arched over the field that I was standing in. (For Real) And the last mile of my hike was a SWEET fellowship with my Father, who patiently gives what we really need at the time that we really need it. And then when cutting the moose my brother and nephew decided to give me the ENTIRE moose. So I did have a whole moose! I ended up giving about 180 pounds away. I turn back and give thanks. What's going on with you that you can do likewise?
Things to pray for:
- There has been an extra-ordinary amount of loss in the village recently. Tragic deaths, major family health problems, and hard relational circumstances have seemed to hit many in the faith community very hard. Pray that God's grace would in deed be sufficient to the believers and that His peace that passes all understanding would be tangible.
- Galena Bible Church is hosting a community church service at the City School gym this Sunday. Pray that our guest preacher (Bill Pagerin) would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to clearly share the Gospel.
- Galena YoungLife is hosting a Basket Ball clinic Oct 11th-14th. Pray that the YL Staff would have opportunities to share the Good News.
- This past Saturday Galena Bible Church sent 4 guys to Ruby to help the Bible Church there with some construction work. Pray that the team that came from Anchorage this week will be safe and will be a blessing to that small fellowship.