“It’s always a challenge to find sources where we can turn to help us, as we do rely largely on organizations such as yours for donations. The magazine Loaves and Fishes is a very welcome addition and will be put to good use.” —Chaplain Niles Behrens, EDC, Eloy AZ
I couldn’t be happier to announce that we have received the money for the mailing of Loaves & Fishes issue 23. Even though we missed our goal to mail four issues in one calendar year, we are encouraged to know that God is faithful and we have a team of caring supporters on our side.
Volunteers will come on Tuesday, Lord willing, to help prepare the mailings. The truck will come on Wednesday to pick up all the orders. I’ll send you another update with photos once the books are on the road.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve those in prison through printed literature. All it takes to stir my heart again is one letter from a chaplain who is self-supported and on a tight budget, asking us to please help in some way.
It’s because of your prayers and gifts that we can tell them, “Yes, we’ll be happy to send you whatever you can use for the glory of God.” You probably don’t realize how special this is to them and to me.
Please pray for us as we get this mailing on the road and prepare the next issue (issue 24) for printing. We have the content mostly planned and expect it to be ready for review by February.
For the Kingdom,
The new year lies before us like freshly fallen snow—no deep tracks or ugly marks to mar the days before us. We are like a child with a clean sheet of paper, new pencil, and eager imagination. With enthusiasm, he makes a few lines here and there. Before long he reaches for the eraser to correct a mistake. Soon the page isn’t looking so good anymore. It’s not turning out how he had hoped and the eraser is worn down. In despair, he wads it into a ball and throws it away.
We tend to think we get a new sheet of paper each New Year’s day. Yes, there is forgiveness for our past sins; the Bible says God will remember them no more, but for the most part, we must live with the choices we have made. They help us to be who we need to be. It’s like a small child who touches a stove and burns his little fingers. A parent’s instinct is to quickly apply some soothing ointment, knowing the pain will help little Johnny remember not to touch the stove again.
God in His wisdom and mercy allows painful things to come into our lives to shape and mold us into what He sees as beautiful. He also helps the memory of hurtful mistakes fade as time goes on. We can see enough to shape our future choices, but not so much that we cannot see the path He wants for us. The faithful get up and keep on going, letting their past mistakes shape them into what they need to become.
We are in the middle of major changes here at Lighthouse Publishing. After being in Pikeville, TN for twelve years, it seems God is moving us on to other places. Eight months ago our local church closed its doors, and most of the brotherhood has found other places to live. Burning Bush Mennonite Church in Bedford, PA has adopted Lighthouse, with the understanding that Lavern and his family will move there to help run the ministry. Our family is drawn to a church in Wellman, IA, but I plan to be involved from there.
Many mountains must be moved and deep valleys crossed before all this is over. I am tempted to think if I could just delete the past twelve years worth of mistakes, my life would be much easier, but then I realize I would be a different person if it weren’t for the past.
May we embrace who we are in Christ and by faith take another round of life with great enthusiasm.