(Fri, Jan 27, 2012, Vizak, India) Paranoid might be too strong a word, but always alert and extremely careful would certainly describe how I am about anything and everything that goes into my mouth. I carry hand sanitizer with me at all times and use it regularly throughout the day. I use it to clean eating utensils, the skin of apple slices, anything and everything that enters my mouth. I only use bottled water, even for brushing my teeth, etc. I turn down any and all food unless I am certain it has been prepared well, heated beyond boiling for a while. I am very sensitive as to what I touch and I never put my hands anywhere near my mouth. I’ve always been careful here, but since getting so very sick last year I am even more diligent. I don’t think I could have prevented that, but I do want to prevent anything I can. It has become second nature, a part of my daily habits and life style. It is automatic with me.
If only I would automatically be so careful about every thought, every image, every emotion that I allow to enter my mind and heart! How wonderful it would be to be so diligent about even the least bit of sin that comes near me. Why are we so careful about health issues but careless about sin issues? Perhaps it’s because I don’t fear sin as I fear sickness. Clearly I don’t crave holiness like I crave health. In my mind I know better, but my heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). What I want to do I don’t but what I don’t want to do I do (Romans 7:7-25). Truly every inclination of the thoughts of our hearts are only evil all the time (Genesis 6:5).
Pray I would be as committed to stay pure from sin and I am committed to stay free from sickness. Pray that you are as well!
This was another day from early morning to late night, pastors conference all day and local church and home visitation in the evening. We met some Christians starting their own church in a straw hut while out for a walk this morning, they had nothing but love, and they were rich in that. I left thinking that there are no strangers among Christians, just friends we haven’t met yet. That might not be an original thought, but it’s a true one!
We had another wonderful pastors’ conference today, concluding the day once again with teaching and praying about spiritual warfare for them. It is physically and emotionally exhausting but spiritually exhiliarting. It feels like all-out warfare every day, and Jesus always wins at the end! We have our last pastor’s conference tomorrow and it will be our largest group so far. It looks like we’ll end up with almost 600 pastors and 100 wives total this trip. That is more than last trip when we had double the number of meetings! That is way above what we expected and budgeted for, and therefore will cost more than we expected. But are committed to never turn anyone away.
Tomorrow will be a wonderful conclusion, but end are always hard and I’ll really miss this all-consuming, far-reaching type of ministry, at least until the next time I return. I feel like I’ve been running full speed downhill trying to stay just in front of an avalanche, and now I see the bottom of the mountain in sight. I have so much momentum going it’ll be hard to finally stop! But once I do I’m sure I’ll crash! Thanks for your faithful prayers for everything going on here. God has certainly answered them.