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Blue Heron in the botanical gardens of Norfolk, VA

Christian Concourse
Newsletter of the Month

November 2015

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings in the matchless, marvelous, mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings. We often reflect on the wonder and wisdom of God Who has worked in our lives to bring us to the place of surrender and partaking of His merciful, bountiful salvation. As we are sure you do, Dar and I marvel at the grace of God poured upon us even though we know we do not, and never will, deserve it. The longer we live, the more obvious and glorious God's unmerited favor becomes. As the old Gospel song says, "Sweeter as the Years Go By." Halleluiah!!!

In nursing home ministry it is not unusual for us to find ourselves ministering to saints of God who have had many, many years to grow in their embrace of God's enduring love. It is a great privilege and very humbling to lead them in worship and meditation on their precious Lord. As the Holy Spirit "moves" about the room during our little "church service" faces light up with joy and praise. Sometimes tears of thankfulness and anticipation flow down worn, furrowed cheeks. Only God knows the depths and the strength of Christian faith in the hearts of His faithful, elderly children. We are honored and encouraged by the gift of a glimpse into the love and adoration these seasoned Christians share with their Lord.

Getting to know these "seasoned saints" brings to mind the testimony found in Holy Scripture about Enoch. "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Genesis 5:24). Someone has told a story about the relationship these two shared and it goes something like this: God and Enoch were close friends who often took strolls together. One day, as evening approached, God said to him, "Enoch, we're closer to My house than yours. Why don't you just come home with me tonight." Though just a dramatization of what we read in Scripture, what this little story highlights is the intimacy and friendship God longs to have with all His children.

There is another important fact in the story of Enoch: We read in verses 22 and 23 of Genesis 5: "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years." Enoch walked with God 300 years before the Lord took him home! We can only imagine the work God had to do in Enoch's heart when he first started getting to know the Lord. Here was a fallen human hanging out with a perfect God! I'm sure there were some hard lessons. And who knows what hardships and disappointments lay behind the phase, "begat sons and daughters!" God walked with Enoch while Enoch walked in the everyday mire of living in a fallen world – FOR 300 YEARS! We can only imagine how intensely Enoch loved God...how solid his trust in God was...how deep His worship was of the meek and lowly Almighty One who walked and talked with him! It is reflections of this kind of love that we see in some of the lives of God's elderly saints in long-term care.

The intimacy, the familiarity, the deep, deep abiding love for the Father reflected in the story of Enoch we long to see in our own lives and in the lives of everyone we minister to in care facilities through our "church services" and through the materials we are able to share with the infirm and elderly in nursing homes around the country and the world. It boggles our mind to think what God is doing through these humble labors. And these are labors in which each of our supporters share a significant part! We thank you all for the love you show God's children in nursing homes and the love you show toward Dar and I through your sacrificial giving. May God richly bless you.

Love, In Christ,

Jerry and Dar

Jerry and Dar Johnson

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