Where there is no movement, there is no opposition. Stand still in the pool and relax; be comfortable. Run to escape your kids tagging you the “shark” and immediately you feel tremendous opposition. Arms and hands paddle forward, legs and feet push off the bottom, weight leans hard in the desired direction, even my head inclines that way.

We’re not vying for major change. Not even minor change. Just doing what we’ve been asked to do – to do what the authorities God has placed in our lives have requested of us. And yet there is significant opposition. Oddly we are encouraged to persevere by the mere existence of opposition because it shows that the enemy is concerned. Knowing that perseverance must finish its work (1), we press on (2), straining ahead despite the vague sensation that we’re wading through thick ooze.

Thankfully, visits by friends and family for nearly the entire month of January has also brought encouragement, humor and deep satisfaction from occasional glimpses of how God’s used us in the lives of others. Clearly true fellowship is essential to this life of faith.

Looking forward we plan to move in the direction of intentional fellowship in a small group that will start in mid February in our home. Your prayers of support for that and for our return to normalcy as a family are much appreciated. Please let us know how we might stand with you before the King. And THANK YOU for all who contributed to Slick’s 50th birthday gift (picture below)!

(1) James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. And let perseverance must finish its work, that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

(2) Phil 3:13-14 …straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Slick reads some of your words on his 50th birthday collage while Zoe and Gwendi look on.