Monday, June 01, 2015

Sabbatical Update - Week Two

Reading the Bible on the Shores of the Mississippi River
By God's grace, I've now completed two weeks of sabbatical. I plan to be in southeast Minnesota for one more week, working on a doctoral paper and a book, riding my bike, and most of all spending time with the Lord. 

As for my times with Jesus, I've continued to read John, Psalms, and Proverbs. The verse that's most impacting me is still John 6:57 which reads, "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me." And as I mentioned last week, the word for "feeds" in the Greek language is written in such a way as to mean "feeds and keeps on feeding." 

As for writing, I've made a lot of progress on my book, Meditations on Hebrews, and it still looks like I'll be able to complete it by the end of June. This week, however, I must focus on a doctoral paper that's due on June 12. I've made a lot of progress on it already, but I must now hunker down and finish it. It's about teaching pastors in India how to read the Bible in light of Jesus, and I would really appreciate your prayers as I write. Getting back to Hebrews, I must say that at times this week--and one in particular--I was so in awe of Jesus that all I could do was sit in my tent, put my head in my hands, and remain in silent worship before this stunningly glorious and wise God. I think I sat speechless in his presence for a good 15-20 minutes, and I will not soon forget the awe I felt in that day. I share this story to say this: please continue to pray for me as I write. I'm not interested in making a name for myself, I'm interested in seeing and exalting the glory of Jesus as high as I can and thus I need your prayer support. I NEED your prayer support. Thank you so much for laboring with me in this endeavor. 

As for cycling, I took one or two smaller rides this week and went to the gym just about every day. And then last Wednesday I took a 75.5 mile ride, followed by a 36.1 mile ride the next day, along the Root River Trail in the area of Lanesboro, Minnesota. I blogged about these rides the other day and included lots of pictures, you can see that if you keep scrolling down. 

One of the highlights of my week was that Kimmy was able to come down on Friday evening and spend the weekend with me. Both of us had work to do, so we spent time in local coffee shops and did what we had to do, enjoying a picnic here and a walk there. It was SO good to see each other again and share what the Lord has been doing with both of us. We've been talking 1-2 times every day, but there's nothing like seeing each other face to face, and for this I'm very grateful. 

As I look to the week ahead, I would ask you to pray the following for me: 

1. Please continue to pray the exact words of Ephesians 3:14-21, the theme verses for my sabbatical. I have so enjoyed the glory of Christ this week, but I long for more. Pray that I will be sensitive and obedient to the Spirit. 

2. Please continue to pray for my work on Meditations on Hebrews and my doctoral paper. I so long to write prayer-saturated words, and to bear fruit for the glory of Jesus and the good of others. 

3. Please pray for my physical health as I continue to recalibrate habits of diet and exercise. I plan to take an 85 mile ride this week, probably Wednesday, in the Red Wing area. 

4. Please pray for Kim and Rachel as they spend one more week without me. Pray for their relationships with God and each other, and for our times of talking by phone. 

Thank you so much for praying, Beloved. May the Lord glorify himself as we seek his face and do his will. 

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