Today was Cindi’s 26th birthday. She celebrated by going down to San Fernando for the second straight day and waiting to see if she would be picked for a jury. She wasn’t. But at least she knew by the end of the day, which means that she doesn’t have to go back in tomorrow. She actually really wanted to get on a jury, but the Lord had other plans. As we’ve thought together about the justice system in America, we’re grateful that we were born in a place that practices principles like innocent-until-proven-guilty and trial-by-jury. Although there are corrupt lawyers and disproportionate punishments and ridiculously long trials along with a host of other judicial maladies, justice is certainly valued in this country. For that we should be thankful. It might be a pain for the average citizen to give up a week or two of work to sit on a jury and listen to the problems of strangers, but if you were either the victim or the accused, you would no doubt have a different perspective on the matter. God places a high value on justice and equity, and He’s been quite clear about that. Just because we don’t live in the Israelite theocracy doesn’t mean that His priorities are altered. It’s good to be reminded of this.
We spent the evening at Marrakesh, a Moroccan restaurant whose food and atmosphere are equally authentic. We love diversity, international flavor, unique food, and restaurants that are new to us. Marrakesh has all of these, and to top it all off, a traditional Moroccan dancer. By the way, Morocco is on the northwestern coast of Africa, and its northernmost tip points across the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain. Probably a great place to be a missionary, but that’s just a guess.
Speaking of missionaries, we’re in the process of starting a round-the-clock schedule to pray for missions at Placerita Baptist Church. We’re asking people to sign up for 15-minute time-slots when they’ll commit to pray for missions. The schedule runs from 7:00am to 10:00pm Monday through Friday. Our congregation at PBC isn’t big enough to fill a literal 24/7 schedule, but what we’re aiming for still amounts to 300 time-slots and 75 hours of prayer each week. After only two Sunday’s of sign-ups, 118 time-slots have been filled. This means a guaranteed 1770 minutes of prayer for missions each week, which is 29.5 hours (and we still have weeks of sign-ups to go). This doesn’t count the unorganized, unscheduled prayer that’s happening throughout the week already. Although this is just getting off the ground, I’m really excited about its potential. If you might be interested in trying to start something like this at your church, email me and I’ll send you the material I have. I would love to see every sizeable local church do something like this. When God tells us that we don’t have because we don’t ask, I think He’s implying that we need to ask more. I can’t wait to see what He does around the world in answer to our prayers. He is a personal God, but He is not a local God.
If you think of it, please pray with us that God might be pleased to bare His arm and move the hearts of His people to fill this prayer-schedule. We are blessed to be part of a very mature local body, but filling 300 15-minute time-slots is still a challenge. Like anything worthwhile, it will demand the grace of God and much endurance (the latter empowered by the former).
I pillow my head tonight thankful for 26 years of grace represented brilliantly in the health, beauty, giftedness, heart, and salvation of my bride. God is certainly not stingy. May generations to come rise up and call her blessed.