Read Isaiah When It's Tough!

It was so beautiful. The coffee parchment replicated a checkerboard on the drying flats, 2.5 centimeters thick. The furrows were perfectly aligned and glistening gold in the hot Laotian sunlight. 25 tons of coffee parchment—what is left after the cherry pulp is removed—were spread like a shimmering, undulating carpet across 2.5 acres of drying flats. What a sight!

Picture this ... dump a can of coffee beans on the table ... now spread the beans evenly—touching on all sides. See how pretty it is? Now turn a faucet on the table. What happens to the beans … yup, they run all over, fall off the edge, pile up in strange configurations. You pause, and then start to re-organize them again. All the while you grimace and try to remember what Isaiah had said during your morning devotions.

Starting anything new is hard. If the project is big enough, there are many points of new beginnings and things to learn. Because we know intellectually that it will be hard (whatever the project) we often don’t start. The old adage, “once begun is half done” sounds good … until the half you are working on takes a turn “south.”

My coffee partner and I had been focusing on Isaiah for the week. I remembered Isaiah 62: 6b-7

“You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.”

At that moment, I was confident that there would be little rest ... and that "establishing our Jerusalem" (our goal at that moment) would result in our God being praised. That certainty is where the energy comes from to continue when the going get’s tough.

I can’t miss this opportunity to encourage you and your staff with your retirement plan activities, strategies and implementation. So many give up … DON'T DO IT. Creating a Future Funded Ministry Plan is critical to you fulfilling God’s plan for your life AND living life to the fullest for all your days. Sometimes, it seems like the beans are being swept off the table. Stay the course … Be engaged … Give yourself no rest in doing good and being prepared. It really is worth it.

By the way, the sun was shining today in Laos.

Leave me your thoughts and comments.

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