“There’s a message true and glad for the sinful and the sad….” We sang that song a lot in the 80s and 90s. “Ring out the Message” was the title and the message. We didn’t sing that song in the last five days, but we heard that message.
Friday night we travelled to Tulsa. We wanted to see John and Margaret Dobbs, friends of ours from our Mississippi days. John preaches for the Forsythe Avenue Church in Monroe, LA, now. It’s not often that friends from the southeast get within a couple of hours, so when they do, we like to see them if we can. John and Margaret were coming up for the Tulsa Workshop. We can’t see the Dobbs without thinking about one of the biggest outpourings of love from Christian people. The Dobbs lived in Pascagoula, MS, when Katrina blew in. People all along the gulf coast heard the message of God’s love through the untold number of mission trips that Christians took to that area. We kept up communication with John during that time. One of our kids took a mission trip to Pascagoula. We’ll never forget the reports that John made about the people who arrived at the coast with a glad message for the sad.
While we are being reminded of that powerful outpouring of love, we heard Rick Atchley preach at the workshop about the calling of Moses. His message “Let the Chains of Inadequacy Fall Away” emphasized that many of us feel inadequate to deliver the message of freedom; but when we make ourselves available to God, he makes his power available to us. Moses had the excuses, but God had the right man. Moses was up to the mission because God empowered him.
On Sunday morning, we visited with the Blanchard Church of Christ in Blanchard, OK. We went to a class taught by Mike. He did an excellent job of inspiring the class out of Ezekiel 2-3. Mike’s lesson emphasized the commission from God for Ezekiel to preach to people who weren’t going to listen. Ezekiel was equipped by God for the mission, however. Ezekiel had his “marching orders” and regardless of the impact on others, he delivered the message of hope.
Ben Merenus preached at Blanchard Sunday morning. If you’ve never heard Ben’s enthusiastic reports on the work of Eastern European Missions, you should find a way to hear one. Ben talked about the success that EEM has had getting Bibles into schools in Russia and Ukraine. He has a new video featuring leaders in school systems who made comments on camera as the Bibles were delivered. It is stirring. He challenged us who heard him with his message that we are called to “Go and Tell,” “Send and Tell,” and Show and Tell.”
On the verge of our marriage mission to Lithuania, these were vital messages for us to hear. We call this trip and our ministry in general a “Marriage Mission.” We do that because we believe that in our world filled with the pain of divorce and unhappy marriage, a holy, proactive marriage is a powerful tool to bring people to Christ. Men and women, husbands and wives, in Lithuania will be brought closer to Christ through the message of Jesus that impacts their changes their marriages.
Getting God into the heart of marriages. That’s the message.
Getting husbands and wives to become men and women after God’s own heart. That’s the big impact!
We appreciate the messages we’ve heard this week that have further roused us for this ministry!