Melissa Checking In

LADIES! Well, it has certainly been a while! I have been missing you all! Let me catch you up on what has been going on since I last spoke with you in mid-June. For starters, I have spent every night at the Living Proof offices with my sleeping bag and my flashlight pointed to the worn and torn pages in my Bible that comprise the book of Esther. Gone are the tiara days that defined my first week working at Living Proof Ministries! I am, of course, half kidding, but the truth is that my Mom has put my brain and heart to work during this amazing research phase of the book of Esther! I have been completely and utterly obsessed. I think of Esther most of the time. For example, a friend of mine has a serious crush on a guy and she asked me to pray for the circumstances to come together…and so I have been praying that she would be given the same kind of favor with this gorgeous mystery guy that the Jewish orphan-girl Esther had with King Xerxes of Persia. I may be a bit out of line (and out of context—I really hope my Biblical Exegesis professors aren’t reading this) but I can’t help myself. I think mostly in terms of Esther and ancient Persia.

This morning I had about a million things to do. I am sure you can relate. It was one of those times that you assume all of the things that you must get done are going to be accomplished by sitting completely frozen and panicked at your desk. In my desperate state, I decided to flip the pages in my Bible from the book of Esther to the New Testament (and this was not a simple feat). It was at that point that I once again read the following words in 2 Corinthians 11 that the Apostle Paul wrote almost two thousand years ago:

24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches.

Leave it up to the Apostle Paul to put you in your place, right? The part that hit me the most was not his lengthy description of the suffering that he endured. The part that hit me the hardest was that in the midst of such extensive and devastating suffering, he actually cared about the life and health of the local churches! Imagine that! Today at Living Proof, we fasted and prayed during lunch hour and at least twice my mind drifted to lustful thoughts about the turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce that we would be eating during Thanksgiving Break. How lame is that? We were supposed to be fasting for crying out loud! Good grief! All I know is that I want to have a heart for the body of Christ like the Apostle Paul did. I want my heart to be burdened so heavily for the covenant community of God that thoughts of its well-being wouldn’t leave my mind even if I had been robbed or shipwrecked. So I am praying and trusting that the same wise God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead would cause this impure and selfish heart to beat with a pure and holy passion for the church and its glorious mission!

Well LADIES, Esther and Mordecai beckon me once again…but I am thrilled to be back in touch with all of you amazing saints at such a time as this.


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