Sending our warm love to you in this season of the Resurrection! In his 1989 article entitled, “Courage as the Heart of Faith,” W. Paul Jones wrote:
To live life requires either intense self-deception or deep courage….Courage means acting from a faithful, trusting heart…to act as if we were not cosmically alone….My daughter, frightened to take her first dive, called out, “Courage me, Daddy.” …Seeking for God is itself the gift of having been found. This is the faith that bequeaths a courage that can face all things. God and all of us are in it together….The primal miracle of Christianity is the faith of each believer, made visible as the courage to believe without decisive evidence, by trusting without certainty.
Faith itself is the Divine gift, evidenced as the courage to accept as kin those who would abandon you, to show compassion in the face of violence, to forgive those who abuse, and to love a cosmos that is indifferent. Pure faith is living “as if” with a courage that is “in spite of.”…Faith for the many rests in the courage of the few, enabling others to belong in spite of their separation, hope in spite of their defeat, act whole in spite of their inadequacies, experience acceptance in spite of their unacceptability, and endure in spite of long suffering….You are not alone.”
We know there are seasons in your lives which are most demanding and seriously hard. We experience such seasons in Lifechangers–at the office; in Father’s House; at study, pioneering, and proclaiming the kingdom. In his epistles, Paul often spoke of such times of personal extremity as the purposes of God were being forged out through him amidst a faithless, abusive, and “indifferent” cosmos. How thoughtful Father is to “courage” us through the Scriptures! But sometimes an even more effective and meaningful way that He reinforces you and us is by His Spirit coming to en-courage us in and through one another. Our dear friend and brother, a trauma surgeon in Tennessee who facilitates our medical outreaches in Uganda, was recently on a lengthy assignment on the front-lines in Afghanistan with the reserves. Upon receiving one of my Lifechangers update letters, amidst indescribable circumstances of extremity he was greatly “couraged.” It humbled me to know Father could strengthen such an able man through a simple brother like me.
Recently, our thoughtful Father has anticipated our extremity by dispatching to Uganda a number of His “sent ones” to “courage” us. In a sovereign way, they were chosen and equipped to reinforce us relationally, to strengthen our hand practically, and to respond to Jesus’ call: “go and learn [in a life-lab] what this means: ‘I desire compassion and not sacrifice’” (Mt 9:9). An awesome daughter of Underwriters from Georgia named Tova (30) has invested some months teaching our little ones to read and introducing them to music. She leads them joyously with a ukulele! Yesterday I saw her racing around the house on a bicycle with the kids chasing her! And how the Spirit is blessing her in return–as a psalmist, her song-writing has transcended into another dimension in Father’s House! Others have come to “courage” us in our projects in the slums and in agricultural endeavors, etc.
“In the fear of the Lord [Father-consciousness] there is strong confidence, and His children will have refuge” (Prov 14:26). Bob and Eric and Suzanne hope to see you in Sayer, Oklahoma at the Learning Center April 16-18, that our Lord Jesus might greatly “courage” us through one another!
We love and greatly appreciate you, and we are here for you!