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Update posted 04.13.2011

Sometimes it is surprising how quickly the year goes by. Euroclass will be here soon enough in May to add some excitement to our lives, but I wouldn't say things have been uneventful. In our last Admin meeting we were thanking God for several new sponsors for children in our program, and we are well underway in getting the new livelihood / fair trade project started. Materials have started to arrive and we are carefully considering who will be the first to hire to do the sewing, as they need to have experience and be able to help train others later on. My quarter of teaching the teens Sunday school class at ANCF is over, and while I really enjoyed it, it was also nice to stick around for the full church service again too. Meanwhile, for Cathy and I, our normal duties continue and we need to continue to draw on the Lord for strength and not get burnt out. Recently when I had the opportunity to lead devotion, I happened to do a search on the word 'approve' while looking for a specific verse, and ended up scrapping what I had planned to talk about entirely. The verses that turned up actually seemed to fit together quite well, and helped me relearn something that is important to Christian life: God has given us two needs that we often confuse, the need for acceptance and the need for approval. For one reason or another we often mix them up in our minds and the result is believers who are working in the hopes that God will notice them and accept them, but His love and provision are not based on what we do once we are adopted and born again as children of God. We do seek to live our lives in a way that God will approve, but we do it to make Him happy and accomplish the mission we've been given to bring more people into this family. And as 1 Thessalonians 2:4 says, the very fact that we have been entrusted with such a mission shows that we have a measure of God's approval, and the promise that He can work through us. This has been an encouragement to me lately, so at the expense of posting what amounts to a tiny sermon, I wanted to pass it along.

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