As we begin the fall season of this year, I am grateful for the work you have helped me do so far in 2018.
Last month it was my pleasure to work with two congregations in Ohio that I had never preached for before. On August 5–8, I was with the West End congregation in Newark, where Todd Rogers is the local preacher. I have known Todd for many years, going all the way back to when he worked with the Laurel Canyon group in Columbus. It was a joy to stay with Todd & Lisa during the meeting, and also to meet the other members of the congregation in Newark. I made several new friendships that I look forward to keeping up with in the future.
Then on August 12–17, I was in nearby Fredericktown, Ohio where Aaron Veyon is the preacher. I stayed in the home of Gary & Sharon Baker and thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality. They live in a gorgeous rural area surrounded on all sides by Amish farms. It was a treat to walk the country roads near their house and meet some of their neighbors. The week with the congregation at Fredericktown was refreshing. They listened with extreme attention to the lessons on “Obeying the Gospel,” and the week in their midst was an encouragement to my spirit.
This month, I have a meeting in Texarkana, Arkansas, and then a meeting next month in Columbus, Mississippi. I am also scheduled to preach in Meridian, Mississippi on September 30 and December 30. Other than that, I hope to be at home most of the time for the remainder of the year and will try to meet some of my writing goals for 2018.
A few weeks ago, I passed the one-fourth point in writing the book Obeying the Gospel. The first section of these books has always been the hardest, so having passed the one-fourth point with this particular book, I hope to pick up the pace now. I might be able to finish the entire book by the end of next year, if all goes reasonably well. It would be nice to get the book in print sometime in 2020. I am glad (and relieved) to have come this far. It has been an exciting project to work on, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to make this much progress on it.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I hope to finish all four years of the Daily Family Bible Studies by the end of this year. The beginning of that project goes back at least to the early 1990’s, and so it will be a tremendous relief to get it completely finished. I will be providing more information about that as we get closer to the end of the year. I believe it will be a study resource on a wide range of Bible topics that will be valuable for many years to come.
I am finding — and it has actually come as a surprise to me — that at this point in my life the writing is becoming easier. The physical problems that press down on me are a hindrance, of course, but mentally I am finding that the ideas are coming fast and furious, and the writing process is flowing much more smoothly. Perhaps this is the result of having studied, thought, read, and conversed with others for nearly seventy years, I don’t know. I’m sure your prayers are a factor. But whatever the reason may be, I am glad for the burst of mental energy that has taken place, and I am determined to “make hay while the sun shines.” I am well aware that this part of my work will not always be as easy as it is right now, so I want to get as much done as I can before it becomes more difficult.
In all of these circumstances, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have your support. You are my joy, everyday.