Serve with Gladness
"Of these two evils (little or no praying), perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make believe, a salve for the conscience, a farce, and a delusion." -E.M. Bounds
There are still three TUMI classes going on this summer—two in the state prison and one in the city. The one in the city is the most unusual because our mentors usually take the summer off. But this summer our Site Coordinator, Earl Wright, wanted to give three of our students who are close to graduating the chance to get a course that would not normally be taught until next year sometime. They were eager to do the work and move toward graduation. At least one of them is set to become one of our mentors and is scheduled to teach in the new year. All three are major leaders in their churches!
Last month we had our celebration dinner at our home. My wife, Betty, does the lion’s share of the work to prepare and loves these times with the students and mentors. These dinners are a wonderful end-of-course time for students to share their ministry projects and for us to enjoy each other’s company and pray for each other. I have to admit, I had to wrestle with my own spirit as only three of my nine students who said they’d be present showed up. I prepared to give a brief devotional on Psalm 100:2, “Serve the Lord with gladness!” The Lord was definitely in this choice of a text. He knew he’d be tutoring me to practice what I was about to share. I did struggle a bit with discouragement over the few from my class who came. But the Lord helped me enjoy the time with the other mentors and students from the other classes who were present. Betty reminded me that, “It’s been two weeks since the last class and you probably need to make reminder calls.” I usually do that and did not this time. She was right.
The Lord does want us to serve him with “gladness.” Not because of what we can see, but because of what we cannot see—the eternal matters, the victory of the Kingdom that he is working out according to his good pleasure for his glory. “Father, help me to be so motivated by looking at you and not at the apparent outcomes.”
Please do pray for our mentors and me. It’s easy to put our eyes on criteria that are misleading for encouragement in our work. It’s faithfulness with “gladness,” that he desires. What amazing grace—He gives the increase! We’re to sow faithfully. Joyfully!