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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Winter!

Amy Patsch

By Amy Patsch

I have never been a big fan of winter. I know some of you love those winter outdoor sports like skiing and ice skating or even those indoor sports such as the Super Bowl. But, because I am not a sports fan and I so love to feel the warm sunshine on my face, winter is my least favorite season. The downside of winter for me is weight gain and the upside is that I catch up on my reading which I do enjoy.  

Whichever category you fit into or maybe you cross into both and other categories, we are all in the crunch of winter right now. It is dark and sadly even most of the beautiful Christmas lights are packed away. The rising sun has hardly started to make its way back east where in the summer it shines through my window in the morning to wake me up with the sound of birds singing and the smell of the ocean air. Ah, the memories! But, back to reality.  

While I was shopping on-line before Christmas I ordered a few books on the lives of some missionaries that have gone before us. Those books are keeping me occupied and entertained if you can consider some of their described hardships entertaining. Their enduring faith is what I wanted to know and understand and that I am getting.  

The missionaries I am reading about were on foreign soil but as I have said before, we desperately need missionaries here in the U.S. and now would be the perfect time to get started. Thinking of that brought to mind my nephew who works for YWAM as a teacher and an evangelist in Oregon. He sent me an interesting insight and I will quote this directly from Tim’s message: “Everybody has experienced a dripping faucet. Dripping faucets are both good and bad at the same time. Bad in that they can be annoying to hear, but good in that they cause us to actually come face to face with the problem that’s causing the drip in the first place. I have what  

I call the “dripping faucet” principle when it comes to my personal evangelism. To the lost, I desire to be a dripping faucet . . . but one that leads to a fixed problem . . . the salvation of others, not one that leads to annoyance, causing others to be driven nuts by my existence.”  

Tim went on to describe how that when God leads us to a person that needs our attention, we should obey that call. Maybe that person can use some encouragement to seek God’s will for their lives. Like he said, we don’t want to make people so crazy that they run away when they see us from the distance, but we want them to welcome us because they recognize the love of our great Holy God within us.  

I have presented just a small part of his update but I would ask you to mull it over for a while as I have. When we enter a room or even an outdoor space, do we go forth with a smile on our face and joy in our hearts based on our relationship with our heavenly Father? Can people see that joy and feel that love upon meeting us – especially during these dreary winter days? It might take some serious introspection to see ourselves as others see us. I have been considering this for a while and trying to make adjustments as I see the need.  

My mother loved to smile and make people happy. As she aged she became concerned because she noticed that if she didn’t intentionally smile the aging process, which goes the way of gravity, naturally pulled her face into what appeared to be a perpetual frown. It made her unhappy to think that if she wasn’t consciously smiling people might mistakenly think she was downcast or even mad. I have now reached that same physical stage in life, and although I most likely would not have noticed my unintentional frown, because it made an impression on my mother, I am very aware of it. I now make a point to consciously smile in order to present to others the friendly face of God’s child.  

As I was reading through some of the missionary stories I was amazed at how much it mattered to all involved that these missionaries were not just performing their job of evangelism but they were maintaining the heart and soul of Jesus as they reached out to the lost. Those they lived with saw the joy and love of Jesus in them as the missionaries cleaned wounds, taught in dangerous areas, slept and lived without any amenities. Think of Amy Carmichael or Mother Theresa in India witnessing and living among the poor and lower castes. Can you imagine how precious it is when you are sick, poor, dirty, and lonely, and you look up and see the eyes of Jesus smiling at you – even if those eyes are actually in the face of another.  

This winter, especially during the cold and dark days, let us light up the world to others with our reflection of Jesus with His great love and grace. Let us bear witness to the lost souls that surround us  

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City.Email her atwriterGoodGod@gmail.com 

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