In the comments section of this blog, Vicki just posted this:
This is what I call sewing and reaping. Our reward for faithful service is not just in the time to come, but in this. You two have been so faithful. You are being blessed for it. If this is the fallen Earth, JUST IMAGINE…………….the Renewed Creation……..hopefully I’ll enjoy that with you.
I want to share my response with all of you:
Thank you Vicki for your encouraging word. As some may know, at this time, I take no financial remuneration for either my pastoring of a congregation (for the last 18 years) or for my wife’s and my web ministry, which contains material that is all researched by and original to me. I steal no ministry Bible teachings from others, but develop all my own teachings from scratch. The money that does come into our ministry goes to pay ministry expenses, and, other than an occasional donation that comes in addressed to me personally (this only amounts to several hundred dollars a year), I receive no money from our ministry, and our ministry sells nothing in order to follow the biblical example of service. If the finances grow, I may eventually take something, but do date, not enough is sent in to afford this. Therefore, I work on average 50 to 60 hours or more a week in my tree care business where I’m an owner-operator. This is how I support my family.
I get very tired sometimes, since I work all week and then I prepare all Shabbat for my teaching time in our congregation. Our Shabbat services start at 2 pm on Shabbat and go until about 6 to 7 PM. We have a shared meal and fellowship time afterwards. I open and close the building nearly every week, which means I’m on site usually for 7 or 10 hours. On Sunday I work around the house, do family stuff and edit YouTube videos and answer ministry emails, and on Monday, it’s back to the tree service.
Sometimes I get so weary and frazzled that I just have to get away with my wife who is always at my side. I think this is why we have recently taken up cruising. The ship is a traveling hotel and restaurant. No driving somewhere or food prep, which can be tiring. No cell phones or wi-fi. Just me, my wife, our room with a balcony overlooking YHVH’s creation, the room is kept clean and our food is provided. We then take the shore excursions that teach us about history, native culture and where we can learn about and experience Yah’s creation. Very relaxing and fun.
On our Alaska trip, I kept asking Yah for sermon and teaching ideas. I kept hearing, “You’re off duty now, so I’m not going to give you any assignments or else you’ll be busy with that and not be focusing on a much needed vacation with your bride.” So in between activities, I just read my Bible, an excellent book by Keith Johnson entitled, “His Hallowed Name Revealed Again,” and I would look out the window enjoying the scenery going by.
Throughout our trip, Yah’s hand was upon us—especially when it came to the weather. Nearly every day at every site and excursion, we just barely missed rain showers and clouds that had been there before and after our arrival. When we got there, the rain stopped, or just after we got done, the rain started up again. For example, when we got to Glacier Bay, it was hot and sunny as far as the eye could see, which was miraculous, since it’s usually cloudy and foggy there. As we were leaving, the clouds were already coming in. When we took the train trip out of Skagway up into the Yukon, we were supposed to take the motor coach up and the train down. Instead, they had us take the train up and the motor coach down. On the way up, the visibility was clear. No clouds or fog. On the way down, it was foggy at the top of the mountain pass meaning we would have missed the high alpine beauty on the train on the way down because of the fog. On our ten mile bike trip out of Juneau down from the mountains, it stopped raining when we started our trip and, literally as we were shutting the doors to the van to take us back to the ship, it started raining again hard. When we pulled into Ketchikan—the rain capital of North America (they measure rain in feet not inches and get about 20 feet a year!), it rained four inches the day before we got there. When we were there, it was beautiful weather and only a few showers, but basically no rain.
Besides the weather, there were a few divine appointments along the way that could prove spiritually and financially rewarding as well.
So yes, Vicki, I agree with you. YHVH rewards us for our service to him in wonderful ways often other than money. It’s what I call living in his river of life. I’m constantly telling people to get into YHVH’s river of life and abide in it through a loving faith in Yeshua and pursuing a Torah-obedient lifestyle, which is how we walk out our love for YHVH Elohim and our fellow man.
Alaska, the last frontier, makes you feel small. It helps to put life into its proper, small perspective compared to YHVH Elohim and his incomprehensible vastness and the grandeur of his creation. To him be all the glory forever and ever! Amein.
Next to come: bald eagles—lots of them!