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Change of plans!

Last week at this time (Friday morning) I was preparing to go away for the weekend to our men’s retreat in Harvey Cedars. I was also packing to drive to Virginia Beach after the retreat for a week at our timeshare there. My car was pretty much packed for the journey and so were my bags. I thought it a little bit suspicious that I hadn’t received a confirmation letter from Barkley Towers about my reservation at the timeshare. We have a timeshare that we purchased two years ago at this location, and it is always the 39th week of the year. Last year the 39th week was the last in September, but this year the 39th week is the first week of October. When I called I found I had actually planned to be away the wrong week. I was very glad that I called the hotel and found that I was mistaken about the week that I was planning on being away, but I was very upset with myself for being so careless. But it was much better to have called beforehand than to arrive there and find out then that I had the wrong week.

In hindsight, this little gaffe and the resulting time away next week instead of this week was a very good thing. This week has been an amazingly miserable and dreary week with lots of rain and even more storms down at Virginia Beach. Next week the forecast is for a much better week, thank you Jesus. There were other issues that were beneficial as well, particularly having Matt G fix a problem that I was having with my computer on Sunday evening that would’ve created major issues in Virginia Beach had I left on Sunday afternoon. The whole experience reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses that is found in Romans 8:28. We read Paul’s words, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who call who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers,” (Rom.8:28.29 NIV). God uses “all things” for our good and His glory in this faith journey. There is great evil in our day, but we also must acknowledge that there is a greater God who can turn every circumstance around for our long-range good as He works and moves in our lives. It’s very important to note in this promise that it is restricted to those “who love God and are called according to his purpose”. God has a purpose and a plan in our lives which is revealed in verse 29 where He tells us that God’s ultimate goal is to make us like the Lord Jesus Christ. Part of that involves trusting God to work even in the challenging circumstances of our lives.

I don’t know what circumstances you may be dealing with in your life right now, but I do know that our God is the God of all circumstances. I know that it is His plan to transform us into the image of His Son so that we may become more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ. It is then that we discover our true selves and when we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us into Christ’s likeness, we have a very different perspective on the challenges and difficulties that we encounter as we go from day to day. I’d appreciate your prayers for journey mercy, blessings, and refreshment as I’m away next week and that God will return me safely next Friday to resume my service for the Lord Jesus Christ at NDC.

All for God’s Glory,

Pastor Rich Sivo

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