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In the days before Laurie and I left Israel, we spent many hours talking, thinking and praying about our departure. We discussed whether or not we would continue to serve on the mission field in another country. If we didn’t—and the more we hashed it over with each other and with the Lord, this was the way we were leaning—the more it became apparent that we would need to seek employment back in the States. This was going to be challenging. Our resume´s as former missionaries were…interesting.

Laurie and I had prayed earnestly, separately and apart, for direction. However, the answer I received from God wasn’t one I was expecting.

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Another challenging truth that the Lord seems to be causing us to consider is suffering. It seems like the Lord wants us to include suffering as part of what He has determined for us?  Cheery topic for Sunday morning, huh?  Aren’t you glad you came?  Let’s start in Romans 8.

“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba!  Father!’  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”  (Romans 8:12-17).

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