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Angela brought Estephany to see us and apologize for the two years of misery she gave me.

We drove to Wadesboro where we will be at First Baptist Wednesday night. We are staying with Larry and Sue who have been to Casa a number of times & nearly cut his thumb off as I did. so we are blood brothers.

Mike Toups, a special optometrist who comes frequently to Casa, was there yesterday. A dear friend & an LSU grad. (see photo above)

Great news! Dr Hines was able to get the chemistry stat unit so we can do potassium levels on the kidney patients. Truly an answer to prayer!!

The new girl is Cindy. I sent the money today for the dialysis machine. She will arrive on March 17th.


As we have seen the split between Paul and Barnabas we need only look at the words of Jesus for understanding. In Luke 8 we are told that some seeds that were sown fell among the rocks. These are described by Jesus as those that have no root and fall away. The words “fall away” literally means to desert. This is how Paul saw John Mark. The young man had failed paul and he was not about to forgive him for doing that.

It is true that when someone leaves a church, a ministry or a marriage it discourages others. But what we see here is that neither Paul nor Barnabas quit. They had the wisdom to continue with the work of the Lord even without each other. There have been two types of Christians who worked with Dottie and me but became disillusioned: There were those who simply began another ministry and ministered for Jesus while there have been those who simply stopped ministering. Paul and Barnabas show us what we should do.

When Barnabas takes John Mark about 49BC they go to Cyprus and for the next 12 years we know very little as to what they are doing. The fact that the “beginner” John Mark failed was certainly much better than if one of the “adult” ministers had failed. John Mark needed training and Barnabas was willing to give it to him.

A missionary once wrote that there are three reasons a person in ministry quits before finishing his call from God. First, failure to stay close to God when he is now separated from friends. Second, failure to handle the cross culture relationships. Third, failure of the task itself to meet the expectations of the person in ministry.

Years ago a female college student came to Casa and awaken the first morning about 9am. She entered the dining area with her guitar and said that she wanted to sing with the kids each morning–that was her ministry. I told her we had arisen at 4:30am, cooked breakfast and fed the kids and all of them were in school at 7:15am. she would need to get up earlier. As soon as she could change her ticket she was gone. I suppose she was looking for a ministry where they slept later.

John Mark was struggling because the work was not living up to his expectations. It was not “fun”. So in Acts 13:13 we see that he abandons Barnabas and Paul. Ministry does not mean that we will always be able to get along with everyone. Neither does it mean that we have missed God and His call. God has a way of bringing us through such junk for a purpose.

Learning the will of God can take one of two paths: “Good, pleasing and perfect” like we see in Romans 12:2 and the hard way which is walking through the fire. We know that Paul wanted to go to Spain and had planned on passing through Rome first. When he arrived in Rome he was arrested. He never got to Spain. Our plans are not always God’s plans–in fact–they rarely are.

Stay tuned