Sindy, on dialysis, celebrated her 14th birthday so that is such a blessing. She looks so healthy and is just as sweet a "Princess" as she was when she arrived.
We will be having lunch with Rodney & Rhonda in Escatawpa, Mississippi before going to see my sister in Baton Rouge. Our board meeting begins Friday evening in Lake Charles.
Colossians 1:7 "As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. 9 ¶ For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding"
Colossians 4:12 "Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis."
Philemon 1:23 "There salute thee Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus"
Finally we are where I wanted to go. Epaphras never had a church named after himself. He was seen as a hard worker, a fellow prisoner, a slave of Christ, a faithful minister and a fellow worker of Paul's. BUt what makes him great?
Colossians 4:12 says "always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." He prayed! This is the only one of the many men Paul speaks of in his writings that he commends for their prayer life.
Paul begins by saying "He is one of you". Too often I see ministers who do not appear to "one of them". They want to be above their people. They feel they need isolation and it is difficult for a church member to even get in to speak with them. They sometimes appear to think they need a better car or a larger house. I get the feeling fro some ministers they believe the people are there to serve them rather than the ministering serving the people.
Epaphras was one of them in that he knew their names; understood their circumstances and felt their pain. In other words he was approachable and available. I once had a "big name" minister come to my church in Lake Charles. As he approached the end of his message he asked the people to bow their heads and close their eyes. He then whispered to me he needed to go out while their heads were bowed so that they would not all want him to pray for them or talk to him.
I was sickened by his ego. I was devastated by the fact he was "too important" for our common folk. I never had him minister in my church again. He surely was not "one of them".