“THANKSGIVING?” There are a lot of people who feel that they have very little to give thanks for in this season!Of course, in a world like ours, in these frightening days, who can thank God excepting those who know Him, worship Him and recognize His continued blessings? Still, when David wrote the above words, his world was pretty scary, too! Only someone like David, who had trusted God, seen His blessing, been saved both physically and spiritually, could pen those words with sincerity.
BUT WE CAN DO IT, TOO! In a time in which some churches in Italy are going through internal turmoil, divisions and weakness, and others are being influenced by pressures of ecumenism, charismatics, and other troubling doctrines, God is working. A short time ago, I was privileged to participate in the launch of a program in a large church, in which the acting pastor is a man who is a stable leader doctrinally and spiritually, and who came to the Lord as a teen-ager in our church in Rome and grew to be one of our able leaders. The program of monthly Saturday morning training and Bible study for five men who may become the new leaders of this church, and a Saturday afternoon training and Bible study for 25 younger men, who are going through studies on the subject of becoming “men of God” in their marriages, homes and in the church, is being planned and led by my dear friend and brother, and spiritual son. Thank the Lord with me, and pray for the churches in Italy and for me, in a time of challenge, of compromise and the need of powerful revival.
FOUR NO-LONGER YOUNG MEN, who are serving the Lord as missionaries, three in Italy and one in a nearby ex-communist country, who all went into the Lord’s service from our church in Rome, met with me in a loaned-home for three days to study the Word, pray and share their lives. All four are facing several problems, of health, of support, of misunderstanding or opposition, and all desire that, no-matter-what, they may continue serving the Lord faithfully and fearlessly. For two days I spoke to them of the lessons of Isaiah’s call to service, and the need for purification, confession and humility, and on the last day, of Peter’s advice that I mentioned to you in my last letter, of joyous anticipation of the priceless “inheritance” God has prepared for us, in spite of the “manifold temptations” (or “variegated trials of our faith”) through which He leads us now.
YES, YES, YES! I am rejoicing in this time of “Thanksgiving”, that the Lord has led you to continue praying for me and supporting me, in my old age, so that I can be in the midst of the battle of which Paul writes in Ephesians, of the “principalities, …powers, …the rulers of the darkness of this world,” against whom we weak human servants are battling, but in His power and dressed in His armor, in these end times. By the way, during the days of my get-together with our missionaries mentioned above, I enjoyed the visit of an Italian evangelist, 98 years-old (I felt like a young man), as we rejoiced together for17 adults(unheard-of, at that time or today) saved in our joint ministry in a campaign in a small town some 60 years ago.
SO, MY DEAR FRIENDS, PLEASE ENJOY A GREAT “THANKSGIVING”
And thank the Lord for keeping me alive and active on the battle field, through your prayers!
Joyfully serving HIM,
William (Bill) Standridge
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