"Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
'Why have we fasted,' they say,
'and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?'
Yet on the day of your fasting,
you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter -
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise int he darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Our three oldest children are leaving this weekend for missions trips. One is a co-leader for a middle school team going to Juniata County, PA to do house projects and to build relationships with the people they serve. The other two are headed to work with the Navajo in New Mexico.
Short term missions has a bad reputation for teams of wealthy, entitled people swooping in with all of their comforts and preconceived notions, serving for a week, then leaving, often doing more damage than good in the location they have served. My prayer for our teens this week is that they would go with the attitude of Isaiah 58 and Luke 14:12 - 14 uppermost in their hearts and minds. Go with the mind of Christ. Be open with your love, share what you've been given. Be uncomfortable so others may be comfortable.
Speaking of uncomfortable...
Victor and I have watched many babies come and go in the three months he's been here. Another one of his neighbors is leaving today. Our turn is coming. The countdown is on. Day 5 of no bradies. Weight gain is no problem - 5 lb. 10 oz. today. Loving his milk. On very little oxygen. We're so excited!
UPDATE 2PM - PRAYER WARRIORS NEEDED
We just found out from the doctor that unless we get a miracle we will NOT be going home next week. In fact, according to him, it could be more than 2 weeks. Bottom line:
1. The eye doctor needs to show up to do the eye exam. He is one week overdue for this exam and is the only one in town who can do it.
2. The results of that eye exam need to be miraculous! Victor's eyes need to have matured and the ROP has to have resolved. Today's doctor will not allow Victor to leave with oxygen if these two things have not happened.
We need a miracle!
Oh, and another room air trial is underway as I type. Passing this would be another miracle!