We’ve all heard the same words, followed by an extremely difficult question.
I’ve got good and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?
Personally, I usually prefer to hear the bad news first, because then the good news can overshadow the bad. So here goes…
For a good part of this summer, Pete and I have felt the piercing of Satan’s arrows, flaming darts aimed at our hearts and our wills to fight on. We have done our best to duck every arrow, to pray them away, to smile and carry on. We have felt incredible pain as people we dearly love have faced life-altering and painful situations. Our inability to take the hurts away was almost too much to bear. I doubt that I’ll ever forget the day I was on the phone with a loved one who could only gasp out heartbreaking sobs.
No words. Only sobs.
And there was nothing we could do, other than pray prayers that to us seemed so weak.
Besides that, we have faced a summer long struggle with lost mail, mail that was important for us to receive. Just days after arriving in Minnesota, we were attacked by the arrows of illness, thankfully not another round of Covid. Sandy fell down a full flight of stairs, hurting her neck and back and is still fighting the pain. And then there was the debilitating illness of a loved one in Florida who required hospitalization, and a granddaughter who was forced to go into labor a month early to save her kidneys, perhaps even her life. On top of everything, our dog’s trachea collapsed. We barely got past one arrow-pierce, and we’d be hit again.
Because of all these things, we had to reconsider our summer schedule. Events we had planned and looked forward to had to be cancelled. Our hearts were broken.
And then just at the right moment, God reminded me of the words of Charles Spurgeon, words I’d read a long, long time ago:
“Consider how precious a soul must be when both God and the devil are after it”
Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16:26
I thought about that for quite some time, asking myself three questions:
Is the enemy trying to discourage us because God has someone He wants us to witness to, someone He knows is ready to hear the story of Jesus sacrificing His life so they could have forgiveness of sin and gain eternal life?
If Satan has arrows, don’t you think God has arrows of His own?
Whose arrows are stronger, Satan’s or God’s?
NOW THE GOOD NEWS
The LORD does have arrows of His own, and He has promised to protect and fight for His children.
Then the LORD will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning…Zechariah 9:14
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day… Psalm 91:5.
The LORD has provided for our defense. Satan will do everything he can to stop us from doing what the LORD has called us to do. We must prepare for battle by staying in the word and dressing each day in the spiritual armor God has provided.
Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all to stand firm. Ephesians 6:11-13
- Belt of Truth
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Combat boots, the gospel of peace
- Shield of Faith with which you will extinguish flaming darts of the enemy
- Helmet of Salvation
- Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
Just days after arriving in Minnesota I was talking with my friend Joyce, telling her about my latest arrow piercing. God often uses Joyce to say things that I desperately need to hear. “Ever since committing to your ministry with the Fellowship of Christian Farmers, you and Pete have been under attack.” She spoke encouraging truth, because trials mean that Satan views us as a threat, and her words reminded us to put our armor on each day.
Praise God! Just one of His arrows is far mightier than all of the enemy’s arrows put together!
God is our refuge from the enemy’s arrows. As we read and reread Psalm 91, we rested in the shadow of His wings.
GOOD NEWS FROM THE BATTLEFIELD
One of the best gifts of summer was the birth of our third great grandbaby, Milo. Little Milo’s birth started out shaky, with our granddaughter spending over a week in the hospital prior to his premature birth at 8 months. He needed care in the NICU. But he was released from care much sooner than predicted and is a healthy, beautiful baby with wonderful parents who love him dearly.
We were blessed to spend time with family we don’t see and fellowship with friends from years ago. Friends Dessa and Martin have been through horrendous times over the last few years with Martin going through a kidney transplant followed by injuries from a serious accident, yet they are amazing testimonies of God’s power and are filled with joy, faithfulness, and a growing faith.
Our son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Chris. Living almost 2000 miles away from them, makes us treasure the times we are together.
Our youngest granddaughter, Emily, graduated from high school with honors. How is it possible that our youngest grandchild has graduated? The answer can only be that we are growing older.
But there is little that can compare to the opportunity to share the gospel with a world that desperately needs to hear.
We were grateful to have opportunity to do so again this year in Anoka, Minnesota at their huge outdoor art and craft fair. It was exciting when people came up to us with the sticks they were given last year. Others who had received sticks last year returned with friends who had not, wanting us to share the story of the beads with them. The impact of the ministry of The Fellowship of Christian Farmers was not forgotten, thanks to folks like you who keep us lifted up in prayer and support the ministry. We are grateful that we were able to share the story with about 250 folks in a state where it can be very difficult to witness.
Pete handing out sticks and sharing the story from the back of our vehicle.
Yes, it does get hot in Minnesota. For a good part of the summer temps were in the 90’s. On this day it was well over 90 and not a breeze to be felt! But what a blessing to work with my sister again this year. We, and little Bella, found shade to sit in while attaching the beads to the sticks
The back of the car was packed full when we started, and we handed out all the walking sticks in a matter of hours. Praise God!
We made it home to Florida yesterday.
This coming Saturday we will be handing out walking sticks at a music festival at Punta Gorda’s Fisherman’s Village.
Please keep us in prayer for this upcoming season of ministry. We appreciate each of you and are grateful for the role you play in reaching others for Christ.
If you are reading this and do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it’s as simple as putting your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Talk to Him from your heart. Tell Him this:
I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to pay for my sin and rose again on the third day. I repent (turn away from) my sin and confess Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I surrender my life to Jesus and invite Him in. I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus.
Please let us know if you have made this decision. it’s the most important decision of your life. If you do not have a Bible and cannot afford one, we will be happy to send one to you. It’s also important that you talk to the Lord every day, just as you would talk to a loving Father. He loves you and cares about every aspect of your life. You are important to God! Also, find a good church to attend, one that teaches the Bible and helps you grow as a Christian.
God bless you all. I will share this season’s schedule in our next blog. Thankfully, our schedule is filling up, but we still have dates available and would love to visit your church to share a bit about the ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Farmers.
Pete and Sandy Singer