Monday, April 13, 2009

Dad's 4th Update.

Dear Friends,

Pass this along...

"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed..." He really didn't you know.
He didn't in the way we think or want to think. He pawned or, as one friend
put it recently, pimped his wife twice, first to the Egyptian pharoah, then
to Abimelech. He also got tired of waiting on God to make him a dad. He took
Hagar, Sarai's Egyptian handmaid, slept with her and had a child.
Interesting who God uses to propel his purposes in His world. Astounding
that Abraham would be known as the father of faith.

I have had many respond to these email updates with the encouragement of how
our faith has encouraged their souls. I was thinking of this yesterday after
chewing out a Dish Network representative for not letting me out of my
contract. They are willing to down size my package and give me a $10 credit
a month to relieve the bill a bit! Are you kidding me? I think I said
something about her Indian accent and the stupidity of such business
practice. The language I used wouldn't really advance the cause of the
gospel. It felt good, but wasn't good at all. It is much easier to write a
faith filled email than it is to live a faith filled life.

So how could God say, "Abraham in hope believed?" You have to read the words
that precede these, "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as
righteousness." How does God see and treat us as if we perfectly believe?
God was looking forward to a perfect faith. He looks back for us. It was the
faith of another man who came and lived under the law and treasured his
bride with impeccable love. Instead of fearing for his life when being
associated with her might cost him his life, He gave his life for her. It
was this man's obedience and faith, not Abraham's, that God "credited" to
him. Jesus didn't merely die, he lived under the law for us. He died for us,
rose for us, ascended for us. He did all of this perfectly and that is the
record and performance that God loves us out of! Wow!

So what does this mean? It means God was loving me, crediting righteousness
to me, even when I was doing evil to that poor Dish Network customer service
rep. That kind of love humbles me AND frees me. I don't have to suffer
perfectly, someone has done that for me. That makes me want to suffer
better. I am indebted to love like that. But I don't have to and that helps
me sleep, gives me peace and gives me confidence to face today with all the
inevitable challenges to faith. That, my friends, will preach!


We moved into our neighbors house last night. We also looked at the two
rentals. One an unfurnished house, the other a furnished apartment. The
apartment is tempting, the house may be the wiser choice. Pray for wisdom.

I am still trying to make the contractor choice. I am calling one today that
I am leaning toward. Pray for wisdom.

Give thanks to God that our neighbor's homes and lives were spared. My next
door neighbor told me last night that he was called and told to come home.
The firemen were afraid the fire would spread to his house. Other neighbors
couldn't at first discern whose house was on fire because of the amount of
smoke. He also told me that there were 8 fire trucks at one point at our
house. I don't even remember those details. They said it was the worst fire
on Mud Island.

We are still very humbled and appreciative of all the prayers and support.
Please keep praying and know, with each prayer, our Father hears and acts!

Much love and grace!

The Rieves

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