God's Good People
Last week a family who moved away years ago sent a Fed-x envelope to Covenant. When I opened the envelope it included a thoughtful letter with kind words and a generous check.
We treasure many families who have been part of Covenant and relocated due to circumstances. Our hearts are still intertwined. We cherish relationships for a lifetime.
The longer I live the more I recognize that the tapestry of the Body of Christ is wonderfully woven of saints who are faithful.
Circumstances of life do not destroy love and loyalty that has been invested over generations. We invest long distance.
Last week I needed rest. Laila and I were given the privilege of a private home of a former parishioner, i.e., take possession for a few days with food being stocked. We drove to Bland County.
Interstate 81 is about 20 miles away. I-77 makes its way into the mountains going north. Bland is between Wytheville VA and Bluefield WVA. Rugged mountains. Mountains too steep to climb. Difficult to get reception for phones, TV, and internet.
The family hosting us is mostly involved in the timber and
logging business. Not logging like in Charlottesville but logging where bulldozers have to cut a path up rugged inclines making a road for the first time since God made mountains. Hundreds of tons of gravel are hauled in to build the roadbed. Monstrous vehicles.
Trucks with massive tires to bring logs off the mountain. The trucks have special brakes that govern the vehicle. If a driver were to jam on brakes the vehicle with loads totaling over 60,000 pounds plunge to disaster.
Last Sunday Laila and I attended two churches. One in Bluefield WVA. One in Bastian VA where our friends the loggers attend. At lunch I shared that I wanted Laila to operate one of their big machines. They agreed and invited us to their worksite.
Morning came. Laila and I arrived after the crew had made their way up the mountain. We set out walking. Waded through water. Mud. Climbed. Climbed. Just up...up...up!
About half way up we received a text sharing where a vehicle was that we could drive up the mountain. However, it was easier to climb than to descend. We kept going up.
Enjoy the photo. More online at https://www.facebook.com/covenantchurchcville. Laila climbed up about 10 feet on the monster and into the driver's seat. Our friend, Travis, a Ph.D. professor and son of the owner, sat on the edge of the cab and gave her instructions.
Proud of my woman! No wimp! Tough! Pioneer quality. Think I will build a conestoga wagon and head west!
We watched as Travis's brother, Tracy, came roaring down off a higher mountain pulling logs almost a hundred feet long.
We watched as Teddy who is a dear friend of our family and father of Travis and Tracy used his measuring stick and beast of a Stihl chainsaw and severed the logs into 8, 12, 16, 22, 40...even 60-foot lengths. He made it look so easy.
I walked off the mountain because it was too dangerous for Laila to go down. Nothing to hold on too. Muddy. Slick. I fell once.
I left Laila on the mountain to climb up into that beast of a ten-wheel truck loaded with logs and come off the mountain---about 65,000 pounds of machine and logs! She did not drive the truck.
We are home and safe or you would be reading a different story.
But the really great news that blessed Laila and me so much was to see Teddy Bradshaw, age 70, who leaves home 4:30 AM with his crew and works till sundown logging ...
Sunday. Teddy humbly sat at the end of a pew, Bible in hand, faithful elder of his church, and faithful tither. His wife Rita was beside him. Their love for their Lord is their joy.
Laila and I were reminded that tithers are beautiful people who work hard, love God and invest eternally.
We were only gone about 55 hours, but it was the trip of a lifetime.
Are you a faithful steward to God? Whoever you are, wherever you work, God sees your sacrifice of labor and faithfulness of stewardship. He watches over you! He has promised to rebuke the devourer (Malachi 3:10). He has promised to bless you on earth and in heaven.
I am ever reminded of the faithful at Covenant who labor cheerfully, and joyfully tithe. Beautiful people!
I Chronicles 22: King David refuses Aruanah the Jebusite giving an offering to God for the King. David insists that he must pay full price for his sacrifice of worship.