Verse to Consider – Daniel 2:20-22,
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.”
Updates and Giving Tuesday!
Hello everyone, and happy post-Thanksgiving! It’s been a busy couple of months for us between all of the school and Fall activities that have been going on. And I’ve finally overcome the food-coma induced by Thanksgiving to be able to write you this update 🙂
Before I jump in, with all of the craziness going on this weekend (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, whew!), we wanted to remind our friends and family not to forget about Giving Tuesday! This is a day where people followup thankfulness and spending with a little giving towards non-profits. If you’ve been following our journey with Emmaus Bible Ministries for a while and want to help add to our support, here is great way! This Dec. 3rd you can celebrate giving Tuesday with us by giving towards our mission of helping others knows God through His Word. If you’d like to donate, Click Here for directions on how to give. And Thank you!
This past month I had the opportunity to teach my favorite book, Daniel. There is so much to this book that I could literally spend hours talking about it. In fact, I spent six hours to talk about it in our class and felt like I could have easily gone six more!
Now if you’ve ever read anything from this book or heard a sermon preached about it, it’s very likely that it involved the first half half of this book. Even more likely, this reading or sermon probably revolved around three young men in a fiery furnace or Daniel in the lion’s den, am I right? That’s because the first six chapter of this book focus on 3rd-person, narrative stories about Daniel and his friends living faithfully during their exile in Babylon, while the last six chapter focus on a lot of really weird visions and dreams that Daniel has. These last six chapters can often leave the reader saying “What on earth did I just read!?” But these strange chapters hold the most incredible message! But I don’t want to belittle the first six chapters of this book in any way either! It’s chapters 1-6 that we not only see incredible examples on how to live faithfully towards God in the midst of persecution and hardship, but we also see an even bigger picture of how God is sovereignly in control of even the most desperate situations, and is above all present nations and rulers of the earth. You’ll constantly see ways in which the power of the earthly kings are pitted against the sovereignty of God, and God always wins!
Chapters 7-12 of this book involve a lot more first-person accounts from Daniel himself as he’s getting these really strange dreams and visions and he’s trying to figure out what they mean. If you ever read from this half of the book and find yourself confused, you’re not alone! In fact, if you pay close attention, you’ll see that Daniel himself is often left puzzled and confused by the meanings of these visions that have to do with events that come after his lifetime. These strange chapters are categorized as apocalyptic literature, which was a common form of Hebrew writing that employed the use of symbols, numbers, and vivid imagery as a way to communicate a specific message. This can get confusing, but it’s important to not let the details overshadow the main message of these chapters! In my opinion, no where else in the Old Testament do we get a clearer picture of a Messianic hope and an eternal resurrection, and that’s huge!
And if you ever want me to continue talking your ear off, just ask me questions about Daniel, I’d love to keep going! 🙂
Along with teaching, we were able to have a lot of fun with our Emmaus community with an October pumpkin carving challenge!
And while Samantha and I weren’t able to make it to any family this year for Thanksgiving, we had a blast getting to celebrate with many of our fellow staff and students, and other friends of the community. Having Thanksgiving with 24 people is always a good time!
In other news, I (Jacob) also started working part time at a local Panera in order to help our financial situation. While Samantha and I would love to be able to focus all of our attention on Emmaus, we simply haven’t been able to raise enough support to do so. Meeting our financial support goal of $3000 a month is still our hope, but for now, we’re thankful to have been able to find a position to help us continue our work here with the School of Biblical Studies, so thank you for all who have been praying about this for us!
- With Benaiah growing more every day, it’s becoming more challenging to remain in our one-bedroom apartment. We’d love to come to a place where we can afford a different living situation.
- Along with this, Samantha and I have been doing fine with our single car, but we’d both feel much more comfortable if I didn’t have to leave Samantha at home with Benaiah without any vehicle to use if they need it, so we’d also love to be able to get a second vehicle soon.
- Again, we’d love to increase our support to $3000 a month in order for me to not have to work outside of Emmaus. So far it hasn’t been easy or enjoyable to try scaling back on my responsibilities in the ministry, and between the two jobs it’s also left less time for me to be with Samantha and Benaiah.
Cute Pictures of Benaiah
Thank you all for your continuing love and support. We are truly blessed by you.
– The McRae Family