Welcome the Word!

Romania is a day’s drive from Greece.  So that was our default getaway when we lived in Eastern Europe.  Traveling through Bulgaria was a harrowing adventure, but at the end of the road we found the closest place to paradise on earth.

After a long Romanian winter, the first thing to welcome us was the warmth.  It was late spring, so it was warm, not hot.  Nor was it crowded.  We didn’t plan it, but when we landed on Santorini, the most beautiful and distant Greek island, it was two weeks before school let out and the workers began their vacations. It’s also said that the farther south you travel in Europe, the warmer the climate and personality of the people.  That is true of the Greeks.  For 14 days we basked in the sun and let their hospitality relax our spirits. What a welcome they gave us!

The writer James uses the same verb urging us to give a similar welcome to God’s Word. Most of us own a Bible, but do we give it the time we would give a guest visiting from a distant land? Have we learned to curl up and relax with it like we would a letter from a loved one stationed on the other side of the globe?

James tells us why it’s difficult to concentrate when we read and pray. “In humility welcome the implanted Word…”  We feel so compelled to get things done that we forget that God can keep the world spinning while we take time to restore our souls. And what a pay-off! Not only will Jesus multiply our time like He did the loaves and fishes, but He promises that a few minutes in His Word will save our souls from the corruption and despair of the world, and in the end that’s the only thing we can take to heaven with us. So, in the words of James:

“In humility welcome the implanted Word which is able to deliver your souls.” James 1:21

Santorini Island Culture


14 responses to “Welcome the Word!

  1. Amen. It’s faith in Christ that allows Him to be the living word for us. Sounds like you should have a mission to that Greek island, at least for a while. I’m struggling to find a way to return to Romania (financially) but that is just how the Lord directs me sometimes. It makes my choices real. There are family things I’m not giving up to do it.

  2. Mark & Kathy Olander

    We’re excited to see where the Lord leads you …. you have our support!
    Love you guys! Bendecidos!

  3. Sharon and Dick Fitchitt

    Your deep love for the church and your solid Biblical teaching are just two of the very special ways that God has used you two to bless us. Thank you so much for loving us and for the wonderful study in James.
    Love this website—-let’s all go to Greece!!!
    We love you, Dick and Sharon

  4. You’re kind! Thanks for being great encouragers. You’re the kind of people we all need more of in these difficult times we live in. The good news is that Jesus is coming soon, and it’s going to be way better than a vacation in Greece!

  5. Terry and Luanne Cook Jr.

    To my Loving Aunt and Uncle……for a very long time we have felt in our hearts you both now after a most consistent life never wavering even during hardships in a foreign country –now have a great legacy to share….to train others up to take hold of the challenges we all need to prepare for in our future. I believe when offered many will flock to any type of training for ministry or mission field work, that you both could easily provide. That is the cycle? Train -Practice-Master-…..then pass on the legacy that is so needed.
    You are in our prayers and thank you for being MY aunt and uncle we are so proud of all your work. GB Terry and Luanne

    • Terry,
      Be careful or we’ll make you our marketing specialist. (-: Thanks for the kind words. We’re praying for Luanne and you as travel back and forth to UW for treatment. I can’t imagine how exhausted you must be. When you have time, catch us up on things. We love you guys!!!
      Gary and Cheryl

  6. Gary and Cheryl!
    I am so proud of you two. Without the love and strength of our Lord, I cerrtainly wouldn’t be here on your most impressive website. This journey with Him, to Him, is so exciting. I wish I were in closer proximity because the two of you are so…….beyond inspitational. Not to use Terry’s words but I am honored to have you as my cousins!! Love to you both…Jan

    • Dear Jan,
      We want to hear more of your story. I’ll email you if we get down along the Oregon Coast in the near future. Your kind words mean a lot. I’ve always been proud that you’re my cousin, and how you ever put up with two little twerps like Ron and me, I don’t know. But thanks! We love you! Gary and Cheryl

  7. G & C

    I am really impressed with your website. How did you put all this together so quickly? I am really excited to see how the Lord is going to use you both who are so talented and available. I am forwarding your web address to a couple people with the hopes they will consider you a speaker at their church. If there’s anyway I can help, let me know. You will continue to be in my prayers and I will check your website weekly.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Judy! I’m not an IT guy, so it took me a few weeks to figure out how wordpress.com works, but I’m starting to get it. We appreciate you making the ministry known to others. We’re praying for you too. Love in Him. Gary and Cheryl

  8. Sharon Fitchitt

    We agree, Terry should be the marketing specialist!!! What a wonderfully accurate testimony. And it’s not just relatives that feel this way!
    Love you
    Sharon and Dick

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