Ugly Tears

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 tHE NIGHT BEFORE MY DAUGHTER GOT MARRIED ON DECEMBER 28, she handed me a small gift. Appropriately it was a handkerchief. It was monogrammed with these words, “No ugly crying. I love you, Abby.” She knows me well.

Abby didn’t want me to see her until it was time to walk her down the aisle. As the minutes passed and the hour drew near, however, I was beginning to panic. I felt like a gurgling volcano ready to explode in a horrific blast of ugly crying.

LOGOI’s Board Chairman was at the wedding and saw me pacing. A few months earlier I was at his daughter’s wedding and thus he understood the emotions I was going through. “Have you seen Abby?” he asked concerned. All I could do was shake my head, “No.” He sensed the volcano gurgling and said, “Oh no. This isn’t good. You’ve got to see her… now.”

So it was that a few moments later I was outside the room where Abby was waiting with her bridesmaids. I stood there, alone with my thoughts, when the volcano started to erupt. I pulled out my special handkerchief and tried to read the words but all I could see was, “I love you.” Then the volcano blew.

I was desperately trying to compose myself when I turned to see Abby walking toward me. What a sight. I have never seen anyone or anything so beautiful. She was radiant; absolutely beaming.

It’s hard to stop a volcano, but Abby did it. She looked me in the eyes and with great confidence and conviction, said words of love that will forever touch my heart. And somehow, the volcano stopped. (See this 30-second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n72tZR-yrR8).

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ITH THE EXCEPTION OF ABBY’S WEDDING, 2014 was a pretty rough year for me, and LOGOI, too. Few things seemed to go right. Donations to LOGOI were historically low, our exciting new website met delay after delay, and hardly any of our ministry plans and goals for the year seemed to be on target. Not only that, but I spent far too much time with loved ones in hospitals, other family and friends were battling severe diseases and job layoffs; and to top it off, Abby was moving to Australia. That volcano was gurgling.

But while I was having my own personal pity-party, I turned and noticed my Heavenly Father was there. He was there the entire time, but I wasn’t paying much attention. He then seemed to say, “When you’re done whining, I’ve got something to show you.”abby_alex_ml

And this is what I discovered. In 2014, amidst all our discouragements and struggles, over 1 million people were introduced and invited to experience LOGOI’s ministry of on-the-job Bible training and resources. Of that group, 54,000 of them — men and women from Cuba to Argentina to small groups in Italy, Germany, Japan and even someone in an Arabic country — accepted our invitation.

It was my job to get Abby to the altar on her wedding day. It’s thrilling to know as we start our 2015 year, it’s our job to help men and women “get to the altar” and equip them to build up the church. God has given us 54,000 opportunities to do just that.

So we invite you to join us as we “Equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). Our FiveDollarMission.com explains how you can do this for as little as $5 per month. But if you’ll dare to dream big with us, you can take on a church group for $100, a community for $500, and a city for $5,000. How about an entire country? Call me, I would love to show you how.

As my wife and I watched our daughter get married, my brother Dan, who was the pastor officiating the wedding, read this beautiful blessing:

“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be
gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace”
(Numbers 6:24-26).

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