On a warm evening last week, my wife and I decided to treat our baby son to a pre-bedtime dip in the swimming pool. The stars were out. The water was warm. And I was soooooo glad to be with my family in Southern California again.
Over the last twelve months, 2013 World Outreach kept me away from home far more than I intended. It was hard to be away from Kanae and our infant son, Kiyoshi James. My little guy represents all that is good in the world and his innocent smile reminds me daily how much I value life and the family God has graciously given me.
Here’s the fun part … when we brought Kiyoshi into the water, he couldn’t stop giggling. I mean, he cackled and squealed for about ten minutes. Out of control laughter! Bobbing up and down in the warm water. His face could hardly contain his grin! The only reason he stopped laughing was because I was physically running out of breath jumping up and down in the water.
Oh, man, even as I craft this letter to you, I can hear his laughter replaying in my mind right now. How can one little innocent boy bring so much happiness into our home?
Needless to say, I have a whole new respect for Mary and Joseph who undoubtedly felt the same kind of overpowering delight in the birth of their Son. Even in the squalor of His Bethlehem birthplace, Jesus began to light the world with His love and grace. Imagine. Royalty, the King of Kings, swaddled into that crude manger.
But of all these special encounters, there’s one person I look forward to meeting more than all the rest. Nothing will compare to seeing Jesus face-to-face. Nothing will compare to standing in the presence of God.
All the grandeur of the highest rulers and the richest kings cannot begin to compare with His glory, majesty, might and power. The Bible says, “Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place.” (I Chronicles 16:27 NIV) And I love what Isaiah said: “I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphim calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:1-3 NIV) God’s throne room is awesome! His coat alone filled the entire space! He has angels surrounding Him day and night singing praises.
But this is the crazy part! God gave up His exquisite home in heaven to be born into a grungy stable. Instead of angels, God chose to have lowly shepherds and a few animals standing by. Why? Why would God give up everything to be born in poverty to a couple of confused teenagers and visited by guys who smelled like sheep?
The answer is you, my friend. And me. God loved us so much. He was willing to put aside His rights as a King to be born of a virgin so He could die on a cross for our salvation. The King of Kings humbled Himself by coming as a tiny helpless baby. And this is the story we celebrate every day at Life Without Limbs. This is the message we carry to people far and wide.
Yes, it was hard to be away from Kanae and Kiyoshi this year. Really hard. But when I’m telling others about the baby Jesus, when I’m pointing people to the Savior of the world, is there any sacrifice too great?
Will you join me in this effort to bring the Good News to people who desperately need Him? Life Without Limbs is a non-profit ministry that relies on friends like you. We don’t have a huge endowment. We are a ministry. Not a bank. We don’t keep deep reserves tucked away. Your donations go directly toward reaching people with the Christmas message of joy all year ’round and all over the world.
Without question, December is the most important month of the year for Life Without Limbs. A major portion of our income arrives in the next few weeks, and we are praying daily that God would supply generously beyond our wildest imagination.
Please take a moment to respond to the need. I can assure you the need is urgent. Your generous gift to Life Without Limbs will help us finish strong and will give us the resources needed to continue in 2014.
My son, Kiyoshi, brings so much joy into our home. When Kanae and I hear his laughter, when we see him giggle and smile, we only get a small taste of Jesus’ love. I am more motivated than ever to share this life-changing, life-altering, ridiculously powerful message of Jesus. Will you join me?
In Him, Through Him, For Him,
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6 NKJV