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Before Winter…

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me… When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ….

Do your best to get here before winter. 2 Timothy 4:9-21 NIV

The autumnal equinox was the other day. The “Avg” day for our first freeze is just a couple of weeks away. Winter is coming!

I need to get the sprinklers for the house blown, out… the hoses brought in… snow tires put on the car.

Probably should have the furnace checked and bring in the lawn furniture too.

What am I forgetting???


I don’t know if you see it or not, but Paul’s note to Timothy was less about the need for his cloak and books than it was about his need to have someone by his side in lonely, desperate times.

Abandoned at his first defense, he was unsure of the next one. He was staring death… martyrdom …in the eye. And while he was a tough old bird, loneliness and death are still a daunting duo to accept.

“Do your best to come to me before winter…”


Perhaps that’s what I’m forgetting. Who is it that I need to go and be present with before the winter of their life?

Perhaps it is my aging mother… or a pastor facing a crisis in their ministry?

Perhaps it is a church that sees the closing of their doors on the horizon?

Perhaps it is a child who is dealing with failure for the first time in their life?

Or a friend battling depression, job loss or a failed marriage?

Come to me before winter they ask, albeit so often silently because they don’t want to trouble anyone.

And yet, too often, I continue to focus on the mundane chores of everyday life. Getting the hoses in before the first freeze!


Prayer: Lord, open my eyes, soften my heart and steel my desire to go and be with whomever before their winter. In my presence, permit me to represent you in the winter of other people’s lives. And when winter comes to me, please send another to bring me a cloak and a few books. Amen

Rev. Dr. Steve Van Ostran

Executive Minister


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