Autumn Leaves by Luan Anh (CC BY 2.0)

Autumn Leaves by Luan Anh (CC BY 2.0)

Rod and Staff has much for which to be thankful. Indeed, as believers we all have an eternity of gratitude to and for God. He has accomplished all that He demands. He has satisfied His person AND provided a way for us to be in His presence. One aspect of our great salvation that continues to grip me is how grateful I am that God is THE God of joy. The Bible speaks often about joy. Psalm 5 is one prime example:

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.

If God is our good; if pleasing God is our pursuit; if trusting God is our treasure—if God is our soul’s delight—then exulting and rejoicing will be our result—for EVER. Beloved, this is the promise of Scripture and the content of our counsel. Rod and Staff Ministries seeks the saints’ joy. We follow our Lord and desire your greatest delight. We are for you—your joy—your soul to sing.

What a calling! What a privilege! We exist to equip the saints to sing—with joy, and forevermore. We are thankful to God for this pleasure. What’s more…is that we are for all this joy to be yours even in life’s trials and temptations. The Bible offers a joy that soars even under the weight of difficult circumstances. Did you see that “but” in Psalm 5:11 above? That “but” signals a contrast.

There are two very different—contrasting—lives described in the Bible. The one seeks God as the soul’s greatest delight (cf. Matthew 6:20, “store up for yourselves treasure in heaven”); the other seeks the lesser paltry pleasure of self (the kingdom of self). This ministry has the honor of calling the saints to live for God’s Kingdom…not their own.

Our calling will never be celebrated. The world comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We come in the name of Jesus to point to life, abundant life, lived for His sake (see John 10:10). Because we call men and women to live no longer for themselves, but for Jesus (2 Cor 5:14-15), we will never be mainstream—indeed, we will forever be sledding uphill.

This reality causes us to be thankful to God for you! You make possible our passion. You have caught a vision, namely that living for God’s glory is the soul’s greatest good. You enable us to equip and exhort men and women to their joy. Thank you.

We are also thankful that we are fully able to train and supervise anyone to certification as a biblical counselor (through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, ACBC). All of us are counselors…and counseling every day. We help people bring the Word to everyday life—giving drinks of cool water to thirsty souls. As training is our primary calling, we are grateful to add a part-time teacher and counselor, Josh Stegall. His presence allows me to supervise many more counselors. Lorra, Josh, Shawna, myself, our board, and our host of volunteers are thankful for the privilege of ministry.

We will continue the course; we will point people to their joy—we will point people to the Person, Jesus Christ. We fully expect another 200 or more sufferers to be counseled and 100 or better counselors to be trained just as we have helped that many this past year—and we pray that God will provide it all through the generosity of His redeemed.

10,000 Blessings in THE Wonderful Counselor,

Rod and Staff Ministries