In Luke 8:14-15, Jesus explains the parable of the soils to His followers. When He tells of the journey of the seed “among the thorns,” he indicates that though they “have heard…as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life…” Our family feels these thorns snag at us like never before as we “go on our way” like never before. Thorns catch us when we are moving more than standing still. Jesus’ words warn of the disappointment ahead for anyone getting caught in the thorns: they “bring no fruit to maturity.” Notice that there may be fruit, but it will not mature. It is so easy it is for any of us to stop “going” and settle into our comfortable yet worrisome soil, justifying ourselves by the presence of partially mature fruit. However, a hopeful contrast emerges: “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast…” Indeed, a seed has been sown in our hearts as a family, and we press ahead in the spirit of Oswald Chambers words: “When God gives a vision, transact business on that line, no matter what its costs.” So we gratefully walk through the catchy thorns. The path appears closer than we even expected, as we now prepare to “move” into this new season at the beginning of July, by attending stateside missionary training for six weeks. Until then, our activities include our final interview with our mission agency this week with fundraising to follow, sorting through all of our possessions, preparing to rent out our house, concluding a special season at the school, graduating from Regent, releasing a book…and enjoying the signs of resurrection throughout the spring! Thank you for surrounding us as a supportive family in this journey; together may we mature as good soil and “bear fruit with perseverance.” As Jesus makes clear in the following verses, good soil represents good listening, and good listening places our family among His family, which consists of those who “hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21).