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Thanksgiving and Prayer Philippians 1:3-11

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

This past weekend I was blessed to spend time with fellow sisters in Christ through Pastoral Leadership Institute. All of us are married to pastors and have been together before, at conferences and retreats. What a joy it was to spend time with all of them!

Today when I sat down to write a blog post, God led me into a long list of joy verses in Philippians, and I decided to start writing through the book. And the first one was 1:4, underlined above. I included the whole paragraph because it so clearly speaks the words of my heart about some very special women, some of whom are finished now with their PLI journey, so I will not see them again at these events.

The partnership we share in the Gospel, through Jesus Christ, is a tie that binds us stronger than most friendships I’ve had in my life. Now, that doesn’t mean I haven’t had Christian friends – I have, believe me. But it is our faith in Christ that brought us together specifically in PLI, and that bond is unbelievably strong. It’s the same bond my husband and I discover over and over again in our marriage, the strength of Jesus flowing through our hearts and lives.

Many tears were shed this weekend. Some goodbyes will last until heaven. Other relationships will continue throughout this life, though will call on us to make an effort to see each other. But the work is well worth it.

I will continue to pray these words for each one of my sisters in Christ, those I saw this weekend, those who were unable to attend, and those who I know outside of PLI but I also love deeply with the love of Christ. Be blessed, dear friends!