Blog from Kristy Engel….

Pursuit

For the last few Wednesday evening Bible studies, Pastor Caroline has read through Psalm 23, almost like Lectio Divina. (Lectio Divina means “divine word” and is a way of meditating on scripture to spend time with God and gain knowledge of God’s Word). I learned about Lectio Divina about 10 years ago and find it a wonderful way to sit with scripture, especially scripture I have heard many times, to see what new knowledge I can gain.

During the final reading, I listened for God to show me something new. And then came the last verse (verse 6):

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (KJV)

The version I was reading from (NLT) said something significantly different for me. Here’s the version I was reading:

“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

In the NLT version, God pursues! That image is so beautiful to me. Thinking about God pursuing me…this suggests the idea of an ACTIVE God and not simply a God that shadows my steps. I was curious about the original meaning of the words in verse 6 and wanted to find out if “follow” or “pursue” was more accurate. Here’s what Strong’s Concordance said about the original word, radaph, that is used in verse 6:

radaph: to pursue, chase, persecute

Original Word: רָדַף
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (raw-daf’)

This is the same word used to describe Saul’s pursuit of David. To think that God is following me, pursuing me, with the same intensity that Saul chased David through the wilderness…well, that is intentional. I hear this as God’s attempt to overtake me, not quietly follow behind, no matter where I go. God wants to be KNOWN and active in my life. This is a persistence, or a “not letting go” of me, until I am living with God forever.

What a wonderful new way to see these words in Psalm 23! God, whether I’m running or walking, living in a moment of joy or finding it hard to stand in my grief…God races after me to overtake me. God is actively trying to catch me and will not let me go. God, my (our) PURSUER!

I’ll end this month’s newsletter with a bit of an update regarding my ministry. As most of you know, I am required to raise my own salary and ministry support funds. Parkway has been a phenomenal supporter since I joined in 2013. The pandemic, however, has made this more difficult, as I was unable to visit with people face-to-face, and explain all that I do when I’m not traveling overseas. Because of that, my funding has taken a significant hit. As of today, I am at 83% of my pledged donor goal. (Pledged donors are individuals or churches who agree to give on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis) Prior to the pandemic, I was at 100%. 

So, what’s next? I need more pledged donors to support this ministry and am launching the “Friends and Family Match” opportunity. If you currently are a committed donor, will you share with a friend or family member about my ministry and ask them to match your monthly gift? If you do that, I know I will reach 100%! You can click this link to begin a pledge or find out more about my ministry: https://www.internationalministries.org/author/k-engel/ . You can also direct a gift through Parkway Baptist Church by writing, “Kristy Engel Support” on the memo line of your check.

I’ve never doubted the abundance of God’s resources but sometimes we need a reminder. If you have always wanted to support my work but have yet to make a gift, please pray about and consider how you might be able to start. Parkway is family and I can honestly say that where I go, you go with me. Thank you for your support in ways beyond the finances, and for all who continue to encourage me.

I’ll update this thermometer next month…let’s see if we can hit 100%!