November 1 marks the beginning of NaNo—National Novel Writing Month. It is run by an organization that encourages writing. The goal, for someone to write their first novel in 30 days. This means 50,000 or more words by the end of November. I’ve decided to take the challenge, but it will help me if you know about it. I tend to procrastinate and put things off. To be honest, I’m not sure what I want to write about. I have so many ideas in my head. Yet when I think about it, and mull over the encouragement of friends over the years, there seems to be a uniform request: write a book.

Compile my poetry? Fix my short stories? Write about Rich? Write about something else? It is all so mixed up in my mind. I though that at the least, I would take up this challenge, and begin writing. Usually, we need to have a plan. For me, the plan is discipline. To write the 2,000 words a day that are in my heart and see where they go. I’ve decided to get rid of my internal censor for this exercise—something that Rich said was important for good writing. We can proof, censor later, but first we have to write, get the ideas out.

In the meantime, my journey into the book of Job continues. Challenging and interesting. I tried to cover 5 chapters in one lesson, but there was just too much to consider, so my students are OK to spend another week on chapters 3-7. I was very encouraged at the progress in one student. At the first lesson, D could not read out loud very well at all, and there didn’t seem to be much improvement. But yesterday D read quite well, and worked through very difficult words. Huge progress for this student. It is exciting to see them expressing their thoughts in English, and discussing complex ideas. Obviously they are learning much more than English, but their ability to communicate is markedly improving in a few short weeks.

We have gotten more rain here in Israel, and that is a huge answer to prayer, but it is only the beginning. We need a lot more. Interesting things are happening here in Israel. The authorities are concerned about the possibilities of Ebola getting into the country. I learned last week that for now, until special equipment is brought into the country for another hospital, my place of work—Rambam—is the only facility in Israel that is ready and able to care for suspected or actual Ebola patients. I am thankful that we have this capability, but with others, I pray that not only will Ebola never be experienced here, but that God would inspire the minds of researchers to find a real cure and treatment for this terrible disease.

The world is truly going crazy. Between disease, ISIS, wars, rumors of wars, politics, and more, what comfort is there. Ah you know me too well, yes, it is Jesus. Everything in this world is designed to distract my thoughts from the wonder of all that He has done for me. Yet HE made this world for our enjoyment. In the beginning of creation He declared, “It is good.”

As I listen to thunder in the distance, enjoy the rain and cooler weather, and notice small flowers starting to sprout, I realize that the everything that distracts, for the most part is man-made or man-centered—not God-made or God-centered. I am thankful that the creation sings his praises, and draws my eyes upwards to His wonderful grace poured out on us. Common grace—evidenced by each rain drop and Saving grace—manifested in Jesus my Messiah and Savior.

Thank you in advance for your encouragement to me in the coming month as I set out on this challenge. and may you be encouraged to consider the wonderful grace that God has poured out on us!