Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith

A few evenings ago, I attended a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater here in Morrison, Colorado. This iconic venue is a favorite of fans and artists everywhere, and experiencing a concert there is a bucket-list event for many people. The amphitheater is nestled within these gigantic red stone formations jutting out of the earth giving the venue its unique beauty and top-notch sound.

During the daytime, exercise enthusiasts flock to this amphitheater to be challenged by the steep incline, the 145 steps from stage to top, and the satisfaction of surviving a workout at around 6,450 feet above sea level. Personally, I prefer the music experience!

Before my concert started, I hiked those steps to the top just to enjoy the view for a few moments. It didn’t take more than five minutes as it was a straightforward trek. However, if you traverse back and forth on each of the 70 rows, it becomes a two-and-a-half mile walk or jog, taking significantly more time and energy. Since the average number of steps per mile a person takes is roughly 2,000, it makes this traversing excursion at Red Rocks approximately 5,000 steps one way.

I find the journey of life to be quite similar. When younger, we see our days as a straight line toward our goals and dreams—if we do A and B, we will see the results and blessings of C. But then as life goes on, we discover it is filled with setbacks and suffering, turns and twists, missteps and misunderstandings, and the unexpected and unexplained.

And so we adjust, we endure, we change, we traverse, and we press forward. The route requires more steps, more effort, and more faith than we could have ever imagined at the start.

I’ve mentioned before that one of the consistent metaphors in Scripture which describes a faith journey is the picture of walking, steps, and paths. We walk with God, keep in step with the Spirit, and are led on paths of righteousness.

Psalm 37:23–24 states, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” I love God’s promises to be with us, strengthen us, and uphold us as we pilgrim with Him through life.

Friends, would you pray for our military people and their families as many experience PSC (Permanent Change of Station) this summer? Their journey will take them to new duty stations, communities, and military assignments.

I pray that you too will experience the presence of the Lord as you walk with Him in these days. May your steps lead you continually to Jesus, both on the challenging paths of life and also in the moments of pause as you catch your labored breath, behold His beautiful creation, and hear the faithful music of His love.

With many prayers of gratitude,
David Schroeder

Grace for Today

Grace for Today

One of our long-term (over 40 years) Cadence missionaries, Doyle Spader, went home to be with Jesus last month.

His wife Chris recounted to Joyce and me a conversation she and Doyle often had in the weeks before his death. They would say to each other: “We have grace for the day—it is always enough. It’s only not enough if I’m trying to get it for the next day.”

We have grace for today friends. Tomorrow’s grace will not be available until tomorrow.

We were privileged to be with Chris and the extended Spader family in South Dakota to celebrate Doyle’s life and grieve the loss of this gentle, kind, and wise man from the earth. Chris shared with us a beautiful prayer Doyle had written in his journal as he neared heaven. Here is a portion of that prayer:

“I thank Thee for the grace You’ve given to me and to Chris. What wonderful grace. I thank you O Lord—for so many praying for us. So many who bring us to the Throne of Grace. Hear their prayers O Lord. Thank you for the participants of Thy grace. May their fruit of righteousness—which comes from Jesus Christ—bring Thee praise and honor.”

In this prayer we have a sacred glimpse into Doyle’s innermost thoughts as he poured his heart out to God in the middle of his suffering. It is so beautiful and powerful. Do you hear him thanking God for all of us who were praying for him? God’s ever-present grace brought him and Chris much comfort—grace for each day as they walked Doyle’s journey to heaven.

I imagine you also need the comforting presence of God’s grace for today. I do. None of us have it yet for tomorrow. We can either fret, worry, and be anxious about the uncertainty of what is to come, or we can walk in the peace of trusting God for today’s grace. Doyle and Chris remind us, “It is always enough.”

Here is the last line of Doyle’s written prayer: “Whether by life or by death may Jesus be exalted.” Mission accomplished Doyle Spader, mission accomplished!

Let us each walk in the grace of God today, that Jesus may be exalted and the gospel may be proclaimed in each of our locations and in military communities around the world.

David Schroeder

Smiles and Blessings

Smiles and Blessings

I recently shared a story about one of our grandchildren with you. Please bear with this joy-filled grandpa again!

Not too long ago as Joyce and I returned home from an event, we walked in the door to a room full of many of our family gathered for an evening together.

Our daughter Kyrie was holding their seven-month old son Lewis (grandchild number five). He was snuggled up on her shoulder, but as he heard our voices he turned his head and smiled. Oh, our hearts! He then twisted his body to face us and started twitching his legs and arms in excitement at seeing us.

What a gift to be welcomed with such eagerness and enjoyment. Our faces also lit up when we saw him. (Sometimes Joyce and I remind each other to also greet our grandchildren’s parents as well when they arrive with their kids.)

In Numbers 6:22–27, we have this ancient yet timeless Aaronic blessing:

The Lord said to Moses, Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

Powerful truth and goodness are packed in this little prayer! We have prayed it over many loved ones and friends throughout the years.

For today, I would highlight the beauty of the Hebrew meanings in these few words:

keep you—to keep, watch, observe, guard; to be set aside, be secured. turn his—to bear, carry, lift up; forgive. face toward you— face; by extension: appearance, presence.

Here is the wonderful truth: God’s presence is continually lifted up near us, toward us, for us—ready to bear our burdens and guard us from harm and evil. His face is smiling with unbridled joy and unshakable love, continually!

If our little grandson’s welcoming face can bring us such connection and delight, how much more so does the grace-filled, ever-loving, all-knowing, and truly-enjoying face of our Heavenly Father turned toward us!

Then the finale in this blessing: “and give you peace.” giveto place, put, establish, appoint, peaceshalom, wholeness, well-being, contentment, security. To have this great shalom of peace placed upon us by Almighty God, now that is a blessing!

May this very blessing rest on you today, my friends. May you receive His joy-filled face connecting with you, smiling at you. This is my prayer for you, as well as for the military men, women, and families we love and serve around the world.

David Schroeder

Light Matters

Light Matters

I have been house-hunting here in Colorado with our daughter, Kyrie, and son-in-law, Jake. Well, our six-month-old grandson Lewis also tags along! Having moved from Oregon over Thanksgiving week, they have begun the challenging task of finding a home that is a good fit for their family at an affordable price.

One of the important criteria for the home they will choose (among many things) is the element of light—both natural and spiritual. Some houses are darker than others, in both senses. We’ve walked into some and known immediately the lack of light would not be conducive to the atmosphere they desire in their home.

Light matters.

It matters from the beginning of time when God created light out of darkness, throughout the pages of Scripture, to the future promise in Revelation 21:23, “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

The Apostle John especially valued the picture of light. The word is generously sprinkled throughout his gospel and first epistle—twenty-one times—with most of the references about Jesus as the light.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

Because you and I have received the precious gift of the light and love of Jesus, we have the amazing privilege of walking in this light with God and with others. As 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

We are called to take the light of Jesus into this dark and broken world. “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16–17

Cadence exists to bring the light of Jesus to the people of military communities across the U.S. and around the world.

Thank you for partnering with our staff through your prayers and finances so that this may be true: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2

Let us all press on with this mission in our families, neighborhoods, and communities.

Until the Lamb is the light and lamp for all,

David Schroeder

Love Moves Toward

Love Moves Toward

“Grandma, I’m coming to you.”

Our four-year-old grandson, Davey, scurried along the church row to nestle in Joyce’s lap during the service this past Sunday. We love being grandparents to five dear ones, and these many small moments of affection and connection warm our hearts!

It strikes me just how often love takes the initiative to move toward another.

In this recent Christmas season, we enjoyed celebrating the greatest and most profound movement toward others in the history of humanity—the incarnation of Jesus Christ. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

The Message paraphrase says, “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” God to us, with us, in us, and then—as we take initiative with others in love— through us!

This is why one of Cadence’s Core Values states:

We believe in the power of incarnate ministry. “Incarnate,” verb: “To make an abstract idea concrete, usually through personification.” We want to live Jesus. We believe in following God’s example of incarnating His love for us in the person of His Son. We believe in initiating relationships with people in their worlds. This means our ministry must flow from our lives into their lives. This means we share the gospel through our genuine, humble, and incarnate love. (John 1:1, 3:22; 2 Timothy 3:10–14; 1 Thessalonians 2:8)

There are times because of unrepentant sin, severe brokenness, emotional or physical abuse, and other serious matters that we must step away from someone and set boundaries for safety and security. These are difficult decisions that necessitate wisdom, counsel, and courage.

On the other hand, most often we are called to be up close, “initiating relationships with people in their worlds.”

This movement toward is at the heart of our Cadence ministries. Your financial and prayer partnership enables our staff to reach out in love to military people around the world bringing the good news of Jesus to them every day in 2024 and beyond.

Our grandson Davey already intuitively understands the core of this truth.

May we also keep moving toward others in the way our Savior repeatedly moves toward us, “I’m coming to you.”

David Schroeder