Welcome to 2019! Its so exciting to think of what God is going to do for his glory in these coming months.
As for me, I am slowly adjusting to becoming an urban guy, in a beautiful rural setting. Even though I grew up in the city, I was alarmed when at midnight on New Years Eve I heard gunshots. Something in my head wanted me to dive under a table for cover. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I had nothing to fear, and there was no reason to dial 911!
A lot of times we can become complacent, or comfortable when it comes to our spiritual life. We get into such a daily routine of life that we forget that there is a bigger reason for us to exist than the daily grinds of life. I can admit to you, that my spiritual life had began to become stale. Doing the same old same old sometimes does that to even the most faithful follower of Jesus. But then God does the unexpected, he stirs your life up a little.
That’s exactly what happened to me. I was blessed. I was serving at a small urban church, working bi vocationally, but that was ok, because I served beside the best Senior Pastor I have ever worked with. My wife had a good job. Our daughter’s college was close by. We even had two little doggies living with us. And a goldfish. Life was good.
Oh, and did I mention that the Philadelphia Eagles FINALLY WON THE SUPERBOWL???
But then everything changed. I started feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. Like God wanted something more, but I wasn’t sure what “More” actually was. My wife knew though. She had felt and predicted that 2018 was going to be a season of change for us that would spin our lives around.
Then in steps Jesus.
I got a phone call in early fall, that there was a small church in a rural community that was really hurting. They had been through a lot, and needed someone who could help.
Now if you know Jodie and I at all, you know that we love people. We were just raised that way I guess. By two separate oddly dysfunctional families. We love listening, helping and investing in other people.
Load the truck.
So, we said yes, loaded all our belongings into a truck, and moved to Central Pennsylvania. Left everything and everyone behind, simply to follow Jesus. That’s it.
I am often reminded of the way that the Sadduccees were startled by both Peter and John’s courage in the book of Acts. They were successful because they were empowered by the Holy Spirit to go and do what Jesus had called them to do;
Acts 4:13-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say.
Peter and John had found their strength and resolve in the one who sent them, that is why they were not afraid.
Jodie and I are prayerful during this season in our lives, that we would always cling to the power of the Holy Spirit. Because it is he that has enabled us to follow the call to serve here in Central Pennsylvania. And it is he who will walk with us every step of the way.
Then in steps Jesus.
Stepping out in faith is never easy, but it is always rewarding. One of the things I had to realize was, I was chosen by the King, to be a tool in his tool box. To be used as a piece of the puzzle to bring glory to his name. That’s an important fact to remember, it will help keep your ego in check. God chose you to serve him, not vise versa. Serving never brings glory to yourself, its must always bring glory to God. Look at what John wrote to help us remember;
John 15:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
So if we walk in faith, and lead with Love, the possibilities are endless! Simply and with courage,follow his commands. If and when he says go, then go! Do not be afraid. You know, it’s interesting, any time Jesus said that in the scriptures, it was right before something amazing happened!
Will you pray with us today for the rural church? Pray for God’s blessing and a move of the Holy Spirit here in this community. Pray that the church here would rise from the ashes, and impact our community with the love of Jesus Christ.
What is God calling you to today?
Till next week,