One day left until we take a month off from technology as a family. It will be hard staying off social media for so long, especially since we are starting a church in a few months. However, I firmly believe that if we want to serve in the Lord’s strength (in faith), we need to prepare our hearts to do so. For us, that means laying our personal lives on the altar (from what we eat, what we place before our eyes, how we spend our money, and what we do with our time). For how can we preach on anything that we are not willing to do ourselves.
I tell you the truth, never before have I witnessed so many people in need in my life. Families are broken, people’s faith practices are pluralistic and powerless, many are depressed and imprisoned by their choices. Addiction in all its forms have stolen so many people’s joy. Even in our family we struggle with some of these same things.
The answer is still Jesus. For He is the only source of life, joy, and peace. It sounds so foolish to know where to find something yet to look for it in other places. Jesus is our joy. He is all the entertainment or substance to this life we need. Why have we become so depressed and joyless in these past years? Is it not because we can’t have the desires of the flesh and Christ at the same time? If scripture tells us that there is no darkness in Light, why do we think we can live to the desires of the flesh and still cling to the hope of our joy and salvation?
I don’t believe in a powerless, joyless Christianity. In order to remain in His joy, we have to calculate the cost and carry our cross daily. The cross is not some fashion statement that we have made to be cool. It means, that we daily surrender our lives and desires to follow His. It is to be marked for death as this world and the evil in it are meant to stand against us because of the life we find in Christ. Our wants and fleshly desires are meant to be put to death. How can this sacrifice ever bring joy? It can and it does. Joy that surpasses all understanding. Yet as Christians in this culture, we have lost our joy because we were deceived that we could somehow have both.
So we will see you in a month. And when we come back, I pray that God’s joy, presence and power will be with us as we begin to serve our community officially as part of the Fellowship in Bock, MN. It is not for sure yet, but we are hoping to do the following: In February, we will begin meeting every Wednesday evening at the townhall just Southwest of Bock (about a stone’s throw away). We will begin a Bible Study and see who the Lord has brought to join with us. The tentative plan would be to have our first services just before Easter. The main service will also be on Wednesday evenings.
Since we will be going offline (as best we can) this month, if you would like to get ahold of us, feel free to text or message me. I will respond back with my phone number. Also, starting January 1st, I will begin official ministry. Therefore, if you need a pastoral visit, counseling, or prayer, feel free to call and set a time to meet. I will also continue to look for places to preach and teach on Sundays.
I pray that you all have a good month. Please pray for our family as we place our home on the alter and prepare our personal lives for ministry.