As we continue our full-on charge into the summer, I wanted to share some of the encouraging things God has been doing in our church. James is a challenging book, and while the challenge to take an active part of God's work is important, sometimes we can lose sight of how God is using even the smallest acts of obedience for His glory!
The last few months have been an encouraging time for me. I've seen the Lord move in peoples' lives in special ways. I've watched people extend the kind of forgiveness and love that only Jesus can bring in the middle of strife. Several people have become brothers and sisters in the faith through Alpha. Generosity seems to be springing up everywhere. I've seen people inviting one another to last-minute meals, spending time with one another "just because", and offering their homes and financial help to those in need. Our times of worship the last few weeks have felt special to me; we've been more intentional about offering time for reflection and prayer after worship gatherings, and many of you have taken time to pray on your own or with one another.
The Lord has been renewing my heart as well! A few weeks ago someone in the church, given insight by the Spirit, prayed for me with regards to a spell of spiritual dryness that has persisted for many years. This was much to my surprise, as I had never shared this matter with the person who prayed for me! The Lord seems to have used this prayer and the others you all have lifted up for the leadership of our church. My heart is starting to wake up in a way I haven't felt in years. Even the church staff who live at the 133 have had some sweet times of fellowship in recent weeks, walking with each other, sharing about the good and bad, laughing and shedding tears.
With our lead pastor Bland on his sabbatical, and with Fletcher on paternity leave, I've been asked how it's going, and all I can say is that God has been good. We are extremely blessed to have two pastors take time off and to have guys like Jay and Claude step into the pulpit and be able to faithfully preach God's word.
Be encouraged, church! May we pray and press into what God has for us, remembering the gospel and knowing that He is going before us in all of our steps, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Eph 2:10).