We’re sitting around enjoying memories from our October meeting. Remember that day a bunch of us went outside to take some pictures? Well, they turned out great, and we’re sharing the ones of the Ministry and their wives.
Does it seem like you blinked and suddenly there are candy canes everywhere? Holidays are fun, but they can also be . . . a lot. We’re here to make sure you get through with your spiritual cheer intact.
As you wind down tonight, enjoy this video of our ministers and their wives. You’ll see we take every opportunity to spread some smiles 🙂
It’s night. Don’t be alone—make some hot chocolate and hang out with us on The Bridge.
Share this with a friend who is proud to invite everyone in their world to this place.
Don’t Forget to Laugh.
We like to have a lot of fun in all that we do, which may be one of the biggest secrets for us to stay together and keep going. Sometimes something funny can break a tense atmosphere and be encouraging for anybody to jump in and have a laugh.
We all go through days and seasons where it’s not what we wanted or what we expected, but we are trying to enjoy the journey and the process and understand that God is working. That God works all things together for good sounds romantic, but realizing that it involves us laying down our lives and living that out day after day can be tough, so we’ve learned (from Elder many years) how to laugh with each other—it helps lighten the load.
You’ll Never Walk Out of One of Our Services Thinking ‘I’m Pretty Sure I Should be Getting More Than This’.
We’re not just saying it. We appreciate all our ministers and their wives. Our Ministry preaches messages that change mindsets. They love God, the people, and they give generously to help us make it. Every service is packed with biblical truths that are powerful and have one thing in common: keeping us in the fight.
Like Brother Nobles told us recently, “We all fight one way or another. Are you fighting to get out, or to stay in?”
Brother Patrick reminded us that there’s a battlefield going on in our mind. Arm yourself with the Word and spirit of God. Know that His mercy is new every morning, and God expects no less of us than to be tried in the fire and be an overcomer.
It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23
The Fields are White
The time is coming. We’re getting near the harvest.
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. – John 4:35
All the direction we’ve been given lately is for us to look inward, to work on ourselves, and to see our weaknesses as much as our strengths. God needs to know we will be there when He needs us, and we will stand with Him. We are working now so when He calls us, we are ready and sharp.
Growth doesn’t happen overnight, but this is us—the people of God–getting ready because our story isn’t over and the Church’s story is far from finished. We have work to do. When the carnal mind tells us it’s too much, we have to talk to ourselves, put our trust in Him, and not flee to our mountain.
In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? – Psalm 11:1
God is calling people. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about who God wants to add.
You Call Out to God, and One Day the Answer Comes Walking Into Town
Are we missing answered prayers because we’re expecting who God sends to look or sound a certain way? Was Moses who everyone would have chosen?
And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey . . . behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me . . . I will send a Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. – Exodus 3
We aren’t physically lost and wondering in the wilderness, but we have been in captivity for thousands of years by the state in which Adam left us. When God’s people cry out to Him, He wants to show Himself powerful. In Exodus, God was about to show them the way back to victory. He sends them an 80 year old man with an older brother and a one line message, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.”
God is speaking to us again today the same thing He was showing the Israelites—His strength begins when our strength ends. He’s going to answer your prayer and put someone in your path that brings you to that place where you belong.
Start getting into the Word of God. You will find a supply—promises, vision, and hope for the future. Soon it will begin to overflow, and when that happens, do what we’re supposed to do—reach out to somebody and invite them to church. Invite them to come with us, and watch what God will do! He will bring people in. He will start speaking to the lost. New strength will come into our lives and deeper vision into our eyes.
If you do these things, get ready for a journey. Your life is going to change!
Self-Help Aisle Thataway
We all need help sometimes, but where we turn is important. Reading self-help books is like fighting the carnal nature with the carnal nature. Turn to the Bible. Every principle you need for your life is in there. (Psst . . . get the unleavened edition.)
I Feel Like There’s More . . .
There is. God is giving us opportunity to grow what we’ve planted in us. It’s a process. Next year, I won’t be thinking how I’m thinking now. Are we applying what we hear in the services? Are we hiding the teachings deep in our hearts, or are we just hearing these things like a lovely song? They sound good, but we walk out the door and they’re not in our heart.
When you hear the righteous bread broken down, you’ll look up like Stephen did and see heaven. It will change you. It will burn in your heart.
What About When the Winds of Change Turn Up?
It’s easy to follow Jesus in the honeymoon period of new revelations, wonder, and excitement. Decisions are easy when you’re up on the mountain and things are smooth and uncluttered. It’s easy to surrender when death and darkness have been what you’ve known. But what about when darker clouds press in spiritually or following Him suddenly isn’t so appealing?
That’s when we go back to our first love and we fight harder.
Brother Patrick recently spoke about Hezekiah and Samson. It looked like it was over and done for these two, but God stepped in and had their backs. These are times we need face-the-wall moments. Turn off the T.V., social media, and ALL the noise. Like Hezekiah, build your own relationship with God, and call on Him.
Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord. – Hezekiah 38:2
Deciding to follow Jesus is not for the faint hearted, so if your heart feels faint . . . do what Brother Monte told us to do: examine it. Is it proud, weak, or too hard?
If our heart is in the right place, we’ll make the right decision to turn up and stay and have conviction to remain. We’ll call on the Holy Ghost to help us find strength when the journey feels arduous.
This life can be a roller coaster. Jesus never promised us an easy life, but He promised life and life in abundance. That life came at a cost (His), and it still comes at a cost for us. We fight to stay the course and contend for what is important.
Brother Monte reminded us:
“Out there, they took my coat, they took everything, and left me destitute, but I came into the Body of Christ. They gave me a new coat that fits better. I don’t worry about the stuff I lost. I count it waste. Look at what we gained!! They thought we were going to board up the doors and crawl under the building, but we didn’t!! WE WERE SURROUNDED BY THE RIVER!!!”
Certain things ALWAYS prevail. The Holy Ghost always prevails. His Word prevails. Love prevails. Righteousness prevails. His mercy prevails. Conviction prevails. His people and lifelong friendships built in Him prevail.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
Stay the Course
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, so follow Him. If we follow Him through every season and terrain of our lives, we’ll come out on the other side. This road leads home and it’s the only way to get there. We have to decide to stay the course on this narrow path, on this road that leads upward. Take the turns and the twists and then one day, finally . . . ZION.
Stay the course . . . Stay the course . . . Stay the course!
The Bridge Crew