Ni River Community Church

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Engage

Posted on July 30th, 2014 by Travis Pauley

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
EPHESIANS 2:8-10 NIV

We have received the most amazing gift from God that anyone could ever give us, our salvation through Christ, and it should create a fire and passion in us to go out and to allow God to write His story in us and through us. We are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, the good works God has planned specifically for each of us. God has created each of you uniquely and specifically to accomplish work for Him and His Kingdom that only you can do, the question is are you ENGAGED in it?

Each and every one of us should be focused on how we can accomplish the mission of reaching out to people, loving them and leading them to become fully devoted followers of Christ. Are you focused on this? Are you praying for God to open up opportunities for you to share Christ or to invite people to church? Are you exploring the opportunities at church to serve consistently on a team to help us reach people or make disciples? Are you using your resources consistently to further the gospel; your time, talent and treasure? Are you engaged in a Life Group at Ni River to help shape and grow our community? The answer as a follower of Christ should be yes to each one of those questions.

If the answer isn’t yes then step out in faith and respond to what Christ has done for you by putting God’s Kingdom first and take a next step in allowing God to write His story in your life; step forward and help allow God to accomplish His work through you. What will you commit to this week? How will you commit to serve through Ni River consistently? What Life Group will you commit to engage in and attend consistently? What will you and your family commit to give financially on a consistent basis to the work of God through Ni River? Who will you commit to reach out to in order to invite them to church or to share the gospel with this week?

We are God’s handiwork created anew in Christ Jesus, let’s not just sit and do nothing, let’s respond to our gift of salvation by stepping out to REACH, LOVE and LEAD!

 

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Idols

Posted on June 3rd, 2014 by Bob Bock

Today we bring you a blog post from one of Ni River’s own!  Sam Law has served as one of the middle school girls leaders in our Rush Hour student ministry for many years.  Check out her thoughts on the issue of idols.

A couple months ago I was lying in bed, tears streaming down my face, calling out to God asking him to wrap me up and make me whole. Hang with me as I stop there for a hot second and fast forward to my current consideration! The golden calf.

In Exodus most of us are probably familiar with the story of the “Golden Calf”. The Hebrews are led out of slavery in Egypt and constantly we see them gripe about their conditions of now freedom. When Moses heads up Mt Sinai to speak with the Lord and receive the Ten Commandments, Aaron and the rest of the Hebrews decide that Moses is taking just too long and they needed to make a god for themselves. They melt all the gold they have to make something new, something tangible, something to distract their present dismay.

“When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make us a god who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’

Then Aaron replied to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from their hands, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into an image of a calf.

Then they said, ‘Israel, this is your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; then he made an announcement: ‘There will be a festival to the Lord tomorrow.’ Early the next morning they arose, offered burnt offerings, and presented fellowship offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink, then got up to play.”

Exodus 32:1-6

It’s so easy for me to watch/read this from the sidelines and think, “Wow guys, really”, these are the Hebrews who walked through a sea, right? I feel justified in pointing out their stupidity in creating a manmade god that never once did anything supernatural to reveal power and majesty like they had so much experienced with our Lord. How could they be so quick to fall into this trap? How could they be so tempted?

Fast forward again to that night of tears. As a single girl who loves everything inclusive to snuggles, hugs, and touch, I will honestly admit that most of my prayers to the Lord have been about asking Him to hold me and to let me feel it. And when I say feel it, I mean physically. I want to feel wrapped up tight, a hand at my back. I want him to brush away my tears and I plead to see reassurance in His eyes.

How can I be surprised than, that just like me there was something in the Hebrews that also desired something tangible. We want things we can see, touch, and become familiar with. There is comfort with it.

I am thrown into a memory of tears sliding down my face as I watched Tom Hanks sob over the loss of his Wilson in Cast Away. Who is Wilson? Rather, what is Wilson? A volleyball, extraordinarily personified! He never spoke words of comfort, never listened though words were spoken to him, and never returned the love that was bestowed upon him. Yet did not most of us (all of us) come to adore Wilson, as well? He filled a void.

Didn’t the golden calf do the same? Fill a void, comfort an emptiness or loss. Can we accept that the Hebrews are more like us than maybe we care to admit?

So what exactly are we supposed to do? How do we combat that desire we have and let him fill us 100%; even the places that we imagine he can’t fill because we can’t physically see Him. He made us; he knows our frailty more than we do.

Our direction in scripture is always to look up. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2) Keep your mind on the things that have way more weight, our salvation and the grace given to us and our brothers and sisters!

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit”. (Romans 8:5) Is it wrong to desire physical touch? Absolutely not, but which gap is bigger in our hearts? The gap of needing physical touch or the gap of needing God? I had to ask myself. Which lifestyle do I give more weight to? My flesh or His spirit? He will give us everything we need to survive and do good things for His kingdom. Even though he may not have the physical qualities we often desire, let us not forget or underestimate the power of His invisible qualities!

“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in ALL our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

He will not leave us stranded, but WILL comfort us in ways that we may not expect. Are you willing to put your faith on it? The Lord says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”( Jeremiah 29:13)

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6) I believe that in time as we continually walk in Him and build His kingdom in our hearts they begin to take the shape he intended. That need to see and feel Him physically, grows smaller and smaller, and the sight of Him working in our communities, saving lives, and providing miracles fills us deeper and deeper.

One more additional thought for you. “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12) So smile today, hug someone, let His light come shining through you. Maybe, just maybe, someone will get a glimpse of Him.

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Mexico Mission Post #6 (Jessica Hathaway)

Posted on April 26th, 2014 by Bob Bock

This morning breakfast began at 7:30am, and was followed by devotion which was lead by Greg and Eric. Rachel and Matt played worship songs, and it was a great start to the day. Knowing that it was going to be a long and emotional day for all of us, Greg encouraged us to read Colossians 2:1-3:

“I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Afterwards, we split up into two groups. Penny and Rebecca stayed and prepared the lunches for us and the children at VBS while the rest of us went to the building that will be used tomorrow to promote Casa de Eli. We finished painting, cleaned all of the chairs, swept and washed the floors in the inside, and picked up the rest of the glass in the sand surrounding the building. I desperately wish that we had more time here so that I could attend the event tomorrow.

Once we finished with the building, we went back for lunch. YUM! We have been so blessed here this week with so much food.

We then divided into our two groups for VBS, and for me that was going to Nardos to teach VBS. The lesson today was about Noah, and they were given word puzzles and crafts to color on. It was so good to see the children today. I have been trying to connect with this one six year old girl named Emily all week, and finally yesterday she started to open up to me a bit. And then today she came and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek and it was so sweet. These children here just want so much love, and unfortunately aren’t given very much one on one attention like we are given back home. I told her that I would see her in one year, and I will definitely be keeping that promise. I am so anxious to get back here with the mission team. If we were to come back tomorrow, it would not be soon enough. My heart is here.

After the children at Nardos left, we drove back to Eli House where the other group was having VBS to say our goodbyes to those children as well. It broke my heart to say goodbye to the children, and especially to a very special young girl that stole my heart whose name was Antonia. Words can’t explain the connection that she and I had. I ended up giving her my cross necklace that I wore on this trip Thursday evening after spending time with her, and told her that it was very important and that I would pray for her every night. At 5pm, a small group of us walked some of the children to their houses, and Antonia and her siblings were some of them. When we came to their house to see where they lived, it was so heartbreaking. They lived in little shacks made of wood and had nothing but sheets to cover the front of the house. There was a chalkboard on the front of one of the shacks and there was a heart drawn on it with chalk. Saying our goodbyes and telling them that we would see them next year was so hard. But I will see them again, in one year, and it will be so wonderful to see them. I can’t wait!

I have felt so much peace while being here, and it’s incredible. These children and families don’t have much at all, but they have family and God and that is all that they need. It’s amazing. Que dios te bendiga!!

Jessica

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Mexico Mission Post #5 (Rachel Simpson)

Posted on April 26th, 2014 by Bob Bock

I really can’t believe this is our final day here in Mexico.  Time usually flies on trips like this but this one was very different.  Mexico has really grabbed all our hearts and we all are going to leave a big piece of our hearts here when we go.  The people are so welcoming and they honestly just want to get to know us and do life together (as one woman told us).

Every day has presented us with so many blessings that I feel like I should write a book on everything God has done in us and through us while we have been here.  Yesterday we got up early as usual and had an amazing breakfast.  Matt and I got to lead another worship set, which I loved so much, then it was off to work.  I was on the team that went to the building and land that was donated to Dave and Eli House.  We have been cleaning it up as much as possible for an event that is happening this Saturday.  We are cleaning up all the trash and glass around (there is A LOT) and painting the outside.  It’s amazing to see what we have accomplished in only a few days and only a few hours each of those days.  Today is the last day we get to work on it, but I have no doubt we are going to accomplish all we wanted to and more.

Yesterday’s VBS was wonderful.  The children here are so eager to work and lear,n and they love what they get to do with us.  Every day the people who come stay later and later.  Matt and I started a soccer game with the little ones and we just played.  We didn’t care about the time, we just loved being with them.  When it was time for them to go home we walked some of the children home.  Two woman we have really gotten to know well are Carmin and Alma, they are sisters. Their children are so beautiful and I hate that I have to leave them tomorrow.  Alexia is one of Alma’s daughters.  She is really quite and shy but from the beginning all she wanted to do was be around me.  God has blessed me so much through this young lady.  I can barley talk to her and yet she has just fallen in love with me.  It blows my mind.  When we walked them all home yesterday she had a letter for me with a picture she drew on the back of us.  Oh my goodness my heart melted!  They call me Barbie lol, and that’s what I look like in her picture.  She see’s something in me I didn’t think existed, and as I think on it more and more it makes me want to fall to my knees.

I could really go on and on about things that we have done and experienced and the people we have met.  It’s going to take a long time for me to get it all down on paper but I want to remember all of it forever.

This trip has been unlike anything I have ever experienced.  Our team is amazing, I love them all.  The people here are so refreshing, and Eli House Mission is something that was clearly blessed by God.  I am so so happy I went on this trip, and I am not looking forward to goodbyes today.  But Jonathan reminded us today that it’s not a period, it’s only a comma.  We are only saying goodbye for a short time, and I cannot wait to see them again.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.  We will see you all very soon!  Good Bless!

Rachel

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Mexico Mission Post #4 (James Jarman)

Posted on April 24th, 2014 by Bob Bock

Today was an early day for some but still busy for everyone as a whole.  Of course like each day we started with a devotion.  Today was led by Olivia.  She spoke on the subject of relationships and reminded us how important relationship is in all aspects of our lives especially our relationship with Jesus which determines how we share His message to the world.  After the devotion we had a quick bite to eat and went on to our tasks.

Four members of the group went with Dave to finish painting the house of our dear friends Art and Heather to bless them with a fresh coat of paint, fellowship, and love.  The rest of us stayed at Eli House where we prepared bags of beans and rice to pass out  to the local families near the canal a little ways from where we were. We also prepared donated clothing, shoes, and toys for all the people coming for the service tonight.  We met the rest of the group at Art and Heather’s and left on foot to go door to door and bless the families with the food and news of the service “Ismaschias” (the church) was having tonight.

As we began our walk we saw the shapeless homes made of cardboard and plywood and were immediately heart broken from it all.  We encountered many families with big smiles who joyfully accepted the gift of food. The smiles were  exceptionally big from the children when we gave them candy.  We continued until we were out of beans and rice but as much as we were blessing them they were blessing us by their stories and kindness.  The group I was in met this man, Antonio, who old in age told us that when he was young his parents abandoned him.  He eventually grew up learning how to work but never to read or write.  Through it all he found God.  He was explaining to the group he found a rock one day that appeared to have a making of an eye.  He believed that was God’s way of saying He’s watching over him and carried it with him for over a year. He joyfully gave it to Greg as symbol of God’s love for us.  His story made us weep and for most of the group that was the breaking point of knowing why we are here.

After we finished we went for lunch and to enjoy a little shopping in Los Algodones which is about 45 minutes away.  The atmosphere was amazing along with the food.  Vendors and activity everywhere.  Each of us came away with a little of Mexico to take home.

After a few hours there we returned to Eli House to prepare for the big service.   Tables were set with food because in Mexico if you are invited somewhere you are going to eat.  Delicious tacos carne asada made by Dave’s neighbors, Russ and Lety, were served.  A grand feast was enjoyed by all the visitors leading up to a time of praise and worship and a message by the church’s pastor.  The time with the children is unforgettable seeing the light shine in their eyes while the love of Jesus is shared.

Finally the service is completed with a little surprise dessert of ice cream for all to enjoy.  The children ran as fast as they could with eyes wide for what they were about to devour.  Everyone had a great time and memories were made which would last a lifetime.

We ended our night the same way we began with a moment to reflect on how God is preparing our hearts and how He has already blessed us.  The group assembled in the same place to have a debrief on the day which brought out numerous accounts of how God works in the most unexpected ways.  We shared experiences of enounters with families and individuals and the wondrous love from the local community.  Each day I have found that everyday for us is different spiritually. As each day passes we seem to get closer to God.  The closer we get to Him, the clearer we see His purpose in our lives.

James

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Mexico Mission Post #3 (Matt Pulley)

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Bob Bock

We started this morning with a quick breakfast at 7:30 before a devotion at 8 or so.  Rachel led the devotion which inspired us into action!

Our work days so far in Mexico have both had similar structures: the entire group of 17 is divided in the morning to handle several projects at simultaneously, followed by a VBS for the kids in the surrounding area of Casa de Eli and at another church.  Since Travis, Greg, and I finished our task yesterday morning, I joined another group project that will last a few more days.  Dave, the leader at Casa de Eli, was given a lot of land with a building several blocks away from the church that a group has been restoring.  On Saturday a state senator will be venturing to the building to promote Casa de Eli, so the group has been sweeping, moving furniture, caulking the walls, and painting.  I spent several hours on a ladder spurting caulk into holes in the exterior of the building, in hopes of completely sealing it from the elements. Soon after the caulk dried (which does not take long in the hot and arid Mexican climate) the team began painting the exterior to cover graffiti and give it a more presentable look.  We will be visiting the building again in a few days to finish painting the walls.

Soon after a quick lunch at Casa de Eli the local ninos began pouring in once again for a meal, a passage/lesson, games, and crafts.  We were ready today for the kids with lunches fully prepared, which saved a ton of time.  A message was given by Pastor Chui about Moses for the kids, and then we had a relay race.  We divided the 60-or-so children into two groups and had them one at a time run a short distance, eat a quarter of an orange, and then run back to the start of the line to tag their next eager teammate.  I have to say, I had the best seat in the house for this event.  At the fruit end I was able to snap a few pictures of the children eating the fruit before running back.  I was so tickled to see most of them have the same struggle – savor the sweet treat they do not often get to enjoy but also try to hurry to help their team win at the same time.  After declaring the winning team, we helped them all make little rubber band bracelets to take home and spent the next hour playing more games (and mostly being wrestled.)

Each time we interact with the local children I try to learn about family life and a little bit about what makes them unique.  Most of the boys are rambunctious, have professional soccer aspirations, but are also surprisingly polite.  The girls want to climb all over you or be held, to learn about where we come from and who we are, and to take pictures while wearing your sunglasses.  A few of the ones I have played with have left lasting impressions.  I’m truly humbled to be here.

Now it’s time for my favorite part of the day: to feast on authentic Mexican food!

Matt

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Mexico Mission Post #2 (Rachel Rodriguez)

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Bob Bock

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”  -2 Peter 1:3,4

As I let God prepare my heart for the day, this is the scripture he offered me this morning. Although I had kept reading on in the chapter, I kept going back to these two verses and just couldn’t pass them.  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and He reminded ALL of us of that promise throughout the day.

The group was split into 3 teams.  One group painted the inside of a family’s home, one went to the future site of an amazing ministry and began RESTORATIONS and the other went to set-up a tent at a church where one of the VBS’ was hosted.  Every team experienced the exact same emotions.  WE NEED MORE! We need more supplies, we need more time, we need more people etc….. The long and short of it is, we couldn’t just run out and get more.  We would have to use what we had and get the job done.  Let’s just say the jobs got done and we didn’t need more.  Praise Him!

In the afternoon we again split into teams, one group went to another church and the other stayed at Eli House.  We hosted San Luis Rio Colorado’s very first VBS!!!  Not only was it their first VBS but there  were two going on in the same town!! Praise His Holy Name!!! Throughout the afternoon we experienced much of the same emotions as in the morning.  WE NEED MORE!  However, we all learned very quickly we had just enough and so we were able to “participate in the divine nature.”

Rachel

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Mexico Mission Post #1 (Olivia Rodgers)

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by Bob Bock

New Experiences!  That’s my word for the day!  Today was the first full day in Mexico and of course Easter.  We woke up and got ready for the Sunrise Service which started at 6 in the morning.  This was such an amazing experience because the service was completely in Spanish and being me, I know very little Spanish.  However the service was incredibly powerful and moving.  It started out with a skit of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, preformed by some of the church’s youth.  It was so amazing to see kids all around my age so passionate and creative for Jesus.  After that was my favorite part…Worship!  To me worship through music is such a critical piece in my relationship with the Lord, so the longer the better!  It was my first time ever worshiping God and having no clue what I was saying. Yet it was as moving as ever, even though my brain couldn’t comprehend the words my spirit totally could.  I felt so connected and in tune with God it was just absolutely indescribable. Oh and another incredible thing about worship was that it was led by the youth!  How awesome is that?  After that came the service!  Again I had no clue what the pastor was saying yet I still felt like I was fed in the Spirit even without complete understanding of what was going on.  He spoke with such passion and I could tell that he was totally in love with the Lord.

After the service we were able to go to a place called “The Ranch” and have a cookout with the members of the congregation.  Looking back the welcoming attitude and brotherly fellowship was off the hook at that cookout.  When we got there I was really nervous to go and talk to anybody even though I really wanted to and eventually I asked Sam if she would come with me to boost my confidence a little bit.  So together we walked over to two teenage girls sitting at a picnic table.  They were sitting right next to another group of girls who were talking.  So with broken Spanish we introduced ourselves and tried to make small talk despite the language barrier.  One of the girls, Abigail spoke a little bit of English but not enough to translate to the other girl, Annaie, or to understand us.  So after a few minutes we asked Sarah, an American teenager who was bilingual, to come over and help translate, she had been talking with all of the girls in the circle.  As soon as she came over to translate all of the girls from the circle, joined us and we all piled around the picnic table.  We learned all of their names and ages and had a pretty good conversation. Then Sam suggested that I teach them the cup song/game.  So I went and got some Styrofoam cups and despite the wind, started to teach them the song.  It took a long time but they were so eager to learn and after a while they had all caught on.  I had even learned some new Spanish words in the process.  Before I knew it some of the girls were teaching the song to the adults.  It was so cool!  Looking back the welcoming attitude and brotherly fellowship was off the hook at that cookout.

Apparently, that day eight students were being baptized- praise the Lord- so after the cookout we drove to somebody’s house where they had a little outdoor bathtub and we had the honor of watching them get baptized.  It was so different than any other baptism I had ever been to.  It felt like such a celebration.  In between each person’s baptism they would play and sing this short little song on the guitar that was super upbeat and everyone would clap.  It was so peaceful with a field in the background and the warm weather all around, it felt like an oasis.  Once the baptism was over we headed back to the church where we were staying and enjoyed a wonderful grilled meal and then were just able to hang out the rest of the night until debriefing, where we go over the day and its events.  All in all today was so incredible! I told my mom I want to move to Mexico so bad!  In fact I even wish I were Mexican I love it so much… just kidding…sorta.  I experienced so many new things: from unbelievable fellowship between the members of the congregation, to new languages, new people, new environment, new worship, and of course new FOOD!  Thank you all so much for your support!  Have a wonderful week!  God bless you guys!

Olivia

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A New Men’s Movement

Posted on April 1st, 2014 by Bob Bock

     At Ni River, we have seen the Lord moving and changing lives in many ways.  As we strive to be more like Christ on a daily basis, and submit to Him, we have watched as God stirred up a new passion for Him and for living according to His word.  Whether it’s been through Life Groups, the Sunday services, the worship team, or any of the other ministries here at Ni, we’ve seen people coming to know Christ as their savior, and allowing Him to guide their steps.  And now, God is stirring up a movement in the men of Ni River.  Here is a personal invitation from Dave Houck, our men’s ministry director, to the men:
Men of Ni River,
     Join “The Core” as we start our journey to authentic manhood with 33 The Series.  33 is a gospel-centered video series that presents the timeless truths of authentic manhood in a powerful and engaging way.  It includes insightful teaching, along with inspiring testimonies and interviews. While we work our way through 33, we will build a vision of manhood in our lives that is based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and was modeled by Him in His 33 years on earth.
     In Volume 1: A Man and His Design, we will learn God’s clear design for authentic manhood by examining a biblical definition of manhood, identifying the four “faces” of manhood, and learning how to anticipate and transition through specific seasons of every man’s life. Through this process the relationships that we build and strengthen with other men will encourage and deepen our relationship with Jesus while strengthening our walk with Him.  As we grow in these ways we will see better relationships in all aspects of our lives and growth toward being the disciple we are called to be.
     Please contact me by emailing dave@niriver.org for additional information on how you can get involved.  We will have a Saturday morning group starting April 12th at the church, or you can ask about leading your own group at a time that might work for those who can’t come on Saturday.  We are praying for as many men as possible to get engaged, equipped, and encouraged to answer God’s call on their lives for His glory and the benefit of those around us.

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Christ Remains Constant

Posted on February 26th, 2014 by Bob Bock

With the countless distractions that surround us today, it’s easy to take our eyes off of Christ, and focus more on the weights and hindrances that slow us down in our walk with the Lord.  We so easily forget a simple, but faith altering rule found in Colossians 3:2.  “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Our Worship Arts Director, JC Mason, shared her heart on this issue this morning.  Take a look at what she had to say:

It’s a blessing to get up early every morning and sit next to my fireplace to pray and seek the Lord. I watch the sky slowly light up as I write in my journal and sip my homemade almond milk latte. I am warm and content with no disruptions since the rest of the house is still sleeping. I look forward to my mornings with the Lord.  I sometimes question how would my meeting with the Lord change if one of my comforts was taken away. What if I was cold, or thirsty, would my mind be on my physical need over my need to seek Christ?  Then I think of Paul who was imprisoned and chained yet penned 4 books of the Bible (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) encouraging the readers and advancing the gospel of Christ. Being chained didn’t keep him from lifting up praises in worship to God , he was focused on the mission at hand trusting in God’s promises.

I believe we (myself included) can look at our circumstances and when they are not ideal we make excuses for why we can’t continue on the path. We start to look at what’s lacking and not at the God who spoke this world into reality.  I lift up prayers and praises to a God who put his spirit in me, a sinner, forgiven by the blood of Christ …the only thing I can lack is the faith of what has already been done through Him. But I make that choice. We are free, unchained and overflowing with the spirit of our Heavenly Father. We have a risen Lord who conquered death and now pleads on our behalf, and He is coming again!  No matter what we face, no matter how our circumstances change, Christ remains constant and we need to walk steadfast in that truth.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
-Philippians 4:12-13

~JC

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