4 Simple Ingredients An Infinite Number of Possibilities

Water, Hops, Barley, and unknowingly at the time, Yeast.  Four simple ingredients. Over five centuries ago German law makers set the ingredients for all the beer made in their country.  Their original intention was to regulate the demand on barley so a pricing war did not develop between the bakeries and the breweries.  This short-term decision has had a lasting effect on the craft beer industry ever since.  Each beer made has these four ingredients in it.  While over time other ingredients have been added these four remain the base ingredients for beer.

There are a wide variety of beer styles but they each have these four ingredients in them.  Water may vary based on its origin.  The Hops differ according to the flavor profile the brewer wants to achieving.  The Barley changes as the color and malt base is considered.  As a craft beer enthusiast it is quite exciting to see what the imaginations of the brewers craft from them.

The Missional Life Habits (MLH) are similar.  They remain the same for each ReSolved disciple but they play out differently based on the individual disciple and their particular context.

Each ReSolved disciple lives out each MLH in her life as God has called and gifted her. They shape her life and interactions with others. They become natural and begin to influence each aspect of her life.

Each disciple strives to Be Present, Listen to Learn, Serve, Share.  These 4 Missional Life Habits are simple but yet so comprehensive.  They infiltrate our whole beings and help transform us.  As each one of us is created differently we employ the MLH differently.

Just as each craft brewer finds a unique combination of water, hops, barley and yeast producing a new beer, a ReSolved disciple finds her own unique way to live out the MLHs.  Not only for herself but also within her own context. 

The possibilities are endless.  There are as many as there are disciples out living out the MLHs.  As we grow in our faiths and ministries the practical application of the MLHs in our journeys will change.  One will see herself perhaps naturally applying one more then the other 3 but still they all remain.  Helping us reach out to those in our lives with the Gospel and showing how we all have been resolved by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

So the question for you is how can you best live out the MLHs in your life? In your context?

What ways can you be truly present with the people God has surrounded you with?

How are you listening to others to learn about them as a child of God?

In what small ways do you serve someone meeting their true needs?

When are you sharing the Gospel in word and deed with those who have not heard yet for themselves?

The Missional Life Habits are intentionally simple so that they become natural to each of us as we live out the ReSolved disciple’s life.  They can be adapted to fit our own giftings and contexts.  As you go about your daily life look for those moments the Holy Spirit is leading you to put into practice each or all of the MLHs.  Pray for the words to share.  Seek the moments to listen to learn.  Step through the doorway to serve and then share.  

Be not afraid, fellow disciple.  Have courage.  Take comfort in knowing the Holy Spirit is with you always providing the words and opportunities to live questionable lives in the world.

This Week’s Challenge:  Focus on one of the Missional Life Habits this week to look for opportunities to practice and grow in it.  

        • Do you find yourself talking a lot in conversations?  Perhaps focus on Listen to Learn.  
        • Have you found yourself distracted by your devices?  Challenge yourself to put it away and truly Be Present with those you are with.
        • Is there a friend/neighbor in need?  How can you serve them this week?
        • Who has not heard the reason why you love Jesus?  Pray for the opportunity to share it with them.

A Hubcap of Joy

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It’s like it’s Christmas morning! All she wanted as a new hubcap for her car. And look! She got one!!!

Who knew a hubcap could bring so much joy to a person?  I certainly didn’t until last week.

A friend of mine recently bought herself a “new to you” car and absolutely loves it!  She beams each time she talks about her car.  It represents for her a fun, new chapter in her life. 

One day while visiting she was sad to share that someone had stolen a hubcap from her car.  Not all of them.  Just one.  It was so strange and sad.

Well, as her friends we couldn’t just sit by and let her drive around with only 3 hubcaps.  Something had to be done.

Up goes the Amazon app on my phone.  We were resolved to find our friend a new hubcap.  Through the power of algorithms (I have no idea how they work.  But they do control the world.) we found a new hubcap for our friend’s beloved car.  Scheduled for delivery in 8-10 business days.

Just like that.  With a click of a couple of buttons on a phone joy was restored to my friend’s heart.

A simple act of buying a hubcap brought joy to a friend’s face and reminded me the power of community.

Looking out for friends and taking care of each other doesn’t involved grand gestures all the time.  Most of the time is a simple act of listening with one’s ears and heart and meeting a person’s true needs.  It is understanding the person and showing that you do care.

Living the ReSolved disciple life means one listens to learn.  The disciple listens twice as much as he speaks.  He listens with his heart as well as his ears.  It taking the time to truly understand another person.  

During His ministry, Jesus listened to what people were actually asking from Him.  He could heal a person, cure their disease or provide food in a miraculous manner but He always took the time to meet their true needs.  He met them where they were at and truly heard them as they may have never have been before by another person.  

As a result, people were transformed.  They became resolved to tell everyone what Jesus did for them. They couldn’t wait to go and tell everyone!  (Check out the Woman at the Well in John 4)

Here’s a question for you.  Who is someone you can listen to with your heart and ears?  Maybe the barista who makes your coffee in the morning?  A co-worker?  A neighbor?  The server at your favorite restaurant?  The person sitting next you during your commute to work?

I challenge you to be resolved to listen to their words and what is behind them.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what their ‘hubcap of joy’ is and how you can help get it for them.  

Each person’s ‘hubcap’ will look differently.  Each context is unique.  But each is guided by God Himself so listen and learn.  Remain resolved to serve and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ where ever you are.

It just might be as easy as opening up an app on your phone and clicking a couple of buttons to bring joy to a friend’s face.

This Week’s Challenge: Listen to learn how you can meet someone’s felt needs this week.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to show you someone this week who you can serve and bring a smile of pure joy on their face and in their heart.

 

I Am a Brewery Pastor

Hearing the call to ministry was a little bit different for me. It was clear God had equipped me to be a pastor but the location was not going to be a traditional congregation with all the comforts of pastoral leadership.

Nope.  Not for me.  God had something different planned for me.

Not only was He telling this conservative girl to be a pastor when she grew up without ever meeting a woman pastor but He had a ministry in mind for me that was out of the box.  So far out of the box you couldn’t even see that there was a box to begin with.  

Yup.  That was the dream God had for me.  To do something radically different for Him.

It all started as I was wrestling with the how of becoming a pastor.  While I was researching seminaries (Graduate schools for people called to be ministry leaders) I was hanging out at a local craft beer bar.  

Each Sunday after church I would go for lunch and relax a little bit after long week. Over time I made friends with people there. We shared life together on those bar stools.  

Slowly but surely the Holy Spirit worked on my heart to ask the question, “What about them?”  

See, my friends supported me through life just as I was supporting them.  They came on the random Sundays I was preaching (maybe once a year). They would not go to church on an average Sunday.  They each had their own reasons. Some did not fell welcomed or comfortable at a traditional church.  I became convicted to pray about how they would hear the Gospel and grow to become disciples of Jesus Christ. 

God presented me an opportunity on a metaphorical ‘silver platter’ in the form of a group project.  We were tasked to partner with a classmate and develop a plan of how we would start a new church.  My classmate and I chose to plan a new bar ministry.  It wasn’t just lead a worship service in a bar but to have full Christian community with those who frequent a bar and build relationships together.  From there the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be shared.

Over time the plan went from a class project to become my life’s passion.  I was resolved to leave it all behind to go serve and share all those I met with the Gospel.  I left my position at the church, became ordained and went out to be a brewery pastor.

It has been an amazing experience!!

The relationships built at the rail are incredible!  The conversations shared with others are authentic.  Over time they lead to life transformation.  I am humbled each day that God has placed me in this ministry to live the resolved disciple life amongst those who have not heard yet.  

I am a missionary sent by the Holy Spirit into bars and taprooms.  It is difficult at times to not be influenced by the world to remain a light in the darkness.  To be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.  But with a wonderful community of fellow disciples I know I am supported and encouraged to remain strong in my faith.  

ReSolved Ministry is the ministry God has called me to lead and share with others.  I invite others to join me in this incredible ministry.  Together we go out to build community and share the Gospel with others.  I blog stories from the ministry or encouragement of how to practically live the resolved disciple’s life.  

It is exciting to think about the day across the country and the world to see Bible & Brews groups in bars and taprooms centered on the Bible and authentic community.  To be able to partner with local congregations to initially form and support these groups is thrilling.  Nothing is impossible with God leading the way.

I am a brewery pastor. I get to lead God’s ministry in a different setting and see transformation on a regular basis.  I look forward to the day we get to meet in person and share stories together of what God is doing in and through us.  For now we have this space to share and learn from one another.

This Week’s Challenge: Share with a fellow resolved disciple a story of how God transformed you.  How did this transformation impact how you share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others?

Pop-Pop’s Quiet Servant Leadership

My Pop-Pop was a man of few words.  I don’t remember him speaking at great lengths for any reason.  Giving a speech in front of people would have been one of the last things I would have ever imagined him doing.  He was rather a man that quietly went about his business regardless of anyone noticing it or not.

I can remember as a child seeing him sitting at the dining room table on a Saturday night queuing up the cassette tapes for Sunday’s worship service.  Then on Sunday morning he would quietly sit in the back of the sanctuary playing those very tapes at just the right time in the worship so we all could give our worship and praise to God.

Most people didn’t even notice what he did but I knew.  Each week I knew how he served whether anyone else saw it or not.

That was Pop-Pop.  He was a man of very few words.  He went about serving those he loved, doing the very best he could without fanfare or recognition.  

One of my fondest memories is waking up at Grammy & Pop-Pop’s with him nudging me awake so I could get breakfast while it was still warm & he could finish resetting the beds.  Then later in the day he would drive my brother, me & Grammy for whatever shopping or fun we all had planned together.  Whatever it is was we did he was there taking care of us the best he knew, or could, do for us.

Pop-Pop was not perfect.  He had his own struggles.  But no matter what they were I knew he loved me and his whole family.  He did not run away.  He did not give up.  He strove each day to do and give his very best for his family. 

I learned a lot from him without really ever knowing it in the moment.  As a kid I simply watched him and noticed what he did for us.

When he fought against cancer I saw the love and commitment Grammy and him had for each other.  They never gave up.  They fought together against cancer.  They loved each other through it all.  They served each other every step of the way.

I was privileged to witness first hand their love for each other the final weeks of his life.  Grammy and I walked the mile plus to the hospital every morning to visit him and be with him until the nurses kicked us out.  Then we would walk that same mile back to the apartment to simply sleep and repeat it again the next day.  

He fought so hard against the cancer.  He beat it twice for it only to come back again.  But despite the diagnosis he fought and took care of his family.  He loved us and served us to the very end.

I will never forget that morning we got the call from the hospital.  Vividly in my dream an angel told me to not answer the phone no matter what.  Tia Alice would tell me later that day how Pop-Pop commented to her the day he died he would be going home soon.  Home, as we realized a mere 24 hours later, meant home to Jesus Christ.  He fought so valiantly against cancer and just like that he was gone.

As quietly as he served those he loved he returned home to his Savior in Heaven.

I was only 11 when he was called home to Heaven.  It was only over the years that I truly have come to understand his quiet leadership.  Now, I strive to be like him each day.

I learned from his example to not give up.  To take each day as a fresh start and to strive to do better.  He was a living example to me of God’s abundant grace and our human striving to give back to God as best we can.

There was not a huge parade when he passed away.  But those he loved and who loved him felt the loss.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t remember him sitting at the kitchen table reading a library book while eating lunch.  Each time I serve at church as a sound tech I remember him playing those tapes at church when I was kid and think I am carrying on his ministry in a new generation.

What I learned the most from him is that a leader is not necessarily the person up front with the microphone with the loudest voice or personality.

A leader is also the quiet individual in the dark corner of the worship center ensuring everything is set and ready to go when needed.  Empowering everyone else in the room to be able to give his/her own best to our Father in Heaven Who loves us no matter what. 

Quiet leadership is easily forgotten because it does not draw attention to itself naturally.  It sees a needs and fills it simply because it needs to be done.  No fanfare is needed. Pop-Pop taught me that.  

Serve as God calls and equips you to serve.  If people notice, cool.  If they don’t, that’s okay too.  We serve God and at the end of the day that is all that matters.  

Pop-Pop may have been a man of few words but he spoke volumes through his life.  I am who I am today because of him. I know it is okay to be quiet, serve people and give God the praise and glory.

Pop-Pop is one my heroes in life, faith and ministry.  His name won’t be recorded in any history books but I will never forget all that he did for me.  He was the greatest teacher I ever had in servant leadership.  He first taught me how to be a quiet leader.  

Now I strive each day in my own ministry to be like Jesus as he was.  I will make mistakes.  I will struggle.  But as Pop-Pop taught me, I begin each day anew loving family and friends and giving my best back to God as I possibly can. 

My prayer for you today is that you see yourself as a servant leader.  Do not be discouraged by the world that you must be a certain way to be a leader.  Simply follow Pop-Pop’s example and get up in the morning resolved to give your best that day to love God and others the best you can.  Fanfare is not necessary.  Give as you have received.  That’s all Pop-Pop did.

Now, I keep one of his favorite trolleys in my bedroom.  Each day I see it and remember how he loved and I strive to loved as he did, imperfect but fully.  At the end of the day that is all any of us can do.  Love one another imperfectly but fully knowing that the God of Grace loves each of us fully and perfectly.

This Week’s Challenge — Quietly serve one person this week and be an example of God’s love in a quiet leadership way.

There’s Always a Green Arrow When You Need One

Hiking on various trails is a simple, yet quite fun adventure one can take wherever you live in the world.  Lacing up one’s shoes, throwing basic necessities in the day bag, filling up the water bottle and away we go to explore, experience and enjoy a new place.

But when you are new to a trail you do not always know the layout or the slight nuances.  Does it turn off here?  How much does the terrain change?  It’s all part of the adventure of getting up and going.

Recently I was exploring a new trail and had all these exact questions.  I was taking in the incredible new sights while trying not to lose one of my shoes in the murky mud patches.  Every so often I would look up to see there were turnoffs.  This particular adventure had about four trails crisscrossing and at times joining each other.  So one had to be observant where she was going and which trail she was actually on.

Inevitably whenever I was beginning to wonder where I needed to turn or if I needed to go straight there would be a Green Arrow pointing me in the right direction.  There was no confusion once I saw that little green arrow.  I knew exactly where I needed to go, what I had to do.

“By your words I can see where I’m going;

They throw a beam of light on my dark path.

I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back

From living your righteous order.” 

(Psalm 119:105-106 The Message)

At times in our faith journeys we can be confused as to where to go and what to do.  We have the resolved to serve God with our whole heart and our lives but the path turns, the terrain changes, another path appears to be the one we should be on.

We look up and around trying to discern where and how God is leading us in that moment.  We wonder if we need to decide on our own without God’s assistance. But just as we think we need to make a decision on our own…

There appears a green arrow right before us.  When we need it most the green arrow of the Holy Spirit appears and we are reassured of where God is taking us at the moment.  The Holy Spirit nudges us towards what God has planned for us to explore, experience and enjoy.  We need not worry.

As you travel along your faith journey keep your head up and eyes clear to see where the green arrow appears next pointing you in the right direction.  Remain resolved to not become discouraged.  Enjoy the adventure.  Take in all the sights and experiences.

Keep saying to yourself, “There’s always a green arrow when you need one”.  Take it from me they come at just the right moment.  You just got to be ready to see them.

This Week’s Challenge – Notice how many green arrows God sets before you this week.  Where do you see Him guiding you along your journey. Write them down in your journal to remember and be not discouraged.

Resolved to Follow Your Passions

For most of my life I have gotten used to people thinking my ideas were crazy.  When you naturally think outside of the box you don’t win many popularity contests, especially in a traditional church.  Nor does asking the question, “Why” win you favor amongst people.  Turns out many people don’t like to answer that question.  For me, I wanted to understand the purpose behind things so I can better understand how to best get to the desired end result.  I suppose it’s a good thing I never went into the military. Usually when I would have a crazy idea and hear the subsequent “That would never work” or “You don’t know what you’re talking about”

Over time I have become better at ignoring them and then continue to pursue the crazy ideas. For instance, I left a great job at a great law firm so I could live in a van for a year with complete strangers while working as a sound tech (PS I didn’t know what a sound board was before I quit my job). Oh, did I forget to mention that it was all volunteer, no paycheck.

Yup. I did it.  For two years. And loved it!

There was the time I moved to Minnesota from New Jersey.  Only thing I had was a seasonal job that would pay most of my bills for 6 months.  I didn’t think to line up a place to live before I packed my 2001 Cr-V with my worldly possessions and move.

But I did it anyway.  And as it turned out I’ve made a pretty good life for myself.

I spent my entire adulthood training and serving in full-time ministry.  So it makes sense to leave it all behind and go work in the craft beer industry, right?  Did I have experience? Not really but why should that stop me? It took a couple of years to make the full transition but I now work at a great company. You’ll be surprised at how similar the two professions can be at times.

Throughout it all I have learned that one needs to be resolved in pursuing one’s passions.  There will be people who will not understand and think you’re crazy.  Some will try to put the kabosh on your dreams trying to convince you to be realistic.  But don’t be discouraged.

There is a reason that God gave you those passions.  They were not placed there accidentally.  Remain committed to pursuing them and see where God leads you.  I promise it will not be easy at times.  Sometimes only your resolution will carry you through but do not be discouraged.  But no matter what, remain resolved.  Don’t let anyone or anything deter you.

So my question to you — What are your passions?  What “crazy ideas” do you have that don’t seem practical?

Do not be afraid, ReSolved disciple! Have peace Jesus Christ is with you.  Follow those passions and see what happens.  Listen only to the Holy Spirit. Ignore anyone or anything that tries to tell you differently. Trust in the journey that God has planned for you.  Remain resolved in the God given passions and serve the LORD with your whole heart.  Who knows what fun adventures are awaiting for you?

This Week’s Challenge – What crazy idea lies in the back of your mind that seems too ridiculous to pursue? What is one practical thing you can do this week towards that passion?

Planting SEEDs of Faith: Share, Equip, Empower, Deploy

Planting SEEDs of Faith

Share, Equip, Empower, Deploy

Planting seeds of faith is done not by us but by the Holy Spirit through us.  We are all called to live out our faiths in authentic ways so that we give all glory to God.  As we go about our lives we encounter those who are not Christians.  How we interact with them gives witness to Jesus Christ. Some we build friendships with and thereby share the faith with him more personally and intentionally.

It is in these relationships where we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to nurture the seed of faith. But how do we do that? What if I’m not even sure how to tell my own faith story? What if I stumble?

Have no fear.  Don’t worrying. The burden is not on you. The Holy Spirit is tending to the person’s heart, preparing it to openly receive the Gospel message and grow in faith. Your job is to walk alongside one another modeling the life of a disciple. The best part is you have others to learn from and model after.

Each disciple, follower or student, of Jesus Christ is called to share his faith with others. It means not just telling your faith story but modeling how a disciple lives one’s life and faces adversities. Sharing in a verbal and non-verbal communication form.  As a disciple you demonstrate how one lives and acts so another is able to watch and learn from your example.

“The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened.” Mark 5:14

Sharing one’s faith story is the beginning to planting and nurturing SEEDs of faith. A disciple of Jesus Christ looks to equip another to learn how to share and serve others. They walk together serving side by side so that the newer disciple learns by watching and asking questions.

Jesus modeled this teaching method with the 12 Disciples. He showed them how to teach and serve. He explained to them what He was doing and let them try for themselves.

One needs to be Equipped in sharing and serving before going out. Think of it as a coaching time learning from an experienced one. A time of practicing alongside one who already knows the ropes.

As one practices the new skills and mindset there will be a natural progression towards Empowerment. A newer disciple of Jesus Christ will become more confident in ability. The focus will move toward him doing on own with support and encouragement from the elder disciple.  Being empowered is key to sending one out to ministry. It solidifies confidence and show support.

“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.  As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” 2 Timothy 1:3-5

Finally every disciple is called to serve and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some are called to remain where she lives. Others are called to move and serve in another place. Regardless of where the Holy Spirit leads one to serve each disciple is Deployed.  It is here a disciple is commissioned and sent out to serve. The newer disciple is equipped and empowered to go and tell to others, to serve faithfully and share with those who have not heard yet. The SEEDs of faith continue on to the next ‘generation’ of disciples. It is not an ending but the next beginning.

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-19

The Non-Listicle Blog on How to Start Faith Conversations

Recently I was asked how I’ve started faith conversation with people I meet. I must admit it was difficult to answer.  In some ways it seemed like I was asked why I am a writer. It is so natural and a part of who I am that to explain how I do it seemed so foreign to me.

Faith conversations happen naturally.  There isn’t a list or steps I follow. They just happen. The thought of attempting to put it into a formula for someone to copy is counter-intuitive.  I know having a ‘listicle’ (The 5 Steps/Ways to….) in today’s trending world is assumed to be necessary to have a trending article but truly connecting with one another is different with every pairing of people.  It happens naturally as each person shares his genuine self with another.

My own faith is so entwined with who I am as a person that it will naturally arise in conversations. It would not be a rarity to hear me say at some point, “Jesus and craft beer.  My two great loves and in that order.”  I am passionate about each of them and I nauseatingly talk about both of them to everyone!  I mean, everyone!  Even people who don’t like either (or both).  But because I come from a place of true passion and not judging people are intrigued and further engage in conversation with me. We connect and learn about each other.

This is my prayer for every disciple of Jesus Christ. Your own passion and excitement for your faith will come through your conversations.  You do not need to have a step by step guide to start a faith conversation.  Simply be you.  Because you are excited about your own relationship with Jesus Christ you will end up talking about Him to others.  You won’t be able to help yourself.

You just may find yourself saying, “Jesus and ________.  My two great loves and in that order.”

My advice to you, truly live your life. Live it with passion, full of joy, and contagious excitement.  People will take notice. They will begin to ask questions.  Over time you will start to see faith conversations are happening all around you, wherever you go.  You may not see the change immediately but only when you stop and reflect.

The ReSolved disciple’s life stems from our individual relationships with Jesus Christ, our daily trust in God and our obedient following of the Holy Spirit.  It impacts our whole selves and transforms our perspective on life and others. There is no formula on account of each of us are uniquely created by God.

Be you.  Watch how your every day conversations will change.

This Week’s Challenge

Write, doodle, brainstorm why you love Jesus Christ.

Be prepared to answer why you love him when asked.  The more you understand (and we all are growing in our love for Jesus in our own faith journeys) they more confident you will be in telling another person.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15

Stories Of ReSolved Disciples of Jesus

2018 will be a year of resolution. One which refuses to sit by and passively watch it go by. It shall be one of going out exploring, experiencing and enjoying. One going and meeting other resolved disciples of Jesus Christ to hear their stories and then share with you.  Taking time to listen and learn from the Holy Spirit to passing along to fellow disciples.  This space is to be a place to share with one another questions, prayer requests, encouragement, discussions.  The community may be far reaching but we remain closely connected by the Holy Spirit as we are the salt and light of the world. Our resolve will be fortified by our joint commitment to be present, to listen and learn and to serve and share God’s love with the world.

God is challenging His Church to live authentically out the disciples’ faith. Faith cannot be simply a cultural manner of life.  It must envelop all of what we do and say.  It flavors our words, guides our actions, directs our decisions.  It is not what we do, it is who we are. It resides deep within our souls. Flows naturally from our very pores.

We are the brand ambassadors for Christ. We carry forth the announcement of His Gospel to live as His living examples here on Earth. With this come questions of how, importance of support, loving accountability with one another. This space here shall be that place. One where insights shared, challenges shared and discussion begun. How exciting to see what the Holy Spirit says!  The community may be far reaching but we remain closely connected by the Holy Spirit as we are the salt and light of the world. Our resolve will be fortified by our joint commitment to be present, to listen and learn and to serve and share God’s love with the world.

This space is not a place of lists to feebly attempt simplify complex lessons. This is a place of exploring, asking “what if”. Seeing life and faith from perms a different perspective. To dive deep into learning how to live faith authentically, without reserve, to be fully resolved for the One Who has resolved us by His grave, mercy and love.

I sit here writing this entry looking across the room at my new Travel Pack. Thinking of the miles it will travel and the people we will meet along the way.  There is space for the journals, books and pens that will be devoured on such trips. It is spiffy new with the fresh smell wafting through the room.  The tags are still attached waiting to be cut off and discarded for the new adventures and new friendships. Scuff marks and dirt stains will appear as tokens of those memories. Journals full of thoughts and stories eager to leap out of their pocket and land next to the computer to be shared with the world. So exciting!

Perhaps the Pack will find rest at your house or a pub near you. Maybe your story will leave a mark on the Pack. I can’t wait to go and visit together. Share a pint or a coffee while sharing our stories with one another. The time spent together will be beneficial for us. it will be a holy time together. Until that time let us continue to be resolved disciples of Jesus Christ serving and sharing Jesus Christ in our lives with our whole lives. We are His ambassadors sent into the world to proclaim His love and grace to all people. When we do meet we will have great stories to share with each other!

This Week’s Challenge: What does being a brand ambassador for Jesus Christ look like to you?

Who is the Holy Spirit?

 

The Holy Spirit is perhaps the most misunderstood person of the Trinity. Just the word “spirit” draws different imagery for people, some positive some not so positive. Change the word to “ghost” and that is a whole other level of confusion.

The Holy Spirit is a travel guide along our faith journey. As Jesus went up into Heaven He directed His followers to tell the whole world the Good News and how the Holy Spirit will be with them enabling them to go and make disciples.

“And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
— Acts 1:8 The Message

The disciples did not need to rely solely on themselves. The had the Holy Spirit with them giving encouragement, empowerment and fully equipping them to tell the Good News.

Since Creation the Holy Spirit has been with the people of God guiding them as they serve and share the Good News.  The still small voice whispering in one’s ear to go and tell.  The bold confidence to face one’s enemies without fear despite the obvious obstacles. The strength to carry on when the body grows weary.

The journey of faith can grow tiring at times, discouraging from time to time.  It does become difficult to keep trusting when you cannot physically see or hear God.  Faith is bolstered by the Holy Spirit through the Spirit’s comforting nature.  For one to know it does not rest solely on one’s self reduces the anxiety levels.  An individual can exhale and not keep the stress all inside. We are equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit as the followers of Jesus Christ to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth.

One does not need to be scared by the Holy Spirit.  Rather, be comforted by your travel companion given to you by your Heavenly Father.

So the question to you is this: how can you rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you along the journey of faith? What area of faith would you like to grow more in?

Growing in faith and trusting the leading of the Holy Spirit does require a surrendering of control on each of our parts.  We cannot be led if we continue to insist to retain control and make the final decision.  Whatever area of faith you would like to grow in trust the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit will not misguide you.  Be not afraid of where you are being led.  Follow in the footsteps of the Holy Spirit knowing the details of the journey have already been planned by God.

This Week’s Challenge:  Give one thing over to God and trust the Holy Spirit to guide you through it.  Pray and listen to learn how you are being led by the Holy Spirit.  Go serve and share and see how God is using you to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.