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encouragement from steve wise

Wednesday, December 29 2021

Happy New Year!

“…for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature person, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

Paul, Ephesians 4:11-16

The New Year provides us with a clean slate of sorts. Many people take the opportunity to make resolutions even while laughing about how quickly those resolutions are broken. Perhaps you are thinking about changing some habits in your life – either starting good ones or stopping bad ones. You may be thinking about some new fitness or personal habits. You may be considering making better decisions. You may be wondering what is the use in making resolutions when most resolutions are broken. We invite you not to make New Year’s resolutions but to come and be “REFRESHED” in your relationship with God and with His people.  Please register here.

Westminster is celebrating our REFRESH event on January 7-9 – a time of worship, fellowship and spiritual encouragement. Jim Branch (of the Blue Book fame, if you are familiar) will be leading our time in God’s Word challenging us and refreshing our souls. Dinner will begin at 5:30 with our celebration from 6:15-7:45. Child care is provided 4 years old and younger. Children 5th grade and younger will join us for worship but then have a separate time of teaching. We are hoping our middle and high school students will participate in our celebration time in the sanctuary as it will be good for them as well. Please register on our website so we can plan food accordingly. Our own Sophie Satterfield will provide a meal for us on Friday and Taco Dog will cater our Saturday evening meal.

The Apostle Paul, in the passage above, shows us the purpose of our gathering – spiritual growth as individuals and as a community of faith. God the Father’s great desire for us is that we become more and more like Jesus – in our love for God and in our love for others. Maturity means we develop the ability to know the difference between true and false, good and evil, right and wrong, and love and hate. We learn to process our internal feelings, desires and thoughts in light of our external relationships, events and circumstances. As we process and respond to life well, we bring God glory, do what is best for us, and work for the well-being of other people. As we grow closer to Jesus, we grow closer to one another. As Dallas Willard writes, we become “sons and daughters of God [who] live their unique lives in this world to his glory.”

As you turn the page on 2021, perhaps you are weary, wary, or worried about the year ahead. Or you may be excited, energized and optimistic. We pray Refresh will encourage you and enliven our community of faith in our ministry and mission in our families, our church and our community.

Your friend

Steve Wise

Posted by: Steve AT 10:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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