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encouragement from steve wise

Wednesday, January 12 2022

Dear Friends

“But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; but only one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

- Luke 10:28-30

A big THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered and everyone who participated in our Refresh weekend! It was a lot of fun and brought great joy to be together having fun, celebrating, worshipping and learning.

I continue to chew on Jim’s teaching about the life Jesus is inviting us into. An invitation into life with the God who loves us better than the best father loves their children, pursues us, offers us living water, and fills our emptiness. A way to experience that life through a posture and a practice – choosing to listen to Jesus and learn how to live and love from Life and Love Himself.

I know that I am worried and drug around, distracted and torn apart by many relationships, events, and circumstances beyond my control. Truth be told, it all boils down to my refusal to believe God loves me and my efforts to make myself lovable. Everything else seems so very important, but Jesus gently but firmly reminds me that only one thing is really necessary and that is the best part. Two ideas that roll around my brain. First, best over good. God’s best over the many good things that can divert my attention. God desires me to experience so much more - Himself. Second, the quality of my life will depend on the attention I give to the important but not urgent things in my life. What good thing(s) are keeping me from the best things? What am I stopping? And what am I starting?

Let’s pray together that we will be people so convinced of God’s love for us in Jesus that we practice choosing the best over the good. May we give our attention to Jesus so we can learn how to love and live from Him – who is love and life. We cannot do it by ourselves but God will not do it without us. He gives us His Spirit and we give him our time, attention, and effort. May His Spirit fill us individually and as a body for His glory, our good, and the well-being of the world around us.

Your friend

Steve Wise

Posted by: Steve AT 10:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 01 2022

Happy New Year, 

“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”

- II Peter 3:8-9

This is a strange time of year for me! Today we are putting up our Christmas decorations. This always makes me a little sad because it means Christmas is over and another year has passed. Yet we also look forward to a new year with new opportunities and possibilities. Perhaps this time of year highlights our ambiguous relationship with time itself. Our most precious commodity and, at times, worst enemy.

Time is really just the way we measure the events of our lives.  Time and space are created realities. God exists outside of time and space. We use words like eternal and eternity to speak of God’s timelessness. Peter reminds us the Lord is not bound by time, experiences time from outside of it, and is far more patient regarding time than we are. Not only far more patient but also far more gracious – desiring for all to know Him. 

Yet we experience life in time. Memories of the past both bring us joy and sorrow. Relationships, events, and circumstances encourage and discourage us. Opportunities and obstacles in the future create hope and anxiety. All of these form and shape who we are and who we become. Sadly, for all of us, our time in this earthly body comes to an end. 

But the Good News of the Gospel tells us we are eternal beings – limited by time and space but made for more than just this life. It also declares the Eternal One stepped into time in Jesus Christ to redeem our past, present, and future. His life, death and resurrection means your life & my life – in this time and place - matters and matters forever. 

Which makes me ask: what am I doing with my time and what is that doing to me? who or what gets my time? who or what do I give my time to and for? how does my use of time shape and form me into who I want to be and who God designed me to be? how does it not do this?

As I sit on the cusp of a New Year, I am evaluating how I use my time: to know and love God more and better? to bring glory to God? to help others? to grow as a follower of Jesus? to build community and relationships?  to serve other people?

Our upcoming “Refresh” (January 7-9) will be a time to learn more about the life God is inviting us into with Him.  I hope you join your church family for this event and make our weekly worship together a priority in 2022. May we all grow in our knowledge and experience of the Father’s love and goodness, Jesus’ grace and truth, and the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance!

Your friend

Steve Wise  

Posted by: Steve AT 10:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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