Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter Wonderland

On December 7 wind chills in parts of Montana reached -50 degrees and were recorded as the coldest on earth at the time (note - it does help that Antarctica is in the middle of summer!) ... The coldest it got here in Bozeman that I saw was -26, feels like -45 degrees, so needless to say the past couple days where it made it back up into the 30's here have felt like a heat wave!

It was November 2011 when I first came on a site visit to Bozeman and God said "welcome home."  After preparations to leave Nashville I arrived in Montana in May 2012.  I can hardly believe it is already eighteen months later.

Stepping out of our comfort zone and what is familiar to us is an opportunity for God to grow us in ways beyond what we could imagine.  We can't truly understand the promise that the Lord is with us wherever we go until we are willing to leave where we are.  That doesn't always involve a physical move, but it does require a willingness to surrender our hearts to Him and allow Him to reveal anything we may be holding on to that is hindering what He wants to do in and through us.  It is allowing Him to prepare our hearts to say "yes" to Him before we even know what the question is.

God tells us in His word that "where our treasure is there our heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)."  Just as the greatest gifts in each season can never be bought, it is a reminder that the Greatest Gift in life also did not come wrapped in a box under the tree but through a baby lying in the manger - Jesus, who came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and three days later rose from the dead ... Immanuel - God with us.  We are all sinners in need of a Savior.  And just as with any gift, we have to choose to accept it or it just sits there, useless.  Romans 10:9-10 says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead you will be saved."  I learned more this year about the fact that we are not called to a religion or a lifestyle of busyness or a to do list, but first and foremost to a relationship with Him. The ability to love and serve others comes out of the overflow of the relationship we have with Him. The Gospel is the Good News and if He truly is our greatest treasure we should be more excited to share the eternal hope we have in Him with others than anything else!

Jesus + nothing = everything
Everything - Jesus = nothing

I want to thank each of you who have spoken His truth in to my life and so often provide tangible reminders of His faithfulness. We are meant to grow in community and I am so thankful nothing can ever separate us from His love. May we rejoice throughout this season and give Him all the glory.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

"Go tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!"