We are seeing some really powerful things take place across the country, even across the world with the stirring of the Holy Spirit that has taken place at Asbury. It is beautiful to watch the younger (and even not so younger 😊) generation thirst for God. This upcoming generation is one that many have written off and I am so very encouraged by what the Lord is doing. On a daily basis at the school where I teach I get to be around students who want more of God and to live out Christ’s Kingdom purposes. Let’s continue to pray for the move of the Spirit to sweep through our land and be the kind of church who enthusiastically encourages the next generation in following Jesus.
Our worship team once again led us into a deep place in God’s presence on Sunday. May we never take the presence of the Lord for granted. Beth does so well to lead us and give space for other worship leaders to take us to new places in the Spirit week after week. I am so very thankful for the spiritual and professional preparation everyone on our worship team takes throughout the week. It is not easy to be a facilitator of such a group of talented people, knowing who should lead when and so forth. Thank you Beth for continually giving space for others, allowing many expressions of God’s presence. Thank you worship team for your hard work and willingness to serve.
Pastor Nancy brought us the Word this last week, reminding us to be rooted in love that casts out fear. I have talked to many of you who are still living in that tension between love and fear. I think sometimes we are waiting for this “love-fear” tension” to be completely removed, so that we have absolutely no fear whatsoever. That may indeed occur but often, how I have seen the Lord work, is by moving into love and faith even though fear is still present. If we continually wait for all fear to be completely removed, we may never live out God’s Kingdom here and now which continually crashes in to the kingdom of this world. Let’s keep moving towards faith and love, even in those places we haven’t totally seen fear cast away.
Some questions to ponder this week:
- What does it look like to move towards love and faith even when I am afraid?
- What story do I keep replaying in my mind that is based upon fears from the past?
- What story of love can I play in my heart and mind when I start playing the “fear story” on repeat over and over again?
- What promises from God’s Word do I need to hold onto as I live in this love-fear tension?
Man, as I read those questions over and over again, I can see patterns that I so easily follow. If any of you need to talk or process any of this, please know that I am available and am more than willing to chat by phone, meet somewhere for coffee, or even just trade emails if it is easier for you to write than to talk. 😊 I try to seek out each of you to get together on a regular basis and sometimes it works out well for our schedules and sometimes it doesn’t. We aren’t this traditional church where I have office hours but please never hesitate to reach out if you simply need to talk, feel stuck, have a verse from the Bible to share, or simply want to joke around for awhile. 😊 All are needed in life! I am thankful for each of you and I’m glad we’re on this journey together.
John D. Trotter
Senior Pastor, Liberty Vineyard Church
Sunday’s sermon: God’s Love Drives Out Fear (Pastor Nancy Penton)