Hello world! I haven’t posted in a long time, but I feel now is a fitting time to resume, as I am embarking on a Month of Dedication with my church, starting in March. I am an assisting pastor at my church, though since my fourth child was born last March, I have had a much more limited role there, while happily investing more in my family. (If you haven’t any children yourself, let me tell you, caring for four of them is quite enough of a job for me!) But for those who know me in person, you will know I’ve always been very active in general, and passionate about God and church in particular, so I stay involved there as much as I can.

Our church’s Month of Dedication is something we on the pastoral team have been praying about since the fall. Our senior pastor’s wife, who happens to be my mother, was the first to plant the seed for all of us, but as they say in Acts, “It seemed right to the Holy Spirit and right to us” -and in fact, we are all pretty excited about it! We have begun to discuss it with our small groups and talked about it this past Sunday at church. We even have a booklet coming out this Sunday to help people prepare their hearts and follow along with us throughout the month.

“What is this Month of Dedication” you ask? It is all about TURNING TO GOD and TURNING AWAY from the things that hinder our freedom in life: spiritual, emotional, and even physical. It will involve fasting – to whatever degree each individual chooses – and it will involve some intentional ways of turning to God.

This fast is coming at a key time in the life of our church congregation. February is the anniversary month that my parents have been pastors for ten years here. (Though I have only been here two.) There has been a lot of change over the last ten years, and not all of it has been easy. Some of it has been rather messy and hurtful. I guess any kind of relationship or organization goes through such challenges, right? But NOW, I feel we are in a really healthy place, and a very hopeful place as a church. As we have come into the new year, and celebrated the Anniversary Month in February, this Month of Dedication is at a great time, heading toward Easter, and I believe – heading toward a time of new life and a Resurrection of sorts in the life of our church. I really see these coming months as a time for people to find freedom in their lives, for us to redevelop a sense of community identity, and go forward in some exciting things the Lord has prepared for us.

I’ll post more on the details in the coming days, but I wanted to get this first post out now and ask – do you want to join us? Whether or not you are part of our church, I wonder – do you need some Resurrection in your life? New life? Freedom? I do not remember where I first heard this, but someone once said something to the effect of, “Salvation is free, but for Freedom we must count the cost.” Want to be in heaven for eternity? Jesus has made that possible, if we will accept His grace by faith. But want to live with heaven in your heart now? Then it is going to involve some dedication and sacrifice on your part. Make no mistake, the Holy Spirit will empower you every step of the way and make  any personal effort exponentially more effective. But still, God gave us what cost Him immensely. What will we give God, in order to deepen that relationship He has made available?

that relationship He has made available?