A poem for 2017

This morning we began the new year as a VP3 team by returning to a poem we discussed during a meeting last January. Much has occurred since we last visited with these words. And perhaps these words are more timely now then they were 12 months ago.

 

Our sights for 2017 remain set upon the Holy Spirit’s gracious and deepening work in the world. We have been called, in particular, to cooperate with the Spirit’s work by helping men and women discover more deeply who God is, who they are, and what God desires to do through them. An urgent work; a patient work. I suspect “Patient Trust” will continue to speak into our lives and efforts as we look ahead to 2017 and beyond.

 


Patient Trust

 

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything

to reach the end without delay.

We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

We are impatient of being on the way

to something unknown,

something new.

Yet it is the law of all progress that is

made by passing through some stages of instability

and that may take a very long time.

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…they ate & were filled…

loaves-and-fishes2

In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them,  “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.  And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”  Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”  He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.”  So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude.  They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.  So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.  Now those who had eaten were about four thousand.

Mark 8: 1-9 (NKJV)

 

A few weeks ago I read Mark 8.  For some reason this story captured my as it never has before.  I promptly turned to Matthew 15, Luke 9, and John 6 to read the other  Gospel accounts.  Since then, I have not really been able to read beyond this.  It captured me and I’ve continued reading all 4 of the Apostles’ accounts…

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Ripple Effects

From time to time we get emails or phone calls that remind us of the impact of the work we are up to at VantagePoint3. Yesterday we got one of these emails. So I thought I would share.

 

It is the story of two changed lives now changing others as a result of going through The Journey. Marcy Milburn at Newton Church of the Way in Newton, Iowa passed this story onto VP3’s Kay Hodges. Marcy writes,

 

Hi Kay,

This may seem kind of random but I wanted to email VantagePoint3 with an encouraging word about how lives are being changed in our community because of The Journey.

 

qgbb1up7b97h4ilab1tskpz73otb6nlBelow is an article that our local newspaper ran a few weeks ago called “From Dope to Hope.” It’s about two men in our church whose backgrounds couldn’t have been more different, one is a law enforcement officer and the other a former convict. They connected during The Journey class a few years ago, and gave testimonies recently about how God used The Journey to bring them together, which later led them in a joint effort to start this faith-based substance abuse support ministry called Discover Hope 517.

 

http://www.newtondailynews.com/2014/12/04/from-dope-to-hope/aei5fge/

 

I know you probably hear stories all the time about lives that are being changed through The Journey and VantagePoint3 materials, but I felt led to share. I think the “ripple effect” of their story is what’s most inspiring to me: two very different men take The Journey and are skeptical of each other at first, not even sure if they can trust each other because of their backgrounds; they embrace the process, God changes their hearts, and they grow in Christ; God leads them in a joint effort to start a ministry called Discover Hope so that people who struggle with addiction can have a support group centered around Jesus. Lives are being changed and people are being set free because of the love of Jesus!

 

 

So I want to say thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because of the opportunity your leadership development curriculum provides, lives are being changed, not only in our church but in our community. Thank you!

  

In Him,

 

Marcy Milburn

Director of Children’s Ministries and Adult Discipleship

Newton Church of The Way

 

The Spirit is always up to something creative and good, and it is such a gift when we get to witness this faithful work in real time. We are grateful to be a small part of God’s kingdom work in Newton. May the Lord continue to bless the friendship and efforts of Aaron and Robbie and The Discover Hope Ministry in Newton. In Jesus name. 

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