Looking Out My Backdoor

           As we go into the month of March and look toward Easter, we also look forward to spring. The two of them are intertwined, Easter and Spring. The resurrection of our Lord and Savior brought joy and hope to the people of Israel and eventually to others as the good news spread.  And so too, Spring with its promise of new birth, the return of flowers, leaves, birds singing in the trees, and the rejuvenation of our spirits, bring hope and joy to all of mankind.

It should be hard for us to observe the massive flocks of geese that are or soon will be crowding the sky flying back to their nesting grounds in Canada, the first flowers that will soon be blooming, the new wheat and all the other wonderful miracles of nature that happen as the weather starts warming  and the days get longer, without thinking of the Creator of the universe. 

We are promised a newness of life when we accept Jesus, just as nature experiences that same newness of life every spring. It is through the blood of our Savior that we experience that newness. Our hope is founded in our faith and love of Jesus Christ. Spring brings about feelings of love and contentment. The good news of Jesus is also one of love and contentment; the love for our neighbor and the contentment in knowing that we are never alone.

My prayer is that we take some time to stop and contemplate what the teachings of Jesus have to tell us about our love for God and each other and that we discover that newness not only that which comes with the spring but also that which come through our relationship with Jesus.

As we look forward to April and Easter with joy and hope, we can be confident in the fact that Jesus through the Holy Spirit is with us as we follow Jesus on our own journey to the cross. May we look forward to the journey with introspection, and discover the peace that surpasses all understanding. I look forward to being with you on this journey. And all God’s people said…Amen!

Pastor Travis

Changes

C     “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

     “Change is a process and not a destination, it never ends”

     As some of you know, the United Methodist Church is facing a time of change. On February 26th at a special session of the General Conference, there will be a vote on several different proposals dealing with Human Sexuality within the denomination. These proposals have been put forth by the Commission on a Way Forward and will, in my opinion, decide the fate of the denomination as a whole.

     These proposals suggest different changes to the Book of Discipline dealing with the Human Sexuality issue. These various proposals are too in-depth to be included in this article, but they can be found at the Conference website or the UMC website. Basically, there are three proposals, one being to leave things the way they are, a second is that each individual church will be allowed to decide whether they wanted to allow same-sex marriages or homosexual pastors in the pulpit, and the third proposal is to change the wording in the Discipline to allow these things denomination-wide.

     Now it is my opinion that no matter what happens with the vote at the end of the month, there will be changes within the denomination and some separation within. This voting will be done by delegates that have been elected by the various Annual Conferences who will be voting as their individual consciences see fit.

     Now you may ask, “Well, Pastor Travis, what can we do?” What I will tell you is that prayer is about the only thing that can be done right now. However, once the voting is all done and we know what the results are, we need to decide how we are going to flow with the change; whether we are going to accept the vote or what we need to do in order to change ourselves.

     Now I know a lot of people don’t like change and it makes some people uncomfortable but like I’ve said change is inevitable. What shows the true character of a person or a congregation is how they or we deal with that change. We can either worry about that change and how it affects us or we can go with the change and make it productive.

     As far as I’m concerned, I was sent here to minister to the mission field of Leoti, KS and surrounding area. I’m going to take one day at a time and let God lead me where he wants me to go. There is so much of God’s work to be done right here in our little neck of the woods. What we need to do is not worry about what we have no control over but instead leave it in God’s hands and just continue to do his work. He will lead us where he wants us to go.

     Otherwise we might end up like the guy who went to see his family doctor: “You,” said the doctor to the patient, “are in terrible shape. You’ve got to do something about it. First, tell your wife to cook more nutritious meals. Stop working like a dog. Also, inform your wife you’re going to make a budget, and she has to stick to it. And have her keep the kids off your back so you can relax. Unless there are some changes like that in your life, you’ll probably be dead in a month.”

“Doc,” the patient said, “this would sound more official coming from you. Could you please call my wife and give her those instructions?”

When the fellow got home, his wife rushed to him. “I talked to your doctor,” she wailed. “He said, you’ve only got thirty days to live.”

     Some people will change when they see the light. Others change only when they feel the heat.

     The story is told of artist Paul Gustave Dore who was traveling in Europe when he faced a predicament. He reached a border crossing and discovered that he had misplaced his passport. Without his papers, the officer wouldn’t allow Dore to pass. Finally, Dore was given a test to prove his identity. The official gave him a piece of paper and a pencil and requested he draw a group of nearby peasants. Dore did so with such ease that the official was convinced he was indeed the famed artist.

     Paul Dore’s identity was affirmed through his work. Many people in our world find their identity through their work or accomplishments.

     As Christians, our identity is not in what we do but in Who we belong to. We are children of God, heir to His kingdom. Apart from God, we have no identity and are but another lost soul in this world. But with God, we are a child of the King. We have hope, we have purpose, and we have meaning. No matter what fails in your life, if you have trusted Christ as your Savior, you are a child of God. Outside things can change, but you will always be one of God’s own.

   Pastor Travis

A Year of Time

  Sometimes thinking on the subject of time may prove uncomfortable however, it is not a bad idea—especially at the beginning of a new year.

    As we look into 2019, we look at a block of time. We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. And all is a gift from God. We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life.

    The gift of time is not ours alone. It is given equally to each person. Rich and poor, educated and ignorant, strong and weak—every man, woman and child has the same twenty-four hours every day.

    Another important thing about time is that you cannot stop it. There is no way to slow it down, turn it off, or adjust it. Time marches on.

    And you cannot bring back time. Once it is gone, it is gone. Yesterday is lost forever. If yesterday is lost, tomorrow is uncertain. We may look ahead at a full year’s block of time, but we really have no guarantee that we will experience any of it.

    Obviously, time is one of our most precious possessions. We can waste it. We can worry over it. We can spend it on ourselves. Or, as good stewards, we can invest it in the kingdom of God.

   1Peter 4:9-11 says; Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 

    The new year is full of time. As the seconds tick away, will you be tossing time out the window, or will you make every minute count as disciples of Jesus Christ?

   I hope everyone has a very happy and prosperous new year! I look forward to serving the people of Leoti and the Leoti UMC for another year. God bless you and your families!

   Pastor Travis

Poinsettias at Christmas

P     Poinsettia plants are native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico known as ‘Taxco del Alarcon’ where they flower during the winter. The ancient Aztecs called them ‘cuetlaxochitl’. The Aztecs had many uses for them including using the flowers (actually special types of leaves known as bracts rather than being flowers) to make a purple dye for clothes and cosmetics and the milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers. (Today we call the sap latex!)

     The poinsettia was made widely known because of a man called Joel Roberts Poinsett (that’s why we call them Poinsettia!). He was the first Ambassador from the USA to Mexico in 1825. Poinsett had some greenhouses on his plantations in South Carolina, and while visiting the Taco area in 1828, he became very interested in the plants. He immediately sent some of the plants back to South Carolina, where he began growing the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

     One of the friends he sent plants to was John Bartram of Philadelphia. At the first Philadelphia flower show, Robert Buist, a plants-man from Pennsylvania saw the flower and he was probably the first person to have sold the poinsettias under their botanical, or latin name, name ‘Euphorbia pulcherrima’ (it means, ‘the most beautiful Euphorbia’). They were first sold as cut flowers. It was only in the early 1900s that they were sold as whole plants for landscaping and pot plants. The Ecke family from Southern California were one of, if not, the first to sell them as whole plants and they’re still the main producer of the plants in the USA. It is thought that they became known as Poinsettia in the mid 1830s when people found out who had first brought them to America from Mexico.

     There is an old Mexican legend about how Poinsettias and Christmas come together, it goes like this: There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no present to give the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up. ‘Pepita’, he said “I’m sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy.”

Pepita didn’t know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the ‘Flores de Noche Buena’, or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night’.

     The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.

The Poinsettia is also the national emblem of Madagascar.

Christmas Blessings from Pastor Travis King

Looking Out My Backdoor

     Thanksgiving is almost here. As has become my custom in November and December, I will share a story or two and a couple of my favorite holiday recipes. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving. This of course is a time for giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives which we should do every day, all year long. St. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18; “…give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.”

Pastor Travis

The First Thanksgiving

     All through the first summer and the early part of autumn the Pilgrims were busy and happy. They had planted and cared for their first fields of corn. They had found wild strawberries in the meadows, raspberries on the hillsides, and wild grapes in the woods.

     In the forest just back of the village wild turkeys and deer were easily shot. In the shallow waters of the bay there was plenty of fish, clams, and lobsters.

     The summer had been warm, with a good deal of rain and much sunshine; and so, when autumn came, there was a fine crop of corn.

“Let us gather the fruits of our first harvest and rejoice together,” said Governor Bradford.

     “Yes,” said Elder Brewster, “let us take a day upon which we may thank God for all our blessings and invite to it our Indian friends who have been so kind to us.”

     The Pilgrims said that one day was not enough; so they planned to have a celebration for a whole week.

     The great Indian chief, Massasoit, came with ninety of his bravest warriors, all gaily dressed in deerskins, feathers, and fox tails, with their faces smeared with red, white, and yellow paint. As a sign of rank, Massasoit wore a string of bones and a bag of tobacco around his neck. In his belt he carried a long knife. His face was painted red, and his hair was daubed with oil.

     There were only eleven buildings in the whole of Plymouth village, four log storehouses, and seven little log dwelling-houses, so the Indian guests ate and slept out of doors. This did not matter for it was one of those warm weeks in the season that we call Indian summer.

     To supply meat for the occasion four men had already been sent out to hunt wild turkeys. They killed enough in one day to last the company almost a week.

     Massasoit helped the feast along by sending some of his best hunters into the woods. They brought back five deer which they gave to their pale face friends, that all might have enough to eat.

     Under the trees were built long, rude tables on which were piled baked clams, broiled fish, roasted turkey, and venison. The young Pilgrim women helped serve the food to the hungry redskins. We shall always remember two of the fair young girls who waited on the first Thanksgiving table. One was Mary Chilton, who leaped first from the boat at Plymouth Rock. The other was Mary Allerton. She lived for seventy-eight years after this first Thanksgiving; of those who came over in the Mayflower she was the last to die.

     What a merry time everybody had during that week! How the mothers must have laughed as they told about the first Monday morning on Cape Cod, when they all went ashore to wash their clothes! It must have been a big washing, for there had been no chance to do it at sea, so stormy had been the long voyage of sixty-three days. They little thought that Monday would always after be kept as washing day. One proud Pilgrim mother, we may be sure, showed her baby boy, Peregrine White.

     And so the fun went on. In the daytime the young men ran races, played games, and had a shooting match. Every night the Indians sang and danced for their friends; and to make the party still more lively they gave every now and then a shrill war whoop that made the woods echo in the still night air.

The third day came. Massasoit had been well treated, and would have liked to stay longer, but he said that he could not be away from his camp for more than three days. So the pipe of peace was silently passed around. Then, taking their gifts of glass beads and trinkets, the Indian King and his warriors said farewell to their English friends and began their long march through the woods to their wigwams on Mount Hope Bay.

     On the last day of this Thanksgiving party, Elder Brewster preached the first Thanksgiving sermon and all the Pilgrims united in thanking God for His goodness to them.

     The first Thanksgiving was nearly four hundred years ago. Since that time, Thanksgiving has been kept by the people of our nation as the great family festival of the year. At this time children and grandchildren return to the old home, the long table is spread, and brothers and sisters, who had been separated, again seat themselves side by side.

     Thanksgiving is our season of sweet and blessed memories.

Looking Out My Backdoor

           The days are starting to get shorter and cooler and there have been an unusually large number of squirrels out gathering food for the winter. I worry a little about that and think we might be in for a long winter. 

           My family has really enjoyed being here in Leoti and look forward to experiencing our first holiday season with so many awesome people to share, not only the present holiday traditions, but also to hear about holiday experiences and traditions from years gone by. I look forward to all of the activities that tend to happen around the holiday seasons and the potential to meet new people and the tremendous opportunity that it presents to share with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Advent and the Christmas season has always continued to be my favorite time of the year. The holiday season traditionally kicks off with Halloween which can at times be a safety nightmare. Please keep that in mind and keep a special watch for the kiddos on that evening.

I see God doing great things in and through this church as well as the community and this time of the year presents itself with numerous opportunities. I think that keeping a positive attitude goes a long way toward getting people to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we get tired and don’t see a lot of things happening but if you look really hard, you will see God at work around us. St. Paul writes in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Faith will go a long way in working miracles in our church and in the community.

There are a lot of people who worry about the vote coming up in February and there is talk about church splits and that sort of thing.

However, I say that God will take care of that and that it is our job to focus on getting the Gospel to those who need it and those that have not heard it. Statistics tell us that over 60% of people are unchurched. That is over half of the population of any town. Statistics also tell us that it takes about 7 contacts and invitations before someone will finally take us up on that invitation.

We have to talk to people and invite them to join us in church. We have to convince them that it doesn’t matter what they wear as long as it is clothes. We have to convince them that it doesn’t matter what they have done in their lives, we have done some of the same things and we have been forgiven in Christ. Folks, it takes faith, courage, and patience to reach people for Christ.

And once we reach them, it takes teachers to make them disciples. Because after all that is what we have been called to do. Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Have faith that Christ is with us and we can do great things to further his kingdom.

Pastor Travis

We Are Adopted

Love is something that Christ has commanded that we do. We are to love God and to love our neighbor. Love is sometimes a difficult emotion to control especially within families. We have times that due to another’s actions or words we find it difficult to love them or to show that we do. And there are different types of love; there is the love that you feel for a friend or neighbor where you help them out whenever they are in need. Then there is the love that you feel for a spouse where you will do what it takes to make them happy and worry when they are sick. We have love for our relatives, our friends, and our pets. But I believe the most special love that we can have is for our children.

However, there are children that have never experienced that kind of love for whatever reason. Perhaps they never knew their parents, or the parents suffered from substance abuse or they grew up in a volatile, abusive home. So, I think that the greatest love that is displayed is that which is shown when parents choose to adopt a child. They are not only making a commitment to that child, but they are showing them that there is someone who loves them enough to make that commitment and it is giving them a chance to gain a family that truly cares about them.

Cassy and I have had the opportunity to adopt one child and were close to adopting three more but had to make a decision that would ultimately be in their best interest. Now we have made that commitment again to make someone a part of our family. This decision is really easy to make when it seems that they have always been your child and that it is the way it was meant to be.

Just as we have adopted children, we (all of us) too are adopted. We are adopted into the family of God. How did we become adopted you may ask? The Bible tells us that by receiving Jesus into our lives and believing in His name we gain the right to become God’s children.

John 1:10-13 says of Jesus, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (NIV) Our Father in Heaven does not show favoritism between His family members and neither should we. In His eyes we are united together as one family, a family that is connected through His son, Jesus Christ.

God’s intentions are clear in Ephesians 1:5, “He destined us for adoption as his children through, according to the good pleasure of his will…” (NRSV)

Another way God determines that we are His children is whether or not we are led by His Holy Spirit. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So, you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:14-16, NLT)

And just as Cassy and I are committed to our children, so is God committed to us as His adopted children. He is also a father to the fatherless, loving His children unconditionally. It is comforting to know that regardless of our parent’s failures, we can rest in the unfailing love of our Heavenly Father.

David’s words in Psalm 27:10 reassure us of the Lord’s dedication, “Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].” (AMP)

Pastor Travis

Looking Out my Backdoor

           It is great to be in Leoti, KS! My family and I have been here for a month now and have met a bunch of great folks and look forward to meeting more. By the time folks get to read this the fair should be done and we will be gearing up for school to start. The beginning of school is a great time, but it can also be stressful for some. Parents who are sending their little ones off for the first time and children who may be just starting school or moving from elementary to Jr. High or from Jr. High to High School and even those beginning their college classes. It also marks the beginning of the fall sports schedule with football,  volleyball, and cross country kicking off toward the middle and end of August. My prayer is that the school year starts off as smoothly and safely as possible and that our young people find numerous successes in both the academic and scholastic arenas.

However, I think sometimes we tend to overlook the teachers and other staff members of the schools in our prayers and our thoughts. The Bible has a lot to say about teachers and teaching throughout. Our teachers and school staff have a tough job preparing the next generation to succeed in life. We should support them as much as possible in that noble and sometimes thankless endeavor.

We, as disciples of Christ, should do our part to prepare the next generation spiritually. Scripture tells us in Deuteronomy 6:7; Teach them (the words the Lord commands) to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. And Jesus also commanded in Matthew 28:19-20; Go therefore and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. It is our responsibility to make sure our children’s spiritual learning continues all the time. We, as parents, and members of the body of Christ should be taking that time out of our busy schedules to make sure that our children are exposed to scripture every day. Jesus was a great example of teaching and we should strive to be like him.

Holy God help us to make this school year as successful as we can for the children of this community. Give us the energy to support them throughout this school year in their numerous activities as well as their academic issues. Lord, let us be able to give them whatever support and assistance that they require. Let us always be the examples that Christ wants us to be. Be with the teachers and grant them the wisdom, strength, and patience to keep our youth headed in the right direction.

In Jesus name we pray. AMEN.

Pastor Travis King

Fixing Our Eyes

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

When the district superintendent called Diana and me at 9:45 on April 1, 2013 to ask us to go to Leoti my first thought was, “Where is Leoti?”  Admittedly, I had very little knowledge of this community.  I did know it was nearby.  What I had yet to discover was all the ways God would bless, grow, and love us here.

The past 5 years that I have served Christ as a pastor in Leoti have been a blessing.  This community provided many new experiences for me, including the chance to get to live in a close-knit community and grow to know so many of you so well.

As Diana and I plan and pack to move on Saturday, June 23 we have reflected about what we will miss here in Leoti.  There are definitely events we will miss, such as the county fair and holiday events.  We will miss ministries that have touched our hearts such as our Emmaus reunion groups, God Squad, VBS, men’s group, and of course Sunday mornings with worship and Sunday school.  The longest list of those we will miss is the people.  We have enjoyed getting to know so many people here in Leoti.  The most blessed part of this church is the people, and the people ARE the church.  More than any singular event, tradition, or memory, it is the people that we love and it is you will we deeply miss.

Growth is a central part of the Christian life.  Change is inevitable.  If you try to live as a Christian but never see change then are you really living the Christian life?  Growth requires change.  God will challenge our sin, our behavior, and our heart.  Following Jesus always meant leaving behind something when Jesus called his disciples forth.

God is calling Diana, Tobin, and me forth to Kingman.  As much as I would love to pack up this community and move it with me, I’m afraid the trailer would not be big enough.  To follow Jesus means we must leave here, yet I believe that God has great plans.

One wonderful part of the Body of Christ is that wherever people have Jesus abiding in them then the Body of Christ is present.  While Jesus goes with us he is also still here.  God’s plans for Leoti are grand!  In the past 5 years I have seen the capacity for growth and know that in this community the fields are ripe for harvest.  God will lead you to those places to bear fruit, share the Gospel, and love others into a relationship with our living God. 

Paul reminds us to throw off everything that hinders us and makes us sin, and instead run the race set before us fixing our eyes on Jesus.  Friends, all I want to do is look at Jesus.  All the details, the stuff, the belongings, and the earthly troubles are so small compared to the riches and glory of God.  When we consider change we often look at all the earthly stuff and wonder how we can handle the change.  When we look to Jesus it all melts away, we are given peace in this world, and God leads to His righteousness.

I am excited for the future for both Diana, Tobin, and I and for Leoti.  We love this church and are thankful for all the ways God has used us to build His kingdom over the past 5 years.  What we build is not in flesh and blood or stone and mortar.  We build in eternity when Jesus is abiding in us. 

God is faithful to lead us, so look at Jesus.  If I have any legacy or message to leave in this community may it be Jesus.  He is the one I have strained to follow, and Jesus is the only one who is worth following.

Embrace the future as we both follow Christ.  Embrace Pastor Travis and his family as you love others together.  Embrace the Kingdom of God as it grows in your midst.  Fix your eyes on Jesus and run the race.  Keep planting, watering, and harvesting the Kingdom as we all work together as the Body of Christ.  And keep loving Jesus.  Thank you for the blessing of the past 5 years!

In Christ,

Pastor Brad, Diana, and Tobin

Curses! Figs Again!

  In the morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it, ‘May no fruit ever come from you again!’ And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they were amazed, saying, ‘How did the fig tree wither at once?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, “Be lifted up and thrown into the sea”, it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.’ Matthew 21:18-22

In all honesty, this scripture has made me ponder since I was a child.  I can remember reading it and wondering, “Did Jesus really like figs that much?”  Needless to say, I missed the point.  While it is easy to focus on the curse and the withering fig tree, I don’t believe Jesus had a special appreciation for figs and was just frustrated enough that he decided to kill the tree.  Instead, just as with all of Scripture, there is a specific reason and message that Jesus was sharing through it all.

Jesus had just come from cleansing the temple the day before.  It is the week of Passover and his confrontations with the authorities are becoming more numerous.  The tension is growing.  Jesus is becoming more concentrated on his mission to go to the cross.  His teachings now are more direct.  Jesus has the last few lessons for his disciples to learn before he goes to the cross. 

So why did Jesus choose to wither the fig tree?  The greater question is not why Jesus did it, but what did he mean by it.  Jesus has talked about bearing fruit before, and here he is recalling that image.  If you don’t bear fruit, you will be pruned, or in this case withered.  Jesus is also bringing a new idea to light: if you have faith, your prayers will carry authority to move mountains.  The impossible will become possible if you have faith. 

This is where we have difficulty.  What does it mean to pray with faith?  We have all prayed for many things but rarely do we see miracles like mountains move.  We have a God who is powerful enough to do all things, but how come some prayers for healing, deliverance, and blessing never seem to come true?  Do we not have enough faith? 

Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  It is by faith that we step out and follow God, even if he is just a voice in the wind like he was for Abraham, or a burning bush for Moses, or a pillar of cloud and fire for the Hebrews.  It is by faith that we risk all we have been blessed with, including family, wealth, job, and friends, and go and        obediently follow Christ.  When we are in a radically close relationship with God where we live our lives as living worship, constantly giving ourselves to prayer in the Holy Spirit, and grounding ourselves in the Word, this relationship will guide us to do God’s will, even when it is difficult.  When we become a person after God’s own heart, we come to know God’s heart.  This is where our authority from God gives our words power.  God’s prayers become our prayers.  God’s heart becomes our heart.  God’s will becomes our will.  If we are willing to get this close to God, we can move mountains because God will tell us to go and do. 

Mountains can move.  Wounds can heal.  Fig trees can wither.  Lives can be restored.  The dead can be resurrected.  Have faith that your prayers are heard by the God you worship.  Live your life so close to God that you cannot fathom living without Him.  Go and serve God and your neighbor in all that you do, and remember to keep figs nearby if Jesus ever comes to visit.

Pastor Brad Kirk