Dear Friends,

As you receive this communication we have recently returned from Shiprock, New Mexico with Pastors Chuck and Wilma and our team comprised of various churches from across the midwest.  We were totally remodeling the parsonage at a Navajo reservation church that was in dyer need of attention. Four Corners Community Church was looking to repair their parsonage with hopes that good housing will provide accommodation for a pastor that will help further their mission.  Good housing on the reservation it is few and far between so the ability to provide that for an incoming pastor is huge. As we did the work there three things came to mind I think would serve us well in general whether we are busy with our lives at home or serving on a mission trip:

1.  We serve at and for the pleasure of our God.  Whatever we do we must do it as unto the Lord.

2. We do not know how our acts of service to our King will affect the lives of others.  The idea of potential for good is why we labor with hopes that another might experience the hope we have found in Christ.

3. Part of the mystery of the gospel is in how it is the thread that holds all members of the Kingdom of God together.  When we operate for the interests of the Kingdom, God blesses our laboring with fruitfulness that cannot be explained by any doing of our own other than willingness and availability.  It is as if our willingness to obey joyfully attracts the fruitfulness of the Kingdom. When we honor God He is glorified and His glory cannot help but be bountiful. The Kingdom advances!

I am excited the future of New Life Fellowship will be shaped by our willingness to cooperate in service to the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven.  You and I only imagine in small terms how our service unto the Lord can impact lives. Somebody’s story of transformation and hope in Christ is waiting to be written on the parchment of our willingness to serve selflessly. What’s more is that lives stand in the balance.  We cannot serve for His glory and still flirt with self-centered thinking. Everything comes at a price. Everything. I am thankful that many of you serve selflessly - while tired, while emotionally strained, while lacking the feeling - but clinging to the conviction. I am thankful for you and proud to serve with you.  Keep it up! Even so, we ought to ask the Lord that our service be fruitful, that He daily restore our joy, that His name be glorified in whatever we do, and that in our being we would decrease so He might increase.

In the days ahead I hope to make available more opportunities for us to cooperate with what God is doing by serving locally in our cities, as well as in our state - alongside Teen Challenge of Peoria and Teen Challenge Women’s center of Carlinville, Illinois.  We also want to make available more missions opportunities in the continental United States. Beyond this I believe that we will also be afforded the opportunity in the future to travel overseas together to share the hope of Christ.

I am convinced that God is asking us not just to know Him but to go somewhere with Him.  Do something with Jesus! I encourage you each to serve where you can as unto the Lord for His glory and His fame.

Spoiled for the Ordinary, 

Pastor James

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