We're leaving in about two hours to head to Minneapolis for our annual christmas conference - the Twin Cities Xperience. There's always great anticipation as the staff gather the first night prior to the students arrival the next afternoon. 1500+ students have registered this year and they will soon flood the lobbies and elevators of the downtown Hilton hotel. Please join us in praying for safe travel and that the Spirit would be filling the hotel and actively working in all the events of the four day conference.
If you would like to 'join' us from home, the conference will be streamed live here: TCX: Awaken
I'm sure we'll have more stories to tell after the conference wraps up. Enjoy and Happy New Year!
I'd heard rumors of something called 'the Romans challenge'. I don't know anyone who's actually done it...but, exactly a month ago, November 14, I found myself diving in. You might be wondering what it is (unless you've heard the same rumors of it I had) Basically, its a challenge to read the entire book of Romans everyday for a month. I checked my Bible...Romans is only about 11 pages...not bad, right? I'll admit that Romans has always intimidated me a bit - its length, the depth and complexity of its theology... So I dove in. I have to say that I didn't quite read the whole book everyday...but I came close and what a blessing it has been! Everyday, it seemed, something new would jump out to me and the Spirit would help me understand a specific truth on a bit deeper level than ever before. As the days went by, certain sections I'd never really understood began to bother me, so I started checking commentaries and listening to sermons on those specific topics. Its been a great journey. I'd recommend it to anyone who can carve out an hour (or less if you read faster than me!) each day.
Here's one of the truths the Spirit revealed to me that I've been turning over in my mind and heart for the past 3 weeks. I'm still loving it. Romans 4:13-25. Its rich. I'll post parts of it here:
"For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith......In hope [Abraham] believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told....He did not weaken in his faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."
Wow. What an example Abraham was! Regardless of his age and his wife's condition, he believed God's promise...he trusted that God could work a miracle to fulfill what He had promised. "No distrust made him waver". This has been such a great challenge for me in my moments of wanting to question God and his ways of doing things - as if I know better! Abraham was fully convinced because we have a God who is faithful and true to His promises - to His people.
"And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
No matter what our situation, we can trust without wavering that God is working all things out for our good because He loves us. Praying that you and I can lean into the goodness of our faithful Lord this holiday season.
After two Christmases of having a 2 foot tree in our one bedroom apartment, we finally had room for a 'normal' sized tree in our new home in Mankato! Here's a pic :)
Also, you may have heard about the great Minnesota blizzard
this weekend...5th largest in recorded history, they're saying. Not sure, but I think we got around 14 inches. If you don't live in Minnesota and are missing snow, here are some pics of us digging out...and yes, that is Matt behind the pile of snow...