These past three months, The House has focused on the spiritual practice of Solitude; Practicing the Presence; how to "be" with God. It has been a rich experience to hear from one another as we look for words to say what it means to have a lively relationship with God, exploring what it means to be in close communion with Him.
And now, it seems the Holy Spirit is reminding us that the natural response to that experience is "walking out our faith", "putting feet to our prayers", "walking the talk", and "making new resolutions".
"All Jesus' words and actions emerge from his intimate relationship with his Father. ‘ Do you not believe,’ Jesus says, ‘that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? What I say to you I do not speak of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works. You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe it on the evidence of these works’ (John 14:10-11).
"Just as all Jesus' words and actions emerge from his communion with his Father, so all our words and actions must emerge from our communion with Jesus. ‘In all truth I tell you,’ he says, ‘whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, and will perform even greater works. ... Whatever you ask for in my name I will do’ (John 14:12-13). It is this profound truth that reveals the relationship between the spiritual life and the life of ministry."
There are so many amazing ways we can make our lives available to God to "perform the same works" as Jesus did! The House will share the ideas and experiences of six ways; but YOUR story, YOUR path, is as unique as our God is! What direction will He lead YOU in this new year? Please consider the challenge of participating in something from one of these six, or following as the Holy Spirit leads you to another – and write to us to share where He takes you! Remember, the word "enthusiasm" means "God in us" and/or "belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit"!
One great way to follow Jesus’ leading in this adventure of faith is a very practical one. The good news is – YOU are already a part of it, because you are a part of East Hills!! East Hills decided many months ago to be one of several participating local churches in something called Love INC (Love In the Name of Christ). Love INC of Cowlitz County is a network of local churches, church volunteers, and community organizations coming together to help people in need.
Through a clearinghouse, Love INC will receive requests for help, screen the requests for extent of need and legitimacy, and refer the request to a local church ministry, church volunteer, or community agency. Love INC will follow up to ensure the need was met and to offer spiritual support.
The beautiful thing about Love INC is that it isn’t just another social service agency trying to meet needs – it’s meeting needs in the Name of Jesus. The church (us!) can take its rightful place in the front of the line James was talking about when He said, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." –James 1:27
In the next few months, you will be invited to name ways you feel equipped to help people in need; given the opportunity to use your unique gifts and talents in specific, manageable ways to serve others. Perhaps you can begin now to pray about how God wants to use the abilities and interests He gave you in very real and practical ways, so that when the question comes, you will be ready to answer!
In this issue, we will also hear from Jason Hoover and Habitat for Humanity, an opportunity to challenge yourself in a hike into the mountains with Jason, Pat Enbody’s Honduras mission trip experience, Anna Milligan’s letter from Cambodia, and Pastor Nick’s article about A.W. Tozer’s "Five Resolutions to Make and Keep".
Where will YOU walk with God this year?!? God’s Blessings on your travels! Please write and tell us about your journey!
Send your thoughts, questions, ideas, book recommendations and experiences to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mary Hagle c/o EHA, 1405 East Burcham Street, Kelso WA 98626.
We grow as we share . . .
Mary Hagle, Editor