As long as there are hearts full of passion that embrace the face of fear, there will always be hope amidst great opposition and staggering apathy.
I wrote this quote in my personal journal, on today's date, during the first summer we lived in Detroit (2004) where we served as church planters in the murder capital of the USA. Our task, then, seemed so impossible and ominous. But, we KNEW God had called us to do it and God NEVER loses -- so, we grit our teeth, rolled up our sleeves and loved the hell out of Detroit!
This quote resonates in my heart again today even louder and stronger than it did fourteen years ago. Oh yes, Burlington, Vermont is NOT Detroit, Michigan. We do not fear crime or death like we did back there -- but, make no mistake, this is an incredibly cold, hard and difficult mission field. Barna research says it's the most unchurched, post-Christian community in the USA. The University of Vermont, located in the heart of the city, is known as the most atheist university in America. The scenery is beautiful but there's an ugly, dark, opposition we feel every day.
I believe in our mission. I love Vermont. And, I KNOW that there's hope! No, I don't always 'feel' like we're winning... and, sometimes, it doesn't seem like things are ever going to change but that's ok - I learned to walk by faith (not by sight) MANY years ago!
Our testimony and resolve echoes Paul's letter to the church in Corinth...
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.2 Corinthians 4:8-9.
God IS faithful! There are VICTORIES all around us - we must fight to see them and continue to let God fill us with His purpose and power! There's so much work to do and we have, within us, all that we need to do GREAT things! Stir up your passion, my friends, and LIVE COURAGEOUSLY wherever you are! Then, others will see Christ in us and invite Him into their fragile hearts (just as we did when we met Jesus)!
We have an immeasurable power supply but we MUST be plugged in! Stay close to Jesus and allow Him to be seen through your ordinary, imperfect, life! LET HIS POWER FLOW THROUGH YOU!!
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7
ALL glory and honor to Christ our King!
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