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Friends, the prognosis is looking up!  When you think of winter, do you typically see beautiful colors like those caught in this photo by Thomas Atkins – photographer extraordinaire?  I’d like to issue a challenge to all believers in our LORD Jesus Christ.

1) Take five minues to pray every morning FIRST THING.  Ask God to simply calm your soul.

2) Read a passage in God’s Word, if nothing else a full Psalm.

3) Listen.  Simply sit with your journal or a piece of paper and a pen.  Write down a few words that gel from your time in God’s Word and the life lessons God has been teaching you lately.

4) Watch God’s handywork in your day/week/month.

I very much wish I could share a story in great detail of how this sequence of activities on Saturday resulted in an amazing experience with a ready heart for me.  God gets all the credit for how wonderfully the day flowed, but there were actually several things that were just evidently covered in the grace of God.  One huge one was the marriage of my best buddy from childhood, Phil Denton.  He and his new bride were married on Saturday, and God just covered their wedding with His grace and favor.  The other story doesn’t allow for me to share in great detail, but let’s just say God opened my eyes to behold wonderful things out of His Word!

After reading for a few minutes, the phrase “labor of love” stuck out clear as a bell.

I believe this is a phrase that very well articulates what I believe this winter is going to be characterized among believers in Tuolumne County.  We have a lot of hurts and wounds and a great deal of need for restoration and renewal among believers in each local church, in each neighborhood, and in the community as a whole.

If we would together as the body of Christ practice the habits of prayer, enjoying listening to God’s Word and Spirit, and acting out of love in God’s promised favor, we can’t help but to see a VERY BRIGHT WINTER.

In His friendship,

– Torrey

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