2020 Year End Letter
Dearest and loved friends of ours:
A truly balanced life requires us to engage both the positive and the negative aspects of human existence. Attempts to emphasize one over the other guarantees distortion. Good news and bad news will permanently be with us. Our responsibility is to make sure the good news is authentic, and the bad news is not allowed to distort or depress us.
Some years ago, we received two notes from friends in Iowa. The first one said, “On a quiet night, we can actually hear the corn growing. It snaps and pops and brings us joy.” Those words of life brought us joy as well. Several months later we received a note from different friends in that same general area saying, “On a quiet night, we are able to hear a Ford rusting.” Our laughter brought us both relief and a most valuable lesson. The good news was authentic. The bad news was one of imagination gone wild.
The year 2021 denotes that we are entering a very complex and ambiguous time. Writing something of strength and value to help us keep our equilibrium is a challenge. Our faithful Lord has provided an insight that may give the balance for which we seek. Like the battery in our auto, we must be willing to engage both the positive and the negative poles of the power of life if we are to abide successfully.
The events that are breaking upon us personally and as a nation are to be understood in five categories: First, the crisis. Second, the ordeal that the crisis creates. Third, catharsis, cleansing and changes in response to the problems that the crisis brings. Fourth, grace, God’s healing presence to clean up the rubble. Five: resurrection. (Abundant Living, E. Stanley Jones, pg. 343)
Our emphasis, as persons whose lives consist of Kingdom priority, will center in this last point: resurrection. The most foundational of all principles of Life is resurrection. God, alone, has the power to resurrect!
Crisis tells us that things are already dead and need to be cleansed and corrected. The weatherman in North Carolina was asked what he expected to see after a most severe hurricane. His reply surprised everyone: a new beach!
Watchfully now, we reach for the key to the Kingdom that will allow us to engage the unexpected and complex events for the year of 2021. Could we dare to pray: “Father, give us both the courage and the capacity to embrace all that you sovereignly allow to touch our world in this coming year. Permit every event to bring us to maturity and increased usefulness in your eternal purpose.” This speaks growth and equilibrium.
Here is the basis for such a bold prayer. It is our full persuasion and confidence in Christ’s resurrection. Water baptism causes fear, death or discomfort to be put behind us, not out in front. We are already dead in Christ and testified to that fact when we were baptized. We have died with Christ and have experienced what it is like to walk and talk resurrection. We are resurrection people.
“To be a Believer is to be hopeful. It is to be a child of the resurrection. As a Christian, you know that even if history is three steps forward and two steps backward, the final chapter of history is resurrection. I base my life on that. I believe that!” (R. Rohr).
The Good News is authentic and workable. Resurrection, as our hope, guarantees we will not demonstrate fear, depression, whimpering, or murmuring. How we respond and behave communicates to others that our personal testimony to the Good News is authentic.
We are experiencing a fresh and impacting encounter with God as a Father. Christ is taking us to His Father, one whom we are eager to know and embrace. Throughout 2021, take joy in His response to our love: “the Father Himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God” (John 16:27).
Words fall short to express our gratitude for your support in 2020 and we are looking with great expectation to 2021. Stepping Over the Threshold is the title of our most recent Plumbline. We invite you read this short book as it captures an insight into the transition we are corporately experiencing. Crossing this threshold yields fresh understanding and we need your financial support to cultivate these themes. Please consider Lifechangers in your financial planning and giving. As we navigate these waters together as Father’s kids there is a tangible excitement knowing the best is ahead.