Text Box: Friends in Christ,
Happy New Year!

It is hard to believe that I have been at St. John’s just over a year already. 
Looking back, we, as a collective have had many laughs and shared great joys together.  We have also shared in the loss of our loved ones, and some of our dreams. 

But through it all, God promised to walk with us, and promise to continue to walk with us into the new year.  

Last year in January I shared with you one of my favorite bible verses: Jeremiah 29:11.  
For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

And I asked the question “Where is God calling you”.  This year, my question is a little different.  “Are we listening?”   Are we listening for Gods voice calling us out of the wilderness?  Wait, I think I sound a lot like John the Baptist.  

Although not true, it does often feel like we are living in the wilderness, wandering around, lost, alone, afraid, and searching.  Life can be challenging.  We easily become afraid, and when that happens we just stop.  We stop listening.  We stop moving forward.  We stop growing in faith, and love, and hope, and instead we live in fear.  And when we live in fear, we feel alone, isolated, and unworthy of God’s love.   

One of my new favorite songs is “Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams.  I encourage you to listen to the song and hear the words.  Fears only purpose is to stop us in our steps and screams to us that we are alone.  But, that’s not true.  How do I know that is not true?  The Bible tells me so. Listen to the words of the Prophet Isaiah 

 (41:10) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

My favorite story in the Bible comes from the 4th chapter of Mark when Jesus calms the storm. 
I love this story! In the storm, during a dark moment in life, the disciples feared that they were going to die, and that Jesus did not care about them.  After calming the storm Jesus asks His 
disciples, “Why are you so afraid?  Have you still no faith?” 

One can hear Jesus’ voice through the noise: Fear is a Liar!  You are not alone.  Listen to my voice; I am with you, forever and always.

Let us walk into this new year knowing how blessed we are and to be our best as God created us to be.  Let us go forward not in fear, but joyful, and excited, filled with hope and ready to share our gifts, our talents, our time with others.   Let our actions speak louder than our words as we become in this new year, the hands and feet of Christ.  

Let us listen to God’s voice as he calls us out of the wilderness.  Listen to his voice and respond as Jesus taught; in service to others.   

Blessings to you and yours this New Year!  May we all find time to reflect and meditate on God’s abundant love, and know His presence with confidence and love, in our lives.
Pastor Debbie