In the spring of the year, we delight in seeing signs of hope and growth. These signs hearten us as we shake off the affects of winter hibernation. The first crocus, the forsythia bush with its yellow burgeons or the greening lawns whisper at first and then shout, “New Life is on the way!” Such is ‘the Rite of Spring.’ It is an exhilarating time!
I was witness to another delightful sign of hope. It was ‘a sign’ of new life and hope for the local church. A group of about a dozen very ordinary people gather weekly to study a book, “BLESS” by David and Jon Ferguson. It is not just that we are studying this book together, but the excitement involved! There is a palpable commitment and enthusiasm to be a blessing.
God’s original commitment to Abraham was that Abraham would be blessed and that he would be a blessing to the rest of the world. The Fergusons propose that God has not changed strategies. God’s desire for the Church is that we bless the world so God might be glorified.
They follow two missionary groups. One is a group of ‘Converters.’ This group was determined to faithfully preach the Word of God so people would hear and respond in faith. The other group were ‘Blessers.’ This group sought to love people and bless them in Jesus’ Name. At the end of the missions the ‘Converters’ had extremely limited success but the ‘Blessers’ reported many more conversions. Blessing rather than converting proved the more effective way!
This past week we read about the importance of prayer in being a blesser. It is after all, only God who can bless! Beginning with prayer puts ‘the horse before the cart.’ Praying also involves us in listening. Jesus says, “My sheep know my voice..” By asking who and how we can bless we discern our Great Shepherd’s voice. We read story after story of people who listened and acted on decided that the Shepherd’s voice. Then we regaled each other with our own experiences. By the end we decided that enlisting the ‘supernatural’ ought to be the most natural of things for us.
We parted with a commitment to put this to the test in our own lives and to report back next week about our experiences. I am filled with that ‘springtime’ hope. I see signs of a fresh awakening to the possibilities of God blessing our families, neighbourhoods, and community as we seek to bless! This is the very kind of awakening that birthed the early Church. Ordinary people who have experienced God’s blessing choosing to bless others, only the mind of God could conceive such a life-bringing strategy.
This week we had another ‘sign’ of life. Jonathan M. became our newest resident at Threshold House. We are very pleased to have him join us, and we look forward to all God is going to do in and through his life.
Linda and I had a lovely visit with a Mothers’ Union. These lovely ladies had some really creative ways they would like to bless the residents of Threshold House. We look forward to this growing relationship.
We have had several pieces of furniture donated and renovations continue. We held a BBQ for the residents and their families and friends last week We hope this is the first of many such events.
Please keep us in prayer. Linda and I have both had some battles with cold and flu which has depleted our energy. Thanks.