• Lori Somerville

We talk an awful lot about the walk of a Chrisitan, but what does that really mean?

The word walk refers to our entire way of life, and it has several concepts imbedded in it.

First, it implies a destination: you must point your life toward the will and glory of God. If any of you have tried teaching a child to ride a bike lately you will understand what I am trying to get at here. You will go where you point your eyes.........if you point your eyes at the ditch on the side of the guessed it. You will find yourself spending time in the ditch. Are your eyes focused on things eternal or worldly?

Second, it implies dependence: when you walk you place one foot in front of the other, putting all of your weight on that foot for that step. You must rest all of the weight of your soul on God's power, not your own. God is always big enough to bear the weight of each step He is urging you to take. Who is leading in your walk - you or God?

Third, walking implies dedication. You must continually take steps to reach your destination. We must perpetually call on God to do what we cannot do alone. As a child learning to get around we often have to learn to crawl before we can walk before we can run. As an adult we forget how many times we had to fall down and get back up when learning how to walk on our own. Our victory is born out of every fall we take and then get back up and take another step. Are you all in? Are you committed to get to where God wants to take you?

As Christians, the way that we walk out our growing faith in Christ is a witness to everyone around us. Some days we may be a shining example of what a Christian is and other days we may fall into the category of being a good example of a bad example. Our walk will never be perfect but if we focus on the destination that awaits us, we will find that every step in the journey was worth it.

Father God, does my walk point to you? Because I want it to. I will always use my words to tell people about you but help me walk in a way that sometimes I don't even need to use my words. I want my life to glorify you while I am here. Amen.

  • Lori Somerville

The king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval . . . So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen.” Esther 2:17 (NIV)

God doesn’t just want to use your gifts. He wants to use your limitations, too. What? Yes, he has a plan for all of you. We have a phrase we like to use a lot - God can use your most broken places to heal someone else. There is nothing in you or about you that God can't use for His Kingdome! Take a look at Esther, for example. She had several big limitations that made her perfect for the role God wanted her to fulfill. She was an orphan adopted by Mordecai; she was a minority, a Jew living in a Persian country; and she was a single woman.

A single woman in a male-dominated society had zero rights. But God used all of these things to help her fulfill her destiny. Sometimes what looks like a disaster in your life is part of a much bigger plan. Esther could have just said, “If only I hadn’t been chosen . . . If only I had a better education . . . If only I was more like someone else.” A lot of people do that. They live their lives in resentment, always looking at people’s successes and saying, “Well it must be nice to be like them.” If you have that attitude, you will never fulfill God’s calling on your life. You must realize that the unpleasant obstacles in your life are often God-ordained opportunities to make a difference.

We develop this outlook when we compare our broken insides to someone else's outsides. That person who seems to have it all: successful career, good marriage, well-behaved children, perfect house, etc----you don't know what they have walked through to end up where they are today. You only see the outside stuff. And the truth is - It’s hard to see that when you’re in pain. Look at Job. He was the wealthiest man in the world, and then one day God allowed everything to be taken from him— his family, wealth, and health. And when Job started questioning God, God was silent. Job said, “I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. But he knows where I am going . . . Once he has made his decision, who can change his mind? Whatever he wants to do, he does. So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny” (Job 23:9-10, 13-14 NLT). We’re living in uncertain times, and you may not be able to figure everything out. But God knows what’s going on. The pleasures and pains, the opportunities and obstacles—God can use it all.

We'd love to partner with you to help you discover your healing and the plan that God has for using your pain and disappointment to bring healing to someone else. God's plan for your life includes it all - the wonderful gifts inside of you and the pain and despration you may be feeling right now. He never wastes a hurt. Invite God today to turn your pain and brokenness into someone else's healing balm.

  • Lori Somerville

I don't think many of us will be sad to see 2020 go and a new year full of promise arrive. Isn't that why we celebrate the new year after all? The new year arrives as a blank slate just waiting for us to fill it in with our lives - our moments, our memories, our laughter, our joy, our pain, our disappointment, our hope.

But before we shut the door on 2020 and leap into 2021 I have a question - what did you learn? I think 2020 taught all of us something. Some of the lessons were more painful than others but there were certainly opportunities to grow and to learn this year. One of the things I learned was how very much I need people. I need my community, my tribe, my family, my friends - I need you. Before 2020 I would have probably told you that for the most part I do okay by myself but when 2020 threw a pandemic into my world the reality of how alone alone is really struck home.

I found myself lonely. Almost overnight it seemed as though the whole world had gone crazy. My workplace emptied out as many people were sent home to work. My chuch closed and went online. It was great to have that online presence but after a few weeks I realized it just wasn't the same. Nothing can replace human interaction. Relationships. Friendships. Your Faith Family.

I found myself taking a good hard look at what I was doing. How I was spending my time. Did it really matter? Were my hours being spent doing the things that God had called me to do? Was I really making a difference? I re-discovered a passion for prayer. I have always prayed but God took me on a journey in 2020 that has re-ignited my prayer life. Instead of being a thing that we, as Christians, are supposed to do God has revealed it as THE THING. Every one of us is called to prayer. Our prayers unleash the power of God into our circumstances and the circucmstances of those around us. Our prayers can do anything that God can do - they can create, they can bring life and hope to the hopeless, they can change your church, your family, even your community.

I fell in love with God's Word all over again. I clung to my Bible like the lifeline that is is intended to be. It is what got me through the times of loneliness, of despair and hopelessness that I faced throughout the year. It filled me with hope, it gave me peace and it reminded me that I had a purpose.

As we begin our leap into a new year full of hope and promise, I plan to bring the lessons of 2020 into my new year because I believe God will continue to build on what He has started. As a matter of fact, the Bible promises that very thing. He will complete what He has started in me and in you too. If we will stand on His word and wield our prayers like the weapons He intended for them to be, I believe 2021 can be the year of His church. It's time to reclaim our rightful place as His army and begin to take new ground and re-take any ground that has been lost.

So what were your lessons in 2020? What is God speaking to you for 2021?