Dear Family of God,
Have you noticed how unpopular “walls” are nowadays? People talk critically about someone who “has pretty thick” or “high walls” around their heart. When someone gets defensive we critique them for “putting up walls.” People with “lots of walls” are considered aloof and distant. And when our efforts to achieve something are stymied, we speak of “hitting a brick wall.”
On the other hand, there is also a lot of talk about the necessity of setting “proper boundaries” around our lives—physical boundaries that protect our bodies, emotional boundaries that protect our psyche, and work-and-home boundaries that protect our jobs and families. Healthy people recognize that strong boundaries are needed to protect ourselves from falling victim to others and even our own fleshly appetites that could harm us. Aren’t “boundaries” just another term for “healthy walls”?
Proverbs 25:28 picks up the “wall” metaphor when it says, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” Since self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), it must be essential to building a boundary-healthy life.
If you’ve been with us on Sundays, you know that we’ve been talking a lot about the necessity for God’s people to build some walls--not the kind that keep us from healthy relationships and people, but rather the kind that enable us to have healthy relationships with God and people.
Our study in Nehemiah is chock full of proper wall-building tools. As we have seen, “spiritual practices” or “spiritual disciplines” are actually those tools God intends us to employ to bring order and health to our often chaotic and out-of-balance lives. They are the means God blesses so that we can develop and nurture the strength we each need to give life to those around us day in and day out. Things like confession, fellowship, study of God’s word, solitude, silence, rest, fasting, prayer, giving, praise, service and dozens of other things are all “spiritual disciplines” that God has given us to connect more fully with him and receive more abundantly His grace for our times of need.
THIS WEEKEND we’ll be looking at Nehemiah chapters 5 and 10 as they both have much to teach us about how our handling of material wealth affects God’s handling of our hearts and lives. If you’ve missed out on any of the messages in this “Fresh Beginnings” series, let me invite you to listen to the podcasts or read over the messages posted on our website at www.mosaicspokane.com. It may just help you find the next brick you need to strengthen the right kind of “walls” in your own life.
• Our ministry team to Nicaragua and the village “Luz del Manana” will be leaving a week from Saturday. As of this week, each of the team members has the needed support to get there…and back. Thanks to all of you who have had a hand in making this possible.
• A new Bible study was launched this week at the Cooper George downtown. It was wonderful to see about 10 residents and about 5 of us from Mosaic praying, studying and fellowshipping around our common love of Jesus Christ. Please keep this study in your prayers.
• Financially, Mosaic has finished the 2010 year very close to budget. While we never seem to have any excess, neither we have lacked for the resources to do what God has called us to at present. And through your generosity, we’ve been able to give away over $16,000 to other downtown and local Christ-centered ministries. Just this week we delivered a check to City Gate with funds to help them buy a much-needed ice machine for their kitchen. Thank you for your hearts of generosity and compassion!
FRESH OPPORTUNITIES in this FRESH YEAR
• MENKE’S OPEN HOUSE & NEW LIFE COMMUNITY—THIS SATURDAY from noon to 4:00PM, Rex and Pat Menke are opening their new home to any who are interested in the new “Fill” Life Community that will be starting at their house in February. This book study group will focus on the book/DVD series “The Bait of Satan”, 12 life-changing lessons by John Bevere will deal with one of Satan’s most damaging snares that has hooked most of us at some time or another and is still damaging far too many today. Directions to their home are as follows: Take Exit 270 (Cheney-Four Lakes), after exiting turn right on Four-Lakes/Medical Lake Rd., go about a mile and turn left on Silver Lake Road, then left again on Welcome Rd. Their house is 11019 S. Welcome Rd. on Granit Lake. Call 299-2638 if you get lost or want more detailed instructions.
• ALPHA—If there were one thing I could get everyone at Mosaic to do this year it would be to TAKE THE ALPHA COURSE! In just two weeks, we will kick off another session of Alpha with an INTRODUCTORY DINNER on FEBRUARY 5TH from 5:00-7:00PM @ Second Space Art Gallery. Alpha is SO great at putting together a number of the spiritual practices that lead to a strong, vibrant walk with Christ. And it is just about the best means I know of to introduce friends and family to Christ. The FOOD is fabulous. The FELLOWSHIP is fun and deep. The ENVIRONMENT is warm, inviting, relaxed, open and stimulating. Where else can you get a great dinner, terrific entertainment, heart-felt teaching and non-threatening discussions about the most important things in life? Nowhere! So if you haven’t taken Alpha yet, SIGN UP this week (at church or on the web site) for the introductory dinner Saturday, February 5th. And if you have already been to Alpha, invite at least 4 or 5 of your unchurched friends you’ve been praying would meet Christ. You be rejoicing FOREVER that you did!
• THE SEASIDE—this new night club ministry will launch in just a couple of weeks. Please PRAY especially for Charlie Greer as his back pain has skyrocketed again. Pray also that God will break through with hundreds of people in the nightclub scene in Spokane who need Christ.
One final note. There will be a MEMORIAL SERVICE for Rory Ovens tomorrow, Saturday, January 22nd at 2:00PM at Fourth Memorial Church, 2000 N. Standard. Please pray for and support Tammie, Andy and Emily during this time.
Rebuilding the walls with you,