A Heart for Men and A Calling to Shepherd

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2017 Christmas Wish

Dear Cherished Ones,

I know many people think emailed Christmas wishes are lame, but I was just sitting here in my sunroom looking out at the lights shining through a beautiful “white Christmas” in my back yard, and it made me thankful for so many things. I just wanted to praise the Giver of all good gifts, and you who help sustain me by allowing me to invade your space and your spirits with my writings are by no means least among them. Through my nearing forty years of “Christ in me, the hope of glory” there have been many ups and downs, and desert valleys that seemed interminable.

But through it all there has been one constant: writing. Through the years when He seemed distant to my prayers, and my soul seemed distant to the reading of His Word, He would [as He did with my favorite prophet of the OT, Isaiah], “Awaken me morning by morning to [sit right here in this chair] and listen as a disciple, to open my ears” and give me new revelations to record and send on to you.

Many times I would receive no feedback at all to my blogs, and that’s expected in the desert. But then one of you would write or see me somewhere, and be my Oasis by saying, “I read your blog, and it helped challenge and sustain me.” And so the first thing I am thankful for [after Jesus and my family who make every Christmas season so special] on this white Christmas is you. Whether you have ever commented or not, you endure me and even that means a lot in the desert. What I am also thankful for are the three messages the Spirit has captured my heart with this past year:

  • The need for us to forsake the event-driven temple worship of modern Christendom and come together in true Christian community [see my website: www.marketplacesaints.net ]
  • Understanding the absolute reality of a literal kingdom of heaven on earth, and what a game-changer it is [see above web site/blogs/kingdom series]
  • The difference between our identity and our circumstance, and whether we will let our flesh or God define us [see my two most recent blogs]

So thank you for listening to through my writings what I listen to as I sit here in this chair every morning, which is hopefully the Spirit edifying and challenging us all. It is time we listen to what the Spirit says to us, and as my old friend Isaiah did, “Be not disobedient, nor turn back…setting our faces like flint…knowing He who vindicates us is near,” for I fear there will not be many joyous white Christmases like this one left before virgins will need to have their lamps trimmed and be ready to go.

I love and cherish you all. You sustain me and give me reason to go on.

Mike

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