Good evening! It's a cold one. About 16 belowF right now. The local schools have announced that there will be no classes again tomorrow. I'm sure it's partly because of the cold and partly because the slick roads.
This Upper Midwest weather leads the national news and a friend in Brazil asked about it when we were chatting yesterday. It'll come to an end soon, though, and I see that by the time Sunday rolls around again we might be in the 30s. A nice little one day thaw.
I've been home almost all day. I did get out to Snap Fitness and the grocery store, then connected with a couple of folks who have connections with people who might be having a hard time getting out. I'm hoping no one feels all alone or without any needed help on this coldest day of the year.
Because I've been home I've been able to communicate with a friend who has had some big questions about the faith and the church. I've been encouraging that friend to express him/her self, to not hold back, to share whatever is on his/her mind. I think I'm doing that in the "spirit" of Jesus (and by the Holy Spirit) in harmony with one of the scriptures we'll be sharing in church on Jan. 12.
We've been going through the first chapter of John's Gospel. This week we arrive at the part wherein we find Jesus' encounter with Nathaniel. Nathaniel is one of my favorite Bible characters because he is so honest. He is prejudiced against Jesus but, after being confronted by him, his hardened attitudes fall away and he, like Thomas later on, proclaims the truth without reservation, saying "You are the Son of God! You are the King...!"
An honest encounter with Jesus can transform the hardest heart. Right now your attitudes may be as frozen as the ice on the Cokato streets--but a personal meeting with Jesus--where HE knows you and EVERYTHING about you (see John 4)--that personal meeting will make you new.
I've got a ways to go before I'm ready to preach this Sunday, but that's the direction the Lord is calling me to on this cold night. I'd encourage you to NEVER GIVE UP on the work Jesus wants to do in you. Even if you've been disappointed a thousands times, God does not give up on you.