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Put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Beautiful fall color greeted me upon arrival at the leadership conference in Lake Geneva last week. What a great surprise and treasured gift to be back in my homeland in autumn. Gratitude filled my heart for the opportunity to attend a national conference gathered with colleagues to learn, connect, and grow. We discussed being church in an uncertain world following a certain God. It was a blessing to learn about planning and action to find new ways to share faith, hope, and love with our neighbors in a global sense.

Lifelong learning is essential, and if we are learning we are growing. One way to expand our thinking is to learn about topics from wide ranging sources outside our realm and applying them to Christian leadership and living. Another way I am learning is by listening to a podcast teaching the 4 pillars of the ancient Greek philosophy Stoicism: Courage, Temperance, Justice, and Wisdom. The pillars of Stoic philosophy are a way of life that apply to Christian leadership and living. Much of it sounds like the writings of the Apostle Paul on The Way of faith, hope, and love that Jesus taught and lived. It’s all about putting knowledge into practice. Not just knowing but doing – that’s what we call faith in daily life in the Christian world.

What are you learning lately? What voices are influencing you as you seek to live out your faith in daily life? With each other’s help, we can turn from the voices calling us to hatred, fear, and isolation toward Jesus’ way of faith, hope, and love. I hope that our Desert Cross worship, prayer and spiritual resources, weekly updates, and opportunities like our online Playlists, and the Desert Cross Serves emails are equipping you to live out your faith as a friend of Jesus. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as his presence to walk with us along this not so easy road -- it sometimes feels like the road less traveled. That’s why Jesus gave us one another -- to build each other up and to love one another as we work toward a just and peaceful world. It starts with Jesus’ friends in the 21st century – you and me – to make new friends along The Way sharing faith, hope, and love.

Let’s go, Pastor Andrea