Hi Rock Church Plaistow,  I thought I'd mix it up a little bit this week and include a video blog (also known as a vlog). With the snow days and the new England Patriots 5th championship I can hardly contain my excitement this week! Just click the image of me to play the vlog. 

When I was younger, snow days were always a time of joy, going out and building snow forts, sledding, or having snowball fights. Now I see snowy times of winter as being peaceful and cleansing.  No wonder Scripture speaks of snow in times of quiet peace and refreshing, as a sign of joy and purity and as a necessity to renewal.  I am in awe of God's creation and how snow is a filter and protector for the air and earth.  

Okay let's talk Pats....it is amazing how much sports and faith connect and show meaning in our lives. During this Super Bowl I kept telling Rachel that the Patriots were just wearing down Atlanta's defense.  I think I was saying that in part because I believe it was the Patriots' season game plan to outlast everyone, but at the same time I was also trying to keep myself sane and keep hope for a potential comeback! Remember back to the 2009 Super Bowl with the New York Giants?  They were the team wearing down our defense and the Pats weren't able to play their best for the full 60 minutes. I believe Bill Belichick learned a lesson from that Super Bowl - that the team needs to be prepared and conditioned for the entire season, the playoffs, and the Super Bowl if they're lucky enough to get there. In the same way, we need to be fit and conditioned for God's best in our faith, in our relationships, in our health and beyond!

Trust me I could go on and on with the sports analogies but I want to hit on two points as I am wrap this up. #1 never quit, never surrender and #2 do your job. The enemy is gonna throw many things in our path to cause us to be distracted, frustrated and defeated. But we can have the hope beyond all hope, that is Jesus and the ability to work beside him in building God's kingdom here, and Eternal Life beyond.  This hope strengthens and fuels us to be more than we are. 

So persevere my brothers and sisters in that hope.   Now go enjoy this New England weather and make some snow angels!  (see below Pastor Rachel's Aunt Rosie's creation in Vermont)

Peace & Joy, PJ