Earlier this month I had the opportunity to spend a little time in the Dominican Republic. The weather was amazing. The temperature averaged around 80. The ocean was warm. The sunrises were beautiful. I'm not going to lie. It was pretty nice!
I got home just in time for a major winter storm. I look around to see snow piled so high it may still be here in June. I've exchanged flip flops for winter boots. And I ask myself "Why do I live here?" Then, after allowing myself a brief moment to whine, God reminds me exactly why I live here.
THE BEAUTY. A few days after returning home, God blessed me with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen (pictures don't do it justice). Yesterday as I drove down some of the back roads, the snow on the trees formed a canopy that was awe inspiring. If we will open our eyes to see it, God blesses us with beauty all around. I love the beauty of our area.
THE PEOPLE. Everywhere I go, I meet good people. But I love New Englanders. I know we can be a little slow to warm up sometimes (kind of like the weather). But I have found that there is a richness and an authenticity to the relationships people build here. Right here in our own church, I see people who are sacrificial in caring for others. I see Christ like love poured out in extraordinary ways. I count myself blessed to have great relationships with wonderful people. I love you all.
THE MISSION. People need Jesus everywhere. But we are living right in the middle of the "least churched" region of our country. In other words, there is a higher percentage of people in our area who have no relationship with Jesus than any other region in the US. God has put us in the midst of a rich mission field and called us to a great work. I am more excited than ever about the work of our church. We are living in a time and a place that so desperately needs Jesus that I can't imagine serving anywhere else. I love our church.
THE PATRIOTS. OK, I just had to throw that in. You have to admit, that was an amazing game. In fact, if you are a sports fan, I don't know that there is any better region to live in than the Boston area.
I'm sure there are a lot of great places in this world to life, but this is why I still love New England. While it was great to get away for a little while (to a place where I could dip my toes in the ocean and not get frostbite) I was excited to get home. I can't think of a better, more fulfilling way to invest my life than doing the great work of God's kingdom surrounded by some of the finest people in the world. I thank God every day for the privilege.
I know the weather has kept us from getting out some Sundays. But this weekend is supposed to be beautiful. Let's all get out for worship this weekend. Let's pack God's house with people and with praise! I promise you, you will be glad you did.