Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 (The Message)

This year, as our church prepared for Holy week, I had an opportunity to share something that the Lord has been working in my heart and experience. The end of 2018 and early 2019 was a difficult time for our family, but in it the Lord taught me much about joy and endurance. As a part of that journey, it was a blessing to receive from my friend Reverend Doctor Joe Johnson (aka Papa Joe), during an event in January. His life, friendship, mentoring, and teaching (specifically from his teaching on “Living an Immanuel Lifestyle”) was a big blessing in this recent bend of life’s journey. It was also a blessing to spend time and talk with him as I prepared this. As the Lord was forming this message in my heart, the opportunity for sharing it so happened to fall on the Sunday before Palm Sunday, as we began a sermon mini-series called The Road to The Cross.” You can listen to it here:

“So let us live with joyful endurance in the way of the cross, and share the Kingdom of our King, the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.”