By Dr. D.
Dear Pleasant Family,
Sometimes we have to ask ourselves some hard questions, so here’s one… “How healthy are you?” So much attention is given these days to health; Men’s health, Women’s health, the health of our children, our parents, and even our animals! In our consideration of physical health, we often miss out on the health of relationships, our mental health and I really think we miss the much more important aspect of our own spiritual health. The spirit is our connection to God, and if we neglect that aspect of our lives, we really miss out on understanding our purpose in life. Viktor Frankl, the world-renowned psychotherapist, who survived the horrors of Nazi Concentration Camps, said that for a person to experience fulfilment in his or her life, that person needed to understand the meaning of their life. He called his methodology “logotherapy.” The word, “Logos” in Greek is defined as “meaning” and we all need to recognize the meaning of our lives. We all have challenges and face difficult moments in our live, but the depth of our relationship with God is what sustains us! Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.” In other words… there is much anguish and work in developing a beautiful story of faith.
My prayer for the church family here at Pleasant Ridge is that we would seek to be a very healthy church, especially in the spiritual sense. It takes work and a desire to grow that keeps us fit in spirit. You may have heard about the young mother, who heard a loud thump early one morning. She ran into her son’s bedroom and there by the bed, on the floor, was her young son. She exclaimed, “Son, what in the world happened that caused you to fall out of bed?” The boy’s reply was simple… “I guess that I stayed too close to where I got in.” We, too, are in danger of staying too close to where we got in spiritually. Sometimes we never grow… we never really get into the meat of a relationship with the Lord! That’s sad.
The Apostle Paul told believers in Philippi this, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV). I couldn’t agree more for us at Pleasant Ridge!
We must be determined and intentional about our spiritual growth. You may wonder how to do that, so here are a few suggestions:
First, begin praying. Have honest conversations with God. Speak to Him like you would your best friend and let Him know your joys, your hurts, your concerns and your desires. God can handle honesty! When you pray, seek His will over your own. You may not hear His voice booming back an answer for every question, but many times God speaks in the still, small voice. He may speak through things you see, words from friends, affirmations in situations of life and more.
Second, read God’s Word and meditate upon it. I like to say, “Chew the Cud”… take time to read, reflect, respond and rest in God’s wisdom. Meditating upon scripture helps it to sink in. You may not like reading, so take little bites instead of trying to read the whole bible in one night. Let God’s Word penetrate your heart as He speaks wisdom to you!
Third, get involved with God’s people. Jump in and be an active part of the church family. We all need to be connected in relationships with people who are going to bring goodness into our lives, and the church is a great place to start. By the way, there are no perfect people in the church, so avoid building your faith upon the people of the church and build it upon the One who has created the church! There’s a lot to do and a lot to be done in the church and we need you to join us in the work!
Forth, begin to make a difference. Your life will be radically changed when you are in a relationship with the Lord, so don’t keep that joy to yourself. Joy and Love are always best when shared! How are you letting others see Christ in you today? That’s how you will make an eternal impact… through sharing the Father of eternity.
I love you, and I look forward to the future here at P-Ridge! God’s greatest days here are just around the corner! May God bless us as we work together to glorify Him in all areas of our lives!
In His Hands, Dr. D.