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Think Spring by Ben Taylor

As I sit in my office and look out at the cold rain that is accompanied by fog, I ask myself a question you may have asked yourself recently. “Where is spring?” Life can get damp, dull, and downright depressing in these weeks of limbo leading up to the true spring that we willplant sprouting [hopefully] one day experience here in the U.P. See, spring is a time for new beginnings. A time where things are planted, grass is growing, and life returns to the woods and air around us.

Spring is easy to love, because it’s full of new life and growth. Things are happening. There are new sights, sounds, and smells for us all to experience. The gloomy tendencies of winter are fading to a foreign memory, as our focus moves to being outside, sun, and the growth of plants, trees, and grass.

 We all experience different seasons of life, just like the seasons of weather. Some seasons are bright and full of life, while others can be discouraging and somewhat gloomy. Some of those times are a result of choices we made, while others are due to things out of our control. During those times where things are out of our control, what can we possibly do to change our circumstances? How can we hope to bring light to a dark time in our lives which we cannot control? The answer is the same answer that many find with a transition into spring – to grow.

 When things get tough in life, our tendency is to draw within ourselves and throw a pity party (been there, done that). It’s easier to focus on what is wrong in our lives then it is to focus on what we have already been blessed with. It’s during those times that growth is all that much more important. Naturally, I’m not referring to physical growth, but spiritual growth. When life gets dark and the sun seems to be hidden from view, our goal should be to grow even closer to God.

 In Revelation 21:5, we see that God is making everything new! His desire is to see growth within us and in our lives! During those times we find ourselves discouraged and defeated, we must demonstrate our faith in God by turning over the situation to Him and His will. The times of “spring” will come that much quicker if we are willing to turn it over to the One who knows our every need and how to meet it.

If you find yourself in a place of difficulty and dreariness, I encourage you to turn it over to the One who is responsible for the beauty and revitalization we are about to see in our own world through spring. I would encourage you to focus on the words found in Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” As Jeremiah continues, God says that we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our hearts. We can rest assured that when we find God amidst our times of darkness, His plans to prosper and give us a hope and future will accompany Him.

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Spring is Coming by Kevin Taylor

I’m thrilled to report that I missed out on this latest blast and hopefully final gasp of winter!  In case you are wondering spring is in bloom on the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay.  Before I left for parts south of here I did notice that two of my tulip bulbs (planted last fall) have broken the surface of the soil and are peeking through.  They are a long way from blooming but it is a sure promise that some form of spring will inevitably arrive . . . at some point . . . I hope.  Changing seasons can be wonderful or very difficult depending on the bulb sprouting
time of year.  Here in the UP I hear people saying that we have experienced one of the worst winters in the past 30 years.  We are ready for change.  We are ready for spring!  My tulips which are barely breaking through disprove the notion that winter will hang around forever.  Those little sprouts also reveal this important truth, “There is far more activity happening beneath the surface than there is above the surface!”

     The same is true in the life of the church.  All around me I see little signs of life sprouting through the surface after a long winter season.  At first those signs seem insignificant in relation to the enormity of winter but as the effects of a winter season slowly melt away the reality of spring is building beneath the surface and is about to erupt into new life within the church!

     Over a year ago I received a letter from someone who visited SilverCreekChurch.  This person shared with me something that the Holy Spirit had laid on their heart regarding Silver Creek.  They saw a large piece of machinery with a huge roller brush moving along in the ditch alongside the road.  The brush was picking people up out of the ditch.  The people were covered in the dirt of their sins but Jesus began blowing on them which caused their sin to fall off.  The letter ended with the encouragement to be ready because God was preparing to bring people out of the ditches.

     I have received numerous words or messages from individuals regarding Silver Creek over the years but there was something about this that caused me to spend days simply receiving its message into my life.  I felt it was indeed from the Lord.  Several weeks ago I received a phone call on a Sunday afternoon from the same person who sent the letter.  They had attended again that day and felt that the Holy Spirit had spoken to them these words, “The brushing has begun!”

     Friends, I see the signs of life all around me.  There are little sprouts peeking up through the earth.  Remember, there is far more activity beneath the surface at this point but I assure you that Spring IS coming!  God is doing something.  The seasons are changing and new life is coming.  This new thing is not because of Silver Creek and it is not because of Kevin Taylor.  It is because God is doing something as the result of his own sovereign will.  The Holy Spirit has begun to “brush” people up out of the ditches where they have been.  Jesus is going to clean them off by his breath, which in the Scriptures refers to the Holy Spirit.  So, let’s be ready for this season of new Life!

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