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I’m Praying for God to Bless You

Alone In the Desert

Photo by daarkfire.

I’m currently reading Wayne Cordeiro’s Leading on Empty, and in it, Wayne passes along an ancient prayer written by some Franciscan monks…

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live from deep within your heart where God’s Spirit dwells.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world and in your neighborhood, so that you will courageously try what you don’t think you can do, but in Jesus Christ you’ll have the strength necessary to do.

May God bless you so that you remember we are all called to continue God’s redemptive work of love and healing in God’s place, in and through God’s name, in God’s Spirit, continually creating and breathing new life and grace into everything and everyone we touch.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference.

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It’s a far cry from the modern, western idea of God’s “blessing,” which is thought to come in the form of a life of smiles and unfair favor, riches, and good health. The prosperity gospel is killing us, and I want more. I think God offers more, but until we learn that less truly can be more, we will keep missing the big picture of God’s divine dream for using us to change the world. Instead, we’ll settle for a closer parking spot at the mall and label that as God’s blessing instead.

I want to live from deep within my heart where God’s Spirit dwells.

[bcoxlike]

Pastor, Find a Good Perspective

Today was interesting. Little things were already mounting up before I left the house this morning and my perspective became, “this is a cruddy day.” Then I attended a memorial service in which a fellow Pastor and Saddleback staff member was preaching the funeral message of his beloved wife. He challenged us to sing and to worship, which we did. Perspective.

Gleanings from Easter Sunday

I just wanted to take a minute to pass along my own personal blessings gleaned from yesterday and from the whole Easter week. Here are some things that have touched my heart…

  • Jesus was glorified all over the world as people presented the truth of the death, burial and resurrection.
  • Our church was packed with people, some of whom brought friends and family to hear the message.
  • My parents came into town and spent the weekend with us, so we hung out, talked, and ate a lot.
  • I mentioned on Palm Sunday that anybody donating plastic eggs should probably stuff them with little Milky Ways (I’m a caramel nut). Yesterday morning, I discovered a whole package on my desk!
  • Justin and I received an enormous gift last week. A church member was burdened to make a donation to purchase for each of us a copy of the Logos Bible Software: Scholar’s Library, which is loaded with material!
  • We had great sunrise service in spite of the rain, and a wonderful breakfast together as a church family.

I could name more, but wanted to take just a minute and praise God for His goodness today! Easter, for me, is not the culmination of our preparation for it so much as it is the fresh beginning of a renewed sensitivity to the work of the living Christ all around us. I’m awake and ready for whatever He has next for us at Bethel. Bring it on, God, I’ll try to be ready!

Merry Christmas from the Cox Family

The Cox Family at Silver Dollar CityDear Family and Friends,

It seems impossible that three years have passed since we moved our family to northwest Arkansas. . We feel so overwhelmed when we think about all with which God has blessed us since coming home to Bethel.

Ella started the first grade and seems to be coming out of her shell a “little” bit-(she gets that from her daddy). One of our greatest gifts this year was Ella making the decision to place her trust in Christ and accept Him as Savor. We look forward to her baptism in January. Angie continues her work as a therapist with children and families. She faces unique challenges everyday with children and families that have been wounded by this world and it’s a constant reminder that there are hurting people all around us-in need of redemption. In addition to loving ministry as Bethel’s Pastor, Brandon has also taken up the hobby of graphic and web design. In Angie’s words, he “plays on his computer.”

Many of you are aware that we are continually praying and seeking God’s plan for our family- in particular “growing” our family. This year has not been without its difficulties; however a cute little furry dog name Beau was added to the Cox household and he has been sweet comfort for a little girl’s heart who has prayed daily for a brother or sister. Please keep us in your prayers that we will know and embrace the Father’s will for us as a family.

This year we will travel to St. Louis to be with Angie’s family for the Holiday. We look forward to her mom’s great cooking, singing Christmas carols around the piano (yes they really do that) and reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning! We won’t get to travel to Kentucky this year, and we will dearly miss our family and friends there.

This is a season to rejoice-to celebrate God’s great gift to us-Emmanuel! We pray for God’s blessing to be upon each of you this Christmas and throughout the coming new year.

We love you all-

Brandon, Angie, & Ella Grace Cox