Proverbs 4 Thoughts

Dear Reader,
I hope this finds you well. Today is the last day in January 2023. This month has gone by and many things have happened. One thing for me is the constant learning and growing in my faith and practice. The Holy Bible, the Sacred Scriptures, has been such a blessing to me. Yes, I am a minister of the good news about Jesus Christ, but that does not mean that I cannot continue to learn and grow in my understanding of the Biblical text and also learning and growing in how to use it or live it out in this sin-cursed word that we live in today. This morning I read Proverbs 4 and want to share some encouraging thoughts from it with you all. 
This wisdom book, the book of Proverbs, is full of principles for life. These principles are guideposts or signs that point us to the path that we are supposed to follow or be on in life. Don’t get me wrong; there are some principles that are difficult to follow but, when we put are hearts and minds to living them out in our lives, blessings from God flow – “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” you may be singing like me at the moment. 
Here is a reflection using the entire chapter from Proverbs:
Proverbs 4
Pay attention and gain understanding!
There is life when the words of wisdom and commands are kept.
The beginning of wisdom is to GET WISDOM!
Cherish and Embrace wisdom!
Following wisdom leads you on straight paths.
Don’t let the wisdom instructions out of your sight. 
These instriuctions are life to those who find them and health to your whole body.
Guard your heart, keep your mouth free of perversity and corrupt talk, fix your gaze directly before you, be steadfast in your ways, and don’t turn to the right or to the left, keep your foot from evil. 
This was a snapshot of the text. I hope it gives you a glimpse of what wisdom is and what wisdom offers. As you have read this, you may be wondering why the cross in the background. As you seek wisdom from above, in the words of the Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthian Believers, “but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, CHRIST the power of God and the WISDOM of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). And Paul writes to the believers at Colossae, “SInce, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1). And one of my favorite texts in the Holy Bible, the writer of Hebrews writes, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2). 
Peace to you all,
                           Keith Mitchell

Make The Most Of Every Opportunity

Dear Reader, 
This past week the theme of living in the moment was constantly in front of my eyes. Whether it was through reading the Bible and other books or conversations with friends, how we live in the present moment was there. One of my favorite Scripture passages is found in Matthew 6 where Jesus is teaching about the necessity of not worrying. He ends with “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (verse 34). 
As I am sitting at my desk, I think about the times we have throughout each day that we have not made the most of it and maybe missed something special. In a conversation with a friend this week, we talked about the book by Douglas McKelvey “Every Moment Holy” and we talked about no matter where we are in the day, that moment can be Holy. In another conversation with a friend, we talked about living in the present moment. Yes, we do prepare for the future and think about what’s next, but the conversation reminded us that there are things we may pass by if we are looking into the future before we look to the moment we are in right now.
You may be asking yourself, “Why the background?” 
This background, to me, shows the Christian life journey. 
Jesus taught about two roads or paths that we can take. The Broad or Wide road is easy and leads to destruction and many go that way. The Narrow road is hard and difficult and leads to life and only a few go that way (Matthew 7:13-14). If you have chosen to get on the Narrow Road that leads to life, I believe we must live like we are traveling on it. That is why I have “Make the Most of Every Opportunity” as the title of this blog post. 
The Apostle Paul encouraged followers of Jesus to live differently in this world. He writes to the church at Ephesus, and I believe for us today, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16) and to the church at Colossae, and us today, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY” (Colossians 4:5).
“MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY” is my encouragement to you all today. 
Peace to you all, 
                                Keith Mitchell 

A Thought to Begin 2023

Dear Reader, 
I hope this finds you well. 2023 has begun and my hope and prayer is that we all enjoy the year ahead and continually seek God and the wisdom God provides to those who ask in faith.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
– Proverbs 9:10
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
– James 1:5-6
Let us be people of wisdom in 2023.
There are ways I believe that will help us grow in our faith and discern what is true and right.
I encourage you to make the necessary steps to, as Solomon wrote in Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach/mentor said, “If you’re through learning, you’re through.”
As 2023 rolls along, here are suggestions/advice to help you to continue to learn and grow in your faith and practice:
 1) Make a commitment to read through the Bible in a year (plans are available here at the church)
2) Decide right now that you will gather with believers on Sunday morning for worship
3) Join other followers of Jesus to pray and study the Bible (Wednesday evenings are a time at Ferris we meet together for prayer and Bible study)
4) Volunteer to serve God and others in your local church 
5) Invite others to come to church with you
6) Write Letters of Encouragement to family, friends, neighbors, etc throughout 2023
These are a few suggestions, but I am sure there are other ways you can grow in your faith and practice in 2023.
Enjoy 2023!
“The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all” (2 Timothy 4:22).
Peace to you all, 
                         Keith Mitchell

2 Responses to “Pastor’s Blog”

  1. Hazel says:

    I like your new endeavor it is very thought provoking. Keep up the good work. God Bless

  2. Lola Mitchell says:

    Setting our minds on things above…

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