Spiritual Climate Change & Pray for Joanne Histand!

December 7, 2018 Dear RCC friends and family,

We postponed our Prayer and Lords Supper meeting this week due to the sickness. Let’s plan to have communion, and some sharing of discernment from the 3-day fast this Sunday. I postponed the prayer and Lord’s Supper meeting this week due to five messages that people would not be in attendance due to sickness. I also received 3 messages from families who said that they had decided not to come. I am not sure how to interpret the decisions to not attend. Given the importance of this meeting, I decided to postpone it so that all can heal and give priority to coming. As I shared on Sunday. RCC is in crisis. Our future together rests in a commitment to operate in radical obedience to Jesus to press in and seek His face together.  This Prayer and Lord’s Supper meeting will be a pivotal event in the life and future of our church.

Joanne Histand has been hospitalized in the ICU at Rockingham Hospital in Harrisonburg VA. Merrill took her in to the Emergency Room on Thursday morning. She had a very very difficult time breathing. They discovered that she has pneumonia in one lung and they are treating her with IV antibiotics. She is also on oxygen and some other medicines to help her breathe . Please be in prayer for Joanne. She is getting better. They are hoping to get her off oxygen today so that she can go to a regular hospital bed. Please be in prayer for supernatural healing and for Merrill and the family.

The world around us has changed. We are in the midst of one the greatest times of spiritual climate change in history. Hunger for spiritual things is at an all time high! But most people are not interested in going to church (according to Barna: “State of the Church and Family Report 2016.”) Going to church to sing, meet with friends and talk about God isn’t attractive to most people. They would rather listen to podcasts online and catch up with friends by facebook, text, email or phone. Most people however ARE (including most of us) intensely interested in a real encounter with God!

The good news, even though church attendance is waning people are more and more interested in being a part of a committed spiritual community. People report that they want to be actively engaged in a real spiritual endeavor. They want to hear God’s voice and operate in loving partnership with God to live powerful and effective lives. Our main goal at RCC is to live this way. Our goal is no to have a good Sunday service. We want to be a community of believers who are radically pursuing God in unity and operating in true love toward one another to reveal Jesus to the world.

Living in a spiritual community is a lot more than showing up at church. When the body gathers for worship and prayer, this is the main event. Worship and prayer events are first commandment events. Jesus said that our FIRST GOAL above all others is to be active in our love for God. Loving God with ALL of our heart (our passions) ALL of our soul (our creativity) ALL of our mind (our thinking) and ALL of our strength (our activity) as believers is our ONE life pursuit. In this life pursuit we discover that God endues us (clothes us) with power. We become a society of people committed to living in love and partnership with God. This type of community require setting aside other personally valuable things. We must learn to pursue the “One Thing”(Psalm 27:4) over all others. The “One thing” is the presence of God that we seek as we listen to God and respond to what He says as a corporate expression. Remember Acts 2 “they were all in one accord in one place..?” In times of trouble we read that the people of God do one thing: “The LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.” Joel 2:12. This is not a half-hearted enterprise. Seeking God involves incredible sacrifice: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “Jer 29:13

Did you know that the promise of the presence of God is activated by meeting together: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mat 18:20) As individuals we cannot know what our purpose truly is until we are joined together and functioning in unisty because God has fit us together so that we function as a body: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12) The Bible also says that the blessing of life is released when we come together in unity: “How good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! For there the LORD commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1,4 ) The church was birthed and empowered first (and in all times in hisorty) when believers gathered to seek God in prayer and waiting upon Him!! (Acts 2)

We want to continue to grow in this new covenant reality! People everywhere are looking for real Christian fellowship. The church of Jesus are those who lay aside self-love to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and truly love one another. This is what we want to keep focusing on! It seems like being the true church would be a lot of work, but it’s not really when our hearts are aligned with God’s heart. We freely give all of our energy to things that we are passionate about. Being the church involves the continual shifting of our affections from ourselves to God first and then to loving and serving others. As we truly love others using the gifts and calling that God has given us we discover true meaning. Everyone around us sees the love and power of God and they are drawn to God just by being with us. This is our vision of being the church! As the beloved people of God we want to operate in wisdom like “the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what {the people of God} ought to do..” (1 Chron 12:32) God gives wisdom about how to respond in the times that we live! This Sunday we want to prayerfully discover how God is forming us to impact the world and how to live as the Body of Christ under the Lordship of Jesus.

Blessings, See you Sunday!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry