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Sojourn Blog

I've been distracted

Posted by Justin Pearson on

I’ve been distracted.

I realized this recently when thinking about what I think about when I have time and space to think about things. Over the last two months, in those moments, I seemed to have a lot of wandering or worrying thoughts.

Life, family, finances, ministry, relationships, the past, the present, the future.

Some of these thoughts flowed out of discontentment or discouragement or some combination of the two. A lot of them flowed out of a lack of faith in the goodness and lovingkindness of our faithful God.

It’s one thing to recognize that I’ve been distracted so that I can make an effort to not be distracted. But upon further reflection I realized my distraction has kept me from celebration.

When I say celebration I mean taking time to rejoice and give thanks for good gifts of providence, provision, and progress that come down from the Father of lights—the source of all good and perfect gifts.

And there are many things to celebrate in my life and in our church even in just the last few months let alone the last year.

  • I’ve been praying for more opportunities to share Jesus with others. God has placed two people in my life who want to meet regularly.
  • I’ve been longing, along with Amy, for ways to better engage our neighbors with the gospel. We now have 12 people from Sojourn living in our neighborhood who are partnering together to engage our neighbors and one another with gospel intentionality.
  • On that note, we just hosted a Holiday Happy Hour at our house with that group and had 25+ neighbors in our house for several hours who are not yet followers of Jesus.
  • One of our neighbors who we’ve been praying for for 5 years came to Sojourn for the first time a few weeks ago.
  • On that same Sunday, though many of our church was traveling for Christmas, there were at least 3 other seeking non-believers gathering with us.
  • Our staff team has great, genuine relationships with one another.
  • Our elder team has great, genuine relationships with one another.
  • There are about 15 people in a counseling cohort learning how to disciple and care well for others in our community.
  • So many of you are serving in significant ways on Sundays in Sojourn Kids, Setup, AV, Worship Team, Connect and a lot of other informal ways throughout the week.
  • Our church has done an extraordinary job caring for various people in need both inside and outside our church family.
  • Individuals and families have responded to the call to generous giving to the local church to allow us to finish 2018 strong.

And there are so many more things that time and space do not allow to list out here and now!

I’ve been distracted and that has kept from celebration. I needed to repent of that at the end of 2018 and turn again to the grace of God found in the person and work of Jesus. Something I am sure I will have to do again and again.

While there are always things that will be present in my life and ministry that will tempt me to be discontent or discouraged, leading me to distraction, there are many more things that are present that can lead me to give thanks in all circumstances. It’s a matter of shifting my gaze, attention, and remembering the true object of my faith and joy—my Sovereign God and King who has lavished his love on me and loves this church way more than I do.

What about you? Are you spending more time in a state of distraction or celebration?

One of the things I am excited about and praying for our church in 2019 is that we would grow numerically this coming year not through transfer growth, but through seeing people come to know and follow Jesus for the first time. Will you pray for that too?

May we encourage one another to rejoicing, thanksgiving, and celebration for the good things God is doing in us and through us and strive to be faithful to make much of him in our lives and community for his glory and the good of others.

Here’s to a faith filled and faithful 2019 together!

.grace and peace.
Justin

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