I trust you’ve been reading with us through 40 Days of Decrease and have heard a wise guide help reveal the chords of our hearts. These moments alone in reflection help us identify the presence, purpose and power in times of necessary loss, and they provide a backdrop for recognizing God’s will and ways in which we can experience personal reduction.

This book has a unique way of framing truth and provides words that penetrate my soul. Fasting such things as “regrets, collecting praise and tidy faith” are opening up new pathways for me in “respectable sins” that are unnoticed in the light of everyday life. Fasting “speeding past sorrow and fixing it” have allowed me to see Jesus, and life, in view of pain, redemption and authentic faith. It is forming me through some difficult times of questions of my own about death of family members and friends with cancer. Quotes like this one from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “It really boils down to this; that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever effects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality”… help me fast “isolation”. And Philip Yancey’s ideas about “rationalism”:

“No matter how we rationalize, God will sometimes seem unfair from the perspective of a person trapped in time…Not until history has run its course will we understand how ‘all things work together for good.’ Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse”… give me a renewed perspective on my own practice of treating reason as the ultimate authority in religion, instead of God!

These are hard, but good lessons, to reflect on and apply. The devotions are brief, but deep, and I’m enjoying the discussion of where did Lent and fasting come from with historical commentaries by the First Council of Nicea, Irenaeus, and Eusebius, to name a few. The weekly readings in John also provide a backdrop for the days leading up to the crucifixion and Jesus decision to follow God and obey at any cost.

One of my favorite quotes that hit home with me was from Leonard Sweet: “On the cross, leadership dies. On the cross, success dies. On the cross, skills die, and excellence dies. All of my strengths – nailed to the cross. All of my weaknesses – nailed to the cross. All of my yearnings for bigger and better, for anything other than Christ himself – nailed to that same cross.”

For me, this book is a breath of fresh air, breathing life into my world, and becoming a beautiful invitation to prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection in a new and meaningful way.

Hope you’re leaning in as well,
Pastor Mark Steven

THIS MONTH AT WILSHIRE

Spring Concerts

elroy@wilshireave.com

BLACKWOOD BROTHERS, Southern Gospel Quartet, will be in concert at Wilshire, Friday, March 4, 7:00 p.m.

Celebration Singers Easter Musical, Saturday, March 19, 3:00 p.m.

Corporate Prayer Nights

Tuesdays @ 6:30pm
Join us each Tuesday night in the Worship Center as we come together in prayer for our church, our next lead pastor and the process of our search team, our ministry board and our staff.

Guest Services Team

Our team is in great need of volunteers. Needs include: Greeters in the 10:30am service, Help at the Welcome Center, Greeters, Communion set-up once a month, and help with our Sunday refreshments. If you are willing to serve in any of the above areas please email maricela@wilshireave.com. We will have a training day on March 6 immediately following our 10:30am service in the Worship Center.

Life Groups

bryan@wilshireave.com

If you are not in a Life Group and looking to join one, we have a few groups that are open and available including a brand new group that will be meeting on Thursdays at 6:30 pm. If you would like more information please contact Bryan.

Women’s Spa Night

Friday, March 11, 6-9pm

maricela@wilshireave.com

Ladies come and enjoy a night of relaxation! Massages, Eye Brow Threading, Hand treatments, Raffle Prizes and much more. Light refreshments will be served. Drop in anytime between 6-9pm in the Underground Lounge. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Women’s Booth. Childcare included.

Kidzplay Soccer Registration

Registration is now open for our 2016 season of indoor soccer. This league is for 3 -8 year olds. Registration is online only at www.wilshireave.com or for more information stop by the Sports Booth or email office@wilshireave.com.