Hold On

I can still see the picture clearly. I was about ten years old and we were on vacation at Hume Lake, California with our best family friends (Teri’s family) and having a picnic on the smooth rocks at the east end of the lake where it drains into a rushing gorge. We were enjoying lunch on a warm summer day with the sounds of rushing water only a few yards away. Teri’s little brother, Kevin, about five years old at the time, was reprimanded a couple of times for getting too close to the edge.

But, as we turned our attention back to lunch and appreciating the beautiful day, we suddenly heard Kevin’s cry for help as he was slowly sliding downward feet first toward the torrent of water below. He was clinging for dear life, but steadily losing the battle. My younger brother, Paul (the hero, and he’s never let Kevin – or me – forget it to this day) who was about eight at the time, quickly jumped up and executed a sliding, head first dive and linked hands with Kevin to stop his downward decent. They both were still sliding and I followed my brother in the diving head first thing (but, just a bit slower than him – that’s why he’s the hero) and grabbed onto his feet. By this time our dads got there and pulled our little human train backwards up the hill until we were all safe. Quite a memory, huh?

You know, life is a lot like that picture. We stray or mess up sometimes, but we have family and friends to help us get back on track. To pluck us from danger. To “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

This is one of the reasons we do “church.” To have:
Authentic Christian Community

Let me give you a few reasons why we need to be plugged in to a healthy church.

An Authentic Christian Community:

  • is Biblical: Hebrews 10:25 says we really need each other . . . and even more so in this day!
  • is a place where everyone knows that we are “in this together”
  • is a place where we will GROW !
    – in our walk with God
    – in our relationships
    – in our maturing
    – in our calling
  • strengthens us
  • challenges, stretches, and enlarges us
  • provides us a way to experience true Biblical fellowship
  • gives us a sense of family
  • is a place where we demonstrate God’s love one to another
    – we endure with each other
    – we forgive each other
    – we are not jealous of each other
    – we are for each other
    – we believe the best about each other
    – we use words of life when speaking to (or about) each other
  • keeps us accountable (yes, that’s a good thing)
  • helps us raise our kids better
  • supports healthy marriages
  • helps young adults stay on track
  • will encourage us in our weakness
    – maybe even “a slap in the face” of reality when we’re not in the mood to listen
  • will celebrate our successes
  • will cry with us in sorrow . . . and still be there with us as we face the unknown

God has given us a tremendous gift by being part of this body here at Westside. I cannot tell you how blessed we are by being planted into a “strong, healthy, local church.” We must not take this for granted. Hold on to what He has given to us. Pray for each other. Be generous toward each other. Fight (spiritually) for each other. Meet together . . . often. You’ll be better for it. Your family will be better for it. We . . . will be better for it. And, the Kingdom will benefit as well. We’ve still got a lot of work to do . . . let’s hold on!

But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
Phil 3:16

Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me,
a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 1:13

Let us hold on  to the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is faithful.
Heb 10:23

Sure do love you guys,
Steve 🙂

P.S. Here is a photo of us at Hume Lake
taken a year before “The Rescue.”
Yep, that’s me on the right . . . you know:
like “Sand Lot” days.

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