The Journey Continues Forward

Since God placed a love for the outside of the church I have consistently sought God’s leading each step of the way. ReSolved Ministry came about from the commitment to continually rethink the “how” of ministry with a fervent passion, or resolve.

When COVID forced the world to pause ReSolved pivoted to be a digital first ministry to continue loving those outside the church. On this journey God connected ReSolved with Church Anywhere to learn from & be mentored by in these beginning stages. This has been an incredible experience that will continue in a new way into the future.

Also along this journey Discover Church, ReSolved’s sending congregation pivoted to develop its own digital ministry. Both ministries have a passion to invite all people to a life-transforming faith in Jesus Christ. With this similar resolve Discover & ReSolved are joining together in digital ministry.

I am the Digital Pastor at Discover Church tasked to grow Discover Church Network. It is a network of microsite gathered together around the world for worship. It is a network of digital missionaries building relationships with others through their digital platforms. It is a network resolved to disciple people to live The 168 Life.

It is exciting to begin this chapter together. We are able to share resources & passions. God is bringing this together for God’s glory. We humbly serve together sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word, action and posts.

So here’s what’s next. You can follow Discover at its social media accounts. There you will continue to be encouraged on your faith journey. You can also follow me on my socials @TheHoppyPastor to connect directly.

Thank you for being a part of this chapter of the journey! Your support is incredible!!

Let’s stay in touch!

Now may you go out today knowing you are loved by God, feeling the Holy Spirit surrounding you and sharing Jesus through word, action & post. 

Discover Church Socials

Facebook: @DiscoverChurchBP

Instagram: @discoverchurchbpl

Twitter: @ChurchDiscover

YouTube: Discover Church – Brooklyn Park

You Are Not Alone

2020 was a difficult year.  Stay at Home orders kept everyone at home away from friends and family.  While the first few weeks were fun.  A new adventure of working from home & learning how to have Zoom meetings. 

After months of staying home, away from all those we cared about, isolation was no longer a ‘fun adventure.’ It was just plain hard.

Many times in the past year I have shared with others countless times, “You are not alone.”  I have needed to hear these words myself a few times.

We are not created to live life alone.  God created us to be in community with one another.  As we are different from each other we have the opportunity to learn from each other.  Where one is weak another is strong.  Where one is in need another has plenty to share.

God created Adam and did not intend for him to be alone.  Eve was created to be in community with Adam.  They complemented each other to be united and live life together.

When Jesus lived here on Earth He did not do life alone.  He asked 12 men to share life & ministry together. As Jesus is fully God He set the example for all believers to follow in our own lives.  We are meant to be in community with one another.

We are meant to trust a close circle of loved ones who love us unconditionally, who hold us accountable when necessary, who to celebrate great moments together. These people are our inner circle.  They are family bonded together in the Lord.  We grow in faith together. We grieve together.  We give praise together.

Another place you can connect with others is at our weekly Zoom MicroSite. We met together on Sunday nights at 7pm (US Central Time). For an hour we encourage, pray with and laugh together. You are invited! If you feel alone join us.  Send a message saying you are interested and we will send you the Meeting ID & Password. We love to see you there. 

Living The 168 Life is meant to be shared with others. We are created to be in community. See who is in your tribe.  Tell them this week how much you appreciate your friendship.  Ask how you can continue to pray with each other. Schedule the next time you hang out together to have fun together. 

As the world is coming out of isolation we will reconnect with each other.  May you see each day how you are not alone.  You are loved unconditionally.  You matter. Connect with your inner circle.  May God be glorified in the 168 hours of the week.

This Week’s Challenge 

Share with those in your inner circle how you are truly doing, good or bad. Pray with one another.  Give thanks to God for your friendships.

Social Media Influencers for Jesus

Being a social media influencer is now a career path people aspire to become.  One posts on life, adventures, thoughts, products to share with the world. It’s not a bad gig when you think about.  You can travel for your job.  Try new products.  Eat at cool places. All so you can share your experience with those who are following you.

Social Media Influencers have great sway in the social media world.  They set trends and help places or products go viral. 

After Jesus’ Resurrection letter writing was their form of social media.  The four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) were in essence letters to be shared so people can learn together the story of Jesus.  Paul, the pastor to the Gentiles, wrote a prolific amount of letters in his ministry.  Paul and the Disciples were the original social media influencers.

What we learn from them is using the tools at our hands to share our story of Jesus.  What we post on our social media accounts reach 1000s of people.  In one click we can reach people all over the world.  We can be influencers on social media for Jesus.

So think about it.  You can share why you love Jesus. Or you can share what God is teaching you in your devotions.  You can have conversations with someone you may never meet in person and teach them about Jesus.  Your influence across social media can have great impact for the Kingdom of God.

Just as interacting with people on social media is a regular part of our daily lives it is a natural way to live out the The 168 Life.  Whether you are meeting people in person or via social media you can be an example of Jesus to them. 

Another way you can think about it is like being a brand ambassador. Over the crazy path that is my career path I have been brand ambassador for small craft breweries.  I got to go into liquor and offer people (of legal age) free samples of our beer and tell them about our brewery.  It was truly one of my favorite jobs.  

In this job I quickly learned that people connect to story. They love to hear how the company got started, what we stand for, why we do what we do.  This insight challenged me to see my own faith journey in a similar manner.  I represented Jesus as like a brand ambassador. I get to tell other why I love Jesus, how I got to know Jesus, what He is doing in my life. 

Now I get to do the same thing in my ministry as a Digital Pastor. I get to tell Jesus’s story on social media. We get to influence our followers on social media for Jesus.  We get to be digital missionaries without ever leaving the couch.

As you go online to post a funny picture or share your thoughts for the day think about how you are a social media influencer.  You don’t need a huge number of followers to have influence.  Just continue to share your story with Jesus. Be open to having conversations with people as the Holy Spirit leads you.

Go out into the digital world fellow followers of Jesus posting Jesus’ story for all to hear on social media!

This Week’s Challenge

Post on one of your social media accounts why you love Jesus or how you came to know about Jesus.  Watch for any conversations the Holy Spirit opens up for you to share online.

The Daily Practice of Learning

In the Church world we use the word “discipleship” a lot but we do not always do a good job of defining it. It’s root word, ‘disciple’ means “student or follower.” So discipleship is the practice of following or being a student of Jesus.

When one is a disciple of Jesus s/he learns directly from Jesus.  They regularly read the Bible. They pray sharing with God their heart while hearing what God has to share with them. They view the world as God sees the world loving all people. 

“That sounds so simple.  But what if my calendar is already full?”

I hear you.  It feels like it is another thing to get done in an already crazy busy day.  Here’s the thing we can spend time with God while taking care of other things.  

Go for runs, bike rides, or workouts?  You can listen to the Bible while working out. 

Feel stuck in the Kitchen cleaning up? Or tied to the Laundry pile?  You can talk with God sharing what’s on your heart while hearing what God has for you. 

Sitting on the couch twitching with wanting to do something? You can journal questions or learnings from your faith journey. 

There are pockets of time throughout each of our days to spend time with God.  As we get together with friends for workouts or coffee we can do the same with God.  You don’t have to spend hours at a time if that is too much for you.  The key is the constant touchpoint with God throughout our days.

Your daily practice of learning at the feet of Jesus is your own practice.  It does not need to look like anyone else’s daily practice. It is how you spend time and learn from God. 

The key is to find the intentional time and rhythm with God that works for the two of you.  As you do so stay consistent with those times.  It will be tempting to skip a day but take the time.  Before you know it those nuggets will be a natural part of your day you don’t even think about it anymore.

Learning at the feet of Jesus is important as a follower of Jesus.  The more we learn from Him the more we become like Him. Living The 168 Life is seeing the world through the eyes of Jesus.  We get to see the world as Jesus sees it as we learn from Him.

So as you find these nuggets in your day enjoy the learning.  Ask God to teach you more about faith.  Seek to grow in trust in God alone. 

May you grow in faith in the 168 hours of the week. 

This Week’s Challenge

Schedule nuggets of time with God in your day.  Find natural places for your to connect with God so you can grow in faith. 

Faith is Who You Are

Going to church tends to be synonymous with one’s faith. We use this phrase to indicate we are going to worship, an event, or Bible Study. It is an entry on our calendars. In some ways it means no more no less.

We talk about faith as a thing we do.  A compartment of our lives like our jobs, our families, our friend groups, our hobbies.  It is a part of who we are; one aspect of the whole.

But we have it wrong.  Faith is all of who we are.  It gives us the eyes to see the world through.  It shapes the words we share with others.  Faith directs us in our decision making.  Faith is all of us, not a small part.

While Jesus lived He taught His followers how to live their lives through their faiths.  He taught them how to trust God so deeply they took actions they never would have taken on their own.  Jesus showed them how faith shapes who we are each day of our lives.

When we see faith as an entry in our calendar we limit it to just a small handful of hours in the week.

But when we see faith as who we are it then shapes all 168 hours of the week.  

Imagine when you have decisions to make seeing them through the eyes of your faith.  Seeking God’s direction asking to see how God is leading you in this next step.

Or caring for friends with God’s love.  Showing up for one another in all circumstances. Faith brings people together with God’s love.

Sure, it is simple to say faith is who we are but is it really that easy?

What happens when one’s faith requires a sacrifice?  Or go somewhere we may not want to go?

Can’t we just say we have faith and not live it out in all 168 hours of the week?

Peter was a follower of Jesus and was taught by Jesus Himself. He was full of faith but was scared from time to time to have his faith be all of who he was too. One time Jesus was approaching the Disciples while they were out fishing at night.  Key point – Jesus did not have a boat Himself.  He walked on water.  (Check it out in Matthew 14)

Peter in awe of what he saw he asked Jesus that if it truly was Him to have Peter walk on the water.  Jesus invited him.  In classic Peter fashion out of the boat he went. Peter walked on water keeping his eyes on Jesus.

Peter was scared at times as his faith shaped his whole life. When he clung to it fully he did incredible things, like walking on water or preaching to hundreds of people. Peter understood that living The 168 Life was difficult at times.  It has times of challenges to grow in one’s trust in God. It has times of joy as one shares faith with all.

May you grow in your own faith so that is infiltrates every hour of every day of the week. Begin living faith in the 168.  See the adventures God has planned for you.  Grow in trust. See the world in a small way through God’s eyes. 

This Week’s Challenge

As you go about your day this week note how you are living out your faith.  Where does it guide your decisions? Conversations? Journal how faith is shaping who you are.

Show Up & Serve Your Community

Last week was hard.  This week is hard. I look out into my community to see crying hearts pleading to be heard, to be seen. 

It feels like we are on a never-ending merry-go-around.  Instances happen.  Emotions erupt. Statements are made.  Peace eventually comes.  After a period of time the next instance occurs.  When will it end?  Who is the next name on the list?

Each time the division grows wider and wider. Voices become louder.  Community is fractured further. 

Grief is hard. The heart desires to be ‘get over it’ but knows it can only learn to live through it. Words spoken with good intention don’t seem to help.  In a special way silent presence is the most comforting thing one can do. 

Now is a time to not continue the arguments to win the debate.  We must come together as a community to reach out to those who are hurting.  We need to show up & serve.  

Showing Up and Serving takes the form of donating household goods for families who are not able to get to a store. 

Showing Up & Serving takes the form sitting beside another listening to their story.  It does not try to ‘fix things’ but simply listening and learning.

Showing Up & Serving takes the form of cleaning up as the community begins to rebuild.

The pain will not disappear in one day.  But right now, today, we can show up to sit with another as they process their pain.  We can share love in silent action of serving & being present. 

As you go about your day see those in your life who are hurting.  Show up for them.  Share love in silent presence.  Share love in prayer. Serve them how ever they need in the moment. 

Brothers and sisters let us bring our community back together through love.  Let us as resolved followers of Jesus Christ show up for one another in love.  Words are not required.  Our presence shares God’s love.

This Week’s Challenge

Show up and serve one in your community.  Serve as they have need in that moment.

Living Faith in the 168

This past year has been to say the least…difficult.

This pasty year has been to say the least…incredible.

March 15, 2020 changed my life.  I was looking forward to this day as it was the Home Opener for my beloved Minnesota United FC. Instead of going to cheer, or should I say yell, for my team for 90 straight minutes I was instead at my first meeting as a Board of Director at my brewery.  And it was at this meeting that everything began to change.

After 3+ hours of intense difficult conversation we made the decision to close our taproom due to COVID-19.  We did so to protect our employees & the public from this deadly disease.  Without any knowledge of PPP Loans or state mandates we did what was right for our cooperative brewery & community.

By the end of that week I had lost 3 out of 4 jobs and was barely hanging on to the 4th one.  I had no idea how I was going to get through a global pandemic with little income, no health insurance & not a lot of job prospects.

That was the difficult part of the year.

After March 15th, I pivoted in my one remaining job.  Instead of welcoming people in person on Sunday mornings I shifted to connecting with people through social media.  Also I got connected with a congregation that had been doing digital ministry for a handful years & began learning from them how to be a digital minister.

While not being able to hang out in person with friends I still spent quality time with some via Zoom & a lot of late nights at work.  We bonded in such a way that will last a lifetime.

I found myself on a path slightly different from what I expected but exactly where God needed me to be right now & into the future.

That is the incredible part of the year.

Living faith in the 168 hours of the week has its ups and downs.  There are hours where you kind of go, “Huh?”  And other hours where you go “God, that was incredible!”  Faith is not picture perfect 100% of the time.  It gets a little crazy from time to time.

This week in our daily readings (available on Instagram at: @resolved_ministry) we are looking at people noted for their faiths.  They are mentioned in the Bible’s “Hall of Fame” chapter in Hebrews 11 for being faith filled.  But let me tell you they were not perfect.  They had their own difficult times with their own incredible times. 

What I pray for you to learn from their stories is how through it all they kept following God.  They made mistakes but repentance came.  They trusted God.

Friends, keep trusting God. I don’t know what you are dealing with today but I do know that you are not alone.  I do know that God is standing right beside you saying, “Take this next step.  Keep watching for what I have planned for you.” 

Hold onto God’s Hand.  Cling to it if you have to.  It’s okay God can handle it.

If you ever need a friend or someone to talk to you have one here.  Send an email or DM via social media.  I am happy to pray with you through the difficult hour towards the next incredible God has for you.

This Week’s Challenge

As you read the Daily Readings write in your journal what you learned from each one’s story.  How can you grow in your faith in God by knowing their faith in God?

Promises Fulfilled in One Man

When was the last time you were so excited for something that you had a countdown to the day that it would happen?  A Vacation? Wedding day? Birth of a child? 

No matter how excited you were it wouldn’t come any sooner. You simply had to wait patiently for the perfect time.

Day by day you would check off another date on the calendar.  One day closer.  Almost there.

The Israelites waited not just days for the promised savior. They waited hundreds of years. They watched their nation be overtaken by their enemies.  They were exiled to foreign lands for generations. One day their savior will arrive to redeem them from their enemies.

God promised the Messiah (Savior) to come at the perfect time.  As we looked at last week’s blog God placed promises throughout the Old Testament showing them how they would recognize the Messiah when He came. 

This week we see the life of Jesus culminating in His death on the cross.  The four Gospels (biographies on Jesus’ life) each share how He was arrested, found guilty & killed on the Cross.  But His story does not stop there.  As you read in this week’s Daily Readings you see how Jesus conquered death by His resurrection from the grave. 

Jesus came to save Israel and the whole world through His life, death & resurrection. His saving is not from political powers.  It is a saving that restores the perfect union humanity had in the Garden of Eden with God before Adam & Eve rebelled. It is by Him we are saved.  

The burdens we carry in life are lightened with Jesus in our lives. The guilt we feel from our sins is taken away by God’s grace.  Jesus gives us a new life by His resurrection.  We are free from burdens, guilt, fear. 

Your new life begins today. It begins by surrendering to Jesus and being made new from the inside out. It is giving over how you think life should be and stepping onto the path God has for you. 

As you read the Daily Readings this week see your new life in Jesus’ resurrection.  Ask God to show you the freedom that is found in Jesus alone. Release any pain, fear, anxiety to God. Begin to see the exciting new day that seems so far away on a calendar is actually today.

All the promises God gave Adam & Eve in the Garden and throughout the Old Testament are fulfilled in Jesus. The red thread comes together in Jesus’ life. And now you get to walk side by side with Jesus in this new life. 

This Week’s Challenge

Spend time in your journal this week asking God to show you the next couple of steps in your faith journey with Him.  See the promises of God fulfilled in your life through Jesus.

A Red Thread Running Through Life

In the beginning the world was perfect.  It was exactly as God had created it. Everything was how it should be until that is Adam & Eve rebelled. Then everything changed.

Life feels that way at times, doesn’t it? Everything is perfect until it isn’t.  The perfect job starts to show imperfections. A close relationship develops more distance. Savings dwindle down past the point of comfort. 

Whenever things take a turn towards difficulty we strive to get back to perfection.  Either by hard work or ending something only to start again we try to make things right.

Despite our best efforts not everything can be made right by our own merit.

As we studied together last week we cannot save ourselves by ourselves.  We are in need of a savior.  So who is that savior?  And how do we know it’s him when we do see him?

God promised as soon as Adam & Eve rebelled in the Garden that God will send a Savior for the world.  Their close relationship will be restored one day. Then throughout the Old Testament God ran a red thread through history for Israel, and us today, to know when the Promised One, Jesus was coming to Earth.

Let’s take a look at a handful of them.

First up is the prophet Isaiah wrote in some more detail the how & when Jesus was coming.  Isaiah wrote 100s of years before Jesus’ birth that He would be born to a virgin (Isaiah 7:13-14).  He also wrote that Jesus would not be physically appealing, that most people will overlook him (Isaiah 53). Much of what we see in the Gospels can be traced to Isaiah foretelling Israel to help them prepare.

Next we go to another Old Testament Zechariah.  In the 9th Chapter Zechariah wrote about how Jesus would enter into Jerusalem towards the end. Kings rode into the city after a triumphant victory on a donkey.  It was a symbol the Israelites would recognize as a king. They were hoping would be a great king like David kicking out their enemies & restore the land to them once again. 

Jesus does expel their enemy, Satan and does restore peace within their souls with God in Heaven. Jesus rode on the donkey as a sign of humility & love. 

Let’s take a look at Jesus’ family tree.  Doing a little genealogy pre-internet we see that Jesus tracks his lineage all the way back to Abraham, the Father of Israel. His roots are solid in the line of Abraham. There’s no denying it.  Check it out in Matthew 1.  In there we also see how Joseph adopted Jesus as his own son, honoring God by raising God’s Own Son as his own. 

These are just some of the spots to see the red thread running through the Old Testament pointing to Jesus. There are hundreds of them.  What we see is God sewing that red thread through the story from the beginning through history, up to the life of Jesus demonstrating just what He will do for all of humanity.

Jesus steps into the history of the world to live the life we are supposed to live, dying the death meant for us, rising from the grave conquering sin, death & the devil so that we all may live with God for all of eternity.

Whatever is going on in your life don’t lose hope.  Know that God loves you no matter what. Read the Bible to be encouraged.  See how God makes plans covering all the details.  Pray to see God’s Will in your life.  Feel God’s love envelop you every day.

There is a red thread running through your life placed there by God.  Stitch by stitch God’s Plan is being shown to you. Take a step back and see it in your life.

This Week’s Challenge
Take a look back on your life note in your journal the times you saw God’s red thread running through your life.

In Need of Saving

Lent is the time period (40 days not including Sundays) before Easter.  It begins with Ash Wednesday and culminates with what Christians call Holy Week.  Easter is the day Jesus rose from the grace conquering sin, death & the devil thereby giving every follower of Jesus new life in Him alone. Lent is a time to reflect, to grow in one’s new life in Jesus Christ. 

To best understand the incredible awesomeness of this let’s go back to the beginning, to Creation.  

When the world began God created a man & a woman, Adam & Eve. God formed them out of the clay and breathed His Own breath into them giving them life.  Adam & Eve were both fully created in God’s image, to care for the world & be in close community with God.

Life for Adam & Eve was perfect.  They walked with God daily in close community.  They connected with each other without confusion or misunderstanding. Everything was perfect until…

The serpent talked (Yeah, that’s weird) with Eve as Adam watched tempting them by what God ‘truly’ allowed them to eat and not eat. See, God told Adam & Eve that they could eat of any tree but the tree of knowledge of good & evil.  By eating from it they would die. The serpent, the manipulator that he was, lured Adam & Eve by misleading them. He got them to eat of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good & evil. 

This one act of disobedience changed everything. The close community with God was gone. The connection with each other without the confusion or misunderstanding disappeared.  Now Adam & Eve would work for everything and eventually die.  They were separated from God.

They were in need of saving.  We are in need of saving.

Since that day all of humanity has been separated from God. Our hearts feel a hole in it desperate to find what is missing. We attempt to fill it with relationships, success, possessions, hobbies. None of it works.  What we need is God.  Deep within our souls we desire to be back in close community with God like Adam & Eve were in the beginning.

God’s immediate response?  To send The Savior, to send Jesus Christ. 

See we cannot save ourselves.  Nothing we do will repair the relationship.  No matter how hard we work it won’t be ‘enough’.   We need a Savior. We need Jesus.

The beauty of it all is God did not wait around to think about what should be done after Adam & Eve rebelled.  As soon as God talked with them a plan was in place.  Read part of it here:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

God was not leaving Adam & Eve alone. God does not leave us alone. God’s heart desires to be with us in close community once again.  This is why God put into action a way to save Adam & Eve, you & me, the whole world. 

Nothing you do can keep you away from God.  Do not fear that you are ‘not good enough’.  See how God loves you unconditionally.  God has done the work.  Your response? Turn back to God & surrender.  Receive God’s love & forgiveness.  

In the days leading up to Easter we are studying further how Jesus is the Promised Savior we see in Genesis 3:15.  Each week a reading plan is included in This Week’s Challenge to study each day. You can also follow along on Instagram: @resolved_ministry.  Share what you are learning.

Our prayer for you in this season of Lent is that you see how dearly, unconditionally loved you are by God. Slow down to grow closer in community with God. See the new life God has for you in these days. See your Savior standing next you with His arms wide open.

This Week’s Challenge

Select a time each day to read God’s Word, the Bible.  Here are some passages you can read this week in your devotional time:

  1. Genesis 1-3
  2. Psalm 51
  3. Exodus 12-14
  4. Leviticus 16
  5. Malachi 1-3