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

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

Expecting the Unexpected

We do not always get what we want BUT…. God ALWAYS provides us with what we need. #resolvedfaith #prayer

I learned this lesson when I got my rescue dog, Lia seven years ago.  I had wanted to get a dog once I was in my own house. I had done the research into what breed was the best one for my life.  After hours of research I found Boston Terrier was the breed for me. They are smaller. Friendly, active, can get plenty of exercise indoors during the long, cold Minnesota winters. 

So the next step was to connect with a rescue group & adopt my forever pup. Into the search box goes “Boston Terrier” and out comes some pictures of really cute dogs.

As I was scrolling through the available dogs I stopped on a picture of a black dog with big ears and an odd looking pink bow.  She was not the cutest picture in the lot but there was something in her eyes.  I knew I needed to meet this puppy.

The thing is she was a Black Lab/Corgi mix.  Nothing like a Boston Terrier.  But I needed to meet this dog in person.

We set up a home visit with her foster parents for the following week. This non-photogenic dog arrived at my house and has never left.  From the moment she entered the house she was at home.  While we talked with her foster mom this pup wondered around the house as if she lived here. 

Lia and I have been best friends for over 7 years now. She does a little dance each time I come home whether I have been gone for an hour or a week.  She is so happy that I’m back with her.

She hangs out with me while I’m working at home (albeit most of the time she’s snoring or sleep barking). When I am able she’s always up to go on an adventure with me.

I may have thought I wanted a smaller breed of dog but what I needed was this furry best friend.  I cannot imagine exploring life without her.

As we journey along with Jesus we pray for many things.  Some of which we think we want something specific because from our perspective it’s the best thing.  What we don’t always consider is what God knows what is best for us. 

God knew that what I truly needed was a best friend to go on adventures together. Sure, a Boston Terrier would probably do the same but Lia was the friend God knew I needed.  

As you pray go ahead and pray for what you want but also continue to pray for the open heart to receive what God knows you need. Be receptive to the unexpected gifts God has in store for you. You know it is exactly what you need even if you may not know it at the time. 

Well, my unexpected best friend and I are going to go out on an adventure before it gets too cold.

How to Navigate When the Easy Road Isn’t So Easy

There is a misperception out there that once a person becomes a Christian life becomes easy. Somehow by following God all problems melt away, heartache is not a part of one’s life.

Hear this — this is a lie. Life does not get easy once a person becomes a Christian. In fact it could be argued that life may become more difficult.

I don’t say this to scare you but to be authentic. Satan roams around the world to destroy us. The enemy does not want us to grow closer to God. The enemy does what he can to stop us from being changed by the Holy Spirit. 

Here’s the hope to cling to — Jesus faced temptations from Satan also. In Matthew 4:1-11 we read how Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to the Wilderness where He fasted for 40 days! Only then did Satan come to tempt Him. Jesus faced the same temptations as we do and He did not give in. He resisted all temptations.

Now Jesus is the Son of God.  He is fully God and fully Man.  He is perfect.  We, human beings, are the created and are not perfect.  There are times we will stumble but all hope is not lost. We freely receive God’s grace to begin again. So let’s learn from Jesus how we are to respond when temptations do arise.

Jesus responded with each temptation with Scripture. He quoted Deuteronomy from the Old Testament. He understood the power in God’s Word and knew the Holy Spirit was with Him. Jesus shows us how to navigate when the easy road isn’t easy.

In your life there are hardships. The enemy does attempt to stop us from growing closer to God. When those times do come follow Jesus’ example. It is 2 Steps:

  1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to be with you
  2. Speak God’s Word to the enemy

Each day read the Bible even if it’s only a handful of verse. Memorize verses so God’s Word is written on your heart at all times. Over time you will see how God’s Word infiltrates your whole being.

Pray throughout the day. Stay in regular conversation with God the Father. Ask to see how the Holy Spirit is with you so you can recognize it during the not so easy times.

The road is not always easy. Problems arise. Heartaches happen. Satan tries to separate us from God.  Remember NOTHING can separate us from God’s love.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Speak God’s Word.

Pray to see the Holy Spirit.

Then the not so easy road becomes easier to navigate.

This Week’s Challenge

Memorize Romans 8:37-39 so you can speak Truth when times become difficult.

Finding Shalom: Peace in the Midst of Anxiety

These are uneasy times. Lots of unknowns. There are more questions than answers. Each day I hear from another person how they are struggling with anxiety.

We all are searching for peace in a time of what feels like chaos.

We are not the first ones to have some doubts about the future. After Jesus’ resurrection there were some disciples who saw Him but still doubted.

“And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted.”

Matthew 28:17

They did not know what was coming next. They knew Jesus was fully alive and returning to Heaven but what about them? What were they to do, or go?

Jesus’ response to those who doubted and to those who at the same time worshipped is what we now call the Great Commission:

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

He assured all of them they are not alone. They are given the duty to tell others the good news about Jesus and through  the Holy Spirit teach them how to be a follower of Jesus.

They had shalom with God, wholeness or oneness with God. Whether there was doubt or worship all were given God’s peace.

For us today we have shalom with God as well.  Jesus gives us His peace by the Holy Spirit to serve through our worship and our doubts.

The enemy tries to cause us to feel anxious because we can’t answer all the questions. We don’t need to answer them all. We only need to point back to Jesus.

Friends, have the peace of God in all things. 

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Philippians 4:6

Live in the Shalom of God today and everyday. Be one with God. Rest in His arms.

As you feel anxiety creep in, pray: “God, blanket me with Your peace right now. Help me have Shalom with You alone.”

Having doubts is not wrong. Staying in doubt is not growing in the Lord. Give your doubts to asking to trust once again. There you find true Shalom with God.

This Week’s Challenge

Pray the prayer about whenever you feel anxious or doubt this week.

3 Ways to Keep in Step with God

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:25

If someone is to be follower one needs to know how to follow. How does one follow when you can’t see God?

Think about it this way: a person can’t see the wind but knows it is there and goes in the direction it blows. God’s leading is similar in that we may not see Him but we learn how He leads us. In today’s post we explore 3 ways God leads us.

First, we listen to God by reading the Bible. See, the Bible is the Word of God teaching us faith and life with Jesus. For anyone new to reading the Bible it can be confusing. I recommend starting with a Reading Plan. Also answering these 3 Questions will help you in understanding the Bible.

  1. What did you just read?
  2. What does it mean?
  3. How does it apply to you, your family, work, life and community?

Over time you will hear more clearly God speaking to you. Your questions will adapt as well.

Another way God leads us is in prayer. Prayer is our conversation with God directly. It is where we share our joys, fears, worries with Him. It is where He rejoices with us, comforts, heals and teaches us. So keep talking with God and listen to that still, small voice. Test to see that it is God. Keep praying and following the Lord.

A third way God leads us is in community with other followers of Jesus. Those nudges we get in our Bible reading & prayer are confirmed by our faith community. Faith is not to be in isolation. God created us to be in community with one another. As a united body we follow Jesus together keeping in step with the Holy Spirit.

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.”

Matthew 19:14

Jesus welcomes everyone to come to Him and become His follower. If you are on the verge of faith be assured that God is leading you. Trust the insights you hear from reading the Bible, gut feelings God gives you in prayer and the ministry opportunities for you and your faith community.

This is not an exhaustive list of how God leads us His followers. It is a list to get you started in following His lead.

Set aside 15-30 minutes this week to read, pray and reflect on where God is leading you. Then take the first step in being obedient to that leading. See where God takes you.

This Week’s Challenge

Schedule time in your calendar to reflect on how God is leading you. Share any insights with your small group or church community.

Go Ahead and Hit the Refresh Button for Your Life

The week after Christmas is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Work slows down just enough to allow for some dreaming to occur. New Year’s Day is just around the corner to provide the best natural restart. Anything is possible. So why not dream big?

During this last week of the year I become giddy as a child waiting for Santa.  January 1st is the day I can start using my new planner.  The blank pages contained within it scream to be filled with new hopes and dreams. They wait with great anticipation to record the adventures during the new year. Oh the joy is uncontainable!

Remember those habits you want to change or start doing?  Why not start new on January 1st?  Those projects you have been meaning to start?  Start them once the ball drops in Times Square. 

It’s almost like hitting the refresh button but only for your life!

As a disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ we are given our own “refresh” button each morning.  Every morning brings a new beginning in the Lord.  Regardless of how far we think we strayed from God we can turn back to Him and receive His grace and forgiveness.  We get to out again serving the Lord with our whole selves. It’s like every morning is January 1st.  

If you are not a follower of Jesus yet today is your own “refresh” day. Surrender your self to Him and watch the great things God will show you. Don’t fear if you think you don’t know “enough”. Have a willing heart to learn. Connect with other disciples and do life and ministry together. Serve together and watch the Holy Spirit sow seeds of faith.

The beauty of the Christian faith journey is grace. One is not required to be perfect. A humble heart that is willing to serve is what God seeks. The questions we have we can ask and watch how God answers them. Stress is relieved because we know God’s in control. We can enjoy the ride. 

As you take time this week ask God to help you hit the “refresh” button. See what plans God has for you. Be open to new possibilities, different perspectives. If one day takes you away from Him know that each day you can hit the refresh button and start anew. 

Dream the big dreams God has for you.  

Enjoy the adventure. 

Each morning hit the refresh button and serve with a humble heart.

This Week’s Challenge

Take a blank piece of paper and dream how God is equipping you to serve this you.  Post it to your social media and share throughout the year the fun adventures God has for you.

An Ode to the Strong Kocher Women

Motherhood is a beautiful love a nurturing woman has for either her children or any child in her life. God blesses her with children in many and various ways. By birth. By adoption. As an aunt. Or a foster parent. A grandmother. A teacher. A pastor.

Sometimes the children are physically in her life for decades, years, seasons or days. Regardless of the length a mother’s love never ends for any of her children. Her heart aches for each of her children whenever they are apart.

Women provide positive role models for all to follow as they serve and lead in ministry and life. Their strong resolve and tenacity demonstrates the importance to persevere through the messy middle of any change. Many women lead by example without fanfare. They continue on shaping lives and culture.

The women in my family have been some of those quiet, tenacious, resolved women without any statues to commemorate their great love. Some raised children. Some worked careers when women were “supposed” to be in the home cooking and cleaning. Others were great aunties to their nieces and nephews, biological or not. Each of them set an example of unconditional love for everyone.

I know this isn’t the typical Mother’s Day blog.  Smelling of sweet roses with crispy bites of yummy Sunday brunch. It is one meant to say thank you to the women in my family who sacrificed for those who came after them. It is one meant to encourage every human being to love unconditionally, persevere through adversity, lead by example by serving humbly.

The Kocher Women (my maternal side of the family) all did what they had to for their family.  They loved despite the disappointments. They worked 2-3 jobs to provide. They cared for others, blood or not. I have the opportunities I have in my life because of each of them. I am a strong woman because they showed me how to be strong.

They taught me faith requires one to step out of comfort zone to fully trust Jesus. Leadership doesn’t come from title but with integrity. Family comes by blood and love. Family holds each other accountable in love and walks with one another through thick and thin.

I will never have my own children to raise but I will continue to pass on those lessons to the next generation.  I strive to be a model of a faith that steps out of the comfort zone trusting Jesus. To lead by example and humility. To love unconditionally through thick and thin.

Yes, mistakes will be made. Grace and forgiveness shared. But love remains through it all.

Thank you, Mom, Grammy, Grandma Kocher, Aunt May, Aunt Mildred, for being strong Kocher Women. Thank you for empowering and equipping me to be a strong Kocher Woman. May each person who comes after us be strong in the Lord as each of you were, are and I strive to be.