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.

What Exactly is a ReSolved Faith?: Acts 24

“I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets.”

Acts 24:14b

When I was 14 I stood up in front of my faith community to publicly confess my personal faith in Jesus Christ. As part of our tradition the pastor blessed each individual saying a specially chosen verse just for that individual. We did not know what the verse was until that moment we knelt to hear it said over us.

My verse:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

This verse originally written by our friend Paul was first shared with the followers of Jesus in Rome.  After Paul stated his Roman citizenship in Acts 22 he knows that he will arrive there safely.  He shares his teachings in this capital of the world confident that God is carrying out the Gospel to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8). 

Despite the arrests, the trials, the beatings, the persecution Paul remained resolute in his faith.  He was not deterred one bit.  Some days were difficult.  Others were good.  No matter what the day brought Paul was resolved to share his faith story with everyone he could so each person would have his/her own faith story.

Paul teaches us how to live a ReSolved Faith. 

What is it exactly?

First, it is a commitment to continue to grow in trust with God.  Beginning one’s faith journey one discovers his/her need for a savior.  A person sees that despite all ‘good’ deeds or efforts nothing will earn one’s salvation.  Only the life, death & resurrection of Jesus Christ freely given can do that.

Next, ReSolved Faith is living one’s faith in the 168 hours of the week.  Faith is not to be compartmentalize as something we do on a particular day of the week.  It impacts each aspect of our lives.  It is the perspective that we see others & the world through.  It is the reason for the joy we experience in life.  It is the source of the calm we have during difficult times. 

Lastly, it is not being ashamed of our faith.  This is the blessing my pastor gave me on that day I publicly announced my faith. It is how Paul lived his faith throughout the book of Acts. Being resolved is being authentic.  

We will have questions. But we turn to God Who knows all things. 

We will have fear.  But we trust in Jesus completely to walk through the fear together.

We will stutter. But we know that Holy Spirit gives us the words to speak with our voices so others will hear.

Friends, your own ReSolved Faith can begin today.  It starts by surrendering.  You can message me anytime. I am willing to pray with you as you begin your own faith journey. 

Oh the journey that God has for you is a beautiful one.  It has incredible adventures.  Amazing sights.  It only takes one step towards God.  The rest is taken care of by God. Are you willing?

This Week’s Challenge

Surrender to God whatever it is holding you back from fully trusting God.  Reach out to a friend to pray with you & bless you with God’s Word.

Acts 10: God Does Not Have a Favorite

“Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.”

Acts 10:34

What’s your favorite thing to do on a day off?

What’s your favorite color?

We all have favorites, our go-tos in life.  Favorite song. Favorite meal. Favorite book to read.  Favorites bring us comfort.  We love them for a reason whether it invokes a beloved memory or helps us feel connected to a loved.  We keep our favorites close to us.

This week we spend time with Peter as he prays and receives a vision from God.  He is led by the Holy Spirit to meet with three men who are not Jewish to share with them the Gospel story. Peter learns to not judge others because God loves them as much as God loves Peter. God does not show favoritism to any of His people.

Peter believed that since the Jewish nation was God’s Chosen people than those who were Gentiles (non-Jewish) needed to become Jewish to be saved.  Rather God teaches Peter that all people are loved unconditionally by God, regardless of nation, class or gender.  

We can become exclusive by spending our time with those things/people that are familiar to us.  We feel comfortable around them so we spend more time with them.  But by doing so we can lose out on new experiences or new relationships.

God teaches us through Peter the importance of accepting others.  As we journey along with Jesus we learn from God’s perspective.  We begin to see anew other people and other experiences.  God works in our hearts to not be judging but rather accepting.  We will not always argue with one another but we can learn from one another. 

As God does not show favoritism we do not show favoritism.  God welcomes all to a walk with Jesus Christ so shall we welcome all people.  We may be tempted to shape someone to be the “right type” Christian first.  But we must remember that God accepts us just as we are, right we are.  God does not show favoritism meaning some can come as they are while others have to change first.  All are welcomed at the feet of Jesus as s/he is that day.

So as we live the The 168 Life, we love others as God loves.  We get to know people for who they are as God created them.  We pray for God to open our hearts to love openly, to open our eyes to see one as God sees them. We share our story with Jesus with all so all may have their story with Jesus for themselves.

Let us show God’s love for everyone by loving all. Pray in your daily walk to see as God sees, to open up to new experiences with new people.  Pray that you do not show favorites because God surely does not show favoritism.

This Week’s Challenge

Meet with someone who is different from you.  Learn from one another. Each share who you are, what makes you unique.  See what God loves about this individual and how you can come to love them.