Wow! I was looking at my photos in Dropbox yesterday and I hit upon all my pictures from the three trips I have made to Israel. How exciting it was as I viewed our 2007 archaeological study tour with Ashland Theological Seminary, our 2010 pilgrimage with CLC, and my 2011 Missions journey with four friends from Chicago as we toured the land while ministering in missions work among Russian Jews in Haifa.

While those times and pictures are very precious to me, I am also reminded that we are returning to the Land in November and we get to share it with many who have never been there before.

I am passionate about the Land of Israel and about sharing it with others.

And I am challenged by that BECAUSE, I wonder how passionate I am about sharing Jesus with others. Certainly, as a Pastor, sharing Jesus is part of the assumed role and I fill that well BUT, am I, James Vernon Garrett the man, passionate about sharing Jesus?

If we can be consumed by a place, by a sports team, by a family, by anything else, then what hinders us or what sidetracks us from being consumed by Jesus?

This is NOT intended to “beat any of us up”, nor is it intended to produce a false humility among any of us – instead, it is to provoke a thought that perhaps we can move deeper in love with Him – with the Author and Finisher of our faith – with the Object of our true worship.

Be challenged this day. Accept the challenge – and dig a little deeper.

On another note:

What a Sunday we just completed. OCF had all the students, teachers, administrators, and staff from all of our represented schools: kindergarten, elementary, jr. high, high school, college, grad school, and technical/vocational school with public school, home school, and private school representation – and we individually prayed, accompanied with the laying on of hands, for each one. It was a special time and I know that we are going to bear good fruit from this effort. God is going to be in the midst of our schools in a special way this year.

Also, we had a time of unity building among our pastors, elders, and deacons that was incredibly priceless. The following morning, I received an email from one of those in attendance that ended with this statement: “More and more I think the Holy Spirit is taking hold of our church …”

To God be the glory!!!

Pastor Jim

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