A New Season

A New Season

Original Post: August 7th, 2019
Monthly Newsletter Article

Dear Family,

The past several months we’ve followed the voice of the Lord in making a big shift in where we meet as a church family for our corporate worship gatherings.  When we moved from the main sanctuary in the space we are in currently, we simply were following His voice and being obedient to His direction.  As a leader I could see the benefits and possible reasons why He might be leading us that way.  A natural outcome was that we were in a smaller space and more intimately connected in the way we met.  Everyone is seen and even heard in this space.  There’s no room or place to hide.  It brought us into a simplicity of gathering again.  There wasn’t the big fancy sound system, stage, or media equipment we’ve grown accustomed to.   Another obvious thing is that we don’t currently need a huge space to gather...but was that the reason alone?  We weren’t totally sure, just being honest, but what we were sure about was that He was leading us out to what I’ve begun calling the front porch.  It’s been a wonderful season of remembrance.  And truth be told, I’d be satisfied meeting in that space indefinitely.  HOWEVER, I’ve been hearing His voice again and feel a shift is coming again.  I want to share with you what I feel the Lord has been doing in us and why it’s time to return to the sanctuary in September.  

A few weeks ago, a couple of our young men here at JPC asked to make an appointment with me during office hours to share something that the Lord had spoken to them.  One of them in particular had been in prayer with his wife for JPC and God had spoke to her Ezekiel chapters 7 & 8.  When he read them he was initially like oh no this is terrible.  Until he kept reading and then he heard the Lord say this is why JPC has moved to the outer room.  

To make a long encounter as short and sweet as possible and still give you the weight of it, I’ll paraphrase...  This section of scripture finds the nation of Israel in a terrible state.  The temple is filled with wickedness, idol worship and just over all abominable things are taking place.  The Lord pulls Ezekiel up into a vision and shows him those who were weeping over the state of the temple and what it had become.  There was also a scribe and that was commissioned to mark those who were weeping over the temple’s state with a mark of protection much like when the death angel passed over the doorposts which were marked in Exodus.  This mark preserved these weeping intercessors.  The rest who were NOT marked were struck down by the angels who were standing ready at the word of the Lord.  The glory of the Lord went with those had been marked from the sanctuary to the outer courts of the temple where they worshipped and gathered.  During this time God speaks this promise over these people “I will give them ONE heart, and I will put a new spirit within them and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh that they may walk in My statutes and keep my judgments and do them and they shall be My people and I will be their God.”  
Eventually as you read on, after this process of purification and cleansing, the people do end up moving back into the temple from the outer courts and the glory of the Lord returns with them.  

There’s no way for me to share all of the details of why this is so significant a word to me in this newsletter but it absolutely rocked me.  Ezekiel is a book that has been one of significance for me for nearly 20 years.  I truly believe that Holy Spirit lead both Tyler and His wife Joelle to prayer for our community that morning that they heard this section of scripture for us.  I truly believe that the Lord gave Tyler and Nathaniel the word of the Lord to confirm what God was already doing in our hearts and to give clarity to our act of obedience.  

God has been bringing a purity and a cleansing to us individually, as a family here at JPC and I also believe that He is and has been marking all of those who are marked with weeping at the state of where the CHURCH has found itself.  He’s bringing us back to His heart.  He’s not willing to pour His glory out on those who will use it only to make idols.  But He is so willing to pour His glory upon those who have HIS heart.  I believe that in this past several months, He’s been giving us ONE heart, putting His spirit in us in a new fresh way, and giving us hearts that are soft and pliable instead of hard ones that are set upon our OWN way.  He is truly our ONE thing.  He is truly our God.  

I believe that it’s time to move back to the sanctuary.  September marks the beginning of a new season.  It feels like the time to return with soft hearts, shifted hearts, hearts made one by the goodness and the kindness of a passionate God.  

There will be more to come....but these are exciting days.   I’m so thankful for this beautiful family that God has given to us.  I love you.  He loves you.  There’s so much ahead for us....more than we can ask or think.  If you feel like you’ve been in a season of refining and purification it’s because you have been....but now comes a season of fruitfulness and His glory.  It’s coming.  We can’t stop it!!!!

~Emily Tedrow