Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

“The Summons Song,” John L. Bell and Graham Maule, 1987

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That’s why we ourselves are bragging about you in God’s churches. We tell about your endurance and faithfulness in all the harassments and trouble that you have put up with. This shows that God’s judgment is right, and that you will be considered worthy of God’s kingdom for which you are suffering.

2 Thessalonians 1:4-5

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Paul can’t help but brag about these new Christian believers. They’ve been tough and stayed the course, even when people harassed them.

Do you know what that’s like? Do you see people roll their eyes or make mocking comments about religion? Thanks to what people see in movies and TV, many have a negative opinion of Christianity. It can be hard to say you believe in God, let alone go to church!

No one wants to be associated with negative stereotypes of religion. But this passage urges you to not give up! God is the one whose judgment matters.

Pray to know how and when and where to share your beliefs in a way that speaks from the heart. Pray for the wisdom to show in your actions who Jesus is, that others might be drawn to him too.

I had a friend who used to sign his letters, “For the cause that counts.” He was proud to be a Christian. He knew his was a cause that could change the world.

Cari Pattison

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God, it’s not easy to talk about faith.
So many look down on Christianity.
Show me the real Jesus,
so I can speak of him with confidence,
sensitivity, and joy.
Give me hope in the midst of harassment,
trouble, and suffering.
And help me speak up for others
going through it as well.

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The question is not whether God has called you.

The question is how and where and whether you will say “yes.”

Go into this day brave.
Go into this day believing.
Go into this day knowing
that you are already enough.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison loves being a pastor. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she’s been a minister at The Reformed Church of Bronxville — near New York City — for almost ten years. She moonlights as a fitness instructor, having taught Jazzercise, yoga, barre, and Pilates over the past eight years. Kansas City will always be home for Cari, whose refrigerator is covered with pictures of her three baby nieces.

Reflections on the Way: Jesus the Very Thought of Thee/How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place

Ken Medema

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