Reach, stretch.

Reach, stretch, extend.

Reach, stretch, extend, and grow closer to our Living God who is present with you in this very moment!

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The righteousness that I have comes from knowing Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings. It includes being conformed to his death so that I may perhaps reach the goal of the resurrection of the dead.

Philippians 3:10-11

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A journey of faith is not always joyful, and rarely is it easy. Struggling with one’s faith is normal. In fact, struggling with your faith means that your faith is alive, and it is moving, thinking, wondering, feeling, giving, and reaching. Part of that struggle can include a bit of suffering on our end.

Our faith, at times, calls us to reach beyond what is comfortable for us because that is what Jesus did for us. If we don’t reach beyond what is comfortable, then our faith becomes routine, predictable, and limiting. Faithfully stretching ourselves helps us better understand what it means for us to be disciples of Jesus.

Suffering is a result of stretching ourselves closer to God. Just like stretching our muscles, you can’t get a good stretch without some discomfort. So, when those times come that your faith asks you to suffer, to go beyond what is comfortable, may you suffer well knowing that your faith is alive and growing.

Jeremy Wilhelmi

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Suffering Christ, strengthen me during those times I am called to suffer for your sake. Help me see that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us. Amen.

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God’s hand is always extended towards us. Reach out and grab it! And while you’re at it, since you’ve got another hand too, reach it out towards others, showing them the same love that God has for you!

Jeremy Wilhelmi

Jeremy Wilhelmi is the Associate Pastor for Youth at the Salisbury Presbyterian Church in Midlothian, Virginia. He is currently studying how certain common words in youth ministry such as “study,” “fun,” and “program” (to name a few) can have a negative impact on our ministry and is seeking to find the better words to describe what we do in youth ministry in a more faithful way. In over 10 years of youth ministry Jeremy has yet to grow tired of pizza.

Walking Toward Morning: The Love of God

Ken Medema -

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