Welcome back to the blog for 2018! This year we are diversifying and adding categories different to the current Sisterhood blogs. We’ve even invited the fellas to contribute, and they’re a bit excited! We’ll be covering topics that layer wisdom and resource to our current growth track at Strong Nation Church, so you’ll see sections for ‘Connect’, for ‘Equip’, for ‘Family on Mission’, as well as for ‘Discipleship’, ‘Leadership’ and whatever else we dare to dream or imagine. And we’ll still be writing for the Sisterhood! This is all in response to the sweet whispers and promptings of the Holy Spirit. And that seems like a good way to kick off for 2018. Sometimes the scope of my future feels positively overwhelming. Where do I start? How will I accomplish this? What if I miss something? Where do I invest myself – my time, my energy, my finances? How do I do family well in the midst of all that? What do I say ‘no’ to? These are often the questions I’m fielding at the beginning of every year. And, every year, the questions are quickly resolved by one simple God-whisper that comes to my heart while reading His Word. “Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18 MSG) Accompanying this beautiful passage of Scripture came that familiar, trusted whisper: “Unveiling Jesus”. Those words have danced around me for several weeks with a holy sense of anticipation. I’ve learned to recognise the power of these whispers in shaping my course and ordering my steps. So I began to jot down in my journal what a year might look like spent in the pursuit of “unveiling Jesus”. There is going to be a day when Christ returns to the earth in an entirely different manner to how He first came. The Book of Revelations indicates He will come on a white horse, ready for war, His robes dripping in blood, a sword issuing from His mouth, bearing the ultimate wrath and judgment of the Lord over mankind. It will mark the end of this world as we know it. But that’s not how He came to us. He came in the form of a helpless infant – a precious baby – born in difficult circumstances, enduring great hardship but continually drawing people to Himself, restoring dignity, meeting need, healing the sick, performing miracles, creating family, teaching incredible revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven, of a God who was more a father than an angry deity. He was a living, breathing invitation to a relationship with our Creator, to the payment of a debt we could not pay, to a restoration of our original purpose and design. Isaiah painted a picture of an unveiled Jesus centuries before He came – statements like “exchanging beauty for ashes”, “the oil of joy for mourning”, “liberty to captives”, “a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness”. He spoke of the restoration of ruined cities and lost generations and broken hearts being healed. He was to be the bearer of good news and double blessings and vindications. This is a Jesus who removes every obstacle that would prevent us from coming Home. This is a Jesus who extends the most beautiful, humble invitation to each and every one of us – signed with His blood – to redeem our brokenness. This is a Jesus who reveals the true heart of Heaven and beckons us to bear that truth. So, as I contemplate a year of “Unveiling Jesus”, I am so excited that the theme of our church is “Light it Up!” I believe God is going to light up His invitation, His beauty, His wonder, His power in ways that truly unveil all of Heaven for each of us and those around us! Just like that verse in the letter to the Corinthians, our lives will gradually become brighter and more beautiful, and He will reveal Himself in us. I’ve even begun thinking about how I can express all that in very practical, tangible ways from the atmosphere in my home, to how I serve my family, to the physical environment of our church gatherings to even how I treat myself. Lots to chew on – every mouthful sweeter than the last! How powerful are those simple God-whispers! What is He whispering to you, sweet girl? Be confident to fill that space. He faithfully goes ahead of us to make a way and solidly backs up His word to us. What might God “light up” for you this year? I cannot wait to see!