I have been hired by a fortune 100 company. I am waiting for my start date that should be in the next two weeks. I have been in touch with a supervisor from the denomination where I served within the traditional church. We have begun a dialogue about possibly offering input regarding the simple church movement—as it has been labeled by some. It appears that this season of our journey is drawing to a close. It is my hope that those reading will find both encouragement in our story as well as strength to carry on with their journey. As we look out over the horizon of 2015, there is much uncertainty, many massive dark clouds of hopelessness. The Bible speaks of this is the gospel of Matthew. Jesus and his followers are in Jerusalem during one of the celebrated feasts. His followers—the disciples—are enamored with the magnificent beauty of Solomon’s temple. Jesus uses this to paint a less than happy picture of the future. This intrigues the disciples who later ask him to explain what he meant. There are two very important things to point out in this portion of the story. First of all the reality of Jesus is that he is not always happy happy, joy joy! To be sure, there is supposed to be joy in the journey. In another place he tells his followers the world is full of trials, testing’s and tribulations—not a very happy thought. However Jesus follows that reality up with this profound statement. “But be happy for I have overcome the world?” The second reality of Jesus found in this portion of the story is only those who were intrigued—that is curious enough to ask him about it—found out what he was talking about. Religion assumes based on statements Jesus makes. The assumption is that he meant this or that while a pure heart will wonder what that means. The reality of a relationship between the disciples and Jesus is what allows them to come ask him. So understand; Religion will say, “He already spoke, now figure it out,” while one in a relationship with Jesus will ask, “What does that mean anyway?” This may sound trivial, but it is vitally important to understand in the time in history we are entering into. Back to the story (found in Matthew 24) Jesus states that wars, famine and natural disasters’ will increase. He then says that these events are only the beginning of sorrows—the connotation is that of a woman beginning her labor contradictions. He then outlines a series of dreadful events that will follow. In the middle of his story he adds this encouragement, “It is the one who stands firm until the end that will make it.” Why am I saying all of this? I believe that this journey that my family and I have experienced can serve as a message of hope in the midst of whatever testing’s, trials or adverse situations you may find yourself in; don’t give up! Stand firm. There are other’s who have been there and made it; you will too! We really cannot loose for winning!