Greetings to my followers. I am back on target with my blogs. I am thrilled to get settled into my new role as Senior Pastor of Highland Christian Center in Portland, Oregon. You can stream the services weekly at 11:00 PST, at www.hcclive.com. The church life is exciting and Madeline and I are expecting great things for the future. We have a great team and staff. The church is rapidly growing with almost 600 in attendance last week and 58 people responding to the Gospel message, becoming born again Christians, in the last three months. Not only that, we have added over 70 families and Baptized over 20 individuals in the last three months!
The underlying theme, and my congregation can verify, has been “Operating in Love.” We have gone through two six-week series, the “Unstoppable Church and Discovering Your Gifts: Unleashing the Church” and love has been dominant through both. In both series, it is undeniable that love must be the lifeblood of the church and it is what gives us strength to grow and overcome challenges. I believe our church is growing rapidly because we are walking in the love of God. People are drawn to love. In fact, God is love. If we can walk in love, it can change the world. It is clear in the Scriptures that love never fails. True love looks beyond the faults of others and sees the possibilities and what can become. Thus, love must be the key component in our relationships.
Our nation continues to wrestle with the lack of love across all spectrums. It is disappointing to see hate, murder, crime, and maliciousness in so many instances. The world of politics is filled with hatred and a lack of love. A lack of love is demonstrated in the heinous behaviors we read about daily and through rhetoric that separates us as Americans. I point to the missing ingredient: love! Love can overcome the evils of our day. Don’t be dismayed, keep loving.
Love recognizes the power of forgiveness in relationships. Love means respect, honor, and dignity. Perhaps you are going through a difficult season in your life right now because of the lack of love. Let love rule your heart and change your circumstances. Learn to love, learn to grow. Love will never fail to change our lives for the better.
Dr. Shon Neyland
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