we’re so close, but we still need you

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My brother:

This is awesome. We’re so close to meeting our goal of raising $45K by New Year’s Eve, but we still need your help! We need to raise $10K in the next two days . . . so that we can continue bringing you our very best stuff in 2018!

Every dollar counts—and donations are 100% tax deductible.

DONATE NOW, and Help Us Carry On in 2018!
IMPORTANT: We currently have a Matching Grant in effect >> two of our board members will match any gift you make today or before 11:59 PM PST, December 31st with one of their own. In other words, the impact of all year-end donations will be DOUBLED.
Strength and Honor, Love and Gratitude,
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Gather Ministries795 Folsom Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94107

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What this Year Might Hold

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

What this Year Might Hold

The Lord is my helper; I will not fear—Hebrews 13:6

We have an enemy, brother, and he is a liar. He “fills the world with lies” (John 8:44 MSG). He doesn’t tire of his work . . . and he is clever. He reserves certain lies, holding them, waiting for the right time and for the right men. For he knows that some of his lies are more persuasive at certain times and under specific circumstances.

As we stand now, looking out at the expanse of a new year, he knows it’s time to whisper fear into the minds of men. He’s whispering, to those who’ll listen, to be afraid of what trouble might be coming. He’s whispering this lie now because he understands our nature. He knows we like control. He knows we like to know what’s next. He knows it’s difficult to feel “in control” when facing the uncertainty . . . when anything, really, might happen. And so, he knows it’s time to take advantage.

We confront a choice, therefore. We can accept his lie, shoulder the fear, shrink back and focus on survival by returning to things that offer us just a little comfort—work, food, alcohol, pornography, distraction, withdrawal. Or, we can reject his lie, spurn his fearmongering, hold tight to the promises of God, and move forward—trusting that no trouble will surpass God’s ability to protect us and care for us.

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” (Romans 8:15-17 MSG)

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What Worked? What Didn’t?

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

What Worked? What Didn’t?

. . . he is a new creation. The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come—2 Corinthians 5:17

God’s at work in us—every one of us—whether we can see it or not (Philippians 2:13). He’s working to transform our character into the character of his son, our King, Jesus Christ. And he’ll continue working until the work is complete (Philippians 1:6). Our job is to join him. Our job is to follow Jesus and work ourselves, in obedience, to increase the amount goodness and light in our lives . . . and to decrease the opposite:

“. . . do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:14-16).

Who among us doesn’t need more goodness and more light? That’s rhetorical, of course. And when’s a better time to increase our intentionality about increasing our holiness than at the beginning of a new year? That’s rhetorical too.

So how do we? Well, we get intentional by looking at the choices we’ve been making—whom we’ve been spending time with, the practices we’ve been engaging in, the experiences we’ve been enjoying. We get intentional by taking time to reflect upon those choices . . . and upon their results. And we get intentional by deciding which relationships, which practices, which experiences we’d like more of, going forward, because they increase holiness—and which we’d like less of, because they don’t.

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Failure is on the Menu

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

Failure is on the Menu

I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships,
persecutions, and calamities—2 Corinthians 12:10

We men are often just wrong about failure. It seems we’ve all decided that if we ever experience failure, we’re then failures. It’s not true. Failure is integral to human life, the way God designed it. Look at Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Peter—all experienced failure, because they were mere humans. Mere humans fail every so often . . . and it’s good that we do.

Failure refines us. We mature through failures because we learn from them—much more than from successes. Through failures our character is formed (Romans 5:3-5). No man can become who he’s supposed to become without experiencing some failure in his life. Failure also fuels us . . . or, rather, the potential for failure. While we may not like failure, we like to face its potential. We like to be tested. It’s why we like competition. It’s why we like risk. It’s often the excitement of uncertain outcomes that drives us to learn from failures and improve, in the hope of avoiding more. But the potential for failure must be real. And when it is real, we will sometimes fail.

The danger, of course, is in getting stuck—in the shame of failures past or the fear of failures future, or maybe both. When we do, failure defeats us: we live dull lives, devoid of daring. But we need not get stuck. We can, instead, reject the shame of failure and learn to deal with it—by acknowledging fault; confessing and repenting (if sin was involved); facing any consequences; allowing God to teach us what we need to learn . . . and thenmoving on.

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Blessed to Bless

“My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

Blessed to Bless

Good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
running over will be put on your lap—Luke 6:38

Have you been blessed? [Pause for a moment to consider.] What’s your reaction to that question? Is it easy to see how and how much you’ve been blessed? Or is it difficult, especially with so many people around who’ve been blessed more? Well, make no mistake; all of us have been blessed (Genesis 1:28). I mean, do you have a job, some money, enough to eat, a safe place to live, family, some friends, a church, or an education? It may be in unique ways and in varying degrees, but we’ve all been blessed . . . abundantly.

So how then should we think about these blessings? I mean, how can we reconcile the fact that we’ve been blessed with so much—so much more than countless men and women alive right now in other parts of this country and around the world?

The only way to think about our blessings, brother, is to view them as means to bless others. And the only way to view ourselves, then, is blessed to bless others. You see, knowing what we do about God and about his intentions for us (Matthew 22:36-39), how could we ever conclude otherwise? How could we ever conclude that we’ve been blessed simply so that we may live in comfort and security and isolation? What kind of story would that be, anyway? No, we must view these blessings as personal invitations into God’s much greater story of blessing other people.

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