This Christmas season was also my Grandmother’s 8oth Birthday party in El Paso, TX and the video my sister made with photos and music to celebrate the seasons of her life brought tears to nearly all forty people in the room. To celebrate life and family is such a gift from Jesus. He is the author and perfector of our story and he has written such an amazing story for my grandmother Jean Taylor Darr. Jesus is the resurrection and the life and he has granted her such joy in her life. For me to watch a video of someone’s life is really precious to see the story they lived. But after the emotions are over, I have to ask myself those eternal questions. There is something greater going on. What happens when she is gone or someone else is gone. With my Grandmother I see the joy of Jesus in her eyes, smile, service and interaction with others. But that is not the case with everyone.
In Acts 1:8 we are to preach the gospel to Judea, Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth. Judea was the geographic location nearest in proximity to the disciples who receive this command. Who are those nearest in proximity to you? In the last letter I talked about mourning the seasons of life and proper mourning includes moving on in joy and sadness in the good and bad and accept your current reality. I talked about the seasons I have missed with my family. Well this Christmas in El Paso I was given a chance to be back in my Judea around my family for this Christmas season and grateful for it! My Judea are those closest to me, my family and that should be my first place to live out and be the gospel “good news” of Jesus. Not everyone in my family believes or lives as if Jesus is their Lord and that is ok as long as they know the decisions they make. I hope to radiate through my life the beauty of Jesus Christ and the depths of his love and mercy. I am sure I have a long way to go at being a true example of Jesus to them.
The second command is to go to Jerusalem the next nearest circle of geograhpical influence. My Jerusalem consists of my friends, community. In my past I have done a great job at sharing the gospel with the ends of the earth other countries and Samaria complete strangers and bypassing my family and friends. In fact many ministers of the gospel have been accused of missing their families and friends. Trying not to miss this part of Acts 1:8 I really enjoyed my time with co-workers and friends with Athletes In Action. Fifteen of us had a great time skiing, snowboarding, playing games in Breckinridge, CO over New Years Eve and then at Copper Mtn. and Winter Park. My family hosted us the first day and last day in denver. Both my close worlds got to meet and interact and I was very thankful. Our time together was such genuine fun and community I am thankful for this group of friends and close body of Christ especially in the holidays when people can feel lonely. Our group was a healthy community that operated as a family. Thank you Jesus for community to keep us from despair and self-pity.
Who is in the Judea and Jerusalem of your life that you need to love and be a blessing to? What steps will you take to capture precious moments with them?
It is hard for me to set boundaries but I feel that I am trying to live my life with some healthy emotional boundaries. There are many of you that were once in my Judea or Jerusalem that I knew really well and haven’t contacted personally in a while. That is weird for me because I seem to feel so connected to almost all my friends. I am trying to learn what emotional balance looks like and how to live it out. I can’t wait to catch up with many of you.
Jesus is continuing to keep me free from sexual impurity and quickly make me aware of pride and ungodly motives in all aspects of my life. I am a living testimony to the cleansing power, mercy and love of Jesus Christ. He is so good and I am continuing to fall in love with and be needy for his bride, the body of Christ.
Thank you for your giving and your partnerships in prayer and resources!
I am currently in Daytona Beach. Fl and studying my butt off in two master’s level courses Intro to Christian Theology and Bible Study Methods. We have classes 8-12:30 Mon-Fri and Study the rest of the day. It goes through Feb 6th. Then I hope to connect with friends, coaches, former teammates in Florida giving my testimony and raising financial support.
Please consider joining my team again financially, increasing your giving, networking for me or hosting a dinner. Those are ways you can best help me at this time.
Also Please pray for me to meet my wife. I would be more than blessed to begin that journey with her.
Playing every inning for Jesus,
Nicholas Taylor Hargrove