Hey there Axis,

I just lost a mate, Nathan King, in the States. He was the 32-year old son of Carol, my former receptionist & office manager at Fountain City Wesleyan Church. He had an inoperable glioblastoma on his brain. As his name suggests, Nate was a king of a man. He was kind, introspective, nutty and God-honouring! As I say goodbye to yet another person to which I was close, I think of something Riaan Swart said last Sunday at Axis PM in his exquisite message on “How Can a Good God Allow Suffering?” Riaan quoted C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain when he said: 

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it’s his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Thank you, God for the blessing of pain. It has been a teacher and a disciplinarian to me. It has reminded me of whose I am: a son of the Most High nestled in the palm of His hand! For those of us enduring pain & suffering at the moment (and there are several of us at Axis), I offer this encouragement from Christ Himself:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” [Matt 11:28-30]

Maybe you could listen to a song like David Crowder’s, Come as You Are and meditate on these verses. Let me know you are doing this and I’ll join you from where I am.

This weekend at Axis, we are glad to be starting a stewardship series based up on The Blessed Life, by Pastor Robert Morris. In this series, we will drill down on the concept of giving and generosity. When we give from our hearts with no other motive besides giving, then God sees that generous gesture and His blessings rest upon us! I invite you all to come close and lean into this series over the course of the next several weeks. You’ll be glad that you did! See you Sunday. [The first person to physically approach me and say, “pain is blessing” gets a chocolate!]

Onward & upward,

Pastor Joel

Pastor Joel Heron