As Westside launches into this Seven day fast, I want to think about the region God has put us in. We are not here to conquer Central Oregon. There is no “us vs them” in God’s Kingdom work. It’s all about the love of Jesus – it really is. So, as I think about this land that I was born into (Redmond, 1970 by Dr. Unger), what comes to mind are several really amazing things:
1) Its beauty – I’ve traveled all over the world and our mountains, lakes, rivers, and deserts are one of the most diverse and majestic lands I’ve ever seen.
2) Its pace – I’m down in Los Angeles right now taking a class for my Masters degree, and let’s just say I’m really thankful for the pace we have in Central Oregon. It’s not just about how we drive, but how we think, what we prioritize, and how we live.
3) Its growth – I’m not sure what the actual statistics were back in 1970, but we had a much smaller population then we have now (my guess would be at least 70%). The reasons are numerous, but I’m sure our beauty and pace have something to do with it.
4) Lastly, I think about its people. Everywhere I go, I’m struck by goodness and brokenness. Both coexist in our region like salt and pepper on a good steak.
This morning, as part of the fast, we are reading Numbers 13:26-33 where the spies who went into the land God promised Moses and Israel came back with a report of what they found. It reminds me that we should take a moment and think about the land God has given each of us – the place where you live, where you work, where you play. What do you appreciate about that place and those people? What are the challenges you face? How might you pray for them?
Lord, I pray for Central Oregon. You know how much I love the place where I was raised and now pastor. You’ve given us this land and these people, not as a conquering territory, but as a people to whom you love and sent your Son. That everywhere Westsiders place their feet, would be established your grace and goodness. Give us this land as an inheritance, not in the physical, but in the spiritual. Break down barriers that exist in people’s minds and hearts. Give us the words to speak with boldness and kindness. Fill us with your Spirit so we can tear down strongholds that exist over this land. Strongholds that are keeping your people locked up in fear and addiction. And Lord I pray for the rain of your Spirit to fall on this land so everyone will know that you are a God that loves them and desires relationship with them. May your Church find favor here and everywhere you call us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen