Cornerstone Family Ministries
"Individual and Family Wholeness"

Newsletter April 2007

Simply Jesus !

For about three years my wife, Marveen, and I drove 120 miles one-way from Anchorage to Seward to minister at a house church fellowship that we had started. We relished the two or three hours each way that we could spend talking about our visions and dreams or any old thing we pleased. It almost always seemed like the time went too fast. Granted, sometimes during the winter, it occasionally would get a little scary on the road when the wind was blowing or near white-out conditions existed…but we loved it.

It was on one of these trips when our discussion centered around several gnarly church situations that we were aware of where pastors, leaders and congregations were at odds with one another and the fur was flying in an all out “church war.” About twenty minutes into that discussion, Marveen, in her most sincere manner, said, “Wouldn’t it be really nice if folks would just stop all this bickering and keep their eyes simply on Jesus?”

A Spiritual Tattoo…”Simply Jesus!”
There was silence in the car as the Holy Spirit tattooed those words “simply JESUS” into our hearts and minds. Simply Jesus. Simply…Jesus. That phrase just came alive in both of as and we began to share how those two words really captured the desire of our hearts. In our fifties, we had tasted of the fast lane of life, workaholism, and acquiring “things” that cluttered our lives. We longed to simplify our lives and live a life of quiet awareness of the things that really mattered. And, most of all, we both felt a keen drawing of the Spirit to also unclutter our spiritual lives and focus simply and purely on Jesus! We hungered to read the gospels and to get a fresh view of Jesus –the Word made flesh – the Son who came to reveal to us the Father and show us what God is like.

From that day to the present, our quest has been for that simplicity and a closer relationship with Jesus. Once we set our hearts that direction, it has been amazing the books and people that have crossed our path to encourage us in our goal. Joe Girzone’s “Joshua” series of books came alive to us as he so incredibly paints a picture of Joshua (who is actually Jesus revealing himself in modern day settings). His books are laced with vivid descriptions of how simply Jesus lived his life and how simple it is to walk with him in that WAY. Richard Rohr’s book on simplicity really turned my crank as he described the benefits of a simple life. Clair Cloninger’s book, A Place Called Simplicity, was the icing on the cake. Her piercing vision of a pure and simple relationship with Jesus in our everyday lives is about as good as it gets. Everywhere we turned, there was more encouragement.

What is clearest in my heart as I write this today is how much I long to LIVE a simple life and have that simple and unclouded relationship with Jesus…without all of the religious trappings or expectations of my own religious self or that of others.

Come Unto Me…
When I read those words from the lips of Jesus…”Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, take my yoke upon you and learn of me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS” it is like a clarion call from Jesus himself to walk with Him, learn of Him and from Him. Can you hear it?

Wayne Coggins


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