OBSERVATIONS: Not Looking Behind, But Pressing Toward The Mark
March 23, 2001

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Dear WPA

My thoughts this morning are reflective. I was looking at our membership list. Already, 19 of 49 members have no first hand idea of what 30 of us went through just three months ago. As time goes by, and I believe it is already happening, we are developing our own unique identity.

We had a distintiveness, right from the beginning, because we gathered together around an idea and a belief that we should conduct ourselves, in this assembly, just as we would if we were meeting together in a room somewhere, every day of the week. The idea: that we were more than a list; more than a place to practice spiritual hit and run.

I can sense that separate identity coming forth now. We gathered together around a desire for mutual respect; for the opportunity to present ideas, and even words from the Lord; and to have them judged and not flamed, in an attitude of love and care. We gathered together around the foundation that Jesus Christ is our life. We will not be diverted or pulled away from that central foundation. We will not accept a Jesus+ gospel.

The church where I serve here in South Florida also came out of another church, almost 7 years ago. At first, we were defined by what we came out of. We would talk about it often. Then new people began to come in, and people who had come out with us left, because it turned out that they never had been from us. It took some time, but we developed our own identity. Now, you can't find any hostility in any of us toward the church we separated from. We don't want to imitate that church...don't get me wrong, but we don't spend our time meditating about what is wrong there...we spend our time meditating on Christ and on loving one another. The same thing is happening here, only more quickly.

I think it is wonderful that we already have 19 new members, many of whom have already begun to post and express themselves. I'm excited to see just exactly how our Lord Jesus is going to lead this "New Work For A New Millenium".

I'm going to try not to look back any more, with the Lord's help, because more than 1/3 of our members have no reference point for that time anyway. As time goes by, there will be less and less connection with those events, until we become a fully separate and uniquely formed instrument of the Lord.

As the leader, it begins with me, and so: it begins!

Have a wonderful day as Jesus Christ is formed more fully in your life and mine today.

Stephen L. Bening a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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