A Soul Care Plan is a good way to start the year with intentional focus on your spiritual journey. You can complete a Soul Care Plan for 2018 by clicking on the link –> Soul Care

Today’s scripture: Matthew 18:19-20 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Vivian Wyatt):

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name. —
 Gary Portnoy and Judith Hart Angelo

The theme song from Cheers; it describes an Oasis perfectly. Some days the job, family, friends, life can be a bit overwhelming and we need to take a break. What better way than to spend a little time with friends who are glad to see you when you walk through the door and give you hugs when you leave? Unlike those in a bar in Boston, people who care about your spiritual life and will encourage you to grow.

My Oasis is a joy. I love showing up at and being greeted with smiles and hugs. We catch up on what has happened in the last week; we tease one another; we study; we pray; we laugh…a lot. We are there for each other in the hard times too. It is comforting to know that there is a group of people that will be praying for you and standing with you when life happens; to comfort you and celebrate with you.

There are so many benefits that can be derived from belonging to a small group such as LifeJourney’s Oases; not the least of which is “stayability.” That’s a word that I just coined to describe a person’s ability to remain connected to a church. Thom Ranier did a study of people who began regular attendance at 200 churches and discovered that people who joined small groups, who were connected, remained connected to the church at a much higher rate than those who did not.

Thought for today: “For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them. ~ Jesus  Link to the online Soul Care plan — www.soulcare.cc.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.