Crossing New Frontiers

2016 marks 170 years since the Applegate
Wagon Train crested the Cascade Mountain Range near Ashland, Oregon and a weary
band of pioneers viewed the beautiful Rogue Valley for the first time. These
were brave pioneers who accepted a risky invitation to be the first people to
take an untested alternate route into the Oregon Territory.

Three years after moving to southern
Oregon, I discovered some of my relatives were on that first wagon train, a
fact I did not know when Jan and I moved here in 1999. Since then, I have
studied the history of the Applegate Wagon Train and the imprint some of my
relatives left on the developing history of the Oregon Territory.  Each of these early travelers followed the
inclinations of a pioneer spirit. They traveled to what was called, “The
Frontier.” The dictionary describes a frontier as the border of uncharted
territory. Crossing a frontier grants a person access to the discovery of a
land of promise.

This is a moment in time when God is
calling His Church to rise up as pioneers in all fields of human endeavor. Each
mountain of culture requires a pioneer spirit to cross its border and unearth
its potential. Many in the Church have been parroting existing facts and
following the lead of others in discovery for several generations. Our response
has been reactionary, not revolutionary. This has produced lives orbiting
around the known and familiar. It is time to break this orbit. Join your life
to the invitation of God’s Spirit to step where no person has stepped before.
Like a spacecraft breaking free from a known orbit to travel the expanse of
space toward a new planet, we must be willing to do the same. The season of
imitation and repetition is over. Expansion is the nature of God’s Kingdom and
exploration is the spiritual DNA of His people.

Each new frontier is crossed by someone
who was willing to risk the first step of an unfamiliar journey. Engage the
risk and take the first step toward what you are seeing with the eyes of faith.
The substance of things not yet seen with the natural eye will become the map
for your journey. When you finally arrive at the frontier call back to those
still living in settlements of predictability and repetition and invite them to
break camp and join you at the edge of the frontier. Together, you will cross
over into an unimaginable place of discovery.


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