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A pastor, a friend of mine, has recently moved from Minnesota to Arizona. He spent the overwhelming majority of his life and ministry in the south Twin Cities area. He and his wife ministered to the same church for over 30 years. This next observation all of us "Northerners" can relate to; he and his family were very accustomed to harsh mid-western winters. I was shocked along with many other of our pastor friends when he (Mark) informed us they were moving to the Grand Canyon State. Now, this is a very common behavior amongst those who we traditionally call "snowbirds". Snowbirds are those who spend the majority of the winter in a southern state such as Arizona. Sometimes they even decide to stay as they find the climate more accommodating in their later life. Janet and I have spent multiple Februarys in the Phoenix area while attending Tommy Barnett's pastor and leader school. Obviously, it is a great ministry growth event, and as a bonus, it is a short reprieve from 20 below zero. Mark has all of his sermons on video and I had the opportunity to hear his final message from his previous congregation. I was also able to hear portions of one of his first messages at his new calling. His sermon "icebreaker" was about the similarity between Phoenix and Twin Cities weather. Almost every one of the catchy sayings concerning the extreme weather was relatable. So, whether you are in the Midwest in January or the Southwest in July the facts remain the same. Ironically these observations only rang true in both situations because of the extreme nature of the climate which residents must embrace. For Midwesterners, it is 20 below and piles of snow and for Southwesterners it is 110 above and constantly on the run! Mark commented about how everything is just so hot to the touch. The saying in Arizona is, "we go from our air-conditioned homes to our air-conditioned cars to our air-conditioned places of work and any anything else we do is based upon whether there is air conditioning or not." For us, it's just the opposite; we make these decisions based upon knowing there is sufficient heat! Yes, there's always the rare exception where people like that kind of weather, but the overwhelming majority of Midwesterners take into consideration the extreme nature of the climate. Remote starters for vehicles, which are wonderful, are very popular in Arizona. So what does any of this have to do with a spiritual application? Think of this article like a Geico commercial. You will remember the point because of my unique observation. My observation comes from the book of Revelation, Jesus says, "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15-16 ESV. Jesus wants you to be hot or cold (consider my weather application) because if you're lukewarm he's going to spew you out of His mouth. Another great red letter thought.

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