Let my passion for life be restored, tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me. Hold me close to you with a willing spirit that obeys whatever you say.
Brene Brown, a well-known author and researcher, says often it is much easier to live disappointed than it is to be disappointed. She used this statement to illustrate how we often “don’t get our hopes up” in case of hurt or setbacks. We don’t want to allow ourselves to be vulnerable to the pain that often comes with life. Now, we all know that this is no way to live the full life we are given, but I know most of us can fall into that rut.
Let us encourage one another to live in the fullness that is already ours. We have gone through quite a challenging year and many experts in human behavior have likened it to a traumatic event. Hold each other up in these times of (what seems to be) recovery. Remind others of the gift they are to the world and remind yourself of the same. Do not live disappointed, waiting for the next hard loss. Live in the fullness that is ALREADY yours. - Meghan
This past week, Pastor Don spoke about the men who were walking along the road and met up with Jesus. They did not recognize him at the time. They were clearly disheartened. I love how the Passion Translation puts His words to them: Jesus said to them, “You seem to be in a deep discussion about something. What are you talking about, so sad and gloomy?” https://my.bible.com/bible/1849/LUK.24.17-18
He was not minimizing their pain, but He was asking them about it. I guess I do understand these men’s viewpoint: They had always thought the Messiah would come in Majestic form and would basically overthrow the oppressors of their people. To have Jesus crucified and buried had to have been devastating. They likely had lost hope and were walking around stunned and unable to really believe what has happened. Jesus wanted to see their reaction before He revealed Himself.
I was thinking that sometimes that is the case in my life. I see this MOUNTAIN of a problem and I cannot see that there is help available to me. If I just look past my frustration and heartbreak, it’s there. I feel like there are times that I truly do not allow God into my struggles (why? I don’t think He can help?!? I’d rather hold it all on my own?!?). I suspect I’m not the only one who does this.
Growing up, I carried my burdens myself. I wanted to let them go and talk to others about them, but that was not a tool I’d ever been taught to employ. I know that as an adult I often revert back to that practice. I have to consciously make the decision to give it to God. I remember during one very difficult time in my life with a very dear loved one, I literally pictured myself holding this person in my arms and handing them to God. I had no other recourse in this situation and I needed a very concrete visual to help me remember that I was not in charge of this situation. Some days I used that visual multiple times because it was so helpful.
God wants to know when we are gloomy and sad and He wants to walk the road with us. He will always pick up the load and walk alongside if we really look for Him. - Meghan
That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.” “What things?” Jesus asked. “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Check out our sermon from Sunday here:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die."
God, I trust you. You're either going to change this problem or you'll change me--- but one way or another, I'm going to find LIFE in this.
Wise words from Pastor Vicky this past Sunday.
Check out our service here
Have you ever used the SOAP method of Bible study? In the past, I used it pretty regularly and I was looking back at some of my previous entries in my journal. It made me wonder if others have ever done this.
When we refer to the term SOAP, it stands for SCRIPTURE, OBSERVATION, APPLICATION and PRAYER.
I have used this with difficult passages, but it works quite well for more familiar passages as well. Take for instance, the passage of Jeremiah 29:11 which you can find here:
Using this method would look something like this:
S (Scripture)- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
O (Observation)- The things I take away from this are that God has an understanding of who we are and what He has planned for us. He is not winging it, but He has a clear destination in mind for our lives and it is GOOD!
A (Application)- Often I find myself getting lost in the “what if’s” of life. What if the future doesn’t look the way I’d like it to? What if I mess things up? The questioning can go on and on in my brain and I can take myself off the rails, but what I have learned is to stop and think about this: If God is in control and His plans are good, then why am I spinning out of control in my thought process? I do it more frequently than I’d like to admit, but I’ve gotten better at reigning it in. This verse was a HUGE part in that.
P (prayer)- Lord, I find myself getting way ahead of myself (and YOU). Remind me in the uncertain times that You are in control and your plans for my life are good. AMEN.
Let us know if you’ve ever used this method and your experience, or try it in your own quiet time. –Meghan
With my last devotional, I mentioned that our God is a God of love and pretty much only love.
So if that is the case, where does all the bad and evil in this world come from? Well, I have a few ideas: One is that there are evil forces in this world.
Another idea is that humans bring the bad upon themselves. This is usually what we call karma and sometimes it's a good thing and we may need it to set us back a few steps. Is karma stemming from God? Is it another natural force on this earth?
One last idea I've had is that the devil is at fault for all the evil in the world. I mean, he did start with Adam and Eve and persuaded them to eat the forbidden fruit.
So are we a continuation of that today?
I believe it is a combination of all three. I believe that there are reasons that we have these experiences, not sure about what the reasons are but I know they’re there.
What would this world be like today if we didn't have dark spirits, karma, or even sins starting at the time of Adam and Eve? -- Mara Fiedler
I'm sharing the last verse of my Grandmother’s favorite hymn. So many afternoons she would sing this to me when trying to get me to nap. Seemed fitting for Easter Monday!
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian- Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King.
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find
None other is so loving, so good and kind.
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
Jesus said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me,
though he die, yet shall he live.” John 11:25