I am kind of slow; physically I don’t run well anymore and mentally well that is too big a subject for this morning… I am beginning to see the need for repetition of themes. That is why the Logo is in the corner.
Headlines seem to be the same every day. When you have time to watch the news or look at the headlines sometimes they are hard to live with. It seems like doom and gloom daily and the hope of a magic ticket to solve all my and your problems.
- Fiscal Cliff 2012: 8 Things You Need to Know – Someone should tell leadership if they know.
- Best- and worst-run states in America – Again, I’m not sure what to do with this information; I am not moving based on headlines.
- Toddler’s close call caught on camera – I remember losing my daughter at Costco and being terrified, I would have hated for the world to see me not supervise my children, and exploit it for the sake of news.
- Powerball jackpot balloons to record $550 million; Powerball winners offer words of warning- Dueling headlines – I’d have to buy a ticket to find out if I could handle prosperity. Hmmm….
- Egypt court sentences 8 to death over prophet film – Dictatorships after a time of rebellion to initiate free speech???
- Israel seeking new leverage in Gaza - Tehran Times - Credible source?
Where is there a safe place to go? I need to be in the place where I am cared for, loved and my closest friends are when my mind wanders to the headlines. I get questions from people who I love. I’d like to think I have answers because of the years I have lived and the experiences I have had, both painful and thrilling. They sometimes start with why…I know in my heart I don’t have enough information to answer any of those questions so I depend on a different source. Wisdom according to the Bible comes with gray hair and what I have left is mostly that color – but what I have learned lately is relationship and closeness are related. I believe that is wisdom, God’s Word applied.
Instead of asking the why question – I need to use the wisdom of God‘s word in my life.
Hebrews 10: 23-25 let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings,because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscienceand our bodies washed in pure water. And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works,not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near.
I listened to a radio preacher give this example and I thought you might like to read it.
“A pastor heard that one of his parishioners was going about announcing to one and all that he would no longer attend church services. This rebellious parishioner was advancing the familiar argument that he could communicate with God just as easily out in the fields with nature as his setting for worship. One winter evening, the pastor called on this reluctant member of his flock for a friendly visit. The two men sat before the fireplace making small talk, but studiously avoiding the issue of church attendance. After a while, the pastor took the tongs from the rack next to the fireplace and pulled a single coal from the fire. He placed the glowing ember on the hearth. As the two watched in silence, the coal quickly ceased burning and turned an ashen gray, while the other coals in the fire continued to burn brightly. The pastor’s silent message was not lost on the parishioner. After a long pause, he turned to the pastor and said “I’ll be back at services next Sunday.” In Community Is Strength. From The Sower’s Seeds, copyright 1990 by Brian Cavanaugh, T.O.R., p. 72. Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ 07430.
The warmth of God’s love often comes in closeness and connection with His people. If you have been missing someone or many someones tell them you love them. Don’t try to correct their behavior, pray for them encourage them, and love them. Encourage them to do good things in God’s name.
Grace and Peace – Mike
When I ask people, most of them are on the friends and family plan. We are thank full for the way in which our family and friends live with us – forgivingly and graciously. We are thankful for the good things that happen in our lives and try to overlook the things we don’t like. It is hard to overlook the bad things even with a full stomach sometimes; but life is like that. We recognize that God only gives good gifts when we read our Bible, but we also recognize we don’t always like the packaging. When you need to be reminded, check into His word.
Remember God this thanksgiving. Remember His great gifts.
1 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
2 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
3 Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
4 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
5 Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
6 you children of his servant Abraham,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
7 He is the Lord our God.
His justice is seen throughout the land.
8 He always stands by his covenant—
the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
9 This is the covenant he made with Abraham
and the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
Let the whole world know What He has done. The Psalm explains God’s gifts and His faithfulness, to the people of Israel. But we get included in His never ending promise because of Jesus. The cross of Jesus is a gift we don’t often like because of its gruesome appearance and the reason Jesus’ suffering was so great. The cross is the result of our sin and God’s remedy. The gift to us is forgiveness and grace; His greatest wonder and miracle is in the forgiving of sin and the rescue of His people. Thanksgiving is so much more than Parades and Floats, Turkey and Ham, Potatoes and Dressing, Pies and Cakes. Thanksgiving is being truly aware of the greatest gifts we have, and that we can share them. God’s never ending covenant is available to all.
Last week we looked at Psalm 46 seeing God as our center, our hope, and our strength. These words help us to calm down. I think it’s important to look at the Psalm again this week and pay attention to God’s care.
1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
God loves us so much; He’s always available, He never leaves us. He is our strong place of care.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Selah
Natural disasters are not outside God’s control, we are cared for in His love.
4 A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High.
5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it.
God Himself provides for us, He brings Joy to us in the same way He provides water for the rivers it flows from Him and we don’t need to work for it or channel it He provides it.
The nations on the other hand oppose God. They do not see his strength, His character or His care for His people. Time doesn’t change people, or their character. Rebellion doesn’t have a timetable. In this case, this Psalm is a warning to the powers of the earth that God is truly sovereign.
6 The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! 7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
Selah – rest
We may not like hard times, but they surely cause us to be dependent upon God. To know that not only is the God of heaven among us, but his armies are with us as well. He is our fortress, our protector, and the place we can find peace.
The next section is a warning to those who do not trust God and rebel against Him and His protected people. This is an invitation to see God at work!
8Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how He brings destruction upon the world.
9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; He burns the shields with fire.
God at work is glorious. He cares for his people by destroying the systems of the world that separate us from him. He causes the wars to end, by his hand. He destroys the weapons of the world that are used to cause division and fear. This next verse is a comfort to the believer and a warning to those who struggle against God.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Some versions use the words cease striving, it could be stop struggling, stop being disheartened, rest and relax- I have this under control. To the believer these are words of peace, and hope that God will be honored among all the nations. To the rebellious this is a warning; I am God— I will be honored not only in these nations, but throughout the world.
11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
The Lord of heaven’s army is here, and so is our Lord. Immanuel -God with us He is our fortress and our strength. Our refuge and our shield; Our deliverer, our salvation— the very image of God; Jesus whose name means God saves.
Calm your heart!!! —I hope you see the irony in the title.
Psalm 46:1 For the music director; by the Korahites; according to the alamoth style;a song.
The people of Israel were not different from us, their pressures, their families, meals , their lives, their stuff – they needed to be reminded like all of us MINE is never the right answer- Everything belongs to God. This is a song sung by people under stress.
46:1 God is our strong refuge; — Our refuge and our strength our place of comfort-remember?
He is truly our helper in times of trouble. –HebrewPoetry repeats and reemphasizes the line before so that we will remember. Sometimes we can forget the truth and live in the idea that we can take care of ourselves. That we may not need a place of strength or a protector of any kind, we don’t need anyone to run ahead of us and prepare the way or behind us and protect our backs. We have it covered!!! Pressure reveals character, and character only forms when we make consistently good choices like following Jesus and remembering that God Himself is our strength, our place of comfort, and the person who comes alongside and slows our heart rate. Our helper is defined as an ally, deliverer, support, in this case the ONE who supports. So if I read this right – I am supposed to run to God when stress happens –– and it will—- I am not supposed to handle it on my own without assistance, without prayer, without support, — I am supposed to be dependent. Dependence sounds easy, but I would rather do it myself, which is one definition of sin, anything not done for God’s Glory is sin. If I must do it myself; that sounds like sin. Sounds like I should pay attention. So what problems could these people have compared to me and the problems of the 21st century?
46:2 For this reason we do not fearwhen the earth shakes,
and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea,
46:3 when its wavescrash and foam, and the mountains shakebefore the surging sea.
Remember these people Sons of Korah were swallowed up by the earth because of sin. They rebelled against Moses at Sinai.
(Selah ) No one really knows what this means – could be simply pause and think about what you just read or sang. Calm down remember-
46:4 The river’s channels bring joy to the city of God, - Rivers and water means life to desert people. The special, holy dwelling place of the sovereign One.
- If God makes His home in the city it must be safe! If God makes His home in my heart it must be safe! 46:5 God lives within it, it cannot be moved.- Repeating the idea if you didn’t get it the first time. God rescues itat the break of dawn. –His mercies are new every morning— so rest easy! 46:6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms are overthrown. _
Even if nations seem out of control God is Sovereign and has it covered, you can’t fix the world only God can. God gives a shout,the earth dissolves. – If He can create be speaking He can do anything He wants.
46:7 The Lord who commands armies is on our side ! The God of Jacobis our protector!!
(Selah) – Rest !!!
This is my devotion this morning, I thought maybe somebody else was feeling stressed too. If not God bless you and maybe some other day you will be stressed and need to remember to rest.
Bridge to Life
Starts: 05/26/2013, 12:30 pm
Ends: 05/26/2013, 1:30 pm
Awesome (Sr. High)
Starts: 05/26/2013, 5:00 pm
Ends: 05/26/2013, 7:00 pm
Men's Bible Study
Starts: 05/27/2013, 7:00 pm
Ends: 05/27/2013, 8:00 pm
Engage (Jr. High)
Starts: 05/29/2013, 6:15 pm
Ends: 05/29/2013, 8:00 pm