How Will You Fill Your Time?
Happy August Everyone!
For me, summer is a time to really take in nature and surroundings, breathe in the outside, be thankful for the time we can roam around our world in comfort, without having to bundle up and run from building to building….
I love it! That is truly the time when I feel alive!
A recent message spent some time talking about what author Brian McLaren would call “alive-ness.” In fact, he writes, “What we all want is pretty simple, really. We want to be alive. To feel alive. Not just to exist but to thrive, to live out loud, walk tall, breathe free. We want to be less lonely, less exhausted, less conflicted or afraid….more awake, more grateful, more energized and purposeful.”
And I respond…..YES!!!! Isn’t that what we all strive for? This feeling which allows us to look around and exclaim openly everyday…. “THANK YOU JESUS!” The problem with this thought, we all seem to be searching in places that really don’t provide the feeling we’re searching for….sure, we find it in stuff and events and experiences…but it’s often short lived and we’re off to find it again.
Honestly, that deep joy, peace, success, and that settled feeling….it’s found in Jesus.
The more we search all around us for these things, the more we are pulled away from them. Have you ever thought of it that way?
When asked the question about how you feel when surrounded by our faith, whether during prayer, worship, times of study, discussion with friends….how often would you say it is a fulfilling feeling? Do you ever walk away from church without feeling satisfied, full, joy? Isn’t it true that a week started with worship seems to be a week started in the right direction? Just maybe, a sense of feeling alive?
We are committed to continuing the message and providing for the opportunity to feel alive. But just like everything around us, each one of us will choose how we will fill our time.
Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John:
7 if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
With summer winding down, our scheduling will be gearing up again!
Please pay close attention to our calendars and plan to be a part of all that your church is committed to providing for Christian fellowship and faith building.
We are told that:
...the more we draw near….the more God will draw near to us (James 4:8)
What a wonderful way to feel alive! Be Blessed!
Where is God? If we look, we can find him…
On September 11 of the year 2001, I had been in my first church appointment as a pastor for almost two years, serving in youth ministry prior to that time. I will never forget the images pasted in my mind from that moment our world as we knew it was changed forever. I read recently that those in high school have lived with our changed world almost their whole lives if not all of it, with no memory of 9/11.
Within two hours on that morning, both towers of the World Trade Center had collapsed after having been hit by airplanes full of people and rescue efforts began almost immediately….for at least a week, that was all you could watch on television or read in the news, if you were able to get the news.
Our world was pretty much put on hold as we sat captured by what was happening around us. It didn’t take long and we watched people by the hundreds post pictures of their loved ones they couldn’t find. We all asked questions like, “why did God let this happen?” “Where was God?” “Why?”
The nation experienced a revival at some level. People returned to church to have their questions answered.
A recent event in our community has reminded us that tragedy happens, our lives are shaken and we still ask questions, “Why God, why?”
It certainly is not an unusual question. It isn’t hard to imagine we have all probably asked that question at least once in our lives. Where are you God? And fortunately, we don’t have to look too far….
The Bible is bulging with stories of pain, extreme circumstances, full of emotions which forced people to the depths of their faith and caused them to wonder if everything was going to be okay.
Remember the Israelites as slaves…..They cried out to God and through Moses, their prayers were answered…they were saved….And as they made their journey from captivity, God sent an angel who went before them and behind them to keep them safe.
You see, our world will always fight the darkness. But in the midst of that, we can hold on to the knowledge we have a God who always goes before us, holding out his hand leading and guiding, loving and holding us…we have a God who is always present and seeking to lead us in paths of righteousness, that is always true.
And in those moments when darkness tries hard to overtake the light, his presence is there to overcome, to give us hope that everything will be alright, that his love is real and true.
Where is God?
If we look, we can find him….
he is always before us and behind us……
as we heard on Sunday night, in the trees and in the doves
and in the strawberries, the rainbow over the church….
God lets us find him….
for this we can be thankful…..
Hold on, God’s love is there…Hugs!