Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Let’s remember to be grateful and all things as in first Thessalonians five and not complain or argue about anything as in Philippians four.

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Exceptional?

This past Sunday we discussed being obedient and faithful to God. How do we remain obedient because we want to and not because we have to? We examined two stories from the book of Daniel about men who were faced with a command to turn away from God. In Daniel 3:17-18, Shadrach and his friends said, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Their obedience was motivated by strong faith and they were not deterred when faced with opposition. These men did not falter in their faith at all. It’s important that we understand our motivation for following God so that, in hard times, we are not tempted to turn away. Have you ever thought of why you are a Christian? Who are you doing this for?
“It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes” -Oswald Chambers from his book “My Utmost For His Highest”
What ordinary thing can you do exceptionally in obedience to God?
Some of our answers were as follows:
· Forgiveness
· Smiling at others
· Listening to others
· Giving time and not expecting anything in return

 

God is Calling

I believe God is always trying to get our attention (which is why I wrote the “Becoming Ever Mindful” book) and it is our position to answer that call. There are many stories in the Bible where people were confronted with a choice to answer God’s call or disregard it.
This past Sunday, we talked about Isaiah. In Isaiah 6:1-8, we see a man who is in a troubled situation. It is important to know a bit of the context of this story. King Uzziah was a Godly king who reigned for 52 years but disobeyed God at the end. He was then struck with leprosy and died (see 2 Chronicles 26:17-18)! This is what had just happened when Isaiah received this word from God. The king who he respected and came to trust had recently fallen from glory and been judged harshly for it. Isaiah clearly was confused and feeling unworthy as he called himself and his nation “unclean.”
What I love about this portion of scripture is that God asks the question, “Whom shall I send?” He left it open for Isaiah to answer or not answer. Although Isaiah felt unworthy and did not understand God completely, he still answered, “Here am I. Send me.”
God is calling you in the midst of your mistakes, confusion, and even your unworthiness. Are you going to answer?

Happy Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Remembrance Day, and Armistice Day! This is a picture of my grandpa Joe Eddy (second from right). I think it was taken in the late 1940s. The things they did back then (and many countless others are what gives us our freedom today)! A debt of gratitude is owed which can never be paid but acknowledgement is a step in the right direction.36679B01-211E-4D73-9F27-13BC157F2DCC.jpeg

Fear vs. Trust

This past Sunday, we finished the series “Your Brain is Playing Games on You.”
In light of Halloween, I spoke about fear. Fear generally comes from a place of a lack of understanding. In Joshua chapter one, we see a story about Joshua taking on the task of finishing the job of Moses (who had recently died). In God’s opening statement (1:9), He says to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I can only imagine walking beside Moses all that time and watching God doing those amazing miracles through him. I cannot imagine what Joshua felt like knowing that God is now going to be doing those things through him. Talk about big shoes to fill!! We must remember God’s promise and learn to trust Him.
The video we watched (Brain Games, season 3, Trust) reminded us that our brains are actually hardwired to trust. Our amygdala is constantly working to evaluate if we should fear or trust a situation. Due to the way our brain works, there is a constant conflict in us between trust and logic.
Isaiah 26:4 encourages us to, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
It is important for us to know God’s word well enough that the logic side of our brain is encouraged by the trust side and we learn that we can trust our perfect God even in an imperfect situation. This will give us strength in those times where we are fearful.