Sometimes even the leadership of a church finds itself in difficult circumstances. In this case it's cancer, and also in this case, it's Nancy. I must say, I was in shock, really not knowing how to react; rather numb. But we are adjusting, and I know it sounds trite that our comfort is in running as fast as we can to the Lord, but it's true. That's not some self imposed salve. It's real. He's real. We thank Jesus, Yeshua, the Lord of the universe, that He has control. And also that His history has been written and preserved for us to glean and find both comfort and direction in these times of stress. Let's listen.
Although none of us ever want to be in that place in life, some of us have sometimes been there. Never give in. Never give up. The blind man that called out to Jesus as He passed by, pressed by the crowd; that's who we want to be when in those difficult times.
All of us have a tendency to protect ourselves from being too self-disclosing. We build artificial walls and those walls are oftentimes the very thing that keep us from building healthy, strong relationships. Today we'll take a closer look.
Sometimes when we wake in the morning we feel "hey, life is so good", and other times it's a struggle to even get out of bed. And in between those moments are the ups and downs, the connector points, the things that make up the stuff of life.
Wisdom is our subject. We are in Proverbs, chapter 3.
We all want more peace in our lives, but how many of us are willing to shut up and listen. Why is it so important that others know our opinion about everything?! So much disagreement can be turned to unity if only we learned patience, keeping back, listening. Result... a quiet heart. Peace.
Our guest speaker today brings an interesting perspective. If they say you're a door, or you're a signpost, as will be discussed this session, I think everyone understands that you're not, really. These are just examples, metaphors. But what about a temple? That's real, and that has power. Power to change you. Power to change others. Your life is completely and irrevocably changed when the power of the Living God, the person of the Holy Spirit, because of Jesus Himself, has taken control of you.
When Adam was first made by God, his body was not alive. Funny... never really thought of it that way. He was in a sense dead, at least until the Spirit of God moved on and in him, "breathed" on him, and suddenly Adam had life.
Once again, practicing the rituals of a particular religion is not what gives your spirit life. Even at the group level, if it's comprised of nothing more than a collection of spiritually dead people who just attend periodic rituals we call church, you've got a dead church.
We're looking for life both on the individual and corporate level. Now you've got something.
For those of us who have gone through devastating circumstances, to the point where we really didn't think our heart could take much more without failing, these are the times when we need real comfort, the kind of comfort that can bring back complete rest in our hearts.
This week we're looking at Peter in the courtyard. It's a story we've all heard so often that the tendency is to not listen too closely. And that ends up being the central issue, doesn't it. Focusing on ourselves, and then, when the pressure is on we react knee-jerk style. This isn't about focusing about others. It's about focusing on ourselves in a different way. Getting quiet, learning to talk to our Living Lord, learning to listen and being willing to be honest in self assessment.
...and they do more times than not in most of our lives. Life is supposed to be long periods of peace interrupted only be brief periods of difficulty. At least that's the way we hope. What is our immediate response in tough circumstances. Let's dig in to find out the best way.
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