Archive | March 2016

Coffeehouse

Please join us for coffee, snacks, live music, and fellowship Sunday, April 3rd at 5:30 PM. Everyone is welcome to attend. Call 301-4803 for more information.

aprpil coffeehouse 2016

Ditching the Shoulds

In today’s devotional, reposted from Holley Gerth, the author suggests that perhaps we need to consider the word should and all its derivatives as profanity.  Read on with me to find out why.

“My counselor looks at me with a gentle smile as I finish sharing yet another expectation I’ve placed on myself. “You say the word ‘should’ a lot,” she observes. “I do?” is the only response I can muster at the time.

But over the next few days as I tune into my own language that initial reaction changes from “I do?” to “I DO!” My conversations are laced with the word. My thoughts are filled with it. Its synonym sisters are there as well: “ought to,” “need to,” “supposed to.” If “should” and its variations were cuss words I’d make a sailor blush.

bonnie_listI sheepishly showed up to my next appointment and told my counselor. “You were so right. I do say ‘should’ all the time! What now?” She had a brilliant idea. I was to make a list of all my “shoulds.” Then I was to go to Scripture and find verses to support them.

Here are some examples of items on my list:

I should be more of an extrovert.

I should enjoy getting up early in the morning.

I should write a to-do list every day and complete it.

Y’all—I wrote THREE pages. You can probably guess what’s coming. As I looked through Scripture, I found out that none of my “shoulds” could be found. I was making up laws for myself based on the culture around me (introvert vs. extrovert, morning person vs. night owl, structured vs. go-with-the-flow). And those laws came with expectations that led to shame and guilt when I didn’t meet them. I had become my own personal “Phari-she.”

When someone asked Jesus what mattered most He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” {Matt. 22:37-40}

Here’s the secret in those words: God gives us the “what” but He also gives us great freedom in the “how.” The ways we live out what Jesus said matters most are going to look different for each of us. Every “should” we create for ourselves is a love-killer because it takes away grace and turns what we do from heartfelt service to guilt-fueled performance.

Let’s start treating the word “should” like a naughty word in our vocabularies. And let’s replace it with an actual four-letter word of an entirely different kind: Love. That’s what we’re created for, what we’re intended to live from, what sets our hearts free.

What are your personal “shoulds”? What does God want to whisper to your heart instead today?”

(c)2016 Holley Gerth Used with permission  http://holleygerth.com/confession-four-letter-word/

Stones

Empty Tomb Worship SlideWhat do stones have to do with Resurrection/Easter Sunday? Click on the arrow below to listen to Sunday’s message by Pastor Marlan.

 

 

 

We are still having sound board issues, so we apologize for the continued problems with the sound quality of our recordings. Thank you for your patience.

 

Please click on the Publications page of the blog to view this week’s bulletin.

Praying for our Nation

Our nation is definitely in distress and in desperate need of revival. There are a number of prayer organizations out there that have excellent prayer guides to spur you on as you pray for God to move in our country once again. As One is a wonderful source for guidance in this area. They have a list of prayer guides and links to download them. http://prayasone.nationbuilder.com/prayer_guides  there is also a page on this site to sign up for a 40 day corporate prayer focus and receive a daily email reminder containing the prayer subject for each day.  http://prayasone.nationbuilder.com/join  Whichever guide you use or group you join let’s agree together for God to touch and heal our land.

Rolling Away Stones

Are there stones blocking your path? Really big stones that stop you in your tracks and prevent you from going forward? Today’s devotional, reposted from Rebecca Barlow Jordan’s blog, reminds us who can roll away our stones.

 

When Mary and the other women approached the tomb after Jesus’ death, they saw an amazing sight. They expected

Empty Tomb, Image Courtesy of www.HolyLandPhotos.org

Empty Tomb, Image Courtesy of http://www.HolyLandPhotos.org

to see the stone still hiding the tomb, and they needed a way to enter the resting place of their beloved Master. The stone represented a barrier to their goal: to anoint the body of their beloved Master with spices. I’m sure their hearts were still downcast as grief flooded their spirits. “Who will roll away the stone?” they asked one another.

These women were obviously not strong enough to remove it themselves. Some sources say the stone, which rolled along a carved-out “track” in front of the tomb could have weighed more than a ton. How could the women anoint Jesus’ body if the stone blocked the entrance? Imagine the women’s shock when they “looked up” and saw that the stone was gone. Who moved the stone? The gospel of Matthew answers with “an angel of the Lord.”

What About Your Stones?

Have you tried to roll away your own stones, only to realize that no amount of heaving or shoving would budge them? The obstacles are not made of stone, but they seem just as massive and powerful—and you feel helpless to remove them.

Whatever those stones or circumstances are, your “enemy” has been closing the entrance of your heart and mind, until there is no light remaining. You cannot see  read more

(c) 2016 Rebecca Barlow Jordan Used with Permission   http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/easter-is-removing-stones/

 

Holy Week

Today’s devotional by Stuart McAllister of RZIM asks that we slow down and truly consider the events of Holy Week and it’s import to our lives.

“The events the church remembers this week happened. They took place in a real city, in real time, with real people, 2013034945cross_of_christ_300and mercifully, real results. The crucifixion is not a story designed to make us feel good or guilty and guide the morals of culture and society. It was God’s redemptive initiative to heal the broken heart, strike the heart of evil, conquer death and sorrow, and open a way to a new kind of life and the restoration of all things. Holy week invites us to respond to who God is and what God has done, to celebrate the mercy, grace, and love of Christ in the gift of so great a salvation, to discover life in the cross for the glory of God.

It could be just another week for us, governed by speed, demand, shopping, news, politics, and entertainment. Or paying attention and setting our faces like flint toward the cross, it could be time touched and fulfilled by the Holy One in our midst. read more

(c) 2016 Stuart McAllister  regional director of the Americas at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. Used with Permission  http://rzim.org/a-slice-of-infinity