Archive | March 2017

Finding God in the Garden

Spring is here even in Alaska, although for practical, gardening purposes it’s still pretty much winter out there; nothing sprouting except plastic flowers. For those who enjoy gardening it’s time to peruse the seed catalogues and think about what we’ll plant this year. Today’s devotional compares our hearts to a garden. What’s growing in your garden? What do you need to weed out and get rid of?

 

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“When springtime rolls around, it’s hard for me not to write about my favorite season. Visions of pink and blue hydrangeas, white gardenias, yellow daylilies, coral heuchera, and purple petunias dance in my head. Every year I save up for colorful replacements or new varieties.

There are some things about this time of year, however, that can destroy its beauty–if I let it.

You guessed it: weeds. You can tell by this picture in my backyard garden that some flowers are blooming. But most of those green shoots covering the ground and invading the good plants? Weeds! Unfortunately, just like most of the plants in my gardens, those weeds are perennial.

The sun may eventually kill the shallow ones, though my garden is mostly shady. And mulch will cover up some of the green invaders. But only for a while. Others will soon take their place. If I let them grow wild and don’t pull them out as soon as they pop up, they will soon choke out the beauty and the fragrance of my garden.

Finding God in the Garden

That’s true of my spiritual garden as well. Think about these areas of life and the power of read more

No One Else Can Define You

It is surprising the extent to which we consciously or unconsciously allow those around us to define who we are. Kids are especially vulnerable to the words of those around them. Sometimes it’s difficult to hear the “still, small voice” of God’s viewpoint when there are so many louder voices filling the air with a jumble of opinions about who we are. Today’s devotional brings us back to the one opinion that truly matters in the end.

 

 

“I step into a Junior High lunch room that smells like old fries and sticky plastic trays. I scan the scene—the popular kids at one table, bookworms at another, the theater crowd and the athletes and the rebels. Who will look up and invite me over?

Tell me who I am.

My friends and I have crushes and dates and boyfriends. We fix our hair a hundred different ways. Crowd into dressing rooms to try a thousand different outfits. Loop silver and gold through our ears. The doorbell rings and he is holding roses.

Tell me who I am.

I am typing into a small screen and read more

More Baptisms

Yesterday JCC celebrated with three more young people who decided to be baptized in water. We will be doing another baptismal service next Sunday morning, so if you are in the Anchorage area and would like to be baptized in water you can give us a call at 349-0255.

Coming Soon!

It’s time for our Spring Coffeehouse once again. Come relax and chase away the winter chill that’s still hanging on with some hot beverages, warm friendship, and live music. Bring a friend and double the joy April 2nd at 5:30 PM.

Simplifying Your Life

Sometimes life can feel like a juggling act. We get so many balls up in the air at the same time that it can be difficult to keep everything going. Today’s devotional suggests  some benefits of a simplified lifestyle. Perhaps it’s time to ask God how we can begin to experience a simpler way of living.

© publicdomainstockphotos | Dreamstime Stock Photos water lilies on a lake

“Unfortunate circumstances may force us to simplify our lives. But we can also choose “voluntary simplicity” at any time. Here are seven benefits of simplifying your life:

1. Our Wants Decrease

When we value what God treasures, “things” become less important.

2. Our Spiritual Desires Change

Our focus changes from pleasing self to choosing God’s ways.

3. Our Friendships Deepen

We see others as God sees them–as worthy of time, love, and commitment.

4. Our Time Multiplies

Some things that used to matter, don’t anymore, leaving us with more time to choose the things that do.

5. Our Bodies Rest More

When we stop stressing and start trusting God more, our bodies will usually respond positively.

6. Our Creativity Sharpens

Hurry and worry block creativity; simplicity frees us to think clearly and creatively again.

 7. Our Giving Increases

We understand that “extra” is not always meant for our own consumption. God blesses us so we can bless others.

The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being….Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met (Matthew 6:20, 33, The Message).

(c) 2017 Rebecca Barlow Jordan Used with Permission http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/7-benefits-of-simplifying-your-life/

Baptism Sunday I

Sunday, March 19th JCC celebrated with five individuals who were baptized in water.

Free to Be Brave – FaithGateway

If you have ever felt even a small measure of fear and anxiety you know how suffocating it can be. It’s not God’s will or His plan that His kids live bound in a prison of anxiety. Today’s devotional gives us a look at the life we’ve been intended to live free from the iron grip of the taskmaster of fear.

 

“When a more or less ordinary character, someone who is both kind and self-serving, somehow finds that place within where he or she is still capable of courage and goodness, we get to see something true that we long for. ~ Anne Lamott1

As I watched women walk into their own freedom stories, I was struck by their bravery. Many were stepping out into the call of God, into the unknown. Many were moving into uncharted waters with God, full of hope and faith.

A sixty-year-old woman told me one spring evening, “For years I’ve been asking God to take my life; tonight I asked him to save my life.” A fourteen-year-old girl who had just been released from rehab told me God gave her joy to start again.

Countless women — fighting depression, suffering from trauma, treating cancer, holding off divorce, overcoming addictions — were declaring href=’http://www.faithgateway.com/free-to-be-brave/’ title=’Read more’ …/a

Source: Free to Be Brave – FaithGateway