Archive | August 2017

Faith in…

Pretty much everyone has faith of one kind or another. For example: everyone has faith that the sun will come up each day. I don’t know of anyone who cowers in an agony of fear or whether or not the sun will come up the next morning. They may be dreading the sun’s appearance, but they don’t live in dread that it will never come up at all. Sunday’s message by Steve Webb explores faith and the things that we have faith in. Click on the arrow to listen to the message.

Click on the Publications page to read this week’s bulletin.

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The Perfect Beach Trip

Have you ever said that when X,Y,or Z happens, when all the planets align and everything is just right then I’ll… fill in the blank. Me, too. I think probably we all have. Today’s devotional gently nudges us forward to do that thing we’re still waiting to do; ready or not do it anyway.

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He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap.As you do not know what is the way of the wind,Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. — Ecclesiastes 11:4-5

How many times have you had the “perfect” beach trip? (Hmmm… really, is there any other kind?)
 Well, there was that time it rained. Or the time you tried a new beach house and got lost for two hours trying to find it. Or the time your toddler got an ear infection the first full day you were there. Or the toilet in your rental didn’t work right. Or…

Okay, okay. So maybe at the point-by-point level, you’ve never had a perfect beach trip. So how did you deal with the bumps in the road? Did you manage to make readmore

Source: faithgateway.com

More Blessed

God’s Word tells us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Using this portion of scripture and a powerful personal testimony Pastor Caleb taught a wonderful lesson about tithing and giving back to God yesterday. Click on the link to listen to Sunday’s message.

Click on the Publications page to read this week’s bulletin.

Sabbath: God’s Metronome

After years and years of piano lessons I can really relate to today’s devotional; I know all about metronomes. But, even if you’ve never taken music lessons, and may not even be that fond of music, the message in this piece will make you think about the concept of rest in a whole different way.

The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. — Mark 2:27 NLT

When I was around nine years old, my mother decided I should take piano lessons. It made sense because I loved music and had been singing solos in church since the age of four. But singing was something I did for fun, and tiresome lessons and hours of practice did not sound like fun. Nonetheless, I dutifully attended my piano lessons. Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed it. I really liked my teacher and I loved being able to play and sing at the same time.

One of the things I did not like, however, was the metronome — the little device that marked time with military precision to make sure I played to the right rhythm. Each time I sat down to play a piece I had been practicing, my teacher started the metronome. I tried to play according to its measured timing, but I almost never read more

 

source: faithgateway.com

Setting Down What Weighs us Down

It’s easy, when attempting to be prepared for any and every situation, to pack too much in your suitcase before a big trip. My husband rolls his eyes and reminds me that we’re not going to the middle of nowhere and that there are stores where I can purchase anything I may need. Oh, yeah; I knew that. Today’s devotional, reposted from Holley Gerth, offers a vital, timely lesson about traveling light in this life.

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My parents still tell the story of how I, at six years old, marched right up to the airline counter and demanded the plane arrive soon because I was ready to go see my grandparents. I have no recollection of this audacity, only the memory of my hand wrapped around the handle of a small red suitcase. I don’t remember the contents, whether I packed dolls or tennis shoes, books or candy bars. But I must have traveled light because I carried it on the plane all by myself.

I think we, as children, start out this way. We don’t have much to weigh us down. Then the years go by and there’s life and hurt and responsibilities. Before we know it we no longer have a little red suitcase. We have the kind as wide as the side of a bus that gets a “heavy” sticker slapped on it.

Does it really have to be this way?

This is what I sat down with my friends Jennifer Watson and Suzie Eller to discuss in our latest More Than Small Talk Video. We said that we serve a Savior who tells us, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30). Then we asked each other, “How can we begin to set down what weighs us down? We talked through the three steps below as a starting place

It seems the first step is the courage to let go. We have a good reason for everything we’ve placed in our suitcase. We want to keep it safe. Or we think it proves our worth. We think we just can’t live without it. It takes guts to pause and ask, “What’s one thing I need to move forward without? When I answer this question it usually takes grit and tears and counseling. This is all bravery. 

Then we can look at what’s left and decide what’s not only appealing but essential. Perhaps we don’t need the ten pairs of sandals, although they’re all just so cute. We can review our crowded calendars, our long to-do lists, our honorable intentions. We can ask God, “What’s not just good but Your very best?” We can hold onto that and know we’re free to set aside the rest.

Finally, it’s also important to know where we’re going in this season of life. Alaska requires different attire than Hawaii. Raising toddlers takes different resources than transitioning into retirement. We can evaluate, “What might be wonderful for another destination but not for where I’m going right now in my life?” It’s okay for some things not to be in our suitcase. It’s just not their turn right now.

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That day in the airport I eventually boarded the plane and sat in a row of fellow six year-olds {remember when children traveled alone like this?}. We were served a beverage of choice. My seatmates chose ginger ale, which I scandalously believed to contain alcohol. I virtuously chose Sprite.

The plane touched down and there, right at the end of the jetway {remember when you could greet planes right at the gate?}, were my grandparents. They reached out first for a hug. Then my Grandpa, so strong and good, took the suitcase from my hands.

This is our story too. “Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you” {1 Peter 5:7}. This is the ultimate truth and life-changer: When life gets heavy, we can hand off our suitcase.

My Grandpa knew I would need my hands free for what was to come–eating salty waffle fries from my favorite restaurant, picking up shiny quarters from the bottom of the deep end of the pool, holding a flashlight so I could read under the covers at night.

Children seem to understand the less you carry the easier it is to grab on to joy.

I’m learning this all over again too.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

(c) 2017 Holley Gerth Used with Permission Source: holleygerth.com

Sermons

We apologize for not having sermons posted the last few weeks. They should be back up and running this coming weekend. Don’t forget to visit the Publications page to read the weekly bulletins and the Events page to see what’s coming up next at JCC. If you live in the Anchorage area come on over Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM for a fantastic weekend worship service.

Go to Church, Take a Prayer Walk, Do a Prayer Dance

It’s always a good idea to prepare in advance for hard times – the proverbial saving for a rainy day thing. It’s pretty hard to condition yourself for harsh conditions when you’re in the middle of them. Today’s devotional, reposted from Faithgateway.com, reminds us of the importance of having our feet firmly planted in God and rooted in the family of God before the hard things of life come.

Planted, Plugged In, and Prepared A while back I saw a 60 Minutes special on a free diver named William Trubridge, who goes to extreme depths in the ocean on a single breath. It is incredibly dangerous. He descends 331 feet below the surface — twice the height of the Statue of Liberty — witha href=’http://www.faithgateway.com/go-to-church-take-a-prayer-walk-do-a-prayer-dance/’ title=’Read more’ …/a

Source: Go to Church, Take a Prayer Walk, Do a Prayer Dance