I hope your summer is a great one with plenty of sun, some fun & rest, maybe a great summer read, and time with God and friends. I know I'm trying to take advantage of all this in these summer months!
Tullian Tchividjian wrote a couple of popular books over recent years, most known might be "Jesus + Nothing = Everything." He led Coral Ridge Presb., the church that Dr. James Kennedy pastored for many years. Some sad news concerning Tullian broke a few weeks ago.
When I was in high school, I had the coolest job working at a magic shop. My job was to demonstrate and sell tricks to the customers. The only challenging part of the job was learning every trick in the store. Mind you, the shop had probably over 800 tricks and, to be honest, I really didn't know all of them.
These past days have shown us once again the fallen, sinful condition of humanity through the senseless, hateful evil displayed in the killing of 9 people who were meeting in a Charleston, SC church. This horrible event exposes massive healing issues so desperately needed today, right now in our world.
Front row seats are pretty cool. Maybe it's the feeling of being immersed in the event. No one or nothing between you and the action. The experience is all yours to fully enjoy. Ever have a front row seat?
Certain things in life can wear me out, you know, the kinds of things you need to do over and over. Coping with traffic. Listening to complaining. Turning out lights left on in empty rooms. You get the idea :) and I'm sure you can add to this list.
Last Sunday we looked at how God uses private disciplines to grow and strengthen our faith--our relationship--with Him. I've been thinking about it through the week and was drawn back to how Jesus often withdrew to places alone to be with God. We're really only left with one conclusion from that: if Jesus desired and needed that time alone with God, how much more do we?
Our HOPE group for Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith had a great time of relating, discussing, and growing this week. One of the points that rose to the top is that we have a faith and it's vitally important to believe that God is growing it. We're not engaged in "things I do to grow my faith," but instead we open up to & welcome all God is doing to grow the very faith He has given us. Our faith both starts with Him and can only grow because of Him.
There have been some exciting things recently at HOPE that deserve some celebration! God is always good, so perfectly faithful, and never ceases in doing new things. Here are a few we can celebrate together:
So many passages from the Bible apply multiple ways to our lives. For example, one of the verse we'll look at this Sunday mentions the Israelites trusting God to split the Red Sea as they walked through, in the protection of God, on dry ground. That same passage can also lead us to appreciate God's rescue of us -- to see that through Jesus, death and sin have been beaten and we, in surrender to Him, now get to walk right through as free children of God.