God has entrusted us with much, and we will have to account for it. Yet even knowing what we should do, we don’t always act like it. But an honest examination of ourselves and a decision to act wisely will prepare us for the examination to come.
Suffering, injustice, and conflict are not part of God’s design for creation, but when it comes, he is attentive to his people and is pleased when we come to him in prayer, depend on him to endure, and long for the restored world he intends.
We can move beyond merely surviving to a thriving life with Jesus when we know him genuinely and risk loving others the way that he loves us. There are risks in loving others, but the potential for thriving only comes in community.
Following Jesus can be costly, and the risk involved can tempt us to avoid vulnerability and hide in a false identity. But when Jesus meets us in our brokenness and uncovers our self-deception, he prepares us for flourishing life.
Flourishing life comes when we recognize who we are in relation to God, submit to his authority, and dialogue within him about the things that really matter in life. In practical terms this means that we don’t know enough to tell God what we need or what he should do. God genuinely wants to hear our desires, but then we need to be willing to listen to his guidance and direction.
Rather than focusing on our own often misplaced goals, Jesus calls us to act within the authority God gives us and the vulnerability that is inherent to our lives. Essentially, this surrender is an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Savior, but that he also calls us to serve and suffer with him for the sake of his kingdom.
Grief is difficult but necessary to process loss. Acknowledging loss honestly, being informed of others’ circumstances and the biblical grief process, and sensitivity to others’ losses can facilitate healthy grieving and the experience of God’s comfort.
Feeling our pain rather than numbing it helps shift our perspective from ourselves to God, helps us be more honest with him and ourselves, and connects us to him as the giver of life.
Healthy grief begins with embracing reality and feeling the pain of loss, but it must also include giving up control and trusting the God who loves us and will provide hope and assurance in the midst of the pain when we let him.
God judges his people, but his judgment comes to removes dead faith, extend mercy to his people, and bring life.
If God can change and use people like Abraham, there’s hope for the rest of us as well.
After a 25min. introduction of video from past events, we hear aspects of our 30 year journey from Marlyn Ellyson, David Johnson, Eric & Colleen Johnson, Greg Ellyson, Paula Colby, Dallas Lange, and Pastor Tim.
Poor communication skills and infidelity don’t necessarily mean the end of a marriage. Forgiveness, grace, and a commitment to focus on God can lead to God’s healing and restoration.
A thirty-foot drop onto heavy machinery will do a lot of physical damage, but it can also lead to questions about a God who previously seemed to have protected you.
Becci hid her pregnancy as a teenager for eight months, but eventually everyone knew the truth. Her decisions ended dreams of college and altered her image as a “good” girl, but the grace of God expressed through her church meant she wasn’t alone and God still had good things prepared for her.
Jesus, the embodiment of peace, removes the power of the past over us, giving us peace and allowing us to live extravagantly by extending grace to others.
As reluctant as we might be to judge one another, if we really care for one another we must be willing to get in each other’s messes. Doing so with the right motives, to rescue each other from sin and express love and forgiveness, will prepare us all for the coming day of judgment.
We typically respond to suffering, whether deserved or not, by isolating, blaming others, or by trying to dig ourselves out on our own. James tells us that the real solution is found in submitting ourselves to God by confessing our needs and shortcomings to others who will pray for us and walk with us.
Staying on mission is difficult, especially when it hurts. But when we are honest, consistent, and persistent, and rely on Jesus, God is always there to strengthen us in our weakness and accomplish the task.