Table Worship, April 27th, 5:30pm at the Fairhaven Library Basement

fairhaven library 1Thanks for a great Easter weekend, celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus. This Sunday we return to the Fairhaven Library (1117 12th St.) for worship. Starting at 5:30pm, we’ll gather for a shared meal. Bring something yummy to share. After this we will pray, sing, and study God’s word. This week, we begin a 4 week study of Ephesians. If you want to read ahead, look over the entire book and ask yourself, “What is the main theme of this letter?”

People of Joy

jesus1Below is a letter of Cyprian to his friend Donatus. Cyprian was born in the 2nd century AD in North Africa into a wealthy home. He was a retrograde playboy although brilliant and learned. He was marvelously converted in one of his travels largely because he was so impressed with the character of the lives of a group of Christians that he chanced to meet. After he was converted he wrote a letter to his boyhood friend and fellow playboy named Donatus. Here it is:

“The world in which we live is a beautiful place when viewed from our fair garden, Donatus. But if we could view it from some high mountain you know well what we would see; robbers on the highways, pirates on the seas and in the amphitheatre men are offered up to animals as entertain. Under every roof there is misery and sorrow. But Donatus, I have met a people who rise above this. They are a quiet people who know a joy a thousand times greater than these sorrows. They are called Christians, Donatus, and I am writing to tell you that I have become one of them.”

As we move forward this week, with the Easter celebrations behind us, may we walk with a resurrection reality. May we be the people Cyprian met. May we radiate joy that is contagious. And may He be glorified as we go.

Good Friday/Easter Weekend at The Table

Light-tunnel-thumb-350x262There are a lot of things going on this week at The Table. This Friday, April 18th, we are hosting a Good Friday service for the Mosaic family of churches. Join us at 8pm at Marine Park (100 Harris Ave.) for a reflective service, focused on the cross (childcare is being provided offsite at our home, let me know if you need info about this).

Then, this Sunday, April 20th, Mosaic us hosting a Easter gathering. Join us at 10am at the Majestic Ballroom (1027 N Forest). We’ll start with a simple breakfast, so bring fruit or pastries to share. We need 2 folks to come early at 9am to help set up (let me know if you can). Childcare is provided during the service. If you’re able, join Kim and Thane at their home for a post service Easter potluck (let me know if you can come).

On Monday, April 21st, Kim and Thane are hosting our next Bible study. We’ll be discussing 1 Samuel. Let us know if you can come.

Our next regular Table gathering is on April 27 at the Fairhaven Library.

Psalm 18 and Easter

rescuePsalm 18 is one of my favorite psalms. The psalm is a picture, of sorts, for us today of the search and rescue mission of God that was seen on the cross. It shows up in our Bible reading today in the context of David’s deadly hide and seek game with Saul. His life is genuinely in jeopardy, and in the midst of it God delivers David from Saul.

Psalm 18 could be broken down like this:

v. 1-3 – David praises God, with great proclamations of God’s characteristics.

v. 4-24 – David describes God’s intense search and rescue mission, saving David from death. We see the hopelessness of David’s situation, and then God’s unstoppable power of deliverance.

v. 25-29 – God’s love for His people and correction of the selfish is described as David rejoices in his deliverance.

v. 30-45 – We see how God equips the one who was in jeopardy, empowering him for conquest.

v. 46-50 – David praises God for his power and victory.

This psalm is “bookended” with praise of God. In between, we see a movement of God deliverance and empowerment (David was lost à David was rescued à David was empowered à David was unleashed to do God’s work). It’s a powerful psalm.

As you read this psalm today, know that God’s unstoppable passion to rescue and empower David is the same unstoppable love He has for you. Praise Him today for this great love, love which was best seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus, love that was unleashed so that you could be free and in relationship with God.

 

Psalm 18 (NLT)

I love you, Lord;
you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.

The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave[a] wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth quaked and trembled.
The foundations of the mountains shook;
they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
10 Mounted on a mighty angelic being,[b] he flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
11 He shrouded himself in darkness,
veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
12 Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him
and rained down hail and burning coals.[c]
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded
amid the hail and burning coals.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
his lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused.
15 Then at your command, O Lord,
at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.

16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
19 He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
22 I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
23 I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
26 To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
27 You rescue the humble,
but you humiliate the proud.
28 You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.

30 God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.

37 I chased my enemies and caught them;
I did not stop until they were conquered.
38 I struck them down so they could not get up;
they fell beneath my feet.
39 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
40 You placed my foot on their necks.
I have destroyed all who hated me.
41 They called for help, but no one came to their rescue.
They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
42 I ground them as fine as dust in the wind.
I swept them into the gutter like dirt.
43 You gave me victory over my accusers.
You appointed me ruler over nations;
people I don’t even know now serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they submit;
foreign nations cringe before me.
45 They all lose their courage
and come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted!
47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
he subdues the nations under me
48     and rescues me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
you save me from violent opponents.
49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing praises to your name.
50 You give great victories to your king;
you show unfailing love to your anointed,
to David and all his descendants forever.

Table Worship, April 13th, 5:30pm at the Fairhaven Library Basement

palmThis Sunday, The Table is gathering for worship at the Fairhaven Library (1117 12th St.). We’ll begin at 5:30pm w/ a shared meal. Bring something yummy to share. This week is Palm Sunday, and as we prepare for Easter we will be examining what gospel of Jesus is and is not. Why did He come, die, and rise to life again? Bring a friend, everyone is welcome!

Legacy: Famous Last Words

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Famous Last Words?” This phrase is usually uttered before or after something unproductive has happened.  Here are some famous last words, see if you can picture the scenario in your mind:

-“Don’t worry he doesfulln’t bite”

-“Sorry I knocked your motorcycle down, but gee that’s a cute tattoo.”

-“I wonder where the mother bear is.”

-“No, silly, that’s a dolphin fin!”

-“I left the million dollars under the ….”

 

We are concluding our teaching series on our life’s work/purpose, by looking at Acts 20:17-38.  We’ve been looking at Paul’s time in the Turkish town of Ephesus.  Over the last few weeks we’ve seen a glimpse of the legacy that God was leaving behind Paul.  He was living out his calling, and God was using him to change lives.

Legacy, that’s really what we’re talking about. Living w/ purpose brings about a positive legacy. Living w/o direction brings about a legacy of a different kind.  The question I’ve been asking is, “What makes you come alive?”  I’ve asked this each week b/c I believe that God has given you desires that are linked to your purpose.  I’m not talking about the desires of your flesh that sometimes get us in trouble.  No, I’m talking about the desires that fill you up, that feed your soul, and feed those around you.  So, what makes you come alive? And related to that, what’s the legacy you desire to leave behind?

 

Text

So far, we’ve seen that living empowered lives means living w/ greater purpose.  We’ve been challenged to put a plan to our desires, knowing that faithfulness to a plan feeds purpose and purpose feeds faith.  We’ve seen that in the face of opposition we can rest on the living and personal God as our strength and help.  And now, we finish up our series on legacy.  I believe we all have God given desires, that when lived out, make us feel alive.  I also believe that if we do, God will leave a great legacy of His grace behind us.  So, what makes you feel alive? And, what would it be like if you lived it out?

Look at Acts 20:17-38.  In this passage Paul is done w/ his mission in Ephesus.  He has lived out his calling of testifying to the grace of Jesus. And now, he’s looking back, and chatting w/ those he ministered to.  As you read Acts 20:13-38, put yourself in the emotional feet of Paul, and envision what it felt like for him to know he had lived out his calling:

17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, y which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

36 When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.

Here we see Paul giving his final words/instructions to the Ephesian leaders.  If we were to summarize his speech in 20:18-35, we could say he essentially says in verses 18-21, “I’ve worked humbly w/ one message, the message of Christ’s salvation. In verses 22-24 he’s essentially saying, “I’m called to go elsewhere and live out my calling” (his calling is in v. 24).  We can summarize Paul’s words in verses 25-27 as, “I’ve been faithful to my calling.”  In verses 28-35, Paul commends them to continue the mission, saying, “Feed and shepherd God’s people” and “I’ve supported myself.”

[Question: WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF PAUL, AS HE LOOKED BACK ON HIS MINISTRY IN EPHESUS? REGRETS?]

As Paul says these words you can see a legacy of respect, confidence, humility, and love.  He could look back and know he lived a purpose filled life.  The fact that they wept together as they said goodbye speaks to his success.

 

Charge

So, what makes you feel alive? What are your desires and what would it be like if you lived it out?  What would it be like if you risked it, and went for the vocation God is inviting you to pursue? What would it be like if you forgave yourself or that person, and moved on toward empowerment? What would it be like if you pursued God’s call w/ intentionality? What are your desires and what would it be like if you lived it out?

My grandparents are deceased.  When they were alive, they shared how they desired to be best friends to each other.  This had been their desire since their honeymoon.  As they lived their lives together, you could see the ways they daily built into each other.  They encouraged each other, planned events together, and every night, they would sit on their porch and share about their days.  They invited friends into this routine.  They’d shared stories, laughed, and cried on their porch.  When my grandfather died, grandma looked back and knew they had lived their desires of being best friends.  Their daily routine was an informal plan to make this a reality, and the ride was one of rich, full life.  Their legacy was one our family looks to as an example of friendship in marriage.  They had a desire.  They made an informal plan to make it a reality.  And, they left an awesome legacy behind that feeds my family today.

So, what makes you feel alive? What are your desires and what would it be like if you lived it out? What’s the legacy you desire to leave behind, and what are you doing to live into that reality? God is inviting you to live that rich, full life, living out the desire He has given you.  God’s legacy is love.  b/c of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the legacy of love is released into our lives.  God gives us desires that feed our faith and life.  Living into those God given desires gives us purpose.  And, living w/ God’s purpose results in a confident past.  So, what makes you come alive, and what would it be like if you lived it out?

My prayer is that God would reveal those desires to you.  My prayer is that you would intentionally move toward living into them, knowing He goes before you.  May He be glorified as you live into that rich, full life.

Amen.

Table Worship, April 6th, 5:30pm at the Fairhaven Library Basement

This Sunday, April 6th, we’re gathering for a worship gathering. We’ll start at 5:30pm at the Fairhaven Library (1117 12th St.) with a shared meal. Bring something delicious to share. We continue this week with our teaching series on legacy. If you want to read ahead, look at Acts 20:13-38, and pray/ask yourself “What makes me come alive, and what am I doing about it?” Invite a friend to join us; everyone is welcome!

Lectio Divina: Acts 19:23-41 / Psalm 115

Overview of Series

-The series: Our life’s work/purpose (Acts 19-20)

-The question: “What makes you come alive? And, what’s the legacy you wish to leave behind?”

-Week #1: Our passions (Living empowered lives means living w/ greater purpose)

-Week #2: Our plan (Faithfulness feeds purpose, purpose feeds faith)

 

Today’s Meditation

-Week #3: Our problems

-The question: “What do we do when we meet opposition to our calling and plan?”

 

-READ Acts 19:23-41 (Consider: the legacy the merchants and the power of their gods)

-“23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. 30 Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.

32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. 33 The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. 34 But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

35 The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Fellow Ephesians, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? 36 Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash. 37 You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. 38 If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. 39 If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. 40 As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.” 41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.

-MEDITATION: WHAT LEGACY DID THESE MERCHANTS LEAVE BEHIND? HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THE WAY THEY VIEWED THEIR GODS?
READ: Psalm 115 (Consider: The legacy of God and His power)

-Psalm 115 – “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. All you Israelites, trust in the Lord— he is their help and shield. 10 House of Aaron, trust in the Lord— he is their help and shield. 11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord— he is their help and shield. 12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us: He will bless his people Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, 13 he will bless those who fear the Lord— small and great alike. 14 May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children. 15 May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to mankind. 17 It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to the place of silence; 18 it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forevermore. Praise the Lord.”

-MEDITATION: WHAT’S THE LEGACY AND DESCRIPTIONS OF GOD IN PSALM 115? HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THE WAY WE VIEW GOD?

-MEDITATION: WHAT PERSONAL DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE TODAY TO VIEW GOD AS POWERFUL VS. LUCKY CHARM?
Encouragement

What makes you feel alive? Do it in faith, knowing you are backed by a powerful God

Table Worship, March 30th, 5:30pm at the Fairhaven Library Basement

This Sunday, March 30th, we’re gathering for a worship gathering. We’ll start at 5:30pm at the Fairhaven Library (1117 12th St.) with a shared meal. Bring something delicious to share. We continue this week with our teaching series on legacy. If you want to read ahead, look at Acts 19:23-41, and pray/ask yourself “What makes me come alive, and what am I doing about it?” Invite a friend to join us; everyone is welcome!

What Are You Doing About It?

thinkingAs a kid I loved my mom’s cookies; I still do. I remember once we were out of cookies, and mom was gone for the day – but I needed cookies.  So in my little mind I set out to make cookies, believing I could just “feel my way” to the right proportions and ingredients.  Can you guess how it turned out?  The result was a gooey cookie sheet of flour, sugar, and chocolate, w/ no form or shape, just goo that I ended up throwing out.

I think we all have a desire to eat good cookies. We can use this as a metaphor.  We all desire to live lives of purpose, doing things that make a difference and bring fulfillment, doing what makes us alive.  When all the ingredients are in place and in proportion the result is a product as it was intended to be.

At The Table, we are in the middle of a sermon series on our life’s work and purpose, looking at Acts 19-20. In these texts, Paul is on his 3rd missionary journey, which primarily happens in the Turkish town of Ephesus.  Here, we get a glimpse of the legacy that Paul was leaving behind him.  He was living out his calling, which is seen in Acts 20:24.  He says, “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” I believe when Paul was doing this, he felt alive, and purpose-filled, and God was using him to change lives.  Legacy is what we’re talking about. Living w/ purpose brings about a positive legacy; and, living w/o direction brings about a legacy of a different kind.  So the question is, “What makes you come alive?”  What are the God given desires that are linked to your purpose?  I’m not talking about the desires of your flesh that sometimes get us in trouble, like my desire for cookies, which leads me to eat entire batches of cookies.  No, I’m talking about the desires that fill you up, that feed your soul, and feed those around you.  So, what makes you come alive?  And related to that, what’s the legacy you desire to leave behind?

 

Text

Turn your eyes to Acts 19:8-12, and ask yourself, “What’s my dream and what’s my plan to get there?”  In Acts 19:8-20, we see Paul living out his calling to testify to the grace of Jesus.  But here, we also see a bit of strategy to make the dream or calling come true.  We get the impression that Paul was fluid w/ his plan, but intentional.  Acts 19:8-10 says: “Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” Paul’s plan to live his calling starts in the synagogue. But, when he faces opposition, he tweeks his plan and goes to a public lecture hall.  And really, this was a more strategic move to spread the gospel among the Gentiles.  God blesses this adjustment, so that all in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.  God continues to bless Paul’s ministry in Acts 19:11-12, ““11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” The sick are healed, revealing the kingdom’s arrival, where folks are brought into wholeness.  Paul has influence, and the name of Jesus is respected as the source of life.  Paul in finding success in his work, living in God’s favor as he lives into God’s calling. Put simply, the kingdom is on the move.

Paul is making strategic moves to spread the gospel, to live out his calling. The result of his plan: the sick are healed, Jesus is honored, and conversions occur.  That’s the legacy of Paul living out his purpose.  Paul’s calling was to testify to the gospel of graceHe committed his plan to God and God moved through Paul

 

Us

So what makes you come alive? And, what’s your plan to live it out?  About 10 years ago I had a desire to do the Pikes Peak Ascent.  Growing up in Colorado Springs, I grew up looking at Pikes Peak, a 14K foot mountain.  Every year, there’s a ½ marathon race to the top, called the Pikes Peak Ascent.  From start to finish the race course gains 7,000 feet in elevation.  It was a race I always wanted to do.  So one year I decided to go for it.  I began training, thinking I had a good training plan.  As I trained, I daydreamed of having a sweet personal time, maybe even breaking some records.  On race day, I felt good and expected great things.  The gun went off, and I took off.  For a couple miles I was passing all kinds of slow pokes, who clearly weren’t as prepared as I was.  It was awesome.  But as the elevation increased and race went on, I began to fade.  I stopped running.  The water stations became fewer and far between, as I walked to the top.  I realized I was very ill prepared for the race, but I kept walking up.  Finally, I could hear the announcer at the top announcing the names of those crossing the line.  My plan did not go as I expected, but at least I still had my pride.  When I walked across the finish line, the announcer said, “And here comes Aaron Walters, from Colorado Springs… and holy smokes, right behind Aaron is 85 year old Mildred Baker…”  “At least I beat an old lady,” was all I had to say.  My plans of the race did not go as I expected.  I was on the path toward living out a desire, but my plan was almost counterproductive.

How much more is at stake when we’re talking about the desires God has given us for life? And, what’s at stake? Your heart is at stake.  That’s why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”  God has given you desires that when fulfilled fill you up, feed your heart, and bless others.

So what’s your dream, and how are you planning for it? How are you living it out?  In John 10:10, Jesus said “I came that they might have life to full.”  He came not so we would simply have some sort of fire insurance for our soul.  He came so we could live into fullness of life, living w/ purpose, living w/ meaning.  The good news is that the death and resurrection of Jesus brings greater life and power, and God uses the desires He’s given us to grow His kingdom; He gives us desires that feed us and His community.  Faithfulness to intentionally living those desires feeds purpose, and that purpose feeds faith.

jeSo what makes you come alive, and what are you doing about? If God has placed desires on your heart, and you know they feed you, then maybe today is the day to go for those dreams.  I think of our friends, who had the desire to bless those in the developing world.  So they pursued this desire and volunteered w/ a Christian aid organization.  It is a great organization, but wasn’t a good fit.  Then God clarified that desire, and called them to start Jesus’ Economy.  “Jesus’ Economy creates jobs and churches in the developing world, as well as meets basic needs—resulting in a new global, spiritual and physical economy for those that need it most.”  It’s awesome to see them living out their calling.

Your dreams and the things that make you come alive will be different.  It could be going back to school to live out a vocational dream.  It could be building into your family a greater unity of purpose and connection.  It could be pursuing how you can use the gifts God’s given you to bless others.  But the question remains, “What makes you come alive?”  What’s your dream and what’s your plan?  What are you doing today to make it happen, and how are you moving forward w/ that dream?  Maybe God is inviting you today to live into those dreams, and to do it w/ a planned intention.

Don’t neglect your desires and the things that make you come alive.  Don’t let those dreams lie stagnant.  And, don’t let poor planning steal your momentum.  It felt good to beat that old lady and complete my goal of doing the Pikes Peak Ascent, but it was not an enjoyable ride.  Proper foresight would have given me a better experience.  Don’t be like me.

My prayer is that God would awaken your desires, and that He would use those desires for His kingdom and community – and that you would move w/ an intentionality as you pursue those dreams. My prayer is that you wouldn’t just make cookies, but that you would make cookies w/ the proper ingredients and proportions – that you would make cookies that the Recipe Writer intended you to make.

I believe God is giving you an invitation today, to live into the things that make you come alive.  Imagine the legacy God would leave through you as you live into your rich, full live.  Living empowered lives means living w/ greater purpose.  Faithfulness feeds purpose, purpose feeds faith.   I invite you to day dream, to pray about what makes you feel alive, and imagine what it would be like if you lived it out.

Amen.

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