Reflection: Acts, week 21

Has God ever promised you something?

I love Paul’s confidence in the words the angel gave him. They would all be ok even in the midst of a terrible storm.

Thinking about that promise God gave you… What happened? Are you still waiting on it? Have you started to lose hope?

Remember this: It will be as God said. Ken made a great point. No matter what we believe, whatever God says will be. His timing isn’t always “ideal” to us. Sometimes we wonder what he’s doing. Sometimes we start to doubt. But I can promise you… If God has given you his word, it will come to pass.Acts 27_25

What I find most difficult is when all is looking good and in line with what God said, and suddenly, things change. I think back on different situations and remember how my confidence was as high as Paul’s. I felt good, even in the middle of a storm. Then I felt myself slipping because the wind changed. If you think about what the angel told Paul, they said all passengers would be safe. There was no mention of when specifically that would be… And did you catch the part where Paul told everyone even though they would survive, they’d be shipwrecked on an island? Continue reading

Reflection: Acts, week 20

What is the hard, costly or dangerous thing God has called you to do?

That’s a good question. Maybe when Jason asked this on Sunday, you thought to yourself, I have no idea…

You’re not alone! I’ve learned a lot of us are so busy talking to God, we forget to listen. There could be something God has waiting for you. Just take a moment to ask and then listen. Or maybe you have a feeling as to what it is he is asking of you, but because it’s challenging, you’re not entirely convinced it’s what God wants. You figure it’s best to wait it out and see.Psalm 46_10

I remember I was in a tough situation with an old job I had. God provided a way for me to leave, but I was so afraid. I wanted to leave, but I was afraid of being bored or lonely… or worse, going back to that place I had been in when we first moved to Arizona. When we first got here, I was so stressed and had horrible chest pain… and I thought getting a job would fix everything. Honestly, that’s what I thought, even though it was silly. God is our peace and help. Jobs don’t fix problems. Money doesn’t fix problems. People don’t fix problems. God fixes problems! Continue reading

Reflection: Acts, week 19

When I was in high school, my mom let me borrow a “breakfast in bed” tray for an experiment I did. What did I do with it, you may ask? I wanted to see if people could tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and which one they liked better. If you want to know the results, I honestly don’t remember, but it was a fun thing to do. I used the tray to hold little cups and serve them to people.

I left the tray somewhere in the school. My mom warned me when I took it to be careful. Don’t lose it.

I lost it. It was never retrieved. I remember the day well. My husband and I met in high school. We were outside talking for hours to the point where the school had been locked up for a good while; it was getting dark and chilly… I never saw that tray again.

I had to laugh a little when Jason said we typically take greater care when we are in charge of other people’s things because we don’t want something bad to happen on our watch. My poor mom… She borrowed me many things and I wasn’t always so good about giving them back. But let me tell you… If my sister borrowed something of mine and didn’t give it back, I would get so upset. You think I would learn. Or when someone stole my bag when I left it behind in the art room… I felt panicked knowing I might never see it again (and all I had in there was an old library card and maybe a dollar… I just really liked the bag).Luke 12

When I think about how everything we have is a gift from God, nothing is our own, a few things come to mind. We will need to answer for what we did with what God gave us, which could feel stressful or scary. But have you ever thought of it as peaceful? If you’ve been given a business to run with people you’re in charge of, I can only imagine there’s pressure to make sure you lead in an honest way. If you’re a parent, there’s pressure to make sure you raise your children in the right way. Because if you don’t do your job, that’s on you.

So what am I saying? How could any of that be peaceful? Continue reading

Reflection: Acts, week 18

I didn’t read the Bible a lot when I was younger. In fact, I never remember doing much of anything with it except looking at it on a shelf. It wasn’t until about a year ago I opened it and started studying.

Jason asked the question in church on Sunday… Do we believe the gospel still has the power to change a culture? I would also ask, do we believe Jesus has the power to change a culture?Gospel

We would never say no outright. But honestly, do we believe that? I struggled for a long time because it felt like the gospel was so distant from my life in this century. What does an ancient church or a man being healed from leprosy have to do with me? And Jesus isn’t here in the sense that I can’t see him like the disciples did. I think a lot of people feel this way. The gospel seems so old and unrelated to our lives today.

After I started studying the Bible and dug into it a little more, I started to make connections. I started to have realizations. God was showing me things. I don’t have leprosy, but God saved my unborn child. No doubt, that was a huge miracle in my life. And I wasn’t a part of a massive meal where we started with five loaves and two fish… but I remember not feeling well and needing to make dinner, praying God would give me the strength to do so. Guess what? I gained enough energy to get through it. Continue reading