Thursday, November 17, 2016

Name Tag

My mom always told me not to talk to strangers. Good advice for a six year old, but basically impossible for an adult. I talk to strangers all the time: the air conditioner repairman I've never seen before, the cashier at the grocery store, the receptionist at the dentist. I guess, technically, they aren't complete strangers. I know who they are because they are wearing a name badge identifying them to be the person they claim to be, and even including their first name. Thanks for fixing the A/C, Nick.

In Exodus 14, God performs one of the greatest miracles in the Old Testament, the parting of the Red Sea. Even more amazing than the miracle itself is the reason why God did it. The miracle was not just to rescue the Israelites. In the passage we will study this week (Exodus 14:30-31), the Bible shows us that God's miracles reveal who He is.

See you Sunday!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Be Still

My dad used to cut my hair. Now my wife cuts my hair. Amazingly, when my wife cuts my hair, she gives me the same instructions my dad used to give me - "Be still!"

Being still is important if you are getting your hair cut. Being still was an important part of the Exodus experience for the nation of Israel (Exodus 14:13-14). Being still needs to be an important part of our spiritual walk, one we often forget.

Join us this Sunday, and learn the importance of being still.

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God's Surprises

As the 'Fall' temperatures stayed warm, but cooler weather was on the way, I began trimming back my plants and cleaning out my flower beds. Things looked pretty bare, especially on those warmer days when it felt like Spring and the time for flowers. My flower beds were now empty spots of dirt and chopped off plants that looked pretty pitiful. The green was turning yellow and brown, and the leaves now had nothing to stop them from piling up in the 'flower' beds.

One day, while clearing out the leaves, I noticed one beautiful, white daisy rising up from below the leaf piles and in between the chopped off plants. A few days later, I found several flower plants beginning to bud in the yard, undoubtedly carried by wind and/or birds, growing in a most unlikely place.

I believe we are called to be those 'flowers'....rising up when times seem cold and dark, or when no one around us is showing beauty. And/or we are to allow ourselves to be carried to what may seem unlikely spots, to share the beauty of God's love in unexpected places. Finding those flowers in the yard was a surprise, and the more I looked, the more I saw. To quote Emerson, "Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

One More Step

Standing on the high dive wasn't the hard part. Swimming in the deep end wasn't that bad. It was the part between the high dive and swimming in the pool that bothered me. But there I was, on the end of the 10,000 meter diving board (at least it felt like it was that tall). One swimming instructor and fifteen third graders behind me were encouraging me. Actually, they were yelling for me to get out of the way, but it didn't matter. I didn't hear anything they said. The only thing I could hear was the sound of my body hitting the water at 700 mph.

Then my instructor called out, "All you have to do is take one more step." And I did - and lived to tell about it. Actually, it was pretty fun. Before the day was out, I was doing cannon balls that would make a perfect score in the Olympics, if that was allowed in competition.

One more step. That's what the nation of Israel needed to do. They had reached a point in the Exodus experience which, if they continued, meant no going back (Exodus 13:21-22). When we learn to walk by faith, we will experience the same promise they found to be true. Join us Sunday and find that "one more step" for your life.

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