www.5lovelanguages.com - Go to this site to determine your preferential "language of love". It's easy: on this screen it says front and center, "Click here to begin". Go for it! The current sermon series will be exploring the love languages into September, so learn a little more about your love language: Words of Affirmation? Acts of Service? Receiving Gifts? Quality Time? Physical Touch?
Planning is moving ahead regarding the purchase and installation of a large screen to enhance our worship experience. Three bids are being sought. Laity are discussing running necessary cables for the hardware. The wheels are slowly turning.
Others have inquired regarding an expansion of the chancel area: we have two sets of plans in hand from the architect; however the current set-up seems to be working quite well as it provides ample room and can be reconfigured for weddings and other events.
Dropped a coffee mug the other day. It was three ways of busted up. Looking at it got me to thinking about events that interrupt our lives - that shatter them. Events like disease, betrayal, pain, and adversities of every kind can forever alter our lives. When the boom gets lowered on us, its best simply to hang on, slowly get better, and begin to live once again. What was inside us seems to have spilled out, leaving us literally drained.
When the cup of our lives is broken, we must find a way to glue it back together again.
Our brokenness affords us the opportunity - forces it on us, actually - to change. Pain has the potential to transform our lives. Of course, it also has the potential to leave us shattered. In her book Walking on Water, Madeleine L'Engle writes about the relationship between faith and art. A particularly arresting passage reads: "I look back at my mother's life and I see suffering deepening and strengthening it. In some people I have also seen it destroy. Pain is not always creative; received wrongly, it can lead to alcoholism and madness and suicide. Nevertheless, without it we do not grow".
Sometimes the brokenness of our lives is not so shattering: things like daily problems that irk us. It may involve troubles that trail off endlessly into the future with no end in sight, be it chronic illness, pain, depression, or addictions.
Instead of being overwhelmed or defeated by the brokenness, why not view it as having something to teach us? What can we learn from the broken or incomplete parts of our lives?
ASSIGNMENT: Take a coffee cup. Turn it upon its side on your table. Let it serve as a reminder of your brokenness and emptiness. If you have a couple of unshelled pecans or peanuts or some such, place them by the cup. Make a little arrangement. Let those shells remind you that the shell has to be broken in order to get to the fruit. And may they remind you of the potential power for personal growth that is within your difficult times.
Carry these words of Anne Lamont with you: "Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and wo
Where do you learn peace? Out fishing on a beautiful stream? Anybody can be peaceful in that kind of environment. So instead, God will put you in traffic jams. He'll give you a day when you have a pop quiz and a rush project and your friend wants to borrow money that you don't have and your computer crashes and your car breaks down and everything's going wrong. And it is there, in the middle of the storm, that you learn peace.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze' says the Lord". ~Isaiah 43:2 NIV
We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son.
Joy is different than happiness. Happiness depends on circumstances. I go to Disneyland I'm happy. I go home and realize how much I spent, I'm not happy. Joy is internal. Happiness is external. God will teach you real joy in the middle of grief.
Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. ~Peter 4:13-14 NIV
Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. ~2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world". ~John 16:33 NIV
[Warren, Rick, The Purpose Driven Life for Graduates]