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{April 21, 2019}






Heartland Community Church


April 21 – 27, 2019

 

Sightings: God Was There And I Did Not Know It

By Brooke Hodnefield

God looked at the world and considered it worth loving. He looked on the world and declared it worth redeeming. Even it if meant sending his Son from the glories of heaven to sacrifice for it.

– All That’s Good, Hannah Anderson

I imagine that God often looks at our hustling world and sees us scrambling like madmen and women in all our oh-so-important things to be about, shakes his head and deeply sighs. We do a great job of framing our busyness…“I have a pretty full plate right now,” “just a lot of balls to juggle,” “oh you know how it is…busy, busy, busy!" "There’s always something!” When I consider the capacity with which we can handle all the things, it causes to me question, is this how I should be spending the capacity God has granted me? I’m reminded of a seemingly blunt reality found in Ecclesiastes 2:11:

‘Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.’

I had a preschooler and a half-day kindergartener, my husband traveled often, and I worked as an HR Director at church. My role there continued to grow, however I loved my job and was quite certain it was in my sweet spot…so I adjusted to make room in my life for this important role I had. I had belief in myself and my own abilities to multitask and crush it both at work and in my own world. I could logistically manage our family’s schedule to get the right kid to the right place on the right day and be what I was needed at work. Instead of adjusting or letting go of things to make room for the roles I occupied, I just pushed harder, strived more and told myself ‘you’ve got this.’ Until I didn’t.

I was in a meeting when my phone rang and the First Student school bus was on the other end. Somehow in my perfected scheduling system, I had a missing link. Grandma wasn’t there to meet Tyson, my half-day kindergartener, off the bus. No one was there to get Tyson off the bus. So they had instructions to keep on driving. Tyson received his own chauffeur service back to school (from where he had just come) – but that is unsettling stuff for a 5 year old! They dropped him off and he found himself sitting in the school’s front office until someone could claim him. I was a solid 30 minutes away and it was not the end of my work day, nor should I be abandoning the group I was meeting with mid-meeting, but I lost it. I burst into tears and rambled something sufficient enough for my boss to understand and took off. I prided myself on being pulled together and having my ducks in a row…but my ducks were scattered and I felt completely out of control.

I pulled into Woodland Elementary’s parking lot like a mad woman and ran up to the school. Through the glass I could see the outline of a little boy slumped over in a chair, backpack still on his back, with his feet dangling. He belonged to me. Again, I tried to pull it together as I entered the school, but tears were streaming. Tyson saw me and his tears started streaming. I scooped him up, bag and all and carried him out. I hugged him fiercely. I felt incredibly small, shameful and dejected as I continued to squeeze him tightly and just kept repeating, “I’m so sorry.”

This story is probably not unlike something you’ve experienced, and might seem like a small thing. But it was a God sighting. God was there and I didn’t know. He showed me, tangibly, what it means to be stripped away of all we want to appear to be, all we aspire to do and who we think we are. In all our futile attempts to strive and manifest control over our story. But stripped of all of that was God’s raw love. Seen not just through my love for Tyson, but through God’s love for me. His love is so fierce that he wouldn’t settle for the capacity with which I settled for. I couldn’t see it then, but upon later reflection this was when something drastically changed for me.

He reminded me of the futility and meaninglessness that CAN come when we chase after the wind. He provided me a real-time moment in which he still chose to love me and still chose to redeem me, despite my pride. My balls had all dropped from the air and lay on the ground, flat and small. But I didn’t see them. I saw Tyson and I felt God choosing me and reminding me of what is worth chasing after.

I still settle into my old ways of hustling and striving, often times get in the way of myself, and do my darndest to control my path. However, I think back to the day I scooped up Tyson, tears streaming and I can feel it. Still. I’m humbled and I’m reminded that God was faithfully there. To be present amidst my crumbling. I certainly didn’t know it at the time, but that day changed my chasing and the ache I felt within to measure up to some unattainable threshold I had for myself. I can look back and see how Jesus scooped me up, tear-streaked and defeated and held me tightly.

We may not be able to put it into words, but we know this experience. We know what it feels like to be drawn outside of ourselves to the eternal, the majestic, the sacred, and the glorious. We know how beauty can stop us in our tracks, interrupt our fixation with the mundane, and reminding us that there is a world beyond the one in front of us.

– All That’s Good, Hannah Anderson

 

{sunday 4.21.19}

Read Eccelsiastes 2:11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Have you seen God’s redeeming work in your life? Or an unexplainable moment that you could potentially connect with God? Can you relate to Ecclesiastes 2:11? What are you chasing that you might need to reconsider?

 

{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

As you read the verses each day, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the reflection questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

{monday 4.22.19}

Read 1 Corinthians 4:16-5:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We are getting a peak into the the real lives of the people living in Corinth during the 1st century. We have prideful people and scandal going on. Feels like the plot to a modern show. Rephrase in your own words what’s going on here and what Paul tells them.   

{tuesday 4.23.19}

Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: “Actually, to have lawsuits with one another at all represents a major setback for you. Why not rather let yourselves be wronged? Why not rather put up with loss? But you yourselves are wronging and defrauding people, and fellow Christians at that!” Have you ever been wronged? What was your instinctual response?   

{wednesday 4.24.19}

Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul is very specific here. He is addressing a specific crowd dealing with specific issues. If Paul were writing a letter to you, what would he specifically address in your life?   

{thursday 4.25.19}

Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The church was in its infancy, no wonder the people of Corinth had so many questions for Paul to address. Paul is having to sit down and write answers to all the problems they were facing and confused about. Sit down and write a letter to Paul with all the questions you have that you want answers to. Pray about these questions in earnest to seek God’s guidance.   

{friday 4.26.19}

Read 1 Corinthians 7:17-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This is a lot more complicated to understand when we compare it to the scriptures talking about being reborn and becoming new. We change when coming to faith in Jesus yet we are still the same people God made us. We are always striving to become the people who God designed us to be. It’s difficult to know where something should change and where it should not. Talk about this with a trusted friend or group. 

{saturday 4.27.19}

Read 1 Corinthians 7:25-40

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I appreciate that Paul clarifies what he writes here is his opinion and not necessarily from God. That seems pretty honest. He had a lot of power and was telling the people of Corinth all kinds of things and how to act. He could have easily included his opinion in what God was saying. It’s difficult to separate what we feel from what God is telling us. How do you distinguish between what you feel and what you hear God saying? Can you distinguish between the two?   

 

{community discussion questions}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as a Journey Community group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters on your journey.

  • Can you name a takeaway or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?

 

{extra journey resources}

THE JOURNEY VLOG: Our own Seth Davidson has a Journey Vlog that you can subscribe to on YouTube. Five days out of each week he offers an 8-10 minute overview about the scripture reading for that day. Simply follow along, listening to the corresponding date. CLICK HERE to check it out. Be sure to click "subscribe" on the page!

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

 

© 2019 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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