{February 26, 2017}


February 26-March 4, 2017


{Living the Dream}

By Sarah Hahs

First semester of my freshman year of college I had a composition class that required us to write a paper a week. The first week I was very excited to hand in my first college paper. It felt so grown up and important. This was before electronic submission, so I was careful to leave enough time after writing it to walk to the library and print it off so that it was ready to submit the following day. I handed in my paper and anxiously awaited its return. It was returned to me, not with a grade on it like everyone else, but with a note that instructed me to meet with my professor. 

I stopped by during office hours, nervously knocking on the door. I had never been to a professor’s office before. My knock was met with a gruff reply to come in. I was told that my paper didn’t have a grade on it because it wasn’t fit to grade and that my topic was childish and my writing was sub-par. I was crushed.

I ran back to my dorm room where I called my mother and sobbed. I loved words. I loved reading words, I loved writing words, I loved speaking words. Words were sacred and beautiful. And I had just been told I lacked the talent to use them. I put my dream of writing away. I finished the class with a C, and never shared my writings with anyone unless academically required. 

God has a funny way of taking the things you are most afraid of and making you confront them. I kept having people ask me to write things and I kept feeling a nudge to pursue writing in my free time. God kept showing me his plan when I would lean into him, sit with his words, or love on his people.

Today I kept hearing, “You are seen and known by a God who loves you but who also wants you to pursue his dream for you.”  It has taken me several years to realize that God’s dream for me also involves me facing my fears. That stepping out in faith is sometimes scary and ugly and messy and—the best part—beautifully redeemable by God. We are God’s workmanship. The message today reaffirmed that I need to keep pursuing what God has whispered into me.

I think Shibu’s words came from a person pursuing what God has whispered to him. Those words were sacred and beautiful. His courage to speak his words today gives me hope that as God’s people we can start to pursue our dreams together. To have the hard conversations . . . the messiness of a broken people trying to love as Jesus loves.

It is not going to be pretty. We will stumble trip through it, as I did in freshman comp. But God’s dream for his people was never to leave us in exile. He has a plan me, for you. Let’s start moving towards the dream he is weaving in us. Push through the hard moments and let them define—not defeat—us.

“Exile is the place where dreams go to die” – Dave Rhodes

Missed Sunday? CLICK HERE to watch the video service.


{sunday 2.26.17}

Read Exodus 2:11-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This part of scripture is where Moses flees the Pharaoh because he’s afraid for his life. Is there something that you fled from because you were afraid? Why were you afraid?


{personal reflection and reading plan: from the book of Acts}

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


{monday 2.27.17}

Read Acts 26:15-27

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul is telling King Agrippa his story about how he came to follow Jesus. If you are someone following Jesus, how would you tell your story? If you are someone who is not a follower of Jesus, what is your story in regards to what has brought you to the point of reading this?

{tuesday 2.28.17}

Read Acts 26:28-27:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: There isn’t a lot going on in these scriptures outside of details surrounding the sailing trip Paul was being taken on to Italy. Why do you think the author found it necessary to include all these details? When a friend tells you a story about something that happened to them, would it seem odd if they couldn’t recount any of the details (how they traveled, when they traveled, where they traveled, why they were traveling)?

{wednesday 3.1.17}

Read Acts 27:9-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul gives advice to those in charge of the ship about the dangers they could be facing–but those in charge decide to go on. As we continue to read we see that the dangers Paul warned about are becoming their reality. Have you ever experienced someone warning about dangers or troubles ahead if you continue with the course you’re on? Did you listen or ignore them? What happened as a result of your decision?

{thursday 3.2.17}

Read Acts 27:21-38

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Imagine yourself leaving for a long road trip and you see on the news that bad weather is ahead. You warn your fellow travelers that maybe you should postpone the trip, but they take a vote and decide to go ahead with the trip anyway. You are several days into the trip and you have ran into bad weather and you’ve become stranded. To top it off you have run out of food except for a little bit of bread left in case in help doesn’t come soon and you need it to survive.
How you react in this moment? How did Paul react? Why did Paul react this way?

{friday 3.3.17}

Read Acts 27:39-28:6

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul is having one of the worst road trips you can imagine. After a horrible sailing trip they finally spot land and try to sail in nicely but end up getting stuck and having to swim to shore. They get there and meet some nice people that built them a fire. Things are finally looking up and then while collecting firewood Paul is bitten by a viper. Paul is fortunate and does not die from the snake bite. Have you ever experienced a time in your life when things just kept turning out badly no matter what you did? What was that experience like? Are you currently going through this? If so, do you know someone you trust that you can share this with that can help and encourage?

{saturday 3.4.17}

Read Acts 28:7-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Finally the trip ends with Paul arriving in Rome. That was one long and horrible journey, especially when your final destination is to stand trial. Take 5 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about the word “journey”. The only guidelines are…. 1) Do NOT stop writing for the entire 5 minutes; 2) Do NOT self-edit as you write. Share what you wrote with someone else.

{group discussion ideas}

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 an Heartland 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 for The Journey.

  • Can you name an ‘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}

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.


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© 2017 Heartland Community Church 12175 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 341-5820.

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