{March 19, 2017}


March 19-25, 2017


{Sherpa: Adventure & Risk}

By Lisa Zulke

discovery noun dis·cov·ery \dis-ˈkə-v(ə-)rē\ : the act of finding or learning something for the first time

God drew us up that mountain with discovery—every 50 yards we literally started seeing heart shaped rocks. For real (we carried some of them home)! When the going got tough, and the line of hikers got quiet—there was a boulder shaped like a heart. Silence again—there was a stone shaped like a heart, for someone to carry who needed encouragement. Everyone started to call them out. It kept our minds attuned to the mountain, our breathing…and in a super cool way, to God hiking with us!

Today’s message seemed like it was custom made for me. I crave adventure and risk. Whether it’s an aggressive work project, a physical challenge, or a new trek…I must have these moments in my life. 

If I don’t, I tend toward complacence. I settle in the comfortable valley of life, where things are green and lush. Comfortable. And I stop discovering. 

Discovery is amazing. Life giving. It is through discovery that I learned about God. By engaging in discovery, I decided to follow Jesus in my late 20’s. If we pay attention, life is a series of discoveries that guide us toward the intent God has for our lives. 

In the past decade, I discovered that I have need of high places. To the point that my friends often get nervous. I like to sit on the edge of the cliff. On the wall at the overlook. On the top of the mountain. 

What I also discovered is that these moments aren’t just risky behavior. (I have a healthy fear of heights, so I do calculate the risk!) In these moments, I gain perspective on myself. I get a proper perspective of God. It literally “right-sizes” me. 

I also discovered that I have a near insatiable desire to explore, to find adventure, and to test my limits. For me, each of these elements leads me to the place where I am out over my skis with God. It becomes a mental, spiritual, and physical battle.  

I can’t NOT finish….but most of the time, how I am going to finish is beyond my comprehension. In these moments, I sense God’s presence closely. I fine tune my eyes, ears and heart to sense him leading, asking, guiding…being my sherpa. 

Last year I climbed Mt. Ann in Colorado, too. It is the most uncomfortable I have ever been, the farthest point outside my comfort zone I have experienced. So many things happened on that mountain, many which you have heard about. The thing I recall most vividly is God’s presence with us as we ascended.

It was grueling. There were times when the physical health challenges several of our team were living with altered our pace, impacted our strategy. At one point or another, we all struggled in the high altitude. And in those moments it became clear that God was with us.

The heart of God was literally visible (and palpable) on that mountain as each hiker wrestled with mind, body and spirit to achieve her own goal, for her own reasons. And he led the way by offering us his heart.  He didn’t make it easier, but in a unique way we experienced Isaiah 30:3-5,

“In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together."

God has us right where he wants us when we are outside our comfort zone, out over our skis. Since that hike, I have been trying to tune my ears, eyes and heart to sense him in the every day. There are not heart rocks in the office, at the gym, running the streets of KC, at a restaurant or the grocery store.

But I know this—God is in all of those places, already working on something. My challenge is to see. To notice. To sense. Literally to discover, so that I can engage with the people and the things that concern him. And that is a life of adventure and risk every day. That is to "sherp". I am all in!


{sunday 3.19.17}

Read Isaiah 40:3-5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I believe these passages describe the ultimate purpose of our "sherpa" role in life…to remove obstacles that keep people from discovering God. Where is God inviting you outside your comfort zone? Who is he inviting you to “sherp”? Where has he placed you to make "rough ground level" so that someone can see God? Jot down a plan to do one thing each week for the next month to engage in discovery with these questions!


Miss the Sunday teaching? CLICK HERE to watch now!


{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 study questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

{monday 3.20.17}

Read Romans 6:5-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul is pretty clear in these scriptures about a change that comes over someone after choosing to believe in and follow Jesus. Describe in your own words what kind of change Paul is writing about.

{tuesday 3.21.17}

Read Romans 6:17-7:6

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul continues to speak about a new life separate from the religious laws of the time. Have you experienced a new life following Jesus? Describe in your own words what that looks like.

{wednesday 3.22.17}

Read Romans 7:7-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What is something good that you know you should do but you choose not to? Why do you choose not to do it? Do you think choosing not to do this particular good thing is a sin?

{thursday 3.23.17}

Read Romans 7:21-8:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul goes on to explain in these scriptures that our focus should be on God’s spirit and not of the flesh. When are you able to best focus you thoughts and life on God’s spirit? Describe what that looks and feels like.

{friday 3.24.17}

Read Romans 8:9-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Take 5 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about the word “child”. 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.

{saturday 3.25.17}

Read Romans 8:20-33

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul tells us that we don’t always know what to pray for and that the spirit pleads on our behalf. At first pass I thought this seemed a bit insulting. As I thought further about it, it reminds me of a sleepy child who is angry because the child thinks they need another treat but in reality what they need is sleep. If we as people are children to God, then it makes sense that we don’t always know what to pray for. Have you experienced a moment looking back at something you really wanted, but that did not work out how you wanted it to? Did this work out better or worse for you going forward? Explain.

{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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