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{December 8, 2019}






Heartland Community Church


December 8 – 13, 2019

 

Let There Be Light: Do You Want To Get Well?

By Brooke Hodnefield

It was January, six years ago, that I boarded a plane from Kansas City to visit my best friend. She was living in North Carolina, as her husband was in med school. They had delivered a baby girl, and she arrived far too early. I felt disconnected being across the country from her, but she was filled with hope as I spoke to her on the phone. They were told there was a good chance that she would pull through just fine. Three days later, their hope turned to despair. I received a text, as she had no voice that would be audible over the phone…there was bleeding from her brain, and it wasn’t looking good. McKinley Hope was cherished and loved in her three short days, and my best friend was forever changed. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. -Psalm 34:18

Her sorrow was so deep, she was brokenhearted and crushed. I felt completely helpless. What does one do to support someone you love, who is utterly burdened in pain and grief? I did the only thing I knew to do. With another best friend by my side, we boarded a plane and went to be with her. I’ve never been so nervous as to how to handle myself. We prayed like crazy, in desperation. What transpired over the next few days was beautiful. 

If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. -Romans 8:26-28

We cried, we ached, I organized her pantry and my friend painted her walls. Trivial things that kept us busy and helped her in small ways. We leaned in towards one another and the light that God shone upon her face was glorious. The raw pain was there, but she still clung to God. She knew there was something greater to be redeemed through McKinley’s sweet presence, maybe not even in this lifetime, but the light was radiant and clearly felt. The light of our loving Savior hovered over my dear friend and bathed her in a peace that only she can know. She still says that she has never felt closer to God as she did then. Whether she knew it or not, God was teaching us about his fearsome love for His children. 

This time of year is so very hard for my dear friend. My heart aches and is heavy this time of year for her, but each year there are small signs of healing that are evident. I’ve learned so much about healing from her. It’s often not quick, the pain may likely never go away, but there is a choice that she makes in the way she lives out her healing. Still in pain…but basked in God’s redeeming light. 

Whether you are walking alongside someone in need of healing, or you are the one in need of a Healer, the emotions we experience are raw and very real. In the Bible, the Psalms can be a great place to connect with these deep emotions, oftentimes expressing what we ourselves can’t put to words. Take a moment to consider a Psalm that connects with you and read it thoughtfully. If you’ve not explored the Psalms, find one that personifies what you might be feeling, or connect with something you have experienced and emotions you felt at that time.

How might it look to experience pain but turn towards God, our light? Or on the flipside, turn towards darkness and possibly unhealthy ways of dealing with the pain? 

CLICK HERE to watch to the 12.8.19 message, Let There Be Light: Do You Want To Get Well? Due to technical difficulties we were unable to video record the service. Apologies for the inconvenience.

 

{advent bible reading plan: making space}

By Brooke Hodnefield

This week your daily Journey readings begin our reflections on advent. In this series, we will focus on verses that draw us to make space for Jesus in our lives.

Our Journey writers are working on daily mini-reflections and questions to help us process this week and throughout December as we make space together.

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.

During this season, Seth Davidson’s Vlog, The Journey Online, will be offline, making space for what is coming in 2020! We offer these daily reflections in that space.

 

{monday 12.9.19}

Read Luke 2:1-4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: A December 1995 article featured in the LA Times reads, ‘A newly betrothed couple is forced to register for a census in a town far away. The woman is nine months pregnant.’ 90 miles. That is just how far Joseph & Mary traveled to get to what would eventually land them at an overbooked Inn. It was winter, it was a long road, and Mary was grossly pregnant. 

Are you journeying somewhere right now? What does the road, the path, or your next unknown footstep look like? Take a moment and offer that whatever that might be, clear or unclear, to God. He has weathered many roads!

 

{tuesday 12.10.19}

Read Matthew 1:18-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The Bible is full of mystery, and we certainly see a great deal of mystery in Jesus’s birth. How does a virgin mother conceive the Messiah?! The Holy Spirit. This somewhat ominous part of the Trinity can be hard to grasp, but just like Mary and Joseph, they could trust that God had a plan. 

Where do you sense something a sacred mystery at work? Can you wrestle with the fact that the Holy Spirit is alive and active, living in those who believe? Can you point to this activity in your life?

 

{wednesday 12.11.19}

Read Isaiah 43:1

Observe, Reflect, Apply: There is a flurry that can surround our day to day, a rush of activity and distractions. Nagging, hard situations that place a cloud over our head. The waters continue rushing around, but you are stuck, pulled down by the current, your impending circumstances. That gray cloud. As the Message version reads…’I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God.’ 

What are your ‘rough waters’ right now? How can you turn from something temporary as a coping mechanism, to a God who promises you that you ‘won’t go down.’

 

{thursday 12.12.19}

Read Isaiah 53:11-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Nothing is too small for the Lord. What you think is petty, God receives with care and concern. What is important to you and aches your heart, is that with which God wants to sit with you and tend to. He took the entire world’s sins on his own shoulders and wiped our slates clean. His anguish is turned to delight when we turn to him, with our mundane and small. 

What are you storing away, keeping in the dark, that needs light to be shed? Can you offer that to God today, your confidant and friend?

What things in my life will I be able to make as an offering to him?

 

{friday 12.13.19}

Read Matthew 2:9-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The wise men received the news of the Savior’s birth and were filled with joy–jubilation, delight & triumph. This Advent season, consider your own emotions, the ways in which you approach and live through the weeks leading up to Jesus’s birth. Consider how you might be able to point others to Jesus in and through the ways you experience joy during this season.

Take an honest assessment of your heart right now. Are you able to focus on the joy manifested through Jesus’s birth or are you on the holiday hamster wheel? What traditions are important to you that encourage joy in celebrating Jesus’s birth? How might you share those with others?

 

{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}

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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