{August 16, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

ROOTED: Encountering God’s Creativity

By Bill McMurtrey

What a story the teaching began with today! (If you missed it, you can watch or listen HERE.) Ouuuuchhh! Poor Grandpa! Pelted in the head by balls of ice?! Unfortunately, I can relate, to the tune of needing medical attention and stitches . . . that was over 30 years ago but I still remember it like yesterday. And I didn’t even get to smell any "pine needles releasing their coniferous odor." That would have been cool. And I promise you this my friends, there wasn’t any beautiful sky scenery like that at Yosemite afterwards either.

That is how many of us, as humans lving through a pandemic are feeling at the moment. That life is one big giant hail storm. This "new normal" is anything but normal at all. Some have adjusted, some are trying to adjust and some are feeling left behind. We are each responsible for our own thoughts, actions and reactions. You, me, every one of us.

Up on the main wall in my office I hand painted my all time favorite saying from Sir David Livingstone. If you’re not familiar, he was an 18th century rags-to-riches Scottish doctor,  christian missionary, explorer, and humanitarian. He devoted his life to finding the root of the Nile river in Africa and to help eradicate malaria for much of the region at that time. He also worked to displace slave trading and crusaded against it by having the slave routes replaced with commercial use. He was a visionary of a man. Didn’t really worry about what others thought of him. Livingstone was my kinda guy . . . and the saying of his that I painted on my office wall is one of my mottos:

“If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”

– Sir David Livingstone

Today we were challenged to name what has threatened our sense of normalcy. As I think of it, asked to name where there is no road. Maybe it’s the chaos of the pandemic. Maybe it’s failing relationships around you. Perhaps it’s you. You keep getting in the way of you growing.

Isn’t that the case more often than not? Our own thoughts, attitudes, actions and reactions are usually our worst enemy? Uhg, why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we take out our own roads?

Have we become so used to the ease of a routine that we’re unsure how to carry on without it? Maybe you know someone that fell apart over the pandemic and the constant cycle of change it has brought.

Complacency is never good. Complacency often catches us when we are the least prepared for the unknown, for change. We’re in the hail storm, but we are all in it together. And most importantly, God is still in control. He always has been, he always will be.

Where are you currently in the midst of this proverbial hail storm? Are you forging ahead? Figuring out your next course? Building a new road? Or do you feel that you’re falling behind? Regardless of where we would locate ourselves, one question that should be a constant for all of us is, how am I engaging God?

We may be in Psalm 19 today, but during these uncertain times I gravitate to Matthew 11:28-30:

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

God is still here. The church is still here (in-person and now online, where I can catch it from anywhere!). My hope, my daily prayer, is that each of us will remain focused on God, rooted in Him, with Him and through Him. And that with God, and our community, we’ll go where there are no roads at all.

 

{sunday 8.16.20}

Read Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Are you able to take the things that burden you and engage God over them? To ask him for his supernatural help? What has God been teaching you? Read Psalm 19, and ponder what God is saying to you through it. Consider going somewhere that you most easily encounter God, and praying over Psalm 19 there. We are with you in it this week, friends! May God bring encouraging words to our mouths, and may he find the meditations of our hearts turning toward him.

 

{bible reading plan: psalms}

By Lisa Zulke

The Journey online videos have been discontinued at this time. Check out this great video overview of Psalms from our friends at The Bible Reading Project!

{monday 8.17.20}

Read Psalm 11

Read, Ponder, Pray: In today’s psalm, I am challenged with how God views me. My outward actions, my inward thoughts. What I stand up for, and what I turn a blind eye to. In God’s eyes, based on the way he calls us to live, to love our neighbor, to serve the furthest away, and to make things right with our enemies . . . based on those measure, will I be found righteous and good? Or wicked and deserving of justice? I trust in him for protection, but I also see him calling me to be fully engaged in doing my part, as he defines my part.

 

{tuesday 8.18.20}

Read Psalm 12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: So, God isn’t letting up this week as we move through the Psalms! Whew! In these verses I see God calling me to more. To better. To truth, and partnership, and coming alongside, and helping others, and reserving judgement, and to pure motives and to rising up. Where do I need to confess some things to God from this list? Consider writing your own version of this psalm, declaring the truthful state of your heart and mind and actions. This is what it means when a christian says things like "give it all to God" . . . it simply means naming that which we struggle with, and inviting him to teach us and refine us. Praying today that God will refine and purify me in that fire, and that he will do the same for each of you.

 

{wednesday 8.19.20}

Read Psalm 13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It is comforting to me, that God wants to hear even these thoughts. That he is OK if I rail at him, if I feel forgotten by him and I declare it. When I feel sorrow and defeat he wants to know those feelings. He wants me to name them, because he knows that what we do not name will rule and reign over us. I love how David, in this Psalm, let’s out all the hard feelings and the frustration and the fear and the anger . . . and then turns and declares what he knows to be true about God. Take some time today and write your own version of Psalm 13. Get all the yuck out, and close by naming what you know to be true about God . . . in spite of current circumstances.

 

{thursday 8.20.20}

Read Psalm 14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As I read this psalm, I am struck with the view God sees, both then, and in our time. What must the creator of this world, of each human who walks the earth think as he sees our daily lives? What does he feel as he looks upon this earth? What would he want me to think and feel as I look around, and try to see with his eyes?

 

{friday 8.21.20}

Read Psalm 15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I have to admit, I struggle with this theme in the psalms . . . the us and them, right and wicked, faithful and sinner. My heart resonates deeply with stories of grace and forgiveness and redemption throughout scripture. And less with words like these. Yet I know that God invented grace and forgiveness and redemption. I know that he longs for all of his people to share their anger and pain and vengeful spirits and confess their ugliest thoughts and actions . . . and when we do, he restores us to a deep and invested relationship with him. Have you ever confessed the things you hide from God to him? Have you ever specifically named those things and asked for his forgiveness and restoration? If not, consider saying or writing those confessions now.

 

{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!

 

© 2020 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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