{September 20, 2020}

Heartland Community Church



NEW THING: What Story Will You Tell?

By Bill McMurtrey

When Shibu opened up today talking about "scars" I smiled really big inside. I have a saying that I share with people often: "Men tell tall tales, scars do not lie." I created that saying around 15 years ago, after I had accumulated a few really good ones.  Unfortunately for me, I’ve added a couple of more since. My body is riddled with them, so scars are something I understand. Each one tells it’s own story. My favorite is the one on my right forearm. When I was 22, a co-worker on a construction site was pinned between a truck and a tree. As I was trying to smash the window out of the truck so we could free him, my arm went through the glass. He survived, and I earned one cool physical scar.

The scars that are inside of me run much deeper than the ones that show up on on the outside. And I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this today are in the same boat. Has someone or something hurt you that you just can’t let g0 of? I’ve often battled my past. A decade ago I lost a woman I was involved with for years—in her 40’s, with kids, in generally good health—not supposed to go to heaven that soon. All of the could of’s, should of’s and wish I would of’s were my own personal demon for years. I blamed myself for every fight or missed opportunity.

Through all of the good and the hard times, I have made it my life’s mission to help others. This really ramped up in my mid twenties when I moved to Kansas City. I didn’t know very many people, and wanted to help those I saw in need. I did this by going to the Hostess bread stores. They would give me the bread and baked goods that were 3 days old. I took them to churches and homeless shelters around the city. City Union Mission, the Restart program, Salvation Army Centers, and various churches. As my little operation grew, I went to the old Hostess factory at 17th and Troost. They would give me bread by the carload to give away. So I took out the passenger and back seat of my old 1984 Ford, had the trunk lifted up and tied down with a rope to hold everything. It only got bigger from there, to the point where I turned it over to Harvesters. I was only one 20-something, by myself, no connections, no support. Just going out and doing it because I felt the nudge.

Feeding people has always been a nudge of mine. Several years later I would start making hot meals and taking them to people, anywhere I could find them. Under bridges, outside the tunnel-ways right off of Country Club Plaza. One of my best buddies, Denny, began to accompany me. We helped a lot of people under the bridges, feeding dozens each time we went. I later joined Denny in his community outreach, getting help for folks who needed to go to rehab. More recently, Denny helped launch an AA community group right here at Heartland. This community welcomes and helps folks who are sometimes viewed as the “Gerasenes”—the left behind, the wounded, the addict. If you are wanting information about this community, are in need, or know someone who is, CLICK HERE to contact them.

Back in 2011, I was approached about the opportunity to have a reality tv show. They wanted to cover the things I am sharing today. I turned it down because it’s not how or why I give my life to help others. It wasn’t for me. Living like Jesus, making space to help others, is something that I believe should be done with humility, with a community of friends, for the benefit of those in need.

In some way, shape or form, we are all broken. We have all felt forgotten or left behind. How we take our brokenness, turn it into strength and give it back to Jesus is what he calls us to do. Just as he told the howling naked man to go tell the people all the things God had done for him. What story will you tell?


{sunday 9.20.20}

Read Ephesians 4:14-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How are you turning a hard time, a broken dream, into strength? Now, how can you take that strength and join Jesus in what he is doing in the world around you? Who are the people that could help you? Who is your community of friends that will lock arms, make Jesus first, and go serve others together? As you go, how are you making Jesus first and continuing to grow more like him in all you do?


{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 9.21.20}

Read Psalm 43

Read, Ponder, Pray: Love the clarity and simplicity of this plea to God. In it, the psalmist shows us how to take every feeling, every thought, every fear to God. And yet, do so in the hope and belief that God will hear us, and that He will provide. Where do you need to declare the hardness of life, and where do you need to turn to God in hope and belief?


{tuesday 9.22.20}

Read Psalm 44

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The first half of this psalm is a community recognizing all the good things God has done in their history, even recounting the stories of their ancestors as they thank and honor the God who delivered them in the past. Then, the interlude. This is a people who feel forgotten by God. Who cry out in their persecution, pleading with God to see them, to hear them, to deliver them in this time. Have you ever found yourself living between the tension of what you have heard and been taught about God, and the awful reality of a predicament you find yourself in? Have you ever felt unseen and unheard by God? Take time to read this Psalm and note the things that speak to you. Pray those back to God and ask him to set your posture differently as you navigate the tension of now, and not yet.


{wednesday 9.23.20}

Read Psalm 45

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This psalm was written as a love song. Did you ever write a poem, or love song to someone? Perhaps it was a mix tape, that expressed your thoughts and feelings? Consider the most impactful way you encountered God, and experienced life change . . . take a moment to describe God in that experience, to thank him and call out the many ways you encountered him.


{thursday 9.24.20}

Read Psalm 46

Observe, Reflect, Apply: "Be still and know that I am God." Any time I can get out in the woods, on the water, near the mountains . . . I am drawn to a moment of stillness. It is when we are still, that we can gaze over all that God has stretched out before us, and see palpable evidence of Him. His attention to detail. His creativity with sight, sound, color, texture, scale and perspective. Where do you go to be right-sized by God? Can you find a way to get outside, to a place where he can speak to you in stillness this week?


{friday 9.25.20}

Read Psalm 47

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This psalm is a beautiful song when God’s people raise their voices together. I love music, but I can’t sing. I do, in the quiet of home. I love reading lyrics, and choosing some lines to include in my prayers throughout the week. If worship music is not your main pathway to connect with God, that is OK. Take what speaks to you from it, and use it in your journal. In your prayers. As a mantra while you tackle a tough day. There are many ways to connect with God and offer your thanks to him. What are your primary paths to God?


{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.


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© 2020 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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