{November 1, 2020}

Heartland Community Church



NEW THING: Take Hold

By Lisa Zulke

Living our best life–flourishing–in 2020 under current conditions is hard. Not impossible–just HARD. I ask God to reveal a word-of-the-year to me and have for the past 7 years. Looking through my journal notes and planner, I often see a theme or idea he might be calling me to focus on. Typically that idea is an area I need to work on.

This year the word that kept coming up was endurance. I tried to give it back several times. Surely, I am not hearing correctly. I’ve run 5 marathons, lost count of the half marathons I’ve tackled, and enjoy the "easy" 5 and 10K races along the way. One note about me–I’m not a fast runner. What I do each run is really endurance. To the point that my running coach (a 7 minute miler in his heyday) has said to my pace group, "Truly, I could never do what you guys do, over the amount of time it takes. I don’t have that level of endurance in me." Ha! An interesting compliment, but this year it has come to make sense.

I have learned that I love the journey of endurance. Of training, of gaining strength, and yes, even speed at times! I don’t mind being out running for 3-4 hours. Not one bit. I love the outdoors, and Kansas City is rife with amazing trail systems, parks and city routes that keep your eyes, mind and muscles occupied over the miles.

Endurance for me in 2020 has been about finding joy in the hard. About turning the uncontrollable circumstances of church transitions, pandemic responses, and culture conflicts into–joy. Yep, joy. Just like running 13-18-26 miles becomes joy, this year has stretched me to look and name joy, too. I have found joy in learning new pathways to connect with my people, and being creative in how we gather in outdoor spaces. Joy has come in learning new skills at work, and testing and trying and improving so many things. Joy was found in seeing many of you hop on YouTube and say hello in chat. I long to see your faces, but we worship together, differently, each and every Sunday. Joy came in coaching Younique through Zoom rooms, and hearing all of your hopes and dreams, and praying over how God might expand or refine those in this season. Joy is coming in seeing so many of you stand firm in the midst of this season of change and chaos–when I get the privilege of saying, "I am a part of these people, we are a community that will endure. God is on the move, and we get to be a part of that!"

Call me crazy, but endurance is my jam! Merriam-Webster defines endurance as the power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Does that not define 2020? Or the challenge of church seasons and changes? Or the stretching we are all doing keeping in touch with our people, with one another?

Romans 5:3-5 (TPT) says it this way:

But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!

There is joy, confidence and hope knowing that our endurance has purpose. Knowing that God sees us. Knowing that God always has a plan that he will move us toward. Knowing that I have access to God at any time, to help me endure in his power. We GET to run the hard race this year. We GET to find joy in the midst of it. We GET to land on hope throughout this season.

For me, I am taking hold of endurance and all of it’s lessons this year, because I want to be a person who can handle the hard "without giving way."


{sunday 11.1.20}

Read Romans 5:3-5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Where has God developed patient endurance in your life story? What is he calling you to take hold of in our challenge today? Share the thing you are naming, that you want to grow in, with a friend. Pray for one another as you pursue all that God is preparing you for!


{bible reading plan: psalms}

By Meghan Hemenway

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 11.2.20}

Read Psalm 73

Read, Ponder, Pray: Following God is a marathon not a sprint. I have run a marathon and I hit a point when my mind and body agreed that there was no reason to go on. As in, this spot right here is my new home and it is all I deserve because I didn’t have the stamina to keep going. It was dark, lonely and all the training I had done seemed pointless. At that moment, a race volunteer locked eyes step with me. He reminded me of the work I had done and how close I was to the finish. He put my eyes on the goal and then had me look back. “See those people behind you? They are looking to you to keep them going.” With that encouragement and challenge he sent me on to the glory of the finish line. Psalm 73 is a reminder that we have a a guide and a source of strength in God. What race are you weary of running? Who is behind you, looking to you for the encouragement to keep going?


{tuesday 11.3.20}

Read Psalm 74

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Today is a tough day. No matter your political opinions election anxiety has probably affected your life in some way. This is concern about not only election outcomes, but worry about the future and how an elected leader may or may not be able to protect us and what we value. Can you list some of the things you are anxious about? God parted the seas, he made the seasons, he set the sun in the sky, and yet we doubt his ability to handle these worries? When we don’t see signs of God’s strength and goodness it can be hard, but what signs from your past or from the Bible can you list that show you God is still in control?


{wednesday 11.4.20}

Read Psalm 75

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Psalm 75 reminds us that God is the ultimate judge. We have to accept his timing, but if we can have faith that he is in charge we can hopefully release some of our anxieties and focus on the good, forever leader he is. We can believe in a good God who cares for us and provides for us, even when we see evil, injustice, or wrong-doing continue. What signs of God’s goodness are in your life? What worries about the future can you set down in front of God?


{thursday 11.5.20}

Read Psalm 76

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Psalm 76 is a song of hope and encouragement. It’s like a fight song to fortify morale in the midst of a battle. “Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?” God is glorious and strong against weapons of war. He is a protector and defender of the humble. The words in this psalm can give us encouragement that our God is a leader worthy of our trust and faith. He can prevail. In difficult times, focusing on the things for which we are grateful can change our perspective. We can sing a song of praise in the darkest situation and truly mean it. What are you grateful for today?


{friday 11.6.20}

Read Psalm 77

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Sometimes I believe in the ultimate promise that God wants good for me, but I doubt that it will happen here on Earth. I can have faith in God and his love for me, but I can also believe that his plan for my life might be one filled with hardships. While it is true God didn’t promise a life of ease, my thoughts are not based on facts, but fears. Can God really handle my worries? Can he really carry the weight of my life’s burdens? Psalm 77 puts it like this, has his steadfast love ceased? Has his resolute, dutiful, unwavering love stopped? In the same thought we see faith – a love that will never stop – and doubt – has the impossible happened? We can trust and doubt. We are human and God knows that. In what areas of your life do you trust and doubt God’s love for you? What problems do you hold back as “too much” for God to solve?




{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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