{February 14, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

INTERIOR DESIGN: Slow Down To Catch Up

By Meghan Hemenway

I don’t have to think hard to come up with the person who was a good listener in my life. My dad made his living being a good listener, but it was a skill he used at home as a father, husband, brother, and uncle. My dad had a presence of peace. When you entered into his sphere it was like a force field against the passage of time. He would ask me how one thing or another was going in my life and when I finished sharing I would realize I’d been talking for an hour. Time didn’t really stop when I was in his presence, but he made me feel like it did because nothing else mattered more to him than letting me work through whatever was troubling me. He showed love by listening well.

Jesus was the ultimate listener. As Tom Brawner said today, Jesus was fully present, focused, and never in a rush. He explored people’s stories and took action on their behalf. He never put his agenda for the day above sitting with a person and hearing their concerns. He showed us a model of loving well by listening well. He showed us that slowing down was the way to connect with people and walk together. This is what he offers to us and what he has taught us to do with each other.

In this past year of multiplying unknowns and uncertainty I have longed to have my father’s ear again. I find myself mulling over decisions or dealing with the frustration and anxiety of this season and wishing to step again into that force field against time he would make for the just the two of us. He gave me the ultimate gift of being seen and understood and showed me how to love your people well with the space you make for them to share.

 

{sunday 2.14.21}

Read Proverbs 2:1-5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It is hard to hear when we are speaking. It’s even hard to hear when we are only listening with our ears. Listening to understand brings treasure not just to our lives but to the people to whom we give that gift. Who can you make space for in your life that really could use that gift of being listened to? What treasure may be unseen in their life that they need help understanding and uncovering?

 

{prayer for the week}

Join us this week in a shared community-wide prayer.

Jesus, thank you for the people in my life that are great listeners. The folks that remind me who I am; who you created me to be. As I move through this week, would you help me slow my pace? Help me really notice people. Help me listen, and practice my ability to discern and understand. Give me opportunities to practice my listening super power, and use it to reflect identity, strength and courage back to people. I look forward to spending slower, intentional time with you this week. Amen.

 

{bible reading plan: psalms & lent readings in john}

This week we pause in our study of the Psalms in order to engage on the journey toward Easter. Some call this Lent, or the Lenten season.

LENT 101

You’ve likely heard about Ash Wednesday and Lent, but may have never fully understood or engaged in this season of the church calendar in a more intentional way. Most of us celebrate Easter in some way…perhaps through a church celebration, or something involving baskets, eggs and rabbits. This guide is meant to shed light on the basics of Jesus-followers honoring Lent and Easter, and allow you to engage more intentionally along the way.

This year, Lent begins on February 17 with Ash Wednesday, which we’ll break down later, and ends Thursday, April 1 on Holy Thursday. The other big days all happen in the same week, appropriately named Holy Week. It marks the final week of Lent. These days include Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.

Lent lasts for forty days because that’s how long Jesus wandered in the desert, fasting, while he resisted Satan’s temptations. We have an opportunity, during the forty days of Lent, to reflect on our lives and draw closer to Jesus. Perhaps to slow the pace of life.

During Lent, Jesus followers often “fast” in various ways to connect with and honor him, similar to his forty day fast in the desert. Note that “fasting” may not always involve food. It may simply be choosing something (a habit, a block of time) to set aside that frees up space you can spend learning about Jesus, or practicing prayer. The main goal is to choose a way to practice sacrifice and intentionality so we can become closer to Jesus.

By Lisa Zulke

{monday 2.15.21}

Read Psalm 119:57-88

Read, Ponder, Pray: Continuing in Psalm 119, ask God to reveal one phrase or truth that he wants your attention on today. The phrase that jumps out to me today is line 77, "Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight." As I slow my pace, God surrounding me becomes palpable. At the hectic pace I typically run I confess that my senses are dull. Praying for God to meet me in my pace this week, to help me see him more clearly and live my life in light of his instruction. What did you notice?

{tuesday 2.16.21}

Read Psalm 119:89-120

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It is super cool and awe inspiring to consider that God has existed for all of time, and has walked the road alongside every human ever created. Mind blowing! The line that makes me imagine it: "Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created." If you look at the generations in your family, where can you see evidence of God’s faithfulness? How has he impacted every generation?

{wednesday 2.17.21}

Read John 10:1-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This day is marked by many with a cross of ashes on the forehead, symbolizing our mortality…from ashes to ashes and dust to dust. It begins the season where Jesus-followers consider the incredible gift given us through Jesus’ life, his teachings, and ultimately his sacrifice and resurrection on the cross. We begin our Lent study by reflecting on Jesus as our shepherd…one who knows us, and one whose voice we can know. Have you come to the place where you recognize clearly Jesus’ voice in your life? His influence? His nudges? His voice and influence have grown louder for me in this somewhat isolated year. Take some time to consider how and when you best hear, with confidence, the voice and influence of Jesus. How can you make that more intentional?

{thursday 2.18.21}

Read John 10:22-42

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In these lines, Jesus makes bold claims to be the Son of God. Had we been there hearing his words in person, what would we have believed? What might we have wondered? And, when he quoted our own scriptures back to us, would we have noticed that he, standing there in the flesh, was the fulfillment of those words from God? Who do you say Jesus is? What miraculous works has he done in your life to draw you to him?

{friday 2.19.21}

Read John 11:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What a day this would have been. Imagine the emotion before it, when Jesus didn’t go immediately to heal Lazarus. Imagine his followers so confidently saying they will go with him…even if it leads to their own death because the crowds in that village were prepared to stone him. Imagine Jesus’ thoughts, knowing that he is about to raise a dead man back to life…in front of family, friends, enemies and followers. As you read the story, which perspective is easiest for you to relate to? Where do you need Jesus to raise something to life in your world? Do you believe it could really happen?

{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 the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

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!

 

© 2021 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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