{April 25, 2021}

Heartland Community Church



Why Turn Back?

By Bill McMurtrey

What are you going to do about it? I knew Steve was going to say that today before he even did. Kinda like I was finishing off a sentence for him. I’ve known Steve through Heartland for many years and that is one of a multitude of things that I absolutely love about him. That quote of his, that invitation/challenge to do better that he has made his own and regularly asks people: "What are you going to do about it?" 

Have you ever defied God? Ignored what he nudged you to do? I know that I’ve defied God more times than I care to count. Not sure it ever worked out a single time. It’s probably safe to say that we all have defied God at some point in our lives, many of us multiple times. Only Jesus is perfect. Only Jesus is without sin. 

"Count your blessings" is a crowd favorite saying. You have to admit, it’s kinda good. The phrase is made to help us remember the good things we have in life and not the bad, to focus on the things that we CAN do and not what we think we can’t. Notice I said "think we can’t." Because with faith and obedience to God, ALL things are possible.

What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23

I wrote about this just a few weeks ago. After I did I reflected a lot on the memories it brought back. In that piece, I shared how I left my dream career of being a Law Enforcement Officer so that I could become more active with the church. Not just Heartland, but the church, God’s people. And how my friends and family all said you’re going to go do whatttttt?  Back then God sent me signs, and I knew, without hesitation or reservation that God did not want me there. What next, I had no idea . . . but I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be where I was.

I did not want to leave my dream career, that stability and security to go do whatever It was that I was supposed to do next. But I did. I left, and have been doing my best ever since to help create, organize and serve others any time the opportunity is placed before me. If you would’ve told me all those years ago where i would be today I honestly would not have been able to imagine it.

In the early days of this "adventure" it was officially dubbed "Helping Hands." There were guys that were faithful in helping. Guys like Denny who now runs the AA group on Tuesday nights. Guys like Rob that would lead Men’s Ministry and go on to create a house church. Guys like my long time Canadian friend Brad who is one of the greatest encouragers of all time. My faith and fortitude have drawn me to surround myself with friends like them.

"For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20

God wants different things for each of us, what he wants for you might not be for the next guy. But what God does want is for us to surrender all of our doubts, fears, anger and lost hopes, and draw closer to him.

So the question remains, "What are you going to do about it?"



{sunday 4.25.21}

Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do these verses mean to you today? If you have been a Jesus follower for a week, a year, or ten years…what did these verses mean when you first came to believe in Jesus? Do you have a sense that God is calling you away from something? Or toward something new? What do you need to let go of to move toward the new?


{prayer for the week}

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

God, we are so thankful that you sent Jesus to make things right with each of us. Thank you for being a God who forgives, who gives grace, who loves us no matter what. May we in turn receive that grace, forgiveness and love from you, and learn to be conduits to pass it on to thers in our daily lives. Amen!


{bible reading plan}

By Meghan Hemenway

{monday 4.26.21}

Read Genesis 11:10-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In today’s passage, we see the descendants of Shem listed out. We see the line through generations which led to Abram. Later on we will see Abram’s story, but here we see the plan. Nothing God does is an accident. He is not surprised by circumstance or situation and he never has to adjust the plan. God would use Abram and here we see how carefully he prepared and planned for his birth. How can you see God’s long, detailed plan unfolding in your life? What parts of your story might you see as carefully planned rather than random or unrelated?

{tuesday 4.27.21}

Read Genesis 11:27-12:9

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Today we continue to see the set up of Abram’s life. We know the story of Abram – we know that God will eventually speak to him and change his name to Abraham – but at this part none of that has happened yet. Here we learn about Terah his father, his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot and their families. We see how Terah took the family from Ur and ended up in Haran. This wasn’t the plan. Terah intended to get to Canaan, but they stopped in Haran and settled there. We don’t read why this happened or what helped Terah make this decision, but we can see that it wasn’t the original plan and it effected many people.When Terah dies God speaks to Abram and tells him to go. We don’t know if God spoke to Abram’s father, but we do see that when he spoke to Abram, he listened. Do you check with God when you think the plan needs to change? How do you listen and watch for the voice of God along your path? What signs have you seen telling you either to stay or to keep going?

{wednesday 4.28.21}

Read Genesis 12:10-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In this part of Abram and Sarai’s story they are in Egypt to wait out a famine. Abram tells Sarai to lie about their relationship because he fears the Egyptians will kill him to be able to take her because of her beauty. The Pharoh does decide he wants Sarai as a wife, but takes care of Abram because he believes he is Sarai’s brother. God punishes Pharoh with plagues for taking Sarai so he eventually lets Abram and Sarai go. On this journey of following where God is leading them, what must Abram and Sarai think about this Egyptian chapter? We don’t know exactly how long this time lasted, but it couldn’t have been quick. Did Abram and Sarai think that God had forgotten them? What might have been different if Abram had not told Sarai to lie? We don’t always know the reasons for what happens in our lives, but we can see in the story of Abram that God’s plan never changes. He will accomplish the God work he started. What detours or unexpected chapters have you had in your life? Did it feel like God had forgotten you in these times?

{thursday 4.29.21}

Read Genesis 13:1-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In today’s passage we see the part of the story when Lot and Abram separate their paths. Lot has gone with Abram since the time when his grandfather, Terah was leading them. At this point they realize that because of their numerous people and livestock the area cannot support both of them. Rather than fight, Abram tells Lot to choose an area and then he will go somewhere else. Lot chooses an area that is lush and green and perhaps makes his think of the land God has promised them. We know the end of the story – it is an area God eventually destroys because of its wicked people, but Lot doesn’t know this at the time. What we do see is the contrast between how Lot chooses and how Abram chooses. We don’t see God speaking to Lot nor do we see Lot building alters to God. He seems to make decisions on his own. At every step we see God speaking to Abram, reminding him of his plan and promises and we see Abram building alters to God. What does it look like in your life to communicate back and forth with God about the choices you must make? At what points have you made decisions like Lot and at what times have you made decisions like Abram?

{friday 4.30.21}

Read Genesis 14:1-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In this chapter Lot and his people are captured by enemies in the land he has chosen to settle in. Someone escapes and is able to tell Abram who immediately gathers his people to rescue Lot. We know that the land Lot chose was bad and perhaps Abram knew this too. But it doesn’t stop him from rescuing his family. We don’t see him lecturing his nephew or contemplating leaving him to deal with the consequences of his bad choices. He instantly goes to help his family. When have you been asked to help in a similar time? 

{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.


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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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