{June 6, 2021}

Heartland Community Church


Here For It

By Lisa Zulke

I’m here for it . . . whatever it is! That is a posture I long to carry into all of life. Ready. Responsive. Expectant. Fully present in the moment. But I get distracted. Busy. I feel unprepared for the surprise of Jesus mentioned in today’s teaching. Or worse, to be fully transparent, I want control.

No, Jesus, that can’t be what you mean. That’s not how I envisioned this all happening. I’ll hold on while you do this other thing. If I were writing the story, I’d do this. I’ll bet some days we exhaust him. I’m pretty certain I do.

This past year in life has been hard. And the past year+ at Heartland has been hard, if we are honest. You’ve heard me share before that God’s sense of humor in 2020 in my life was on point. The "word" he helped me name in January 2020 was ENDURANCE. Being a distance runner, I understand that word. I had lots of ideas about what God wanted to teach me in giving me that word as a focal point. I dug into scripture, and he gave me Hebrews 10:35-36.

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Jesus had other things in mind, working on endurance in my life. Perhaps even in the life of Heartland as a people.

Of course, there was a pandemic. With a lung condition that makes exposure to COVID more dangerous for me, I had to endure a long period of isolation as I worked from home. That took endurance. And patience. I’m good at endurance. I am not good at patience. I embraced long distance walks, runs, bike rides and paddles. I spent as much time as I could outdoors. And in that space, God surprised me.

I wanted him to surprise me differently, though. I begged him to eliminate the virus. I prayed for people and their family members who fell ill . . . some who did not make it. I begged him to change the trajectory of Heartland’s story. I argued with him over how things were going. But, God, surely you don’t mean to write the story this way. You placed a call on this place, on these people. Why does it feel like you are making it impossible to step into that call? Why so much change, God? Why can’t we all figure this out together and come through on the other side of this season with everyone present. Yep, control issues!

Truthfully, I wanted God to fix all the things, to fix me, to fix all the people hurting, to end the pandemic. I wanted him to foot the bill, if you will. But, his idea of endurance was different . . . I can see it and am beginning to appreciate it today. Even to trust it. Yep, I have trust issues, too.

As I reflect, both personally and communally, I think God has wanted me (and our community) to develop patient endurance because he needs us to be prepared for where he is leading, what he is calling us into. He has been building the muscle in us the job will take. He’s already prepared the way. Now, he is just preparing me. Us. I can boldly say, today, "I’m here for it, whatever it is!"


{sunday 6.6.21}

Read Hebrews 10:35-36

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What does patient endurance look like in your life? How is God developing you for the dream he has for your life? Are you ready for it? Let’s embrace this Jesus first life, and help one another walk it out together. What an adventure and joy THAT will be!


{prayer for the week}

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

Jesus, we stand before you this week ready to be surprised. Surprise us with your presence, your guidance, your vision for us. Help me name the ways that I can shift to leading a Jesus-first life, and practice my way into them. Jesus, you turned death around, and I believe you have the power to turn ____________________ around in my life. I invite you into that space, and boldly declare, "I am here for it, whatever it is!" Amen.


{bible reading plan}

By Lisa Zulke

{monday 6.7.21}

Read Genesis 28:10-22

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What an incredible dream Jacob had when he paused to camp overnight on his journey. As Jacob awakens, he is overwhelmed by the power and promise in the dream, and by the very presence of God with him in the desert. He erects a memorial, an alter, to name the place that God met him, to honor the message that God inspired him with. I admit I don’t mark the moments God appears and helps me or provides for me or guides me very well. I’m left to ponder, in this day and age, what would it look like to mark the places and the moments God breaks into my life. What might that look like in your life?

{tuesday 6.8.21}

Read Genesis 29:1-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In these passages, Jacob continues following the plan he was given, being obedient, and arriving at a well near the village he is headed toward. In this place he meets Rachel, his soon to be wife, and is reunited with parts of his family that had been scattered. Imagine yourself in this scene. On a long journey by foot, headed toward a "next" that you don’t really know clearly. What would that feel like? Has God ever had you on a journey like that? How did you stay focused and persevere to the finish?

{wednesday 6.9.21}

Read Genesis 29:14-30

Observe, Reflect, Apply: These passages appear out of context in our time, but in biblical times arranged marriage was common. What stands out here is the deceit that Laban acted with by switching daughters and tricking Jacob into 7 more years to finally earn the right to marry Rachel. Through it all, Jacob continues to follow through on his promises, and works another 7 years. Where in our lives might we be deceived, but called to work it out and faithfully remain through the next season of hard work, in spite of that deceit? If you are struggling in a moment like this, take some time to pray and ask God to help you find a way to forgive and continue on.  

{thursday 6.10.21}

Read Genesis 29:31-30:24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: So much entanglement between Jacob, Leah and Rachel…and now their maids and all the children. In verse 29:31 we read, "When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive." We learn in the footnotes of scripture that it was through the line of Leah that Jesus was eventually born. The rejected, unloved sister is directly connected to the birth of our savior. Isn’t that just like God? Where have you felt unloved, or rejected? How has Jesus met you in that space? Take a moment to pray your thoughts, specifically thanking Jesus for caring about us ordinary folks, who perhaps at one time were rejected, unloved, or have felt unworthy.

{friday 6.11.21}

Read Genesis 30:25-43

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In these passages we see that Jacob longs to be free of Laban and the continued "scope creep" of what he is demanding from Jacob. Have you ever done the work for someone, but faced a situation where it wasn’t enough or more was demanded? How did you navigate that situation? How might you advise someone in a similar situation to free themselves and retain their integrity?

{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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