{August 1, 2021}

Heartland Community Church


Ancient Paths: The Bible

By Marnie Vasquez

Gretchen, Cali, and Molly. Three women I know and admire deeply. As I live alongside them, this verse nags me with questions about what Jesus is doing in their lives. See what you think.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.”
Psalm 119:105


Simply beautiful. Good career, married, two kids. They renewed their vows on their Hawaiian anniversary. When she came home, she became interested in the self-care movement. She took a variety of meditation, astrology, and online classes. Her career ended. Her marriage ended. She doubled down more on self-care. She created her own brand, logo, Instagram page. She sold her services so others could learn to put themselves first.

She joined a “new earth” company and became president, helping to lead their “sacred women & feminine” trainings and workshops. On Instagram she continued to provide daily advice based on energy, astrology, listening and responding to what the body says, and how to live in this “new earth”.


Cali is warm, likable, inviting. She takes time to listen. She helped the company achieve its goals, led clients through difficult times and brought them out successfully. She was well-known and highly regarded from the CEO to the interns. In fact, the company created a new award to honor her.

Yet, Cali felt alone. Unheard. Unseen. She’d share her concerns and ideas, but they were ignored. Instead, her boss gave her more work, said she was underperforming. This broke Cali. She turned to the universe, leading her to a women’s program where she examined everything that happened in her life. She focused on one word: “freedom”. And with that, Cali resigned, accepted a new job. As she entered the new chapter, she looked for signs from the universe to guide her steps.


Molly was a hard worker. But she got distracted by a married man, and while she was married too, the line was crossed. It wreaked havoc on her life. Molly was ashamed. She lost her job. She was in a deep valley and believed the only way out was through Jesus. She read the Bible. She frantically prayed Jesus would forgive her, to not give up on her and her family and to get her out of that valley. Little by little, Jesus brought Molly out. Still married. Still a family. New job. Better choices.

I admire these women. All are flawed, strong, brave, courageous. Yet those nagging questions from that “lamp” verse remain: Where is Jesus in their lives? How is His word being a lamp? How is He pursuing each?

And then I see it. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says,

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

Jesus is pursuing all of them. In different ways. He’s not giving up. He’s working. What do you think is happening at each of those doors Jesus knocks on?

Here’s what I’m thinking…

At Gretchen’s door, additional walls have been built to block out Jesus so Gretchen can live in her “new earth”. Yet, Jesus’ knocking and calling continues.

Cali often runs up and places her ear on that knocking door, but she gets distracted with all the noise and commotion of the universe. Yet, Jesus’ knocking and calling continues.

Molly’s door is flung wide open. Jesus and Molly have meals together and Jesus encourages Molly to share what’s happened since she’s opened the door to Him. Now Jesus’ lamp has brought great things in her life. He encourages Molly to share her story because there’s lots of Molly, Calis and Gretchens in the world who need Jesus.

How about you? What do you see? What lamp guides your life? Jesus says,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father
except through me.” John 14:6

Maybe you’re debating whether to open Jesus’ knocking door. Maybe He’s already eating meals with you. Wherever you’re at, He’s asking you to consider making His words the lamp that guides your life.


{sunday 8.1.21}

Read Psalm 119:105, Revelation 3:20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Have you had a moment in life where The Bible, God’s word, lit up and guided you? If not, consider taking this week to open the Bible and follow the steps suggested to learn from it: note the verse(s) you read, write down what you learned from that reading, name 1 thing you can do this week to apply that learning, and pray. I promise you, Jesus is knocking on a door nearby, hoping you will open it and engage with him!


{prayer for the week}

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

Jesus, help us this week to hear from you through our time spent in the Bible. Help us read, observe and apply your word in our lives in fresh ways. Grant us the ability to understand your teaching, and to engage with you in a two-way relationship of listeninig, applying and learning. Give us each confidence to ask questions and/or share what we are learning with a trusted friend or group. Amen.


{bible reading plan}

By Marnie Vasquez

{monday 8.2.21}

Read Philippians 1:15-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Although others don’t do Jesus exactly like you… they’re still striving for Jesus! They might be going through valleys, dealing with struggles and challenges, but they’re still looking towards Jesus. Embrace them! Glom on to them! Lock arms with them! And be very, very thankful you found another Jesus-lover, because Jesus-lovers are hard to find! Give these other Jesus-lovers some grace, because more than likely, you probably need some grace too.

{tuesday 8.3.21}

Read Philippians 1:20-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul writes, “For to me, living means living for Christ…” and “…I will continue to be bold for Christ.” That was Paul’s choice. Is that your choice? I want to live this way. I want every moment focused on Christ. Experience has shown the more I turn to Christ, the better my life is. Yet, comparing myself to Paul, I fall seriously short. Yet, I’ll continue to approach each day, each week, each season as practice to always turn and live for Christ. How about you?

{wednesday 8.4.21}

Read Philippians 1:25-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: If heaven and living with Jesus is the final and most incredible experience ever, then why are we all suffering here on earth? Why not expedite life and get to heaven faster? I love that the Bible does not skip over this very common thought people have and provides an insightful answer into why we must live out every planned day God has for us.

{thursday 8.5.21}

Read Philippians 1:27-28

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We’re citizens of Olathe, Lenexa or OP. We’re citizens of Johnson County. Of Kansas. The United States. And being citizens means we’re a native or naturalized member of a specific place. We take on the beliefs and culture around us. However, Paul challenges this idea of citizenship. He writes we “must live as citizens of heaven”.  That’s wildly different. Start considering what heaven is like, how that place is different (and better) than where we live today. What does heaven citizenship mean to you now?

{friday 8.6.21}

Read Philippians 1:29-30

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As Christians we know we must suffer for Christ. We also know Paul, John the Baptist, and many others lost their lives because they were Christ followers. They clearly suffered for Christ. Does suffering for Christ mean death? Torture? Or does it mean something else? Today’s passage states we won’t be alone in this suffering. What do you think suffering for Christ means today in your life?

{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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© 2021 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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