[July 7, 2024]






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

Gather Together

by Marnie K. Vasquez

Why is life so fast paced? Non-stop, always going? And then we chose to add more events, more activities, more must-watch binge-worthy series and movies, more get-togethers, more happy hours, more work assignments, more church … you name it, we add it. And if kids are involved or care taking for others is involved, all of this is compounded into more. Life is jam packed. Exhausting. This is our normal.

And inside this normal, we may feel off, lost, or even like we’re drowning. Relationships might be cracking. Arguments might be rising. Finances might be more challenging. Stress and anxiety might be a constant, unwelcome companion. Jesus might feel a million miles away. What we do know is that we don’t want to feel off, lost, or that we’re drowning.

We want different. We want a way off the roller coaster ride while knowing we may need some way to stay on that roller coaster. But how?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know we should probably go to church on Sundays. But church is yet another thing added to our to-do list. It’s 1-2 more hours on a weekend we really don’t have time to squeeze in. Sure, we go occasionally, but if anything needs to get cut, Sunday church is easy to cut. Why? No one is counting on us or depending on us to bring, cook, fix, organize, lead, or do something. So, if we miss it, we’re not letting anyone down. And, hey, a kid might have a tournament on Sunday, so we’ll need to miss it anyway. And finding time to listen to Sunday service online later, sure, we’ll put that on our to-do list, but if it’s not listened to later, it’s one less thing we can check off the to-do list.

But hang on. How many of us know Sundays and even gatherings are a gift to us from God? A gift! Way, waaaaaaay back at the beginning of time, as God was creating the world we were to live in, he knew what was to come for us, no matter what era of time we were living. So, he gave us an incredible gift: a REST DAY. A rest day that’s naturally baked into the rhythm of our lives. A full, natural rest day.

But what is this rest day with God? Simply put, its rest, a break, from this chaotic life. A time to breathe in, breathe out, and let go. God designed this day for us. Even if only for an hour or two. It’s designed to get us back in tune with God, to feel the all-consuming love he has for us no matter what we have or haven’t done. It’s a time to feel completely heard by God. Seen by God. Known by God. God knows we 100% need this. And he designed this day so we could be with one another.

Heartland offers Sunday Services as a backdrop to help facilitate our rest day with God and with each other. Even if we just wave to one another at Heartland, you’ve got to love that Heartland and other churches do this! It’s time to rethink Sunday and joyfully receive this incredible gift God has given to all of us. I hope to see you on Sunday!

 

[Monday, July 8]

Deuteronomy 6:13-14

When we tune in to Jesus, we must tune out “all the gods of the peoples around [us]”. Said a different way, we often let ourselves be distracted by things of this world, which, if we’re honest, are likely not the best things for our souls, our relationships, our finances, or our time. What are these distractions in your life? Consider how to turn these distractions into time and activity spent with Jesus.

 

[Tuesday, July 9]

Isaiah 40:18-31

Who is God, really? This passage presents a unique “zooming out” perspective. It’s like zooming out of a home, neighborhood, city, state, country, continent, the Earth, the galaxy, and then getting a new view of how God looks at Earth, his role, and the people living on it. He lets us know he’s been here from the beginning and will be here until the end. He will not grow weary or tired. Instead, he will “renew [our] strength. [We] will soar on wings like eagles; [we] will run and not grow weary, [we] will walk and not be faint.” What encouragement can you take with you today?

 

[Wednesday, July 10]

Matthew 14:22-33

What I love about this passage is that, once again, Jesus defies how our earthly world works. Completely shatters it. Go out to the pool or the lake, and see if you or your friends, colleagues, or family members can walk on top of the water. Is it possible? Absolutely not! Yet, Jesus shows these disciples anything – ANYTHING – is possible for and with him. This is another story encouraging us to tune in to Jesus. This story teaches us that Jesus will go first; he will be there for us when we believe, when we doubt, and definitely when we fall, which we will. And he will be there to help us get back up and make us stronger. And Jesus will do this as many times as we need it.

 

[Thursday, July 11]

Joshua 24:14-15

We often put our hopes and dreams into things of this world that we feel can give us “better.” Better status, better “material things” that are just like or better than what a friend/colleague/neighbor might have, better degree or education that will make us more successful and prosperous, a better partner that will make us look better in other’s eyes.  When these “better” moments arise, use them to think and consider: am I really in tune with God’s heart? Am I in tune with what matters to him? Which is the better God? God, or this earthly ‘better thing’? How can I use this moment to get closer to God? What beautiful relationships and experiences does he want in my life?

 

[Friday, July 12]

John 4:21-24

What I’m reminded of in these verses is that Jesus can’t be found only in church. Jesus is everywhere. And therefore, we can connect, pray, and worship Jesus anywhere. Under our covers, inside a closet, on a walk, in the pool, in a meeting, on the stairs, in a small town, in the sky, in any country. Anywhere. Jesus is everywhere, waiting for us to engage with him. What a glorious and amazing thing!

 

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

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!

 

© 2024 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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