Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trusting in God


As we journey in the Old Testament reading today we find Moses on the hot seat once again.  The people were thirsty and there is no water. They are tired, weary , angry and wondering where is God.  This isn't what they signed up for! They argued with with Moses wondering why they were brought out of Egypt only to be hungry and thirsty.  How could they trust that this was going to end well? In this moment they were afraid that they all were going to die of thirst.

Moses remained  faithful and  trusting  to what God was asking of him. Moses led the people and leaned on God. Moses knew because of his deepened faith that God was with him and that God would hear his prayers.  Moses cried out to God for help and guidance.  God provided just what they needed.    

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
                                                                                                                            Proverbs. 3:5&6
The faith and trust that Moses had in God gave him all that he needed. This is what God wanted the Israelites to learn and this is what God wants us to learn.  He wants us to trust in Him  for all things. When we pray and cry out to God for help and guidance , He will provide in the way that he knows we need.

Like the Israelites in Exodus, we too are wandering through the wilderness of our lives that reminds us of our imperfection and unfaithfulness. Yet, God always remains faithful.  God is still at work in our lives, no matter what we believe, no matter what we do.  As we grow to trust in God our relationship with Him becomes deeper blessing us with limitless possibilities to love and serve in our day to day life.

Go forth on your journey gladly and unafraid. God is with you. Trust in God and remember with God all things are possible.
Today the children in Preschool - High school explored how they can trust in God. They explored how they could put their confidence and trust in God, all the time.   The older children had discussions on when it is hard for them to trust in God, how they can develop that trust and what that kind of faith can do in their lives as they navigate school and friends.

What does trusting God and having faith look like in your life? 
What has your faithfulness and trust done in your life?
Where is God going to take you this week to explore your trust Him?
(remember to send in those flat Jesus pictures to





Sunday, September 21, 2014

Manna from Heaven: How God Feeds Us

"Jesus is God's manna in the wilderness, 
the one who reminds us day by day that we live because God provides not what we want,
necessarily, but exactly what we need:
some bread, some love, some breath, some wine, 
 a relationship with this ordinary looking man, who comes from heaven to bring life to the world."
~Barbara Brown Taylor, from Bread of Angels

Our Old Testament reading this morning continues the story of Moses and the Israelites journey.
The journey was challenging to say the least.  After some time on the road -walking in the desert,  thousands of people were finding it difficult to come up with food. They complained bitterly to Moses that even in slavery they’d had food to eat. God heard their complaints and promised to feed them.

God told Moses:  “Each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day,”

We know how the story goes. If the people tried to hoard it, it spoiled overnight. In the morning it stank and crawled with worms. When the sun got hot, it melted. Manna  -one day at a time.  This is how they lived in the wilderness for forty years.  One day at a time. They ate raw manna, boiled manna, baked manna, ground manna.  It was how they survived until they came into the land of Canaan, so that manna became for them the symbol of God’s very practical, physical care for them.

How does God care for and feed you?
  • Is it in the quiet of the sunrise?
  • Is it in Joyful worship?
  • Is it in Celebrating Community?
  • Is it in Lifelong Learning?
  • Is it in Engaging Outreach?
  • Is it in the joys and difficulties in relationships?
If we are willing to look at everything that comes to us as coming to us from God, then there will be no end to the manna in our life. Nothing will be too ordinary or too fleeting to remind us of God. Because it’s not what the manna is that counts but who sent it, and the real miracle is that God is always sending us something. Day by day God is made known to us in the simple things that sustain our lives.

God always shows up. God shows up in the things that sustain us in His way and in His timing.  It is manna , bread from heaven. Not dropped from the sky, but delivered from God through the conduits of his grace in our lives and in our hearts.  It may not always be what we pray for, yet with our faith we come to recognize the miracles that God has sent- providing just what we need, feeding us with the ordinary and making the ordinary holy.

The gentle loving touch of a friend when our heart is heavy.
The phone call that comes out of no where when we are lonely.
The worship in our work.
The gentle breeze on a hot summer day.
The changing leaves in the fall.
The _________(you fill in the blank)
God points us to the ordinary to find Him. 

God pointed us to an ordinary man like you and I, who loved, served and wept. God shared His son with us. Jesus is our manna from heaven. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus we are fed in ways we never could dream possible. Each week as we worship together we are reminded how Jesus feeds us with the ordinary and it becomes holy:  

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our  Lord Jesus Christ took bread;
and when he had given thanks  to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take,  eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the  remembrance of me."
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given  thanks, he gave it to them, and said, "Drink this, all of you:  This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you  and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink  it, do this for the remembrance of me."
God feeds us with the life giving sacrifice of Jesus and we are fed by the giving and receiving of this nourishment of the spirit each and every week, each and every day. St Augustine reminds us,
" Be that which you have received."
What does this mean for you?
What manna has God blessed with you today?
How will you share that blessing with others?











Monday, September 15, 2014

Parting of the Red Sea: How God Leads Us

We are entering a story over these next four weeks that is already a story in progress. God's story is our story. 3O Good Minutes begins as we journey with  Moses across the Red Sea.

There are the powerful stories of  Moses standing up to the Pharoah, parting the Red Seas, carrying the Ten Commandments and leading his people through the desert . Yet, did you know that the  story of Moses has a messy start?

He is on the run from  a violent encounter, he  questions whether God can work through him,  he's weak enough to take advice from his in-laws and further along in the story, after seeing God do great things, Moses still argues.

The story of God and Moses is the weaving of God's love and grace working in his life, leading Moses to follow and trust God.

Moses' weaknesses, his sins, lead him closer to God instead of further away and his faith and trust grew.

We all have to face the things in our life that aren't what they should be.  We face them knowing they can be forgiven, covered, redeemed.  It's only when we deal with them in the presence of God and healthy community that we can lay our burdens down and move on - trusting in where we are being led.

The Israelites life was very, very hard. I imagine that remaining faithful seemed impossible at times.

 “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
                                                                          Matthew 19: 26

Together with God they were able to overcome what seemed impossible and move on to where they were being led. Nothing could stop them at this point - not chariots chasing them, not their fear, not the Red Sea before them. They continued to follow the leading even with all the obstacles before them.

Like Moses, God calls to us in many ways:
from our brokenness
from our sins
from our love
from our messiness,
from our stubbornness
from our obstacles.

Are there obstacles in your way to trusting where God is leading you?
How will you trust your faith in God to overcome your obstacles?
Where are you being led?