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Nathan’s Notes- 6/17/2018

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Happy Father’s Day! I cannot stress enough how important it is that we take time to acknowledge men and the essential role they play in the family. A secular society would have us believe otherwise, portraying the common father as lazy and unintelligent. It is remarkable to me that in only a few decades society’s opinion of men has gone from Andy Taylor and Ward Clever to Homer Simpson and Ray Barone. But despite what the rest of the world thinks, we understand from scripture and from our observations how important godly men are and how badly they are needed. So we celebrate them.

Today we will be studying a story of a father put through the most difficult test we can imagine: having to give up his son! Although a challenging passage, in it we see the faithfulness of Abraham and the great love of our Heavenly Father toward us. It is in the most difficult times that God’s love and grace to us is shown most clearly.

 

Rick’s Reflections- 6/10/2018

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We are in a series of messages challenging us to consider the possibility that even in brokenness there can be real beauty. We have reflected on the fact all of us are broken people in one way or another. We have also been reassured our Heavenly Father loves us despite our brokenness and can bring healing to our hearts and souls. Today we stretch the thought process to consider the idea that our brokenness, when surrendered to Christ, can be used in blessing others. The concept of “wounded healers” is worth paying attention to.

Moses was a broken person. He had some serious self-image problems, and yet God took this orphaned, stuttering, murdering refugee and turned him into Israel’s lawgiver, a man who 3,500 years later still elicits admiration and even awe from Jews and Christians alike. Through Moses, God gave us five books of the Old Testament and one psalm (90). In love’s service, Moses certainly qualifies as a wounded healer.

Our text this morning gives us insight into the mind of the Apostle Paul who also serves as an example of the principle being examined. My hope is that we will be encouraged to not only admit our brokenness but to give it to Christ and then allow Him to use our lives to encourage others along on their journey of hope and healing. May He bless us as we strive to glorify Him even through our weakness.

Blessings,

Rick

Nathan’s Notes- 6/3/2018

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We all know what it feels like to want to disappear and go somewhere else. One slip of the tongue or one quick mistake is enough to publicly embarrass us. Over the past decade, there has been a rise in television shows that feature “awkward comedy”, a situation that can only be humorous because it isn’t happening to us. But when it does happen to us, it’s anything but funny.

Imagine a situation in which you feel more embarrassed than you ever have before, to the point of being sickened by yourself. Even if no one is around, you can’t escape the feeling because you know your mistake and you suspect that someone else will always know as well. This is the feeling of shame.
Today, we’ll be studying the result of the first ever sin and the first ever case of shame. We’ll see the reaction of our great-great-great-great grandparents, Adam and Eve, and learn what to do when we face this unpleasant experience ourselves.