Speak, Lord…

god-calling-cropListening to God’s voice is how we find our life- our real life: being God’s beloved children and servants in the world…but it is hard to recognize God when our world is filled with frustration, distraction, tragedy, and so much noise.

Check out this video: God Whispers and the World is Loud

God does speak to us, but God isn’t always loud.  In fact, God is famous for speaking in the most unexpected ways and calling the most unexpected people.  (Side note: did you know that God once spoke through a talking donkey?  Check out Numbers 22.  Did you know that God called a murderer with a speech impediment to speak for Israel?  See Exodus 2 and 4).  God calls all types- even us. One of my favorite pieces of scripture reminds us of God’s promises and God’s call- Isaiah 43.  I’d suggest you read all of it, but here is the beginning:

 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

This summer we’ll be examining God’s call during worship with a series, “Called by Name.” Samuel, Esther, Saul/Paul, Gideon, Isaiah, the Disciples, David, and Mary all have a “call story” to tell and lessons to teach.  In the adult study group, we’ll be talking about different spiritual disciplines, or, ways that we can tune our ears to better hear God throughout life’s journey.

We’ll kick off with Samuel and his great prayer/statement, “Speak, Lord.  Your servant is listening.”  I hope you’ll join us.

Study group @ 9:00

Worship @ 10:00

Advertisements

When Things Just Don’t Work Out

“Things just didn’t work out.”

That’s how the coach of the New York Jets summed up the decision to release quarterback Tim Tebow.

I know — Tim Tebow, national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, one of the “100 Most Trusted People in America” (right up there with Billy Graham), role model to many, as gifted an athlete and hard a worker and committed a Christian as there is, was cut from a football team!

bilde

Despite remarkable skill and will, things just didn’t work out.

And this is true for all of us at times, in areas of our life more crucial than sports. These days, economic, technological, cultural changes pull the rug out from under us. Industries fail, jobs disappear, companies downsize. Relationships can unravel, family or friends can become estranged, churches can lose their way and their spirit. Our bodies give out, our resources are strained, our hopes fade.

As a pastor, I converse and counsel with folks daily about lost opportunities and this challenging truth: Sometimes, for manifold reasons and from causes known and unknown, things just don’t work out.

When Tim Tebow was cut from the New York Jets, there was a media storm of commentary and reaction and massive public attention.

Tim Tebow simply tweeted these Scripture verses:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Upon hearing this, I mentally jumped to the New Testament and this Scriptural bedrock:

imagesCA4QWBGLROMANS 8:28

And an old hymn played out in my mind:

God is working his purpose out As year succeeds to year: God is working his purpose out, And the time is drawing near; Nearer and nearer draws the time, The time that shall surely be. When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God As the waters cover the sea.

This is our hope and belief: When things just don’t work out, God is still at work so that it will all work out for our good.