Thursday, 10 September 2020 22:15
Where Can Peace Be Found?Written by Jeron Parkins
Are you finding it hard to stay focused? Do you feel down or overwhelmed? Are you having a hard time doing the simple things? Are you lethargic or apathetic? Having a difficult time praying or reading your Bible? Angry and short-tempered with your words or your social media posts? Are you facing a heightened amount of temptation?
Given all that has happened in 2020 and all that is going on just in the month of September, should we be surprised at such feelings? For instance, I saw that several people were praying for moisture, but when it came in the form of a drenching snow storm (breaking trees, killing gardens and flower gardens, devastating crops) for some it felt like another attack instead of a blessing or answered prayer. Hasn’t that been the case this year again and again? Such things are emotionally draining and discouraging. And month after month of tension and breathlessly listening to more and more bad news doesn’t set us up well for joy and peace and love. We instead tend to want to drown out the ugliness or numb ourselves to the pain. Binge movie watching and alcohol use is up tremendously (dangerously?) and I wouldn’t doubt that things like pornography usage or drug usage is through the roof. And we aren’t even into the promised craziness of October and early November elections!
What shall we do in the continued onslaught to remain healthy? Where shall we turn when our expectations are dashed? How will we cope with more stress?
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Here is a promise. A promise of rest. Rest is a ceasing of activity and exertion. It is a place of peace. Rest is stop to that which makes you weary. Perhaps you are wore out because your constant worry and activity hasn’t gotten you anywhere? Are you are still worried about losing everything, or everything falling apart? What shall you do? Go on in your own strength? Try to “well up inside you” the strength you need? No.
Jesus said to go to Him. When Jesus gave this invitation to people to come to him what did he have in mind? He wants people to trust him as Lord. He wanted people to trust themselves to his power and protection. He wanted them to trust themselves to his sovereignty and love. Have you surrendered yourself to the supremacy of Christ in 2020? Have you turned yourself over to God? Abandoned yourself and your life to the Good Shepherd? Oftentimes we use Matthew 11:28 to call people to stop laboring for their salvation and we direct the verse to non-Christians, but doesn’t it apply to you as well, Christian? The “rest” Jesus promises, the peace and sense of safety that we long for, the security we need, is found in letting him lead and trusting him to see you through. Don’t you need to do that today? I’m happy you did it 30 years ago or 15 years ago when you first came to Jesus, but trusting Jesus wasn’t meant to be a one-time decision, just as repentance wasn’t meant to be a one time act. If you are reading this and are overwhelmed with a problem or a sorrow, I’m sorry. I imagine what you are dealing with is paralyzing and hurts tremendously. Where should you go? What shall you do? Jesus invites you to come to him with all your problems and with all your pains and with all your fears and finding the peace your weary soul needs by giving yourself to Him.
I don’t know if more fires and floods are on the way, nor what this flu season will be like, nor what the government will be like in 2021. But I’ve come into a contentment that Jesus is Lord and that whatever comes has been allowed by the one who loves me and who already gave himself to save me. Whatever comes hasn’t taken Him by surprise and His good and loving plans will not be thwarted. Giving my life to Him has given me peace and hope through a lot of storms. Those who have abandoned themselves to Jesus, those who have entrusted themselves to Jesus find rest!
Consider what life looks like for those who step out in faith and trust in Jesus as Lord. Contentment and peace don’t happen overnight, and it takes a lot of unlearning what has been taught by the world, but God wants you to be at rest in his grace. Luke 12:22-32 (NIV): Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”
Here's some of what’s happening at Living Water…
BULLETIN AND QUARTERLY EVENTS CALENDAR
LOOK WHAT CAME THIS MORNING!
7 semi-trucks ready to unload! Thanks Dennis and Lance O’Doud for taking the time yesterday to clear off the snow so we’d have a place to stack all the steel. I was a little disappointed as I thought it would come preassembled. Ha! Just kidding! Please keep praying!
CHILDREN’S MINISTRY STARTS THIS SUNDAY at 10:45 a.m.
Parents, when you come to the 10:45 service, arrive a bit early to check in your kids. For check in, there are three kiosks in the main building (outer lobby, inner lobby and by west double doors) that you can use (we will seek to clean these often, but if you prefer a physical sign in on paper, there will be a clipboard on the lobby table). If your kids haven’t participated in our children’s ministry before, allow a bit more time to get registered – or simply register your kids right now through this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeKcvQV-Vi0u2bSAW_kcmCswbRnYR0FjOZvW08pQL7FYEIhDg/viewform?usp=sf_link
If we already have your kids in our system, just find their names, check them in and print some identification labels – there will be people present to help! Then come into the sanctuary for worship! All the children will start out in the worship service and then midway through the service they will be released (after the Lord’s Supper, we will sing the Doxology as a sign for them to go) and they will be escorted from the lobby to the Sprung Building (children can of course can stay in the whole worship service with parents and not participate in children’s ministry). After the service go and pick up your kids in the Sprung Building using your printed label as identification.
NURSERY STARTS THIS SUNDAY at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.
WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP GATHERING September 13
MOTHERS OF PRESCHOOLERS meets September 16 at 9:00 a.m.
MEN’S BREAKFAST STARTS this coming Thursday, September 17
Join other guys for food, fellowship, time in the Word and prayer. Six o’clock Thursday mornings in the Fellowship Hall.
MOPS BIBLE STUDY is September 23rd at 9:00 a.m.
Meets every second, fourth and fifth Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. Contact Shirley Bervig 719-480-1683 with questions.
WORSHIP TEAM EXPANSION
On Sunday, September 6th we had a time of gathering on the site of the new building for prayer. We asked God to continue to use our congregation for his glory. We thanked God for the tool of a new building for sharing the gospel, for making disciples and investing in families and the community. We asked for the Lord to protect the workers, to allow the building to be finished on time and for God to bless us financially, even to the point of being debt free. Many of those present wrote Bible verses where the walls of the building will be raised, symbolically stating our intention to build lives on the Word of God.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?
DEACONS AND MEMBERSHIP CARE
We have a great group of Deacons at Living Water! If you are a member of the church you have been assigned a Deacon to pray for you and check in with you on a regular basis (if you are a member and you haven’t received any communication from a Deacon, please let us know so we can address the oversight! Contact Deacon Chairman Larry Gardner 715-966-0616). I want to encourage you to respond to your Deacon when he calls or texts or emails. These men see it as a privilege to pray for you and to encourage you in your faith.
PASTOR, ELDER AND DEACON BOARD CONTACT EMAILS:
MATH TUTORING AVAILABLE
Sharon Furukawa is a retired math teacher who taught in Valley schools for 27 years. In an effort to help parents and students who may be struggling in math, she is offering math tutoring on Tuesdays, 4:00- 5:30 pm, at the Alamosa Presbyterian Church, 330 San Juan. All ages are welcome and it is free of charge. Masks are required for everyone, we will set up for social distancing and have a bleach solution to clean tables, chairs and door handles before and after each student. Each student should bring their own pencils, paper, assignment and/or laptop/tablet.
Thanks for reading!