Monday, January 6, 2014

2014, what's next

yesterday I joined many other by attending church "online".  In college I used to attend Bedside Baptist when I was too lazy to get out of bed on a Sunday morning.  I'm not sure what you call yesterday.  In December, Prestonwood called it #icechurch, so I might just stick with that.

I was so ready to get back to my Fellowship family this weekend.  It was one of the reasons I came back early from home and wanted to get settled.  I wanted to start the year off in the place that has meant so much and been such a refuge for me during 2013.  But, weather would not have it.  Actually, anticipating that the weather would be ugly on Sunday, I went on Saturday night and I'm so glad I did.  Worship was exactly what I needed and I rand into some old friends from Arkadelphia who invited me to join them for dinner.  A wealth of conversation ensued and I was so refreshed by the feeling of home.

But, Sunday morning, I joined Cross Church.  Ronnie delivered a strong message.  A powerful message that smacked me like Goliath right on the forehead!  I've been so scared about 2014.  I've been dreading it.  (for many reasons that I'll share if you want to get together for coffee!) But, after the message, I was reminded of a couple things.

1.  nothing I have in front of me to endure is new.  There are no new just for Keisha trials, obstacles or tests that have been created.  Others have gone down this road, are going there now and have jumped these hurdles like Olympic champions.  No, it won't be easy.  No, it wont be fun everyday.  But, can it bring God glory?
2.  I have prayed and even begged for God to give me a journey that will expand my sphere of influence for His sake.  That gift He has given me; dare-say even bestowed.  So, now it's time for me to walk forward, to journey on, for HIS GLORY.  Keisha aside, His GRACE upfront. 
3. Gen 50:20 will continue to be my anthem - what they intended for evil, God intended for good!

Of course, as these rocks were hitting me head on, I had to open up a word doc and take some notes.  If nothing else, these are an Ebenezer for me; a rock in the river to remember the lesson I learned this morning.  Its not always that my sermon notes are on the www.  But today, I share!

Life is full of seasons.  (Ecc 1:9-10)  Sometimes they come earlier than expected.  Outside our land already looks like the end of February.  The grass is dry, the trees are bare and needing something more.  Winter came early.  It surprised us and hit us unexpected.  But it came.  And, just like it blew in, it will move and the next season will come.
Sometimes life looks like today – a billowy winter’s day – where you are begging for the springtime

Wouldn’t it be nice if life was just full of spring times or the fall where it’s all beautiful and colorful, fresh and great and it’s just good?  Life is full of winter time.  But, life is full of summer times where it’s heated.  Where you just want to turn to the Lord and say “enough”.  It’s HOT enough.    

What kind of season are you in?

1.       Trials- James 1:2

2.       Transition

a.       Seasons of life

b.      Transition that failure brings – regardless of your failure, the Lord will stand with you and he will strengthen you.  You will learn that your failure is not fatal.  Your future is in the hands of God no matter where the failure happens.

c.       Success – who gave it to you?  Who walked there with you?  “It’s much more fun to ride the wave of success than the undertow of failure”

d.      Promotion – new heights.  You will wonder how can I do this? God you will empower me once you enlarge those borders. (Prayer of Jabez)  Walk me through this.  He will stand with you even in the transition of promotion

e.      Change – it’s inevitable.  It’s real.

3.       Tragedy – 2 Cor 1:3-7 – He comforts us in our affliction (and it is shared) – its why we need the church and the community of faith

a.       Death

b.      Diagnosis

c.       Loss of job

d.      Loss of mate, partner, spouse

4.       Test – God uses the trials, transitions to test us – Exod, Numb, Deut are full of stories of people who have been there and a picture of God’s faithfulness

a.       Learn the first time and never forget! – Ps 105:19 – until the time his dreams came into reality, the Lord tested him (Gen 37-50) – lots of pit before he went to the pinnacle – Gen 50:20!!!! What they meant for evil, God did for GOOD

b.      James 1:2-5

c.       To mature you in your faith and help you learn and grow

d.      Testing gets us ready for God to fulfill something wonderful in our lives – the Lord will stand with you and He will strengthen you

How do you prepare for what’s next when you don’t know what’s next?

1.        Commit yourself to a time with God daily – be ready

a.       Your ammo is the word of God and prayer

b.      Let him teach you through the power of His word.  He will store those things in your heart for the day you need it.

c.       The Lord stood with me and he strengthened me

2.       Commit yourself to ministry in and through the local church – you can commit yourself to a lot of things but involved in a LOCAL church.  Those will be the people who will be around you when you need community most

3.       Commit yourself to personal wellness

a.       Body, soul and spirit – one affects the other

4.       Commit yourself to developing yourself in every way for the glory of God – 1 Cor 6:19-20

a.       You are a sanctuary of the holy spirit – your body is where God lives – on this earth God is present in you


c.       The Lord stood with me and strengthened me.


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