To Help You Sleep…//Brooke

One of my dear dear friends has a two year old boy named Connor.  [I still remember the day he was born like it was yesterday– how do days turn into years so quick??] Anyway, if you ask Connor, “What does Daddy say?” He will quickly repeat…”Nooo cwyyyyy. Coseee youurrr eyessss.”  You see Connor has a “problem” with going to bed quickly but for some reason when his daddy comes in to tell him, “No need to Cry, close your eyes” it helps Connor calm down and eventually drift off to sleep!Margaret Berg Art: He is Our Peace Pink Blooms:

I was thinking about this scenario this morning and I wondering what are all the things that Jesus has told us through the Scriptures to bring comfort and put us at rest? A
nd, boy do we all need comfort and rest these days more than ever it seems.  And I feel we are called to carry comfort and rest and prayer to those that are hurting and fearful about the days we are living in.

Here are a few things Jesus says that surround us with Peace:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:10-11
Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30
But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Good Shepherd.  Truth Teller.  Life Giver.  The Overcomer. The Burden Bearer.  The Power Giver.  The Impossible Provider.
What a God we serve.  What a God that cares. What Peace we know.

The Seen from the Unseen/Laura

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  2For by it the people of old received their commendation.  3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3

The first verse here is ingrained in my brain. I’ve heard it multiple times, read it, seen it in pretty prints and had it quoted to me in times of doubt. It is familiar and something that I know.

This summer, I have been studying the book of Hebrews with friends and using Jen Wilkin’s study book. (Which I highly recommend!) In her questions for the week she asks this simple question that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for weeks now:

“How does verse 3 relate to verse 1?”

A simple question but it is a connection that I 8c82247e402cbec6896a85512a45b9fahad not looked at any other time.

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Seriously? Have you taken a minute to realize how miraculous and beautiful it is that God created this world? He brought the world into being from His word. He brought it to be from things that are not visi
ble. He made everythin
g from nothing. We, as humans, are completely incapable of creating things from nothing. But God…He created the most beautiful creation out of the unseen. He is the Creator. And He is the Sustainer. He is God!

So why did that bring new clarity to my understanding of verse 1? Not that God needs to prove Himself to us, but it gave me even more confidence in the character of God and His ability to create and provide. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen and that is trustworthy because from the beginning of time, God created from the unseen things.

Too often I find myself trying to figure out how God will work things out—as if I were God and could know all things.  I can become discouraged if I can’t see the solution. But now I remind myself, God created this whole universe out the things unseen. Surely, he can create a solution and a way for His will to be done from things that I am blind to now.

After all, He took my calloused, prideful heart and replaced it with a new one that beats for Him—all from things that were unseen and unknown to me.

So for the last few weeks, when things seem impossible or crazy, I repeat to myself, “God can make something from nothing.” God has eyes to see the unseen. He can make a way from what seems like nothing to me.

Sing & Seek//Nita

Happy Summer everyone!  I hope you are having great times with the Lord, with family and with friends.  Perhaps you are like me and began the New Year determined to read through the whole Bible!  It is a good thing to pursue.  However if you are like me, there are places in the Old Testament where I just get bogged down in genealogies, blue print details for huge boats, the Tabernacle mega tent, and the Temple in Jerusalem.  Never mind, all those details and names of people represent real men and women who followed hard after God generation after generation and because they did, you and I get to know Him too.

This year I took a break just after finishing 2 Kings.  I went to the New Testament letters of Paul.  I had a grand time reading and studying Ephesians and9562cc1e1d8fc14bb4f4e93814a7d1f9 Galatians.  I needed that t
ime in the New Testament.  Last week I decided to go back and work on another section of the Old Testament.

Oh no, 1 Chronicles begins with more genealogies! Actually the first 8 chapters are lists of names!  But I determined to carry on reading – there are interesting passages about King Saul and King David and then more lists of names – like David’s mighty men of Valor!  As I prayed and continued reading the Lord caused me to “see” phrases that touch my heart still; “helped David with an undivided heart”  “perfect heart”  “of one mind” “joy indeed in Israel”

As I continued to read and pray I came to chapter 16.  Stop for a moment and read this amazing chapter.  King David knew how to worship God.  He appointed singers, writers, musicians to help the people worship.  He led his people in worship!  As you read 1 Chronicles 16 you will feel like you are reading the Psalms – and you are!  The writers of the worship in chapter 16 are some of the same who wrote many of the Psalms.  I would love to have been there, wouldn’t you?

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples,

Sing to Him, sing praises to him; Speak of all His wonders.

Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.

Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.  (8-11)

Well, more chapters of details and names follow this wonderful worship chapter, but don’t give up.  This book ends with a prayer that will change your life – worth praying again and again.  Check it out!  And keep reading God’s Word this summer!