Your time spent in college can be lots of fun, lots of stress, and lots and lots of hard work! Come here and relax. Just breathe and let your mind clear for a minute. This is a place to unwind and be encouraged when you need it. We'd also like to invite you to join us for worship on Thursday nights at 8:30 for coffee in Station 82 (Chi Alpha worship service starts at 9:00.) But, if you're here, you probably already know that; so just relax -- and breathe!
At the beginning of the Fall 2021 trimester, Pastor Tim sent a text to a large number of people and asked if they would send him some of the hard questions of life. He got back some doozies! Thus the Sermon Series for the term was born - or um, decided upon. One of the questions someone posed was this - "How do you comfort someone with ongoing issues?" Hmmm, my short sermon answer was this - with grace. We are hungry to accept God's grace, yet we are stingy with giving it to others. I know in my own life - just being honest here - people who whine, complain, and just seem to be negative, always having a problem or finding fault with someone or something - well, they wear me smooth out! It may be their upbringing (handed down through generations), a personality trait, or they may just be unhappy and unknowingly take it out on everybody within earshot. But whatever the case may be - our calling is to comfort them and handle them with grace. I TRY to listen, and maybe even gently point out something positive to take away from the situation. ( I don't always do that, but like I said, I TRY!). And no, it's not easy. But as I told my kids (nagged them, really) when they were growing up - learn from it. Whatever IT is. If complaining drives you crazy - don't complain. If someone is always negative - try your best to be positive. If there's always something wrong with every situation and circumstance - find something right in it.
Here are a few of my favorite scriptures to help you along the way:
Philippians 2:14; 1 Peter 4:9; Colossians 4:6; 1 Peter 3:15-16
As always - love you! CB
Mark 4:35-41 "On that day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." And leaving the crowd, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea,"Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, the even the wind and the sea obey Him?"
Sometimes life can get a little crazy, Sometimes life can be a little hectic. Sometimes, life can be flat out scary. Most of us have some idea of how we want our lives to go and what we think our lives will look like. Those of us that tend to be a little type "A" might even have a pretty specific picture of what our lives will look like according to a certain time frame. I am one of those people. Letting go of my timeline and willingly surrendering to God's PERFECT will, for me, is so much easier said than done. I'm learning and I'm growing. Most days, I'm at total peace with all of the grey areas in my "timeline" because the truth is that I know that He's got this! There are other days however, that take a little bit more faith on my part.
Recently I was driving home and I was having this conversation with God. He was encouraging me on in this one specific area and to be honest, I was fighting Him. Out of my mouth, before I could even register the thought, I heard myself say "but God, I don't want to get my hopes up" and He silenced my heart and in the silence I heard clearly; "I AM HOPE." That was it. The truth in that moment is what set me free from the worldly anxiety that I was drowning in.
Just like in Mark, Jesus calmed the storm. He calmed the storm in my mind and my heart that day with only a phrase. Today, life might seem a little crazy, a little hectic and flat out scary. But this is what we know; that He is HOPE and those waves, the ones that threaten to swallow us up at any moment, they bow to Him. He is Lord, He is King, He is God our Father and His love quiets every storm. Nothing we will ever face is a challenge for Him. Put your hope in Him because that is the only place that it belongs. Today I challenge you to give Him your fears, anxieties, and mountain. In return may you rest underneath the blanket of His peace knowing that He has it under control.
- Amanda 3/7/2020
--Genesis 2:1-3 "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation."
--Leviticus 23:3 "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places."
The seventh day of the week is set aside to rest. Our bodies and minds need rest. If God rested from His work and set aside a day with a COMMAND to rest, then we should rest! Yay! I, for one, am excited about that! By Saturday, I am ready to rest! What more needs to be said than to be commanded by my creator to rest?
Now, I know some people who would immediately say, "What in the world could be better than waffles?" And on some days, I would totally agree! Especially if you are at Waffle Champion in Midtown OKC, but that's beside the point. If you're like me, looking at the picture to the right makes your mouth water and right now you can almost smell maple syrup and butter! Oh, my goodness- I would love a waffle at this very moment!!! There are, of course, things that are better than waffles! But, as I am writing this, I am really, really hungry for a waffle.
Sometimes waffles will just randomly cross my mind and I get so hungry for one. It is always, and I do mean always, when I am driving and on my way somewhere. Never, (seriously NEVER) when I am at home or at a restaurant when I am trying to decide what to order! But, like right this minute, I am literally craving a waffle! I thought about waffles last night on my way to church for Bible study and I thought, "As soon as I get into the building, I will google what time Jimmy's Egg opens in the morning." Did I think about it this morning when I got up? NO! (Guess what I'm having for lunch?)
There really is a point to this - Jesus is better than waffles!
Psalms 107:9 says, "For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things."
:) Have an awesome day! Love you!
I don't know about you, but typos JUMP off the page at me! I don't know why, but they just do. If I am typing something and I spot a typo, I MUST correct it right away or my heart begins to pound and my blood pressure sky rockets! I have anxiety attacks when I am on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and see someone's mistake and I cannot correct it. I know- it's a problem!
I so wish it was the same with my spiritual life! I wish I could spot my flaws or mistakes right away and correct them with the backspace key or an eraser! One thing that might help me is to continually do evaluations of myself. Go back and look at my work. Take note of those things that are out of place or breaking the rules. (Like I check rules of grammar or spelling when I'm writing and something doesn't look right. Thank goodness for Google and dictionary.com!)
2 Corinthians 13:5 instructs us to, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? --unless indeed you fail to meet the test." ESV
School is over for this term and testing is all behind you until the fall (or summer term, for those who like to push yourselves), but this is one test that goes on until life on earth is done. The good news is this - Jesus' death on the cross and His glorious resurrection made it possible to do just that! That one precious event in history gave you an eternal eraser that with the whisper of "forgive me" all your sins and mistakes are gone. As if it never happened. Gone, "as far as the east is from the west."
(Psalm 103:12) A few other great verses about the great sin eraser are these: Isaiah 43:25, Isaiah 44:22, Micah 7:19, and Acts 3:19, just to name a few. To read the entire 103 Psalm,
I stumbled across a quote some time ago and I thought this would be a great time to share it! The words were written by E.W. Moore, a preacher in the early 1900s who witnessed the Welsh Revival. Moore wrote about a preacher, Evan Roberts, whose words touched his life. Roberts said, "I have had a vision of Calvary. I have seen One hanging on a tree, in agonies and blood," Roberts said that the sight "enthralled" him. Moore said, "What we need is a fresh vision of the Cross. And may that mighty, all-embracing love of His be no longer a fitful, wavering influence in our lives, but the ruling passion of our souls."
I will give you a minute to re-read that last part and let it sink in.
It took me a minute or two, but WOW! To think that for all this time, Jesus Christ's willing death on the cross has merely been an "influence" on my life and not a ruling passion of my soul! Well, it made my heart break. He paid my debt for sin willingly by a painful, horrible death and my actions toward it seem to show a passive acceptance as if I am receiving a gift I deserve! How dare I not treat it as He deserves and give Him my all! This time of year I spend time reflecting on the cross more than I do the rest of the year. Why do I not think on it daily and offer Him the praise He deserves!
Lord, forgive me. I must do better. Not to earn anything from it, but because You deserve it! Thank You isn't nearly enough!
A few weeks ago, our family drove to Houston for a funeral. As we got into the city limits, about 4:30 PM, the traffic was terrible. It was a Friday afternoon and people were anxious to start the weekend. We were having to speed a little to keep from getting run over and there were angry drivers zipping in and out of 8 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic. Our son-in-law was driving and at one point he said, "Oh my goodness! What is wrong with this guy?" All of a sudden, a black Jeep with no windows pulls up beside us and jerks his vehicle in front of us, weaving in and out of the outer two lanes-- with a big, red pickup hot on his tail. The driver of the truck was yelling, shaking his fist and his face was as red as his truck! The driver in front was obviously running for his life (I have no idea what happened to his windows, but...one can only guess!) Sometime during the chase, the driver of the Jeep pretended to exit and the pickup driver hit the off ramp, only to "off road" back onto the interstate once he realized the Jeep did not exit. We were ready to call 911 when they both did exit and from there, we don't know what happened. We were praying that it didn't end with someone being hurt...or worse.
Some people claim "road rage" as a badge of honor! I have even heard Christians speak of "their road rage" as if it were something they couldn't help or like it was a good thing! The Bible clearly tells us that it's not. Ephesians 4:30-32 says "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 and be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you."
And in Colossians, chapter 3, verse 8:
"But now you must put aside all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth."
These are things that God expects from His children. I have some work to do! 3/22/17
I love the book of 2 Timothy in the Bible. It pretty much tells us how we should live in order to persevere to the end of this life on earth and perhaps hear the words, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant." 2 Timothy chapter 2 is particularly helpful! It tells us how to be a "workman approved by the Lord." The bottom line is this, verse 21 "if anyone cleanses himself of what is unfit, he will be a vessel for honor: sanctified, useful to the Master, and prepared for every good work. 22 Flee from youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
It sounds easy enough, but if you've been alive very long, you know that it's not! The cares of this world and all that is acceptable as right can choke out the good intentions of those who desire to please the Master and be used by Him. Key words are "cleanse yourself!" It is up to us to get rid of all the toxic attitudes and practices that are hindering us from being vessels of honor. For me, I have to turn off the television shows, movies, and social media, and focus on what God would have me fill my time with. I know there are things He is showing me that He wants me to do before my time is up! But time goes by. Another 24 hours passes and I am right where I have been for years. Time for me to f-o-c-u-s on what HE wants! Time to get up and DO SOMETHING! Anybody with me?
Once, Jesus was walking along with His disciples and they came to Jericho. As they (along with a large crowd of people that had gathered) were leaving the city, a blind man by the name of Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside, begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many of the people rebuked Bartimaeus and told him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder! Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind beggar and said, "Cheer up! Get on your feet! Jesus is calling for you." He threw off his cloak and jumped to his feet and went straight to Jesus. Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" Bartimaeus answered, "Rabbi, I want to see!" Jesus said, "Go, your faith has healed you!" Immediately he received his sight and he followed Jesus with the others.
I think the blind man was wise to follow Jesus. After all - JESUS GAVE HIM HIS SIGHT! I also think it's awesome that the ones with Jesus told the blind man to cheer up! They had witnessed Him (Jesus) heal before and work many other miracles. They knew something awesome was going to happen! And they really weren't all that thrilled about it at first, apparently. They had told him to be quiet! We tend to follow or be friends with those who do things for us. And we should. (*Side note: We should also be a friend who does things for others. Don't just expect others to do for you!) So think about what Jesus has done for you! He didn't have to- He CHOSE to do it! Why would we not want to follow Him?
Jesus saved me from a life of sin, an eternity separated from God, and He has healed me more than once- miraculously! He has kept me safe in dangerous situations, He has lead me to His will for my life, and He has blessed me in ways I could never have imagined! I must follow Him!
C. B. 2/20/2017
The other day I was cleaning out a drawer in my desk when I came across a box of blank cards I bought a few years ago. I don't think I have hand-written and mailed a card in a long, long time! I really thought the cards were cute when I bought them and had good intentions of writing encouraging notes to my friends when God brought them to mind. I pulled out one of the cards and started writing. (A couple of times I grabbed my phone to do a quick spell-check! Was I ever rusty!) "Dear so-and-so, I thought of you today! I said a prayer for you and your family. Be blessed! Love, Connie" I slipped it into the envelope and searched for a stamp. Got it! And off to the mailbox it went.
A few days went by and I had actually forgotten I'd sent it, but about mid-morning my phone rang and on the other end was my dear friend. She'd gotten my card and it made her smile. Someone was thinking about her that day and she was important.
My friends mean the world to me. I have many. I am truly blessed! Having a church family, a Chi Alpha family, and my bio-family makes me rich in so many ways! You would be surprised what taking a few minutes to write a little note, send a short text or private message will do for someone! I know what it does for me! Love you all! Connie