What Do You See?

Psalms 104:24-25 (NASB) ‘O Lord , how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions. There is the sea, great and broad, In which are swarms without number, Animals both small and great. ‘

Due to the anti-rejection drugs and resulting immune suppression, I’ve been working from home the past two weeks.  I wake in the morning, go through my getting ready routine much in the same way I would if I were going to the office.  I structure my day and work through it, much in the same way I would if I were in the office.  When I finish for the day, this is where my routine has changed.  I’ve been working out for an hour or two before supper.  Part of my routine has included either “rucking” (hiking with a weighted pack) or riding my mountain bike around my gravel roads.  For those who know me, my spending time in the outdoors shouldn’t surprise you.  

As I have spent this time outdoors these past couple weeks, I cannot help but think about the awesomeness of God’s creation, big and small, living and innate.  As I move about, I’m struck by how it’s the same.  Despite what is going on around us during this current state of emergency, God’s creation is the same.  Life outside is doing the same thing it did last year at this time, the same as it has for all the years before.  The rains are falling.  The plants are greening up.  The birds are singing and nesting and new life is being brought into existence all around us.  This all continues to happen, despite what is going on around it.  

I had a fun, silly little contest on Facebook yesterday.  I thought I’d make up a little game and see what kind of response it would create.  A young man came up with a clever response, so I awarded the prize to him.  I put together a spring turkey hunting package for him, some calls, broadheads and socks.  His mom told me that he was so incredibly shocked and excited when he found out he had won.  You see, this young man has been looking forward to the coming turkey season.  He sees the world greening up and all the things that come with this time of year.  He KNOWS that God’s creation will continue on into the season, just as it has in the past.  He knows the turkeys will be gobbling, looking for hens despite the turmoil in the rest of the world.  He SEES it.  He KNOWS it.  Do you?  What do you see?  What do you KNOW?  Have a blessed weekend.

Romans 1:20 ‘For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. ‘ 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

 

Missing Out

 

With mandates to avoid social situations and stay at home orders from many states, people have been missing out on many things the past couple of weeks.  Concerts, sporting events, the Olympics and other events have been canceled or postponed.  The ability to visit loved ones in the hospital or nursing homes has also been significantly limited, for the health and sake of many in vulnerable positions.  So, maybe you have had to stretch your supply of wheat bread, toilet paper, or hand sanitizer a little more than you planned lately, but that could always be worse than it is.  What have you had to give up recently, that was difficult for you, and what are you most afraid of losing?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

They say that when you give up one thing, you gain another.  With limits on where and how often you can travel, and who you can visit, what good, if any has come from that?  Maybe you are one of the fortunate that is still able to work from home, at least to some capacity.  What challenges and benefits has that brought about?  I transitioned from a group office setting to home-officing over 5 years ago, but am now home more than I ever was.  In order to focus and get anything accomplished, I have to isolate myself in another part of the house, otherwise there are near constant distractions from other family members.  On the upside, I have been able to join my family for lunch and see them play more often.  Watching our 1-year old daughter grow and learn things has been a daily joy for me.  I took the past day off work and was able to get a few projects done with the benefit or challenge of some young helpers at times.  There have been several opportunities to slow down and reflect on things a little more as well.  When things take a drastic change, what benefit is that for you?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6:19-20

Some have used their newfound time to take in more news, entertainment, and social media to keep up on what is going on in the world.  Even if you are still working from home, the commute time is likely shorter for many.  If you have been given more ‘time’ in your day, how have you put it to use?  How did you spend a free day before all this happened?  Have you spent any more time in the Word or in prayer the past few weeks? Honestly, when a crisis is going on somewhere in the world, it is only natural for the media to cover it more and for most of us to lend an ear and more time to what that is.  Ultimately, where we spend our time and attention shows us where our hope truly is.  Not to say that if you totally trust God, you will ignore what else is going on in the world, but that your fear and anxiety should be more manageable when you put your trust in Him, regardless of what is going on around us.  May you find your peace in Him today and always!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-4

Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Yours in Christ,

Clark

 

Unexpected Appointment

As many of you know I preparied to plant a church late summer of this year.  What many of you might not know is I have been waiting and praying for this for 8 years!   Waiting is hard but timing is everything.  Let me tell you it is HARD!  I needed to raise the equivalent of $400,000, build a team of 50 people, and find a venue for us to rent in a city I did not know.  

In Plantation, there are 2 public high schools, 2 public middle schools, and 3 private schools.  I have called all of them, email all of them, and showed up to all of them requesting a meeting.  One high school has a church in it, the other said they were not interested. One middle school did not have a room big enough.  One private school said they use their facilities on the weekends, and the rest did not reply to email, phone call, or visit.  

Matthew 6:31 So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Let me tell you I was getting worried!  I knew I had 5 months until I need a building, but it seemed like the lack of options was closing in all around me.  My heart was growing anxious.  Then I met a guy who worked at a public park building.  He said to come back in a week and he could introduce me to a couple of principals.  He did but they did not have the room size I needed, then one of them introduced me to a middle school principal.  This was one of the schools that had not replied.  She asked what I was looking for.  I told her we need a space for the weekends but more importantly we want a school to partner with.  She said she had a space but did not have a sound system or lighting.  I told her we could install our system.  She shared how she needed the money to help feed kids that could not afford breakfast or food for the weekend.  I told her we want to help her meet those needs.  We could paint, landscape, clean, or whatever they needed. She about cried.  

We set up a meeting for the following week.  We talked about how we could serve them.  We got to pray with them and are looking for some early ways to bless them.  

What does this have to do with you?  Everything!  This school is what I have been praying for for years.  God heard my prayers even when I thought they were bouncing off the ceiling.   God has filled our church with purpose by meeting the right person at the right time.  Many of you have jobs that pay the bills but do not have a purpose.  You have prayed and tried to open doors.  God is a God of perfect timing, and will open the door for you in His timing!  So pray and believe!

But today, ask God to open your eyes to how you can be a blessing to the world you live in!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Bigger then any Storm

Over the three years I have lived in Nicaragua my body has acclimatized to the tropics, so much so that anything under 20 degrees now makes me shiver. I was therefore not happy last year when I returned to Iowa and was promptly greeted by a huge snow storm. I was supposed to preach at a church several hours away on Sunday, and while we made it there, church ended up being canceled because of the storm. We ended up getting stuck there for an extra day, and even with waiting a day the drive home was incredibly anxious. It took twice as long as normal, we counted over 20 cars that has crashed due to the snow. I was miserable the entire drive home because I was constantly worried and anxious about crashing or getting hit by another vehicle. While we made it home safely, if was a horrible experience because of all the worry and anxiety I experienced. I certainly don’t miss those crazy Iowa winter storms and the anxiety they can cause.

I can’t imagine that there are many, if any, people that live without any worry and anxiety. This is especially the case today, as the entire world faces the coronavirus. The problem is that worry and anxiety can keep us from living the life God has called us to live, especially in difficult times like these. In fact, worry is probably the #1 reason I hear people give for not serving God. ” Think about this in your own life: how often does worry stop you from serving God and others? 

Take a moment to read Matthew 8:23-27. Here we see an example of people be overtaken by worry and anxiety, instead of having faith in God.

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:23-27

Jesus told the disciples he would take them to the other shore, and he had no intent to break His promise. Jesus has made us some huge promises. He has promised to be with us, to love us through all things, and to give us eternal life in a perfect heaven. No matter what difficulties and storms we encounter in life, these promises remain firm. Look friends, I totally understand that there is A LOT to be nervous and anxious about right now. But, I also know that there is not a single storm that can expel Christ’s presence, love, and salvation from our lives. In our moments of worry, nerves, and anxiety let us take a moment to remember that Jesus’ presence, love, and salvation will always be with us, and that they are much greater than any difficulty we can encounter.

It Is Written

Since we won’t be meeting for our Vital Men meetings I will be posting out a short video every Monday! Looking forward to sharing a good word with you.

Strength and Courage

Michael

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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Contact Mike by emailing: mike.sereg@gmail.com