Good evening, beloved in the Lord,
My first job out of college was with a company in Coldwater. They had a couple of manufacturing plants just west of Nashville, TN. I had to get down there several times a month, especially if my project was getting into production. One thing that really stuck out to me the first few times I was there was the slow pace of things. The Tennessee drawl; driving in your pickup truck about 25 mph, even on state roads; the seemingly lack of urgency for… well, for anything. As strange as it seemed at the time, driving me crazy with it all due to the frantic pace us yankees ran, it became over time rather refreshing. I began to look forward to these trips instead of dreading it as I had in the beginning.
Two questions for this evening: Are you ready for a change of pace? Are you willing to embrace a slower pace? In the world I live in, I’m finding it seriously necessary. Is our frenetic lifestyles really an improvement over the “good ol’ days”? We brag about how we are able to accomplish so much because we’re multitaskers. We fill every moment of every day. Here’s another question for you: Have you ever taken your phone with you when you go to the bathroom? No need for a show of hands. I know you have (because I have!). Waiting to see the doctor this morning for a physical, I reflexively pulled my phone out to see if anyone had texted me or if I had received any emails since I checked at home just before I left for my appointment. I had to make a conscious effort to leave my phone in my pocket. I should have just left it in my truck.
What’s happened to us these days is the perception of others and ourselves sometimes is that anything less than going 100 mph with your hair on fire is viewed as a liability. A slacker. Lazy. Unmotivated. Picture something radically different:
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul." Psalm 23:1 – 3
Do our souls really feel truly alive and healthy? Or do we need them to be restored? And I’m not talking about a weekend away where you are Facebooking/emailing/Candy Crushing all the way to the destination and then poring over your little soul-sucking wireless devices while you wait for your table. (You better not take them out over dinner! If you do, it’s seriously time for an intervention!)
What we need to is make a real effort in slowing down and letting God restore our souls. I don’t know about you, but lying down in a green pasture next to a flowing stream sounds pretty good to me! Disconnect from work when you’re at home. Turn off all electronic devices for at least an hour, and then try to make it a whole evening. It can be done and I’ll guarantee you that you will grow to anticipate this time.
Another thing, and I’ve mentioned it before, is to do a news fast for a whole day, and then try to extend that time also. Why? It’s the media’s fascination – and we buy into it – with all things hateful, harmful, and horrendous. The gorier, the shocking-er, the gossip-er the better. Do you REAALLLY care about a feud of Taylor Swift and whoever she’s been feuding with? I hope not, or you might hear the words “get a life” coming out of a loved one’s mouth.
Slow down. Enjoy life’s view. Take in the small stuff. Breathe. Dream. Thrive. Soar.
Please note that our 3rd Annual world famous chili cookoff and potluck is this Sunday. Remember there’s a wooden spoon trophy with your name possibly on it! Plus we just have a lot of fun and eat a lot of food. We excel at both of these.
Peace and still waters,
My dear friends in Christ,
Like you, I’ve been reading the stories of the mass murder in Las Vegas Sunday evening. This has shaken me to my core as to the evil that was unleashed that night. Satan makes no difference if he is sowing his death and destruction in Afghanistan, New York City, or Las Vegas. This is once again when some of us may wonder "Where was God Sunday night in Las Vegas?" I'm writing tonight to assure you that God was there. He was there in the actions of the first responders saving lives. He was there in the bravery of strangers helping one another, some even shielding others with their own wounded bodies. Do I know why God allowed this carnage? No. I'm only able to understand that He is going to use this experience to allow good things to happen; I know that's hard to believe right now. Yes, Jesus was there with a broken heart, seeing once again so much hate and pain, delivered up by the Enemy. Please remember this passage that describes the death of His dear friend Lazarus, from John, chapter 11, helping us to understand the ache of suffering and death that this brings to Him:
33 "When Jesus saw her (Mary, Lazaruz' sister) weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” He asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
Please pray for peace and healing of all of those affected by this now common carnage; please pray that this kind of violence is to never be seen again. Please pray that God will bring His peace to our land. Please pray for each of us, that we would be loving influencers to everyone we run into; this might be a person who is contemplating violence to others or themselves. A kind word, spoken in love and care could make all the difference to that person's life and possibly the lives of others. Hold onto the precious Word of God to even begin making sense of this all:
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" John 14:27.
Peace in Jesus our Lord and Comforter at all times,
FISHERS COMMUNITY CHURCH
Pastor Joseph Doenges
WORSHIP SUNDAY 10:00 AM
301 N. 6th Street
St. Clair, MI 48079
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization