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Ministries

February 2018

Trust Issues - February 23, 2018

"TRUST ISSUES"

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)

Trust Issues. It’s more than a Drake song, it’s something that many of us experience.

I can’t think of a person walking on this earth (even though I know like, five people), who has not experienced some kind of hurt that resulted in a break in trust. I can think of so many personal examples where I trusted in someone and that trust was broken by an action. It hits us in our core, and it hurts. If this happens to us enough times, it can make us not want to trust anyone (hands up if that’s you).

Lo and behold, a package of trust issues manifests. You will, of course, convince yourself that you are “protecting yourself”, and you are “wiser now than before”, because you refuse to believe that people can do good, can help, can truly and genuinely care without wanting anything in return. Of course, there is an element of guardedness required in life when it comes to trust – you should absolutely not trust in everyone you come across, that’s silly. However, what I’m writing about is when the pendulum swings too far one way, and you won’t trust in anyone at all out of fear.

Fear. How many of us want to admit that trust issues are a result of fear? I sure didn’t; I have told myself the above a million and ten times – I am just smarter now than before (and, I must add, I absolutely am). But my pendulum swung so hard the other way that I wouldn’t let anyone in. I was (and honestly, I still am) scared to meet new people, to let friends fully in, to allow myself to believe in the good of others. How many times have I blocked myself from meaningful and fulfilling relationships because of trust issues? This is important, but I think the bigger question is this: how many times have I blocked myself from a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with Christ because of my earthly trust issues?

A recent message at church (link here) really shook me to my core. Do I truly trust God, or am I putting in all of these terms and conditions for my trust?

Why am I acting as though God needs to earn my trust, when He doesn’t need to prove that he’s got my back? How have I allowed myself to put human conditions on God?

I will admit that I don’t always totally trust God, which seems almost blasphemous to say. I love God, believe that He’s good, and believe the Word. However, because of human hurts, and life circumstances I still don’t totally understand, I sometimes doubt that He has my back.

I love the story that many of us know well: Jesus calling Peter to walk on water found in Matthew 14:22-32. We can lose some of the meaning of the story by the sheer amazement of someone actually walking on water. Peter trusts Jesus while walking until he didn’t, until he thought about sinking. (vv. 29-31). When he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink, crying out for Jesus to save him; almost forgetting the fact that he was walking on water before. How often are we “walking on water”, focusing on Jesus, and not our problems, and then we lose sight of that, look at our earthly circumstances, get scared, and begin to sink, forgetting that Jesus was there all along.

That is exactly what happens when we stop trusting in God, and look at our circumstance.  It goes something like this: we stop trusting in God, look at how other imperfect humans have let us down, and lose hope. We forget that God is God; He is different. We cannot measure Him by human standards or through our human experiences.

In order to have a full and lasting relationship with God, we have to take the step toward truly trusting Him. Really. That means not always knowing what’s going to happen, or seeing the full picture.

Because if we knew it all beforehand, it wouldn’t be faith, would it?

By:  Yelena Knight

 Lauren Daigle's Song "Trust in You" is a perfect reminder of how we need to let go and let God.

 

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Guest Comment 9 months ago
Poor Comment Good Comment
I think that most of us struggle with trust at some point in our journeys and it's always encouraging to hear how others are working through that aspect of their faith walk. Thank you Yelena. xo

Winter - February 9, 2018

"WINTER"

As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night." (Genesis 8:22, NLT)

I’m an odd duck, always have been. I love winter. I don’t ski or snowshoe and I haven’t been on skates in years, but I love winter.

It came to me as a child. 

We’d play outside after school until Dad came home, and then we would play all day on Saturdays. Homework was done after supper when the news was on and we had to be quiet. We played mostly in the front yard so our friends could see us and join in. Since Dad didn’t seem to be bothered when the snow tumbled onto the driveway, we made that our main playground. Sometimes we would even shovel it onto the lower half of the driveway so we could toboggan down our hill and up the other side.

When I went to school, the only time we were allowed to stay inside at recesses or lunch, were times when there was lightning. It didn’t matter how cold it was, you were expected to dress for it.

I can recall the school closing if there was a blinding snowstorm, when we would have to stay home and stay in! Not only were the roads hazardous, but there was a real fear that the street plow operator would not be able to see us with the auger on the plow, if we were on the road walking to school. 

Today, at the school where I work, the school hardly ever closes for bad weather. Even when the school buses are cancelled, the school is often open. So, I watch the weather closely and test the snow with my hand every morning when I arrive.

Will we be able to do it today?

In anticipation of having the perfect snow conditions, I would have purchased four bags of large carrots which would be safely stored in the “Breakfast Club” refrigerator. I would have made and left cookie dough in my freezer at home. Then I would wait for the perfect winter day.

The perfect day arrives when there is lots of snow and it all holds together - the day for the Annual Snowman Building Contest! 

Once that day is announced through the intercom system, the school erupts with cheers. Student teams are formed and one student is selected to be sent to the office for their team number and a carrot.  Over the course of two recesses, and within thirteen categories, the students get to perfect their masterpieces. During the entire process, the principal films each of the teams in action and at the end, I get to go out and judge them.

Judging is difficult because each team has worked so hard. However, we are able to select seventeen winning teams and announce them during the following morning’s announcements.

On the Annual Snowman Building Contest day, there would be no fights, nor any throwing of snowballs. Instead, there is team work, imagination, and lots of fresh air. Teachers are grateful that their duties outside on that day, are fun and easy.  It’s a winning day for all.

It makes me think of how our Heavenly Father must smile when He sees us working in teams, using our imaginations, and having fun!

Let’s Pray: Father, thank you for all the wonderful winter memories as a child, and for allowing me to create new memories now that I am grown and can experience the joy of the seasons through the eyes of the children around me. Thank you for the imagination of kids and for the opportunity to participate in activities that help them stretch those imaginations and work together. Help us all to see the wonder in your beautiful creation and the excitement in enjoying the simple things in each season.  Amen.

By: Bev Charles 

 

Enjoy this song from Hillsong Worship – "Seasons" - fitting for this post.

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Guest Comment 10 months ago
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This almost makes me want to go outside and make a snowman! Thanks for sharing these memories Bev. So beautiful. xo
Small Group Leader 10 months ago
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Beautiful Bev, thanks for sharing.
Julie Hogeboom 9 months ago
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Sounds like fun Bev. Good old fashioned fun. Thanks for your thoughts and sharing.