A Word From Pastor John~
I've been thinking a lot this week about the concept of leaving a legacy. Scripture points to the important truth that it is our responsibility to ensure that God's word gets passed down to future generations.
God's people took this commitment very seriously throughout history, and it is one of the reasons you and I are here today worshiping the Lord.
Psalm 78 tells us,
"For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children."
So let's think long and hard about the legacy which God would lead us to leave behind. Every person you pray for, every ministry you're involved with, every dollar that you give, helps leave behind a Kingdom legacy.
How might we make a lasting impact for God's kingdom?
Pray For One Another
To request prayer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (520) 709-0815
Our pastors and their families
The world as we all continue to navigate this Covid-19 pandemic.
Phillis Bacon's friend Shirley
Judy's Baker's great grandson
Merritt's sister-in-law, Cheri
Pastor Rod Marion's son Shaun
The friends and family of Bob Hatch
Sandy and Cork Winebrenner
Shelly Butler and family
The many unspoken requests
Imagining the Future
“Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.” —Psalm 33:22
The ability to imagine a different reality sets human beings apart from all of creation. Children are best at this. My favorite moments lately include playing alongside my nephews who are two and four years old. They have a way of ushering me into a world that begins in their mind’s eye and that is arrived at through play.
When I think about hope, I can’t help but connect it with this idea of playful imagination. I believe the Creator God is inviting us into His realm of imagination—to imagine what He envisioned for His creation. This similar sentiment is found in the book of Isaiah: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19b).
In the beginning of Psalm 33, the psalmist proclaims God’s power and creativity as life and light flood what once was formless and dark. The psalmist concludes by offering a declaration of hope. The Hebrew word for hope used here is “yakhal,” meaning “to wait for.” Biblical hope includes the ability to wait, and to see new creation coming forth through the rubble.
This shouldn’t be misconstrued with blind optimism. Many people, if they try hard enough, can look at dire circumstances and imagine a better version. Yakhal, on the other hand, is not built on our ability to imagine well, nor is it based on circumstances. Rather, our yakhal is found firmly in the character of the Creator God and His past and present faithfulness.
Pause and take a deep breath. Read Psalm 33 in its entirety. Allow the weight of the words to sink in.
Regardless of the circumstances around you, you are being invited to rest in the One whose “intentions can never be shaken” (33:11). I pray for a sense of comfort and resilience to be evoked in you as you choose to embody this truth.
This passage also invites you more deeply to understand your identity as a child of God. This powerful declaration of hope is meant to instill in you a childlike wonder as you imagine the world through the mind’s eye of the Creator, and ultimately, His faithfulness. When you take this posture, nothing looks the same.
I wonder, would you be bold enough to ask yourself: what in my world needs to be reimagined through the lens of hope? In what areas might I be allowing my circumstances to inform my imagination?
Prayer for the week: Father, forgive us for the times we have been short-sighted and have allowed other voices to inform our realities. Help us to build our hope not on what we experience but rather on Your faithfulness. Lead us to new places of imagination and hope as we wait on You with great anticipation and expectation. We look to You alone, Father!
Sarah Fredricks is Associate Pastor at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, USA.
Bible Reading Plan: Week 25
This year, we are reading through the Bible chronologically using The Bible Recap Plan in YouVersion.
Take a bookmark from the front lobby if you'd like to keep track that way and go through at your own pace. Bookmark SIX is available now!
Day 169: Proverbs 27-29
Day 170: Ecclesiastes 1-6
Day 171: Ecclesiastes 7-12
Day 172: 1 Kings 10-11
Day 173: Proverbs 30-31
Day 174: 1 Kings 12-14
Day 175: 2 Chronicles 10-12
Before you read God’s Word today, seek His help with these 5 prayers:
1. God, give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. 2. God, let any knowledge I gain serve to help me love You and others more, and not puff me up. 3. God, help me see something new about You I've never seen before. 4. God, correct any lies I believe about You or anything I misunderstand. 5. God, direct my steps according to Your Word.
"Little Philip was spending the weekend with his grandmother after a particularly trying week in preschool.
His grandmother decided to take him to the park on Saturday morning. It had been snowing all night and everything was beautiful. His grandmother commented:
'Doesn't it look like an artist painted this scenery? Did you know God painted this just for you?'
'Yes,' replied Philip, 'God did it and he did it left handed.'
This confused his grandmother so she asked him, 'What makes you say God did this with his left hand?'
'Well,' said Philip, 'we learned at Sunday School last week that Jesus sits on God's right hand.' "
A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer. All of a sudden he said out loud, "Lord, grant me one wish." Suddenly the sky clouded above his head, and in a booming voice the Lord said, "Because you have TRIED to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish." The man said, "Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want to."
The Lord said, "Your request is very materialistic. Think of the logistics of that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for wordly things. Take a little more time and think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify me."
The man thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, "Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know how they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say 'nothing,' and how I can make a woman truly happy."
After a few minutes God said, "You want two or four lanes on that bridge?"
A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom and gloom pessimist.
Just to see what would happen, on Christmas day their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with hay.
That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly.
"Why are you crying?" the father asked.
"Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken." answered the pessimist twin.
Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the piles of hay. "What are you so happy about?" he asked.
To which his optimist twin replied, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"