Friday, August 22, 2008

Fear

Are you motivated by fear? Does fear consume you? In an age of great turmoil throughout the world, our news seems to focus on violence and aggression. Turn on any evening news here in KC and the first 5 minutes is all the terrible and violent crimes that have been committed in the KC metro area. It is the "top" new story of the day, so let's lead with that, and of course, let's make sure we have a reporter on scene with the lights glaring in the background. That will look nice in HD. With more job cuts on the horizon in many local industries, there is a buzz out there of worry and fear. "Are you on the chopping block?", "What will you and your family do"? In our own congregation a few have lost jobs recently. It is world changing earth shattering news to some. Our prayers go out to them. Having your world completely changed in the matter of few hours can put an otherwise happy and joyful family into shock. There people who have lost jobs, who are suffering with incurable diseases and who have lost loved ones recently. It weighs heavy on the loving and compassionate heart. Worry and fear can consume our days if we allow it. What will we do now? Who do we turn to? The culture and our society teach us to fear. Our fears are played upon to drive us to spend more and love less. Fear does not motivate us to do our best. Fear does not inspire greatness. Withour fear their is no courage. We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We also are told that perfect love drives out fear. The whole and amazing love of God keeps us from crumbling and falling apart during times of crisis. We have something to cling to...that this is not the end. We are valued not because of our jobs or place in society, but because we are called the children of God. What motivates us to greatness is love, NOT FEAR. Who do you go the extra mile for? Who would you sacrifice great amounts of time, resources and energy for? Someone who scares you, or someone you love? I think the answer is easy. Great sacrifice requires great courage, but also, great love. If you are in a time of worry and fear, know that you are not alone. We are here with you.--praying for you and asking God to help you through your time of difficulty. Let someone know if you are struggling, a friend, a family member, someone at church. God will help you through the darkest valleys. And of yeah, take some time off away from the negativity and fear you see on tv. Watch something that inspires and lifts you up, or maybe, just maybe, go wander around in the beauty of God's creation. Go on a walk or bike ride in the park. You might just find that the only thing to fear is....fear.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August Reflections on Grace

Wow, what an overwhelming experience Sunday was this week. Lots of people returning from the summer, and of course if you missed the backpack blessing, you missed an amazing experience that we are definitely going to make a yearly tradition! Our new youth directors held their first parent meeting and they did a fantastic job. Small groups seem to be cropping up all over the place. Here is just a small highlight of classes available this fall at Grace
Dave Ramsey- Financial Peace University (begins in September)
Men's Group- Starts September 8th - 7 pm
Shack Study Group (begins in September)
Beth Moore Bible Study- Starts September 7th
Then we have our Adult Sunday school program, UMW small groups. Please find a group that fits you. If you have not connected or found a group yet, please contact me (pastorjvickers@aol.com) or our Director of Small Groups Ron Ostlund (Ronostlund@att.net)
If you know someone who needs to be connected, please don't hesitate to invite them to worship or a small group.