Pause & Align - By Pastor Esther
June’s theme for our Women’s Blog is “pause and align.” This seems like something I’m continually needing, especially in the world we live, in the times we live. I imagine every generation has felt this.
It’s an awareness thing. So I pause for it. But for what awareness? I must firstly be aware of God’s presence.
His presence prompts questions:
I lay aside anything that will deter me from focusing on God’s will as the ultimate value:
Biblical images or texts make their own contribution to this discernment process:
This world is filled with loud, intrusive input — some of worth, some not. What I give primacy to must align with what I say is my utmost value: God.
"We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words taught not by human wisdom but by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:12–13).
Behold, I do a new thing…
As of July 1st, I am stepping down as Women’s Coordinator. As some of you know, my husband recently retired and we have had a desire to do marriage ministry for years. We are taking this next year to see what God would want us to do with this desire. As of now, we are still in the area and will be attending Cold Springs Church.
Bible study and life groups for women will continue and the women’s blog will still be posted weekly. Events will happen as God calls women in our faith family to step into areas of passion. Pastor Esther Tress continues to be a resource to equip, encourage and empower women.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
I want to thank the people who walked this journey with me…
Challenge and Encouragement:
Remember that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, and while we logged some of those hours, there are plenty more! If you have an idea and passion for something that God has laid on your heart, I encourage you to pursue that passion with the church leadership and bring about the “new thing” that God has for this season.
With Much Love & Gratitude,
I believe that the moral argument is one of the strongest arguments for the existence of God in today’s world. Why? Because part of being human is having an inner sense of right and wrong; it is a universal experience.
The moral argument for the existence of God is not that believing in God is necessary in order to be moral. The moral argument is that if God does not exist, there is no objective foundation for morality.
As William Lane Craig’s short video explains (if you’d like to watch the short video, you can find it below):
“If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. Here’s why: Without some objective reference point, we have no way of saying if something is really up or down. If there is no God, there is no objective reference point. All we are left with is one person’s viewpoint, which is no more valid than someone else’s viewpoint.”
The moral argument for the existence of God is not proof that God exists (let alone the Christian God), but it is more evidence that the Christian worldview is consistent with the reality of our human experience.
Because Jesus satisfies the mind and the heart.
-Pastor Steve York
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)
On my walk today I stepped over an ant carrying something much bigger than itself. Do you ever feel like that? It’s easy to become overloaded in life. There are more opportunities to fill our days than we have hours in them. Choosing the ones that matter most can be difficult. Saying no to the rest can feel uncomfortable and sometimes impossible, depending on who is asking. So how do we choose?
I’m probably not the best person to give anyone advice on saying “no.” I’m a recovering people pleaser. “No” hasn’t been a part of my vocabulary for very long. But as I get older, I see time and activities from a different perspective. And people pleasing? I desire to change that to God pleasing instead.
The ant I stepped over was designed to carry things several times bigger than itself. We were not designed to do that! God promises to help us carry the things He puts in our lives, not everything we pick up. He calls it “His” burden and yoke. He walks alongside us carrying the brunt of the weight for us. That extra stuff we say yes to, and overload ourselves with, He doesn’t promise to help us with that. He wants us to ditch it and not pick it up in the first place.
I wish I knew that better when my kids were growing up. Many of those years were a blur of activities; sports and plays and such, multiplied by five. All good things. But those good things when stacked one on top the other became a heavy load to carry. Rushing, anxiety, and no time for quiet contemplation became a lifestyle. One that is not conducive for being still and knowing God.
If we are to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, can we do that while rushing around? Can we teach our kids that? Jesus often went to the garden or another quiet place to be alone with His Father and He took time to rest. He was never in a hurry, and always had time to give His full attention to divine appointments with others along the way. He didn’t care about pleasing people, He cared about saving them from themselves and pleasing God.
What will be on our schedules today for us to carry? Why don’t we give them a second look, right after we check in with God, and compare our lists with His.
It’s OK to say no to things, so we can choose a better yes.
Stories - ashley
“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bitterness can be associated with unforgiveness. It seldom exists in isolation, but in relationship. It’s an unhelpful emotion that keeps us stuck. When left unaddressed, its root runs deep, destroying much in its path. At the first sign of resentment, we do well to ask God to help us forgive and trust him to care for our wellbeing.
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. -Hebrews 12:15
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