Cynicism is sneaky. It can appear sophisticated while masking woundedness. I recall a friend steeped in it over matters of the heart; namely, men. Her cynicism bled her ex-husband’s betrayal. The man she trusted would love her forever, did not.
Age-old story. She built walls to ward off hurt. But those defenses didn’t allow healing to reach her either. Her perspective skewed all men as equal. A lonely, exhausting burden.
Cynicism is sad, especially directed towards God. People blame God for myriad of things. Life doesn’t happen as expected, they conclude God failed. The Israelites did.
You have wearied the Lord with your words… By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” (Malachi 2:17)
Notice the result. They “wearied” the Lord. Weary God? Isaiah says God “neither faints nor is weary” (40:28). Perhaps God was saddened by their persistent cynicism.
Giving up on God brings the inclination to replace him with humanity. And let’s face it, we disappoint. When disillusioned, God’s accused again. Wearying, misplaced cynicism! Yet God understands our limitations. Fulfilling his promise to the Israelites, he provided for us through Jesus.
Are you soul-weary, wondering when burdens will ease? Jesus invites: bring them! Learn from him. Rest in him.
It’s easy to feel cynical. It’s life-changing to trust Jesus.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
God’s Choices About the Creation of the World:
“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good, it's also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. - C.S. Lewis
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. - John 3:16-18
Man’s Choice About the World:
Other choices we have:
Is it more important to you to love God or to love yourself and the life you are creating? The choice really is yours to make. God loves you so much that He holds nothing back from you. He loves you enough to let you walk away. He loves you with an ever-burning passion to see you return to Him. You will always have the choice to love, serve, and obey the One who created you, the One who has nothing but the best in mind for you. But you will also always have the choice to walk away and try it your own way. The choice will always be yours but know the consequences will always result in God’s will or your own.
Jesus is the only One who will lead and guide us along the paths we’re suppose to take.
Each and every step will be directed by Him, full of His love and wisdom with His very best in mind for our lives and our future.
Sometimes He sees us feeling hopeful and at times hopeless. He realizes we struggle at times to hear His voice and feel His guidance.
You shouldn’t look back, instead look up right where you are and He will help you find the way for your future.
Rely on Him to give you direction. If you trust in Him, He will lead you along the right path.
Our limited perspective can cloud our vision and keep us from walking forward in faith and trusting in Him.
Rest and trust in His guidance and walk in the way He will show you.
Remain in God’s Peace..
As this sermon series unfolds, I’ve found myself relating, sympathizing and being in awe of Nehemiah’s rebuilding efforts. The relating and sympathizing comes from my personal journey of rebuilding my life in the last five years: standing on my own two feet post-divorce, my mom’s death, being the sole parent of a challenging teen boy, dating after 20 years! Many times have I felt that my city walls were destroyed and all I had in front of me were piles of rubble. The immensity of rebuilding was even more personal as I recently stood on one of these ancient city walls in the medieval city of Hondarribia, Spain (see picture). Ancient city walls like the one I stood on and are referenced to in the book of Nehemiah truly are massive! The desire to rebuild something this massive is daunting, to say the least. It takes will, energy, and more than anything faith.
It is faith that continues to carry me as I continue my rebuilding journey and leave this beautiful community of Placerville, my home for the last 16 years. Mady, Ashton and I will be building a life in San Diego County in a couple of months. Mady will be attending & living at UCSD while Ashton and I settle nearby. At times this move feels drastic. I am uprooting from a place where my kids and I are comfortable and steady. I’m choosing to leave a tight-knit community where I’m a known entity.
Is rebuilding daunting? Yes.
Is rebuilding possible? Definitely.
The stress of the long list of unknowns is appeased with the knowledge that I’ll be a short drive from Mady if college life gets overwhelming. And I’ll also be a short drive from my dad, two sisters, nieces and nephews (including a newborn niece!). Lastly, God has gone before me and opened up the door with a job at an online fashion retailer who’s core value is to generously give back to the artisans of mostly third world countries! I’ve already had the pleasure of dealing with an artisan in a remote village in Guatemala and quickly discovered that she loves Jesus!
Leaving my church family here at Cold Springs Church is the most bitter sweet. You have taught myself and my kids the meaning and value of “chosen family”. You all have shown me love and acceptance beyond understanding. So much so, that I foresee myself visiting soon and often. Because, as the Cheers theme song goes:
🎶“Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name” 🎶
So if you see me before I leave, I ask for no “goodbyes” please, but rather “see you soon”.
Much love and gratitude,
We are so blessed to have Danielle Davis transition from Ministry Admin to the Executive Admin role. Dani has been making a huge Kingdom difference as part of our Core Ministry Team since September 2021. Check out Dani’s bio here. In May of this year, Lisa Vipond became our Ministry Admin. Lisa is a fabulous addition to our team bringing a variety of gifts in administration and creative arts. You’ll hear her beautiful voice on the Worship Team Sunday mornings too! Find out more about Lisa here.
This month the freedom writers are embracing the idea of “rest”. This week my family is on vacation in Tahoe. I must say that writing about “rest” is much easier while on a restful vacation. 😊
But as I’ve written before, The Lord has been impressing upon me the importance of rest. What do I mean by “the Lord has been impressing upon me…?”
- I may receive a devotional email with the theme:”Sabbath Rest” with all sorts of practical things to do.
- A scripture about rest will be included in my Bible or Lectio 365 plans.
- My heart won’t leave me alone about the practical idea that I can easily do to help me to enter into His rest.
- A friend may mention that they are focusing on rest.
And so I commit.
This is what the Sovereign Lord, The Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength…” Isaiah 30:15
I’d like to unwrap that by focusing on these 4 words: repentance, rest, quietness and trust.
Repentance- accepting the fact that I am sinful and in need of my Savior.
Rest- ceasing from the normal rhythms to be still.
Quietness - listen to and for God’s voice.
Trust- believing that God is good and that He knows best for me in EVERYTHING.
And what do we get out of the bargain? Salvation and strength. I think that’s a pretty good deal.
I have no doubt that if you commit to entering His rest, The Lord will show you what you can do, but here is a prayer from my heart to yours:
“Thank you Father, for welcoming me home into your heart. Love me this week as I welcome You home into my heart.
Thank you, Jesus, for standing and knocking at the door of my life.
Befriend me again this week as I open the vulnerable parts of myself to You.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for brooding over the chaos of my world and within my inner being. Fill me this week as I seek to host You with generous attention and joy.”
I hope that you have a wonderful and restful week.
With Love in Christ,
to the Cold Springs Blog!