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Beauty in the pain

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in header, Related News, slider | 0 comments

ROMANS 12:12

The French artist Pierre Auguste Renoir was a leader in the early Impressionist movement of the nineteenth century. For the last two decades of his life, Renoir had to adapt his painting style to accommodate debilitating rheumatoid arthritis. He sometimes strapped a brush to his immobile, deformed fingers in order to continue his work. He also took up sculpting, directing others to act as his hands. He completed some of his most famous works when he was in the advanced stages of his illness.

One of Renoir’s closest friends was the artist Henri Matisse. On one occasion, as Matisse watched his friend struggle to apply each brushstroke, Matisse asked, “Why do you continue to paint when you are in such agony?”
Renoir replied, “The beauty remains; the pain passes.”

Renoir’s words remind us of the hope God offers when we are patient in the face of disappointment and pain. One of the two Greek words translated as “patience” in the New Testament is hypomone, which means “to remain under.” This kind of patience speaks of being faithful to God’s calling even when things seem hopeless, and loving others even when they seem unlovable. It speaks of trusting that our pain will pass but the beauty of God’s work in us— and through us—will remain for eternity.

Prayer

Father, help me to live with a focus on what will last.

A Creative Communicator

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in header, Related News, slider | 0 comments

Numbers 22:1-35

Balaam was riding a donkey on a mission that displeased God. But God used the donkey to warn Balaam against his folly. In the natural world, donkeys are stubborn animals known for their loud bray. In the supernatural world, God can use even a donkey to speak to obstinate people.

If you are stubbornly set in your ways, don’t be surprised when God shows you that he is a creative communicator. He may not speak through an animal, but he can get his message across using people, events—even pop culture. God has amazingly creative ways to get your attention.

Prayer of confession

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in header, Related News, slider | 0 comments

1 John 1:9 (KJV)

A young man was coming home late one night, well after his midnight curfew. He didn’t pull into his driveway until almost 2 in the morning. So he took his shoes off, opened the door quietly, and slipped up the stairs as softly as he could.

He had almost made it to the top of the stairs when, all of a sudden, his parents’ cuckoo clock struck 2, “Cuckoo, cuckoo.” He heard his parents stirring in their room, and had the boldest idea he’d ever had. He stood there on the stairs and cuckoo-ed 10 more times!
Now that’s creative, but it’s not telling the truth. In fact, one very neglected aspect of telling the truth is admitting when you’ve made a mistake, rather than covering it up. Confessing when you’re in the wrong is difficult, especially when a little lie like “my dog ate my homework” or “I put those reports on your desk” can pass the blame to someone else.
But when you mess up and confess it, you not only have the reward of a clear conscience, you build rapport as an honest person among those around you. And, most importantly, you glorify God through your obedience. So admit your mistakes and show others they can trust you to be truthful!

Gracious Lord, give us the courage to seek forgiveness. Remind us that confession is never a mistake; it frees us from the chains of the enemy. We know we cannot hide our hearts from you. Help us to let go of our bitterness and fear, and purify us with the knowledge that you have taken away every sin. In your name, Amen.