Friday, July 30, 2010

Casting Your Cares

When I was a kid, my family and I went camper shopping. We searched for hours for the perfect pop-up camper. We walked into one and I got super excited. I brought my sisters in and showed them what I had found. This pop up camper had a paper towel holder built into the kitchen! Something so insignificant to most people, but since we didn’t have one at home, for some reason it made this camper THE ONE!! My parents eventually bought it for other reasons, but they still remind me about the time I got so excited about the paper towel holder.

This story although silly, says a lot about who I am. For some reason it’s the little things in life that get me the most excited, especially when God comes though on those little things to make something perfect just for me. The things in life that most people find insignificant, God brings to my attention and whispers in my ear, “that was just for you”. This not only brightens my day, but increases my faith. God loves me for me and created me so He could share His love with me.

Last night I had a terrible anxiety dream about the wedding. Nothing was done and we were hours away from the ceremony. I woke up to the sound of my cell phone going off. It was my sister, so honestly I pushed ignore and went back to sleep. I couldn’t fall back to sleep though, so I called her back. She wanted to know if we could get together to go over wedding details and she wanted me to make a list of ways she could help. She also reminded me that I’m not alone in this and not to stress out. This made my day! God really does care about everything in my life and desires all of us to cast our cares upon Him.

Psalm 55

22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious today, I encourage you to read the rest of Psalm 55. God really does care about the things in your life, as big or as small as they are; He desires for you to fully rely on Him.

Sierra Hanna
Orange Friends Church
Director of Worship Ministries

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of... our Birthright!

As a citizen of the USA we have certain rights and privileges… Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. We have the freedom to speak out, carry a gun, to worship whoever we want or no one at all, gather with others without an oppressive government coming in and arresting us…. These are our rights because we were born citizens of the USA. Some of my dear friends enjoy many of these privileges as a visitor to this nation. Some of my friends have gone through the legal process to become a citizen of this great nation and enjoy all the full rights of a natural born citizen.

Citizenship in God’s economy is not naturally born but it is supernaturally given. We cannot visit the kingdom of God for a short time to enjoy its rights and privileges and then return to our natural land. We do not need to get a temporary stay, wait 7 years, jump through hoops, and say a pledge or go through a swearing in ceremony for this supernatural citizenship.

In the Old Testament we read about the Patriarchs (Genesis 12-50) and the “birthright blessing” the father would impart to his firstborn son. In a similar way our heavenly Father has imparted a “birthright blessing” that we cannot obtain on our own effort. This is a blessing of provision, of spiritual victory and of relational healing and peace.

What is our birthright?

1. God created us and knows us. Psalm 139:13-16

2. God loves us. Psalm 139: 17-18, John 3:16

3. God has a plan for you. Jeremiah 29: 11-14

4. We must respond to our birthright. Jeremiah 29:12-14, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 3:16

In light of this, we must recognize that we are in this world with an illegal status. Spiritual amnesty is the only answer for us. As a result, after we have accepted unearned favor into citizenship with all its rights and privileges we walk in a way that exemplifies a grateful citizen of the ultimate “land of the free and home of the brave”!

In His Grip,

Pastor David

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bringing Life into Focus

I love to make fun of TV commercials. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I like to watch sports. The TV commercials are hilarious. Recently there was a product being advertised where there were five women around a rhino with blindfolds on. Each one can only feel what is in front of them and it was ridiculous. Then when the blindfolds were taken off, they said with a sigh and a giggle, “ooo, It’s a rhino.” I, on the other hand, would most likely have had another reaction involving screaming and running in the opposite direction.

I guess God uses everything around to try and teach me because it came to mind while I was praying this week. The enemy would love to keep your eyes only focused on the one thing that is in front of you and distract you from God’s bigger, better plan.

Genesis 15 talks about the covenant between Abraham and God. God knew that Abraham had no descendants and knew that it was a big deal in Abraham’s life. But, even as big as the problem was, God’s promise was bigger! “Look up at the heaven’s and count the stars, if indeed you can count them, so shall your offspring be.”

God made the impossible possible for Abraham because he was faithful and believed. In my life, I need a constant reminder of God’s bigger plan, the blessing he has given me, and the promises he has already put into action.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Come join us Sunday morning as we continue exploring just how big and awesome our God is, and how he has been in control from the beginning.

Sierra Hanna
Orange Friends Church
Director of Worship Ministries