Keep It Zipped Up, Losing the Leaf, Week 3

[vimeo][/vimeo]In week 2, we explored the root cause of what hinders our intimacy and connection with others. In week 3 we will be discussing the issue of purity. I don’t think most of us would be surprised to find out the Bible says we should not engage in sexual immorality. Yet many people sacrifice life, reputation, respect and happiness even though they know the consequences. There must be some form of deception that gets to us. This is a discussion on how two perfectly normal guys traded away something valuable for something temporary… And one found their way back.

What would you trade for a bowl of stew?

19 Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham became the father of Isaac; 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 The LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.”
24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them. 27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. 28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” 33 And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:19-34

So, as we prepare to begin our group study in Week 3 of Losing the Leaf, take a look at this video segment from Pastor Art and Doctor Ann as they unpack the issue of purity and how it relates to our pursuit of intimacy with God and others.

fp Women’s Group Gathering, Friday, October 7th, 6:30 pm at the Pellissippi Campus

“Finding Treasures in our Trials”

Join the women of Faith Promise to be encouraged in heart and united in love through worship, Bible teaching, electives (see below), and fellowship.

After an awesome time of worship, Patsy Williams will share her story/testimony and how God brought treasures out of her trials.

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3

October 7th Electives*:

1) Treasure Hunt: Go on a literal treasure hunt for hidden treasure (jewelry, gift cards, and much more, including the most valuable treasure of all).

2) Finding Treasure in the Bible: How to find personal, applicable treasure in God’s Word.

3) Turning your Trial into a Treasure: A special time to speak and pray with other women who have also experienced the trials of life.

*Please plan to participate in one of the electives above after Patsy’s story.

Performance Issues; Losing the Leaf, Week 2

[vimeo][/vimeo]In week 1, we discussed God’s original plan for our relationship with Him and others. This week we’ll explore the root cause of what hinders our intimacy and connection with others. Using Paul’s letter to the Philippians as our primary text, we’ll identify how selfishness manifests itself in our lives and what practical steps we can take to follow Jesus’ example of considering others above ourselves.

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

So, as we prepare to begin our group study in Week 2 of Losing the Leaf, take a look at this video segment from Pastor Art and Doctor Ann as they unpack the hindrances we can face in our pursuit of intimacy with God and others.

Was It Good For You? Losing the Leaf, Week 1

Or should we say- Is it good for you? God didn’t and doesn’t think so.

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

How is he alone, Adam is with God in the garden, right? Also, up to this point after everything God created, He said it is good. God was displeased that man was alone. God had Adam name the animals, but no suitable helper was found for him. God is Trinity, He is plurality in oneness. So, since man was to be created in His image, God needed to create a plurality of persons. The word helper is used not to suggest that Adam needed help working in the garden, but that he needed help not to be alone. So, God put Adam to sleep and formed woman, Eve from Adam’s rib (some of His best work). God’s supreme achievement was not the creation of a solitary man, but the creation of human intimacy and community. Genesis chapter 1, verse 31 – after he created everything and He says, “It was very good”.

Later during Jesus’ ministry time here on earth, he identifies the two foremost commandments and reinforces his original plan for community, both with Him and each other.

37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 This is the great and [a]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Matthew 22:37-39

The making of an intimate community cannot be a side issue or an optional matter for Christians. It is as important to God as one’s individual salvation. Without intimacy with God and others, there is no Christianity. Intimacy is central to God’s purposes for humankind.

So, as we prepare to begin our group study in Week 1 of Losing the Leaf, take a look at this video segment from Pastor Art and Doctor Ann as they unpack God’s design for intimacy with Him and others.

Also, to help get you in the mood for your intimacy discussion, please enjoy this song titled Intimacy as performed by the Corrs.

Maps, Markers, Gauges and Nav Lights (Part Two)

Now we are well into the 17 mile portion of our unmapped part of the trip, and we notice that the fuel gauge is still on full. Wow, this thing gets great mileage! A few seconds later we look at it again and it is on empty and bouncing back and forth like crazy. So, with no idea where we are exactly and if there is a marina anywhere nearby, we did what any other experienced boaters would do. We prayed, or at least we guys did, because we told our wives that everything was fine, no worries. To pass the time and keep my mind occupied on something other than our fuel situation, I began to look at the Loudon Map. After doing some mileage calculations, I realized we had about 10 more miles to go than we were initially told. So, the 60 mile trip is now 70 miles. At our current speed, that is about 2 to 3 hours more than we thought.

We finally make it to the lock, “Thank God”, just before dark. All we have to do now is get through the lock, and we can fill up with fuel just to be sure we can make it the rest of the way. Never been through a lock before, but seen it done, so how hard could that be. Once inside the lock, we tie up to one side, the rear gate closes and the Lock Master begins to fill-up the lock with water to raise us up to the same level as the lake on the other side of the dam. After about 45 minutes the lock is almost full and water starts swirling around inside. Suddenly our boat starts turning around with the swirling water and due to the fact that we only tied off the front end of the boat, we are now going to have to come out of the lock backwards. I’m sure we provided some great entertainment for the Lock Master. It is now very dark and it has begun to rain as we awkwardly back out of the lock, get turned around and head for fuel at the nearby Fort Loudon Dam Marina.

As we pull into the marina at about 9:40 pm, we discover that it is closed for the day. Unable to get any assurance of extra fuel we have little choice but to press on toward our final destination. While waiting for the lock gate to open, I had decided that it might be a good time to check the navigation (Nav) lights. Upon checking them, we realized the front lights didn’t work. I took the cover off to check the bulb and the cover broke. The bulb also didn’t work and we had no spare bulbs. So, since we were so well prepared we had a flashlight. I took the flashlight and proceeded to the front of the boat where I would remain for the remainder of our trip.

I had made this trip before from the dam to Concord Yacht Club, but it was a few years ago and in the day time. I had been on the lake at night before but not that far from the dam. My job was pretty easy, watch out for floating logs of which there were many, and keep us between the Channel Markers. The markers were not lighted and only reflected my light. So, I would have to stop watching for logs long enough to find the markers and then resume watching for logs, all the while continuously communicating the whereabouts of each to my friend who was steering the boat. It was pretty stressful to say the least. About half way, we encountered a part of the lake that I wasn’t familiar with. I couldn’t find any markers and the lake seemed to end. We stopped moving and as I was trying to figure out which way to go, my friend asked what the map showed. I could sense the tension in his response to me after I told him I didn’t have the map and was going from memory. I couldn’t ask our wives for the map, because they had decided to go below when it started raining earlier and were now sleeping soundly through this whole stressful time. In the pitch black darkness of this long night, I was cold, wet, tired, and feeling pretty alone when suddenly out of nowhere another boat passed by and their light revealed a marker in the distance. We decided to follow them and it paid off. We found the main channel again and we figured out we were not far from our destination. A short distance and another hour later we spotted the familiar lights of the yacht club. We made it, tired, wet and happy. All of our troubles we had faced during our journey didn’t seem so bad now. Oh by the way, we later figured out that the fuel tank held 22 gallons. We took the boat to get fuel a few days later and would you believe it only took about 5 gallons to fill it up. Oh well, all that worrying for nothing.

In this life we trust in so many things to help us navigate our journey. But it’s important to know that when we are in the darkest hours of our journey and none of those things are available or working to show us the way, we may need to be still and wait for the light and direction that only God can provide. Psalm 46:1-11