Extra Strength: Rush Hour: Green Light {Hyacynth}

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

 Listen to Rush Hour: Green Light {Sunday, September 28, 2014}

By Hyacynth Worth

I’d never met a red light I couldn’t run.

A year and a half ago, we had two little boys, a small business, a side-career in writing and part-time church job for me, a full-time job for my husband and a number of volunteer activities and kid-centered activities that had us running crazily day in and day out. It was all pretty good stuff. But it seemed like we rarely paused. It seemed like we rarely stopped.

We just kept running red light after red light after light banking on good deeds getting us out of the ticket if we were caught.

Then we met Selah.

Tiny and perfectly formed, Selah was born at the beginning of my second trimester in my fifth pregnancy, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I just couldn’t force my foot onto the gas pedal for even just one more second.

For the first time in a long time, I felt like I just couldn’t move.

Selah’s life and her journey into eternity became the stop light I just could not ignore … it became the stoplight we as a family just couldn’t ignore.

We named her Selah because of she was the pregnant pause, as the word is used in the Psalms, we so desperately needed. I wish to this day that she would have been born the full-term baby that caused us to slow down … but reality is that God has purpose for her short life.

And one purpose we’ve been able to identify was to help save our lives from being a perpetual rush hour.

As we grieved our small baby, we felt like God was whispering to us that we just had to slow down. I knew it was true, and John and I began taking steps to quit a whole lot of really good things. We finished all of our volunteering committments that spring, I quit writing for several publications, we pulled out of activities with the boys, we closed our small business.

RushHourGreenLight JPEG.006We went from 100 mph to cautiously obeying the speed limit. It was hard, but with every deceleration, I felt freer to pursue what I knew God was calling me to pursue: time with Him to receive His love and heal, time with myself to know how He created me better and time with the people with whom He’s graciously blessed my life.

The fulfillment of stopping and of slowing down was greater than I expected. I learned to breathe again. I learned to receive God’s love and steep in it. I learned that who I am is not about what I do but rather Whose I am.

But there’s more.

Our family learned something, too: in the midst of our hearts breaking for Selah, we cried out to God and asked Him why we still felt such a tug on all of our hearts to welcome another life into our family. In that crying out, God began to break our hearts for children who don’t have families.

While we slowed down and then sat at one of the longest red lights of my life, our family discovered a shared passion and desire for wanting to become a family to children who don’t have one. We are in the midst of a crazy-exciting adoption journey that has been green light from the time we started. It continues to be a green light in ways we never expected despite some twists and major bumps in the road.

I don’t think we would have discovered that if it weren’t for Selah. I don’t think we would have discovered that if it weren’t for listening to God’s whisper and stopping and quitting all of the stuff that was more about us so that He could show us where our passions intersect with the world’s great need.

Those red lights we face are there for a reason. The yellows ones, too.

Stop running those red lights … so that you might have the endurance and time and space to run 100 mph after Him.

“The rush hour series is about clearing out space so you can respond when God calls you, so when God has an invitation for you you can respond at 100 mph.” -Pastor Josh Petersen

IMG_2528Hyacynth Worth is beloved to God, wife to John, mom to two boys and author of Undercover Mother. She also works as the Social Media Coordinator for Immanuel Church.

 

 

 

 


Be Challenged: 

Honestly consider which light you’re at. Ask God to give you the strength to make the decision to stop, slow down or go.

  • If you’re at a red light, quit something that’s standing in the way of our relationship with God or your family.
  • If you’re at a yellow light, intentionally spend time with the people around you.
  • If you’re at a green light, say yes to God and ask Him to dispel your fears and doubt. Ask Him to fuel go!

Go Deeper:

  • Answer the questions in our Conversation Starter {found by scrolling to the last page after clicking the link} by yourself, with your small group or with a trusted friend.

Extra Strength: Bringing Meaning to Monday Morning {John}

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

 Listen to Bringing Meaning to Monday Morning {Sunday, August 31, 2014}

By John Worth, Immanuel attendee and blogger

Hi my name’s John, and I work at Hollister Incorporated. No not “that” Hollister; I don’t bring home hip clothes. I work at the medical device company.

As I think about my job, my normal weekly 9-5 labor post-sermon, I start to consider whether I’m still in the place God can best use me and all the gifts and skills He’s given me. I believe we all regularly ask of ourselves if we are operating out of who we’ve been created to be or if we are just on autopilot doing a job that doesn’t bring your joy and doesn’t engage your abilities and passions.

So I find myself asking, after the message, God is this still where you want me to be and what you want me to be doing?

Some questions you might ask yourself as you wrestle with this question, many of which are the questions asked in the Vantage Point3 course offered at Immanuel include:

  • Is the place I am working now a place where my deep desire and the world’s deep hunger meet?
  • Am I using the strengths, skills, and gifts God has given me in my current job or vocation?
  • Am I passionate about my work?

Heresy compartmentalizationAs I reflect and assess, I know my current job does, indeed, positively satisfy the first two questions I pondered above. Currently I am doing IT finance work and within the nuances of my position I am asked to do everything from very technical data structuring and programming to financial analysis to planning to conducting training sessions. This suites me well, and it engages my skills. Each one of these areas are things that I know God specifically gave me skills in and enjoyment from doing.

But what about that third question; am I passionate about my work? This is a little stickier for me. Am I passionate about medical supply devices? Not particularly, but I am passionate about helping people and that is one of the hallmarks of our company’s mission.

 

More importantly, though, I am passionate about serving God and allowing my love for Him and His love for me to shine through the work I do. My job is one of the primary places where I can bring this passion to the forefront no matter the work I am doing.

While I sometimes fall into the trap of feeling like my work is a hindrance to being able to serve God more fully, Pastor Joe encouraged me in embracing that I am absolutely accomplishing the will of God and serving him during my 9-5.

John Worth is director of Immanuel Accelerate, a lifelong attender of Immanuel and husband to Hyacynth. John’s two boys keep him and Hy on their toes most evenings. When he’s not nose deep in spreadsheets at work John enjoys helping others navigate the waters of life.


Be Challenged: 

  • Are you serving God through loving other people and letting the Light within you shine at your workplace?
  • Are you doing all things to the glory of the Lord even if you’re not in your idea environment?
  • Are you being invited to explore some of the questions listed above? You may want to explore Vantage Point3. Open to men and women; scroll down to the end of the linked page. Courses begin soon.

Go Deeper:

  • Answer the questions in our Conversation Starter {found by scrolling to the last page after clicking the link} by yourself, with your small group or with a trusted friend.

Our Prayer for The Monday After: Bringing Meaning To Monday Morning

TheMondayAfterPrayerEach Monday we’ll be bringing Sunday into the work week by sharing a prayer for the week based on the Sunday sermon. You can now catch the sermon blogs written by our blogging team Wednesdays, where they’ll offer a mid-week shot of espresso to help re-energize, encourage and challenge us in the midst of our work weeks! 

 

The Monday After Sunday, August 31, 2014: Bringing Meaning to Monday Morning 

Miss the message? Listen HERE!

Prayer8.31.14