Our Prayer for the Monday After: Selfie: Whole

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, April 12, 2015: Selfie: Whole

Yesterday, Pastor Josh Petersen launched the new Selfie series with the message, Whole.

We looked at John 5:1-15

Jesus Heals a Lame Man
“5 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda,[a] with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.[b] 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

Blog 4.13.1511 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.”
Pastor Josh highlighted a few things:

1. We are all searching for wholeness.

2. “Jesus is in the business of holistic healing; he’s in the business of looking at all of you not just the little parts that annoy you. He offers us wholeness we didn’t know was possible.” Pastor Josh Petersen

For the next seven days:

Fill yourself with Jesus, with His word, with His truth instead of trying to fill yourself with other things that only leave you empty.

 

ICYouth: He Spoke Her Name (Makenna)

Thank you for your generosity to Immanuel. Because of your generosity, we are able to share stories of how God is changing lives! Every Friday, one of our student bloggers shares how God is working in his or her life. Leave some encouragement by commenting?

By Makenna Nahorniak

He is alive. He is not a dead God. He is not far from us. He is powerful and life changing. He is radically moving in hearts and minds. He awakens souls- He makes us braver and bolder. Jesus is alive.

Mary Magdalene stood out to me today. She was the demon-possessed woman. And Jesus appeared to her first.

Mark 16:9- “Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.”

Jesus had her heart. What I love about Mary Magdalene is the way that she came before Jesus broken at his feet. She anointed him with expensive perfume. She listened intently to the words He spoke. She just enjoyed His presence. She was in love with the One who set her soul free.

Then Jesus was put on a cross. You can only imagine the anguish this must have brought upon her soul. The one who cast those demons out, the keeper of the voice that her ears could listen to all day long, the One who revived her and freed her was dead. She went to His tomb three days later. He was gone, so she wept.

I can imagine the scene. Mary weeping outside of the tomb- probably feeling all the more hopeless, longing for her sweet Jesus. Flustered and afraid, simply wanting to adorn his body with spices and perfumes.

This morning my family asked me to read this account of Jesus’ resurrection, and I couldn’t get through it without bursting into tears. I really don’t think that this woman was all that different from you and me.

She might’ve felt like the One with whom her soul was deeply in love was far from her. The tomorrows that she had hoped for must’ve seemed quite distant and unrealistic.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” (John 20:15)

Little did she know that He wasn’t just the gardener.

What a reunion.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.”

“She turned to him and said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).” (John 20:16)

icyouth blog 4.10.15I love exclamation points. She must’ve been so deeply moved, so genuinely relieved and so filled with hope as she heard the risen Savior speak her name out loud.

I just think of what that might be like—to hear Jesus speak my name. That must’ve been a beautiful sound.

That one exclamation point says it all. “Rabboni!” Her teacher had conquered death. And she loved Him. And His love for her wouldn’t be thwarted by death and the passing of time.

This meant forever with Jesus- the bright morning sun. The center of her being was awakened. She must’ve felt the weight of real, true, everlasting life deep within her soul in that moment. She had been fought for, and her glorious Savior had won.

You have been fought for. And sweet Jesus has conquered all.

If I could shout with delight in a blog post, this would be the time. Insert squeal of delight and pure joy. I have been fought for, and my Savior has won.

Oh, that I might hear Him say my name one day. That I would live this life with Him in my heart. That He would die for me and defeat darkness.

He’s alive.

And that is cause enough for a massive celebration.

 

Makenna headshotMakenna Nahorniak is a senior at Christian Life School. She enjoys leading worship, singing, reading, writing and using her words to encourage others’ hearts. 

The Monday After: The “S” Word (Anita)

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, July 20, 2014: The “S” Word {Listen Here}

By Anita Everly

How many times have we willingly walked right into sin?
We know it’s not right, but we chose it.  “I don’t care. Just this one time. Okay, this is the last time.”
As Pastor Joe pointed out at its Biblical root, sin is a deliberate refusal to submit and outright rebellion to God.  He also mentioned it was active opposition to God.
That doesn’t make sin sound so seductive anymore.
Yet, it’s far too difficult to say, “I won’t do it anymore” and really follow through.
Sin and God cannot coexist, so we must become filled and saturated with God.
First, we must confess our sin to God. 1 John 1:9 says,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
What a gift!  He will forgive us and purify us from our sins. Rather than being suffocated by the guilt and shame, He promises restoration. With that guarantee, we can begin to climb out of the pit to see the hope He has for us. Darkness has no power over us when we place it all in the hands of God in whom there is no darkness.” (1 John 1:5)
When the temptation to sin rears its ugly head, we must turn away and flee in the other direction. Sin does not play nice, and it requires a full-on assault.
We continue combating sin through the power of the Word of God. It is called the sword for a reason. It does battle.  Hebrews 4:12 says,
“For the Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
God’s Word hidden in our heart, written on note cards, emblazoned on our mirrors — whatever it takes to be in the Word — is the key to demolishing the strongholds of sin.
In addition to confession and God’s Word, we must pray.  Jesus said to his disciples on the Mount of Olives, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”  (Luke 22:40)
We have to be proactive and prepared for the devil who prowls looking for someone to devour.
When we belong to Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living inside us enabling us to conquer our sin. Galatians 5:16 promises,
“So I say, live the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
Jesus has already won the victory and taken the punishment for our sins and left us with the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.  I heard it once said that we don’t work for victory over our sins, but we work from victory. Christ has already won.
It’s crazy, but the sin that can most easily destroy and separate us from God, when given over to Him in complete surrender, can be the very thing that brings us closer to Him in ways we could never imagine.
When we are filled with God’s Word, prayer, the Holy Spirit, there is no room for Satan, his lies, or his temptations.
Remember, the battle is already won; let’s live like it.

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.

The Monday After: The Stressed-Out Life {Hyacynth}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling. 

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} is our attempt to carry the Sunday message into Monday mornings by walking together and sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, July 6, 2014 {Listen to the message HERE!}

By Hyacynth Worth

By all standards of expertise, I could likely claim status as a professional worrier.

(Imagine that on a resume!)

I’ve likely logged about 10,000 hours, which is what it takes to become an expert, engaged in the art of worry during the course of my life.

Before I realized this was a problem, I thought it was just, well, life.

I’m pretty sure I was operating under the life of mantra “to worry is to care.”

Those verse in the Bible about not worrying? Merely suggestions, I’d thought.

A few years ago when worrying started taking its toll on me physically, emotionally and spiritually, I met my life verse in Philippians; I knew Philippians 4:4-6 and I were meant to be because it read like a love letter to my heart:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Because peace? I could use some of that. So I began thinking on whatever was right, whatever was worthy of praise.

“The mind disciplined to dwell on things which have god’s approval is the surest way of increasing your christlikeness and decreasing stress.” -Pastor Kelly Davis

And that helped. It wasn’t until I took Pam Gillaspie’s No Worries study, though, that I realized Philippians 4:4-9 was not only a love letter but also a stand-out anti-anxiety prescription that really did reduce stress and worry and anxiety.

Philippians 4 second draft

During that study we dove deep into this prescription and also reflected on the very nature and character of God — a loving Father, a shepherd to His sheep, sovereign and good and all knowing. As I pondered God’s nature and steeped long in His deep love for me while I studied and began taking to heart and action His love letter to my heart, I began to seek a new expertise to replace worry: trust.

I’m not at expert level yet; I’ve still got a lot of hours to log before I can claim a title of expert truster, but I’m on my way to putting in on my resume, and I’ve got a lot of opportunities each day to log some man hours.

And that old life mantra of “to worry is to care”? I’m choosing to replace it with “to trust God is to fully live.”

Live fully today with me?

IMG_2528Hyacynth Worth is grateful daughter to the Perfect Father, wife to John and mother to two little boys and three souls she will one day meet in Heaven. In between mothering and coordinating online communication for Immanuel, she writes about grace, motherhood and living a healthy lifestyle at Undercover Mother.

The Monday After: The Humble Path to Happiness (Anita)

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 22, 2014: The Humble Path to Happiness {Listen Here}

By Anita Everly

In a culture where we toot our own horns, speak our minds and announce our status updates multiple times a day, it’s hard to imagine not doing any of that and instead look for ways to build up others.
Chances are most of us are thinking way too much about ourselves and not enough about others.
It’s embarrassing to be so very far from following His example of humility: Jesus was fully God and He also surrendered those rights to come down to earth and serve.
I’m feeling challenged to empty myself of me, be filled more with Him and pour out more onto others.
Jesus said, “I am gentle and humble of heart.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Pastor Joe pointed out that this means we must be unselfish with our time, possessions, energy and money. While it’s easy to think, “I’m not selfish with these things,” a better evaluation might be, “How generous am I?” For me, that makes a difference. I have some grasping and grabbing and hoarding to let go of. Humble hearts are best friends with open hands.
In addition, I can’t seem to shake the challenge to look for the positive in others and make it a habit to verbally point that out to them, especially the person we find it hardest to esteem.
Given enough time to really listen to that “difficult” person we find that there are reasons for most people’s hard hearts, unyielding spirits or just plain negativity. If we look at them through the lens of Christ we are able to gain compassion and look deeper to see the good that resides and bring that to the surface with our words of affirmation.
Whether a person thinks too much of himself or too little, everyone needs to hear life giving words. To be a servant of sharing God’s grace and love by humbling ourselves to lift up others is truly a walk on holy ground.
And in the upside down ways of the Kingdom, our lifting others up will likely result in our own hearts being more filled with goodness and joy than they ever could be by focusing on ourselves.
So do you need more of you to show more of Christ?
Lay low this week.  That’s just where things start to look up … for me, for you and for others.

 

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.