We were lying on the beach at Warren Dunes State Park on a perfect summer day. Suddenly, the beach began to shake and move. I looked up to see if a large truck was driving across a parking lot about two hundred yards to the east, but there were no large trucks going by. I asked, "Did you feel that?" An earthquake had just shaken the area from St. Louis through eastern Michigan. It wasn't the first time I had experienced an earthquake. As a boy growing up in northwest Alaska, a earthquake hit our section of the state with such force that it knocked me to my knees. This happened while I was attending a Boy Scout troop meeting. The earthquake shook our town to the point that it sounded like a Caterpillar bulldozer had just gone past the building where we were meeting. I went to the door, opened it, looked down the street each direction, and realized this was no D-9 bulldozer: our world had been shaken by an earthquake.
Right now, if you are like others, it may feel like your world is shaking. Things that once seemed steady and dependable are suddenly in flux. Things you could once count on are now no longer a sure thing. Many people are anxious, fearful, and uncertain.
God has something to say to us in the middle of these times. This Sunday we begin a 2-week sermon series titled "THE FIRM FOUNDATION."
In 2nd Corinthians 4:7-17, the Apostle Paul—who was beaten by mobs, arrested by police, criticized by his friends (church members), imprisoned, and shipwrecked—has something to say about how we can live through times like this with a "Firm Heart." Pastor Nikki has a word from God for us this Sunday, October 25th, and I hope you'll join us in worship either in-person or online.
On November 1st (All Saints Sunday), we'll look at what Paul has to say about fake freedom and true freedom in Galatians 5. People talk a lot about freedom, what they can do when they want to do it, but Paul has something to teach us about freedom that can change everything. It's a good thing to remember as we stand on the edge of a national moment of decision, and as we consider how we will live with one another in the church and in our community. Join us for worship on November 1st as I preach a message titled "The Firm Freedom."
Sometimes, our world moves and the earth shakes. And yet, Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 4:16, "We do not lose heart."
Join us for these two important messages on October 25th and November 1st as we look at THE FIRM FOUNDATION.
In the meantime, you may want to use the lyrics below from the great hymn as your devotional focus these next two weeks.
Grace and peace,
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."
"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!" (John Rippon)
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