Sermons From the Vault

safe-1240163-1280x1920Okay so here is a good question to think about:

What are the top few lessons God has taught you in the past 5 years?

Take a moment and think about it. Because I believe that often what God teaches us in the past, is what is preparing us for his future. But the truth is this: we are quick to forget the lessons we learn. I know this is true of me, and I’m sure it’s probably true for you as well. That we learn something important, or really impactful but a few months go by and we forget or stop living that important truth out.

So here is what we want to do on Sunday. We are going to be looking back in our past for some of the key lessons God has taught us, so we can look forward into the future God has for us.

But before Sunday comes why not spend some time and think and pray about what God has taught you? Because remembering the lessons God teaches isn’t a waste of time, it’s how we grow.

Guest Blogger: My Wife! Lessons Learned as a Mom

Since Andrew got me to be our guest speaker yesterday at church, he also thought that it would only appropriate that I also be a Guest Blogger for today. I made the comment yesterday that I think that since I am doing his job, he should have come into my office and do mine for a day – and I am still holding onto that idea!

Yesterday we had a fantastic Mother’s Day celebration including a baby dedication and home-made gift giving. Andrew and I also got to share something super exciting with the church family – that we are going to become a family of four sometime early November!

We are very excited to welcome our little boy or girl into our family and as well into our Plattsville Church family too!

After sharing this exciting news, I talked about a few things that I have learned about God as a mom, things that I have been taught my whole life, but have been made real through the ups and downs of being a mom.  If you feel brave, you can listen to it online it will be posted later on this week here. However, I am nervous to even encourage this idea as this was my first time speaking and I was a wee bit nervous – but if you dare, you can hear all about these lessons of God through experiences and stories of my little man, Hudson.

I have been so blessed through this small little boy since the moment he was born. We are blessed that Andrew’s dad was able to be a grandpa for three short months.

We are blessed that he is going to be a great Big Brother. I know that Andrew feels blessed that his first word was ‘Ball’, and how he loves to play soccer. And for me, I feel blessed that through loving this little boy, I have learned to love and lean on God like I never have before and decided to share more about this with you all.

I shared on how God’s love is unconditional and that He is concerned with every detail of our lives. I shared on how we are to depend on Him and that he indeed feels all the same pain and sympathizes with us. And I said that for all these things, God first wants us to want Him. These simple concepts, ones that we may have been taught our whole lives, have taken on a new meaning through my little boy. Take a moment and think back to when God has shown you his love, mercy, compassion and desire to be with you, think of a time when you felt God’s presence beside you or His arms around you as you cried. Take a moment to just sit and thank God for being there during these moments, making Himself real to you. He wants to be with you, during the good times, and also during the times when you would rather that He was far away – He is still there.

So that’s what I’ve learned about God through being a parent. But what about you? What have learned about God from being a parent, through a parent, or though an adopted “parent” in your life? Because the beauty of our faith is that we learn from each other, and discover a God worth knowing…

My Top 10 Lessons I’ve Learned… Part 2

Here are the next three lessons I’ve learned this year.

Lesson #5: God’s Love is Unconditional

This is something I’ve known, but this year experinced in a deeper way than before. With a son, whom I love so deeply for no reason other than he’s worth loving, I’m starting to get a glimpse into what God feels for us. This in reality is really changing me this year.

Lesson #4: God sees Us as Holy

This has been an amazing learning, that once you come to know Christ God sees you as holy. You are not a sinner, but saint in God’s eyes. Go and check it out yourself. Read the Bible and discover that what defines us isn’t sin but Jesus Christ within us. So this year I’m focusing on reminding people who they are in Christ, not what they need to do. My theological hunch is that the more we focus on who we actually are, the easier it will be to actually live that out.

Lesson #3: Grace is Costly

Grace is freely given, but that grace costs. I’ve learned this year that grace is hard to give, it isn’t cheap. We love to give grace to people who deserve it, but God gives it to us, those of us who don’t deserve it. And we should do the same. To give grace to those who hurt us, who know better, who won’t accept any responsibility for their actions. We don’t do this because it’s easy, but because it’s godly. This doesn’t mean excusing the hurt that was caused, but recognizing the depth of the hurt and still choosing to show grace. This is the high road, and high roads are hard. But that’s also where you’ll find God and Jesus walking with you.

For me these were three amazing lessons to learn. The first two were great to learn, the last one no one wants to have to learn. But each made me a better person I believe.

What have you learned over the past year that’s made you a better person?

Would you share it with us?

Making a Top Ten List…

This upcoming Sunday is the first day of the new year. It’s a time to look forward to what’s coming and to reflect on what’s happened.

If we don’t reflect we run the risk of not realizing how we’ve grown, how we’ve changed, and how God’s spoken to us. There is an old spiritual technique called the Ignatian Examen. But in a simplified version you simply look back over a period of time and ask yourself these questions:

  • When did I feel closest to God? When did I feel farthest from him?
  • When did I feel full of generosity and grace? When didn’t I feel generous and gracious?
  • Where did I notice God in the past year? When did I fail to notice him?
I’d invite you to simply do that. Take some time and reflect on what God taught you this year. I’ve done that and have come up with a Top 10 list of lessons I’ve learned about God this year. And I’ll share them with you all next week.
But what about you? What has God taught you this year? What’s your top ten list?
I’ll share my list, but I’d love to hear a few of them off of your list!
Because maybe what God has taught you, you can teach me…