Monthly Archives: February 2016

PURPOSE – More than Curiosity

 

I have a beautiful Husky named Riddick. He has fantastic hearing. As soon as I put my feet on the floor to get out of bed, he hears the creak of the floor and immediately begins to bark, asking to go outside. When he hears an unexpected noise his ears perk up and his head turns to exact place the noise was made. He stares at the place the noise was made with intensity and will often get up to investigate further. When he has satisfied his curiosity, and knows that the family is safe, he is able to lay back down in peace.

Have you ever felt that nagging empty space wondering what your purpose is in life? Let’s allow ourselves to be curious about that feeling for a moment. Like Riddick, I invite us to ask for that need to be answered. Allow our ears to perk up and turn our heads toward that feeling. Let’s stare at it with intensity and investigate it further.

American novelists Tiffanie DeBartolo calls this space a God-shaped hole. She writes:

“We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls. Some people use alcohol, or sex, or their children, or food, or money, or music, or heroin. A lot of people even use the concept of God itself.”

Church father St. Augustine refers to this space as restlessness in his Confessions. He writes:

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

A rich man named Zacchaeus felt that nagging curiosity when he heard that a teacher named Jesus was in town. He even climbed a tree to try to get answers for his questions. Jesus saw him and his deeper need. He invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house.  Zacchaeus warmly welcomed this invitation into his home, and into his heart. In fact, it changed his whole life! He had been trying to fill this void with money. He freely gave his money away while following true purpose in life following Jesus. (Check out Luke 19:1-10 to see the full story)

My friend, that empty space alerts us to the truth that we have been made by a loving God for a purpose. Jesus is not only calling to us, he sees our deeper need for true and lasting purpose. Let’s not only to pay attention to that nagging feeling, but let us turn away from the things that you have tried to fill it with. Accept the call Jesus is making to you by name. Jesus desires to fill that space and give you an even greater purpose than you can ever imagine. It is then we will be free to speak with confidence the words of Psalm 138:8 –

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.”

With Purpose,

Pastor Sarah

PONDER – White as Snow

On Monday the wind blew the snow everywhere, revealing a cold, dark, and cracked ground beneath. And today, with little wind in the air, a cool crips layer of clean snow has fallen on that ground. It looks so cleansed and fresh! It gives us a fitting illustration for the beginning of the Lenten season.

Today we celebrate Ash Wednesday. Our Lenten theme is Living Lent as People of the Resurrection and today’s word is PONDER. It is a time to ponder our relationship with God, and with one another. In our lives, we often like to try to ignore our sins or run from them. Thankfully, God does not allow us to do that. He speaks to us His Word and shows us where we have gone astray. It is as if God is taking the layer of protection that we have tried to use to mask our sins and blows it around until we see the truth of what lies beneath. When we see the truth of our brokenness and we cry out to God for help. Jesus teaches in Luke 5:31-32

31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

It may be difficult to look at that hurting ground, and see the dirt and cracks beneath the hidden surface. It is a gift, however, because it shows us our need for Jesus. Jesus calls us to turn away from this old way of living and reaches out to gently lay a new layer of fresh healing snow on the ground. In the words of a well-known hymn:

Jesus paid it all – all to him I owe.

My sin has left a crimson said, he washed it white as snow.

Christ is seeking you in this season, my friend!

Pastor Sarah Carlstrom

Worship Services

WORSHIP TIMES:
9:15am Sunday School & Adult Bible Study
10:00am Fellowship
10:30am Worship

Pastor Sarah Carlstrom
(email) carlstrom.sarah@gmail.com
(church) 320-312-7729
(cell) 320-226-5676

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