Good morning, Cassidy Family,
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Children and Youth Pastor
Cassidy United Methodist Church
|“Be strong and courageous.” This is a familiar phrase to most Christians. It is most often associated with Joshua. Moses has just died and Joshua has been selected as Moses replacement. First, God says it to Joshua, then Joshua says it to the people, also telling them to follow the rules that Moses has given them and not to deviate from them. But, the book of Joshua is not the only place we find these words.We find them also in 1 &2 Chronicles, Psalms, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, 1 Corinthians, Malachi, Job, Colossians, and Jeremiah. What meaning do these words have for us today? We are in a time that few of us have ever seen the likes of. No one knows if or when it is going to end. We all know that things are never going to be quite same as they were. We need to take Heart, for we are also told that the Lord Our God is with us wherever we go!If you are despairing because you are limited in where you can go, follow these words!If you are lonely because you can’t see friends, follow these words!If you are fearful of catching CoVID -19, follow these words!But also remember to follow the rules Our Lord has given us. Don’t go off doing things of your own thinking, puffed up and proud in your own intelligence. Get in The Word daily and study!You have plenty of time. There are those who are saying this will bring about a great revival! I PRAY IT IS SO! Be prepared workers ready to go into the fields as soon as the Lord commands. Now is not the time for relaxing in our duties, but to shift our focus in order to be ready for the next steps to come.BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU WHERE EVER YOU GO!|
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
Capture Your Thoughts
Taking thoughts captive means controlling them instead of letting them control you. — Priscilla Shirer
We were created in the image of God, and we are His masterpieces. What would our lives be like if we lived like we believed that truth? The biggest reason we don’t is because we have let toxic thoughts run rampant in our minds. We can’t let them dictate our lives—we must choose to capture our thoughts.
Taking our thoughts captive will be one of the toughest battles we engage in. It’s so much easier to just entertain the toxic thought. The effort comes when we engage in the battle. Even if we entertain the thought, we can still take it captive. It truly is better to do it late than never.
When the Bible says to take our thoughts captive, that means we have the power to do something about it. As Christians, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can manage our thoughts.
Here’s an example: let’s say there’s someone in your life you need to forgive. Every day, you remember what they did to you. You can’t seem to let it go or heal from it. You might start to have thoughts like, “I don’t really need to forgive this person” or “What they did to me is unforgivable.” These are the toxic thoughts you must take captive. Recognize that it is causing you to inner turmoil. Then, choose truth from God’s Word. You might even pray, “God, I’m choosing to push this thought aside instead of entertaining it. I know you have forgiven me of so much in my life. Help me to extend the same forgiveness to this person.”
And then you do it again and again and again until it “takes.” You’ll know healing is occurring when you look back on the situation and the sting of pain isn’t as intense. You will see it as something that happened to you—past tense—not something that is happening to you—present tense.
Why is it important that we stop those thoughts?
Every day is a new day. We get a new set of hours to live the lives that will bring glory to God and joy to our souls. We just have to recognize that and wake up with a newfound determination to be the boss of our thoughts, not the other way around.
Children and Youth Pastor
God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.
Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains
Topple into the depths of the seas, though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah. (Ps.46:1-3)
None of us have ever experienced days like this and probably never thought we
would. In addition to the virus, the world is experiencing other natural disasters like
earthquakes and tornadoes. The entire world is simultaneously in turmoil. And the
potential for sickness, financial loss and even death makes it very personal, doesn’t it.
How does one face these tumultuous days? The answer is found in God alone,
not in God plus anything else. When that which seems unchangeable and impregnable
falls, God is my stability. He is my refuge-my shelter and protection from danger. He is
my strength-my vigor, mental and moral power, firmness and courage. He is my everpresent
help in trouble.
As a high-strung, sensitive, emotional person, I need to be constantly reminded
of these truths. Worry is an inappropriate response for God’s child. Anxiety, mental
distress, and emotional agitation must yield and trust in the unshakeable, immutable,
omnipotent God of the universe. He is the master of all of nature, and I must make him
Master of my troubled soul.
Lord, I praise you that I do not have to fear anyone or anything
Because you are my refuge and strength.
Sometimes it is hard for us to recognize the blessings God has placed before us. Look back at your life and take stock of the time God has come through for you. Many times, he did so by bringing you to the end of yourself. And though this process was painful, it was good. You wouldn’t have it any other way. Every Easter, God presents us with a life-changing opportunity. The chance to surrender our lives to him so that he can have free reign to unleash his love upon us.
Surrender: The Opportunity of Easter
Love is a choice. It is a choice to give our lives away for the benefit of another. Upon the cross, Jesus willingly surrendered his life for us. He lived the sinless life we could never live and then he died a sacrificial death in our place. Because of his great love for us, Jesus gave his life away.
The question is: How will we respond to this great gift? It is not easy to surrender. It runs counter to our culture’s ideals of pride and self-sufficiency. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know the danger of living the self-serving life. We know the guilt of unforgiven sin. We can taste the bitterness of our past regrets.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. God has laid an eternal opportunity before us all. He has laid down his life for us. Will we respond in faith by laying our lives down for him?
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world, but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? – Matthew 16:24-26
God could not love you any more than he already does. And he has proven his love upon the cross. Jesus gave his life for you. This Easter, respond by giving your life right back to him!
What holds you back from fully devoting your life to God? How might your life change if it was fully surrendered to him? If we surrender to love, what is there to fear?
God, I will never fully grasp the love you have displayed upon the cross. But I ask you to help me know it more fully this Easter. Thank you that your love has come!
Children and Youth Pastor
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with conﬁdence, so that we may receive mercy and ﬁnd grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Today you may be feeling like you need to escape. And even though we are “sheltering in place” there are still ways for us to escape aren’t there? The world has lots to oﬀer us in the form of escapes. We escape to tv, cell phones, computers, food, alcohol and other drugs. They may make us feel good in the moment, but the comfort they give is temporary. We need more and more. Trying to ﬁll our aching hearts with these things is like trying to ﬁll an ocean with a tablespoon. It’s never enough. So we clench our ﬁsts and keep trying to ﬁnd something to comfort us.
If only we knew how to stop clenching our ﬁsts so we could open our hands and catch the drops of his tender mercy. If only we knew how to release the weight of trying to ﬁx it all ourselves. If only we knew to stop in the midst of it all and whisper, “Jesus…help me.” Just a whispered breath of His name carries all the power and wisdom and grace we need to handle what we face today.
If only we knew.
Today, if you ﬁnd yourself wanting to escape into one of the world’s comforts, ﬁrst invest some time in asking Jesus to help and direct you. Speciﬁcally ask him to help you see and notice His tender mercies. Then you will see that one drop of the Lord’s mercy is better than an ocean of the world’s comfort.
Jesus, I pray that today I would know how high and how deep is the love You have for me. Help me to catch the tender drops of Your mercy and allow myself to fully embrace Your love. Amen.
-adapted from Craving God by Lysa Terkeurst
It’s Not About You
What is the meaning of life? We treat the meaning of life as though it is the greatest mystery the world has ever sought an answer to. The meaning of life is not so elusive, though. God created you on purpose, and that means that there is a purpose for your life.
Your life is not about you. There is a lot of you that is involved in your life, but your life is ultimately about so much more than just you! You were not created in isolation. In fact, the earliest stages of your life required you to be connected to another life — your mother! You were born in a relationship, and your life today is all about your connections and relationships.
Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, a man gifted by God with tremendous wisdom. Solomon spent his entire life searching for the meaning of life. A lot of what he did was sinful. In a sense, you could say that he tried it all. And after trying it all, his final conclusion was that we are to, “Fear God and obey His commands.” Because…
IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU! You were created to intersect, impact and interact! The first relationship that you were created for is your relationship with God. That’s why Solomon tells us what he does! If you get your relationship with God right, then your other relationships will begin to make more sense. God wants His relationship with you to spill over into your other relationships.