Lakeside Fellowship Blog

Playing Tarzan

by Jen Subra 6. February 2019 09:34
  In the dappled light of the Amazon rain forest, a muscled man grips a rope like vine and, swinging easily into open air, lets go only to reach out and grasp another that easily carries him across the leafy expanse. There is no hesitation or doubt; that was his plan all along.This may be my poor visualization of the mythic Tarzan, but it is meant only to paint a picture of where God sometimes calls us to go. And, no, I do not mean the Amazon rain forest. We are  often called to “swing out and let go.” We are called to faith: believing what we cannot see; trusting the Planner before we know the plan. The vine-swinging Tarzan has been a mental picture of God’s request for me to let go before I’ve grabbed on to the next thing. We see this picture of stepping out in faith, of required action before revealed plans, throughout the Bible. Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Daniel 3: 14-18 (King Nebuchadnezzar spoke) “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?. . . .  But if you do not     worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Matthew 4:19, 20 “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” And at once they left their nets and followed Him. That’s some heavy duty vine swinging there. Leave your home, your people, your culture, your country, and I AM will tell you where to go. Worship God only, and I AM will provide for you through the fires. Leave your job—the one thing at which you are skilled—and come do what I AM asks you to do. There are those moments, those decisions, even those seasons of life, where we are called as followers of Christ to follow Him in a way that tests not His character, but our BELIEF in His character. Do we believe the great I AM? In the Old Testament, He is the Most High God, the Creator, the One Who Sees, the Shepherd, the Healer, the All-Sufficient One, and the One Who Provides. In the New Testament, Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Light of the world, the Living Water, the Good Shepherd, and, appropriately, the True Vine. Are you in a season of “swinging out?” Are you being called to take a step of faith and let go of a fear, a worry, a dream, a relationship, a child, a job, a home,  or a church, and you’re not sure what’s on the other side of that expanse? Where you’re going to land? You can be sure that the great I AM, the True Vine, is there in that space. It is the unchangeable, unwavering character of I AM, our Abba Father, to be in that space that is unknown to us. Do you trust Him enough to “swing out?” “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom

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Womens Blog

Five Simple Words

by Julie Summa 8. January 2019 19:22
Five simple words uplifted my day. I have enjoyed playing racquetball for a long time. Because of my age, my current ability to play is not because of any agility or speed, but more because of well-placed shots. I play weekly with a group of guys who are very understanding of my limitations. I was playing doubles a few weeks ago and our foursome included a new guy who was probably in his mid-forties. He was notably physically fit and more skilled than the rest of us on the court. As the match continued, I ran up to the front of the court, but I couldn’t run fast enough to make the shot. After missing the shot, I said, “That’s what happens when you are 61.” The new guy turned to me and said, “I never would have guessed.” Those five words were the most encouraging words I’d heard all day! I was revitalized to think that a relatively young, fit guy concluded I wasn’t as old as I really am! Our words can both encourage and discourage. Throughout the Bible, God gives us guidance and instruction regarding our words…what we say, how we say them, and the attitude that accompanies our words. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 (NASB) Research says that on average, people speak about 7,000 words per day. With the sheer volume of our spoken words, we can easily slip up and say something destructive. We, as women, need to be extra careful how we choose our 7,000 words! There is one who speaks rashly the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18 (NASB) The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3 (NASB) God tells us there will be consequences to our sinful speech. However, pleasing God with our speech should be our motivation, not avoiding consequences. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36 (NASB) One resource God provides us to help with our words is prayer. In fact, He is faithful and willing to help us with any sin in our life, especially when we recognize it as sin, confess it, and call out to Him for help. Praying specific, simple prayers regarding our speech, like the psalmists did, can result in lasting change. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14(NASB) Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3 (NASB) Our harmful speech is often preceded by a sinful thought or motive. God’s Word is filled with guidance and truths about the best way to tackle our sinful thoughts, motives, and ultimately our words. Daily immersion into His Word is essential in the battle against our destructive tongue. Consider asking yourself right before speaking, “What can I say to this person to encourage her (or him) today?” Strive to use your words to encourage, not discourage. Your children, parents, friends, boss, co-workers, and even racquetball partners all need your words of encouragement! Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6 (NASB) Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB)  

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Womens Blog

Make This Christmas Season Holy

by Gloria Stewart 3. December 2018 06:03
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her,” (Luke 10: 41-42 NIV). Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and worship Him rather than help her sister in the kitchen. Although this isn’t a traditional Christmas scripture, these words spoke to me as I prepared for this holiday season: make it holy. How can I make this Christmas season holy? Keep my focus on Jesus; avoid the commercialization and remember, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” At our house the focal point is on nativity scenes. I have several (at least seven) that I display, including a Fisher Price nativity that has been on the fireplace hearth since our first grandchild was born twenty years ago. We depend on a variety of family activities to prepare our hearts for Christmas. Perhaps there will be an idea for your family to try this year: Attend Advent worship on Sunday Attend special programs such as the Christmas Eve worship Read the scriptures daily until Christmas: Matthew 1:18-2:12, Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-20; and John 1:1-18 Share family devotionals at mealtime or bedtime Spend time meditating on the miracle of Jesus' birth and praising God for sending His Son Play Christmas carols Create a Christmas prayer list and include the ill, the shut-in, the lonely, the grieving Give gifts to a needy child or family Bake cookies together Deliver plates of cookies or fresh fruit to shut-ins or new neighbors Show appreciation to those people who make your life better: postal person, police officers, fire persons, pastors, teachers, bus drivers, or neighbors Use Christian symbols to decorate the Christmas tree Go Christmas caroling to shut-ins in your neighborhood Display an outdoor nativity so others are reminded of Jesus this season Attend presentations of Handel’s “The Messiah” or Christian concerts Make or choose Christian Christmas cards to send Watch Christian Christmas movies (The Nativity Story, Veggie Tales’ The Toy That Saved Christmas, Max Lucado’s The Christmas Candle) The scripture shared above reminds me of what is important this season. As I prepare the house and our lives for Christmas, I want to choose what is better, what one thing is needed—make Christmas holy by honoring our Savior’s birth.  

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Womens Blog

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