Hi SPV family,
We live in an age of technology where we can google any subject and get hundreds of results on any one topic. Not only can we find out an answer but we can get opinions on the results of the answers. It seems everybody wants to have their opinions heard and have that opinion validated by agreement. This is the way of the world, when we are heard and seen it makes us feel important.
How do we as children of God find the balance of just listening and not giving our opinion?
In the story of the Israelites taking the city of Jericho, Joshua commands the priest and the armed men (Joshua 6:10) Do not shout; do not even talk, "Not a single word as they marched around the walls." To me that does not seem possible to have thousands of people marching around the walls and not a single word spoken by anyone.
They marched around the city for six days and on the seventh day they circled the city seven times, each time obeying the command to not speak a single word.
Often times I see things that need to be changed and I want to speak up and give my opinion of what I think needs to be done to bring about the change. I have learned most people including my loved ones really don't want advice and actually stop listening when I give advice, each person wants to do it their own way.
The Lord has taught me when to speak up and when to pray about the change I think is needed.
Philippians 4:6-8 has been one of the verses I live by everyday of my life.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need and thank Him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
As we pray we should ask God to show us when we should share our opinions and when we should pray about the things we want to see changed. So many times in my life I have prayed and seen answers to pray without telling anyone 'MY OPINION".
In this act of prayer, I see God working in my life and in the lives of those I pray for.
Let's talk about the peace that guards our hearts and minds, this peace from God is a litmus test, to know that our actions/words line up with living in Christ Jesus.
When you make a choice to say or do anything, do you have peace, with your words/actions?
If you have peace then proceed and if you don't have peace don't act or speak.
The Holy Spirit who dwells inside of us gives us the fruit of the Spirit and one of those fruits is peace. This peace guards our minds and our hearts as we live in Christ Jesus.
Talking while walking around the walls of Jericho would not bring down the walls, obedience and knowing when to be quiet and when to shout brought the walls down.
Pray about everything, in doing so you partner with God to bring God's Kingdom into this realm and you open up the opportunity to allow God to work in supernatural ways in your life and in the lives of others.
Much love and blessings,
Hi SPV Family Grace here,
It was one of the busiest floral holidays of the year- Mother’s Day Eve- when my husband called to let me know that, for the second time in five days, he’d been in a vehicle accident. Both times not his fault, both times with others that were impaired and shouldn’t have been behind the wheel.
It feels like it’s been a year of anxiously waiting for phone calls; a year where one plan falling apart leads to another, and then another, and suddenly the rubble feels so massive that it’s nearly impossible to consider cleaning it up, only to sweep the final bits of dust and find that we’ve returned to exactly where it all began with little to show for it but the battle scars.
I left a lucrative career last summer to teach math, and lasted all of a month in a public school before the pressures and difficulties of post-covid teaching had me running for the hills. I still feel like a failure when I look back on the students I abandoned, still can’t help but shutter knowing I left the security of my years-long career for a month-long chance that didn’t pan out that likely left a mess in my wake. My husband was supposed to be deployed. Instead, we waited for eight long months to find him discharged instead, and not sure through those eight months if he’d still be deployed the next day, and while I’m grateful he’s not overseas, we built our lives around the thought of him being gone. I built a small business, and then was asked to leave one of my best markets for circumstances unrelated to the business or me, and have scrambled to restructure. Summer holds uncertainty in teaching as my students find summer camps and new hobbies. My husband built a business requiring every ounce of him, filled with the constant volatility of a self-employed and hard-working person, and has since decided to take a step back and re-enter the workforce. Family has come and gone, friends more so than we could’ve imagined. Our whole lives changed a year ago, and here they are now, changing once again, in the midst of a year of unexpected curveballs.
Sometimes God works in these ways where I know He is there, but I fail continually to acknowledge Him. It feels like I’m the one holding my world together, and I’ve pieced it together with all of my past failures and thoughts of who I thought I might be, and I use my two small hands to grab ahold of everything within my reach. Sometimes there’s far too much weight, and something snaps, and in the moments after lies the knowledge that I can’t do this alone, and the understanding that I can only let the weight crush me, or I can hand it over to the Lord.
Sometimes surrender doesn’t look like the perfect Hillsong music video, where you fall on your knees to the twenty-seventh bridge of Oceans, and the world feels so light and so filled with joy. Sometimes surrender looks like a deep breath in the midst of it all; the still small voice whispering “we’ve got this,” and the knowledge that no matter how hard the road, He is there to shoulder the load and walk with you. He reminds me that circumstances do not make me a failure, and reminds me that good things are coming, and tells me in the moments where I can’t face who I’ve become that He is still continually working in me.
In the moments where I can’t hold it together- where I haven’t washed my hair in a week and the emails stack higher and the bills and the phone calls and the what-ifs pile higher than that, there is a comfort in Matthew 11:28 Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. - in the simplicity of the short and sweet verse of the Lord offering us rest. He offers it freely, and sometimes it takes that phone call, that last straw to add to the pile building for months and months, to finally accept that His rest is the only comfort we have left to seek, and that while He doesn’t tell us how everything will be okay again, we can rest knowing that somehow it will be, even if the whole world seems wrong.
Hola SPV this is Adri,
It is almost here! … that special weekend where we celebrate our mothers and recognize the hard work they put into our lives. It should not be a weekend thing or a one-day celebration as we might already know. Parenthood is something that requires to be celebrated daily whether you are a fur momma, you have your own children or even if you do not have either or you might still have some parents to look after.
As a family, at some point, you might have wanted to have children, but you really did not know what it was going to be like till you had them. There is not a manual that we can follow to make sure we raise children in a good way. There are days that you feel like you are rocking parenthood and some others where you feel like you are the worst parent ever. But regardless of the ups and downs LOVE is what makes you thrive and pursue to do better each day.
As a parent you really want to be the best version of yourself for your little ones even while you are dealing with all your personal struggles and that itself can be overwhelming. God shows us a great example of what a father is as we are called His children if we are led by His Spirit (Roman 8:14). Children mirror their parents in so many ways and sometimes we might think: "Well, I do not know why he is acting that way but if you look closer you will see, it is just a mini version of you” so we might need to look at ourselves and take into consideration that our actions reveal the truth of who we are on the inside. 1 John 3:18 NIV is an encouragement to stay away from words and look more into what our actions are saying “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”.
Let's be real with our Father, let's open our heart fully to Him not just by sections, but fully let him work in our lives. It is ok to say: I am not ok! I need help, but that is just the beginning. Along with that prayer we should add how would God want me to handle this? Let’s mirror our heavenly Father. Sometimes we are so worried about appearances and looking super spiritual but inside we are so far from the Father. Let our actions as children of God speak louder than our words. We will never finish the process of working on ourselves, we will always be a work in progress, but we just need to be careful and do not become a different persona during the weekends.
Let us walk like our Father and if we come back to the beginning of this message where I mentioned the parents that were given to us, I know that this day might be hard because some of them are gone, you might not have even had one as your grew up, you might have also some grudges with them that will not even allow you to reach for them. Whatever it is, I want to encourage you to get closer to your loved ones. Remember that when we forgive someone, it is not because of them but because you deserve peace.
We are always looking for growth so we might not want to be strained in our personal life for lack of forgiveness to our loved ones. Honoring our parents is part of the ten commandments that were given to the Israelites and if it made it to the top ten it is because it is something that will really help us to fulfil our purpose in life. (Exodus 20:12) Additionally, it is a heavenly bonus pack because if you honor your parents this commandment comes with a promise “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-4 Who does not like to live well and long enough to see your family succeed?
So, pick up the phone, make that awkward call, send that message spread the love! And if it is too late and they are already gone, and you have pending business with them just say a prayer where you can close that missing conversation and forgive them.
See you on Sunday! I cannot wait to see all your beautiful mothers!
Hello SPV Fam, just a quick word as I reflect on “Holy Saturday” this morning. Today is the day that marks the aftershock of the worst day in human history, the literal lynching and murdering of God himself. And no matter how hard I try, I’m not sure I’ve ever even scratched the surface of the level of heartache, fear, depression, disillusionment, abandonment, anger, confusion, grief…along with a million other adjectives, the disciples and particularly Mary must have felt. And while I want to know….I don’t really want to know. I don’t ever want to really know.
While there are many deep truths and lessons to gleam from the aftermath of the crucifixion of Jesus, here is the one I want to leave you with today:
Just because God is silent, does not mean God is absent.
Let me say that again: Just because God is silent, does not mean God is absent.
That is one of the primary lessons of Holy Saturday and that is one of the primary lessons (and benefits) throughout our lives as a follower of Jesus.
Much love (and presence) to you all,
P.S. If you are able, please join us at the SPV tomorrow for Easter. Breakfast is at 9:30 in the café, live prayer is at 10:00 in the auditorium (should you want to join us for that) and our traditional “It’s Friday” video and worship will begin promptly at 10:30. hope to see you there.
Hi SPV family, Patricia here,
Pastor Chris Cahall
Chris loves Jesus & despises religion. Journey with him to dig a little deeper into your faith.