Too Busy for God!
Greetings SPV! Pastor Kelly here,
Let me start off with a little bit of an update.
We have continued to explore new and exciting ways to reach out to our community. Our new ESL classes are slowly growing and people are starting taking note of our community. Someone came to the class last week because she heard about it through someone else. I love it when people share about the things they see at our church. That’s how we start seeing lives changed!
Just the other day, I was at the church and got to speak with a few young men. I simply asked them, do you guys go to church ?
One nodded and explained his family use to go to church but the other young man said something that made me think. He said, I’m to busy to have to time to go to church. The look on my face must have given away what I thought. We hear this from people “we are too busy” .
Often we are to busy to spend time in communion with each other let alone our creator. My response to him was, well I hope God isn’t to busy when you need him. I was joking oh course!
In order to develop our relationship with God we have to make time to spend with Him.
In this day and age, we continue to see everyone being so busy, they don’t feel God is worth the time.
In scripture we see how Jesus directs this type of busyness.
Luke 10:38–42: “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
I continue to pray for these men so that they may understand the need for God. We pray that our church will see this as well and make sure we are making room for his presence in our lives.
It is so important and something we must recognize in our daily walk. Busyness can do lots of things, but it can not make us dependent on Jesus. That is something we must do for ourselves. My prayer for our church is to continue to realize how much we need Jesus.
When we are walking in that dependent nature, it makes us aware of so much more in our life. Which areas we may need help in, but also the areas we are doing well in. Let us continue to strive for relationship with God
Unforced Rhythms of Grace
Hello SPV Fam, it was so good to see all of you last weekend and I look forward to being with you again in just a couple of weeks.
If you read the fine print of my contract, you’ll see that I am contractually obligated to preach/do a lesson on Matthew 11:28-30 at least once a year so here it goes:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.””
If you know me at all then you know one of my most ardent beliefs and convictions is that following Jesus and living a life of faith shouldn’t be “heavy” or burdensome and if it is, then there’s a really good chance we’re doing it wrong. Now that doesn’t mean life itself won’t be “heavy” or a burden on occasion (at the very least) if not regularly. But I firmly believe the way of Jesus, although challenging at times, should never be the source of your fatigue. In fact, Jesus is saying that if we follow/keep company with him, that we will learn from him how to live lives that are free & light. He didn’t say “completely free of all trouble”, but that “forced rhythms of grace” are available to us as we navigate the worries and troubles life throws at us.
I pray each of us would both walk and work with Jesus and learn how he does it.
Much love & unforced rhythms of grace to you all,
Meet me in Galilee
Hi SPV Family, Patricia here,
As the last supper ended, Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
On the way, Jesus told them, ``But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Matthew 26:32. NLT
We have two accounts of Jesus saying I will meet you in Galilee, to his followers.
Then we see in Mark’s gospel the account of the women going to the tomb and finding it empty.
When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” Mark 16:5-7 NLT
Why did Jesus tell his disciples that he was going ahead of them and will meet them in Galilee?
You might consider that Jesus told them to meet Him in Galilee because that is where the ministry of Jesus started. The first miracle turning water into wine, the sermon on the mount, the transfiguration and place where the disciples met Jesus for the first time. Galilee was the place where Jesus fed thousands of people, healed the sick and raised the dead.
In Galilee the disciples of Jesus learned who he was, the Son of God as the Father spoke from the heavens. In Galilee Jesus taught with parables so that the lessons were understandable to all people. Meeting Jesus changed the lives of the disciples.
Do you remember when you first met Jesus? Did you fall in love with Jesus and was your heart humbled by his love for you? Maybe it took you sometime to get to know Jesus and understand his teachings and his love in your life.
Meet me in Galilee
Consider going back to that time when you loved Jesus with all your heart.
Meet me in Galilee.
Believing that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.
Meet me in Galilee.
Knowing that when we see Jesus, we see the Father.
Did the disciples believe that Jesus would be raised from the dead and meet them in Galilee? Or were they stuck in Jerusalem frozen in the events of the days surrounding the crucifixion?
Scripture says they didn’t believe that Jesus would be raised from the dead, and they didn’t go to Galilee right away. In spite of their unbelief Jesus met them where they were.
On the day of the resurrection Jesus met Mary in the garden and two of his followers on the road to Emmaus. Time after time Jesus showed Himself to his followers exactly where they were, he didn’t go to Galilee and wait for them to show up.
As I looked at this scripture and was praying about the words “Meet me in Galilee” I started thinking about why did Jesus say this to his disciples?
I have a couple of thoughts to share on the matter, Galilee was home to the disciples and Galilee was the place they first met Jesus.
Maybe Jesus is saying remember when we first met and all the things that I revealed to you in Galilee.
Today Jesus is saying come home, find comfort in who I am and what I have taught you.
Jesus wants us to surrender everything to him and “Meet him in Galilee”.
Safe travels as you journey to Galilee and find yourself back at home in the love of Jesus and his amazing teachings.
Blessings and love,
I will give you rest.
Hello Saints, it’s Pastor Chris, remember me?
I hope you are all doing well and I can’t wait to see you in person later this month (Sunday June 26th). This weekly email was inspired by a conversation I had recently with someone who I would regard to be as rock solid for Jesus as anyone you’d ever meet and yet, was having a bit of a faith crisis. (The faith crisis was not about who Jesus is or that he is God.) If I’m honest, 20 years ago my reaction would have likely involved a combination of shock, disappointment topped with a dose of urgency (to “fix” this person ASAP). But now, I meet such conversations with open arms and a smile because a crisis of faith is biblical and “believe and do not doubt”, AND “help my unbelief” can be true at the same time.
There is A LOT I could say about this subject of “deconstruction” because I firmly believe it’s a sign of health to wrestle with such matters and the church needs to do a better job of providing a safe space for healthy dialogue rather than giving the impression (or overtly stating) that doubts and questions are off limits.
At the end of the day, I encourage everyone to strip down their faith as needed because, and you’ll know this if you’ve heard me preach more than a couple of times, there’s LOTS of things we’ve been told we MUST believe that either simply aren’t true or at the very least aren’t required to believe in order to be a faithful follower and disciple of Jesus. I’m fairly certain of a handful of things and one of those is, that there isn’t going to be a theology quiz for entrance into the new creation (heaven). Don’t get me wrong, I believe (correct) theology is important but it’s not about believing the right things in order to be “in” as opposed to “out” in God’s eyes, but it’s about the fact that proper theology will more readily allow us to see God in a proper light. Jesus is the image of the invisible God and that frees us to live in the loving, healthy and free manner God intends for us to live (“I will give you rest…my burden is light”). Maybe we can do a follow up with some core belief basics like the Apostle’s & Nicene Creeds, but I think that’s probably plenty for now.
Much love & burden free living,
Finding rest in the Lord
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.
Celebrate our Mothers
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.
Who are you looking for?
Hi SPV family, Patricia here,