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MemberJanuary 9, 2024 at 8:02 am
Jan/9- my devotions always turn out too long but I had such a shocking realization and revelation about/towards the message. When I was much younger, my Grandfather unfortunately passed away, and in grief I looked to him for guidance and inspiration a lot after his passing. One strange thing about this relationship I looked for in him, was how during prayer I felt so close to him, but so far away from God. I felt almost betrayed in a way because I felt like he was taken away from me way too early and now all that I have are the memories I keep of him. I realize that through this quote in the passage “so much of what is passed as passes as prayer is really just inner dialogue… but really prayer is of another order of magnitude” I resonated so much with this, because of how much I struggled with trusting in Jesus enough to plead to be closer with him, instead of going against his word for the loss I felt in grief of a family member. I wanted to share this journal because I feel like this realization gives me such peace of mind about the struggle I felt to feel closer to God, and I wish that I knew what my form of prayer really was when I was younger.
OrganizerDecember 28, 2023 at 8:16 am
Dec 28: I love knowing that Jesus is our ultimate source of peace when there are so many things in this world that try to distract us from finding real peace. I believe that being filled with His peace helps us to bring peace to others around us and it can become a ripple effect. I pray that over this break, we will all find time to slow down and allow Jesus to bring peace to whatever area of our lives needs it most.
MemberDecember 24, 2023 at 7:37 pm
To answer the second question: I am super grateful for the youth leaders we have gained this past couple of years, I feel like the intentionality and power of Gods timing was really revealed to me this year in how rooted was presented to me. When I was considering doing rooted, I was incredibly hesitant and fearful of telling people my story because I felt like I was flawed, sometimes more than the other people around me, and I didn’t want to have anyone see my brokeness and struggle in my faith, but I feel like the youth leaders really showed up for me when I was nervous and scared to take the jump to share my story. If you are a leader reading this (David, Rachel, or Abi) thank you for being there for me and always showing patience to me, I am so grateful for you and I hope you know that your guidance and authenticity is incredibly appreciated.
Happy holidays, and I hope to see you all soon next year =)🎄
MemberDecember 15, 2023 at 7:58 am
I loved the poem. My favorite quote, not from the poem but from the commentary was at the end:“God of Peace, prevail in the thick of our chaos.“ I love its reminder of that we can achieve peace in chaos when we recognize the work of God in our life. Furthermore, It reminded me of some of the people in my life.
I notice that alot of the time when I speak to someone who is secure in their faith, they have the ability to speak very calmly about their life, depite suffering or inconveniences. This doesn’t mean that composure and trust is easy, it definitley is not for me but it‘s something I admire in a few of the people in our church a lot.
OrganizerDecember 14, 2023 at 9:45 pm
Dec. 14, the poem reminded me of how easy it can be to get caught up in the familiar and how I can find myself going through the motions in a season like advent out of routine. But then the poem is followed by the reality of both hardship and hope and it reminds me of what this season is truly about. Its a season of anticipating what’s to come while living in the reality of what is. It’s this in-between place we find ourselves before Christ’s return. But I love that we can be confident that it ends in hope.
MemberDecember 14, 2023 at 5:45 pm
Dec 14, I really like the poem. I got a little distracted from the message by how impressed I was by the poem. I appreciate that reminder that if it feels like you’re holding onto hope with no reason to in the dark, you’re doing it right. I sometimes forget to move out of my comfort zone.
MemberDecember 13, 2023 at 10:01 am
I very well may just be writing this as my form of venting of how hard it was for me to get out of bed this morning (sorry😅) but what I really appreciate from the passage is how it reminds me of the power of reflection and how reflection can be a good way to come back to trusting and rejoicing in God presence. “on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy“ (lines 2-4) I assume this part of the passage is glofifying of, and speaking to God, but it makes me think of the joy I experience when realizing that the grass is showing meaning that it‘s spring time again and winter is leaving. It reminds me how even through the coldest, darkest, grumpiest times of my life God is still there even when I can‘t feel him or when I am losing hope. To answer the prompt, that is the unique way I feeling God right now encouraging me to reflect on the moments of my life where any struggle I went through, turned out to be okay and eventually dissolved into the period of rejoicing that the reading also describes. Reflection can lead to the doubting of oneself but reflection can also help me identifying that all feelings and circumstances are temporary; furthermore, giving me the ability to rejoice in suffering.
P.s- I will try to be better about reading these consistently😂 I‘ve had a rough … everything for a bit🥲
OrganizerDecember 13, 2023 at 7:22 am
Dec. 13, Clay Pits, Trumpets, and a Child is Born: I love the comparison of Advent to Gideon’s story, that as Gideon found victory in the most unexpected way through a tiny army, so we find victory in Jesus in a way that was so unexpected through a tiny child. I pray we all are open to God revealing Himself to us in unexpected ways this Christmas season and are filled with wonder at the miracle of His birth.
OrganizerDecember 11, 2023 at 7:17 am
Dec. 11, Don’t Forget the Fire: I love the quote “in the silence, he is scripting our salvation and rescue.” It a good reminder that when we don’t always actively see God moving, we can trust that there is more to the story and He is moving in ways we simply can’t see yet.
I also love the idea of God’s fire transforming us rather than destroying us. It makes me think of how almost anything on earth can be used either for good or for evil, yet God uses ALL things for good. 🙌🏼🙌🏼
Reflecting on this question today: What in your life will not survive the flames of holy love?
OrganizerDecember 8, 2023 at 7:16 am
Dec. 8, Blessed is the Peacemaker: The broken family relationships found in Scripture that the author pointed out were ones with deep, seemingly unfixable wounds, yet God made a way for peace and restoration to come. God is always moving people towards peace and that is ultimately shown in the coming of Jesus, our mediator who brings peace and restoration to us and the Father through the forgiveness of sins. I pray we experience the peace of God overflowing in each of our lives in the exact ways we need His peace.
OrganizerDecember 7, 2023 at 7:10 am
Dec. 7, The Singer: Songs are such a beautiful form of expression from our hearts and I love how he describes God being “so filled with love for his people that he sings to us from the overflow of his joy.” Praying God will sing the song we each need to hear from Him over us today and that we would deeply sense His love and delight in us.
OrganizerDecember 5, 2023 at 7:32 am
Dec. 5, Hope is Always: “We may not see the flourishing right now, but it is there, taking root and stretching out in the soil of our souls.” This quote stood out to me, as I’ve been reflecting on all the prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus is the embodiment of hope, the one in whom all hope is found. These prophets spoke of him and found hope in Him, even though He wouldn’t come in their lifetime. It brings me comfort knowing I may not see hope right now, but can trust in the ultimate hope found in Jesus because “with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”
MemberDecember 5, 2023 at 12:20 pm
Thank you for that quote, I think it sends a message of hope everyone needs right now in a time of seasonal depression. The part of the quote that stands out to me is the “soil of our souls“ it reminds me of how our presence and intention of being with God is what glorifies his word. It shows how Jesus flourishes in us not for what we do or try to prove to him, but for who we are in the glory of God and to me that‘s really powerful.
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