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Sunday, January 26: Day 279 – Due Date

Rob was not able to attend church with me today because of his weepy pink eyes but I will go to the church that my daughter, Donna, and her husband, Nathan, attend called Story Church in Durham.

This is the first time that I would get to see them and I was so excited!! After promising to wash my hands when I arrived and carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with me, I ran out to greet them as the car pulled up. I even felt the baby moving during the service. This is the due date!

When I was transporting triplets, I had a pretty unique stroller. I spotted this interesting one at the church that I had never seen before. The carriages are side-saddled.

Music

You’re Too Good to Let Me Go

The Lord is good. His Name is good.

The Lord is good to all. Psalm 145

Mission

For the last five years, this church has hosted an annual event to benefit those that are hungry in the city of Durham. Feeddurham.com

On March 28, from 11-3, it is an all call for the church. Prior to that time there will be lots of preparations such as egg stuffing parties to prepare 10,000 eggs, food drives in the neighborhoods, workplace and even in their own homes. Last year they collected over 2,500 lbs of food.

Sermon: Divine Direction

This has been a two-part message with today being part two.

The first part dealt with Starting. Have a vision. Take one step forward.

Today Pastor Jeremy will talk about Stopping.

Stop is a barrier to things that are not good for us to be doing.

In our daily lives, we make lots of small decisions and these decisions stack up to give direction to our lives. (It reminds me of the mataphor of the frog and hot water which follows.)

If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.

We must stop if we are headed a way that we don’t want to go. The first step is recognition.

Here are some examples:

Eat a certain way…where does the story go? Health problems.

Constantly on the screen…where does the story go? Disconnect from healthy relationships.

Alcohol consumption…where does the story go? Broken dreams, broken lives.

Wisdom is God’s navigational tool for us. If we ask Him for it, he will give it to us as is declared in James 1:5.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Sleep on it. Seek counsel of trusted believers. Step back. Where does this story lead? Is this the type of story that I want my life to tell?

Exodus 18:17-23

Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.”

Moses is a leader of an estimated million followers. There is no middle management. Jethro is Moses’ father-in-law. It must ave been “Take Your Father-in-law to Work” Day. Jethro is trying to solve his own problem: Moses’ wife and two sons are with him since Moses is so busy.

If all Moses did was settle disputes, he wouldn’t have time to commune with God. Often we get too busy doing the wrong things that we don’t have time to do the right things.

There is a better way forward. The ten commandments happen after this event.


Will you be able to say, “I am glad that I spent the last 10 years doing this or that?”

We often say, “If I could just get to the next….” But there is alway another next. Next never ends. Play out the story. How does it end?

Hebrews 11 is known as a roll call for the heros of the faith. We should take heed of what follows in the next verses found in Hebrews 12 starting with the important word, Therefore. Hebrews 12:1-2.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

When we throw things off, it makes Jesus more clearer. There is a course to follow.

It is like running a footrace. The path is clearly marked for our direction. If we veer from that course due to distractions or wanting to go a different way, we might get lost, be reported as a missing person, and certainly not finish the race. (One could say that we are on a timed course called life.)

Here is the important question we should ask ourselves:

What Does God Want Me to Want?

Would there be starts? Would there be stops? Where does this lead? Is this where I want to go? And ultimately, where does God wants?

Negative talk takes a person the wrong direction.

Worry has no benefit. It takes away your life.

Homework

Choose one thing to stop. Choose one thing to start. Make that commitment.

Bob Goff, author of the book Love Does, publishes his cell phone number in his books and answers all calls. No caller ID. (He sounds like an interesting author. I would like to read his book.)

He says, “Every single Thursday, I quit something.”

Say no, it is not going to go with me into the next week. I don’t want this to become my story.

Jesus will take on any burdens as it says in Matthew 11: 28-30.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

I am reading HIS book, too!

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