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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday Words of Encouragement November 4, 2018

We are getting back to normal now with Sunday School (SS) and Church this morning. Both our SS teacher and our Pastor shared appropriate, uplifting messages that complement each other.

The SS message was fittingly titled: Our Anchor Still Holds. The scripture shared was in our Bible Through the Year readings this week: Lamentations 3:19-26.
Although there is much sadness in Jeremiah and Lamentations, there is also a message of hope. The verses shared convey the thought: Dare to hope!
As we pass through the storm (figuratively and literally with Hurricane Michael) we can see God working through His children. People came from all over the states, and even Puerto Rico, came to help with the disaster relief efforts. We see the debris but don't know what the future holds.
We can be looking to see the good that may be coming out of this. Our teacher mentioned the “Blessings” song with its chorus: “What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”
Life happens. But as Christ-followers we have an anchor, a hope.
We need to remember that this is not our home; we are on a journey

Rick Warren stated: God is more interested in our character than our comfort. Beautiful furniture starts with rough wood that has to be cut, shaped and sanded. Do we resist or submit?

Pastor’s Message shared similar sentiments.
All locations are beautiful to someone: deserts, mountains, cities, snow covered, field and stream. But beauty can be stripped away in an instant by tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fire and other disasters. Beauty is all around us, but beauty can fall away at times of our lives. However, we know that a certain beauty almost always arises from ashes.

As Christ followers we know that new beauty will be by revealed. New life is birthed. Isaiah 61:1-3.

Point: God has promised beauty from ashes and life from death.

God is always way out in front be of us. There is purpose in our pain.
When Jesus was on the cross it was an end, death. But to us who know the full story it is beautiful. The stone closing the grave represented death but the stone being rolled away now signifies life.
The story of Esther also shows beauty from ashes… Esther was a queen “for such a time as this”.
We can trust God's promises. Seeing beauty amidst destruction doesn't happen by accident.
Steps to see beauty:
1. Move away from negativity.
2. Take time for rest. Use that time with God.
3. Ask God to show you the beauty, His plan and purpose.
Be thankful.
Find something to be thankful for each day and express it.

Our SS teacher played this video which fits the message:
Verses for Today: Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

My Prayer: Help me to find beauty each day and be Thankful!

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