Breath of Fresh Air, 01/28/14

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By , January 30, 2014 12:22 pm
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*Please note, there are a few seconds of distortion near the beginning of the recording. It only lasts for a few seconds and the remainder of the recording is clear.

We kicked off our second semester in our new location with praise singing 1) The Lord Our God by Kristian Stanfil 2) Breathe by Rebecca St. James and 3) Be Thou My Vision by 4Him.

How thankful we are to God for His provision in so many ways as we begin a new semester in a new room at Covenant. Kathy’s teaching on the fresh breath God offers us was so timely and REFRESHING:)!

Intruder Alert!

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By , January 27, 2014 9:41 pm
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Don’t miss the new semester of Times of Refreshing: Re-Thinking Work and Rest beginning January 28th. Join us in person on Tuesday mornings at 10 at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Room 104 and invite your friends! If that is not possible, you can take advantage of this teaching series via our website. The weekly message and handouts will upload on Wednesday afternoons and can be accessed 24/7 at www.divinedesigndiscipleship.com under our Resources tab. Please join us at a day and time that is convenient for you.

 

 

INTRUDER ALERT!

My soul still remembers and sinks within me

Lamentations 3:20 NKJV

 
We dropped our suitcases at the back door, arriving home from a trip, destination now long forgotten. Home sweet home—I love that feeling of returning to the familiar, tired but refreshed, ready to get back to my regular routine. My first task was to take the dirty clothes downstairs to start a load of wash. As I made my way through the kitchen I noticed something that stopped me in my tracks. There was a piece of shutter, a slat that bore deep indentations, sitting in a pile of sawdust. Obviously we had had an intruder in our absence, one with two sharp front teeth.
 
Going directly to the room where the shutters hung, I was mortified to discover that the scoundrel had gnawed most of my windows. In the adjacent room, I found small brown pellets littering the floor. Then I turned to see the worst violation of all—my newly upholstered chair, the one with the pretty pale blue damask, wore an ugly yellow stain on its right arm.
 
Horrified, I screamed for my husband, “Bob, come here!” He stopped his unpacking to find me. “Look at this. It’s all ruined!” I said. “How in the world did this happen?” He suspected that a squirrel had gotten into the house while we were away. He went to work locating and evicting the nuisance.
 
We determined that the little creep had wriggled in through the chimney. I never again wanted to deal with a problem like this, so I promptly called a chimney sweep to close up the entry point. His services were a bargain compared with the expense it took to undo the more visible damage.
 
This little episode was not catastrophic, but it was costly and inconvenient. And it serves as a great illustration of deeper things. Countless times across the years I’ve walked into situations where intruders like fear, anger or shame seemingly came out of nowhere. I’m left wondering why these unwelcome reactions were able to barge in and leave their marks.
 
I recently put this principle to use when I noticed I was a bit anxious about my new sport of swimming. Every time I go to the pool to swim laps, it takes me a few minutes of praying and rehearsing Scripture to overcome an unpleasant sense of dread. It’s not full-blown panic, I just feel tense and anxious in a way that’s not compatible with my true desire to be there for exercise and relaxation.
 
It finally occurred to me to ask God what was going on here. No sooner did I ask than He brought to my recollection an event buried deeply in my memory: I had nearly drowned once! It’s hard to imagine that I could I forget something like that, but I did.
 
My anxiety over swimming may seem like a minor thing, but God demonstrated that He stands willing and able to help. Identifying the entry point (the near-drowning incident) was curative in itself. But God went beyond informing me and administered emotional healing as well. His healing touch came when He led me to Psalm 18:16, “He reached down from high above and took hold of me. He pulled me out of the raging water.”
 
God knew that I was in danger that day long ago, and He sent someone to rescue me. When I realized this, not only did I feel loved and protected, but dread and anxiety lost their power over me. I knew through and through that the same God that can deliver me from a scrape with death can certainly keep me safe in the swimming pool!
 
How comforting to know that I can call upon my Redeemer in prayer when events from the past have left their imprint inside of me. I am learning to ask God to examine my thoughts, feelings and experience to find out where the squirrel got in and make the needed repairs in my soul.
 

My spirit, why are you so sad? Why are you so upset deep down inside me? Put your hope in God. Once again I will have reason to praise him. He is my Savior and my God.

 

Psalms 42:11 NIRV

 
Here is a sample prayer you can use to explore entry points when you experience emotional responses you can’t explain:

 

Lord, in the places where my soul is disturbed within me, I pray that You would reach down to reveal and heal. I open the book of my life to You. Search each page of my history. I give you complete access to my memories, emotionally charged circumstances, and significant events or environments that have intruded my life. Show me where the squirrel got in and continues to rob me of peace and joy even today. I invite Your healing touch. Come quickly, Lord, and repair what’s broken. Thank You for being a God who sees, cares, and redeems. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 

 

 

 

 

New Semester and New Location for Divine Design Discipleship!

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By , January 24, 2014 11:35 am
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Hi Friends,
 
I am very excited about the new semester for Divine Design that will begin next Tuesday, January 28th. We will be exploring the topic, “Times of Refreshing: Re-Thinking Work and Rest.” And we will be meeting in a new location. Actually, we are returning to our original location on the first floor of Covenant Presbyterian in Room 104. It is below the sanctuary. You can park near the front door and go down one floor, or park near the youth barbecue pit and come in the side door.
 
My heart is bursting with joy over all the promises and principles that are ours to take hold of so we may enjoy more of God’s peace and rest. I believe that we can experience the rest of God even when the stresses and demands we face seem overwhelming. If that is something you want for your life, please join us this spring. Feel free to bring a friend and to forward the publicity that I have attached below.
 
I hope to see you this Tuesday!
 
Much love to you all,
 
Kathy
 

Kathy Girardeau
205-243-0405
kyg@bellsouth.net

 

TIMES OF REFRESHING:

Rethinking Work and Rest

 

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.”

Matthew 11:27-30 MSG

 

Stressed? Pressed? If you long to experience the “real rest” Jesus offers, join us this fall! We will explore biblical ways to:

  • Challenge our current mindsets about time
  • Cultivate stillness in the midst of our noisy and distracting world
  • Gain a biblical perspective on work and responsibility
  • Break free of busyness, guilt, and worldly standards
  • Recapture childlike trust, humility, and wonder
  • Recognize and appreciate God’s appointed seasons for our lives

 

Divine Design Discipleship

Led by Kathy Girardeau, Tuesdays beginning January 28th, Room 104

10:00-11:15 Worship and the Word

11:15-12:00 Prayer and Mentoring Groups (optional)

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