How Relationships Work, Part 1 – 09/23/14

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By , September 24, 2014 9:09 am
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We kicked off our 2014-15 year on Tuesday by singing “Come Thou Fount” by David Crowder Band and “Worship Medley” by Michael W. Smith. Kathy began our “How Relationships Work” teaching series reminding us that God is relational and we were made to connect with Him and with others. You won’t want to miss a minute of this powerful time together as we learn to connect more deeply with the Lover of our souls.

*Please note, we were trying out a new mic setup this week and the recording is very quiet. You will need to turn the volume way up!

How Love Grows

By , September 21, 2014 7:46 pm
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God calls us to love others as Jesus loved us. It’s hard to believe that this is even an option! I’m excited about learning more about this possibility as we begin the new series “How Relationships Work.” Our kickoff is this Tuesday, September 23rd at 10 a.m. or 7 p.m. I invite you to attend the class or listen online. See details below. 

 

 

HOW LOVE GROWS

Abraham…dared to trust God to do what only God could do:

raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.

 

Romans 4:18 MSG

 

It was “family night” at our house (one of my many well intended projects for building a loving Christian family) and the theme was fruits of the Spirit. I corralled Bob and the kids to do a craft before dinner. We made placemats using paints and sponges shaped like apples and grapes and bananas. On top of them we ate our meal that, of course, featured fruit ingredients. When we finished eating we read the Scripture from Galatians 5:22-23 about the fruits of the Spirit:
 

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

 

We talked about those traits for a few minutes. I asked the children, “Which one of those fruits do you see in Daddy’s life?” They were quick and accurate in their answer, “Daddy is kind and gentle.” We identified the fruits of faithfulness and self-control in Jackson. Merrill Lee had lots of joy and goodness growing in her young life. Then, as we came around the circle, it was time for my crop report. Bob, appropriately, hung back to let the kids speak first. What he hoped to be an encouragement to me became a sickening wake up call. The silence was deafening. My children couldn’t spot a single fruit of the Spirit for Mommy.
 
Recognizing my barrenness was devastating and humiliating. My heart was grieved, ashamed, full of regrets, and condemnation. During my time as a wife and mother, I had performed countless acts of service, cooked many a meal, and thrown lavish birthday and holiday parties for my family members. I’d thought I was doing it all right! I thought I was good at loving. At this debacle of a family dinner, though, I began to see that all my best efforts were counterproductive. They actually got in the way of what I wanted most deeply and what God wanted me to have.
 
Like Abraham, I saw that it was not in my ability to produce the legacy that I so desperately wanted. Abraham’s desire for an heir and my longing for love to flow through me were both impossible short of supernatural intervention. His only hope rested in God’s promise and so did mine. So I began to focus on Jesus’ promise to grow the fruit of love in my life if I’d let Him do it for me. I particularly like the way Phillips renders John 15:5:
 

It is the man who shares my life and whose life I share who proves fruitful. For the plain fact is that apart from me you can do nothing at all.

 

I’m not sure what my kids would say are the most noticeable fruits in my life these days and I am a little bit afraid to ask! But what I do know is that I’m no longer depending on how hard I’m trying. Instead I am trusting. God will bring an abundant harvest as I cling to Him and His promises.
 
The fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift.
 

Romans 4:16 MSG

 

 

 

 

HOW RELATIONSHIPS WORK SERIES
Attend the class:

Two class times available beginning September 23rd!
 
Tuesday mornings: 10:00-11:15   Worship and the Word
11:15-12:00   Prayer and Mentoring Groups (optional)
 
Tuesday evenings: 7:00-8:15       Worship and the Word
8:15-9:00       Sharing and Prayer (optional)
 

Covenant Presbyterian Church, Room 104
65 Old Montgomery Highway
Birmingham, AL 35209
 
Listen online:
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.

 

 

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