The following is a devotional email I sent out to our small group.
Greetings gorgeous gals!
I hope you’re having a good week! I am excited that many of you are coming to the Women’s Retreat this coming weekend. God is going to do some amazing things there.
Whether you are going, or are unable to, this is a good week for all of us to examine our hearts. Two Sundays ago, Brad’s sermon focused on how when God touches the life of any person playing ‘god’, hardness of heart is always a certain reaction. (If you missed the sermon, you can watch it here: http://www.tworiverschurch.org/702479.ihtml.)
At the end of the sermon, Brad challenged us with two truths to apply to our lives:
- Certain sensations are given to us as a gift from God.
- Ask God to free you from your hardness of heart. (more…)
Growing up in the church, you hear over and over again that you have a Heavenly Father. We are sons and daughters of the King. We are told that we are part of God’s family since Jesus paid the way. While all this is true and important to know, somehow we miss the deep connection in the Western culture.
Part of this disconnect I think happens because many of the pictures we see of Jesus while growing up are of a very handsome western European-featured man. Obviously at some point as a child I recognized that Jesus was Jewish, but I’m not sure my mind translated the mental image right away. Maybe when all you have to look at is pictures of a European Jesus, you just have a hard time picturing Him another way. But there’s another problem with these old images – the Bible tells us that Jesus wasn’t handsome. Isaiah 53:2b says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (And we know this passage is about Jesus because the passage goes on to say how he was pierced for our iniquities.) What I find interesting about this is that while in Israel last September, I didn’t see a single not-handsome Jewish man (or woman, for that matter). They are a beautiful people! Which kind of makes me wonder if Jesus’ homeliness made Him stand out bit…. (more…)