I Wanna Grow Old With You

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Saturday afternoon, Wyatt was dropped off to spend quality time with Tabitha’s parents. We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. Eating all the good foods (burgers in our case, we love them!), watching all the movies (Crazy Rich Asians), and just enjoying time alone together.

I love Tabitha. It’s amazing to look back and see how God has written our story:

  • How we met by bumping into each other, in the dark, at a “scare-em into Heaven” evangelistic haunted house (we were playing brother and sister in the play).
  • The extra year we spent dating, after Tabitha’s parents told me that they didn’t have peace in me marrying their daughter (the relationship I have now, with her parents, because I respected them, is amazing).
  • Wyatt arriving a month early and all that that entailed.
  • Buying a house. Escaping the duplex that was quickly growing too small for our family.
  • Tabitha retiring from 8 years of teaching public school to become a stay-at-home mom (something she had always wanted).
  • Our decision to homeschool Wyatt. This was a big one, a choice that came about due to our local public school failing him.

God has allowed us to do so many things and has blessed our family in many different ways. I’m thankful for a God who doesn’t always answer with a quick yes. He has taught me that being told no or even told to wait has led to some of the best outcomes (this continues to be a hard lesson).

A picture of Tab and I with the guys from my dorm floor.

If we were reminded of anything this weekend it’s that we NEED time alone together. Going to start working on that in 2019.

To my wife, I love you. Thank you for your guidance, support, and growing older with me. Our story is still being written, even when we don’t completely understand what the Author is doing (He is still in control and is good). I love you, baby. Here is to another 12 years. – Bryan

Don’t Drown

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Do you feel like you are drowning? That whatever you are dealing with is too big, overwhelming, and will never end?
Photo by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash
I was talking with a friend this past Wednesday night. His son had suffered from life threatening food allergies since birth. Food allergies that had once caused him to drive 110MPH to get to the hospital. Notice that I said that he had suffered from food allergies. Today, more than a decade later, his son is healthy and able to to eat a much broader range of foods. Food no longer equals death.
 
Got me thinking about how we encounter these huge life deals. Issues that we never think will ever pass. Obstacles such as:
 
  • A surgery
  • A medical issue
  • A car accident
  • A outstanding debt/bill
  • A baby not sleeping or that has issues eating
I want to encourage you today. If you feel overwhelmed by something, drowning in the present, you can do this. God is there to provide His strength. You don’t have to do this on your own. One day you’ll look back in the mirror and shake your head. You’ll wonder how something that had been so consuming could vanish into a past worry. And if it doesn’t go away (sometimes that happens), you’ll know that He is there with you, guiding you closer to Him.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
– Isaiah 40:29 (NLT)

Notes from Sunday School – Follow Me

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Follow Me

Intro: More than 24 times in the Gospels, Jesus invited people to follow him. Who did Jesus invite?

  • The wealthy and powerful.
  • The casual observer.
  • The spiritual seekers.
  • The religiously devoted.

Read Matthew 4:18-20

18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

Note: Peter and Andrew knew Jesus. He had talked with them previously (John 1:35-42) and had been preaching in the area. They knew what kind of man he was.

Read Matthew 4:21-22

21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

Note: Verse 22 says that they immediately followed him, no excuse.

Q: What excuses do we give God daily?

Side Note: When Jesus asks us to serve him, we must be like the disciples and do it at once.

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Read Mark 1:16-20

16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon[a] and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.

Note: The disciples were not men of great faith when they met Jesus.

Read Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,[a]great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon,[b] its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Q: What is Peter’s reaction to the fish?

  1. Realizes what Jesus has done.
  2. Realizes his own insignificance/sin.

Q: What did following Jesus equal?

  1. Leaving old life.
  2. Being trained by Jesus.
  3. Learning to obey Jesus (coming under his authority and leadership).
  4. Having a life that looked like his (character, priorities, and practices).

Closing Questions

Who are you living for today?

What does it mean to follow Jesus today?

How can you refocus your relationship/walk with Christ in 2019?

Memorize

John 3:17 – “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (NLT)

These are my notes from teaching this morning. I thought sharing them might be helpful.

When Security Masks a Spirit of Fear

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in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.

What can man do to me? – Psalm 56:11 (ESV)

Another week goes by, we hear another story of a gunman invading a space and taking innocent lives. Calls for gun control quickly ring out in the media. Feelings of justice, fueled by anger and pain, trigger that deep down knowing that the world should not be this way. That we were not meant to deal with nor experience death, separation, brought on by a single choice made back in the beginning.

The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 56:11 that we should put our trust in God. There is no reason to fear when we put our trust in the Creator. Right? And yet fear percolates and permeates the atmosphere we breathe. Even in our churches, where Safety Teams equal Security Squads, fear rages. Played out with armed church members, unofficially, watching over the flock while services take place. A new defensive cultural norm.

NOTE: Please, do not misconstrue my words here, I’m all for keeping the Church safe. But I’m not okay when the spirit of fear drives a weekly version of security theater.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Keeping silent. Toeing the party line. Those seem like the obvious responses. But I believe God calls us, as Christians, to more: Power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).

What do you do when a spirit of fear infects a church?