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So we had another successful H.O.P.!!! It was so much fun and we had tons of people show up. For those who don’t know, HOP is a Friday night ministry our church, Salem Reformed Church, put’s on every month; the first Friday of every month at 7pm to be exact! See http://www.mcconnells.tk for more info. So we started at 7pm with open gym and the downstairs coffee house. Tonight was the first night we had Praise Guitar on the Big Screen! Man was it a hit. Its a Christian version of guitar hero, where contestants are challenged to play Christian songs on a guitar. It was a blast; even a few of the adults got in on it! (See below)

The Adults Playing Praise Guitar

 

 

Guitar PrAISE

 

It was quite fun! Then it was time for devos!!! (Devotions) Which went great! We are studying James, no lee I didn’t follow your church :p

 

Devotions

Devotions About James

Text:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1

Message:

We talked about how last month we covered the crazy truth James shared with us about considering our trials joyfully. How we are to see the trials and be in the trials with Joy. For in the midst of the trials our faith is strengthened and we gain perseverance! How when a bone breaks one place, and then heals; It is stronger in that one place. And if in those trials we just can’t understand or comprehend what is going on, that our God desires to grace us with an abundance of wisdom! Maybe not to understand the reason of whats happening, but to understand what to do. So that was all the month before this month.

This month was a blast! When we read the last part of that passage:
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
It is quite easy to think that James has now moved on to another subject, one dealing with how we are to treat the poor or maybe not to depend on riches. However, closer examination reveals that James is still encouraging us about trials. See the last verse:
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
So the comment about those in humble position and those with riches are still talking about how we face our trials. So I had a volunteer help me to bring home this concept a little bit, thanks Mr.Owens!

 

Illustration

We had two plants (fake plants). My volunteer holding the red thing is the sun who scorches us; that is my plants and I. The rich fancy plant didn’t stand very long at all, but the plant in “humble circumstances”; the plant that recognized that on it’s own it was impossible to with stand the scorching sun! It remained.

The lesson: It’s not about what you have or don’t have that gets you through the rough times. It’s being humble before God.

 

Jame’s thought process goes something like this:

You  are going through rough times, because life is rough. But be confident and filled with Joy, because when you have been broken and healed you will be stronger: that is your faith. That which matters most. Your confident belief that God is faithful in the good times and the bad times; and therefore, you will lack nothing for our hope in Christ is our most valuable possession. And if you need wisdom, if you are lost and don’t know what to do or where to go from here: ask God who desperately wants to give you what you need: wisdom. And don’t fall into the trap that because your not pretty, or rich, or wearing the right cloths, or driving the right car, or living in the right house and neighborhood you’re going through the rough times. Don’t bow to those false gods, as though they could make things better! Because the truth is: people who have them loose them. One way or another. They fade too. Contemptment and courage are not found in the things you own or possess, rather in the One who Strengthens you! What you need most in those rough times is not to hide those feelings of inadequacy, but to embrace them. And then turn to God who wants to help you through every situation. Who CAN HELP YOU THROUGH EVERY SITUATION. Amen. So when that scorching sun comes, you are not alone. You are protected, strengthened, and empowered to have courage through the working of our sovereign Lord!

 

Hope to see more of you next month! God Bless

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