Tag Archives: mercy

Sometimes it takes a big fish.

This AM at The New Church of Peachtree City, Pastor David was away – so one of the “youth guys” – Mr. Jonathan Goolsbee filled in with a great message taken from the chapter of Jonah (specifically book 4:1-11 – see below).  The story of Jonah is a well-known one – Jonah was told one thing by God, choose not to listen, and ended up in the belly of a big fish.  He then does was he was told, but again half-heartedly.  God tries again to get through to him and use different illustrations to prove His point.  Throughout this book God shows His love, compassion, and mercy for Jonah (us – His people!)

It got me thinking, how lucky are we that our God is so compassionate and patient with us?  (Very!)  I know that after a full day with my beautiful gifts from God (my children) my patience is wearing thin, and well compassion isn’t always at the forefront of my mind.  But our God tolerates us and again and again shows us the way.  Even when we are beat down and angry at the world.  And yes – sometimes it takes being swallowed up by a big fish to get our attention!

The song that came to mind today for me is Mighty to Save, especially the verse – “everyone needs compassion”  There are a few versions – but this is my favorite by Laura Story:

The text for today’s sermon:

“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?””
Jonah 4:1-11

One last thing that stuck with me about the text today – is the very last line of verse 11 “…and also many animals.”  If you haven’t figured out I am a dog/animal lover.  God has given me the compassion for animals and I truly feel that is what I am called to do. But I love this verse because it shows that God too has compassion for animals and says He has concern for them (after all He did create them all!).  Seems like a no-brainer to me – but I love having verses to go to that solidifies the desires of my heart to help those who cannot speak, but are also God’s creation and near to His heart too.  Not mentioned in the sermon – but little bonus for me this AM!

Blessings for a wonderful week!  Thank you for reading!

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What do I stand for?

I’m not sure I can really ever say I’ve been “in” on the latest music.  Usually I’m discovering new songs right about the time every commercial or TV show is picking them up.  It doesn’t really bother me, but I had to preface that as this post will discuss a song that has been out for almost a year now and is in a bazillion commercials.  Not only is it a catchy (great) song, the lyrics have really gotten me thinking.  What do I stand for?

In my typical Sunday fashion, at church this AM, the message seemed directly targeted at me.  Dr. David Miller, titled it “Foundations.”  In my attempt to want to discuss the song “Some Nights” by Fun.  I thought their verse “What do I stand for?” could really be asking – what is my foundation?  What are my core beliefs or attributes that I want everyone to know?  What defines me and my purpose in this world?  Hopefully not too far-fetched to follow – just a question Fun. has been asking me the last few weeks as I discovered this new song that is sure to be a hit!

I debated whether to google what the lyrics really meant, hoping to discover some deep theological connection.  I did, and I did not.  I didn’t look super hard, but as everyone has their theories, none were very deep or at least not how I have interpreted.  But that is why I love music.  Maybe it was just a simple song, maybe it was written to evoke emotions, maybe it was very specific to the writer.  Who knows, but it’s hit home with me and helped me answer the question of what do I stand for?  or rather what do I WANT to stand for?  What do I want others to say I stand for?

Tying back to today’s sermon, Foundations, Pastor David discussed how many occurrences in life are not “luck” as many people tend to attribute good things to, but because of God’s grace (a free pass from God).  Like avoiding that traffic ticket or being at the right place at the right time.  I firmly agree with the phrase “Everything happens for a reason” but feel it needs “because of God’s grace” attached to the end of it.  The verse below from Ephesians says it perfectly.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”  Ephesians 2:4-5

And because of this grace, along with mercy and love and all of the many gifts from God, we are called to walk in the light and share that light with others as Jesus did.  Especially in times of darkness, chaos, unknowns, and whatever trials you are facing.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:4-5

So what do I stand for? I stand for God/Jesus.  I stand to testify of the grace and mercy that has been shown me in my life and share it with others.  I stand for love, kindness, my family, my friends, my church, our planet.  I stand to be a light in a world that sometimes seems dark and tempting.

Happy Mother’s Day.  Happy Sunday.  Have a great week.  And what do you stand for?

“Some Nights”

Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights I call it a draw
Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights I wish they’d just fall off
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh, Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for oh
Whoa oh oh (What do I stand for?)
Whoa oh oh (What do I stand for?)
Most nights I don’t know anymore…
Oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh,
Oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh
This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the rules already?
I was never one to believe the hype
Save that for the black and white
I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked,
But here they come again to jack my style
That’s alright (that’s alright)
I found a martyr in my bed tonight
She stops my bones from wondering just who I am, who I am, who I am
Oh, who am I? Mmm… Mmm…

Well, some nights I wish that this all would end
‘Cause I could use some friends for a change.
And some nights I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights I always win, I always win…

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh, Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh
Whoa oh oh (What do I stand for?)
Whoa oh oh (What do I stand for?)
Most nights I don’t know… (oh, come on)

So this is it. I sold my soul for this?
Washed my hands of that for this?
I miss my mom and dad for this?

(Come on)

No. When I see stars, when I see, when I see stars, that’s all they are
When I hear songs, they sound like this one, so come on.
Oh, come on. Oh, come on. Oh, come on!

Well, that is it guys, that is all – five minutes in and I’m bored again
Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands
This one is not for the folks at home;
Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go
Who the f*** wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?

My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she call “love”
When I look into my nephew’s eyes…
Man, you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things that can come from…
Some terrible nights… ah…

Oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh,
Oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh

The other night you wouldn’t believe the dream I just had about you and me
I called you up but we’d both agree

It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance… Oh…
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance… Oh…

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