At the End of Your Rope?

What do you do when you are ready to throw in the towel…when you have been facing trials for extended periods of time…when you’ve tried everything you know to try? You are hurting and you just wish the pain would stop. Where do you find strength?

The first thing you do is to hold on to your story – the story of what God has already done in your life, how He has shown up in powerful ways before. The first thing you do is that you remember! And you thank God for what He has done and what He will do. You pray. You turn to scripture.

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On Sunday night the elders laid out the Singing Oaks Vision and handed it out. A good deal of work went into that vision… and hours of discussion. And there is a lot to it… more than anyone can do justice to in one meeting, or one sermon, or one blog. So, I’m not going to attempt it.

However, I want to make absolutely sure that our eyes are on the focal point of that vision… the opening statement:

“Singing Oaks is called to love God and to love others as Jesus loved. We believe that this decision to love matures in each of us as the power of the Holy Spirit works through us to make us Christ followers.”

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Welcome to 2018! A new year begins, and with it the sense of a fresh start… beginning over. It is a time for resolve. I have been told that in the month of January over 133 million Americans will make New Year’s resolutions. Yet less than 10% of us will keep them.

Have I discouraged you? I hope not. After all, if resolutions were easy we wouldn’t have to make them in the first place! We would have achieved our aims long ago. No. When we make resolutions we gird ourselves up to go where we have never gone before. Resolutions are special because they take us to new heights. It is small wonder that resolutions often fail. If 133 million Americans were making their resolutions and were achieving 100% success, I would assume that we weren’t aiming very high. Wouldn’t you?

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It’s official. Truth is dead. Facts are passé. The Oxford English Dictionary selected “post-truth” as its international word of the year for 2016. The dictionary defines the term as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Each year the OED chooses a word that captures the “ethos, mood or preoccupations of that particular year… and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.” “Post-truth” was selected as the editors noted a 2,000 percent increase in its usage over 2015… in articles and social media on both sides of the pond. I believe the editors nailed it. I believe it is where we are as a culture. It is almost universal. And it is where we are likely to remain for a long time.

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What a time we have had over the last several weeks! Since the middle of August, American territory has been hit by not one but three of the worst hurricanes of all time… Harvey, Irma and Maria. As I write, Maria has blasted through Puerto Rica. It and much of the Caribbean has been decimated. Meanwhile, Mexico has suffered two major earthquakes… one, two days ago, which resulted in hundreds of deaths. I watched television this morning as rescuers were desperately trying to dig out a little girl from the rubble.

What, as Christians are we to make of all this? As I google ministerial responses I find no shortage of preachers who think that they know exactly what all this means. First: there are those who are sure it is God’s judgment because of something or another. Back when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 various ministers blamed it on the gay community, or Obama, or Mitt Romney. This time, while no one seems to be blaming Trump, the same sorts of response are out there. Second: many are saying we may be seeing signs of the end times.

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on the journeybaby dedication

Directions & Worship Schedule
McKinney at Cardinal
101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209
map Sunday Morning
8:30 - Worship
9:45 - Classes
11:00 - Worship

Wednesday Evening
5:30 - Dinner
6:30 - Passion Worship
7:00 - Classes/Small Groups
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery

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