The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Jerimiah 29: 11... For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Spontaneity has never really been my strong suit, so when within an hour of waking up one Wednesday morning being on an unplanned trip to Oregon to help a friend move, generally warranted some very shocked reactions. She had the original travel partner fall through an hour before she was planning to leave. I drove into work asked my boss if I could do this, who graciously obliged. As we headed out of town I received another phone call from my Dad, our dog who had been battling cancer for four months finally was ready to go. As my friend and I headed towards Oregon, the friend my brother and I grew up with was gone. It turns out though that Jerimiah should have been on my mind that day though. No matter how awful I felt not being home, I couldn’t help but feel there was no place I should have been other than this U-Haul cab with a cat I am highly allergic too. I knew there was no one else I’d rather have been with, there wasn’t any necessarily sappy, comforting, just knew that this trip was making the best out of a long series of events (that had been going on all summer) that were at best unfortunate. From beginning to end, the entire trip was a lesson in one of my favorite Rob Bell sayings, “God wastes nothing”. As Portland traffic prevented me from returning home on the original flight that day, there started making plans on staying the night in a hotel and heading back the next morning. It turned out that an earlier flight had been delayed five hours and would be leaving that evening so I could make it back to help my brother move to college.

As humans it is natural for us to plan to save some anxiety on our part, though many times those plans don’t work. In those moments God enters our lives and provides comfort and a direction in the anxiety and chaos, ”to give you a future with hope” (Jerimiah 29:11).

Sam Jacobs


SUNDAY TO MONDAY / REORIENTATION

It was good to gather for worship this Labor Day weekend. We welcomed Seth Olsen, Area Director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, bringing the good news to schools in our community; and former pro (Broncos, Vikings, Colts) and college (Iowa) football player. Seth and Pastor Dave talked over Luke 14:25-33 and what Jesus might have meant when he said we were to "hate" our family and in fact, our life. Pastor Dave suggested the word used for "hate" in the original text was more like re-orient our priorities. Seth shared what he has learned that Jesus doesn't just want us to make him priority number one in our life, he wants to be a priority in of all the parts of our life. 

Take these reflections and discussion starters into your week. 

  • When have crowds caused you to make a poor decision? When have you stood up to the crowd and gone your own way? (see Luke 14:25)
  • Biblically the word “hate” as Jesus uses it means to re-orient yourself with Jesus as your primary relationship. Do you “hate” your family and loved ones? (see Luke 14:26)
  • Do you like being challenged to pick up your cross and make sacrifice? (see Luke 14:27)
  • Looking ahead to next week: In the wake of the 9-11 tragedy who are the “lost”? (see Luke 15:1-10

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