Living Beyond Our Comfort Zones

Living Beyond Our Comfort Zones

Written By: Rachel Stone

Have you ever come home from an errand only to discover your shirt was on inside out or backward? Or that you had a burp cloth on your shoulder, but no baby with you? Or that you had something in your teeth, or a stain on your shirt, or on and on—something you didn’t know about yourself, but others might have noticed? Maybe you laughed at yourself, or maybe you were mortified.

Of course, these examples are lighthearted and inconsequential; but, truth be told, we don’t like to have our own mistakes revealed. In fact, there are some things about ourselves we want to keep concealed from others or even from ourselves. It can be unnerving to have those things exposed.

This week we look at a story about a wealthy young man who learned a hard truth about himself. Let’s read about him from the book of Mark. Pay attention to his questions, his responses, and to Jesus’s approach in the interaction.

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.   Mark 10:17-22

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” That is a fair question, yet it also immediately bares his heart and lack of understanding. The young man presupposes his own efforts can earn eternal life. But he also learns he has a great barrier of his own making: he relies on the worldly wealth for his security and, at this point, is not prepared to give it up even to gain treasure in heaven.

Did you notice, however, what Mark reveals about Jesus in verse 21? “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Jesus loved the young man. Jesus spoke the truth to the young man. Jesus points to one thing the young man lacked; to the one thing keeping him from the inheritance he seeks.

What might be the one thing you lack? In other words, what might be a barrier in your life keeping you from following Jesus? Or maybe you follow Jesus, but there is one thing he asks of you that is hard for you to face. Are you willing to ask Jesus to reveal it? Does it help you to know that Jesus looks at your heart with love and purpose?

PRAYER

Loving God, you are eternal, merciful, and gracious. You created each one of us and you know our innermost being. You put your finger on our heart and reveal what is hidden and it sometimes unnerves us to realize this. Yet, by your grace, you expose our hearts because you love us. God, it is uncomfortable to have hidden places of our hearts exposed. Help us to face these hidden truths and trust that you enable us to respond. We know you can do more than we ask or imagine. Our desire is to know you, trust you, and serve you fully. Please remove any barriers that keep us from wholeheartedly living for you. We pray also for our church. We know we have a very real financial burden that we believe hinders our work for your kingdom. We also know that we all have attitudes toward this burden on our church. Maybe we question who and why, or our role and responsibility toward it. We bring these to you, asking and trusting you to work through this for the sake of your kingdom. Perhaps, God, we have even greater barriers to be removed because we hold on to worldly treasures and values which keep us from truly following you. By your grace, enable us to approach you with a humble, contrite, and vulnerable heart. Create in us a new heart, O God. Do for us what we know we cannot do for ourselves. It is for the sake of our kingdom, and in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

RELATED SCRIPTURE

Approach this week’s related scriptures with prayer and understanding of God’s loving touch on your heart. Allow God to expose to you any hindrance to you fully following him. Remember, God reveals your heart because God loves you and has a plan for you. God fashions your heart for God’s unfolding purposes. 

  • Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30

  • Psalm 139

  • Psalm 51:1-12

  • Jeremiah 29:11-13

  • Ezekiel 36:24-28

  • John 1:1-18; 3:1-21; 3:22-36; 8:12; 15:1-17

  • Luke 19:1-10

  • 1 Peter 2:9

  • 1 John 1:1-10

Living Beyond Debt

Living Beyond Debt

WRITTEN BY: RACHEL STONE

Name a vision you have or you have had—by vision I mean a thought or concept you imagined and hoped to reach in the future. What does it take to move toward such a vision? What are some things that can be barriers to realizing the vision?

What do you envision and hope for when it comes to your church? What steps might God be asking you to take to help realize his vision for the church?

Let’s take a look at the early church for some clues as to a healthy, thriving, and growing church community.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

  • What do we learn from the early church described in these verses?

  • They devoted themselves to hearing the word of God (learning from the apostles/ teaching)

  • They devoted themselves to fellowship.

  • They devoted themselves to prayer.

  • They were together and had everything in common

  • They shared their resources to help those in need.

  • They met together regularly

  • They praised God.

  • And God added new believers.

What a vision for God’s church!

Take time this week to read this passage again, maybe even reading it each day asking God to reveal His vision for King’s Way. Note what speaks to you each time you read it. Listen especially for what next steps God is asking you to take as your part in this vision. And pray each day for King’s Way.

PRAYER

Amazing and gracious God, you created your church and each person in it. We know you, Jesus, are the head of the church, and we believers are the body of the church. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and move in us to be a vibrant community of believers: teach us your word, awaken our souls to your vision, renew our resolve to serve you, unify us as your church, open our hearts to help those in need, and remove any barriers to realizing your vision. We especially pray boldly for your provision as we work to reduce, even eliminate, our debt. We ask faithfully, and we entrust our resources to your care and direction. Stir and energize us with a passion for your kingdom and a revitalized love for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen

RELATED SCRIPTURE

Read these verses and note God’s role and the believer’s role in achieving a vision.

  • Acts 2:42-47

  • Hebrews 12:1-3

  • Psalm 127:1

  • Isaiah 46:10

  • John 14:13-14; 15:5

  • Romans 15:8-19

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • Hebrews 10:24-25

 

Our Passion and His Plan

WRITTEN BY: RACHEL STONE

Name something you’ve recently been so enthused about that you wanted to tell your family, friends, or maybe even strangers about it. Why were you excited and why did you want others to hear about it?

Now name some things that delight your heart. Think about why these bring delight to you.

This week we are looking at our passions, experiences, and gifts. Each is a part of God’s design to be used for God’s purposes. How has God been working in and through these in your life?

 Let’s consider a familiar story from John 4 about the woman at the well. Jesus, tired from a long journey, rested by the well. A Samaritan woman came to draw water and Jesus asked her for a drink. She is puzzled by his request, yet Jesus not only reveals what he knows about her and her life, but also offers her living water. You’ll want to read John 4:1-42 for the complete story, but we are going to pick it up at verse 28 and then verses 39-42.

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him …39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

What was the woman’s response to her encounter with Jesus? (John 4:28-29). And what resulted from her response? (John 4:39-42).  

Think about who you are and what God knows about you. What does it mean to know that God also offers you this “living water”? What is your response? In what ways have you, and will you, or is God asking you to share your encounter with his grace and love? How has God uniquely equipped you for this role?

PRAYER

God, you are love. You created each one of us and you know every detail of our lives. You created us to reflect your image. You equip each one of us to work in your kingdom. You go with each one of us so that we are not alone. Forgive us when we think we are not useful to you or that you only use other people to tell of your love. Open our hearts and minds to your work in our lives and make it the desire and delight of our hearts to go and invite others to come and see you. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

RELATED SCRIPTURE

  • Psalm 37:1-7

  • Jeremiah 20:9

  • John 4:1-42: 9:25; 14:16-17, 26

  • 1 Peter 2:9; 3:15

  • Psalm 1:1-3; 107:1-2; 111:1-3; 119:16, 24, 35, 47

  • Isaiah 52:7

  • Acts 4:18-20; 8:4

  • Romans 10:9-10

  • 2 Timothy 4:17-18

  • 1 John 4:15-16

Third & Long

WRITTEN BY: RACHEL STONE

Have you ever experienced a time when it seemed all your efforts fell short and you have one last glimmer of hope to advance, but it will take tremendous courage and creativity to move forward? What did you do? What did you long for? Did you wonder “how in the world did I get in this circumstance?” Or, maybe you know exactly how you arrived there. Did you think you could get yourself out of it? Or did you know you needed help?

This week we take a look at Gideon, God’s unlikely choice to lead his people to victory. The setting: once again, God’s people had rebelled against God, rejected his word, and found themselves oppressed and surrounded by strong opposition. Their efforts and approach not only held them back, but also moved them in the wrong direction. In fact, they had to hide from their enemies.

This is where God met the leader he chose. God chose Gideon—the guy hiding from the Midianites as he threshed grain in a cave. Gideon who said, “You want me? I am weak, from the smallest and weakest family.”

Yes. Exactly. “Not only you, Gideon, but also just 300 men to descend upon the thousands of men preparing to invade your land again.” Um, are you serious?

Yes. God had a plan and God’s plan sounded foolhardy by human standards. But God had a purpose in this plan. God’s purpose: to demonstrate with clarity what only God can accomplish so that no man may boast. It is God who gives victory. And God did give victory to Gideon. 

So what do we learn from this? How does this help us when we are about out of hope and we think nothing short of a crazy plan will help?  

Here is what we learn:
God is in control. God has a plan. God raises up unlikely leaders, unprecedented tactics, and unexpected victory. God graciously hears his people when they cry out to him, even though they have rebelled, forgotten, and rejected him in the past. God’s victory might not look like the victory we expect. God is our strength.

We learn these things from Gideon’s story, but also see them fulfilled in Jesus. God sent Jesus, Immanuel “God with us”, to give us ultimate victory over death so that whoever believes in him will not die, but will have eternal life.

Remember, then, in seemingly insurmountable circumstances God is with you. In your weakness is your strength because God is your strength. Cry out to God. Kneel before God. Place all your cares at the feet of God. 

Then, expect unlikely, unprecedented, and unimaginable victory because God is a loving, gracious, and powerful God who sent Jesus to conquer death. God is a God who is always with us.

PRAYER

Gracious and loving God, you work in mysterious ways. You are all knowing, and your purposes will always be accomplished. We don’t understand, and we struggle sometimes when our circumstances are difficult and painful. We tend to approach these times in our own strength and fail to realize that our real strength is actually in our weakness, because only then do we realize and experience your unimaginable power. Thank you for loving us and for being patient with us. Help us to cry out to you, to lay our struggles at your feet, and to trust you to be with us and lead us in your path. Reveal to us your purposes and your loving presence and help us to rely on your strength and wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

RELATED SCRIPTURE

  • Judges 6 and 7

  • Psalm 9:10; 18:31-32; 28:6-8; 29:11; 46:1; 55:22

  • Isaiah 40:1-8, 25-31

  • Matthew 1:23

  • John 3:16

  • Romans 8:25-39

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

  • 2 Corinthians 12:5-10

  • Ephesians 2:8-10

  • Hebrews 4:14-16

  • 1 Peter 5:6-7

Tripped Up By Change

Devotional Written By: Rachel Stone

What is your first thought when people begin to talk about change? Or, what is your general attitude toward change? Your usual response to change? Do these thoughts, attitudes, and responses depend upon the reason for the change?

  • List some of the challenges brought by change. (e.g., facing the unknown, a new normal, lack of control, loss and grief, the end of a season in life, health, etc.).

  • Now list some positives brought by change. (growth, new opportunities, new friends and people, spiritual growth, etc.)

My first thought these days when it comes to “change” is this quote from the TV series Monk:

“I don’t have a problem with change. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” –Adrian Monk

But then I think, “What would we miss if everything stayed the same?”  Consider the rhythm of creation as reflected in changing seasons, the development of children from infancy to adulthood, and how experience and learning brings continued growth and maturity to adults. The progression is not always easy; in fact, some of the most difficult processes produce the most growth. Difficulty, adjustment, new normal, pain, struggle, letting go, chaos—we do not want to endure these experiences. They challenge us. They hurt. How do we bear them?

What do we need most during times of change? We need understanding, comfort, assurance, strength, courage, relief, support, and a way forward. Sometimes we need barriers removed and a fresh perspective. 

So where does God enter in all of this? What do we know about God’s character and how does that help us journey through change?

“I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” –Malachi 3:6

Consider Abraham:

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. –Hebrews 11:8-12

Abraham heard God’s call, obeyed even though he did not know where he was going, relied on God’s promise, and looked forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Ok. Makes me think, “Good job Abraham…but I’m not Abraham!” True, we are not Abraham; but we are children of God, just like Abraham. God is the same God: The God who provides (Genesis 22:14). Our confidence is in God who is unchanging and consistent. God brings stability in chaos, comfort in suffering, and courage in facing the unknown. When we place our lives and our circumstances in God’s hands, we know God is faithful to provide and trustworthy to guide us forward. 

PRAYER

Loving and gracious God, you are unchanging and consistent. You bring order out of chaos. You keep your promises. You lovingly provide for and guide your children. You created each one of us and you know each one of us. Sometimes we fear change, but you gently remind us to have courage and not to fear because you are with us. Sometimes we resist change because we want to be in control. Remind us that you are God and you are trustworthy. Sometimes change brings pain. Remind us you are our strength, comfort, and ever-present help.

God, we thank you that out of change comes growth and new opportunity. You remind us that there is a time for everything. A time to plant. A time to grow. A time to harvest. A time to be dormant. In each season, you are there. You have a plan. Help us trust you and keep our hearts attuned to your promises. Guide us and give us courage to move forward in your plan for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

RELATED SCRIPTURE

Read the following verses and note God’s promises, God’s character, and what each verse speaks to you. How do these words help you move forward in the face of change?

  • Malachi 3:6

  • Hebrews 6:13-20; 11:8-12; 13:6-8

  • Genesis 12:1-9

  • Joshua 1:9

  • Psalm 33:11; 89:1-4; 90:1-2; 102:27-28

  • Psalm 121

  • Isaiah 40:8, 28-31

  • Isaiah 43:1-3, 18-19

  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

  • Romans 5:1-5; 8:38-39

  • Ephesians 3:16-19

  • James 1:16-18

Thrown Off By Time

Thrown Off By Time

DEVOTIONAL WRITTEN BY: RACHEL STONE

As I was scrolling through Instagram I stopped on an ad from a bank. Pictured was a weights and measures balance scale, on the tray to the left was “money” and on the tray to the right was “time.” The scale was in balance. The caption asked, “Which would you rather save?” Interesting question. How would you answer that?

The truth is we value both money and time, often attaching monetary qualities to our sense of time. Name a few common phrases we say about the value of time. I’ll give you an example: “Time is money.” (for the leader, here are a few more: spend time wisely, invest your time, give time, time’s a wasting, my time is valuable, make up for lost time, etc.).

We also regularly associate time with typical daily activities. See how many you can name in about thirty seconds (we’ll time you. Ha!). Examples: “Time flies” and “game time!” After you have a chance to list your own, here are a few more: time to get up, prayer time, dinner time, nap time, time out, me time, study time, play time, time to get going, time off, sick time, overtime, time and a half, off the clock, hard times, good times, party time, time/season of life, when the time is right, high time, beat the clock, in the nick of time, and on and on. It’s a modern version of “there is a time for everything under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11) yet it represents the same idea.  

Time is life.

Think about that for a moment. We know God gave us life and everything we have is from God, including time. So, we are right to value time, but the trick is to properly value time in light of God’s design for our time. How will we make the most of every opportunity to live out our part in God’s story? When we place our life, our time, in God’s hands we can trust God. God gave us this valuable gift of time wrapped with a bow of balance. God is the best gift giver! 

Go back to the balance scale image. If you were to put your time on one side, with what might God “balance” your time on the other side? 

PRAYER

Creative and gracious God, you are wise and loving. You breathed life into the world and turned chaos into balance. You breathed life into each of us and you put eternity into our hearts so that we long for you. We come to you at this time to seek understanding and wisdom, and to place our daily life into your hands. Stir in our hearts the creative rhythm of your timing so that we properly balance priorities. Bring order to our schedules, and flexibility to adjust as needed. Fix our eyes and hearts on you so that we are open to the many needs of your kingdom surrounding us. For those of us who are overwhelmed with to-do lists, relieve our stresses by gentle (or maybe stronger) reminders to set our minds on things above, not earthly things. Reveal to us ways to alleviate our load, ask for help, and trust in your provision. At times we need to recognize that you send other believers to help carry our burden. For those of us who seem to have too much empty time on our hands, reveal ways you can use us and give us courage, energy, and confidence to begin that journey. Show us places we can help carry another’s load. Activate us God on your behalf. Thank you, God, for showing and helping us to balance our lives so that we make the most of every opportunity. We love you, God. Amen

RELATED SCRIPTURE FOR FURTHER STUDY

Below are related scriptures to read about God’s gift of time. As you read each one, note what it says about time and what speaks to your heart.

  • Ephesians 5:15-17

  • Colossians 4:5

  • Psalm 90:2,4,12,17

  • Psalm 31:15

  • Psalm 139:16  

  • Genesis 1

  • 1 Corinthians 2:7

  • Psalm 104:19

  • Isaiah 55, especially verses 3, 8, and 11

  • John 6:43-48

  • 1 Peter 4:10

  • 2 Peter 3:8-9

  • Colossians 3:1-17

  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-17

Dizzy With Worry & Anxiety

Dizzy With Worry & Anxiety

Devotional Written by: Rachel Stone


The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love…
Zephaniah 3:17

Stop. What are you thinking about right now in this moment? Okay.

Now review your day. Any recurring, preoccupying thoughts? In other words, what takes priority in your thought life?

What do you worry most about in life? Do you know why? Be honest here. 

Do you ever think about what you think about? Some of us do and we are perfectly aware of it because we know we are “overthinkers,” or, as we like to think, we are “careful deliberators.” Nothing wrong with that, necessarily, unless we let ourselves get carried away. It is interesting how easily we allow ourselves to indulge in certain thought patterns or dwell on earthly priorities. We can easily allow regrets of yesterday, cares of the day, or concerns about tomorrow to seep in and overtake our minds. Sure, we take responsibility for our actions, handle obligations of the day, and plan for tomorrow; but what about when those cares become worry? And what about when worry creates anxiety?

Consider these definitions from Webster’s Dictionary:

Worry: to subject to persistent or nagging attention: to afflict with mental distress or agitation; worry is more than genuine concern about something.

Anxiety: extreme uneasiness of mind, brooding fear.

Surely this is not what a loving, gracious, caring creator desires for his children! Think about it—“persistent, nagging attention,” “affliction,” “mental distress,” “extreme uneasiness,” “brooding fear” —is that what God wants for you? Let’s take a look at what Jesus said about worry and how to bring our thoughts back into balance. 

25 “Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? 27 Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. 29 But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. 30 If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? 31 Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ 32 Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:25-33 Common English Bible (CEB)

What does this passage from Matthew teach?

  • Don’t worry about your life, what you will wear or what you will eat. Because life is more than food & the body more than clothes.

  • Note how God feeds the birds of the air and dresses the flowers of the field. You are worth more than these. God does much more for you.

  • In light of faith, worry is unnecessary. In other words, God knows what you need, God provides for you, and God loves you. Learn to trust God.

  • Your first priority is to desire God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness. We are to seek God. 

Okay. Got it. No worries. Well, sometimes it just doesn’t seem that easy to let go and quit worrying. We admire those who say “whatever will be, will be.” Or, “God said it, so that’s that.” We might quietly resent that, or believe they don’t really, deep down inside, follow their own mantra. Guess what? They have a point. We do our part with God’s help because God loves us and provides all we need to be his children. It really is about seeing the love behind God’s abundant provision for us. What if we don’t see it? What if we make all this effort and still feel God is silent? What if we don’t like an outcome? Remember who God is. Learn more about who God is and why you can trust God. Seek God.

We seek God because God knows us (Psalm 139), God loves us (John 3:16; 1 John 3:1), God is faithful (Psalm 86:15), and because God desires for us to seek him and know him (Jeremiah 29:11-13). When we seek God, we shift our focus to who God is and to God’s purposes. God brings balance to our thinking, peace to our uneasiness, and comfort in our distress. We can trust God to provide all we need to live according to his purposes and for the sake of his kingdom.

Some of us worry and, for some of us that worry has led to anxiety. Especially for those who feel overwhelmed by anxiety, know that God sees you and God hears you. Know that God will take your hand and lift you up out of a miry pit. God surrounds you with his love in tangible ways including his work through other people. Do read and pray scripture. Do reach out to a trusted friend or family member, or to one of our pastors. Allow others to walk alongside you and to guide you toward help that best suits your situation. You are not alone. You are loved!

What tends to precipitate worry? (e.g., desire to control circumstances; succumbing to cultural pressure; fear of the unknown)

Name consequences of worry & anxiety. (e.g., low energy; anger; isolation; reliance on substances; feeling apart from God)

PRAYER

God of love and grace, you created each one of us. We cannot comprehend the depth of your love for us and yet we know you sent your son, Jesus, to die for us so that we might live. You know us and you desire for us to know you. Forgive us when we let the cares of this world stir our hearts and minds to worry and anxiety. We neglect to seek you with all our heart and we let the desires of our hearts instead focus on worldly kingdoms. Yet we see time and again in your story that you rescue and restore your people. Turn our hearts toward you, God, so that our desires align with your kingdom. Reveal yourself to us as we read the Bible, reveal our hearts, and show us our savior.  For those of us who suffer deeply from anxious thoughts, help us feel your presence in our lives. Help us see you at work in your promises, in simple ways of daily life, and in others who can bring encouragement and strength. Use others of us, God, to be that person for another who is hurting. Bring balance in our lives as we shift our focus and set our eyes on you. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

VERSE REFERENCES

Cast your burden on the Lord — he will support you! God will never let the righteous be shaken! - Psalm 55:22 (CEB)

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. -Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

When my spirit is faint, you know my way. - Psalm 142:3 New (NRSV)

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. - Jeremiah 29:11-13 (CEB)

Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:6-9 (CEB)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)

 

A Prayer For Our Students

Below is a prayer you can pray throughout the school year for your kids, grandkids, or whoever it is that you know starting off the school year — no matter their age! Praying over a child is one of the most profound things you can do for them! 
 

I am praying for  _________________.

Dear God,

We know that everything we have and everything we are comes from you (James 1:17). You are the source of all our blessings. For that, we thank you. We thank you most of all for the gift of our children. As they set out on this next step in their journey, help them to find boundaries, yet encourage them to explore the world around them. Give us and them the strength and courage to treat each day as a fresh start to grow in knowledge and wisdom. Help them to see the plans that you have for them (Jeremiah 29:11). By the power of your Holy Spirit, help them to grow in faith, hope, and love so they and the world might experience peace, truth, and goodness.

Most importantly Lord, help us lead our children to you, the one true God, through your son Jesus. Surround them with teachers and students who have lived lives worth imitating. Surround them with followers of Jesus who set examples for them in word and deed. Even in other’s imperfections, help…     
         Their ears hear your voice,   
         Their eyes see your presence in all things,   
         Their mouths proclaim your Word,     
         Their hearts to be your dwelling place,     
         Their hands to do the work of a servant,     
         And their feet to walk in the ways of Jesus.

Together Lord, help us to advance your Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:1-4).

In Jesus’ name we pray,
Amen.

Sports Unlimited Camp

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July 16-18, 2018  |  5-8pm
3rd, 4th & 5th grades
$15 per child

Sign up by July 2 to receive a T-shirt!

Students who have completed 3rd-5th grade are invited to come learn fundamentals or even try out a brand new sport at Sports Unlimited Camp!

Our goal is to help build-up both physical and spiritual strength by engaging kids in the fun of sports, while also learning important skills from local expert coaches and athletes! Guest athletes will share their own remarkable stories of how faith in God has impacted their success on and off the field as well as helped them through adversity. Scroll down for coach profiles!

Students will enjoy two different sport sessions each evening along with a sack dinner and inspirational devotion. Guest pro-athletes will also share how their faith in God

Scholarships are available for students if there is a need.


MEET THE COACHES

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SCOTT NASBY

Baseball & Softball

Head baseball coach for Drury University
In his six years as coach, the Panthers have had two conference championships, three conference west division titles and four NCAA tourney appearances. Thirty
athletes have received all-conference honors, 17 all regional, six All-American and two conference players of the year.

 

Susan Provance

Tennis

Parkview high school boys & girls tennis coach for 26 years, as well as the Physical Education teacher.  Susan also worked for Springfield-Greene County Park Board, expanding athletic opportunities for area youth. She was Inducted into the Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2015. 

 
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Ashley Parnell

Cheer

Cheer Coordinator & Head Cheer Coach for Drury University
Ashley has helped coach Drury cheer to top five finishes in the last six years of competition. She is the State Director for Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), in Missouri & Nebraska and is the former cheer captain at Drury.    

 

TOM FOWLER

Soccer

Founder of Greenwood FC, Board member of Lake Country Soccer, Greenwood girls middle school head coach, Co-Founder & head coach of Springfield’s Semi-Pro Women’s team, Blue Angels. 

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Jenny Sledge

Basketball

Kickapoo high school basketball star
Jenny went on to play at the University of New Orleans. She is the former assistant basketball coach at Chipola college and Easter Kentucky University. She also has four years of experience as recruiting coordinator for Eastern Kentucky.

Meet Scott Bons

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Scott Bons will join the staff at King’s Way as Director of Youth Ministries in just a couple weeks! Scott has over 12 years of experience in ministry, including 4 years in youth ministry. He joins King’s Way after being the lead pastor at Mt. Pleasant Church of God in Assumption, Illinois. Scott and his wife, Amanda, have been married for 14 years. Their son, Ian, is 4. 

Q&A with Scott

What drew you into youth ministry at King’s Way?   Through a long series of events we felt led towards Springfield. To be honest, we had never heard of King’s Way. It wasn’t until we started down the road of moving towards Springfield, and through much prayer, that we came across the posting for the Youth Director position. As I read the posting, it aligned perfectly with my passions, gifts, and calling. Prayerfully, I submitted my resume while seeking the Lord’s will in prayer. After a conversation with Pastor Kris and then Pastor Laura, I was convinced this was a team and church I wanted to be a part of. The vision of King’s Way is grand and something I want to be a part of. 

What are you looking forward to most about your position at KW?   There are many things I am looking forward to, but the biggest reason is the students. The passion they have for their church and for Jesus was evident to me from the first time I met them. I am looking forward to working with them to navigate life and faith, and how to bring them into alignment. I am also looking forward to whatever small part I might be able to play in developing leaders in the Church and the world.

What are your dreams for Youth Ministry at KW?    My dreams for King’s Way youth can be summed up in four statements: A place for all people, Discipleship, service, and fun. I hope to create a safe place where people from all walks of life, socioeconomic backgrounds, histories, and beliefs can come and pursue Jesus. I hope to create a space where people can ask questions and find real answers, without fear of condemnation or humiliation. It will also be a place where we can go deep with Jesus by taking what the students know and applying it to their lives and to the world at large. Service is especially important to me and I think to our youth. We will serve in and outside the church often. We will go on mission trips as well as serving in our own backyard…and we will do all of this while having fun. Fun is a core value of mine and I am convinced it is something that Christians are not good at. I think Jesus was fun and laughed more than we think. I want the students to have fun and laugh as we tackle real and difficult issues together.

Fun Facts about Scott:

  • I might as well get this out there: I am a Chicago Cubs & Dallas Cowboys fan. Please forgive me, but it is true.
  • I enjoy sports (baseball, basketball, football) doing anything outdoors (shooting sports, walking, hunting, fishing, being outdoors), & binging Netflix shows. When I have time, I enjoy playing Xbox. Most importantly, I enjoy being with friends and my family and doing things (or nothing) together.
  • I am currently pursuing my Master’s of Arts in Practical Theology at Winebrenner Theological Seminary.
  • My family has served as Foster Parents for the last 6 years. We are currently taking a year-long break from that, but we might explore doing it again in the future. We have fostered 6 kids over the last 6 years. This flowed from our desire to be like Jesus and to follow Scripture (James 1:27).

July Worship Series: Faith on Film

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You’re invited to come explore Faith on Film this Summer at King’s Way! Sunday morning worship will be centered in our faith being brought to life through movies. Then, come back that night to watch that week’s movie. These fun nights of fellowship are great for all ages as we experience movies, delicious food and deepening relationships as a church family.

Please click movie titles for reviews & summaries!

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Food Trucks | 5:30-7pm

Showtime | 6:30 pm

July 1    
     The Lion King  |  G
     Dinner: Zaxby’s Chicken
                 & Andy’s Frozen Custard

July 8
      Avatar  |  PG-13                                            Dinner: Twisted Mikes Food Truck

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July 15
      Paper Clips  |  G
      Dinner: Black Sheep Food Truck
      A moving & inspiring documentary for all ages that captures the story of middle school students from Tennessee who collected paper clips to honor every lost soul during the Holocaust. 

July 22
      Star Wars: The Last Jedi 
|  PG-13
      Dressing-up in your best Star Wars
      attire is greatly encouraged!
      
Dinner: Momma Mary’s Navajo Tacos

July 29
      The Princess Bride 
|   PG (in the 80s)
      Dinner: Twisted Mikes Food Truck