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Experiencing God in Times of Crisis - September 2015

Crises are a part of life.  Some are global -- tsunamis, earthquakes, or terrorism.  Other are local -- cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, or the death of a loved one.  But here's the question: "Is it possible to experience God in the midst of that kind of catastrophe?" 

 

We are pleased to share resources with you from Chip Ingram's Living on the Edge ministry.  In this message, Chip explores how you can experience God through your darkest times.

 

LISTEN NOW          NOTES

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Peace, By Any Other Name - August 2015

Peace… a short, one-syllable word. It even sounds soft as it rolls off the tongue. Yet to my mind, its meaning is elusive. At least it was before writing this piece.

 

As a writer, I always have my Merriam-Webster dictionary close at hand, and, over the years, I have accepted and oft-quoted its definitions as unquestionable truth. Until now.

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Not Safe But Good - July 2015

We began our group discussion with the normal “ice-breaker” small talk stuff.  How long was your trip, how did you get connected with Inheritance of Hope, etc.?  It was nice; it was cordial.  One man stated that he wasn’t really into talking about these kinds of things.  He quickly “passed” the conversational ball to his wife, the one with cancer.  

 

Pretty soon, the honesty came forth... it was hard, refreshing, human.  One woman, who had been battling cancer for some time, said, “Our whole life has been changed... they put me on a table, telling me to hold my breast, and moved me around like an animal…”

 

No words of mine could make that kind of experience make sense.

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A God Thing - June 2015

It’s funny how this life works. Every once in a while, I get thrown an opportunity I’m not sure I deserve. Every once in a while, I receive a ridiculous opportunity to meet people who touch my life forever. I don’t claim to “get” this, but I am ever so thankful. And so was the  Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® weekend.

 

On May 22nd, I embarked on my first IoH retreat.   To be honest, I was a bit freaked out. I was asked to be a counselor. Yeah, like the kind that, on her best day, may offer WISDOM to people. I was asked to help guide a group of 8 couples, each of whom was facing a life-threatening illness… each of whom had absolutely been through the medical, relationship, and spiritual ringers… each of whom had at least one young child, just a couple rooms down the hall.

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'Tis the Season - May 2015

It's spring...a much anticipated season, especially here in Minnesota where our senses are dulled for so many long months. Sun-starved describes it best. Not enough natural vitamin D. We long to have the windows open, hear the happy exchange of the birds who decided to come back after all, and....for those of us who are lovers of the soil...pull out our long-awaited packets of seedlings. Yes! New life! Reminder of eternal hope!

 

No one feels this more than the farmer. The minute weather permits, he is in the field plowing up the soil, digging down deep and turning it over so it faces the sun. Brown hard dirt is replaced by rich, thick, moist, black soil. He knows that without tilling the soil, it will not (in fact cannot) bear a crop. It must be turned up before it is ready to receive the seeds, the sun, the rain, and…yes, even the lightning that replaces the nitrogen. It must be able to breathe. Without the farmer, the soil is nothing but...soil.

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Experiencing God when You Get a Raw Deal - April 2015

Have you ever done the honorable thing and it backfired on you? Did you ever do all the work and someone else got all the credit?

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Staying in the Patch - March 2015

“For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the world; walk as children of light... trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8 & 10 (NASB)
 
Picking strawberries was the last thing I felt like doing after a busy week as a counselor at teen camp.  But they glistened in the sun and let me know that the birds and bunnies would gladly take my place if I didn’t.  I groaned at the thought of how many there were and how long it would take.  A gentle prodding from our Lord reminded me that it was, after all, my idea to plant them and my enjoyment to eat them.
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Experiencing God in Times of Confusion - February 2015

Is there chaos in your life?  Do you feel overwhelmed by work, life, and relationships? 

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But Even if He Does Not - January 2015

I always thought that the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3 inspired me because these three men were willing to go into the fire. I longed to be faced with a giant crisis and answer with a triumphant “throw me into the fire.” But, as the last two years have not gone as I expected, God has revealed another part to their legacy that has impacted me in incredibly challenging ways.
 
In Daniel 3 we find Nebuchadnezzar furious when he heard that these three men would not worship the image of gold he set up. So, he had them summoned. Read their response with me…
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Unto Us a Child is Born... Now What?! - December 2014

In Advent and Christmas we consider the coming of a child into our world.  This year such considerations are 24/7 realities in my life since Allison and I received our first child, Estella Mae, less than three weeks ago.  Unto us a child is born!  I cannot help but reflect afresh on the coming of the child who invites all the world to echo Isaiah 9:6 with the energy of Handel’s Messiah, “Unto us a child is born!”
 
After long expectancy, trying labor, and the wonder of delivery, our beautiful baby finally arrived.  Everything we had looked forward to and prepared for had happened, yet it was clear that we weren’t done.  We had a baby, but this journey was just beginning.  Our wonder was joined by wondering, “Now what?!” 
 
This is even truer in the birth of Jesus. 
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