Note: Due to Pastor Ryan being on vacation, there will not be an email next week. If you have an emergency and need care between September 26 and October 2, please contact one of the deacons.
RECAP: NOT AFRAID based on Matthew 14:22-33
Following Jesus was a wild ride. The disciples had seen Jesus do miracles, heal the sick, and set the captive free. They witnessed him calm the storm at sea simply by speaking to the wind and the waves. They had even seen Jesus take a young boy’s lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish and feed over five thousand people with them, having twelve baskets full of leftovers! But now they faced a test: they had to cross the lake on their own, without Jesus. If Jesus was for them, what could happen, right?
Sure enough, the wind and the waves came again. And this time, it lasted all night long, from dusk until the fourth watch of the night, between 3 and 6 am. By that extremely late hour, they had begun to panic, and their newfound confidence because of Jesus was gone. And as they struggled in the boat, they could not see that Jesus was coming right toward them, believing he was a ghost.
Do we ever feel this way? Have we ever felt like we were set off on a journey of faith, inspired by God, and then all of a sudden, the wind and the waves come? The wind and the waves are often symbols used to describe spiritual opposition. When we do the work of God, we will find challenge. If we are not facing opposition, we are probably not in the will of God. Satan attacks anyone he perceives is a threat. He tries to stop us from fulfilling our call, to make us give up, to change our path, to distract, to confuse, to push us to compromise and to sacrifice our integrity. The winds and the waves are the fears that Satan plays upon, our vulnerabilities, to keep us from walking into the fullness God has for us. And sometimes, those storms go on for a long time, where it feels like we keep being hit by one bad thing after another. We are bombarded by the waves of fear: the fear of failure, loss, consequences, pain, suffering, the unknown, and an unfulfilled life. Can we see Jesus in the midst of the storm?
So how do we not succumb to the wind and the waves? How do we get out of the storm of fear? Peter did five things, and we can do those same things:
1) Trust in the Lord’s voice. Peter knew the voice of his beloved master. He knew that Jesus never lied to him, never let him down, and if it was truly the voice of Jesus, he would ask him to come. After all, leaving the boat is absurd, for how can a human walk on water? But if Jesus said so, that was good enough! But that deep trust comes from a rootedness in Scripture and walking daily with God (Proverbs 3:5-6). Are we willing to allow our hearts to listen to where God might be leading us and trust it?
2) Get out of the boat. You can’t walk on the water and stay in the boat simultaneously! The boat represents our comfort zone. Are we willing to get out of what we think is safe and trust in God fully?
3) Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. As long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he walked on the water. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we are declaring that he will see and navigate us through the storms of life. We walk on the water not because we are able, but because we believe in Jesus, the God of the impossible. While the world says you can’t, God says you can because he lives within us! But when we focus on the winds and the waves, the fears and doubts, we begin to sink.
4) Grab hold of God’s hand. Peter did take his eyes off Jesus, and did begin to sink. But Jesus was there to offer his hand of salvation. When we are struggling against the winds and the waves, can we grab hold of the hand of safety? Or do we continue to struggle or push away our rescue? God will catch us even when we fall–as long as we are willing to grab a hold of his hand!
5) Silence the voice of doubt. Doubt says stay in the boat. Doubt says the wind and the waves are too big, that we should never try, that we should not have left the boat. And when we give into doubt, we sink, for we allow those waves to wash over us. Fear and doubt are companions. We might be bombarded with the lies that we are not good enough, not wanted, not qualified, and a nobody. We might face the lies of false security and not take a risk for Jesus. Tell those voices to shut up, and listen to the only voice that says, “Come!”
The storm eventually was calmed because of the presence of Jesus. But Peter was able to walk on the water, albeit briefly, for he was willing to trust in his Master. Can we trust in him, and see if he can take us above the wind and the waves? Can we set aside fear and doubt, and see where he takes us as a church?
Questions for Reflection
1) What stirrings exist in your heart to do for God? Have you acted on it?
2) Do you become paralyzed by fear or doubt? What holds you back?
3) What is your boat, your comfort zone, that you are unwilling to leave?
4) What do you fix your eyes on?
This Sunday, Lynne Lent will bring forth the word while Pastor Ryan is celebrating Joscelin’s adoption with the family! Lynne will be preaching from John 11:38-44 the sermon titled, “Take Off Those Grave Clothes!” How can we take off those grave clothes that keep us in death? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
When Pastor Ryan returns, he will begin a new series called, “What’s Next?”. The first sermon in the series is titled, “The Way Forward,” based on Hebrews 10:19-31.
Daily Bible Readings for September 21 – October 4
September 21: 1 Samuel 14:1-14 How did Jonathan show no fear?
September 22: Esther 5 How did Esther show no fear?
September 23: Acts 9:19b-31 How did Paul show no fear?
September 24: Acts 20:13-38 How did Paul further show no fear?
September 25: 2 Timothy 1:6-14 How can we live with no fear?
September 26: Hebrews 1 How is Jesus superior to angels?
September 27: Hebrews 2 How is Jesus superior to humanity?
September 28: Hebrews 3 How is Jesus greater than Moses?
September 29: Hebrews 4:1-13 How is Jesus the fulfillment of the Sabbath rest?
September 30: Hebrews 4:14-5:10 How is Jesus our great high priest?
October 1: Hebrews 5:11-6:12 Why is faithfulness so important?
October 2: Hebrews 6:13-20 How can we be certain we can rely on God’s faithful word?
October 3: Genesis 19:12-29 What was Lot and his family asked to leave behind? Were they able?
October 4: Exodus 3:1-10 What was Moses asked to leave behind and do instead?
This Week’s (& Next Week’s) Events:
Saturday, September 25–Alma Long’s 100 birthday celebration at Oakdale park from 1 – 3 pm
Sunday, September 26–Outdoor Worship (weather permitting)
Sunday, October 3–First Sunday Offering (Operation Christmas Child)
Sunday, October 3–Caleb Eckard Baptism
Wednesday, October 6–Worship Team @ 7:30 pm
Tuesday, October 12–Called Leadership Team Meeting w/ District @ 7 pm
Thursday, October 21–Regular Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Sunday, October 24–Council Mtg (tentative)
Sunday, October 31–Love Feast (tentative) & Torrey baptism
Care for Members
As you know, many of our members have come down with COVID. Several have expressed a desire to help. Please stay tuned as the specific means of assistance become defined. I should know more by the end of the week.
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
On September 21, Alma Long turns 100! Let’s bless her with a card shower!
From Reba Kline: Dear Beaver Creek Family, I want to thank everyone for the food, cards and calls during the passing of my beloved husband Garry. I am truly grateful. Thank you.
Call to Prayer & Discernment
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
The Fidelis Class will begin a new book study for Sunday School called Altar Ego by Craig Groeschel. If you are not actively involved in a Sunday School class, you are invited to participate in this book study! It will start October 3.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Garland Diehl (COVID)
Bill Eckard (COVID)
Bonnie Sue Eckard (COVID)
Brad & Theresa Eckard (COVID)
John Fix (addiction)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Hensley family (COVID)
Jordan family (loss)–prayers for John and the family mourning the passing of John’s cousin Joe
Jason & Jay Jordan (COVID)
Amelia Kimmell (COVID)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Gene LaPrade (health)
Larry LaPrade (COVID)
Lent family (work)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Forest & Marlene Miller (COVID)
Mary G Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Tammy Stine (broken ankle)
Alex & Cole Wheelbarger (COVID)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Whitmore family (COVID)
Tom Wilfong (COVID)
John & Joyce Wright (COVID)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB