A special thank you to Lynne Lent who preached in my absence while I was in New York for my grandmother’s funeral. You can find the summary of her sermon on her blog. The link is: lynnemillerlent1.wordpress.com
THE COMFORT OF SOLITUDE based on Psalm 91:1-16
As human beings, we often want to see the full benefits before we make a commitment. We see it in things like a job or a house we desire to buy. But when it comes to spiritual matters, it is much more difficult, for a decision to follow God is a decision made by faith. Since we as humans struggle, we often abandon faith for what we can tangibly hold now, for we are conditioned for instant gratification. This is nothing new. Israel struggled with this in history as well–it is precisely how they can abandon devotion to God and turn to a golden calf even though they saw God deliver them from Egypt! But it is also why Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, penned the beautiful Psalm 91. We don’t have to abandon our faith and go for instant gratification. There are blessings that come from time with the LORD–things that we can live in now! What are these blessings and comforts?
- Rest in the Almighty (91:1). To be at a state of rest is to be in a place that is calm, stable, and tranquil. In other words, it is to be at total peace. We don’t have to live in chaos. We don’t have to remain caught up in the express lane of life. We don’t have to live with constant strife. We can have peace and rest!
- Refuge in the fortress of God’s trust (91:2, 15). A refuge is a place where one can truly be safe from any threat. Historically, a refuge city earned such a reputation because the lord or king of that city would fiercely protect its residents and keep them shielded from all harm. When we dwell in the presence of God, he is our refuge. No matter what we are going through or how much the enemy comes against us, we can be safe when we are in him.
- Deliverance from the traps of the enemy (91:3). Sometimes the traps that are laid for us are so well placed that we cannot see them. Sometimes the payload for falling into temptation is far greater than what we bargain for. But God delivers us from the trap. He goes before us, showing us the way to navigate so we can safely pass through without falling for the traps in the first place. We need to be close to our Lord! But if we do fall, he provides the avenue of escape and redemption so we don’t have to remain in the trap!
- The covering of God (91:4-8). We are under the protection, care, and watchful eye of our Savior. No matter what comes, we are safe. We don’t have to give into fear, for no one is greater than our God! He has us under his care!
- Divine favor (91:9-13). When we have God’s favor, we have his hand of blessing and protection. We do not have to live under the curse of disobedience or face the loss of his protection. Matter of fact, he provides backup in a spiritual battle so we don’t have to stand alone. He gives us the strength we need to overcome Satan!
- God will respond to his faithful (91:14-16). God’s ear is tuned to the righteous. He is our protection. He is present with us in seasons of struggle. He will deliver us and honor us. He will provide us salvation.
These are wonderful blessings that come from time with the Lord. But how do we access these blessings?
- Dwell in the secret place of the Most High (91:1). We need to become rooted and anchored in God with no intention of going anywhere else. This means developing a deep relationship in communion and fellowship with God.
- Love our Lord (91:14). Love God with all we have, not just giving God a small fraction of ourselves, but our whole self.
- Acknowledge the name of the LORD (91:14). We cannot hide or be ashamed of God. Everything we do should be for his name and glory, not our own. We can’t live for God and something else at the same time.
- Call on his name (91:15). Actively seek his face. Do not just cry out, but invite God in your life. Surrender and trust.
No matter where we are in life, we can take Moses’ counsel. We can place our roots in God, and we will find rest.
Questions for Reflection
1) Is your life at rest, or in chaos?
2) How deep is your relationship with Christ?
3) How can you grow your relationship?
4) In what ways can you spend more intentional time developing your faith?
5) In what areas of your life do you need to surrender to God?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will start the study in the discipline of submission with the sermon titled, “Our Example”, based on Philippians 2:1-11. Jesus is fully God. How did he demonstrate true submission? How can we follow his example? Come or tune in on Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for August 29 – September 4
August 29: Mark 8:1-13 What display of power did Jesus demonstrate in the solitary place?
August 30: Mark 8:22-26 What display of power did Jesus demonstrate in the solitary place?
August 31: Mark 8:27-38 What confession of faith took place in the solitary place?
September 1: Mark 9:1-13 What encounter with God took place in solitude?
September 2: Mark 14:32-42 What did Jesus gain in the solitary place for the days ahead?
September 3: Genesis 1:26-31 What was supposed to be the relationship between man and the earth? Man with God?
September 4: Genesis 2:18-25 What is the first picture of mutual submission? What can we learn from this?
This Week’s Events:
Thursday, August 31–All Team Budgets Due
Sunday, September 3–First Sunday Breakfast
Sunday, September 3–Worship Team Meeting @ 12 pm
Monday, September 11–Timothy Bible Study resumes @ 7 pm
Thursday, September 21–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Saturday, October 14–Fall Festival, 9 am – 12 pm
Next week is the first Sunday of September and return to regular hours: First Sunday Breakfast at 9:15 am, Sunday School at 9:45 am, Worship at 11:00 am.
Solitude– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
Solitude is the art of building quiet time to refresh the soul. In order to build quiet time first, you must develop a quiet space. The quiet space needs to be free from noise and distraction. Jesus often withdrew to a “lonely place” to pray, far from people, so he could hear the voice of God the Father. Our lonely place needs to be similar, for the goal is to hear clearly and silence all.
In the movie War Room, the woman who was selling her house had a closet that she would go to pray and connect with God. At the end of the movie, a retired minister was touring the house, stopped by the closet, and knew that was the house for them, for he could feel the presence of God emanating from that room!
So your challenge this week is to find a solitary place where you can go to connect with God!
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office or leave in the offering plate your birth date so we do not miss anyone!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. Contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Phyllis Simmons (children’s story) if you want to serve.
CHILDREN’S CHURCH & NURSERY
This Sunday, August 13, Children’s Church will begin. We will have Children’s Church every other Sunday. This week’s lesson will be on the Parable of the Sower. More details will follow!
Call to Prayer
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
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place them in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
The Christian Education Team is looking for six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour and church hour. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to be able to participate in worship, please let one of the members of Christian Education know (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!
Sight & Sound Interest
The Fidelis class is looking at sponsoring a church-wide trip to Sight & Sound in 2024. But before the class can investigate bus prices and total cost, we want to gauge the true interest in the church. We have had several express interest and are trying to the best package for us as a church body. If you are interested and would like to be considered for this one-day event next year, please contact the office or let Pastor Ryan know in the next few weeks.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe to 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) Place in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller & Carolyn Wine
Keep Evy Kaye’s friend Mary Beth and Tami Plaugher’s friend Vicki as they both are wrestling with cancer.
Eddie Baker (health)
Terri Burkholder (health)
Deanne Dastoli (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bill Eckard (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Alma Long (recovery)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (recovery)
John Miller (COVID)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Norma Suter (surgery)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Cindy Wittig (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church