Thursday, October 5, 2017

MOPS Kick-Off 2017!

Our 2017-2018 year is off to a phenomenal start! Here are a few highlights:

"Free Indeed" Centerpieces

Meeting Devotional from Sydney H.:

Freedom and motherhood seem like a bit of an oxymoron to me.
   For those of you breastfeeding – enough said.
   Uninterrupted sleep has become far off memory
   Sleeping IN even farther…
   We now share our most private moments in the bathroom with little fingers slipping under the door.
   Sometimes all we seem to do is repeat our self. Then repeat our self again. And again. And again. And again.
   We basically live under house arrest after 7 pm unless we make prior arrangements. Then we have to make arrangements for the arrangements so everyone is alive when we return.
   And the list goes on.
Motherhood, especially in the little years, is one of the most self-sacrificing seasons of life. So then, how can we truly live free indeed during this most precious, and exhausting season?
I thought about King David from the Bible. He spent a lot of years in the pasture with the sheep before he became King of Israel. To me, it was not unlike motherhood! Many of his days were spent in obscurity. Dirty. Tired. Alone. Self-sacrificing – all for the welfare of the smelly little creatures that were entrusted to his care AND for the glory of the God whom he loved.
But, it was in those days of obscurity that God shaped him and prepared him for the great future ahead of him.
One story that tells of God’s work in David’s life is in 1 Samuel 17 -- David and Goliath. You may know how it goes -- David was a boy, a shepherd, and Goliath was a big bully that had been taunting God’s army every day for 40 days. David just happened to be bringing some cheese and snacks to his older brothers who served in the army and he was in the right place at the right time to hear Goliath shouting taunts to God’s people.
The mockery didn’t sit well with David and he had to do something about it. He spoke up, faced some opposition from his jealous brother, but ultimately volunteered to fearlessly take down this tyrant. King Saul opposed his plan, but because of what God had done in David’s heart in those obscure days in the pasture, he was ready for this moment. 1 Samuel 17:32 recounts David’s appeal to Saul.
“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
I love this story because we don’t just see David as a warrior or David as King. We get to see into the process that God used to shape him.
Because he spent so many days with those sheep out in the pasture, David knew who he was and WHOSE he was. He knew the living God and had seen him come through time and time again.
In other words, God let David practice in the pasture.
He practiced faithfulness.
I believe God, in his mercy, does that for us too. In his loving way, God sometimes puts us in seasons of obscurity or the mundane – not because he’s punishing us or because he’s forgotten about us but because he loves us and is transforming us to be like him. He’s letting us practice. He’s giving us the tools, courage and deeply rooted identity we need to do what he has set out for us to do….to be who he has made us to be and to RAISE the people he has entrusted into our care.
So... where is freedom in this season – this season of motherhood?
Friends, freedom is right in the middle of it. Why? Because Jesus is in it with us.  We are His. And He never leaves us. And where the Spirit of the Lord is...THERE is freedom. We know that whatever he is working out in us will not be wasted and he desires for us to be truly free.
Our job in the midst of the pasture is to turn our eyes and hearts toward the author and perfecter of our faith and BELIEVE Him when he says he loves us and that he has a plan for our lives.
So, maybe you find yourself today somewhere out in the pasture of motherhood.
Are you free there?
If not, what are the areas where you need God to set you free? Is it freedom from
I believe God has ordained you to be here today to hear these words because there is work he wants to do in your heart. He wants you to be free. Truly free.
So, let today be the day that we take a step in the direction of the freedom God has already granted to us. May we say YES to God’s ways, humbling ourselves to whatever process or season he has us in because we know he is working all things together for our good and his glory.
Let us stand firm in the truth and in the Spirit...
And then we will truly live FREE INDEED.

Goodies For the Residents at Calvary Home for Children:

Your generosity toward our first service project gave these children something to smile about!

MOPS on the Town and Mom's Night Out Events:

See you at our next meeting on Thursday, October 12th. Bring a friend!


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