Sunday, April 10, 2016


Pastor Brad welcomed us on a wonderfully sunny morning. He then shared the evolution of his thoughts toward the central idea in today's message which would be on worry.

Gail shared that there is a rummage sale coming up. She invited us to sign up to help gather things for the rummage sale and bake sale or to help during the event itself.

The opening call to worship was taken from a classic prayer from ancient times. "Father of majesty unbounded..."

Brad led us in a number of songs and the invited Tom Engelmann from the Gideons International. "These Bibles touch a lot of lives," he said. The Gideons place Bibles in hotel rooms and also share pocket testaments. Internationally the Gideon have access to the schools, but not in the U.S. These Bibles are handed out and shared. All gifts to Gideons go to Bibles, not to any administrative expenses. For more information visit Even if you cannot donate, we invite you to pray for us as you partnet with us. Gideons is now sharing God's Word in 190 countries.

After the ushers received the offering, Brad led the congregation in a time of prayer for the needs of our church family.


Life is full of uncertainty. And when our anxiety and imagination get hold of this we can be quickly undone by it all. Pastor Brad gave some heartfelt insights on this topic today in a very strong message of hope and comfort in the midst of our hurricane of worries.

What ifs can plague us all. What if the economy turns down? What if I lose my job? What if my company is sold? "I'm so scared."

II Timothy 1:7 says, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind."

Two local churches now have people who members assigned to keep watch to make sure no one comes in with a gun. They have the doors locked when gathered for worship.

We live in fear because we know we are not in control. We live with anxious hearts. It makes life difficult. "An anxious heart weighs a person down."

Brad then asked a half dozen questions so we could self-assess.
1. Are you rattled when things don't go as expected?
2. Do you worry about things that are out of your control?
3. Do you lose sleep over things that are on your mind?
4. Is it hard for you to turn off your mind?
5. Does the unknown intimidate you?
6. Do you often imagine the worst case scenario?

Some people dislike being a passenger in a car because they want to be in control.

Bottom line: You are never ever in control.  The reason many of us live in fear of losing control is because we live in the illusion that we had some kind of control in the first place.

Often, it is the things most precious to us are the things most outside of our control. Many people live with anxious hearts without ever realizing how much this is weighing them down.

How do we experience God's peace in the midst of life? Answer: We must take our minds off the "what ifs" of fear. What ifs can mount, and unsettle us.

Luke 21:14 "Make up your mind not to worry." When? "Beforehand"

The program Wide World of Sports every week on ABC always began with "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." Everyone who remembers this show remembers the image of a skier crashing on a steep slope and sliding, rolling out of control. How many of you can remember the image of "the thrill of victory"? We tend to remember the bad.

Brad shared the rabbit hole of worry his mind runs down when Brooke is late. Why does God tell us not to worry? Because worry never changes anything. "Do not worry," Jesus says.

As Jesus said, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?"

Here's another thought. Satan has a number of tools. One of them is fear. Brad noted that when farmers have a garden being attacked by birds, he puts a scarecrow out in the field. Scarecrows are powerless to do anything, but the achieve their aim by fear. So it is that Satan scares us even though he is powerless to hurt us. And where do scarecrows get placed? In the fields of good corn. As we mature we should go looking for scarecrows because that is where the good crops are.

Even Jeremiah used this scarecrow metaphor. Jeremiah 10:6

Isaiah 26:3 "Thou will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee." or in another version, "whose mind is steadfast."

Trust the Lord, and lean not to your own understanding.

Faith changes things. God responds to our faith. Worry changes nothing.

This is a real truth: "Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you." (I Peter 5:7) Let go and let God.

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EdNote: Frequently these blog entries include hotlinks to Bible verses referenced during a service. The online Bible resource I use is Bible Gateway, which offers many versions of the Bible, from King James to Modern. has many features including a verse of the day which you may also receive via email. I recently learned they also have an app which you can download to your iPhone. 

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