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Tuesday Thoughts 7-18-17

Wow!  The journey God sends us on can be so different than anything we could imagine.  I want to simply give God praise this Tuesday, for the particular way He was involved in the last 14 days.  In this span of two weeks we have had celebrations connected to our nation, camp meeting praise/worship & teaching, time at the altar in sweet surrender, family tragedy, car breakdowns, unscheduled travel, and more.  There have been conversations, prayers of both victory and brokenness, sharing of meals, opinions, and differences.  One of the key words in this brief season has been relationships.  But amid all the uncertainties, pressures, and unexpected needs, I have experienced the faithfulness of Jesus as He declared it to the original twelve followers in the New Testament book of John, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (chapter 14, verse 27).  For those of you who come to Gaylord Family Fellowship, you may remember that we recently wrapped up a five week series about peace.  I paraphrased the key thought this way:  Don’t be troubled by trouble (or, how to not be troubled by trouble).  I’m not going to review our teaching over those five weeks today, but I’m here to tell you that, in the last two weeks, God brought me face-to-face with the kind of troubles that most often cause me to waver, get angry, be frustrated and, well, be troubled.  And guess what?  I experienced peace!!!  The Holy Spirit has been working on me about these very issues for a couple of focused years now, and I am very grateful (and I mean grateful!) that He placed me in the exact kind of circumstances that would reveal whether I had truly surrendered to being transformed in those areas!  It seems kind of funny to put it this way, but the Spirit was sweet during this time!  That’s my story of praise, but you know I can’t leave it there.  It’s not a question of if, but what troubles you and makes peace seem like an impossible reality.  That impossibility is fake.  The hope for peace is real!  The way to receive it is to surrender and follow.  It’s a process—two years of my surrender and following (and stumbling often) before significant progress—but it’s happening!  And it will happen for you too.  Just start asking.             – Pastor John

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