Since I hijacked 10 minutes of our worship service this past Sunday, I am also hijacking the Monday Memo. My hijacking of the service involved introducing special guest Greg Hatteberg, Director of Alumni from Dallas Theological Seminary, who presented our Lead Pastor Tom Oyler with the first ever Dallas Theological Alumni Distinguished Service Award. It was a meaningful part of the service for all of us. You can see and read more about this very special honor by going to www.gfcnow.com/dtsaward.
Once I learned that Tom was receiving this award, there were options for how to present this to him. Interesting that the title of Sunday’s sermon was, “There are Always Options.” One option I knew to rule out right away was to let this special honor interfere with one of the primary purposes of our worship services, teaching God’s Word. Tom’s faithful commitment over the years to make each week a vital learning experience from God’s Word is one of the reasons he received this honor.
One of the vital learning experiences for me from this week’s message was the reminder of how exhausting it is to play God and to know the difference between what I am responsible to and not for. As someone who struggles with defining a healthy circle of responsibility, I found the poem Tom shared this Sunday to be very helpful.
To “Let Go,” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “Let Go,” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.
To “Let Go,” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To “Let Go,” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands – but in God’s.
To “Let Go,” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.
To “Let Go,” is not to care for, but to care about.
To “Let Go,” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To “Let Go,” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To “Let Go,” is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality – regardless of how painful it might be.
To “Let Go,” is not to deny, but to accept.
To “Let Go,” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead – to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To “Let Go,” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To “Let Go,” is not to regret the past, but grow and live for the future.
To “Let Go,” is to fear less and love more.
Let Go and Let God. - Anonymous
May God help us to see that there are always options in how we relate, and it starts first with letting go.
Thanking God for our Grace Fellowship Family and the Grace of His Son,
"Family Life in HD: There are Always Options" Colossians 3:17
This is one of those messages that we scratch our heads over, that creates conflicting thoughts and feelings. Seems so risky. It is. Yet whenever we say or do, (Colossians 3:17) can come from a place of security and trust because “Christ is…our life.” (Colossians 3:4)
THINKING IT THROUGH
The problem in family life is not that there is conflict. Problems arise when it comes to how conflicts are handled.
Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
You can’t have self-control until you give up other-control.
~Cloud and Townsend
Brain: An apparatus with which we think we think.
LIVING IT OUT
1. Do you believe the title, “There Are Always Options?” Why or why not?
2. In what areas of your family life do you need to find some new “options?”
3. What spiritual or emotional work do you need to engage in order to improve your own attitude in whatever you say or do? (See this week’s bulletin for further applications.)
"Family Life in HD: Grasping for Life" Genesis 31:1-35
From the moment we are born we begin a relentless quest for “life.” We all want to experience life for all that it was intended to be, and when we find something that we believe will give us life our instinct is to hold tightly to it. This week we look at an old Testament story of a woman grasping for life in an unusual family context. Her story can teach us much about where to look (and where not to look) to find life.
LOOKING IT UP
1. Read Genesis 31:1-35. For additional context (and if time allows) you may want to begin in Genesis 29 to better understand the context of Jacob’s family.
2. There is obviously a lot of family drama going on in this story, but the narrative centers around Rachel’s theft of her father’s idols. Why do you think this act was significant in the story?
3. What might have motivated Rachel to take the idols? (To answer this question you have to try and put yourself in her situation and imagine possible motivations.)
4. Flip back and read Genesis 30:1-2. What do we learn here about Rachel’s heart? Can you think of any connections between this statement and her decision to take the idols in the next chapter?
5. In process of stealing the idols she deceived her father and her husband. How did those deceptions put her family at risk as the story unfolded?
6. It has been said, “Although we don’t keep literal idols on our mantels today, idolatry is still a struggle for us.” In what ways does this statement ring true for you? Is there anything in your life that you would say, like Rachel, “Give me __________ or I die?” Another way to think about it: To what or whom do you grasp on to in order to have “life”?
7. Finally, read Colossians 3:1-4. These verses speak about our identity as believers in Jesus. In what ways does this new identity point us toward the true source of life?
Posted on Wed, May 1, 2013
by Tim Bowers