Being spread too thin is a reality for many of us. Competing demands. Overwhelming needs. High or unreachable expectations. It's burdensome trying to be all things to all people. It's exhausting when we feel stretched to capacity. It's demoralising when our best efforts end in failure. It's frustrating when we can't find a solution to fix the problems that confront us. When the margins are gone and you are running on empty, the “demons” just won’t budge. That's what we discover today. It’s difficult to live "in-between" success & failure, certainty & doubt, faith & unbelief…where fragile faith becomes desperate faith. But in all things, Jesus does not leave us alone in that in-between space. He comes to be with us so that our daily experience is one of less noise, more hearing as we walk the thin line between fragile faith and desperate faith in his presence and with his power.
#5 in series: Addition by Subtraction
Experts say we live in an Attention Economy and our wealth or net worth is measured in clicks, likes, page-views, downloads, swipes followers & friends. Every second of our life, something is craving for our attention - notifications, spam, RSS feeds, social network requests, sponsored posts, reminders or news bulletins. Distraction has become habitual. Checking your phone while waiting in line is our default. Stopping mid-sentence while reacting to vibrations real or imagined is common place. These distractions push us further away from the abundance of life God desires for us to receive. We spectate rather than create. Live on the side-lines instead of get in the game.
But God calls us to keep our attention focused on Jesus. He invites us to listen to his voice so that no matter where we are, who we’re with, or what is happening we respond to him alone as he lives through us to bless and transform our world. Distractions may never go away but in their midst we can offer a broken hurting community looking for "the next thing," the transfigured, transforming, risen Jesus. He alone stills the disturbances of our lives, and calms the clamourings of our hearts. He invites us to share his glory by fixing our attention & devotion on his life given for us. So join us today as we explore less distraction...more focus
#4 in series: Addition by Subtraction
Do you remember this "Snickers Ad campaign. "You are not you when you're hungry." Is that you? Are you prone to becoming 'hangry'? Or irritable, or impatient, or easily annoyed. How do you react when your plans are interrupted? How do you respond when someone asks you for something that is more than you think you can give or more than you think they deserve? Deliberate discipleship is asking Jesus to deepen our trust and dependence on him and be present with compassion however life unfolds. It is asking Jesus to use us as he pleases for the purposes of his kingdom at whatever cost. It is asking Jesus to empty us of our plans and intentions to serve the immediate needs of those right before us. As Jesus works in us we discover that God meets our needs in the most unexpected ways for whenever there is less self and more sacrifice, God promises that there is always an abundance for all. We'll explore that today.
#3 in series: Addition by Subtraction
They are found on our computers. Used by mechanics, health professionals, teachers, coaches and employers. Diagnostic tools. Their purpose is to determine a fault, exclude an illness, gain insight, highlight vulnerabilities, explain causes, aid in self-understanding, monitor situations, restore to original condition, promote well-being and improve life. They are gifts in our journey. In our spiritual walk, we also have a diagnostic tool that hightlights emptiness, exposes vulnerabiities, determines faults, gives insight into those deep places of the soul that are needing to be filled. In the face of all that would lead us away from him or causes us to distrust his goodness & love, God comes in our tempted moments...to satisfy, fill, & repair all that is broken, empty, & weak...to take us deeper into his presence & power so that in Christ we receive less appetite & more fulfilment...eternally. We'll explore and experience that today.
#2 in series: Addition by Subtraction
Patterns. The brain is wired to recognise them. From those who can look at a bunch of numbers and see what comes next to those who can recognise a species of bird from its flight pattern. From those who can observe a child's social interaction and recognise they have special needs to those who can spot emerging patterns of growth or decline in the business or financial markets. Our world is full of patterns. Our lives are built on patterns. From the idiosyncrasies and habits that bring us comfort or make us unique, to the destructive patterns of behaviour that destroy relationships and lives and drain our lives of hope. Today in final week of our series "Reset", we see a pattern of behaviour and a cycle of existence that is repeated over and over and always leads to the same conclusion - gloom, despair, dejection and exile. But God, who ordered this world and sets the pattern for living, comes to break that pattern and create a new one that transforms gloom into gladness, despair into delight, dejection into joy and resets hope on a daily basis.
Read the WEEKLY NEWS [here](https://mailchi.mp/c5777df16fc3/bulletin-sep-5108250?e=0f14c6125c)
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
REMEMBER THIS WEEK
Redemption by grace, restoration in love, recreation for joy.
That’s the daily pattern that resets hope in your heart and inspires life in its fullness. It's a repeated gift from a God who loves you and delights in you.
1. What daily/weekly patterns are important in your life?
2. What keeps you from believing that God is delighted in you? If you say 'Nothing", how is that evident in your life?
3. If you could hear God singing over you right now, what song do you think you would hear?
Have you ever come to the realisation that you are lost when driving or hiking, with no idea of where you are? Have you ever been dumped by a wave and can't work out which way is up or down? Have you ever woken up after an intense dream and not known where you are? Losing reference points can be scary, disorienting and confusing. Without good reference points, we lose our sense of direction and what's up and what's down. When life is unsure, uncertain and uncomfortable, when we feel anxious, overwhelmed, or challenged, we long for solid anchor points to keep us safe and re-orient our lives in the right direction. The people of God knew what that was like. After 70 years in exile, they finally were able to return home to reform, rebuild, reimagine and reset their lives. It began with re-attaching themselves to an anchor point that could hold their past, stabilise and secure their present and move them forward into the future with hope. It's that same anchor point that gives us direction today, restoring our lives, reclaiming our hearts and reaffirming our destiny. Let God reset your worship and give you an anchor point that holds no matter how crazy life gets.
Read the WEEKLY NEWS [here](https://mailchi.mp/f8e6750aa81a/bulletin-sep-5104574?e=0f14c6125c)
“He is good;
his love toward Israel endures forever.” Ezra 3:11
REMEMBER THIS WEEK
Worship carries the weight of our past, our hopes and dreams of our future and anchors it in the unchanging and steadfast love of God, bringing a stability, security and confidence to our lives in the present.
1. What would you consider "the best days of your life?"
2. How can the past be a trap that stops you enjoying the present?
3. Where do you see that 'God is good and his love endures' in the life of your Church community in this moment?
A vision so compelling that it captures the heart, ignites the imagination, inspires the community, motivates behaviour, spans the generations, shapes the culture and creates a ongoing legacy that is breathtaking to behold. That's the God-sized vision that David shared, passed on, invested in personally and invited others to participate in. For David knew that all that matters is that people have access to the presence of God and receive the life-transforming grace that alone can give, sustain and bring fullness of life now and for eternity. Anything less than this vision is an imitation of the life God has in store for you. So let him reset your vision and increase your wonder that together we may see tomorrow more enthusiastically, embrace change more confidently, and take bold steps more consistently. It's a gift that will bless the world.
Read the Weekly News [here](https://mailchi.mp/8f4c6f21f36b/bulletin-sep-5100278?e=0f14c6125c)
Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 1 Chronicles 29:18
REMEMBER THIS WEEK
Everything that matters, still matters and will always matter - the presence of God in our lives. A life that is given over to and directed by the Gospel, a life that responds to the generosity of the Gospel and prioritises the message of the Gospel, is a life that will experience and witness the glory of God in the most incredible ways and will lead to overflowing praise of God.
1 What are some words that you hope people would use to describe your life?
2. What do you think is God's vision for your life?
The first step is the hardest. Seeking help when life is unmanageable. Taking responsibility for a life in freefall. Offering forgiveness when someone has wronged or offended you. Moving forward when fear paralyses. Changing direction when life is comfortable. Embracing a relationship when vulnerability is risky. The first step is the hardest. Joshua and the people of Israel knew that feeling. The Jordan River was that boundary between the wilderness and the Promised Land. They can't go around it, there are no bridges over it, and there is every excuse as to why it’s not a good time or a good place to cross it. But there is life on the other side if they will only have the courage to take the first step and go through the river. Individually and corporately as a Church, we stand on the edge of our own Jordan Rivers in life that God is inviting us to cross. It's a crossing that will take courage and today God commands us to be courageous and take the first step. For his promise is when we do, the flood waters will be parted, dry land will be revealed and a way forward into fullness of life will be opened up to you. So let him reset courage in 2021.
Read the WEEKLY NEWS[here](https://mailchi.mp/[xxxxxx]/bulletin-sep-5096754)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
REMEMBER THIS WEEK
Courage is not an absence of fear but a willingness to let faith take precedence over the fears. For courage comes from the presence of God with us and God will never call us to act where his power and promise will not sustain us.