Day Fifty-Eight

Psalm 136, Numbers 18‐19, Isaiah 56‐57,1 Thessalonians 4:1‐12

Psalm 136

Ps. 136 – The theme of this Psalm is obvious. The psalmist wanted those who sang this song to remember that no matter what the steadfast love of the lord endures forever. There are many times in my life that this Psalm has been particularly special to me. I remember a time in my childhood when my parents gathered their children in their living room for a family devotion time. My Dad read this Psalm and like a worship leader. He’d read the first half of the verse and then we would respond with the words: His love endures forever.

I also remember a time a few years back when I took a group of students to Guatemala for a mission trip. It wasn’t the best trip. We’d had some problems with team unity and sickness. One night during our team devotions I read this chapter. Like my Dad I had our students respond with the words His love endures forever. For the rest of the trip this chapter became our theme. We looked for places where we saw the truth of these words on that trip. By the end of the trip we had many examples of the steadfast love of the Lord.

Take some time this week to look for God’s steadfast love. If you seek, you will find.

Numbers 18-19

I did not add any notes to this section of my Bible. These chapters deal with the duties of the priests and Levites and the laws for purification.

Isaiah 56-57

Is. 56:1Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. – Justice and righteousness are themes that are repeated throughout all of Scripture. God is passionate about His children pursuing justice and righteousness. He cares about those who are oppressed. He cares about the way that we live our lives. He cares about us pursuing those things that He is passionate about.

Is. 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” – A stern warning is given by God to those who are wicked. There is no peace for the wicked. Sometimes it seems like those who walk with God are living it up here on earth without a care in the world. But, if the truth was known, all men and women who walk without God experience a life with no real peace. They place their faith in things or circumstances or people that will fail them, and therein have no lasting peace. Rejoice, those of you who walk with Christ. While you may face hardship in this world, you can do it with God’s peace and joy.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

1 Thess. 4:7-8For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. – 1 Thessalonians 4 deals with a life that pleases God. Paul begins by challenging the Thessalonian Christians to live a life of purity. I love these two verses. God has called us to live holy lives. It’s simple. And, if we don’t we disregard God. That is a serious thing. Why is it that sometimes we think we know better than God? Why is it that we think that our ways are better than God’s ways? He is ALWAYS worth following. His ways are ALWAYS worth trusting. His ways will NEVER fail you. Don’t fall for Satan’s lies.

Mist Stories from the Woodbury Community Church Web Site

Your Mist Stories!

On Sunday, May 3rd, Pastor Brian Schulenburg began a new series entitled: Mist Stories: The Intersection of Faith, Life and Love. At the conclusion of his sermon each person received a can of Sierra Mist. The can is supposed to be kept in a prominent place where you will see it every day as a reminder that your life is a mist. Then, at some point during the week, you are supposed to find a way to show love a friend, neighbor, co-worker, complete stranger, family member, etc. by using the can of Sierra Mist. We’re not limiting you to showing love through a can of pop. The Sierra Mist is an idea generator that we are hoping will spur our congregation on towards pouring out God’s love towards others in practical ways.

This page records your stories. If you have had a chance to share God’s love in a practical way with someone this week, please e-mail Pastor Brian at bschulenburg@wccmn.org and share your story.

Loving Through Weed and Feed

“I had 1/3 bag of Weed and Feed left over after doing my own grass. So I spread it over my neighbor’s yard as well. He had just purchased a bag and can now take it back to the store.” — Anonymous

Giving Mom a Sierra Mist

“My mom was working very hard in our back yard. And, I was planning to give her my Sierra Mist after she was done working. So, after like an hour of work she asked if she could have water. So, instead of giving her water, I instead thought, ‘Well, this is the perfect time I could give her one.’ So then I went to get a glass, opened my Sierra Mist can and poured it in the glass. Then I stuck ice cubes in it and I gave it to my mom. And, first she thought it was water and she said, ‘Thanks for the water.’ And then she realized it was the Sierra Mist and she thought that was funny that my whole plan was to give it to her.” — Jeremy

Sharing a Sierra Mist With Neighbors

“My neighbors were working very hard also. So my mom and my dad said that I should get a Sierra Mist can, pour it in two cups and give it to my neighbors, because they were working so hard. Then I took a glass and filled it with ice and poured my Sierra Mist in again. I stuck on my shoes and went outside with my little brother. Finally when I got into the yard with my little brother he had the glasses and I was the one who was going to talk. So, I told them about the challenge in church we were having and my little brother gave them the Sierra Mist. Later, my other neighbor was working in his lawn. And so I decided that I would get him a Sierra Mist. And, so I brought that over to him and they were very happy that I gave it to them.” — Jeremy

Hoping For A Mist Story Revolution

“Our daughter was visiting for the weekend. As she began her trip back to her home in WI on Sunday afternoon I gave her my can of Sierra Mist telling her about what we were doing at WCC for the next month with the Mist series. She thought that her church would be interested in hearing about our Mist plans. We enjoy sharing information about our churches with each other and this is just one more connection for us.” — Linda

Baking Cookies for the Hospital

“Linda and I have been volunteering at the Hudson Hospital for the past year. Our task is very simple. We bake ( made from scratch) cookies in the kitchen and then distribute to patients, and visiting family members. In addition, we visit various areas in the hospital to share cookies with people waiting for scheduled appointments.

Most staff members of the hospital know us as “The Cookie People” The experience has given us the opportunity to meet a lot new people,share conversation, help brighten their day, and make a difference in our community. Blessings to all.” — Roger

Hosting a Garage Sale

One family agreed to host a Garage Sale for someone that couldn’t have it at their home. They don’t normally do Garage Sales, but saw this as a way to show love.

Bible Study Invitation

“I didn’t hand out my Sierra Mist – but with it in mind – I invited my new neighbor to BSF on Thursday morning.” – Kari

Sharing Sierra Mist Over Lunch

“This week I visited my sister at her work for lunch. We have enjoyed doing this for several years especially since I retired. Part of the joy is that I get to bring her lunch to her so she doesn’t have to pack one. Her beverage this time was a can of Sierra Mist. Sharing our Mist Series information and some bible passages made for a wonderful lunch even more wonderful for us.” – Linda

Barking Dog Mist Story

One member of our congregation has a neighbor whose dog barked for over an hour after 11:00 PM earlier in the week. After calling the man to let him know that he needed to get control of his dog, this church member went over to his home with a can of Sierra Mist and an invitation to join his small group. That barking dog may have just led to a life that will be changed.

Sharing Christ With A Stranger at Lunch

Two men in our congregation had an opportunity to go to lunch together. When one offered to pay for the other and the person refused, the man behind them in line said, “You can pay for me.” So, they did. And they enjoyed a deep spiritual conversation for about an hour. The man did not receive Christ as his Savior, but he was very open to conversation and there are hopes of meeting again.

Garage Sale Love

Our congregation hosted a community-wide garage sale last weekend. While working the garage sale I had an opportunity to purchase toys for a number of the children who came through with their parents. The smile on their face was priceless as they left the Garage Sale. – Anonymous

Day Fifty-seven

Psalm 135, Numbers 16‐17, Isaiah 55, 1 Thessalonians 2:17‐3:13

Psalm 135

Ps. 135:5-6For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.6 Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. – This is an amazing psalm. When you read it you are immediately struck with the majesty and glory of our God. There is no one like Him. He is the God that is above all gods. And, He will do whatever H pleases. If anyone but God were to have this power, we would have reason to fear. But, God is good. His plans for us our good. That doesn’t mean that we will always like what God does, but it is always good. Sometimes God allows trouble to come into our life to teach us something. Sometimes God allows it to come so that we will be dependent upon Him. Sometimes He displays His power in our weakness. Sometimes He makes us wait. God is good, and His love endures forever.

Ps. 135:16Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.- Recent surveys have shown that the fastest growing category of religious belief is that of no belief. Atheism is on the rise in America and the world. We have replaced God with thinking, reason, science, feeling, compassion, causes, humanism, or any number of other things. Try as those who are mockers of God might, God’s name will endure forever. His renown will be throughout the ages. May we be a people who say, “I don’t care what the rest of the world says, as for me and my house, I will trust the Lord and praise His name forever!”

Numbers 16‐17

Num. 16-17 – As a pastor of a local church, my heart aches for Moses as I read Numbers 16-17. Moses was a man of God. He was God’s chosen leader for the children of Israel. He was one of many spiritual leaders that the children of Israel looked up to. The descendents of Levi were priests. Korah was one of the priests. An influential leader, Korah was not pleased with the way that Moses was leading. He was also jealous of Moses’ position. And so, Korah led a rebellion against Moses. He criticized Moses’ leadership, undermined his authority, questioned his motives, cast doubt on Moses ability to lead to a group of spiritual leaders and those that he led. It was an all out attack on Moses, Moses’ character and Moses’ spiritual life.

The results for Korah and those who rebelled was not good. God killed every one of them. God was not pleased with the attack against his chosen leader. The next day the children of Israel grumbled to Moses and Aaron that the spiritual leaders, the priests had been killed. God became furious. He struck the people with a plague and 14,700 more died. So, in just a couple of days 14,950 people were killed. Why? Because they were rebelling against the Lord’s anointed one and causing disunity in the camp. May we not be such people. It’s important to be involved and ask the tough questions. It’s also important to lovingly pray for and support those in leadership. To aspire to leadership is an honorable thing, and it can also be a lonely path.

Isaiah 55

Is. 55:6-9“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
– This Old Testament passage spells out the grace that is offered to all of us through Jesus Christ in a marvelous way. I’m preaching a series at my church called, “Mist Stories: The Intersection of Faith, Life and Love” right now. It’s based off of James 4:13-17, where we are told that our lives are a mist that appears for a little while and then are gone. Isaiah reminds us that we need to seek the Lord now, while He can be found. We are not promised tomorrow. And then he spells out for us just how gracious and loving and forgiving that our God is. Have you gone to the mercy seat of God? Have you found forgiveness at the table of God’s grace? He wants you to experience life to the full. He wants you to know true joy. Give your sin, your burdens, your grief, your dreams, your life to Christ today. If you’d like more information on beginning a life with Jesus, or want to know how to experience forgiveness, joy and peace call 1-800-NEED-HIM. There are wonderful counselors waiting there to talk and help you experience the grace and compassion that these verses so eloquently speak of.

Is. 55:12-13“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” – What a picture of joy! Where there was sorrow before God’s grace, there is now joy because of it. Have you experienced that type of joy? Jesus wants to give it to us.

1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13

1 Thess. 3:8 – For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. – Have you ever led someone to faith in Jesus Christ? Paul had. In fact, Paul had led people to the Lord all over the world. I love that Paul was deeply concerned for the spiritual welfare of those he had ministered to. I can echo Paul’s words when he says that he and his co-laborers are most alive when they hear about the faithfulness of the Thessalonians towards God. May we all experience such wonderful moments!

Day Forty-five

Psalm 125, Numbers 6, Isaiah 42, Philippians 2:12‐30

Psalm 125

Ps. 125:1-2Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. 2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore. – Trust is a beautiful thing. To trust someone means that you believe in them. When our trust is broken it can be a painful thing. It’s hard to feel the betrayal of someone. The psalmist assures us that when we trust in the Lord, we won’t be let down. He will not fail us. Trusting in the Lord brings security to us, because He is faithful and won’t let us down. He is the safest place to place our trust.

Numbers 6

Num. 6:22-27The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” – Numbers 6 begins with teaching about the Nazarite vow and ends with the priestly blessing that Aaron and his sons were to give to the children of Israel. I love this particular blessing. The first time I heard it was at my eighth grade graduation. My class actually sung the blessing as a song of blessing for each other. It’s interesting to me that this blessing was given by God to Moses to give to Aaron and his sons to give to the people. In other words, God wanted this particular blessing to be given to the Children of Israel. “The Lord bless you and keep you” speaks of the wonderful blessing and security that is available to followers of Jesus Christ. While we may not be materially wealthy, we are spiritually blessed beyond measure. To be kept by God is HUGE. No one is going to take away from God what is His. “The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you,” speaks of the presence of the Lord in the life of His followers. God is watching over us. And, when the Lord watches over us we experience His grace. “the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace” speaks of God’s ministering presence. He is there to give us peace when our world seems shaky. He is near.

Isaiah 42

Isaiah 42 is a beautiful chapter that is ultimately fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Isaiah writes about the Lord’s chosen servant. As you read the chapter look for ways that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in this chapter.

Philippians 2:12-30

Phil. 2:12-13Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. – Paul charges the Philippian believers to live a life of obedience to the Lord. He then goes on to describe what this looks like in verses 14-16. I love his use of the words “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” We need to constantly be adjusting our lives to God’s standards. We need to recognize that our faith is a daily thing. We can’t rely on past successes. We should live our lives to glorify God each day.

Phil. 2:19-20 19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. – I love Paul’s description of Timothy in this passage. Timothy was a dedicated servant of Jesus Christ. You see Paul’s leadership in these verses and the verses that follow. He describes his relationship with Timothy and Epaphroditus and you can see how he has equipped them for leadership in the local church. I want to be this type of leader.

Day Forty-two

Psalm 122, Numbers 2, Isaiah 39, Ephesians 6:10‐24

Psalm 122

Ps. 122:1-2I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” 2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! – Psalm 122 is a song celebrating Jerusalem, the Holy City. David begins the psalm by remembering a pilgrimage to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. He was thrilled to be able to worship God in Jerusalem’s majestic temple. The psalm ends by urging the singers to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. There is a longing in David that the people of God might always be able to celebrate the great city of Zion. As Christians we can celebrate our King, Jesus at our house of worship. Jesus is always present with His followers.

Numbers 2

Numbers 2 gives us the details of how the Children of Israel were to camp in the wilderness. 603,550 men, not including the Levites was a massive amount of people to look after. God had specific instruction for how the people were to camp, who the leaders should be, and where the people were to camp.

Isaiah 39

Is. 39:8Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.” – Isaiah 39 is a short chapter of Scripture that tells a tragic tale. Hezekiah was considered to be on of Israel’s good kings. But, when envoys from Babylon come to visit him, Hezekiah foolishly shows them all that God has blessed him with. God tells Hezekiah that a day would come when all of Hezekiah’s wealth would be taken away to Babylon. His own sons would be taken away to become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. Hezekiah responds with joy because at least in the days that he ruled their would be peace and security. What a sad statement from a king and a father. He may have been one of Israel’s good kings, but he was a weak leader and a terrible father.

Ephesians 6:10-24

Eph. 6:10-20 – We are in a spiritual battle, plain and simple. Ephesians 6:10-20 gives us the most profound teaching in all of Scripture in regard to spiritual warfare. Take some time to read these verses and think through the significance of each piece of the armor of God. I know many people who are in the habit of praying on each piece of the armor of God each day.