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  • Pastor Linda Settles

Hurry Up and Slow Down!

My husband and I take walks through our neighborhood. Some folks walk with a purpose. That’s him. Others walk for the joy of it. That’s me. You probably see where this is going, right? We start off walking together, but at some point, he ends up in front of me. At that point I have two options: (1) pick up my pace and catch up to him or (2) keep my pace and let him slow up to my speed. Which do you think I do?


Now, which do you think Jesus does? There have been times when we’ve been impatient. Going out ahead of God. Doing things the way that we think they should be done. The disciples were ready for Jesus to enact His Kingdom, to overthrow Roman rule, to take it by force. Their thinking was way ahead of what Jesus intended to do.


Can you imagine if Jesus were trying to catch up to us? Instead, what we see Jesus constantly doing is walking a steady pace. Taking time to pray to the Father. Finding those “still” moments to just be – be strengthened, be energized, be inspired to complete the mission for which He came.


In this hurry-up world that seems to be travelling at a faster and faster pace, is there anything to be gained by slowing down? Could it be that we are missing out on some of God’s greatest gems because we’re not walking at His pace?


This presents a tremendous challenge for the believer because there is always something to occupy our time. We have places to go, people to see, and things to do. And do them we should. But at Jesus’ pace. In Kosuke Koyama’s book Three Mile an Hour God, he says, “Love has its speed. It is a spiritual speed.”


If we don’t learn to slow our pace and get into God’s rhythm of love, who will we ignore on the side of the road? Who will we miss in the valley or the alley? Who will be hesitant to come to our church because they don’t see the love? May we not be in such a hurry that we miss the holy moments that come to us each and every day. They are there, church. Waiting for us to slow down, to taste, to see, to experience.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;

happy are those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8


Join me this Sunday as we continue in our Lenten sermon series: Be Still: Hurry Up and Slow Down! Join us in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.


How’s your March GLADness bracket going?


March GLADness:


Wesley Fast – fast from food or an activity once a week (if you are physically able), from sundown Thursday until 3:00 pm Friday. You can find more info & daily prayers on this site: https://www.methodistprayer.org/wesleyfast#:~:text=The%20Wesley%20Fast.%20What%20is%20fasting%3F%20In%20a,spiritual%20discipline.%20Most%20Christians%20accompany%20fasting%20with%20prayer.


Take 13! Read the Bible for at least 13 minutes a day.


Churchwide Prayer Line – Thursdays at 6:00pm (the beginning of our fasting). Call in: (727) 731-7163. No passcode needed!


Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times Online Course – Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Ways to help you encounter the Holy One by being still. No link is needed. Just go to:

Zoom.com

Click on “Join a meeting”

Enter the meeting ID: 992 0514 1347

Enter the passcode: 980557

You’re in!


Other things to consider:


Pray and meditate daily


Sacrificial service, experience the joy of serving God with others


Sacrificial giving, give a little above your regular tithes and offerings


Remember, the what you do for Lent is not as important as the why you are doing it. Consider ways that will help you to draw closer to the Lord and commit to doing it for the 40 days of Lent.


Breakthrough Prayer Gathering for those who want to be part of the move of God through prayer! We’ll gather for a time of worship, visioning, and of course prayer on Saturday, April 30, 10-12:30p. Lunch will be provided. Be on the lookout for a registration email soon. Prayer changes things, church. And I’m a firm believer that the church that prays together, stays together! So let’s do this – together!


Board Meeting this Monday, March 28, 6:30pm in the multipurpose room. All members are invited to attend.


Organ Blues As announced, the church organ has died. For those who are interested, we will stay for 15-20 minutes after church this Sunday to discuss options. The board really wants to gauge the pulse of the congregation before making any decisions on purchasing and funding.


May you find time this week to be still before the Lord and soak in His many blessings.


“Be still, and know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10



Blessings,

Pastor Linda

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