James: Mercy Triumphs – Week One Reading

Attention, women of Oasis Evenings!

For those of you who don’t yet have your copy of the James: Mercy Triumphs workbook, we’ve put together a PDF file with the reading and homework for Week One:

James: Mercy Triumphs Week 1, Days 1-4

James: Mercy Triumps Week 1, Day 5

Thanks for bearing with us as we do our best to keep up with the demand for resources in this study! God bless and see you next Monday

Chosen That You May Proclaim – Abram / Abraham

Abram was born in Ur, a major center in Chaldea (Babylon): modern day South-East Iraq.  He began his life serving other gods, (Joshua 24:2-3), but God called him to Himself, promising him relationship and blessing:  “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

Do you notice how many times the word “blessed” or “blessing” was said in this passage?  God meets Abram while he is still worshipping other gods, inviting him to relationship and to receive blessing.  Throughout the Bible, God is consistently portrayed as calling people to himself to pour out blessing.  Do we understand this about His nature?

God’s desire to bless Abram doesn’t mean that everything goes smoothly.  Abram experiences famine and travels to Egypt (Genesis 12:10-20) where, in a display of panic, he permits Pharoah to marry his wife in order to save his own life. God intervenes and returns Sarai to him.  Abram returns to his land and, over the years is drawn into war (Genesis 14:1-16), experiences tension within his family (Genesis 16, Genesis 21), pleads with God for mercy on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18), and endures year after year without a son – wondering if God would fulfill his promise to make his offspring as numerous as the stars (Genesis 15:5).  During this time, God continually teaches Abram to trust in Him. God walks him through a covenant treaty ceremony (Genesis 14:1-12), changes his name to Abraham which means “father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:5) and institutes the practice of circumcision to remind Abraham’s descendants that God voluntarily bound himself to be their protector and provider.

God proves himself faithful to Abraham, and Abraham responds with increasing faith.  By the time he is asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham is able to obey without question, asserting to Isaac, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8).  Abraham’s faith is rewarded by God and, after living for 175 years, “Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years.” (Genesis 25:7)

Abraham’s life was full of uncertainty and tension.  He was asked to do difficult things, and to believe the impossible and through it all he was able to proclaim:

“I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of Heaven and earth” (Genesis 15:22)

God is “the Judge of all the earth” [who will] do what is just” (Genesis 18:25)

“The LORD will provide” (Genesis 22:14)

His final recorded words indicate his trust in God’s guidance.  He was certain that the God who called him and who walked with him will continue to provide for the next generations by directing his servant to choose Isaac’s wife:

“The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, “To your offspring I will give this land;’ he will send his angel before you and you shall take a wife for my son from there.” (Genesis 24:7)

Wouldn’t it be great to face the future with that kind of faith?  Blessings on you today,

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women

 

PS – We had a great start to Oasis, MOM’s and Oasis Evening this week!  If you still want to join in, please let us know.

Chosen That You May Proclaim – Devotional Series

Read our theme verse again with me:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

As we begin the year, our devotional series will center on this verse.  We are going to spend time looking at the stories of people who were chosen by God, and identifying what they proclaimed about him at various points in their lives as they grew to know Him better or reflected on His hand at work in their circumstances.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Samuel, David, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Mary, Peter, Stephen, Paul and John and many others were chosen by God, and proclaimed truth about His character. Their lives were filled with challenges, disappointments, sorrow and joy – like ours.

As they encountered God, He informed their perspective; their words are recorded to inform ours.

I look forward to searching out and reflecting on these truths with you.  As we share their stories, we would love to hear yours as well. Feel free to comment on blog posts if you resonate with what these people tell us about God; let us catch a glimpse of what God is teaching you about Himself this year.   You, too, are chosen that you may proclaim.

Blessings on you today,

 

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women

 

PS – We are hosting the Beth Moore Simulcast tomorrow (Saturday) from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm.  You can buy tickets at the door if you still want to join in or invite a friend.  Just be aware that tickets purchased tomorrow won’t include lunch, so bring something with you.

Online signup for Oasis, Oasis Evenings and MOMs is available.  We’d encourage you all to sign-up on line, even if you pay in person!  See you soon.

 

 

Northview Fall Kick Off – This Weekend

This weekend we officially “launch” the 2012-2013 Ministry year.  We look forward to meeting many of you on Saturday and Sunday at Northview Community Church and hope you plan to join in the fun on Sunday afternoon.  We would encourage you to:

1. COME BY THE WOMEN’S MINISTRY DISPLAY IN THE FOYER where you’ll find…

Our Women’s Ministry Booklet. This publication is a great resource which outlines many of the Bible Study, Support Groups and Service opportunities available for women at Northview.  Pick one up this weekend!

DRAW TICKETS for a FREE ENTRY to the upcoming Women’s Retreat (February 1-3, 2013).  Enter your name in the draw! The women’s retreat is for women aged 13+;  Invite your mom, your daughter or your friend(s) to join in.

Beth Moore Simulcast Tickets.  Sunday September 9th is the LAST DAY to purchase tickets which include lunch.  Tickets are $20 each, and will be available at the weekend services and on-line. The Simulcast is Saturday September 15th from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm.

2. CONSIDER JOINING one of our weekly programs…

Oasis Evenings – beginning September 17  (Registration is limited – reserve your spot now!)

MOMs – beginning September 18

Oasis Mornings – beginning September 19

Precepts Bible Studies – ongoing – contact us for information.

Work out Worship – beginning September 11

3. FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US with any ideas, dreams or questions about how you can be involved in serving, leading and growing with other women at Northview and in the local community.

See you soon!

Kristal, Sterling and Adele