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Spare Change - August 2019

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Don’t worry, be happy," was the mantra of the 80’s.  I used to love that song by Bobby McFerrin, so light and happy, but it's easier sung than done.  Leaving worry behind is a difficult task, even for Christians. Sometimes our worries are founded, but many times they are not.  We worry about things that we can’t or shouldn’t control. We let it consume us until we are physically, emotionally, and spiritually stalled.  Dale Carnegie said, “Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration, and resentment.” I believe this applies to our spiritual fatigue as well.  Why do we feel so dry and faithless? It's often because we let worry consume our life.

I’m pretty sure we all agree that worry is bad.  When we realize this, many times we take off on a journey of freedom from worry on our own.  We think, “If I just try harder” or “If I just refocus my thoughts”. The truth is you can’t do it on your own, because worry is not just a productivity problem. It is a faith problem. Worry is an act of faithlessness. Worry says to God that I am not willing to trust God, instead I am going to mull this thought over and over again.  Deep down we know we can’t change anything, but the act of worry is an attempt to control an uncontrollable situation.

The reality is that worry is not a biblical idea.  We are challenged to be free of worry many times in scripture.  The greatest refutation of worry is by Jesus in the sermon on the mount. Maybe you have heard this before, but try to look at it with fresh eyes.  Open your Bible and read Matthew 6:25-34.

One of the major worries of those in Jesus’ time was simple day-to-day necessities like food and clothing.  Jesus tells them to not worry about these things. In fact God knows they need them and He will help them. He points to how God cares for the flora and fauna of the world and if God takes such good care of them how much more will He care for us, His most precious creation.  Jesus is saying to trust God and have faith that God will provide. While we may not  worry about food or clothing, the same idea is true. We need to trust God in all things. Jesus says that worry will not add one hour to our life span, so why worry. Basically worry won’t change anything, so why do it.  Instead, trust the Lord, who is in control of all things.

He also says, at the end of this passage, to seek God’s kingdom first.  Jesus is telling us that worry is the equivalent of seeking our own kingdom; however, when we put God’s kingdom first we are exhibiting true faith.  This means that the next time you are tempted to worry you need to turn to the Lord. The apostles help us with some really practical  advice. Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7, that instead of worrying we should pray.  We need to change our habit of worry. When we feel ourselves begin to worry, start to pray. The Bible promises that when we give those things over to God He will fill us with a great peace. While we can change very little by worrying we can go to the God of all things and ask Him to help us.  What an amazing truth!

Peter also tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to cast our cares on the Lord because He cares for us.  This echoes what Jesus said in the sermon on the mount. God loves and cares about every detail of your life.  So don't worry, instead look to Him, cast your burdens on Jesus. He can take it!

What fills your life with worry?  For me it’s mistakes of the past, present things that are out of my control, and     future things that haven't even happened yet.  I can control none of these things and worry only compounds my problems. Recently, I have challenged myself to let these things go and turn them over to the Lord.  By His grace, He is helping me to do that. I am much more at peace and can focus on what God wants me to do. This can happen for you as well, instead of being worry ridden, be faith filled by trusting the Lord and giving Him all your worries.

 

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

Spare Change July 2019

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This is an update written by Alexa Minor. Our church member who we are sponsoring in the mission field in Australia through Campus Outreach.

Easter in the Bush!

Easter this year was definitely one to remember! One of the girls who is on staff with me is from out west and we were able to go camping in he hometown.  Her dad who is a pastor came out to the camp and talked to us about the meaning of Easter and we were able to go to their church on Sunday. On the way back home from our fun weekend of camping the tire on the car popped and we were stuck out in the boondocks without reception. I panicked for a few seconds realizing that at any moment some Australian animal could attack me.  Thankfully I realized quickly that I was being dramatic. We put the spare on the care and then realized that the spare was also popped. We were stuck in the outback for days without food or water and I started hallucinating. I’m just kidding. We waved down the next person we saw driving . A very kind lady let us use her phone to call up our friend Michelle and her dad to help us. About 2 hours later we were on the road again with a 6 hour drive back home. I am not sure why, but for some reason I am always in the middle of car trouble. Maybe I shouldn’t be driving? Anyway the weekend was lots of fun! Thanking the Lord I am still alive!

A couple of weeks ago we moved to our new house. Thankfully all we had to do was move our stuff up the street. It was an answer to prayer! Here is  our new address: 251 Hawken Drive St. Lucia QLD 4067 Australia.

The last couple of weeks we started two new discussion groups in one of the colleges called Cromwell on two different floors. We were able to share the gospel with them and next week we will talk more about who Jesus is historically. Most of the girls in the group had never heard of gospel before. If you all could be praying that we would be able to build friendships with these girls and that they would be interested in investigating more of who Jesus really is. Thank you for your prayers! Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.”

Prayer Request:
I have been having a Bible study with a girl named Sienna and she has been investigating more about Christianity. If you could be praying for her to understand Gods love for her and that she would desire eternity.

We have our Mid-Year Getaway coming up in July. If you could be praying for students who are investigating Jesus to come to this event.

Students have finals in a few weeks so if you could be praying for them.

Thursday Nights we go to a college called Grace and make pancakes. Pray for  friendships to form from our time there.

Pray for me as I am reminded of where my true home is. Pray that I would be rooted in Christ and that I would finish the semester out strong with boldness in sharing the gospel.

 

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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