Unlikely Suspects Fall 2012
Beauty The Heart-Wrenching
We all have seasons in our lives where we experience heavy pain, disappointment, doubt, and fear. Darkness closes in, and in the depths of our soul, we ask the question “Why?” But something we can’t see is that God is
creating & orchestrating reconciliation and love in a situation that is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. It’s what He does: He brings light to the darkness, warmth to melt the coldest of hearts, beauty to the most marred of souls. He is in the business of redemption and healing, neither of which can exist without captivity and sickness.
at e online Availabl eo.com/31573197 gs New All Thin on Worship ati by Elev
3221 CCLI #136
From the Inside Ou t
by Hillsong Chapel
Available online at
by Hillsong United
Available online at
from Josh Watkins
Available online at http://vimeo.com/38447795 CCLI #1363221
(adjective) /hĂ¤rt/ /renCHing-lee/ /byootefel/
When thereâ€™s so much pain So much depth So much cold darkness & pressure pushing in from all sides until just the right moment When a single strand of pure white light cuts through the dense black with warmth that emanates from its source
During my teen years, before I had turned eighteen, I had lost all four grandparents. I know the despair of death. I know the look of deep sadness on my parents’ faces. I know the quiet fear under the surface. Lamentations 3:19-20 (MSG) I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes... I remember it all - oh how well I remember - the feeling of hitting the bottom. But I also know the beauty of rising from the ashes, the smiles and laughter that eventually show themselves once again, and the quiet fear turned to confident hope in the future. It’s only through God’s transforming power. It’s only through His love. Lamentations 3:21-27 (MSG) But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great Your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.
It’s always darkest before the dawn. When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain. We’ve all heard these sayings before, sometimes with frustration. It gets old real quick. But there’s actually a ton of truth in these phrases. Sometimes we just can’t see it in the thick of what we’re going through.
During the last semester of my senior year of college, I realized that I hadnâ€™t taken the time to watch the sunrise in Florida. I was graduating in four months; I needed to take advantage of the location before I left. But I found so much more than just a sunrise.
I would drive out to a secluded beach and arrive about ten or fifteen minutes before the sun was due to rise. I would just sit in darkness, waiting, hoping...knowing that the sun would rise. Christ is the same way. He is as faithful as the morning.
Nooma: 001| Rob Bell
Available online at http://nooma.com/nooma-rain-001-rob-bell.php NOOMA films are created and produced by Flannel, a nonprofit organization. We are a group of people committed to giving everyone a fresh and compelling look at the teachings of Jesus.
A ten minute th ought-provok
“Things don’t always work out the way we want them to, or the way we think they will. Sometimes we don’t even see it coming. We get hit with some form of pain out of nowhere leaving us feeling desperate and helpless. That’s the way life is. Still, it makes us wonder how God can let these things happen to us. How God can just stand by and watch us suffer. Where is God when it really hurts? Maybe God is actually closer to us than we think. Maybe it’s when we’re in these situations, where everything seems to be falling apart, that God gets an opportunity to remind us of how much he really loves us.”
So weâ€™re NOT giving up. How could we? Even though on the outside, if often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.
These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. Thereâ€™s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are
here today, gone tomorrow.
But the things we canâ€™t see now will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
The death and life of Christ is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. He was brutally beaten and nailed to a tree. The earth shook. But three days later, he would rise and give us new life.
So in the midst of our darkness, when weâ€™re waiting, anticipating, know that God is
creating & orchestrating something that is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Itâ€™s what He does: He is the light, the warmth, and the beauty in our lives and the lives of those around us. His love is neverending and never failing. This is truth.
Monday Whatâ€™s the most difficult part of waiting for God to act? What keeps you hopeful?
Tuesday Watch the sunrise or sunset today. What are you anticipating?
Wednesday When have you been caught in the rain? Is it raining now?
Thursday What is the heart-wrenching situation in your life today? Is the beauty hidden?
Friday As the week draws to a close, look back. Where have you seen love? Peace? Warmth?
Saturday Take five minutes to sit in silence today. What do you hear in the stillness?
Sunday What role does community play in being able to see the heart-wrenching beauty?
UMCGF's Underground: Part I in The Unlikely Suspects