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Our Current Study

I Give Up: The Secret Joy of a Surrendered Life

Most of us long to be in control—of our schedule, our relationships, and our future.

Newlywed Laura Story thought she had control over the great life ahead of her. After all, she followed Jesus and had a promising new job as a worship leader. Why would God not want to fulfill her dreams?

But when Laura and her husband, Martin, faced a brain tumor, infertility, and a son’s birth defect, she realized she’d been looking for a happiness that comes from circumstances, rather than a deeper joy that comes from God. Again and again, Laura had to surrender her vision for her life so she could embrace God’s vision. And again and again she learned that even in the midst of shattered dreams, God’s plan brought greater joy than she could have imagined.

Now the Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter known for such hits as "Blessings," "Indescribable," and "Mighty to Save" shares her powerful story of finding blessing in her deepest pain. In, I Give Up, Laura explores:

  • How to delight in God’s gifts no matter your circumstances.
  • Why waiting on God is a daily decision, not a step-by-step process.
  • The strength we find from meditating on God’s Word.
  • Why surrendering to God leads to reconciliation with others.
  • How the things we consider to be losses are ways for God to display his glory.

As Laura writes, she no longer wants to be in control of her life. She wants to be rooted in the God who is in control. I Give Up will help you Discover a deeper life of worship, a fuller life of joy, and a freer life of true surrender as you open your hands to God. And give up.

Exuberant Spirit of God,

bursting with the brightness of flame

into the coldness of our lives

to warm us with a passion for justice and beauty,

we praise you.

Exuberant Spirit of God,

sweeping away our limited vision

to breathe vitality into our struggles for change,

we praise you.

Exuberant Spirit of God,

speaking words that leap over barriers of mistrust

to convey messages of truth and new understanding,

we praise you.

Exuberant Spirit of God,

flame - wind - speech,

burn, breathe, speak in us

and fill your world with justice and joy!

Exuberant Spirit of God,

we praise you.

May it be so.

Amen

 

(Jan Berry - modified)

Submitted by Bill McKee

Central United Methodist Church is located in Monroe, North Carolina

Please visit our church website for more information, and plan to come visit soon

Lectionary Readings For Sunday, January 12th, 2019

Isaiah 42:1-9
42:1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

42:2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street;

42:3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.

42:4 He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

42:5 Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:

42:6 I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations,

42:7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

42:8 I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.

42:9 See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

Psalm 29
29:1 Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; worship the LORD in holy splendor.

29:3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over mighty waters.

29:4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

29:5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

29:6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

29:7 The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

29:8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

29:9 The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!"

29:10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

29:11 May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Acts 10:34-43
10:34 Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality,

10:35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

10:36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he is Lord of all.

10:37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced:

10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

10:39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;

10:40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear,

10:41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

10:42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.

10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

Matthew 3:13-17
3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him.

3:14 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

3:15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.

3:16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.

3:17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."

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