Calm Down

Isaiah 7:3-4
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, 4 and say to him:  ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted…

Ahaz has a problem:  there are two kings talking about combining efforts to go to war against him.  The people and the king were all afraid.  They were preparing for war and it didn’t look good for them.  The Lord tells Isaiah to go find Ahaz and tell him to listen and be quiet, calm down and don’t be afraid. 

I couldn’t imagine having problems this big.  He was not only worried for himself but also for his people.  When you read this chapter, God is telling him that his problems aren’t as big as he thinks they are.  The Lord says that the other kings are dying embers.  Isaiah is to remind Ahaz that, as long as he is faithful, the Lord is with him.

The same is true today.  Our problems may seem big, especially as we are going through them.  God has promised us that He will be there for us.  God is bigger than all our problems.  When it seems our problems are piling up on us, and we don’t know what to do, then take this advice. Listen to God, be quiet, and don’t be afraid.  God is with us, and He is waiting for us to ask Him to help.
Gary D.

Collins' Commentary

Paoli Church of Christ | 219 Stucker Street, Paoli, IN, United States 

          Welcome to “Son Shine!” Each week we want to highlight the what’s going on here @ Paoli. I love tools, just don’t tell Melanie how many ladders I have accumulated over the years. Lee mentioned tools at the beginning of his lesson Wednesday night. I have one very special tool… it drills, it cuts, it shapes, and it sands. That tool is, of course, the Bible.  It drills through the hardest of hearts, it cuts away the old habits we develop, it shapes us into what we need to become, and it sands and smooths us to become more like Jesus. The church here at Paoli helps us in the same way. Being part of the congregation helps in molding, shaping, and helping us become what we need to be. Checking our bulletin, we find several opportunities to “fine tune” our abilities. Please check those out, Covid presents challenges, but also opportunities.  Remember, that plate of food, the trip to the grocery, or just an errand is a great way to help someone.

          Our weekly Bible question is taken from the Wednesday night online class. What was your greatest takeaway from the Wednesday night lesson?

          Don’t forget to check your bulletin for opportunities to serve.  Remembering “Members In Need” is a great way to accomplish this work of the church. A call, text, or a card is all it takes. This work of the church was set up that we might better care for our own members, so when you know of a need of one of our members, please contact Lee who is our contact person for the time being.  When you have something to share with the congregation, please let me know. You may email me @ bhounshell@svalley.k12.in.us or you may call or text @ 1/812/653/3139.

 REMEMBER… KEEP PRAYING, KEEP WORKING, AND KEEP LOOKING UPWARD. It will all be worth it one day.

 Essentials List:

Masks                   soap                      body wash                          face wash

Deodorant          shampoo             conditioner                         toothbrush

Toothpaste         dental floss         body wipes                         comb

Hair ties                lotion                    athlete’s foot cream        nail files


Feminine hygiene items

Rejoice In the Lord

When Jesus came to this earth, born to Joseph and Mary, angels proclaimed His birth. As shepherds were watching over their herds in the night, they witnessed a magnificent sight and heard the great news. An Angel appeared before the shepherds and said these words to them: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:9,10). Joy has been associated with Jesus Christ from the very beginning. Jesus was brought to this earth to bring us Joy. Joy for this life and in the life that follows.

I know there are times when life can seem anything but joyful. Things happen to us that we would rather not happen. We go through experiences which do not bring joy to our lives. While that is true, if we look beyond those times, if we look at our lives as a whole, we can see many times of joy.

Satan wants to clutter our thoughts with times of sadness, and he wants us to focus only on those bad times. Worse than that, Satan wants us to blame God for the bad things that happen in our lives. He wants us to believe that God is not there taking care of us. Satan wants us to think that the life of Jesus did not bring great joy. Satan wants us to think of sadness when we think about God and following Him.

Satan is lying to us, telling us that God is about sorrow. Nothing is further from the truth! God is joy. He brings us joy. Jesus has brought joy to the world. In one of the most obvious ways, Jesus brings us joy because we are connected back to God, the Father, through Him. For us to enjoy this connection to God, we must first connect to Jesus. Connecting to God is how we obtain the most satisfying joy possible.

Since we are connected to God, we know that we are not alone as we go through this life. When those bad times, which do not bring joy, come upon us, we know we have the Master and Creator of the universe on our side. Even though we must go through those hard times, we can endure those times of struggle because of Christ. We can see the ways God has taken hard times, turned them around, and made times of joy come from them.

Maybe we went through something which brought us to a place, physically or mentally, or both, where we think we would have been happier if we did not go through it. However, God can use those roadblocks, set up by Satan, to make great things happen for us.  Through those times of grief, if we are with God, joy is waiting on the other side.

Those things only happen because God is in control. We must be able to see Him working for us. If we see Him working for us, we can, and should, allow Him to work through us and in us. When we submit to God and allow Him to work in us, we can see the joy in places that most people cannot. Our eyes are opened to a greater, fuller, and more meaningful reality.

Joy in things of a physical nature cannot last because material things do not last. God, however, is eternal. The joy He brings is not something which is here today and gone tomorrow because what brings us the most joy is not temporary - it is eternal. With God being eternal His ways endless, and His connection with us eternal, the joy He brings can only be eternal.

 Our relationship with God and the joy that brings is only temporary when WE make it temporary. While we are here on earth, we can choose. If we choose God and stay with Him until the end of life, our joy will be eternal. We can decide to go the way of the world, put our focus on the world, and try to extract what little joy we can from it, but this will only lead to joy which is temporary and, in the end, disappointing. 

Heaven is a place of endless joy and happiness. Jesus has made it possible for us to be in that place of eternal happiness. We must understand that our happiness in God, in Christ, starts here in this life. We can find joy knowing that God is taking care of us, helping us through this life. He is leading us through the hard times brought on by sin. He is taking us through those hard times and leading us to a place of joy.

 Let God have control, and we can say what Paul says in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” We can find happiness, but it is not in the things of the world. Happiness is found in our relationship with the Father, with Christ, and with the Holy Spirit.

Gary's Teen Talk

Let the Son Shine In