Lent FLOW March 19

March 19, 2018

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

In the darkest time of my illness, August, 2013, I went through a bout of ICU Psychosis as anesthetic medications cleared my system. My nightmares were my reality. "Real" life was more like a fading dream. I was terrified. I was sure that the nursing staff was trying to kill me and hurt my family and friends. Because I was sick, I thought my husband was leaving me and he and my parents were taking the kids away from me forever.  During this struggle, Wade set up a rotation of friends and family to be with me at all times. I was never left alone. Some of you were there and spent the night or a few daytime hours at my bedside to comfort me by letting me know I was not alone. The comfort of opening my eyes to see a loving and safe face was immeasurable.
The Bible is filled with words about the importance of companions: "a cord of three strands is not quickly broken;" "For where two or three gather in my name, There am I with them;" “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven."; Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs rather than singly; "The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God created us for relationships.
Our most important relationship is the one that inspired God to create us—choosing to love and interact with Him. This life verse from Joshua, given to me on a poster my 9th grade year, has been a continual reminder that I am NEVER alone! I have faced almost all of my worst fears and God has proven this verse to be true. HE HAS BEEN WITH ME WHEREVER I HAVE GONE—ALL THAT I HAVE ENDURED! HE IS WITH YOU, TOO!
One other note—Notice that this promise is preceded by a command. Being strong, courageous, and encouraged are all reactions we can choose. They are acts of trust in the Lord who is always faithfully with us, wherever and whatever comes our way.

Diane Anderson

Question: What is one moment or challenge when God was definitely present to help you? (Start a praise list of those moments to train your brain to see God being with you).

PrayerLord, please help us to see you being present in our lives. Help us to choose the holy reaction of trusting courage to battle fear and dismay. May the strength and courage we display give glory to you. In Jesus' Holy Name, Amen.

FLOWRosalie LundLent
Lent FLOW March 16

March 16, 2018

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

Romans 5:3-5

When hardships, struggles, difficulties and suffering comes our way in life, the last thing we feel like doing is rejoicing. So why are we told to do so? Because tribulation is the very catalyst God uses to bring about patience, experience and hope.

“Lord, I want to be an object of beauty,” we say. “All right,” He says, and in come the winds of adversity, not to blow us out, but to make us beautiful; not to sink us, but to strengthen us. The cold winds of adversity, the hot winds of tribulation cause us to sink our root systems deeper in the soil of Scripture, to ground and root us in faith. That’s why Paul says we are not to just tolerate difficulties, but to rejoice in them.

I can look back at the difficult seasons of my life and see how those seasons are the very ones that forged my faith, solidified my relationship with Jesus, and shaped my character. Growth happens in struggle, maturity is developed in hardship, and hope in the Lord is what we hold onto in the midst of it. I love the description of hope as being the absolute expectation of coming good.

If you find yourself in the midst of a difficult season, be encouraged, God is at work. He is working to shape you, build you up and strengthen you so you become the vessel He created you to be.

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." And verse 5 above reminds us that God’s love has been poured into our hearts through His Holy Spirit. We can rest in the fact that, because the Lord loves us immeasurably, we can trust Him through seasons of struggle knowing they are for our good. May we find both true joy and strength in the name of Jesus.
Laura Bodine


FLOWRosalie LundLent
Lent FLOW March 14

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
- Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

A few years back I decided to finally read the Harry Potter series and a quote from Professor Dumbledore to Harry stood out: “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

That quote reminded me of this verse from Galatians. Doing good or doing right is not always easy. So often doing the right thing is hard. We may lose relationships, we may lose opportunities, we may get made fun of but, according to this verse, we have planted a seed. We live in a society that wants immediate gratification and that typically involves the easy choice. God is interested in our long term happiness and eternity.

It may take years to see the fruit of our decisions to do good now, we may not see them until we reach eternity, but the impact of that harvest will be much more rewarding than anything we gain immediately by doing that is easy.

Brett Bodine



FLOWRosalie LundLent
Lent FLOW Mar. 12

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
- John 10:10 NIV

I remember working a job where one of my co-workers complained about everything. He would ask me if I agreed with what he was saying. I wasn't close to God at this time and found myself falling for the trap and complaining right along with him. My attitude had changed. The joy was not there. I was always looking for the next thing or person to complain and gossip about.

Looking back, I can see where the devil came in to steal my joy. Once I surrendered my life to Jesus, the way I thought and acted was different. I now can recognize when I am under attack from the enemy. I now look to compliment people instead of complain about them. Jesus gave me wisdom and a renewed mind. I now have life and have it to the fullest. We must stay close to God and be in relationship with him.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:10-12
Don Mershon

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, give us the strength to stay on guard from the enemy. Let us be strong and courageous for you, Lord. We pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.


Lent FLOW Mar. 9

March 9, 2018

“When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice.”
- Deuteronomy 4:30 ESV

Voices - Who Will You Listen To? - Part 2
The soft voice claiming hope. The gentle whisper bringing peace. I promise you, you won’t understand it. It’s surreal, supernatural.

In all the turmoil it comes and it saves. The voices don’t stop. They don’t quiet. Yet they do change. The words and the orders simply turn to noise. And that one soft voice conquers the others, bringing with it a new concept -- truth.

Recently, when the voices rage on, when I cry out for them to quiet even for a moment, when the need for escape becomes unbearable and all hope is gone, the Truth of God comes and defeats it all.

The voices haven’t gone away, not for me at least. But they have begun to lose their power. The become empty promises, stupid lies. They become white noise and meaningless words. And rising above comes Truth. The words that do not fail. The words that do not lie. They are full of peace, hope, safety, understanding, encouragement, and relief.

Never forget that you do have a choice. The Scriptures are just as alive as the demons, they all fight for your attention and your trust. Don’t let the voices have the last word in your life. The Truth has power over the voices.

Kara Helland


Lent FLOW Mar. 7

March 7, 2018

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
- Genesis 50:20 (ESV)

Voices - Who Will You Listen To? - Part 1
Recently I’ve found I’ve had a lot more time for reflection. Whether it’s in the evenings when I’m forced to stay home from sports practice, in the times I find myself alone in my room, or during the nights when I’m exhausted yet can’t sleep no matter how hard I try. These times alone can be refreshing, renewing, and important. But in the last month, I’ve found they can be equally, or even more so, detrimental, dangerous, and outright terrifying.

Why you might ask? Voices. A lot of them. We all have them -- those self-talk voices that get you thinking about everything. They lurk and whisper, most of the time we barely notice. They tell us all sorts of things and they make suggestions of how we should live our lives. And when we obey, it all seems normal… almost perfect.

But it isn’t always right, most of the time it’s not. As I’ve learned to recognize how wrong some of these voices are, I’ve started saying no. Refusing to obey them. Refusing to believe them. It’s freeing, and it’s empowering, but it isn’t easy.

Soon, the whispering is replaced with screaming. Louder and louder. The lurking is replaced with consuming my mind 24/7. They stop suggesting and start commanding.

It doesn’t shut off - pounding, pounding, pounding. All day. All night.
Escape? No chance.

And in all the chaos, a soft sound rises above the noise; “this is not where it ends...”
Kara Helland


FLOWRosalie LundLent
Lent FLOW Mar. 5

March 5, 2018

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
- Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)

At a men’s retreat in 2008 the speaker told us a story about a Pastor who wanted to send a telegram to members of his missionary team.  He could only afford one word at the time so he sent the word “Others”.

Philippians 2:3 is such a tough verse for me because it goes against everything that comes naturally for me and everything we are taught in our society today.  From an early age we are told to have high self esteem.  Everything in our culture is about me, what is in it for me, doing what benefits me.  We are a self centered country.

This verse turns all of that upside down. As a high school math teacher it can be extremely difficult to esteem others better than myself.  I want to analyze, criticize, and critique everything my students do but it is amazing what happens when I esteem them highly.  At times it is hard to find something to esteem but the looks on their faces are priceless when I give them something positive.  We crave positive esteem from others but we are so quick to tear down in order to get ahead.
Brett Bodine

Prayer: Lord, help me to put others before myself. Help me to esteem others, rather than tear them down; and, may everything I do be for your glory to draw others to you.


Lent FLOW Mar. 2

March 2, 2018

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.”

Isaiah 54:17

I love the band Petra, I have loved them since I was a freshman in high school. Though I am not going to tell you what year that was, Petra did disband in 2006... that should date me enough! One of my favorite songs by them is “No Weapon Formed”; this is the entirety of the lyrics:

No weapon formed against us shall prosper All those who rise up against us shall fall I will not fear what the devil may bring me I am a servant of God
I am a servant of God

When I joined the Army, I would be in a fox hole at 2:00am by myself and terrified. When I was hiding from domestic abuse I was terrified. When my son was in the hospital and we weren’t sure if he would live, I was terrified. I would sing this song over, and over, and over until whatever terror I was feeling subsided, it became my fear theme song. This song by Petra is from Isaiah 54:17

I don’t think the song needs many more lyrics. Do you believe this uncomplicated promise from God?? I will not fear what the devil may bring me, I am a servant of God. Today, no matter what Satan tries to bring you, stand inside of that truth.

Carolynn Yancey

Lent FLOW Feb. 28

February 28, 2018

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” - Philippians 4:8

I recently came across a quote that really resonated with me: “We do what we do and feel how we feel because we think what we think.”

Our thoughts are so powerful. And our human tendency can often be to focus on things that cause us worry and anxiety. We live in a world where we are inundated with instant information and news and, sadly, much of our fallen world is filled with sin and pain. It’s easy to become discouraged, anxious or even fearful.

And although we may not have the ability to change what’s going on around us, we do have control over where we park our thoughts and our focus.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” And in Colossians 3:2 we read “Set your minds on things above, not the things on earth.”

The next time you feel worry or discouragement setting in, take some time to redirect your thoughts to Jesus. He encompasses all that is true, honorable, pure, lovely and admirable. Spend some time in prayer, reading His Word, and in worship and you will find that the key to experiencing joy in your heart is to have the right thoughts in your mind. - Laura Bodine

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gift of your Word. With so many distractions around me, help me to keep my mind fixed on you. Thank you that you are the source of peace and hope and in you we find true joy.

Lent FLOW Feb. 26

February 26, 2018

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

- Psalm 30:5b (ESV)

In my memory, I call my 7th/8th grade year "THE YEAR OF TEARS." I think I cried at some point every day that school year. My Bible Quiz coach gave me a New Testament Bible and wrote this passage inside the cover. It became my first life verse—my first Holy Spirit-spoken promise of hope from the Lord. It reminds me that sadness and grief are temporary emotions that, in a healthy brain, will pass. The context of the entire Psalm reminds me that God is in charge and will bring joy to my heart as I trust Him. He will replace the heartache with healing gladness.

What is one time when God replaced sorrow with joy in your heart and mind? Diane Anderson

Prayer: Lord, I pray that we will remember your faithfulness and trust in your rescue. I pray that while we wait on your gift of joy, you would fill our hearts with hope in the midst of our sorrow. In Jesus's Name, Amen.

Lent FLOW Feb. 23

February 23, 2018

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” - Romans 8:18

I remember many years ago having the opportunity to listen to a homeless man talk about his situation. He was living under a tarp -- a tarp that still couldn’t keep the cold November rain from flooding his old boots. He had no family, no food, and no job. Yet I never saw him without a smile on his face. Content couldn’t describe him. He was constantly filled with joy, believing that God had drenched him with far too many undeserved blessings. I watched him in awe as he spoke of God’s goodness and grace, barely being able to wrap my head around how such a hopeless situation could leave someone so happy. Even now, years later, I think of that man and how I want to live like him.

It’s hard to admire someone who throws a tantrum when things don’t go their way. It’s hard to respect someone who says “finally, it’s about time!” when things do go their way. But when someone takes every circumstance they face and points back to Jesus, it all changes. You can see how people like this stump everyone around them. How could someone praise God for a situation like that? What keeps them going when things seem so hopeless? How can they still trust that their God is in control? It’s supernatural, and we all recognize it as coming from something outside this world.

Today, I challenge you to step back and take a look at whether you’re using your circumstances to point back to Jesus. As believers, everything we face is an opportunity to show the goodness of God to others.

- Kara Helland

Lent FLOW Feb. 21

February 21, 2018

“If we are living now by the Holy Spirit's power, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.” - Galatians 5:25

I remember sitting in a parking lot, tired and getting ready to start my day at the Fitness shop. I saw a man in hospital clothes and on crutches. He was coming my way. My flesh tells me to just go inside to work and not worry about that man. The Holy Spirit told me to go over to him and ask if I can help him.

I walked over to him and ask him if he is doing OK? He told me he was hit by a car last night and is homeless. He had no clothes to change into and was hungry. I told him God had spoken to me to come over and help him. I saw tears coming down from his eyes. He told me he prayed to God to send someone his way. We walked to Burgerville and I paid for breakfast and found him a ride to the Goodwill. He told me that God sent him an angel that day.

I am no angel. I was obedient to the Holy Spirit and let God do all the work. It makes me wonder how many times we miss out on God's plans for us to help others.

Don Mershon

Prayer: Lord teach us to focus on You. Let the Holy Spirit guide us in our lives everyday. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Lent FLOW Feb. 19



I am not sure how one would go about picking a favorite verse; that would be like trying to pick a favorite praise hymn, which we all know is impossible. To narrow it down, I picked the verse that is really my favorite way that the Lord has been working on me lately:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” - 2 Timothy 1:7

Since I was a child I have been a Presbyterian, a believer; and as a child it was very clear to me that I was weak -- “I am weak, You are strong” “I do nothing without You” -- The message that we are sinners and the message that we are weak is throughout the Bible. By the time I was 8 I already knew I was weak, but that didn’t come from my experience with scripture; in fact, the first time I decided I was weak and afraid, I had never even been to church. At 5 there was fighting in my home and I wouldn’t say or do anything because I was scared. In hiding and not saying anything, I decided that I was powerless and was never going to be able to stand up for what I believed. Even today I catch myself hiding, I won’t say what I am thinking, or be assertive in a group about what I think is right.

This year the Lord has shown me that the feelings I have of being weak or powerless may never go away. That is why there is so much assurance about not being afraid in scripture. And I don’t think He necessarily wants those feelings to go away, why would we seek the Lord if we had power? Jesus makes us a very powerful promise in Acts 1:8a “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you...” If you are a believer you received power from the Holy Spirit when you received the Holy Spirit; so now we have power. Now you have power.

I don’t know about you, but for me to say, “I have power” felt like blasphemy, how dare I claim that I have power. The verse says, “God has given you a spirit of power.” And we are commanded to claim that spirit of power. Isaiah 41:10, “Do not be afraid,” is not a suggestion. We give ourselves permission to not disciple others, or to not obey commandments when we don’t own that the Holy Spirit has given us power; we live as being too weak, or too small, or unable to do what God has called us to do.

Carolynn Yancey

1.What has God called you to that you avoid because of fear?
2.How does having a spirit of power effect the circumstances you are dealing with?
3.What new promises will you make to God in light of His promise to you?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us Your spirit of power and love; continue to fill us with that power. Thank you that we don’t have to be weak or afraid. I pray that you remind me that I have a spirit of power, that I can do what you have commanded, and show me ways to make a difference with the people around me.

Lent FLOW Feb. 16

February 16, 2018

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6

During my early years of ministry the youth director I was working under did some team building exercises with her junior high leaders. She had six of them stand across from each other and ran up to the top of the jungle gym and fell over backward. The kids arms gave way right away and she fell straight to the ground! After a brief moment to collect herself she rearranged them a bit and told them to catch her and she went up and did it again! This time, though, they caught her.

We then were partnered up with someone and one of us had our hands tied behind our back and the other was blindfolded. We went on a treasure hunt in the playground and the person who was blindfolded had to listen carefully to precise commands as we picked up different pieces of treasure.

Today’s verse is about continuing to entrust our hearts and our wills to God. Trust implies that we are giving ourselves to God. It is nice to know that when we step out in faith God will catch us and lead us by His word and Spirit.

-- Pastor Mike Conan Prayer: Lord teach me to trust you everyday. Help me to be open to taking risks

and use me for your purposes in this world.

Lent FLOW Feb. 14

February 14, 2018

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” - Romans 1:16

Michelle and I etched ROM 1:16 into the concrete of our first house. We picked that verse because we wanted to make a difference in our neighborhood. But we were aware that we ourselves were not the hope of the community, the gospel (the good news of Jesus) that we would share can and does change the world, one person at a time.

It is freeing to realize that the gospel in and of itself has power. Power to deliver people from their biggest struggles into the victory of Jesus Christ. The gospel has power to bring hope, even when the struggles and problems of the world seem overwhelming, Jesus is working for good in the lives of those who receive Him and one day Jesus will bring complete deliverance and healing to this world.

The power of the gospel frees us to live and share boldly, rather than cower in shame. This verse reminds us that this salvation is not exclusively for the people whose families already know the Lord, but Jesus is available to everyone. Our role is to simply trust the power of the gospel to save people. We share with others and testify to how the gospel impacts us and then we let the gospel change lives as people respond to it!

Pastor Mike Conan

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust and unleash the power of the gospel in my own life. Show me what you have delivered me from and what you are delivering me into. Then, help me to boldly share your gospel with others.

Advent Flow #25 - NAME OF GOD: Immanuel, Emmanuel

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,    and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).”

- Matthew 1:22-23

 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

- Isaiah 7:14

NAME OF GOD: Immanuel, Emmanuel

by Mike Conan


Merry Christmas Everyone! 

Most of us will have family come into town or we will go and be with our family on Christmas. We leave the comforts of home to invade someone else’s space for a time of relationship and enjoyment. If we are returning to our parent’s home, there is often a strange feeling of being home and yet simultaneously not at home. This is a perfect example of what the first Christmas was like — God leaving the heavens and coming to the world He had created. The Apostle John tells us that “He came to His own”, meaning that Jesus was not only the creator of the universe, but the personal God of the people on earth.   

Immanuel (also spelled Emmanuel) means, as Matthew tells us, God with us. It is the centerpiece of the Christmas story. The invisible, Spirit, sovereign, all powerful force of the universe, took on flesh and dwelt among us. Until this moment, God had revealed Himself primarily to humanity in the scriptures and through His Spirit’s work in the lives of individual men and women. In this moment in history, Jesus came and tabernacled with us (set up his tent with us.) 

I cannot explain the marvelous mystery of the God-man coming to dwell on earth. In my mind I cannot fully understand how Jesus was fully God and at the same time fully human. In fact, throughout history anyone who has tried to explain in detail how Jesus could fully embody the Godhead characteristics and human characteristics at the same exact time has been labeled a heretic and booted out of the church. Inevitably, one would downplay his humanity or downplay His divinity in order to explain how the two could come together. I believe that this mystery is a gift from God to inspire worship and humility as we reach the end of human explanation and continue to dwell in divine inspiration.   

By His taking on Flesh, we have the ultimate revelation of God. Not just in a moment in history, a vision or an inspired word, but He became an actual person to live fully with humans for three years [the time of His ministry]. If one wants to know who God is and who God calls us to be, one needs to look at Jesus. 

In this name, and in this season, we are reminded that God is personal and His plan was to reveal Himself to us personally. Yet, the story does not end there as God is also “with us” today in the personal presence of Holy Spirit. In Holy Spirit the loving, joyful, powerful presence of God dwells with us for eternity! (Matthew 28:16-20)


Is Jesus home in my life and heart?

How has the mystery of ‘God with us’ impacted your life?

How does the love and humility of God becoming human inspire you?

Prayer: Immanuel, thank you for revealing yourself to me. Thank you for showing yourself to the world you had created. Help me to see your presence in my world today and every day.

FLOWFLOW StudyAdvent 2017
Advent Flow #24 - NAME OF GOD: Light of the World

“ I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

- Revelation 22:13

NAME OF GOD: Light of the World

by Steve Wells


In the Greek, “Phos” is translated as Light, a source of light and radiance. Helps Ministries has a word study that defines “Phos” (light) as the manifestation of God’s self-existent life; diving illumination to reveal and impart life, through Christ.

On either side of today’s scripture verse (John 8:12), you see the pharisees trying to trap Jesus through the sins of an adulterous woman and a group of unbelieving, doubtful people, who never could hear or see that the divine Son of God was physically there right before their very eyes. Pastor Mike asked a question in one of his recent messages where he talked about Adam and Eve before the fall. He asked, “Did Adam and Eve actually get to know and experience what it felt like to live in a world without blemish; without sin; without shame, before their actions took us into a fallen world?” I’m guessing that they might have but, nevertheless, they chose to follow the path that leads to death. Ever since then, God has had to reveal His Glory, His Laws, His Power, His Righteousness through individuals like the Major and Minor prophets, the priests, and those chosen in special ways for specific purposes to reveal God’s glory. However, God chose to send His Son, Jesus, as the final High Priest, to be the last and final sacrificial Lamb; to be the one divine, true illuminating and radiant light in a dark and fallen world.

If we were to be honest with ourselves, how often are we like the pharisees and the unbelieving people? You know — where we doubt the promises of God and question every promise and call upon our life to the point that we miss the mark over and over again — where the darkness of this world begins to be what our actions speak. Jesus IS the Light of the World. Matthew 5:14-16 says,“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

When we are truly walking with Jesus and allowing Holy Spirit to move us into action, we become a lampstand in the middle of a fallen world. His call and our actions speak an undeniable divine truth — JESUS! He’s the Light of the World. We’re His lampstand and He’s the flame that burns within. GO AND LET HIS LIGHT SHINE BRIGHT IN AND THROUGH YOU!


Spend the next few minutes listening to these songs. What’s the theme? What are they saying to you?

   a) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhumxplTH9I / “Light of the World” by Lauren Daigle

   b) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNwAK6Oox_w / “Jesus, Light of the World” by Third Day

   c) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d17hi1s6Tgg / “Light Shines Bright” by TobyMac

Is there a truth you don’t want to see that’s keeping you from being that lampstand in a fallen world? Take a few minutes to think and pray about that and ask God to take that distraction or hindrance away.

During this season and beyond, in what way can you let the flame of Christ burn bright to those around you?

FLOWFLOW StudyAdvent 2017
Advent Flow #23 - NAME OF GOD: Alpha & Omega

“ I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

- Revelation 22:13

NAME OF GOD: Alpha & Omega

by Carolynn Yancey

"Yahweh" by Carman

The church choir at the the church I grew up in sang a version of this song every year at Christmas and I have never been able to hear the names for God without singing this song in my head. I love the lyric: “Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End.”

We often take for granted knowing the definition when we hear the name for God, Alpha and Omega. We know that God is all infinite, all encompassing, and we breeze right through what that means without much examination.

Today let’s explore what it really means that God is the Alpha and the Omega, or the beginning and the end. The Alpha part is my favorite part to think about, though I usually liken it to being someone in charge or the leader - as an adjective. In the context of the noun, as God is Alpha, the beginning, He the first in a sequence of things, He is the start, The Creator.

I don’t know about you, but I love the beginning of things. A new project, the beginning of a vacation, the first bite of my meal, weddings, the first time wearing my new outfit. How often do we look at “Alpha” and get excited and looking forward to what is to come? What are you beginning that you’re excited about?

There is a similarity in the way I look at God the Alpha, I LOVE His beginning’s… promises of new life, a fresh start, a new outlook, a new relationship. I love that He is the creator of all things, He is the source of the beginning. He is creating us newly, doing new works in us, refreshing our minds. He miraculously heals us, giving us a new beginning at life! He is the beginning of something new! Wow! I couldn’t get more excited!

Make a list of all the things and people God has created for you and your life.

I think we should stop this devotion right here so we can just go about the rest our day thinking about all the blessings in the beginnings… Just kidding, but really, who wants to shift gears and think about the OMEGA, or the END of something… of your favorite show on Netflix? You are there getting ready to select play, and you see there are no more episodes, it’s the last one!! Don’t you hesitate and question your timing?! Instantly, aren’t you so sad, and maybe a little panicked?

We don’t want things to end, relationships, an era, good weather, vacation. Pause for moment and listen to the emotions and the thoughts that come up for you when you think about something being the end.

Webster’s dictionary says, “The limitation that indicates full extent.” all used up, none left, no more, all out, or all gone. No wonder we don’t want to talk about the end! It’s so definitive, there is no possibility for anything new or anything else to come after that. It is impossible once you come to the end of your bag of chips, to eat another chip - you are left with no choices.


Looking at our lives through the lens that God is the END of everything gives us the opportunity to drastically change our perspective of how we see the end, but only when we remember that He is also the Alpha.

You see if the One who ends it is also the One who begins it, we do not have to be sad about the end of anything. We know that the One who ended it it is also the One who began it!

What If you look at God as the Omega and the Alpha? (The end and the beginning?) Hopefully you can start to see the end as an opportunity for God to start again! 

Have you been dancing? I am an awesome dancer(lie); Neil and I love to go out to do a little country 2-step on the weekends, and visually the pattern of God being the Omega & Alpha sort of reminds me of the 2-step.

1st step a little slow, second step slow, third step is faster… right on the ‘heels’ of the step before it. Once that movement starts and then ends, the next step is faster and immediately the next beginning is right there.

God doesn’t leave us in the End, or with no more, or all used up. How many times do we use those words? I don’t have any more energy, there’s no time left, I don’t have enough experience. While there may be an end to your day, God is the beginning of energy. And while there may be a short to your fuse, God creates a new passion in you! While it may be the end of your patience, God is the beginning of patience and He is right there with renewed patience for you! He is right there, after the Alpha is the Omega, and then the Alpha and Omega, and He never stops.


In what ways does this conversation change how you can approach “the end” of things in your life? What ways does it change how you approach “the beginning” of things?

Isaiah 43:19a says, “see I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Do you see the new things that God is doing in your life? If not, ask him to reveal them to you.

Where is it you would really like to see a new beginning? Is there anything that you need to seek forgiveness for? Do not fear, God is right there with a new beginning for you.

PrayerDear God, we can look and see the evidence of your new beginnings all around us, often times struggling to identify them in our lives. Please forgive us for any place that we see things ending and are bitter, discouraged, or sad.

Remind us moment by moment that you are the Alpha and the Omega, that you have began a new work in us, and that you are always creating newly in and for us.

FLOWFLOW StudyAdvent 2017
Advent Flow #22 - NAME OF GOD: Bread of Life

““For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘always give us this bread.’ Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’”

– John 6:33-35 NIV

NAME OF GOD: Bread of Life

by Don Mershon


Jesus says three major things here. First, he recognizes the hunger for bread beyond physical bread. "They said to him, 'Lord, give us this bread always.'" This was a mixed crowd of believers and unbelievers, but when they understood that Jesus was talking about something other than physical bread, they immediately wanted it.

This is true all over the world. You cannot go anywhere on earth today without finding people hungry for something more than a full belly and a comfortable home. There is a hunger in us that cries for more. Jesus recognized this. Everyone in this crowd wanted whatever it was he was offering. They did not understand what it was, but they wanted it. They sensed there was more to life than bread.

Then Jesus tells the crowd plainly (verse 35) how to eat and partake of the bread of life. He uses two simple things everyone understands: hunger and thirst: "He who comes to me shall never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." What do you do when you are hungry? You eat, and if you keep on eating regularly you will never hunger. What do you do when you are thirsty? You drink, and if you keep on drinking you will never thirst. What Jesus is saying is that if you're hungry, then eating him is coming to him. "Coming" means to see him as present in your life and expecting him to do something -- to act, to comfort, to strengthen, whatever it is. "Eating" means a sense of expectancy that he is available and that he will act. "Drinking" is believing, listening to what he has to say and obeying it. If you keep on doing that you will never thirst. The more you have Jesus in your life, the less hungry and thirsty you will be because you will not have the need to look for other things and people to fill you up.

PrayerThank you, Our Father, for the bread that came down from heaven, that Bread of Life which is available to us, Lord, which you have offered to give us, and do give us, as we believe in you. Teach us what these words mean. In Jesus' name, Amen.

FLOWFLOW StudyAdvent 2017
Advent Flow #21 - NAME OF GOD: The Truth

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 8:31-32 NIV

NAME OF GOD: The Truth

by Rosalie Lund


I love puzzles; I like putting things in order, figuring things out through logic, finding the true answer. Also, as a kid (and sometimes now) I loved watching game shows. One of my favorites was To Tell The Truth. This was the show where a panel of celebrities (usually comedians) would try to discover which of 3 contestants were telling the truth about their occupation, distinction, or talent by asking them questions and deciding whom to believe. That’s a big part of what we do all the time in life. And it’s what each of us must do in making a decision about Jesus.

What is Truth?

  • Some dictionary definitions:
  • that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
  • a fact or belief that is accepted as true.
  • the body of real things, events, and facts
  • actuality; the state of being the case
  • fact

How does this apply to Jesus?

Randy Alcorn says, “Truth is far more than a moral guide. Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t say He would show the truth or teach the truth or model the truth. He is the truth. Truth personified. He is the source of all truth, the embodiment of truth and therefore the reference point for evaluating all truth-claims.” (Jesus.com How is Jesus “the Truth”?)

So, Jesus is our reference point for knowing the truth because He is the Truth. Truth is that which conforms to reality as it is perceived by God. He knows all things exhaustively, and so we can trust anything He reveals in Scripture. Truth is not defined by our own subjective standards; it is determined by the Source of truth Himself.

What does Scripture reveal to us?

Psalm 119:142 says, “Your law is the truth.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminded His listeners of several points of the Law, then said, “But I say unto you . . .” (Matthew 5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44), thereby equating Himself with the Law of God as the authoritative standard of righteousness. In fact, Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17). Jesus, as the incarnate Word of God (John 1:1) is the source of all truth.

In these words, Jesus was declaring Himself the great “I Am,” the only path to heaven, the only true measure of righteousness, and the source of both physical and spiritual life. He was staking His claim as the very God of Creation, the Lord who blessed Abraham, and the Holy One who inhabits eternity. He did this so the disciples would be able to face the dark days ahead and carry on the mission of declaring the gospel to the world. Once they understood the truth of His words, they became changed people, and the world has never been the same.

So how do we follow Him today?

The same way the disciples did. They heard the words of Jesus and believed them. They took His words and obeyed them. They confessed their sins to Jesus as their Lord and God. They believed that He died to take the punishment of their sins and rose from the dead to give them new life. They followed His example and command to tell others the truth about sin, righteousness, and judgment. When we follow Him in this way, we can be assured of following Him all the way to heaven. (Source: gotquestions.org/way-truth-life)

Ponder these things in your heart:

How will I -

  • Hear the words of Jesus?
  • Believe and obey Jesus’ words?
  • Confess my sins to Jesus (God)?
  • Follow Jesus’ example?
  • Tell others the Truth?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to show us the Truth that you are. Allow Holy Spirit to guide us into that Truth, and help us to believe and obey so that we may live free from guilt and shame. Lead us to where we can show others the Truth that is You, Jesus. Amen.

FLOWFLOW StudyAdvent 2017