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Oh Taste & See!

And just like that we are celebrating our third year at Hill Crest Bible Church! God has been so good to us and although the last year has had more than a few challenges, God’s blessings have exceeded our expectations, hopes, and dreams. Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” This January, 3 Towne Square became the permanent home of Hill Crest and we are humbled and honored to continue sharing the gospel with our community from this beautiful building that was set apart and consecrated for serving our Savior decades ago. Our prayer for our church family this year has been for personal spiritual growth in each member. As we prayed over our HC family, we prayed that God would reveal areas in our lives that needed some work and we prayed for the will, desire, and motivation to do the work needed and that a deeper faith-walk would result! We want to be a church that reaches our community for Christ and we realize that we must have a strong faith in order to do so. But how does one grow their faith? We know spending time in prayer, reading God’s Word, and fellowshipping with others of like-faith helps us to grow in Christ, but what does that look like on a daily basis? I believe it looks a lot like obeying God no matter what. This includes trusting in God’s plan for each of His children.

I have the privilege of teaching in the nursery. One of the lessons we have focused on this year is obeying God. I say, “Love God and” - the kids jump in and holler with – “Always do what He says!” Then I ask, “Do we obey God even if we don’t want to?” Their response: “Yes!” Me: “Even if we don’t understand why?” Them: “Yes!” Me: “Even if we are afraid?” Them: “YES! Yes, Mrs. Jelly-Lynne we ALWAYS obey God NO MATTER WHAT!” I think that sometimes we use fear to stunt our growth, to dry up our faith, and to hide our light. In doing so, we miss out on tasting and seeing the goodness of our God. The God who is greater than all our fears. The God who gives us strength for each moment of the day. The God who calls us to shine our lights and point others to Him! We finish our lesson with this question: “Why are we not afraid to obey God?” and each child replies, “Because God is faithful.” Lamentation 3:21-24 says, “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”

As we head into a season of Thanksgiving, celebrating, and remembering the birth of our Savior – my prayer is that each of you continues to grow in your faith and purposefully takes the time to taste and see of the goodness of God in your life. You won’t have to look hard. I promise.

Read: Psalm 46

Consider: I can honestly say that I’ve tasted and seen of the goodness of God all throughout my life – and the more I experience the presence and goodness of God, the more I crave and desire His presence in my life and the lives of those I love. I think one of the things I have become acutely aware of over the last few years is just how good our God is even in troubled, difficult, and scary times. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.”

Over the summer months a group of us play soccer over at Central City Park on Thursday nights. We play with our Hill Crest family but we also play with other members of the community. A few weeks ago, soccer started out like it normally does – people coming in exhausted from the day and ready to burn off some energy. One of our friends showed up and wasn’t quite himself, I asked him if he was ok and he told me no that he had just received some bad news from the doctor – he has brain cancer. I looked at Seth, looked at our friend, and asked if we could pray with him – all of us. He said yes.

We walked onto the field and pastor told everyone what was going on. We circled around our friend, laid our hands on him, and prayed right there on that field. All of us. We came together and lifted our friend up to our Heavenly Father, asked our Savior to heal and comfort him, and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit come into our midst right there. We took our fear and our worry and laid it at the feet of Jesus. And then we placed our friend in our Father’s more than capable hands – trusting that God has good plans for him and will walk with him all the days of his life covering him with grace and mercy. We tasted of the goodness of God on that soccer field.

When we got home that night, I picked that fear back up. Have you ever been there? Given your cares and worries to Christ but came back and picked them up? I thought, I’m scared Lord, I’m afraid for my friend. As I was going around picking things up around the house and letting my fear take root again, my eye caught on a piece of paper that had my daughter’s handwriting on it. She wrote a poem in the midst of 2020, and at the age of 11, Gwenn reminded me to taste and see the goodness of God. I’d like to share that poem with you and encourage you to taste of the goodness of our God as well – even when we are afraid. Claim and cling to the promises of God. He is faithful. He is worthy.

I’m Scared

I’m scared, I’m scared!

But I won’t let it stop me.

Lightning and thunder burst!

But I’m diving in head first.

Fears got no hold on me

My God told me

He’d never leave me.

I’m scared, I’m scared!

I’m scared, I’m scared!

Life is frightening

Like the sound of lightening

But I know God’s got me.

I’m scared, I’m scared!

I see broken.

I think I’m stolen from hope.

God sees greatness,

As He throws out a rope

For me to hold.

I’m scared, I’m scared!

Should I grab it?

Or should I let it go?

I say, Let’s hope.

But I’m scared, I’m scared!

Creepy clowns and scary wolves

Those won’t make me frown anymore.

God said He would carry me on wings like eagles.

As I think these things,

“God will protect me,”

Comes to my mind.

I’m scared, I’m scared!

Ghosts murmuring in my ear

God’s whispering I hear:

“You are my child.”

The ghosts go wild.

They leave me alone.

But my God won’t.

I’m scared, I’m scared.

Now I know

God will send out an army

So no one will harm me.

I’m scared, I’m scared!

But now I don’t care

Because God’s got me

No more pain

Now I remain calm

Not scared anymore

Not scared

Not scared

Not scared at all.

To-Do: How have you tasted and seen of the goodness of God? Take the time to examine your life and acknowledge the blessings God has bestowed upon you today!


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