Pastor Ginger speaks on the story of a community leader who has a vision and a plan to revitalize his home city which had suffered a devastating disaster. His story couldn’t be more relevant for today as we recover from our own national disaster of COVID-19. The messages are streamed live at 10:30 Sunday mornings during worship. If you missed watching live, each message will be made available on this page, which you can watch anytime at your convenience. The manuscript is also available at the bottom. We hope you enjoy this very real and uplifting story!
Over the course of history, nations have dealt with unexpected crises—war, disease, natural disaster, economic distress or ???—just fill in the blank! Life is not that simple, but each time in order to recover well, men and women bravely stepped up. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
As we enter this period of reopening our nation, for the next eight weeks we will see what the Bible has to say about overcoming disaster. We begin a series called “Rebuilding a City: Trusting God & Each Other” using the book of Nehemiah.
READ: Ezra 1:1-7 and Esther 4:6-17
READ the MESSAGE: The Call to be Brave
Last week we began a series called Rebuilding a City and Nation. It is the study of Nehemiah, an urban planner who joined a pastor to take on the revitalization of one of the oldest known cities. Most of its residents had been exiled 70 years before. While efforts to rebuild began a dozen years before, progress had been slow and the city was still in shambles. This effort would require courage! Enter Nehemiah. He learns some devastating news. How would he respond?
This week we will see how a good leader begins. What made Nehemiah care? How did he determine the steps to take? Who would be his partner? What was he being called to do? The answers to those questions are there in this first lesson. Perhaps this will guide us at our own difficult time of rebuilding our cities and nation.
READ: Nehemiah 1:1-11 and Hebrews 11:1-2, 6
READ the MESSAGE: Be Honest & Follow the Vision
Do you ever wonder how long it takes to get an answer to your prayer? Do you have an expectation that it will be answered? Does God have a timeline? Is there an expiration date? What can we bank on? It seems answers do not always come with regular, expected guarantees! Does this make you hesitate to risk prayer?
In last week’s Scripture, Nehemiah prayed “Give me success today.” And the day passed. Then another, and another. We don’t know his thoughts about it. This week we join him 3-4 months later to see the outcome. Was his risk worth it? I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
READ: Nehemiah 2:1-8 and Hebrews 11:17-27
READ the MESSAGE: Faith without Fear Gains Reward
Do you believe that you can overcome anything? You probably give an easy ‘yes!’ But ask someone in the midst of problems and it becomes not-so-easy. Nehemiah developed some principles for overcoming which are very helpful today. One of them was “looking problems straight in the face.” We will talk about how he–and we–can do that very thing today, with our own circumstances.
READ: Nehemiah 2:9-20 and Luke 9:23-27
READ the MESSAGE: Looking Reality Straight in the Face