Hi Five Oakers,
My oldest son and his wife just had a baby girl last night, Navy Noelle Williams.
There's a lot of celebration in the family right now. Lois is there, so today we FaceTimed as she held Navy Noelle, and I just stared, commented on every face she made in her sleep, talked about how beautiful she is... I'll spare you any more details.
For all the joy a new life brings, new fears and worries also come into the picture. For a first-time mom and dad, fear of not measuring up as a parent sneaks in. The first time they watch the news again, they'll feel it differently. They'll sense the danger in a new way. And, thankfully, right now they have no idea how many new worries and fears they will face over this little one.
These are, what you might call, good fears to have. But a friend was recently diagnosed with a serious cancer. She's not experienced that good kind of fear. Courage is hard to come by for her, and also for many of you who are facing significant challenges.
We're looking at Joshua 1 this weekend in our new series, The Promised Land. It's about fear and courage.
To everyone around him, Joshua was a courageous man. And if put on the spot, if he had to be totally transparent, he would tend to agree with them. He was, quite simply, one of the most courageous men he knew because he trusted God more than anyone he knew. It's why he lived to see the day of the crossing into Jordan. It's why God picked him to lead.
But now, with Moses dead and God giving him orders directly--orders to lead Israel in conquering the Promised Land--he would have to also admit, he was very afraid.
God knew it, of course. So three times God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. But that's not all he said. He spoke to Joshua's deepest fears.
Joshua's fears are our fears. What God tells Joshua he tells us as well.
That's what we're exploring this weekend.
So make every effort to be with us this weekend.
Blessings, Pastor Henry