If you’re our guest this morning, I need to let you know that we are in week 3 of a 31-week study of the entire Bible using a book prepared by Randy Frazee called The Story. The Story is a condensed version of the Bible organized in 31 chapters—or stories. It’s Scripture arranged chronologically with a few editorial comments to tie all the stories together. We’re reading one chapter of The Story each week and then studying it in depth through sermons like the one I’m about to deliver–and also in a small group setting during Sunday School or on Wednesday night. The idea is for us to become better acquainted with the story we are commissioned to tell. If you’d like to join us, we still have copies of The Story available in our church library for $10 but if you can’t afford that we’d love to give you a copy. As I said, we are only three weeks in—so it’s definitely not too late to become a part of this and we would be very happy if you decided to do that.
Okay—with that little bit of housekeeping out of the way, let me ask: How many of you are old enough to remember when Choose Your Own Adventure books were popular? They were written for children and I believe they came out about 20 years ago. They were VERY popular in their day. According to Kyle Idleman, in their heyday Choose Your Own Adventure books sold 250 million copies…and for those of you who weren’t around back then, here’s how these books would work. You would begin to read—and a few pages in something would happen and you would have to choose what happened next in the story. You’d be given several options. According to your choice you would be instructed to turn to a certain page. In this way you would get to decide what happened to the hero of the story. You would determine the ending.
Plus—every time you read the book it could be a different story all together. All you had to do was make other choices when asked to do so.
Now—I don’t want to brag—but I actually wrote and published a Choose Your Own Adventure book myself! Back in my youth ministry days we were taking a large group of youth to Centrifuge…and I was looking for a creative way to get them to understand the rules of this week-long trip. So—I wrote a little Choose Your Own Adventure booklet…where a typical Redland teen could see what would happen if he or she chose to obey—or disobey our guidelines. Here’s an excerpt, “It’s the first night of Centrifuge and you are on your way to worship…when a group of teens from another church invites you to skip worship and head for a local teen club not far from campus. They say that at this club they serve alcohol to minors. They urge you to come saying that your youth pastor won’t miss you in worship. After all there are hundreds of kids at camp.” At the bottom of the page of my booklet it said, “If you decide to go to the club with these kids turn to page 6.” When they turned to that page it said, “Your youth pastor finds out what you do immediately—youth pastors always do—and you are sent home at your parent’s expense. He reminds you of the rules. You can’t skip worship and no alcohol!” Now—my little booklet wasn’t all that popular. I didn’t sell anywhere near 250 million copies. In fact only 50 copies were printed and they were free—but they were all read—cover to cover! I know they were because I actually read the book to the kids in our group at our parent’s meeting!
Now—there is a reason that genuine Choose Your Own Adventure books were only written for children or young teens and here it is: Publishers knew that adults wouldn’t buy them because adults know that life doesn’t work like that. Adults know you don’t get to choose your own adventure in life—not usually. Adults know you can’t always avoid the “adventure” of adversity and hardship. You can’t always steer clear of disappointment. As KIDS we might believe we could do that. When we were little we might think that life is totally in our control and we can be and do whatever we want…that we can be happy all the time. But as adults we know better.
Experience has taught us in large part, that’s just not how life works. We know that life is not necessarily a Choose Your Own Adventure book. We can’t determine how happily ever after our lives will be—OR CAN WE? Re-think this with me for a moment. Is it possible that our choices—when it comes to how we decide to RESPOND to life’s challenges—is it possible that our “response choices” can make our lives better or worse? Is there a sense in which life can indeed be a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE? I think the answer is “YES”—and a validation of this principle is seen in the person who is the “hero” of the next chapter of The Story. We read about him this week. His name is JOSEPH.
We are first introduced to Joseph when he was around seventeen years old. He’s the son of Jacob the man God renamed ISRAEL as the forefather of His new nation. Joseph is the grandson of Isaac and the great-grandson of Abraham—and like his great-grandfather, Joseph takes up a lot of real estate in the book of Genesis. His part of the story begins in chapter 37 and runs all the way through to the end of the book. In fact, take your Bibles and turn to Genesis 37 and follow along as we look at Joseph’s story.
When we read these chapters we learn that Joseph grew up in a very dysfunctional home. His biological mom is dead and he’s got three step-moms all living under the same roof. He’s got one younger brother and ten older half-brothers and there is a lot of rivalry because Joseph’s father, Jacob or Israel, loves him the most and everyone in the family knows it. In fact, to show his love for Joseph, Israel gives him an ornate coat—that coat of many colors that I’m sure you’ve heard about—but it wasn’t just a coat. It was a statement. You see, by giving Joseph this coat Israel was saying to his other sons, “Let there be no doubt. This this son is my favorite. I love him the most. This son is going to be the main inheritor of my estate. And by the way, this is not the coat of a working man so my son Joseph is not going to do a lot of work out there in the fields. He’s not going to be doing manual labor. That’s up to you less-favored sons.”
Think about it. It would be like having twelve sons and on Christmas morning you give eleven of them a coloring book from the dollar store and a box of knock-off brand crayons to share but you give the other son an I-Pad. Lucado writes, “Joseph got to go to summer camp. His brothers got summer jobs. He got Armani. They got K-mart.” The fact is Jacob or Israel clearly favored the two sons he had by his beloved Rachel: Benjamin and Joseph—but especially Joseph. As verse 3 says, “Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons.” …and I would add, “…loved him more than any of his other sons PUT TOGETHER.” I would remind you that Israel learned this poor parenting from his dad. Remember, Isaac had favored him over his twin brother Esau—and like father, like son. Israel had his favorite.
John Ortberg says that…when Joseph’s elder brothers walked into the tent, Israel might ask them how the flocks were doing or if they had completed their chores. But when Joseph lifted the tent flap and stood before his aging dad, Israel’s eyes would light up and his face would beam. Joseph was the one Israel bragged about. Joseph got to stay up LATER, play LONGER, work LESS, and get away with MORE, than any of the older sons. Israel knew how Joseph was doing in school. He never missed one of Joseph’s soccer games. Israel knew all about Joseph’s friends…but he was a little fuzzy about these kinds of details when it came to his other children.
Well, that kind of dysfunctional favoritism always causes problems in a family and it certainly did in Joseph’s home. Genesis tells us that his brothers hated Joseph…hated him so much they could not speak a kind word to him.
So—to summarize—Joseph’s house was filled with hate and criticism and negativity and harsh tones. It was not a pleasant place to grow up. And Joseph didn’t help matters. You see, from time to time he had dreams and he would share them with the family. That wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that in his dreams he was always ruling over his elder siblings. For example, he had a dream of his brothers bowing down to him and he was foolish enough—spoiled enough—to share that dream with his brothers…which of course this only fueled their hatred of Joseph. Well, one day Israel sent his WELL-FAVORED, dream interpreting, many-colored robe wearing, teenaged son to check up on his brothers when they were tending his sheep. And when they saw him coming, the brothers decided to get rid of this pain in their necks once and for all.
For SEVENTEEN years they had put up with his being PAMPERED, and CODDLED, and DOTED ON by their father! And they had had ENOUGH! So, they decided to KILL him. But RUBEN, the oldest brother, talked them out of that, and instead they did something almost as bad. They sold him as a slave to a caravan of Ishmaelites who passed by on their way to Egypt.
To deceive their father and cover up their horrific act of betrayal they dipped Joseph’s special robe in animal blood…and showed it to their dad, telling him his favorite son had been mauled by a ferocious animal.
Well, as I said, Joseph’s experience shows us that we can’t choose our own adventure—we can’t choose our families…we can’t decide whether or not we’ll be thrown into a cistern and sold into slavery…we can’t choose our circumstances…but we can choose how we RESPOND to those circumstances.
And these choices can make a life-changing difference in the outcome. So there is a sense in which we CAN choose our own adventure and Joseph’s life shows us three ways we can do this.
For example Joseph helps us to see that we can choose our own adventure…
(1) …in the way we respond to PAIN or disappointment.
When Joseph arrived in Egypt, he was bought by Potiphar. Scripture says Potiphar was the CAPTAIN OF THE PHARAOH’S GUARD—which would make him the equivalent the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. And imagine the PAINFUL contrast this was to the way things had been in Joseph’s life up until then! For the prior 17 years he had been waited on hand and foot! Now, here he is, in Egypt—not only a stranger in a strange land, but a SLAVE! For the first time Joseph was experiencing the PAIN of being away from home, separated from his adoring father, and cut off from all that was familiar. With devastating suddenness, he had gone from being one who was waited upon, to one who waited on others! He’d gone from FIRST PLACE in his father’s home to LAST PLACE in a strange home. Imagine how that must have made him feel! Imagine the culture shock. Imagine having to learn a new language. Think of the loneliness! Think of the anxiety he endured each night as he tried to sleep! He had nothing—no father to protect him—no home—no possessions. Everything he had relied on BEFORE—was gone.
But, instead of being bitter, Joseph made a faith-filled choice. He chose to respond to this “adventure” by trusting in God. He didn’t indulge himself in self-pity—and he didn’t blame our Heavenly Father. No, he faced all this in the faith that God was allowing this for a purpose. In the midst of an unbelievably BAD time Joseph chose to cling to his FAITH in God’s GOODNESS. Instead of complaining, the Bible tells us that Joseph decided to give himself to serving his new master…and he did this so wholeheartedly that he soon became the most trusted servant in Potiphar’s house. Genesis 39:2-3 says, “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered….the Lord gave him success in everything he did…..the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian, BECAUSE of Joseph.” Do you see what happened? In this time of PAIN, Joseph’s choice lifted him above it all such that he became more aware of God’s involvement in his life than he had ever been when he was the spoiled child of his father. When PAIN came to Joseph’s life, he decided to trust God. And, Potiphar saw the evidence of that faith in Joseph’s life and labor. He saw that Joseph was a hard-working, diligent young man—a young man who GOT THINGS DONE! And this prompted him to increase Joseph’s responsibilities and authority. Ultimately Potiphar put all that he possessed under Joseph’s jurisdiction. The Bible says Potiphar “…did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate.”(Gen. 39:6) So, Joseph went from being a common slave to running the household of the top military man in Egypt. This would be like a janitor in the White House being put in charge of the entire West Wing.
Listen! Life almost never turns out the way we expect. Painful times come to all of us. The rain falls on the just and the unjust and when we get to that inevitable painful “page” in our lives we have a choice to make. We can give in to despair or we can trust God and embrace hope. We can become bitter or with God’s help we can become better. We can give up—or we can get up and go forward. And our decision on this…the choices we make when the adventure of life turns painful make all the difference in what will happen next. I mean, even though Joseph’s dreams turned into a nightmare, he decided on the correct response. He could have said, “This isn’t what I signed up for. I may have to work for this man, but I don’t have to like it. I’ll work with a negative spirit. I’ll punch the clock. I’ll go through the motions but I’m definitely not going to give it my best. Why should I!?”
One of the key phrases in the story of Joseph’s life is in Genesis 39:2 where it says, “The Lord was with Joseph.” You see, it was when life did not turn out the way he thought it would, that Joseph discovered he was not alone. It was in a distant land, far from home, far from his father, far from his family, that he realized that Somebody was with him from Whom he could not be separated, and that Someone was God! What if Joseph had not seen this? What if he made the choice to close his eyes to God’s presence? What if he had just given in to despair and quit? There’s a good chance he would have missed his destiny. He would have missed the unique role that God had chosen for Joseph to play in His story…His redemptive plan.
Of course, the truth is that as one of God’s people, He has chosen every one of us to play a unique role in the redemption of the world. When we give up…when we give into pain and despair…we miss out on the joy of doing unique things.
Let me stop and ask…have you ever quit doing something significant when the going got tough?
A show of hands on this one, how many of you ever took piano lessons when you were growing up? How many of you ever quit before you could play like Marilyn? Raise your hands. I did. I wish I hadn’t but I did. It was just too hard…and my schedule was just too busy. Listen friends. Here’s the truth we must embrace: quitting is always easier than enduring. Ortberg writes, “It’s always easier to stop and have a donut than run another lap. It’s always easier to stomp out of a room in anger than stay and do the hard work of seeking to resolve a conflict. It’s always easier to gossip about someone than it is to go to them and fix things. When life does not turn out the way we planned, the option of quitting begins to look like sweet relief.”
Here are some examples. As husbands and wives we all discover that marriage is difficult at times. Well, many spouses think, “I didn’t sign up for this. It’s too hard. It’s too painful. I want out.” And they get a divorce. Others stay married but they give up on the relationship and settle for mediocrity. They think, “I’ll just give up pursuing oneness. I’ll just quit, outwardly or inwardly. That’s the easy way.”
Here’s another example. People want to live on a budget and honor God with their giving, by tithing and being financially disciplined, but when it gets hard they think, “I’m just tired of the effort. I want to buy the new I-phone 5 like everyone else! I’m just going to spend. I’m just going to buy what I want when I want. That’s the easy way.”
Well, there’s the problem with quitting like this. It may bring us temporary relief, but it tends to produce people who live in a PATTERN of just giving up. And every time you face some painful situation and choose to quit it shapes your character a little bit. It forges your personality such that it makes quitting a little bit easier the next time. On the other hand, STRONG character gets forged when you are like Joseph in that you decide to trust God and endure even though you feel like quitting. People in whom the faith grows strong are people who say, “I will seek to grow and persist and be wholly faithful even in painful circumstances that I don’t understand.” That’s the kind of thing that builds great churches, great marriages, great Christians, and great families. It happens when people just buckle down and say, “Even though life has not turned out the way that I planned, even though I’m disappointed in this situation, I want to be like Joseph so I’m going to refuse to quit. I’m going to devote myself wholeheartedly, as the Scripture says, to whatever my hand finds for me to do.”
When we do that, we discover something. We discover that the Lord is with us where we are, even in a distant land, even in slavery…even in some painful chapter of our life…even when a dream has failed and life seems more like a nightmare. If you decide not to quit and instead to endure and do your best you will learn that you are not alone. God is with you! That realization makes all the difference because God helps you find meaning even in your difficulty and disappointment. He grows you…matures you…makes you into a better person. And that experience is a great adventure indeed!
A second lesson Joseph’s life teaches us when it comes to CHOOSING OUR OWN ADVENTURE is seen in the choices we make…
(2) …in the way we decide to respond to the temptation of PASSION.
In Genesis 39:6 it says, “Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.” The NIV translates it, “Joseph was well-built.” Please understand. There is nothing wrong with being physically well-built or handsome. I’m a perfect example of this principle! But with these unique attributes come unique temptations. Now—at this point in his life Joseph had just about everything: power, authority, respect. He was a house servant who had it made: his own private quarters, access to very confidential information, and the complete trust of his powerful employer. On top of that he was a good-looking man who, without intending to do so, caught the eye of women. And because of this, at this point in his life things took a Desperate Housewives turn. In verse 7 it says, “And it came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph and she said, ‘Lie with me.’” She definitely took the direct approach didn’t she! This woman BOLDLY, brazenly, shamelessly came right out and said: “Come to bed with me Joseph. Let’s make woopie!” Many other men both then and now would have been caught off guard and at least momentarily would have felt flattered by such a seductive statement—flattered enough to succumb. Plus—let’s be honest. Life had not been fair to Joseph. Things hadn’t turned out the way he wanted. In spite of his position he was still a slave in a strange land. Life was DISAPPOINTING. And, many times DISAPPOINTMENTS like these lead us to justify our DISOBEDIENCE to God. We say, “God is not holding up His end of the deal. I mean, look where I am. This isn’t how the story was supposed to unfold. Since God has let me down…I’m not obligated to obey His law. I’m justified to have a little fun…sin a little.” I think this is especially true of sexual sin and unfortunately this is how many singles whose lives are disappointing begin to think. They try things God’s way and Mr. or Mrs. Right doesn’t show up…so they are tempted to give up on their Biblical morals when it comes to the pleasures of physical intimacy. I read this week that when asked what is the number one temptation singles face, 90% said, “sex.” The other ten percent said, “lying.” Seriously, many singles think, “I’ve tried it God’s way and it’s not working. I’m alone and lonely. I’m tired of going to other people’s weddings. So I’m going to try it my way. I’m going to have a little fun. After all, I’m not getting any younger.” Singles are susceptible to this sinful way of thinking. But married people struggle here too. Spouses who become disappointed with their marriages use that to justify flirting with a co-worker or an old boyfriend on line. The fact is, disappointments have a tendency of justifying our disobedience. Joseph’s story wasn’t turning out the way he thought it would so he could have gone in that direction. He could have made the choice to disobey God and have a little fun. But, as Joseph got to the bottom of this page of his life he didn’t take that option. No….he made the right choice. Look at verses 8-9: “He refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?”
Now, did you notice Joseph’s tactic? He simply REFUSED! He said “NO!” How could he do that? What gave him the power to make this choice…to resist that kind of temptation? Our answer is in the last sentence of verse 9 where Joseph says to Mrs. Potiphar, “How then could I do this great evil with you—AND SIN AGAINST GOD?” Do you see? Joseph’s FAITH RELATIONSHIP with God was the “lever” that gave him the strength to pry himself away from this woman’s seductive grasp! Over the years in Egypt, his relationship with God had become too important…too valuable to him….to do this kind of thing. But, Potophar’s wife didn’t take “NO” for an answer. Look at verse 10: “And it came about as she spoke to Joseph DAY AFTER DAY that he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her.” Clarence Macartney says, “This was no ordinary temptation. Joseph was not a stone, a mummy, but rather a red-blooded young man in his late 20’s. It was not one temptation on one day, but a REPEATED temptation. An old story tells how when Joseph began to talk about God to the temptress, she flung her skirt over the bust of the stone idol that stood in the chamber and said, ‘Now god will not see.’ But Joseph answered, ‘My God always sees.’”
And friends, HE DOES and Joseph knew this. He said NO to this woman because he had come to see that God was indeed ALWAYS with him. By now—thanks to a painful set of circumstances—God had become more real to Joseph than anything or anyone else on earth. And Joseph was able to resist Potiphar’s wife’s repeated advances because of this reality.
Listen: if you are confronted with temptation like this and resist and then think that this temptation will somehow vanish think again. In fact, thinking we are invulnerable to temptation makes us an even greater target for the tempter. That kind of pride is like painting a target on our chest. We should keep in mind that satan wants the respected person. He wants to trap the person who is quoted by others—the successful individual—the trusted partner—the Godly soul. satan wants people like this to yield to temptation for when they do, everyone notices and this is why it is no surprise that Potiphar’s wife went after Joseph with such relentless persistence. I mean, Joseph was a catch! If she got him, she would have conquered something! But praise God, Joseph chose to say NO. Before the words were even written in God’s book, Joseph obeyed 1st Timothy 6:11 where it says, “Flee from immorality.” We would be wise to do the same when we turn a page in life and face similar temptations. By the way, anyone who didn’t choose to flee would tell you they regret their foolish decision. They regret giving into passion. They regret destroying their family…alienating their children…negating their witness.
So to summarize, Joseph shows we CAN choose our own adventure in the way we respond to pain and to the temptation of passion…and then his example also shows us the difference we make…
(3) …in the way we decide to respond to POWER…
You remember what happened. When he refused the invitation of Potiphar’s wife and fled, she lied and accused him of raping her. Because of these false charges Joseph was thrown into prison. Now…one of Potiphar’s jobs as Captain of the Pharaoh’s guard was to be chief executioner and the favorite way to execute people back then would have been to bury them alive. This was one of the options for those accused of rape. Since Potiphar didn’t sentence Joseph to this horrible death we can be pretty sure that he trusted Joseph more than he trusted his wife. With this lighter sentence, Potiphar saved face and Joseph spent the next ten years in prison—but while he was there his God-given gift of understanding dreams became very useful.
Two of his fellow prisoners had dreams and with God’s guidance Joseph interpreted them. One of those prisoners was the cup bearer to the Pharaoh. Soon the cup bearer was freed and two years after that Pharaoh had a dream and he needed someone to interpret it and the cup bearer recommended Joseph. Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream to mean that seven years of abundant harvests were coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine would follow. Joseph followed God’s guidance and suggested storing the surplus of food during the abundant years so they would have food for the years of famine.
And…in his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream Joseph repeatedly referred to GOD as the SOURCE of the interpretation. In other words, Joseph didn’t call attention to himself—no, he gave all the glory to GOD. And this apparently impressed Pharaoh. In Genesis 41:39-40 he said, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne will I be greater than you.” So, do you see what happened? Pharaoh made Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt. In 13 years Joseph went from a SLAVE in a foreign land to being a RULER in that land…and not just A ruler—Joseph was second only to Pharaoh himself. Genesis 41 says that Pharaoh took off his signet ring and put it on Joseph’s finger. Think of this ring as the platinum charge card of the day. It was the way the king stamped the invoices, the laws, or anything else he wanted to verify or validate with his seal. With this ring Joseph wore the authority of the Pharaoh’s imprint. Along with this, Pharaoh gave him fine garments made of linen and placed a gold necklace around his neck. He was even given a royal chariot! Now think about it! Only a few hours before, Joseph was a scruffy, ragged, and forgotten prisoner in the dungeon. I guess you could call him, “Cinder-fella” because he instantly went from prisoner to prince! Well, how could this happen? It’s because our Sovereign God was writing the story…and as we learned last week God prefers to use unlikely people to work out His plans…like an elderly infertile couple to populate an entire nation. In this week’s reading, the time came for God to rescue that nation…His chosen people…because a famine was coming. He needed one of His people in a position of authority and POWER. So He chose a former slave, an ex-con—named Joseph…another unlikely character in God’s story! God used Joseph to execute a plan that saved millions of people all over the world from starvation. You see the famine didn’t just affect Egypt. It spread to other nations including Canaan where Joseph’s father and family—the beginnings of God’s nation—needed food. Jacob sent Joseph’s older brothers down to Egypt to buy grain. When they arrived they met Joseph but didn’t recognize him. They bowed down to him—remember the dream? Joseph put them through a few tests to see if they had changed…to see if they were sorry for what they did. But after a while he could no longer keep up the act and he broke down in tears and introduced himself to his brothers. Think of it. He is in a position of unquestioned power over these guys. He could have chosen to use his power to have them tortured and executed. When he turned the page of his life and found his brothers at his mercy—the men who had sold him into slavery—he could have decided to make them pay. But he took the other option. He acted compassionately toward them. He decided NOT to use his power to hurt them. He brought them and his dad and the whole dysfunctional clan to Goshem and provided for their every need. And then years later when his dad died and his brothers thought that surely now Joseph would use his power to take his vengeance he told them, “You guys have no worries. I love you! You’re my brothers. Yes—you did be wrong. And You meant it for evil but God meant it for good.”
Joseph chose to use his power to be compassionate…to forgive. And the thing that gave him the wherewithal to do this was the fact that he could look back and see that the one true God Who had been with him…had had worked in all that bad…the slavery…the prison term…God had worked in all that bad for his good and for the good of God’s chosen NATION. He saw that God had redeemed his life at every turn of the page.
Listen friends, we must never give up on God redeeming our story no matter what disappointments and failures we face in life. God is the great Redeemer. He can redeem anything. It’s never too broken…never too late. God can fix anything. He can take make something beautiful out of any life…no matter how many disappointments it contains. As Paul puts it in Romans 8:28, “In ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” And when Paul says ALL things—he means ALL things good things bad things…painful things…disappointing things…health problems…relational problems…financial struggles…marital struggles…ALL THINGS.
LET US PRAY
We believe—help our unbelief. Help us to develop Joseph’s caliber of faith in Your sovereignty. Help us to believe that no matter how bad things look in the lower story of our lives…You are at work for our good. Help us to have the faith necessary to believe that You withhold no good thing from us…because You love us. I ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
You know, in a very real sense, for many of us this next part of our church service is the bottom of a page in your life. You have a choice to make. Some of you may not be Christ followers. God brought you to worship. He’s been knocking on your heart’s door and you have a choice to make. Will you admit to Him that you are a sinner? Will you confess your belief that Jesus is His only Son and that He died for you? Will you invite Him into your heart and life? Or will you close the door to all that? Others of you may have felt for some time that you need to join this church family. Will you do that today? Will you come forward and as to become a part of Redland? Or not? Some of you may be going through a very painful time and you could come forward and talk to me or Kevin about that. We could pray with you…bear this burden with you.
Will you do that…or will you continue to struggle alone. What “Adventure” will you chose this morning as we stand and sing?