Soul-utions is a carefully crafted worship experience designed to help you on your spiritual journey. We are a group of people who are seeking God's plan for how to live our lives. You are welcome to join us on Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM at Morrison United Methodist Church in Leesburg, Florida. Come on in, grab some breakfast, and experience the love of Christ.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On March 25, 1999, Pope John-Paul II, the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, called upon the world's 404,000 priests to teach the faithful how to pray. In obedience to the holy Pontiff, "The Catholic Doors Ministry" has compiled thousands of Catholic prayers into A Treasure of Catholic Prayers.   The world's largest, most popular collection, a treasure of 3,486 prayers, can be found on the internet.  
The appeal for many people is having ready-made prayers available to them at a moments notice.  This is indicative of many things in our society.  We live in a world where people are used to having things done for them, such as ready-made meals, online and automatic banking, and telephones that can answer all our questions. 
Instant gratification is a way of life for us.  But what impact does that have on us as a society and as individuals?  I am concerned that if everything is done for us, we don't gain as much as if we had to do and think for ourselves.
God wants to hear our thoughts, concerns, and areas of thanksgiving.  He wants more than just recitations of someone else's words.  Let us commit to spending some time in conversation with God.

Monday, August 13, 2012

We will never know what life has in store for us in any given year, in any given month, on any given day.  Severe trials may overtake us when we least expect them.  Sometimes, when times of joy are all around us, a sudden tragedy occurs.  How many of us would be able to confess with the dear apostle Paul these very same words: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
These words kept circling my brain while watching the Olympics for the past week.  So much emphasis is placed on winning that I think we lose sight of an important lesson.  What matters most in life is not winning or losing but how we conduct ourselves.  Whether in sports or in life, Jesus modeled the way we need to conduct ourselves, both in good times and in the midst of trials.  
According to Micah 6:8 (NIV)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
If we live by this we will be able to join the saints who can say the very same words as the dear apostle.
Congratulations on finishing the race and having kept the faith!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On July 15, I will be leaving on a mission trip with our High School students.  We will be heading to Rutland, VT for a week of ministry, fun, and fellowship in the name of Jesus.  We team up with an organization called Youth Works, whose main focus is to create extraordinarily fun and significant mission adventures, targeted to the needs and capabilities of youth, ages 12-19.

The primary purpose of Mission Works is to provide life-changing, Christ-Centered mission trips.  Their ministry philosophy is a relational one – one that has at its core a ministry of presence.  It is their deep desire to create and be in relationship with the people they serve.  “We believe that by following Jesus’ example, loving as Jesus loved and embodying a 'Christ-in-the-flesh' model, we will make friends.  We believe it is in real friendship that we give and receive without demeaning each other or stripping one another of dignity.  The work we do on our trips is focused on the work of building relationships.”

My prayer is that, for the students who participate in this experience, for the staff we work with, and for all the people we encounter along the way, the love of Christ is present and hearts are changed.

As you read this, please pray for God’s guidance and grace to be present in this amazing opportunity. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer is here!

It's summertime and Pastor Karen is taking some much needed vacation time.  I will be her guest blogger for a few weeks. 

Summer can be a great time to relax and connect with family and friends.  It can be a great time to travel, to work on special projects, to read, to play, to volunteer, etc.  For some of us it's not much different than the rest of the year.

Whatever your summer is like, I hope that you will take time out to worship.  It can be a blessing to visit other churches when you are out of town.  And of course, I encourage you to join us in Soul-utions whenever you are home.

Terri Hester

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

“He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?” -Romans 8:32

I read a devotional from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the story went something like this.  Two friends were participating in an urban scavenger hunt-style race. The goal was to solve 12 challenges faster than any other team.  Each challenge consisted of solving a riddle, getting to the solution (by foot or public transportation only), and taking a photo.
As they made their way through the city streets, they found that their gear was generating great conversations with strangers.  Hours into the race, they were on their way to accomplishing the last challenge—what they thought was to take a photo of them doing the Hula with a prop.   As believers, they knew that, if God wanted to, He could bring someone in a grass skirt to them!  Yes, it was a silly race, but they knew without a doubt that God was powerful enough to do anything.

Eventually, they ended up finding a prop, taking a photo, and heading for the finish line.  Upon arrival, the race director began confirming their finds. To their surprise, he asked them where the photo was of them doing the limbo. Confused, they replied, “Limbo?  We thought we needed to do the hula!”  He explained that their solution to that riddle was wrong, and that the limbo was the known Hawaiian dance originally from Trinidad.

They looked at each other and laughed. You see, they had been looking for God to bring them what they thought was needed (a grass skirt and the hula dance) and had missed God’s PERFECT provision of what was really needed.   In fact, they had actually walked by a family of four randomly doing the limbo under a chain in an empty parking lot about 20 minutes prior to finishing the race!

What a great reminder for us all.  In our human minds, we often think we know what we need and we go about pursuing it relentlessly.   But do we ever stop to ask God if that’s really what we should be doing?  He is the One with the perfect plan—the answers to all of our riddles in life.  It is only when we are seeking His wisdom and truly asking Him for direction that will we find what we really need.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Around the world, followers of the Christian faith will observe Palm Sunday on April 1. It is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar and marks the beginning of Holy Week, the week of events leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection.  Palm Sunday derives its name from the palm branches that were waved by the crowds of people and strewn in the path of Jesus, as he entered Jerusalem for the Passover riding on a donkey. They shouted: ‘Hosanna!’ believing that Jesus was the Messiah coming to free them from Roman oppression. 

As a symbol of their faith and devotion, many Christians keep the palm crosses which are distributed during Palm Sunday services and hang them in their houses throughout the year.

What other symbols do we keep near us or place in a conspicuous place in order to remind us of the price paid for our eternal place in Paradise.  I keep a broken piece of pottery hanging in my bathroom that helps to remind me of my brokenness and the price paid by Christ for the gift of my salvation.  My heart rejoices every time I see that broken piece of pottery. 
As you celebrate Palm Sunday, may your heart rejoice with the knowledge of the gift that you have been offered.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lent is a great time for reflection.  It's a time to remember what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross.  It's also a time to examine our spiritual life and make changes to help us prepare for the resurrected Christ.

In Soul-utions we are looking at the last words of Jesus, spoken from the cross.  Join us on this Lenten journey as we discover that those words still hold great meaning for us today.