Prayer is a Relationship by PASTOR SCOTT SWIX Hope Community Church “Oh, God, please HELP with ____.” (Fill in the blank here—job, wife, husband, health, school, kids, mortgage, loved one, fear of flying, etc.) That’s a very popular prayer indeed, and has been for thousands of years. It’s often combined with “if you do, I will ____.” (Fill in this blank too, such as “never do it again,” “start going to church again,” “become a monk/pastor/priest,” etc.) Yeah, that’s a common prayer combination. Hey, we are human, and usually a bit self-absorbed, and tend to turn to God when are in a spot of trouble. And that’s not all bad. While making “deals” with God is discouraged, God encourages us to ask for help. There are lots of great examples of that in the Bible. Then again, is that the only time we talk to God? If it is, or if the rest of our prayer life is just a short nightly Lord’s Prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” a Hail Mary, or something similar, then we really should ask ourselves, “How does God feel about that?” How would we feel if someone claimed to be our friend, our really, really good friend, and the only time they called was when they needed something? Or, maybe they occasionally call really quickly, like a Facebook status post, and simply say, “I did this today” and then hang up. That’s a pretty one-sided and disappointing relationship. But it is an easy habit to fall into. Most of us tend to want God to be there when we need God, and want God to listen and answer our prayers, and then… well, then we’d really like to get back to our own life until we hit the divine 911 again. Listening to God takes time, and there’s always the risk God might actually say something that I don’t want to hear. It doesn’t take much to admit that God probably doesn’t find that a very fulfilling relationship. The really sad part, perhaps, isn’t that God is disappointed; it is that we are short-changing ourselves. Our own bad habit keeps us from God’s blessings. God wants to be part of our lives, wants to hear about our […]
Pastor Scott Swix
Bless your pet—literally. A Blessings of the Pets will be part of a day’s fundraising and fun at Hope Community Church to raise money for a new parking lot. On Saturday, September 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. stop by with your pet (leashed, socialble, up to date on shots and accompanied by an adult). Along with the Blessing of the Pets will be ear cleaning and nail trimming done by Sam Hyer of Hyer Love Kennel and Lilly Flannigan of Plainfield Animal Hospital. A person and pet bake sale, coat brushing, a pet look-a-like contest and pet costume contest will also be available. Drawings for free pet-related items will take place every half hour. Prizes include leaches, toys, treats and a grand prize of a one year supply of pet food from Chow Hound. Pastor Scott Swix will kick off all activities with the Blessing. The church is located at 7000 Myers Lake Road. For more information or to donate items, visit www.hoperockford.org or call the church at (616) 874-4673.