This is a guest post by Shereen Marcus – who works as an attorney for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and also volunteers in the children’s program at St. Timothy & St. Athanasius Church.  Find her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/shereen.marcus.  And if you’re interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

A typical Saturday morning in our house includes my two young boys (incapable of sleeping past 7 am) fighting over who gets to do something first, who plays with what toy, who gets the blue plate at breakfast, or something like that… I admittedly started tuning them out.  Meanwhile, in my room, I’m washing my face and making frown-y faces in the mirror remembering what I looked like in the “good ole days” (in actuality, I was unhappy with the way I looked back then too).  My husband is similarly groaning at the fact that it’s so early … on a Saturday.

I volunteer in the children’s program at my church where we have been discussing contentment this month, so the topic has been at the forefront of my mind.  Specifically, what’s robbing us of our contentment?

Maybe the answer is totally obvious to you.  Maybe the better question is:  in a society where we are constantly told to accumulate more stuff, cling to our youth by any means necessary, and shun all carbs for the sake of our waistline, is contentment really an attainable goal?

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Inheritance comes from promise.  Possession comes from obedience.

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Have you ever heard a sermon about God’s promises and felt a little discouraged?  Have you ever read a book or an article about God’s faithfulness and felt just a little bit cheated?  Have you ever heard someone else tell the story of how God fulfilled a promise to them and had a little gnawing voice inside you say “why not me too?

We all have.  It’s not easy to appreciate the beauty and splendor of God’s faithfulness when you feel like God promised you something (healing, success, victory over a certain temptation, etc.) and He hasn’t yet provided it.

Where is God’s promise of “joy that no one can take from you” when I’m lonely and depressed?

Where is God’s promise of “authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy” when I’ve fallen into the same sin…AGAIN?!

Where is God’s promise of “peace which surpasses all understanding” when I am more confused today than I’ve ever been?

The answer lies in the understanding of a key spiritual principle – one of the most important and least remembered principles in the spiritual life.  And it is this:

GOD GIVES SEEDS, NOT TREES. 

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Too often, it seems like there’s a disconnect between God’s promise and our possession.  In other words, we hear/read many great things that God promises to His children (peace, joy, power, victory, etc.) but we seldom find any of those things in our possession.  Why is that?

Check out yesterday’s message from The WellLAYING HOLD OF GOD’S PROMISE – and you’ll see why.  The problem isn’t that God doesn’t fulfill His promises; the problem is that we aren’t looking for the right thing.  We’re looking for trees, but God is giving out seeds.

Watch the video below and you’ll understand what I mean.

This is a guest post from Katie Karras – a communications and training consultant in Washington, DC and a proud member of St. Timothy and St. Athanasius Church in Arlington, VA. You can follow her on twitter,@KatieKarras. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

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“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

That’s the promise God gave me at the start of 2014.  And to be honest, I spent most of this year confused by it.

We’ve heard quite a bit about the encouraging promises of God on this blog, but when I looked at my promise on January 1, I was a little disappointed. Others were given promises of hope, of victory, and of slicing through bronze while I was given a promise that was seemingly “not applicable” to me. I had no idea what to expect in 2014.

Well here we are, ¾ of the way through the year, and I’m still not brokenhearted, nor have I been crushed in spirit. As I contemplated whether or not God maybe misspoke that New Year’s Day, I got an email from a friend I’ve always looked up to, gently asking where I had been and why I hadn’t reached out during a particularly hard time.

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“What happened with the building?  Did we get it or no?  TELL US!!!”  Here’s the update you’ve all been waiting for – the latest on our attempt to purchase a building for God’s sanctuary in Arlington.

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1) We officially made an offer (YAY…EXCITING!!!!!).

We submitted our offer on Friday, September 26.

2) They rejected that offer (ewwww…..not so exciting). 

But this wasn’t a huge shock to us; we somewhat expected it.  But our goal was to begin the negotiation process.

They told us that they would give us two weeks – till October 10 – to make another offer and that it needed to be much closer to the asking price of $5 million.  They said that if our next offer isn’t to their liking, they will strongly consider taking the building off the market and redeveloping it themselves (yikes!).

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Get ready for a celebration!  It’s the final week in the Build Your Kingdom campaign and yesterday’s message answered the question: “WHAT’S NEXT?”

Check out the video below to see what I mean.  And keep laying those BRICKS!  The Sunday series may be complete, but the campaign to build the Kingdom in Arlington is NOT!  I’ll post an update tomorrow.  But in the meantime, KEEP ON BUILDING!!!

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In case you missed my announcement yesterday, check out the video below and see how you can add your name to the BOOK OF STSA.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION NOW

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