Reach, stretch.

Reach, stretch, extend.

Reach, stretch, extend, and grow closer to our Living God who is present with you in this very moment!

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Don’t remember the prior things; don’t ponder ancient history. Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.

Isaiah 43:18-19

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The past is a tricky thing. Remembering the past can sometimes be painful. Other times, remembering the past can be exhilarating. In this passage, Isaiah is speaking to God’s people who have had a painful past – they had lost everything they ever owned and are now starting all over.

What’s difficult about a painful past is that we either put the blame on God for that painful time, or we believe God was completely absent. The past can alter our vision of God’s presence in our lives here and now.

But here’s the good news…

No matter what happens, God doesn’t stay in our past. God is always right ahead of us doing something new. God doesn’t hold grudges. God doesn’t give us the cold shoulder even when we’re to blame for a painful past. A good past or bad, you and I are called not to let the past dictate our relationship with God going forward, because God doesn’t hold on to what was – God reaches out to what is!

Jeremy Wilhelmi

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Holy God, remove from me the things of the past that keep me from seeing you. Help me to let go of whatever in the past needs to be released so I may reach out towards you. Amen.

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God’s hand is always extended towards us. Reach out and grab it! And while you’re at it, since you’ve got another hand too, reach it out towards others, showing them the same love that God has for you!

Jeremy Wilhelmi

Jeremy Wilhelmi is the Associate Pastor for Youth at the Salisbury Presbyterian Church in Midlothian, Virginia. He is currently studying how certain common words in youth ministry such as “study,” “fun,” and “program” (to name a few) can have a negative impact on our ministry and is seeking to find the better words to describe what we do in youth ministry in a more faithful way. In over 10 years of youth ministry Jeremy has yet to grow tired of pizza.

Walking Toward Morning: The Love of God

Ken Medema -

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