Going Deeper

11.27 - 12.2.2023

We want to help you "Go Deeper" by moving Christ a little closer to the center of your life every day. The following resources are provided to help connect the weekly message to your every day life and reveal God's desire to be in relationship with you.


Pastor Jim Hoffman




    • Psalm 28:6-9; 65:1-20; 75:1-10; 95:1-7; 100:1-5; 138:1-8

    • 2 Corinthians 9:6-15


    My “go to” form of exercise is a three-mile walk.  It helps me to unwind.  It also gives me time to listen to some of my favorite podcasts – one of them being Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History.  One evening in late May, set out for a walk at Loose Park.  On this particular evening, I walked from our home to the park and made my first loop.  As I was starting my second loop, I felt a snap in my right knee.  It literally stopped me in my tracks.  I could no longer stride with my right leg.  Rather, the best that I could do was toe-tap walk.  Margaret was in Wichita at the time and was a few hours from being home.  I could call her to come and pick me up but that meant sitting at the park for longer than I cared to.  A little panicked and not thinking clearly, I toe-tapped it all the way home which is about a quarter mile at most.  Luckily, I know a certain orthopedic surgeon so I called him.  He advised that I make an appointment at the urgent care at his facility.  I did and after a visit and an MRI, they told me that I had torn my right meniscus at the root.  A few months later, I had surgery on it, did some physical therapy, and had injections as well.  It is much better now than what it was on that fateful day in late May. 


    I am lucky.  Yes that I know an orthopedic surgeon but more to the point, I have health insurance.  I could make appointments, get tests, have surgery, go to follow up appointments, and more without considering what I would have to give up because of my medical needs.  In addition, my out of pocket expense was more than manageable.  Thankfully, I am not dependent on Doctors Without Borders or the folks that spend a week operating on Mercy Ships.  I am grateful that I am not a resident of a country that does not have quality health care or that relies upon the compassion and generosity of volunteer organizations and individuals.  I am fortunate that I have access to quality health care and the insurance to help cover the expense.


    There is a hymn titled “Count Your Blessings.”  The chorus says “count your blessings, name them one by one.  County your many blessings, see what God hath done.”  Easier said than done.  Unfortunately, we are inundated with negative news and information.  Our media, in all its forms, focuses on what troubles or divides us, or what tantalizes our need for the salacious.  They play to our lesser nature not for our good but for their ratings.  They fill segments with things that attract eyeballs like a multi-car pile-up on the highway.  I think the side effect of this is a soul that is anxious and burdened by worry.  Additionally, this suppresses our ability to see our blessings and be thankful. 


    Thanksgiving is naturally a season to pause and intentionally reflect upon all the blessings in our lives.  As families and friends, we gather around the table and stuff ourselves like a . . . turkey.  We over indulge on food, sweets, naps, and football.  Nevertheless, we may also take time to be profoundly thankful.  If only we could do this more often during the year than one late November Thursday.   


    I invite you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move to reflect on the questions below.  Consider your practice of counting your blessings and being thankful.  Lastly, I pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.


    Questions to Consider this week:

    • Monday:  How much time do you spend focusing on what is wrong in your life, our city, or the world? 
    • Tuesday:  What emotions are you feeling because of this?  How often do you feel stressed or anxious?
    • Wednesday:  How much control do you have over what is happening in our world?  What is it that you can truly control?
    • Thursday:  How often do you pause to consider the good things in your life and world?
    • Friday:  When was the last time you counted your blessings and gave thanks to God?
    • Saturday:  What would your life be like if you spent more time focused on your blessings and the specific practice of gratitude?


    Actions for the Week:

    • Head:  Take inventory of the news you absorb and how it effects your mental and spiritual well-being.
    • Heart:  Allow the readings from the Psalms to infiltrate your mind and heart and then pray them as an act of thanksgiving.
    • Hand:  Pause with your family and discuss the good things in your lives.  Share time in prayer giving thanks and praise to God from whom all blessings flow.



    Gracious and bountiful God.  We pause in this moment to think about the many blessings that surround us and fill our lives.  We truly have much to be thankful for and we should pause more frequently to be grateful.  Help us to clear out the voices of despair and negativity.  Grant us the wisdom to know what we can control and all of the things that we cannot.  Give us the peace of mind and heart that empowers us to count our blessings and be thankful.  May this be our prayer each day, not just on Thanksgiving.  Amen.