Lent 1: God’s Heart in the Waters of the Flood & Baptism

Image result for Ash Wednesday cross & heartSunday, February 18, 2018 – This is this morning’s offering. We held Joint Parish Communion where members from all 3 churches come together. It was wonderful! I am still going on about the heart – this time God’s heart and we can come to understand His heart in the stories of Noah and Jesus.

Genesis 9:8-17
Psalm 25:1-9
1 Peter 3:18-end
Mark 1:9-15

Today we are marking the first Sunday of Lent – the colours on the alter and the service books have changed temporarily; if you have decided to fast from anything I hope that the cravings are not too bad yet! I will also ask those of you who were at either of the Ash Wednesday services how your hearts are doing this morning.

The focus of the sermons on Ash Wednesday was the heart – your heart, my heart and the condition that they are in at this present time. I don’t mean the physical condition of your heart either! By all means – take care of them but it is not your diet and exercise that I am asking after.

The focus on the heart has come about after attended a conference a few weeks ago with Shola. The keynote speaker made the comment about Ash Wednesday, and Lent more widely as being a point of reflection, a time to step aside and ask ourselves ‘what have I picked up here in my heart?’

This question has stuck with me as I began to think about the condition of my own heart. As I have been praying, I felt that this is the question to ask through Lent not only of myself but also to others to ask themselves.

The entire season of Lent could be a time set aside for examination (if we never have) or the re-examination (if we already do regularly) of our hearts. Our hearts need to be guarded for they are the well-spring of life, everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).

Given the readings this morning – they kind of have a Sunday School feel to them, don’t they? The story of God and Noah and the rainbow set alongside the story of Jesus’ baptism. I feel like I should give you some colouring sheets or something!

However, there is the grown-up side to them as well. A Children’s Bible doesn’t mention Jesus being driven into the wilderness with the wild beasts to be tempted by Satan or John’s arrest. It also misses out on the end of the Noah story. Go read your Bible…

Along with having an adult side, the Genesis and Mark readings are hugely significant in understanding the nature of God’s heart towards his creation (including us and all the animals) and towards Jesus.

To understand the heart of another person is no small feat! It is hard work; it takes love, patience, endurance, courage and time! The same is true with getting to know and understand the heart of God.

God does have a heart! I am not sure if this is news to you or not. If our view of God is that he is distant, cold and uncaring then we may not think that he has a heart. But he does; he must – because we humans have hearts – and if we are made in His image then he has a heart as well.

God’s heart, much like ours, is a heart that breaks. The great flood in Genesis is a result of God’s broken heart. What broke God’s heart? His people, those whom he had created. Us.

Genesis 6:6 – And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. Anyone else here besides me know what it is to be grieved to the heart over something?

The flood was catastrophic – no doubt about it, everything was wiped out. We mere humans do not have that kind of power to react out of grief. But God does. We can of course still be destructive!

After the flood, creation is made new – there is a re-creation. The first creation has gone and the new one begins with Noah – new people and animals appear; the seasons are re-established, and humanity is blessed by God. However, it is still marred with human sinfulness.

God makes a covenant that begins with Noah and his family but also for every person and creature until the end of time. A covenant – OT word that comes up a lot. It is a sacred promise, an agreement. The covenant that God makes with Noah and all of creation is that never again will a flood destroy the earth. This covenant between God and Noah is the first one that God ever made with humankind.

God also gave us a sign of the Covenant – the rainbow. This is significant as it proves God’s compassion for his people, His promises to his people and the obligations the covenant puts on them. What are the obligations – don’t grieve God! Like the song says, ‘don’t go breaking my heart!’

A rainbow signifies that we need two things for life – sunlight and water. When they come together, a rainbow is visible. To see rainbows, we have to keep our heads up – we don’t see rainbows if we walk around with our eyes on the ground.

We also see the promise and heart of God in the waters of baptism. The waters of baptism symbolize both the judgment resulting from sin and the cleansing and forgiveness which result only from the death and resurrection of Jesus.

It is fascinating to me that Jesus was baptised. He is the only person in all human history who did not need to be! Jesus did not need to go down in water to has his sin washed away because he had no sin. The only sin that Jesus knows is ours. In the waters of baptism, we are cleansed from our sins and are connected to the heart of God through Jesus. We are welcomed into his family.

Mark begins his Gospel with the baptism of Jesus and is scant on the details compared to Matthew and Luke who provide much more information. Mark wants us to get on with discovering who Jesus is and why he is so important.

When we see who Jesus really is, we can begin to understand who He’s made us to be and who we are in Him. Many people go through their whole life and never really understand who they are or what they were made to do.

People who are not clear on their own identity are often very (if not overly) concerned with what other people think; this is not unimportant, but it isn’t the final word either. Many people look for identity outside themselves – in their spouse, children, job, house, car or bank account. I think this is true of both older and younger people.

How can we come to understand who we are? I think this story can help…

My Mom had an elderly Great Aunt named Betty. Great Aunt Betty was a character – she lived to be a 103 and was very committed to her family and liked them to visit her. So much so that Aunt Betty would point out when her nieces and nephews didn’t visit!

Shortly after her 100th birthday, my Mom received the command/invitation to visit. My Mom recalls that on the 2-ish hour drive to Aunt Betty’s seniors’ accommodation she thought about all the other things that she should be doing that day.

As she was walking down the corridor, one of Aunt Betty’s neighbours opened her door to see who was coming. Aunt Betty who was waiting at her door for my Mom, said to her neighbour, ‘This is Eddie’s girl Margie.’ Eddie being her father.

My Mom recalls that in that moment her heart melted and all the things she should have been doing that day floated away. No one had called her Eddie’s girl for decades! She was Mrs. Lepp, Wally’s wife and Sue & Jenn’s Mom etc. But not Eddie’s girl.

Mom said they had a wonderful visit and she stayed far longer than she had planned as she relished in being Eddie’s girl.

This is what God says to Jesus when he comes up out of the water – ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ You are my girl, my guy!

Through Jesus we are given the right to be the children of God. We all have access to the God the Father. God is well pleased with You. He loves you. You are on his heart.

Say to the person next you to you – You are God’s son/daughter. He is well-pleased with you.

Most people and many Christians don’t know this or live like this is true. If love and affection aren’t shown in human families, it can be very difficult to a) view God as Father and b) expect anything from him.

This is one of our primary jobs as Priests – to make sure you know that God loves you. That you are on his heart – all the time.

Why do we need to know this, live like this? Two reasons really.

Firstly – like Jesus, there are times we will find ourselves in the wilderness. A wilderness experience biblically was a time of testing and ultimately deliverance.

Jesus is not treated as we might expect post-baptism – if you have been to a baptism recently you may have experienced a lavish celebration after the event! There is no time here to linger in the glory of baptism. Mark writes as though Jesus went from the banks of the Jordan to the wilderness immediately.

However, Jesus’ time in the wilderness is not to be seen as unfortunate circumstance or a lapse or failure on the part of Jesus. This time was divinely orchestrated as much as his baptism was. The time of temptation was to establish that Jesus had choices and desires of his own – like all human’s – and must choose to make God’s will his own will.

This is true for us to – we will choose God’s way or our own way. Notice that God does not abandon Jesus in the wilderness – Jesus is ministered to by the angels. When we find ourselves in the wilderness – we are not abandoned as it is Jesus who tends to us.

Lent can be a wilderness season of sorts as we make time (or should make time) to examine where we are at with God – hence my opening question of ‘what have you picked up here in your heart?’

A wilderness season however challenging will never be wasted if we believe and know that God with us, that our identity lies in being His beloved son or daughter. If we can hang on to that, then whatever the wilderness throws at us can be overcome.

Secondly – one day our hearts will stop beating and this life will be over. What happens then? I know from many years of nursing and a few years of ministry this is a big question for many people – one that often wants to be avoided.

Both Lent and Baptism prepare us for death. In Lent we journey to the cross with Jesus to his death. In Baptism we are cleansed in the waters and given the forgiveness that Jesus gave his life for so that we can have life after we die.

What can we do about this? Most of you – I am guessing were baptised as babies. Your parents brought you to church and presented you. This morning, at the start of this Lenten season we will renew our baptismal vows. I am not re-baptising you or baptising you if you haven’t been.

Renewing vows is a way of renewing the promises that were made when we were first baptized. I hope that it reminds you that you are a beloved and precious child of God.

Picked Up: The Things We Think (and probably Feel) but Do Not Say

Image result for ash wednesdayI have decided that since I’ve asked the question about what has been picked up in the heart – I should share what is going on in  mine since asking the question in the first place.  It has been an interesting couple of weeks! I think I am fairly self-aware to the externals (reactions to situations, how I communicate with people) but I have realized that I don’t always give enough time or thought to what is going on with my internals.

Anyway – here is the first of many of the ‘pick-ups’…

The Things We Think (and probably feel) but Do Not Say

If you know your Tom Cruise movies you may have picked up that the title is from the film ‘Jerry Maguire’; this was the title (except for the brackets) of Jerry’s manifesto that ultimately led to his undoing and re-doing. This also happens to be one of my favourite films and got a re-watch this week.

I have been thinking a lot about ‘the things we think and do not say’ for both Ash Wednesday as I explored the condition of the heart as well as for Valentine’s Day – another opportunity to do the same.

We all have things we think and probably feel but do not say. But what about the person that misses out on what we do not say? It is fairly obvious that we often reflect more on ourselves and the consequences for us if we say or don’t say what we think or feel. Do we ever think about the consequences for the other person with any objectivity at all?

I have very recently been on the receiving end of what was felt and not said. An old friend from High School made contact via Messenger. This is someone I haven’t seen or talked to for over 20 years. Life is difficult for him at the moment for a variety of reasons and he finds my path to the Priesthood rather intriguing. He thought I would have ended up a politician! Soon into the conversation he told me that he ‘kinda had a crush on me in school’. In looking back now, I did at the time think he did at a couple of points. But neither of us did anything about it.

Later in this exchange he said that he wished he could have told me then how he felt ‘but oh well’.

Oh wow. I wish he had told me. I have no idea how I would have reacted then. 25 years is a long time ago. Who knows what would have happened?! Chasing this rabbit has been fun/interesting/hard on the heart these last couple of days. If nothing else – I would have finished High School knowing that someone had a crush on me at some point. As far as I know – no one else did. I am not going to speculate on what this knowledge may or may not have done for me. Then or now.

It has made me think more about the things we think (and probably feel) and do not say. Maybe it is time to say more?

Ash Wednesday – What Have You Picked Up in Your Heart?

Image result for ash wednesdayAsh Wednesday 


Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference for the Lighthouse holiday club project. The keynote speaker of the day made the comment about Ash Wednesday being a point of reflection, a time to step aside and ask ourselves ‘what have I picked up here in my heart?’ This question has stuck with me as I have been thinking about the condition of my own heart. I don’t remember the context of the remark – but it the question lingers on.

As I have been praying, I felt that this is the question to ask through Lent not only of myself but also to others to ask themselves.

The entire season of Lent could be a time set aside for examination (if we never have) or the re-examination (if we already do regularly) of our hearts. Our hearts need to be guarded for they are the well-spring of life, everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).

You might already be asking yourself: how does the heart have anything to do with Ash Wednesday? If you noticed in the special liturgy this morning – there is a lot of mention of the heart. We are to take heart, we have already asked for new and contrite hearts, we are to avoid hardness of heart, we will ask to have our hearts made clean.

The Heart – biblically speaking is a metaphor for the inner life – it refers to the seat of the physical, spiritual and mental life. It is the place where we store wisdom.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 15 that what comes out of the heart makes us unclean – evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. He is very concerned with the condition of our hearts. They need to be clean and free of the rubbish that builds up because everything we do flows out of it.

This is why I am wearing my stethoscope today. This was the first big purchase I made when I started my nurses’ training. We all had to have one. I worked on a ward that required us to use them daily – they weren’t just accessories. A stethoscope is used to check the heart sounds and blood pressure along with other bodily noises.

One of the difficulties with the heart is that it is (or should be) always moving. I am going to relate the physical heart to the spiritual heart. Your heart beats constantly; has been beating since before you were born. For some of you that is a very long time! The heart needs to be beat within certain parameters to ensure that it is working correctly – a certain number of beats/minute and in a particular rhythm.

Sometimes the heart moves too quickly – this is tachycardia. The heart muscles work too fast and blood is not circulated in an efficient way.
People with tachycardia feel terrible; they get anxious as they don’t get enough oxygen. They can also have a feeling of impending doom – again from not getting enough oxygen to their lungs and brain. The heart can’t maintain a fast pace indefinitely.

Sometimes the heart beats too slowly – this is bradycardia. The heart becomes sluggish, blood backs up into the rest of the body. People become puffy, they feel sleepy and exhausted. Again – they don’t get enough oxygen and it makes them lethargic as the heart is not working efficiently.

The ideal state of the heart is to function normally – this is called sinus rhythm. This is regular, even beats of 60-100 per minute. The heart muscles work at their most efficient in this range – neither too fast nor too slow.

Ash Wednesday and Lent can be used as a time to find our sinus rhythm again if our hearts have been too fast or too slow. Our lives, like our hearts don’t stop. We need then to force ourselves to step aside, have a look and a listen to what is going on. In the slings and arrows of everyday living and in the dust and ashes of Lent – there are our hearts.

In the Joel reading we are told that the Lord says ‘Yet even now, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.’

Let’s pick this apart for a few minutes:

Yet even now – it is not too late! Even now – even after everything that has gone on, after everything you have done and all that has happened – it’s not too late.

Return to me with all your heart – you have to make up your mind on this one and do something. Are you up for it? Can you be bothered? He wants all your heart. Not just a piece or a portion. All of it. You have to want to give it; You have to want to want to give it. There is no place safer for your heart than in His hands.

With fasting, weeping and mourning – this is the work. Fasting is the giving up of things that many people do in this season. It is not a diet or health improvement kick. We fast to clear the distractions and break down the walls that we build; we give up the indulgences that detour us away from God. We have all said, done and thought things over which weeping and mourning would be an appropriate response. I sure have!

This isn’t to beat ourselves up and get stuck in a destructive pattern of shame and guilt. Not at all. This is to acknowledge our frailties and failings so that we can begin to break the patterns of behaviour and sin that lead to doing the things that cause the weeping and mourning in the first place.

God knows the condition of our hearts and what needs fasting from and weeping and mourning over. He takes this seriously as set out in Matthew.
God does not want a public spectacle for the benefit of others – He wants to meet with us privately, behind closed doors.

Rend your hearts and not your clothing – To rend something means to tear it to pieces. To rend or tear clothing means to tear up the external, the superficial.

This is what Matthew means about practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them. To rend our hearts to is to tear up the interior, identify those things that need to be removed.

Return to God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing – we are told again to return to God, take the pieces of our hearts to him. He is the only one that can put our hearts back together. God is the ultimate jigsaw expert! He can put it back together however many pieces there are. He will do it graciously, mercifully and with abounding love.

Why do we need to do all this?

Because there is the final heart condition – this is called asystole. The absence of a heartbeat. On all the medical TV shows it is known as a ‘flat line’.

With no beating heart there is no way for blood to deliver glucose and oxygen to your brain and organs. Life stops at this point. This will happen to all of us one day physically – our final physical state will be asystole. This stethoscope has been used many times to confirm asystole.

We can also have spiritual asystole. That is when we don’t return to God, we choose to walk our own ways, do things that cause ourselves and others weeping and mourning. This is the result of keeping our hearts to ourselves.

We are to quite rightly guard our hearts. This does not mean that we stop anything and everything for entering your heart. A heart that doesn’t move – has no life in it! Asystole!

We are to watch and monitor what goes into our hearts – stop the things that will damage the condition of our hearts or interrupts it’s beats. This can be all manner of things – what we eat or drink, watch or listen to (this can be people around us, TV, social media, internet). At times we need to take a break to see what the effect on us is. That is what the fasting of Lent is for. In their absence we are to turn to God in prayer. Especially when the absence is noticeable! We are not to wrestle in misery or denial. Instead turn or return to God.

If you decide to come forward for ashes this morning, you are in good company. We all fall short of the glory of God – but this isn’t a fatal condition unless we choose to ignore what has been picked up here, in our hearts and decide not to return them to God. The sign of the ashes is admitting that we have work to do, we have a heart that needs some repair. By admitting this corporately we know that: 1) We are not alone 2) As brothers and sisters in Christ we can support each other in prayer through Lent knowing that we are all working through our heart conditions and 3) We are in good company – none of us are perfect!

This isn’t false piety if we come to rail ready to receive and then go ‘to our rooms’ to meet with God. It is in these places where we can begin to store up our treasure in heaven – the place where it will be safe. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Stewardship (aka Open Your Hearts & Wallets to Jesus) Sunday

St F 9:30 P&P
Stewardship Sunday 2

2 Corinthians 9:1-15
Luke 12:13-21

It is now the clergy’s turn to weigh in on Stewardship! You are welcome. I heard David preach last Sunday and have read Maureen’s sermon too; I thought they were very good. But I am going to challenge them on one thing that they both said – that sermons on money & finance are boring! Friends – they are not!

I find money endlessly fascinating. I do. Don’t tell me that I am the only one when walking by a sign for the next Euromillions jacket pot doesn’t have a daydream about what I’d do with it! Give it away to noble causes of course…

Money is not easily spoken of – whether you have a lot of it or very little. Yet it is a difficult subject to avoid as pounds and pence affect so many decisions in our everyday lives.

Think about it for a moment – you woke in a bed with pillows, sheets and duvet. Who paid for all that? Did you brush your teeth or take a shower? How is the water being paid for? I see we are all wearing clothes this morning – where did they come from? Even if we ourselves didn’t pay for them – someone did. A person was also paid to make them. Have a coffee or tea or piece of toast? How did those come about? Who bought the cow that produced the milk?

I’m not sure that many of us here could walk into any store and buy whatever catches our attention without looking at the price. Money has a major influence on our lives and our thinking – whether we find it distasteful or not!

Think about that for a second – everything that we own, or do, or touch or eat and drink has been influenced by the transaction of money.

The church is not much different – money was needed to build this building, paint the walls, buy the chairs, the altar table and the silver. We still need money to buy the loo rolls, the wine and wafers we will consume during communion. Let’s not forget the coffee and biccies after the service – it all costs money! Even the things that are donated cost someone – something along the way.

This is part of why I think that money and what we do with it is fascinating – even in the mundane things like water bills and loo roll. It influences pretty much everything we do both directly and indirectly.

Money is serious business and it requires both thought and prayer. Fortunately, both the Bible and Jesus have a lot to say about money.
Like both Maureen and David said last week, it is not money in and of itself that it the problem – it is our attitudes towards money and finance that Jesus is concerned with.

We have three examples in the readings this morning of attitudes (wrongly and rightly) towards money that we will explore.

In the Luke reading, we have the first two examples and we should keep in mind that none of the men in stories are bad or evil.

The first story deals with a family and an inheritance. The first man wants Jesus to take his side in a family dispute over an inheritance. His brother won’t share with him and he probably felt entitled. Family feuds over money are the most difficult to reconcile.

My younger sister is a solicitor who specialises in wills and estates law in Canada. On her desk is a framed photograph of our Grandpa Lepp with one of his favourite sayings inscribed on it: ‘you never truly know someone until you share an inheritance with them.’ It is so true!

But Jesus seems to bypass his request – there is probably more going on and Jesus decides not to be the judge. Maybe Jesus detected ulterior motives behind the request. Instead, Jesus tells them to ‘Be on guard against all kind of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ This is directed at both brothers.

‘Life’ here does not mean biological life – which can be measured – how old you are, how much you weigh, sleep, eat drink. It also doesn’t mean the ‘psychological’ life of values and relationships.

The word ‘life’ used here refers to the life offered to humanity in the call to follow Jesus though which we live in a personal relationship with the Father. God’s life! This is the life that we are meant to live. Jesus is saying there is a life more important than a life of stuff. There is something more. God’s life of abundance that cannot be reduced or measured or satisfied by stuff.

The second man, who is not a real person – Jesus creates him as an example for the parable he tells the brothers. Let’s call him Barney the Barn Builder. Barney has money and riches. He has got some stuff! This is where his confidence is.

But this is a false confidence. Barney’s prosperity has nothing to do with him. It is the ground – the land. He is rich as a consequence of the productivity of the land. This is a gift – an inheritance.

Barney cannot seem to recognize this – we see this in his inner monologue – ‘I will, my barns, my grain, I’ll do, myself.’ The inner monologue also tells us something – he was talking to himself – which means that he was alone. He had no one to talk to, to share with. Had his wealth isolated him?

Now Barney had some good plans – planning for the future and was going to enjoy himself. Again, these are not bad things to do. Barney was not wicked or unjust. He was a good planner! But in all of this – he had forgotten God.

Pride comes in many forms, but the worst form is to think that we don’t need God. The man doesn’t acknowledge the source of his blessings. This is why he was called a fool. There are only 2 occasions when Jesus calls someone a fool in Luke – both times the person has confused temporary earthly riches with eternal divine realities.

Barney is an example of what it is to gather for himself in order to serve himself. This guy lived on bread alone – all his hope was in things. And what happens? Barney’s life is demanded from him that night. He died. Leaving behind all the barns and grains and money. To whom?

None of these three men (the 2 brothers and Barney) were rich toward God. That was where they found themselves in the wrong.

I took a Christian-based money management course a few years ago, the leader said something that has stuck with me. He said ‘your bank statement is the most honest document you have about yourself. It tells of how you spend not only your money but your time. If you want to know what your priorities are – look at your bank statement’.

The most honest document you have about yourself. Wow!

This is also true of the church. By looking at how a church talks about money and uses its financial resources tells you a lot about its priorities.

The third example of money and finance is found in Paul’s letter to the Corinthian Church. They are expecting some guests to come from Macedonia along with Paul as big things are happening in the churches – the Good News is being spread, people are becoming Christians and the church is growing.

The Corinthians have promised a ‘bountiful gift’ and Paul is writing to remind them to get ready. Paul wants the Corinthians to give generously but also cheerfully – without reluctance and to avoid embarrassment – this is partly why we spread Stewardship out over a few weeks. To make time for planning on your part – you are not asked to give reluctantly or under any compulsion.

We have seen that money can damage relationships and can led to resentment and mistrust. We need to be wise and planned in our money and finance – but it shouldn’t control us. Back to our bank statements and what they say about us!

We also need to balance this as we have a duty as Christians to support the work of the Church and the building of the kingdom. There are consequences – reaping sparing or generously – this also includes our attitudes. I have never met a generous person who is miserable!

Here’s the thing – you can’t out give God. He will take whatever you give and multiply it! He provides every blessing in abundance in every good work. He gives to us so we can give away to others and always have enough.

God loves a cheerful giver! We have a lot of be cheerful about this year in the parish!

We have managed to keep good control on our finances in recent years. Duke, our wonderful treasurer usually manages to balance the books.  However, last year we didn’t get as much income as we had budgeted for – down by about £10,000. The PCC has done an excellent job at looking at the finances and have trimmed as much as we can for 2018.

We are not in immediate danger of going broke but we also want to maintain the commitments, the promises we have made before digging into the reserves.

There are exciting events and plans coming up in the next few years – there is a lot of need in our community that the church is ideally placed to do. We are lucky in this parish to have two full-time priests, a Curate and three churches. But this all costs money! We get income from hall rentals at all three churches and by claiming Gift Aid on donations of current tax-payers but the majority of our income comes from regular stewardship donations.

Whichever way we give to the church, by cash, envelopes or bankers order, it’s good to recognize this moment in the service as the point of connection between that financial transaction and our faith and worship.

Why – because we give money to those causes or activities that we believe in or have a connection to. Think about for a moment those charities that you support. Why do you?

I know for myself that there are causes I support monthly that are close to my heart for various reasons. Likewise, when we give to the church we are saying something about our commitment to it. Back to your bank statement and your priorities.

The other secret about the church is that unlike other charities – it is only Christians, it us us, who give money to support the church. Lots of people will give money to cat homes, donkey refuges and little kids with cancer. But it is only Christians who regularly donate to the church.

So dear friends I encourage you to think about your relationship to money, pray about it, make a plan and then give cheerfully, graciously knowing that God’s abundance will provide all that you need.