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November 24, 2015
Rick Stuhmer

Facing Your Giants When You Feel Small

Imagine the scene: a scrawny sixteen year old shepherd boy takes out a 9’9″ tall giant with one rock and a sling.

You may not have a gigantic giant taunting you to come out and fight, but you are probably facing a few giants of your own. Giants like the stack of past-due bills glaring at you, like the divorce papers waiting on your signature, or the depression that looms over you like the Hulk. It could be loH-Icon_Ch11_Slingw self-esteem or insecurity or child abuse in your past. You have your giants and so do I and we would do well to learn from David.

He could face his “giant” because he had spent time in the quiet with God. When he arrived at the place of the standoff between the Israelites and the Philistines, he talked about God. He told Saul that “The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1Sam.17:37). He did not hesitate to confront Goliath saying that he came “in the name of the Lord of host, the God of the armies of Israel.”

David was God-focused instead of giant-focused. He mentions Goliath two times and God nine times. He knew the giant was there and recognized his presence, but his thoughts were twice as much on God.

That focus led him to confront his giant rather than run away. For forty days Goliath continued to challenge Israel’s army and for forty days everyone hoped he would just go away. But giants don’t typically go away until we face them. So David stepped into the gap and slung one well-aimed stone at him.

It helps to have someone in your corner that believes in you. David had his Jonathan. You need yours. You need at least one person who believes in you and that also believes in God. Someone who can encourage your faith-give you courage-when you most need it.

And you will need it because after you slay one giant, there will be more. You may wonder why David picked up five stones from the river bed. Was he afraid he might miss? Not likely. He was skilled in his use of the sling.

2 Samuel 21:18-22 hints that Goliath may have had four brothers. David was ready. He could take on one giant. You might say he knew how to get a head of his giant and then he was ready for more.

And you can too. Just follow the shepherd from Bethlehem.

November 18, 2015
Rick Stuhmer

Giving an Undistorted View of God

IMG_20150111_125952206Ever since Peter Stuyvesant visited the Palace of Versailles the world has had a distorted view of itself. Peter was the governor of New Amsterdam—later to be renamed New York City—beginning in 1647. He was visiting France to discuss colonial land agreements. While at Versailles he was awed by the Hall of Mirrors.

Peter was determined to bring a similarly amazing showcase to his city. In 1651 he founded the Peter Stuyvesant’s House of Mirrors. He charged one Dutch gulden for admission.

This house of mirrors eventually morphed into what we know as a Fun House of Mirrors seen at many carnivals. For a few tickets the fun begins by walking into a maze of mirrors, both convex and concave. We amuse ourselves by looking at distorted images of our figure.
Today you don’t even have to go to the carnival for this experience. A laptop with a webcam or a smart phone and a silly photo app will allow you to take a picture of yourself that you can manipulate to look odd.

It’s all fun. But sometimes distorted pictures can cause trouble. It did in Israel during the time of the prophet Samuel. One of the major distortions was found at the Tabernacle, that portable place of praise for God’s people.

It was parked at Shiloh and was meant to be a clear picture of God’s holiness and grace. A system of sacrifices had been established that foreshadowed the coming sacrifice of the Messiah. Yet anything but holiness was found there.

Eli the priest had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who dishonored God in their treatment of the sacrifices and also engaged in immoral sexual activity with women at the Tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:16, 22). Because the picture of God they were giving was distorted, these two were killed in battle against the Philistines. When news of their death reached Eli, he fell over in his chair, broke his neck, and also died.

Just like Eli and his sons we are representatives of God. We represent Jesus to others. You may have heard it said that you may be the only Bible those around you will ever ‘read.’ The question is, “Are you giving a clear or distorted picture of the One True God?”

November 12, 2015
Jennifer Crook

Office Hours

Wednesday  & Thursday:  10am-4pm

These are our normal office hours, they are subject to change due to holidays and elections.

November 12, 2015
Jennifer Crook

Sunday Morning Schedule

Early Worship 8:30 am

Sunday School 9:45 am

Worship 11:00 am

August 22, 2015
Admin

Welcome to our Redesigned site

New Zion’s website just got a face-lift.  Enjoy the new site!

November 12, 2011
Jennifer Crook

Birmingham, Alabama 2011

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In April, 27 tornadoes hit the state of Alabama.  In July, there was still a state of disaster.  A team traveled and helped in the small town of Webster’s Chapel.

November 12, 2003
Jennifer Crook

Alaska 2003

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In 2003, New Zion took it’s first mission trip led and organized by members of the church.  The team traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to run a VBS and do some church cleanup for a church in a poor urban area.