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August, 2015 - Issue #130
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
Strength in the Heat
by Debbie Sperry

For months, my husband had been experiencing headaches with a few other symptoms and finally we were able to get the right tests done to tell us the cause... a tumor. As you might imagine, that news is both shocking and mind-numbing at the same time.

It's so stunning you can almost hardly believe it, and really, you'd rather not. It'd be a whole lot easier if it simply weren't true. We are still in the process of diagnostic tests and consultations to determine what kind of tumor it is and what types of treatments might be possible; in the midst of it all, we look to God for answers, relief and help.

"And let us not be weary in WELL DOING: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Galatians 6:9
So, this month's focus on finding strength and faith when the world seems to be against us really hits home. For me, I turn to the truths of Scripture. People say a lot of things when meaning to be helpful but not all of those things are true. So, it's important to me to stay focused on God's truth.

We are beloved sons and daughters. God wants wholeness and good things for us. God walks with us in hard times. God calls on other people to support and encourage us. And as much as I want good things for my husband and my family, God wants it even more. We know that because of Jesus and all that God risked and sacrificed through God's beloved Son.

I work to remind myself to hold tight to those things so that I don't become consumed by fear and worry. Believe me, I'd rather not be dealing with any of it, but somehow it becomes more bearable knowing we are not alone - God journeys with us. I'd hate to go this road alone and I'm grateful that we are also surrounded by compassionate and caring people. God's desire is not to see us suffer; it's to see us flourish, and that includes a community that supports us.
If you're in need of support and care, for whatever reason, I hope you'll join us to experience God through the love of others here at Valencia UMC.
Debbie Sperry is the lead pastor at Valencia United Methodist Church. 255-1301

Find Motivation in HIM
by Marlon Saunders

In order to keep our sanity, focus and drive, we have to first determine our motive. What motivates us to do what we do? If people are your motivation, you will often find yourself swaying between feeling highly motivated and having no motivation at all. Why? Because, in general, people are inconsistent. They will love you today and hate you later today! So, if your motivation is connected to people, then you have a great chance of experiencing extreme highs and lows that God never intended for you to have. The only way to prevent this back and forth behavior is to establish all motivation in God. Out of all of the things that enter our lives, God is the only constant. He never changes. God has always been who He is and will always be who He is. If you find your motivation in Him alone, then your motivation has a greater chance of remaining strong and consistent. This does not mean that other things will not bother you. This just means that you have a better chance of remaining motivated even when they do. We, as imperfect beings, cannot find effective motivation in other imperfect beings or imperfect things. The motivation connected to them may last for a moment but not for a lifetime - only God, the only perfect being, can produce that kind of motivation. Trust Him, even when you can't trace Him. Find motivation in Him.
Marlon Saunders is the pastor of Valencia Christian Center. 296-4822

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The Global Leadership Summit is a two-day Videocast conference that exists to transform Christian leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development and inspiration for the sake of the local church. The experience is held August 6 and August 7 at Real Life Church's Valencia campus. www.reallifechurch.com/summit
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