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Message Notes

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Sermon Title: When Plans Change

Key Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 (NIV)

1 There is a time for everything,

    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

  a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

   a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

  a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

   a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

   a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

   a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. 

My Notes:

Applications and/or Items to Focus Attention On:

Spiritual Discipline | Practicing the Presence

Desire – to develop a continual openness and awareness of Christ’s presence living in me


Definition – Practicing the presence is an invitation to see and experience every moment as a gift of God. It is to live alive to union with the Trinity.


Scripture - 

“No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” (Deuteronomy 30:14)


“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.” (The Message John 5:39-40)


“Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.” (The Message – Colossians 3:3-4)


Practice Includes – 

  • Developing a rhythm of living that brings God to mind throughout the day
  • Intentionally recollecting yourself before God as you engage in the activities and duties of life
  • Seeking to see others through the eyes of God
  • Stopping throughout the day to listen to God
  • Carrying or placing symbols in your office and home that remind you of Christ’s presence
  • Using breath prayer, centering prayer


God-Given Fruit –

  • Keeping company with Jesus all day long
  • Having a deeper union with Christ
  • Living a new way of being by letting go of your need to manipulate, compete and control
  • Living as through the present moment has no competition
  • Receiving each moment as sacred
  • Abiding in Christ so that you see him in those who drain, irritate, and anger
  • Seeing yourself through God’s eyes rather than the eyes of others
  • Finding Christ as your joy
  • Remaining open and teachable at all moments
  • Growing in awareness of your constant need of God